Chicken Salad

Love this chicken salad. It’s so fresh and light tasting, and has a lot of flavor! It’s got a nice crunch to it from the celery, and has some good flavors from the dried cranberries, olives, whole grain mustard, red onion, and lemon juice. I’m kinda drooling just thinking about it, actually.

 

Cranberry Chicken Salad

 

As I usually do, I made a few alterations to this recipe. I used frozen chicken breasts, and to cook them I boiled them (with spices, of course!). I added chopped black olives (no measurement, just mix in as much as you would like). I did NOT add the apricot jam, and it turned out just fine! Lastly, I used dried basil instead of fresh.

No Bake Energy Bites

Best snack ever. Arguably healthy. And by “arguably,” I mean that it’s very debatable and relative. Anyway, no matter how healthy or not, they’re delicious, a filling snack, quick, and easy… so I’m a loyal fan.

No Bake Energy Bites

I add a scoop of chocolate protein powder, reduce the amount of chocolate chips a bit, and don’t add the chia seeds. In addition, I keep them in the freezer!! They’re less sticky that way, and don’t fall apart if I want to keep some in my backpack at school all day… or however long they last.

Quiche (Spinach, Mushroom, Feta)

This is a crustless quiche. Cool. Based on the ingredients, it’s pretty versatile meal-wise. Like, you could have it for breakfast, second breakfast, ellevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper… (LOTR quote alert). However, based on my experience, it’s best for breakfast or a healthy snack. It just doesn’t have the “umph” to meet the requisites of lunch or dinner; not enough protein, I suppose. But it’s freakin delicious and pretty darn healthy, so I will definitely be making it again. Also, it freezes well, so if you’re into doing freezer meals, you totally can use this recipe.

 

Spinach, Mushroom, and Feta Crustless Quiche.

 

Notes: I added extra garlic because, duh. Also, really make sure to squeeze your spinach out. No seriously. It’s a big deal. You don’t have to use mozzarella cheese if you don’t want to make that special purchase; I just used cheddar. AND you don’t have to use freshly grated parmesan… because if you’re like me, you cut costs wherever you can and buy that stuff in the can. And it’s OKAY.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the past few YEARS, I have been on the hunt for good chocolate chip cookies. Whenever I think of a chocolate chip cookie, I have this idealistic memory of the best cookie in the world: crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, chocolatey, and oh so tasty. But every time I bite into a chocolate chip cookie, I am SORELY disappointed. It’s flat. It’s too soft… or maybe it’s too hard. Okay, so I taste the chocolate… but so what, it’s embedded in a base of sugar and butter that just tastes like SWEET and nothing else. Kind of like Coldstone ice cream (never buy me that). Anyway, I’ve tried multiple chocolate chip cookie recipes, and have never been quite satisfied. I was beginning to think that perhaps this perfect cookie doesn’t exist. But I was wrong; it exists, and I stumbled upon it. YES! I know I say this whenever I come across something that I really, really like, but seriously, I THINK I’M IN LOVE. I have finally found a recipe that measures up. In fact, it exceeds my expectations. And I didn’t even modify the recipe, so just follow the link and make these cookies and eat one and then know what the best day of your life feels like: Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

A while back, my roommate and I made a “Chocolate Italian Love Cake” from Chew Nibble Nosh. I wasn’t impressed with the cake itself, but DANG, that frosting was good. So good that I’m gonna write it down. Right here, right now.

Ingredients:

1 (5.1 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup cold milk

8 oz. Cool Whip

With a whisk, stir the pudding mix and milk together. Then, carefully fold the cool whip into the mixture, until combined. Spread onto your cooled cake.

Don’t forget to lick the spoon.

 

 

 

Mrs. Austin’s Chili

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs ground beef

1 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 chopped yellow onion (about a cup)

4 cloves garlic

Two 16oz cans diced tomatoes

2 cans dark red beans (any kind of bean, really)

1 small can tomato sauce (or ketchup can be substituted)

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

In a large pot, cook the meat with the garlic until the meat is half done. Add the green pepper and onion, and proceed to brown the meat. Add everything else, and simmer for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Serve with some delicious cornbread.

Chickpea Salad

I was a little suspicious about this recipe at first… but I had the ingredients, and I like tuna salad and chicken salad, so I figured I’d give it a try. Um, totally worth it. It’s yummy, filling, easy to make, and the ingredients are inexpensive. Win-win. We just ate it plain with a fork, but it would be the bomb in a pita as well.

Here’s the recipe at Budget Bytes.

I did change a couple things, though. First, instead of using garlic powder and salt, I just used… garlic salt! Easy peasy and turned out great. Second, instead of using all mayo, I used half mayo and half plain greek yogurt. And I doubled the recipe, because I was making it for 3 instead of for just myself. 🙂

Spinach Artichoke Chicken

Discovery of the month? This meal. And everyone said amen! (Everyone being me.)

But hot DOG, this is good!! And it’s so easy I almost died.

Adapted from add a pinch.

  • pam or other nonstick spray
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 13.75 oz can of artichoke hearts packed in water – drain it
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed (it’s amazing how much water’s in there)
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced. I used 2 because GARLIC IS GOOD!!
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese… or whatever
  • Seasoned salt and crushed red pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 375. Spray a baking dish with your handy dandy nonstick spray. Stick the chicken in the dish and season it with the crushed red pepper and seasoned salt – however much you like. I like a lot, because “everything in moderation” is for ninnies and sissies. (Just kidding!)

Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, grab a bowl and mix all the rest of the ingredients together in it. You can use a spoon… or um… your hands…

After the 15 minutes, pour/spread your mixture on top of the chicken, and then put it back in the oven for 20 minutes. Check it, and if it’s not done, keep baking it at 5 or 10 minute intervals until it’s done.

Let it cool for 5 minutes, and then help yourself. Or make someone else serve you? No, help yourself.

Shrimp, String Beans, and Pasta with Pesto

Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

First, may I say… BASIL PESTO. That right there is what makes this delicious. Basil is possibly one of my absolute favorite things in the whole wide world ever times infinity. I never exaggerate or use superlatives either. Okay, I’m glad that’s out in the open.

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) rotini
  • 1 pound of med-large raw shrimp – cleaned, deveined, tails removed
  • 2 cups string beans – ends trimmed, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup pesto (or MORE!!)
  • Pepper and Seasoned Salt

 

Bring a pot of water to a boil, put some table salt in. Add in the pasta and string beans, and cook them together until you like how they’re done. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, heat a Tbsp of olive oil, at medium heat, in a big ol’ skillet. Add the shrimp, put some seasoned salt and pepper in, and cook until they begin to curl. Remove from heat. OR, you can use frozen precooked shrimp and skip this step altogether. Just defrost the shrimp and ta-da!

Mix pasta, string beans, shrimp, pesto and pasta water together. Add more pesto if you’re feeling crazy awesome, and add more seasoned salt if it needs it. Now you can serve this right away, or you can stick it in the fridge all day (or night), and serve it later. I think it’s better that way because the flavors have had a chance to mix together and be BOLD! Only downside is you have to reheat it, but who even cares or will notice? Only weirdos, so whatevs.

Oh, also, you can be lazy like me and buy your pesto… or you can be totally domestic/perfect wifey and MAKE your own from scratch! Ain’t nobody got time for that. But I know I will do it at some point because I have this thing where I can’t pass up a challenge. So yeah, if you want to make the pesto, go see the instructions at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. Yay!!