A Chicken in Every Crockpot!

Karen's Kitchen Adventures

Taco Salad! May 31, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,meat — frappqueen @ 8:05 am
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Here’s a great one for a warm day! Almost no real cooking involved aside from like 10 minutes of cooking the chopped meat! Also, its really good!

Quick Taco Salad (from Cooking Light)

12  ounces  ground round

2  cups  chopped yellow, red, or green bell pepper
2  cups  bottled salsa
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
4  cups  coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
2  cups  chopped plum tomato
1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1  cup  crumbled baked tortilla chips (about 12 chips)
1/4  cup  chopped green onions


Cook beef and bell pepper in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned; stir to crumble. Add salsa; bring to a boil. Stir in cilantro; keep warm.

Place 1 cup lettuce on each of 4 plates; top with 1 cup meat mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 1/2 cup tomato, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup chips, and 1 tablespoon onions.


Bacon and Butternut Squash Pasta Bake May 23, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:53 am
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This recipe is delicious year round, though particularly yummy in the fall. Of course, I obviously made it recently because, well, I had a craving for it! When squash is in season, you can use fresh, but if it’s not, frozen butternut squash works just as well. They sell it pre-chopped in bite size pieces, so it’s ready to go. Just be careful roasting it, if you overdo it, they tend to get mushy which doesn’t look pretty but it still tastes good.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, and can be made pretty easily. I just take the lazy ladies’ way out sometimes and bake the bacon if I’m not in the mood to scrub the stove later. It is mostly just tossing everything together once you roast the squash. Give it a try, it’s a nice twist on plain old mac and cheese!

Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta (from Cooking Light)

3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
1/2  teaspoon  dried rosemary
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
3  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
Cooking spray
6  sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1  cup  thinly sliced shallots
8  ounces  uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/3  cup  (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan over the top, it is delightful!


Jambalaya Bake May 16, 2010

Filed under: casserole,one dish,poultry,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 11:00 am
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This recipe is very easy to make, courtesy of Sandra Lee (and you know I don’t really like her, but its okay!) Nice and easy for a busy weeknight:

Jambalaya Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces

1 can (14ish ounces) diced tomatoes with onion, celery and bell pepper (Hunt’s makes this she claims, though I’ve only found whole tomatoes with the other stuff, so I buy that and just use kitchen shears to chop up the tomatoes, I’m a genius!)

1 can (14 ounce) reduced sodium chicken broth

8 ounces hot Louisiana sausage, cut into one inch pieces (We use whatever we’ve got: Andouille, hot italian or whatever)

1 box (8 oz) jambalaya mix ( I use Zatarain’s)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 2 quart casserole, stir together all ingredients. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 70 to 85 minutes.

THAT’S IT! How easy can it possibly be? The results are rather spicy, so you might opt for a less sassy sausage if its too much for you…it was totally too spicy for me! I ate it anyway though as I had severe head congestion and it sure did make that go away!


Rachel Ray’s Goulash in 30 minutes May 14, 2010

Filed under: meat,one dish,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 6:01 pm
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Well, I made this recipe a full month ago and I’ve been rather lazy with my posting lately…mainly because I am 13 weeks pregnant! I have not been as full throttle on blog updating, and for awhile, I was not too keen on involved dinners, although my lovely husband still did help with a ton of the cooking. So now I have lots of recipes on backlog! I’ll post them all eventually. This one though, not so much a winner for me!

When I was little, my mom used to make super delicious goulash. We called it “Meat sauce and macaroni” cuz we’re Polish and Irish and that’s what we called it! At any rate, my mos was always a thick, meaty sauce, with a hint of something extra in there. It was the ultimate comfort food. A month ago I was in the throes of constant nausea and so I really wanted foods that remind me of cozy times. I found this recipe hoping it would be similar. And, well, it wasn’t! It is a very thin and watery sauce, and not very saucy at all! I found it to be even a tad dry. Oh well, it was light enough on the stomach that I ate it anyway, but not satisfying enough that it stopped me from doing what I should have done originally: I emailed my mom for the real recipe. I will make that one soon and then you can see what REAL goulash is!

Goulash (kind of gone wrong!)

1 pound macaroni
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds combined ground beef, pork and veal
1 tablespoon paprika
Freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups beef broth
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (a generous handful)
3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives, for garnish


Boil the water and make the pasta according to directions.

While the pasta is working, in a large, deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring and crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bell pepper and bay leaf and cook for 10 minutes. Add the broth and tomato sauce and heat through. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the sour cream, dill and parsley.

Serve in bowls with some bread on the side if you like. And you might like it, it just disappointed me as I had other goulash in my head when I was reading the directions!

*From Every day with Rachel Ray website!


Asparagus pesto pasta May 8, 2010

Filed under: eat your vegetables,pasta,poultry,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:33 pm
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This one is a light and simple springtime meal. It only uses FOUR ingredients! How awesome is that!?

Here’s how you do it:

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

pound of chicken breasts, cut into inch long strips

pound of any short cut pasta (or 1/2 a pound, depending how many leftovers you want)

about 1/2 a bundle of asparagus, cut into inch long strips

salt and pepper to taste

jar of delicious pesto sauce


Cook the pasta according to the directions. My favorites to use are penne and rotini, but any short pasta will do. Once pasta is in the water, you can start the rest of the meal.

Salt and pepper the chicken and add to an oiled and preheated pan. Let the chicken cook, making sure it browns on both sides. Add the asparagus and cook, covered, for about another 5 minutes or so. Check that the chicken is fully cooked through.

When pasta is done, drain but don’t rinse. Put the pasta back in the empty pot. Pour in the chicken/asparagus mixture and add the pesto. I eyeball it, meaning I add more until it looks good to me. You might want more or less pesto, its up to you! Toss the ingredients together until everything is coated. Heat another minute or two to be sure that the pesto is warmed up if you like.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of parmigiana. Yum!


Tex Mex Turkey Casserole May 3, 2010

Filed under: casserole,Uncategorized — frappqueen @ 8:33 pm
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Sorry I’ve been so few and far between with my posts lately, but don’t worry! I have a bunch to update and hopefully will have time soon to post them all! Anyway, this recipe is super easy to make, its almost embarassing! It’s a Sandra Lee recipe, and while she will always bug me with her crazy color coordinating and her “cocktail time!!”, I still find some of her recipes to be really good for weekdays. No muss, no fuss!

Tex Mex Turkey Casserole

1 1/4 pounds uncooked ground turkey

1 packet tex mex chili seasoning mix

1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can mexicorn

1 can condensed cream of tomato soup

1 can diced green chilies, drained

1 c. crushed tortilla chips

1 c. mexican cheese blend

1/3 c. sliced black olives, drained

sour cream and salsa, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, cook and stir turkey with chili seasoning mix until the turkey is browned. Drain off the fat. Stir in the beans, mexicorn, soup and green chiles. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.

Cover with crushed tortillas and cheese. Sprinkle olives over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and sour cream if you wish.

Enjoy!! You now still have time to do some laundry or watch another episode of 90210!