Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Super Fast Mexican Chicken and Rice

While I am most certainly committed to making the healthiest and nutritional foods I can for my family I am also all about quick and easy.  Like most moms, I’m a busy lady.  I’ve got a list of stuff to do a mile long and a list of stuff I want to do about ten miles long.  *sigh* It is what it is. 

So when I find a recipe that I love or just want to try, it never fails that I will use whatever shortcuts I can to make it easier, cleaner, and quicker.  So when I came across this recipe for a crock pot version chicken burrito bowl, I was all set to throw it in the crock pot yesterday morning.  (That’s my kinda easy!)              Only… I forgot. 

So at 3 o’clock in the afternoon I realized that I was gonna have to do the stove top version.  But by 4:30, 30 minutes before the mister arrives home, I just knew I was putting off this meal because I didn’t want to cut up a crudload of chicken breast to feed the seven of us.  (ugh.  I hate raw meat.)  So what did I do?  I did what I do best – improvise and fly by the seat of my pants. 

My two big changes for this recipe – instant rice (What would I do without you, instant rice?  My family would never eat rice if it wasn’t for you!)  and canned chicken.

Here’s my take on this fabulous recipe.  One pot and quicker than just about anything else I have ever cooked.   

*note – anytime you substitute ingredients, especially quick versions, I admit you always lose some quality.  So please, please, make sure you try these two original recipes here and here.  I KNOW they are better than mine.*


  • 2 cans of canned chicken breast, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 5 – 5 1/2 cups of instant white rice
  • 1  (28.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar of chunky salsa
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • approx. 2 cups of chicken broth (enough liquid to make the mixture juicy but not covering all the ingredients)
  • colby shredded cheese for garnish
  • optional garnishes include avocado, green onions, salsa, spicy ranch dressing, sour cream

First of all – this makes a TON.  There’s seven of us and we’re pretty hungry people.  All the time.  But honestly, we ended up eating about 2/3 of this and had the rest for lunch the next day.  It was still just as yummy at lunch too, by the way.

Cooking instructions:

With 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the onions for a few minutes. 

Add the chicken and spices, plus a few turns on the grinders of salt and pepper.  This goes quick.  Stir it all together so that the chicken is nicely coated.  Keep it moving or it will burn.  I find adding the spices at this point does a lot for the flavor of the chicken. 

Next, move your chicken to one side and add the other tablespoon of oil then the rice.  Stir the rice to coat it with oil and get it warm.  Blend in with the chicken. 

Add your tomatoes and salsa and stir. 

Add the beans and corn to the mix. 

At this point, add enough chicken broth to make the mixture moist and juicy but not soupy.  This might take some practice to get right because I imagine it’s knowledge that only comes from cooking lots of instant rice.  *yes, I am THAT girl.*

Put the lid on let it cook on low heat.  Give it a stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it sit on the stove until the rice is done.  Now is a good time to prepare your garnishes and get the dishes ready.  By the time you finish that your meal will be all done!


This is seriously super fast.  I was really surprised at how quick it was ready and ended up letting it sit awhile so we could finish up an activity.  Oops!  Miscalculation on my part!  Better than late, right?

If you give this a try let me know what you think.  If you change something, I’d love to know what you did differently.  I’m always up for new recipes.  And don’t forget to check out Melissa’s original recipes at No. 2 Pencil!


The search for the perfect smoothie…

I’m on the lookout for the perfect smoothie.  If you find it, let me know, please. 

I don’t know a lot about smoothies but I do know this – the perfect smoothie does not have ice.  (I hate those little flecks of ice in a smoothie.)  It also doesn’t taste like protein powder or peanut butter even if it contains them. 

So far, this is the best I can get.


I really like the flavor of this one.  Most smoothies are tolerable, but not necessarily enjoyable for me.  This one, however… mmmmmm. 

So, give me your most delicious, non-ice, non-protein or peanut butter-tasting smoothies, please!


An Herbal Recipe: Chickweed Grilled Cheese…

HerbFairies-Chickweed4 One of the joys of homeschooling is getting to spend our mornings together at the park.  Every morning the kids and I take a walk around our local park for a little fresh air and exercise to start our day.  It was beautiful this morning and the dandelions were beginning to pop up along the trail in the grass.  A couple of the kids ran to pick a bouquet and they all agreed it’s been way too long since we last had dandelion fritters. 

My bunch absolutely LOVE eating dandelions. 

Do you ever eat the “weeds” in your yard?  Those pests are actually nutritious, delicious plants that can provide wonderful nutrients for your family!

Kimberly and Hailey share a recipe today using chickweed that you can probably find in your own yard.  This recipe, chickweed grilled cheese sandwiches, can be found in the free Herb Fairies cookbook you can get here. 


Look for more delicious herbal recipes right here this weekend!

Healthier Egg Salad Recipe…

I’m always looking for new lunch ideas.  We get stuck in the  pb&j, canned soup rut here frequently.


