Weeknight Meal Crunch: Stromboli in Under 30 Minutes

Pizza is a staple in our house, so naturally Stromboli comes into the mix as well. I haven’t made it in awhile since I used to get my dough from Fresh and Easy which shut down, but saw dough while at Trader Joe’s today and decided it was time to give a new dough a try. I personally like Stromboli because I’m not a pizza sauce girl and this doesn’t include sauce on the inside. I can still make my husband happy though by getting him sauce to dip his in. I use pre made dough as well as pizza sauce when I make this as it saves time, but if you have extra time go ahead and make everything from scratch!

Shopping List/Ingredients: (I got everything from Trader Joe’s for about $8!!!)

  • pizza dough
  • pizza sauce for dipping (if you want it)
  • 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella
  • pepperoni (or any toppings you want I like making veggie ones too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of water

 

 

Pre heat your oven to 500 degrees.

First roll out the dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface. If you want pizza sauce inside your Stromboli go ahead and spread it on now leaving at least a 2 inch border on each side.

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Next sprinkle half the cheese in the center, followed by peperoni or your toppings, and then the remainder of the mozzarella.

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In a small bowl mix together an egg and a tablespoon of water, then brush over the edges of the dough to help it seal.

Now for the trickiest part, folding. Go ahead and fold the 2 ends over, then use the parchment paper (don’t use foil as I did!) to help you fold over the sides so that it’s all sealed up. Then flip it onto another piece of parchment paper so that the seam is facing down. (If you use foil to cook like I did be sure to spray a little cooking spray to stop it from sticking)

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Go ahead and brush your egg wash over the top and sides (it will give it that golden brown color and nice texture) and cut a few shallow slits in the top.  Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes you think it needs a little more time decrease the oven temp to 375 degrees and cook a few minutes longer.

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Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then slice it on open!

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Weeknight Meal Crunch: Slow Cooker Cran-Apple Chicken

When the cooler weather comes in the crockpot comes out in my house! I love slow cookers as you can throw everything in, set it on low in the morning, and it’s ready to go when you come home from work. This cran-apple chicken is a clean recipe (as long as you buy high quality, organic ingredients) yet it’s still delicious! We paired it with a salad and rosemary bread.

Shopping List/Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 green apple (peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider

Place chicken in slow cooker

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Sprinkle with cranberries and apples

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Mix brown sugar and apple juice, then pour over chicken and fruit

Cover and cook on low hear for 6-8 hours

The fruit packs a bunch of flavor, so as you’re plating the chicken be sure to slather it on top. (Please excuse my after plate picture! I  was so excited to start eating after I smelt it cooking all day I almost forgot to take a picture.)

Approx. Nutrition info: 190 calories, 27g protein, 13g carbs, 3g fat, 2g fiber

 

Weeknight Meal Crunch: Chicken and Rice Casserole

I grew up with my grandmother making casseroles. So naturally, I love them! They’re great options for kids (or adults) who don’t care for veggies and many of them are great for serving a whole family or having great leftovers that save well. I’m also big on anything that can save me time in the kitchen during the week, so rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite things to pick up from the store. This recipe incorporates both things, so naturally it’s a hit in my house! It’s actually one of my husband’s favorites. I’ve been making it so long I can’t remember where I found the original recipe, but I most likely found it on the internet. This one does take a little longer then last month’s weeknight meal crunch. It’s about 25 minutes of prep and then 35 minutes of bake time.

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First go ahead and start making the wild rice to the directions on the package. You’ll want about 6 ounces. Beware of the rice you buy as some will take 45 minutes to cook, I suggest a quicker one!  I fell into this trap and got a rice that took an hour to cook!

Preheat the over to 450 degrees and now we’re ready to start! Chop 1/2 cup celery and 1/2 cup of onion. Then cook in a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter, about 5 minutes.

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Then stir in 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth (I use white wine and it adds A LOT of flavor!), and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil.

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Next stir in cooked rice and 2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey (I use rotisserie chicken.

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Finally transfer the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of parmesan.

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Stick it into the over for about 35 minutes to bake and you’re done!

Shopping List/Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of long grain wild rice (look at the cook time!)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (10 1/2 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup of white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1/3 cup shredded or grated parmesan

If you have any quick and simple recipes you love share them in the comments!

Weeknight Meal Crunch: Caprese Sandwiches

Last year Joe (my husband) and I got a Panini press for Christmas. Once we started using it we realized it’s an amazing tool that helps you to make a quick diner with simple, real ingredients. We use it for sandwiches, quesadillas, and much more! We use the Panini maker at least once a week because it’s such a quick way to make diner! One of my favorite things to make on it is a Caprese sandwich. You have a whole meal done in 15 minutes tops!

First, I prep the ingredients as I wait for the Panini press to heat to a medium-high setting. I cut the bread (fresh ciabatta or sourdough are my favs), mozzarella ball, tomatoes, and basil.

Next, start to put your sandwiches together. I like to do mozzarella, tomato (I like mine sliced thick!), a few basil pieces, and then mozzarella again so they’re super cheesy.

Now they’re ready to throw on the Panini maker! I brush both sides with olive oil and put 3 or 4 on the press together at the same time for about 5 minutes. Adding the olive oil makes them nice and crispy on the outside without having to use butter. (hopefully your bread won’t have a giant hole in the middle like mine!) If you don’t have a Panini press I would do these on a skillet on the stove but put a second skillet on top to help get a crispier sandwich.

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You can’t forget the secret ingredient (balsamic glaze) that takes these from yum to AMAZING. Even kids love this stuff! My 3 year old nephew likes it because it’s sweet and he calls it “chocolate sauce”.

caprese5Have fun drizzling the balsamic on your sandwich. You can do a boring glaze like mine below or you can make shapes.

The most important part is to enjoy your sandwich while its fresh off the grill!

Shopping List/Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of sourdough or ciabatta bread (or any you like)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • 2 or 3 firm tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves
  • balsamic glaze

If you have your own quick Panini recipes share them in the comments below! I would love to add in new sandwiched into the mix!

Weeknight Meal Crunch: Lemon Butter Chicken

So those of you who know me know that I LOVE food! I love to cook, eat out at restaurants, and try new food trucks! I try my best to cook at home on weeknights. Sometimes work and life in general can make this hard though, so I’m always on the lookout for quick simple meals that still taste delicious. Recently, I tried this Lemon Butter Chicken Breast recipe from Better Homes and Gardens that I just HAD to share! Not only is it one of the simplest recipes I’ve tried lately, I also had most of the ingredients for it already in the house! If you’ve got 20-30 minutes you need to give this one a try!

First either use 6 pre cut thin chicken breasts or pound them until they’re about 1/4 to 1/8 in thick. Then in a shallow bowl or plate mix 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides and then lightly sprinkle with lemon pepper to your taste.

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Then warm a 12-in skillet with 1/3 cup butter. When the butter is hot cook half the chicken breasts at a time until browned (about 3 minutes on each side) and remove chicken from skillet.

IMG_2045Next slice 2 lemons and cook in the skillet for about 1 minute on each side.

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Finally, add the chicken back to the skillet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook for 2-3 minute more and then serve over rice or pilaf (be sure to put the chicken, lemons, and juice over the rice!).

Shopping List/Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breast halves (either cut thin or pound them at home)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • lemon pepper
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • cooked rice or pilaf

If you have any quick and simple recipes you love share them in the comments!