Chicken pot pie

I recently heard several people talking about using special fancy ingredients.  I really don’t do that.  I will totally skip over an ingredient or see if i have one that will deliver a similar taste.  I rarely use something extraordinary so you can be comforted by that fact.

My husband wanted chicken pot pie and so i started in on that.  It has been cold and is getting colder.  It was a great meal and warm in my belly.

  • chicken breasts
  • herbs de provence (poultry seasoning)
  • butter
  • flour
  • chicken stock
  • onions
  • frozen peas and carrots
  • refrigerated biscuits

First i cooked chicken breasts in the slow cooker.  I simply seasoned with salt and herbs de provence (which is just fancy poultry seasoning).  Placed them in my lined slow cooker and set to low for about 6 hours before we went out for the day.  While the filling was cooking the chicken was removed and shredded.

When we got home i sautéed some onion in 4 TBSP butter.  Seasoned with salt and pepper.

Once the onions were translucent I added about 3 TBSP of flour and whisked to combine.  It will make a paste known as a roux.  I cooked this over medium heat for 10 minutes or so.  I then added chicken stock bit by bit until it formed a thick gravy (about a cup).  The key is to continue whisking as you add the stock to avoid lumps.  Once the gravy is to your liking stir in half a bag of frozen peas and carrots and turn the heat off.

I made individual ramekins of pot pie.  I stirred a handful of chicken into the sauce mixture at a time and then placed the chicken and 1/4 of the filling in 4 individual ramekins.  We then rolled out refrigerated biscuits and placed them on top and baked for about 5-8 minutes at 350. The larger ramekins required two flattened biscuits while smaller ones required only one.  The edges of the biscuit should extend over the edge of your dish.  The tops were golden brown and crunchy.  My husband said it had a satisfying crunch as his spoon broke through the top of the crust.

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Christmas chili over steamed spaghetti squash

So we left Florida where it was 85 degrees and arrived back in TN where it was a chilly 40 degrees and raining.  Thanks for the December welcome home TN.  Craving something warm I made some chili with ground turkey, some salsa, blacks beans and tomatoes with lots of chili powder and cumin.  It simmered for an hour or so.

 

I had a spaghetti squash that I had bought before the trip.  I steamed it in the microwave after splitting it in two with a large knife and placing it face up in a microwave safe dish.

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I covered it with plastic wrap and microwaved for 10 minutes after seasoning with salt and pepper.  It was soft and pulled away from the skin easily with a fork afterwards.  I grasped it with a pot holder after drying it off to get the delicious strands out.

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It was excellent as a base for the Christmas chili.  Reminds me of Cincinnati spaghetti.

 

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Second go around on 21dsd

This is my second go on the 21 day sugar detox. I completed my first round last week. Thankfully although I did have some sugared treats over the weekend I didn’t find my self binging on anything or even really tempted. I really liked the way I felt without any added sweeteners. No refined sugar or artificial or natural sweeteners. There are other restrictions too but those are the main ones. Turns out if you eliminate sweeteners you pretty much eliminate most processed foods.

Today was my first day, second round of level 1. You can find out more about the 21dsd at the21daysugardetox.com.

We had spaghetti squash with a veggie meat sauce for dinner. It was delicious. Kids loved it too.

1 large spaghetti squash

2 bell peppers
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 diced onion
Garlic salt
Pepper
Italian seasoning
Sugar free marinara sauce such as from trader joes

Split squash in half, remove seeds with a spoon, and place in microwave safe dish. Lightly coat cut sides with olive oil and garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 10 – 15 min depending on size. We had a very large squash that took 20 min but it was upwards of 5 lbs. *that’s big*. The flesh should pull away easily in strands with the tines of fork.

Basically I sautéed the veggies which I seasoned with garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until they were softened then added the marinara sauce stirring frequently. I let it simmer while the squash was cooking until thickened to my liking.

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I can’t believe that didn’t have meat

I’ve recently come to like eggplant. I got some Japanese eggplant which has a milder flavor at the farmers market. My husband added some balsamic vinegar to it when he diced it. Maybe that was the key in elevating my liking from tolerate to enjoy. In this recipe I used regular eggplant which has a deep purple color. When I diced it up into quite small pieces I again added some balsamic vinegar to it. It sat overnight in a ziploc Baggie.

I basically sweated at medium heat some onion, the eggplant, 2 red bell pepper, and 8 oz of mushrooms over about 20 min until everything was softened. I then added a can if drained diced tomatoes and about half a jar of spaghetti sauce. I reduced to simmer and then steamed a spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 15 minutes. Right at the end of cooking, we stirred in some A1 sauce, about 1/4 cup. It added a sweetness and tanginess that really rounded out the meal. I served the sauce over the shredded spaghetti squash. The meatiness of the eggplant and the mushrooms really made this meal filling. Furthermore, it was all vegetables.

My 1 year old niece loved the spaghetti squash and couldn’t get enough. My 6 yo often asks, is it real spaghetti or that squash stuff? She will eat it but there is no fooling her anymore. At least my 4 yo doesn’t complain. 🙂

All the grown-ups were delighted.

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Moose Pasta Salad

I’ve been reading through some new (to me) blogs lately.  One of which is “I’m an Organizing Junkie.”  She has Menu Plan Monday weekly where she writes her menu plan for the week and others link up to share their recipes and menus.  My recipe was inspired by a pasta salad recipe on her blog that linked to a Kraft Canada recipe.  Here is the original.

 

This is my version

  • 8 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 1 bunch broccoli, mine was 3 heads, cut into florets
  • 2 cups of grilled chicken, I defrosted some that we previously had grilled
  • 3/4 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan
  • 4 TBSP of Light Italian dressing

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.  We used moose pasta that my youngest picked out while at IKEA.  It was actually elk shaped but who cares.  2-3 minutes before pasta is done drop broccoli florets into boiling water.  Drain all and return to pot.

Add tomatoes and dressing.  Toss to coat all ingredients.  Add both cheeses and stir to combine once more.

 

Husband and kids loved it.  ❤