Pinterest is my go-to recipe trove these days, though I’ve been a huge fan of for many years.  And my “can’t leave well enough alone” attitude will not let me follow a recipe as its written.  I just can’t do it!

I found this recipe to try out and as usual, I made some adjustments.  Here’s what I came up with.

Healthier Egg Salad

A super easy, quick recipe is exactly what I need when feeding five kids lunch during a break in homeschool.  No time for cooking when you’re teaching!  hard boiled eggs

The most difficult thing about this recipe was keeping the kids out of the hard boiled eggs after they were shelled.  They are insane about hard boiled eggs!


My biggest beef with most recipes I find is that the serving amounts are nowhere near enough for my family of 7.




Coarsely chop up all the eggs with a knife.

chopped egg salad

Then finely chop them with either a manual gadget or a food processor.  I don’t have many electric kitchen tools so I just used the chopper in the picture above.  It worked very well.


egg salad


In another bowl, mix up the yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, dill…

yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, dill










Mix it up really well with a fork or a mini whisk.

Til it looks like this…

all mixed up


Combine the yogurt mixture with the eggs and then for a little more kick…





This is totally a personal preference thing so add as much or as little as you like.

I added about 2 TBSP.



Healthy Egg Salad

  • One dozen large eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon low-fat Miracle Whip
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • (optional) black pepper and paprika to garnish

Finely chop the eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  You may also add the mustard here.

Combine the yogurt mixture with the eggs and gently mix.  If you didn’t add the mustard before, add it after you’ve combined the two mixtures.

Serve on your favorite bread as a sandwich, in lettuce as a wrap, or simply with a giant slice of tomato.  Garnish with a little pepper and paprika.


I love this on toast with mayo and tomato.  Extra pepper, of course.

Do you ever eat egg salad?  If so, what’s your favorite way to eat it?  If you have special ingredients or favorite recipes, please share them in the comments.



a Thanksgiving Feast…

This year our Thanksgiving holiday will bring a ‘first’ to our family.  It’s just happened to work out that local family will be out-of-town and out-of-town family aren’t able to make the trip.  So for the first time ever, our family will be celebrating the holiday on our own. 

Rather than be sad about the fact that none of our extended family will be around to share the holiday with us, I’ve decided to look at some ways we can make this day special…  Maybe start some new traditions. 

So why not start with the menu?  After all, it really is all about the food.  And where’s the best place to find amazing new recipes?  Pinterest, of course!

Maple Roasted Turkey w/ Smoked Bacon & Stuffing

I have always wanted to stuff a turkey.  I don’t know why.  I guess it just conjures up images of a perfect Norman Rockwell type gathering where everyone sits around the table in their Christmas sweaters eagerly anticipating the moment dad carves the perfectly cooked turkey.  Seriously, I have no idea.  It just seems like the thing to do at least once in a lifetime.  And then I found this!  A stuffed turkey covered in bacon.  Score!

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

An absolute must at Thanksgiving dinner is broccoli rice casserole.  Ever since I was born we’ve had this dish on Thanksgiving.  There is no way I’m not including it on the menu.  But since we put bacon on the turkey, why not on the broccoli rice casserole too?

Cheesy Corn Casserole

Are you sensing a theme here?  Yes, this one also includes bacon.  This is going to be a very cheesy, bacony, heavy cream-laden kind of dinner.  The kind where you say, “bring on the tryptophan and football!”

I would have never, ever, thought about adding bacon and cheese to corn casserole.  Personally, I like the corn casserole just how it is, but keeping with the theme, I figured it was worth a shot.  I mean, look at that picture!  Who wouldn’t want to eat that???




Green beans

I know, traditionally, everyone makes green bean casserole but my family doesn’t care for it.  Instead, we will be having fresh green beans from my local produce co-op cooked in a chicken soup base.  Easy peasy and a break from all that cheese and bacon.

Potato Au Gratin

Okay, back to the cheese.  Mascarpone and Havarti cheese, to be exact.  We’re cranking it up a notch with this potato dish.  Forget the hashbrown casserole and boxed potatoes this year!

Candied Carrots

I love cooked carrots.  I really do, but SO many times I’ve been disappointed when I’ve made them.  Just really bummed that the flavor was ‘off’ or non-existent.  Let’s hope I get really good carrots this time.


Don’t these look amazing?  I hope I can find some of these tiny, beautiful carrots at one of our local markets.  They look so wonderfully awesome to me. 





Fruit Salad

After all that cheese and bacon, I figure a dessert with a little less processing might be a good idea.  But of course I’ll have to add some cherry jello.  Bwahahahahahaha!

And my husband will cry if I don’t go to Bob Evan’s and get a Pumpkin Supreme Pie.

So there you have it!  Can you imagine eating all that in one day?  I am not gonna be able to move on Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!