Saturday, February 25

Quick Fix Dinners

Valentine's Day has come and gone, and if you're anything like me, you're still in recovery mode. We don't do the chocolate candy thing, but we do a lot of cooking that involves sticks of butter (you read that right, sticks is plural), chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, calories, fat, and butter. Did I mention butter?

Speaking of butter, the very mention of the stuff made me wonder how many pictures I have on my blog that involve butter. To find out, I just googled, "crazy apron, butter" and here are a few of the things that came up, from my website:

 Orange Honey Butter (above and below)

 Above: Random picture of butter (I have no idea why I'd take a picture of this.)
 Butter on a muffin. This was obviously not during a Weight Watcher's episode!
 A MASS amount of butter, melting on a skillet!
 Cornbread batter. All that butter on the bottom seeped up to the top.
 More Orange Honey Butter.
Butter again. Shocking, isn't it?

But here's what I'd like to know. . .how do those of you who have kids manage to SURVIVE? We do not have kiddos yet, and our lives are always crazy busy. One of my favorite things to do is cook a nice meal. It makes me feel good to put food on the table that's healthy, fresh, and typically something I popped up out of thin air. It's a pride thing, and I love doing it. 

Even when I'm looking for a quick fix at the grocery store, I'll bypass all the junky stuff because the ingredient list is horrendous. I mean, what do they put in that stuff? I'm pretty sure I'd rather not know, thank ya very much! Even still, there are a few brands (very few, but a few nonetheless) that I buy on occasion and absolutely love.

So here's what I'm saying -- Right now I happen to be on a Weight Watchers kick, which means butter is not getting much attention these days. 

Here are a few super fast and healthy dinners that frequent our dinner plates:

Pizza (several ways). Bake @ 425F for 8-10 minutes. Cook directly on middle rack.

1. Pita bread, pasta sauce, fresh basil, and mozzarella.
2. Pita bread, pasta sauce, thin sliced bell peppers, sliced olives, cheese.
3. Pita bread, basil pesto, rotisserie chicken, cheese.
4. (My fav) Pita bread, - make wing sauce (made with melted butter and louisiana hot sauce to taste - about equal parts, maybe slightly more butter though. Add rotisserie chicken to wing sauce to coat), add chicken/wing sauce to pita and top with mozzarella cheese (or blue cheese if that's your thing).
**All pita bread can be subbed with your favorite tortilla -- even thin tortillas work excellent!

Breakfast for Dinner
Dice up your favorite (or leftover) vegetables (I like bell peppers, onions, and spinach) and cook over medium with a little olive oil or butter. Add a few eggs and stir around. You can add some milk, half and half, or water, but just add a splash. Serve over corn tortillas or with hot sauce.

Chicken Nuggets
My absolute favorite go-to meal these days are these lovies. . .
I grabbed this picture from their website, since I devoured the nuggets I made. See, since Chris and I don't eat out or buy the typical frozen food anymore, we miss out on some of the stuff we grew up with, like chicken nuggets. Sure, I try to make them from scratch sometimes, but that can be really time consuming, and I was actually giddy when I tried these bad boys! Chris dipped his in honey and it was love at first bite (for both of us, actually). These things are seriously delicious, and the very best part is that they use real, natural ingredients. Oh, and they're gluten free! Chris and I have been through 2 family-sized bags in less than a week.

Here's the ingredient list: "Chicken, Water, Corn Starch, Salt, Extract Of Oregano, Battered And Breaded With, Water, Rice Flour, Tapioca Dextrin, Corn Starch, Salt, Spices, Spice Extractives, Extract Of Paprika, Extractive Of Turmeric, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Ground Celery, Breading Set In Canola Oil."

Look, I know this doesn't sound healthy at all. I'm suggesting things like, "hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets," and now, "nachos," but bear with me here! These things don't have to be unhealthy! It really depends on the brand. 

In the case of nachos, you don't need to buy much. Just grab some chips and throw on whatever you want with cheese. Queso is good, but I can't ever find any without rennet, and since I'm usually not up to making it from scratch, I just throw on some shredded cheese (horizon or organic valley offer rennet-free, if you're wondering).

Hot Dogs
Okay wait! Come back! I know what you're thinking . . . HOT DOGS? Eww! Okay, maybe that's just what I'm thinking. Let me be clear, hot dogs absolutely disgust me, because we all know what's in them! Or wait, do we? I guess what's the gross part, we really don't know what's in them, and we don't want to know either! We just know it's gross and that's enough. Chris and I stopped eating hot dogs for years because of that very fact, but then we found something. We found a brand that isn't junky and the ingredients are actually very amazing. Can you use the word amazing in reference to a hot dog? You can. I did. They are!

I'm going to have to race on this brand - Applegate Farms. Heard of them? I hadn't until maybe last year. I ran across their turkey bacon (that's another story for another day) and almost died when I finally found bacon without weird ingredients and phosphates.

Anyway, back to hot dogs. I like the applegate brand since the ingredient list is this: "Organic Grass-fed Beef, Water. Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sea Salt, Organic Paprika, Organic Dehydrated Onion, Organic Spices, Organic Nutmeg Oil, Celery Powder." and they are filling, more lean, super tasty and organic! Sweet deal, my friend!!  Add a little sour kraut and you've got protein and veggies!

Since we've been lucky to even have a lunch at all these days, fast and easy is what it's all about!


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