Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mexican chicken spaghetti

I really liked this dish, which was surprising.  I haven't cared much for chicken lately.   I thought it was from having eaten vegetarian for a long time, but after finding out I was pregnant, I've decided that maybe I can just blame it on pregnancy.  This is one of the fist meals I tried when trying chicken again and I really liked it.  Some of my favorite things about this meal were - 1) it was easy, 2) the spaghetti cooked in the crock pot, 3) it wasn't as spicy as the chicken spaghetti's I've had in the past, and 4)it didn't have any cream of anything soups.  Good recipe if you ask me.  It was nice and creamy with a great flavor. 

  • 1 pound boneless, sinless cicken breast
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups salsa (I'm partial to Jack's sold at costco - fresh salsa with a hint of lime.  Yum!)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti noodles, broken into small pieces
  • 2 - 3 cups hot water
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  1. Place chicken in the bottom of a 5 quart crock pot.  Add beans, salsa, corn, salt and pepper.  Pour 1 cup of water over the top.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and shred.  Return to the crock.  Add 2 cups hot water (original said 3 but a comment said they did 2 and so did I.  I may have added 1/2 cup more, I can't remember.  If you don't look like you have enough water, feel free to add 3 cups.  You just want enough to be able to submerge your noodles, but not so they look like they are drowning.  You don't want soup in the end.)  Add broken spaghetti noodles.  Push down to submerge.  Turn crock to high and cook for 45 minutes-1 hour.  
  4. Turn off crock.  Add cream cheese and let melt.  (I cut my cream cheese into squares before adding to speed up the melting process.  Stir and serve. 

Asian maple chicken

I have done a lot of crock pot recipes lately.  I used to make more on my piano lesson days but had gotten out of the habit.  I started back and have really liked it. 
This recipe comes from an e-book called crock on.  I've liked a lot of the recipes I've tried there.  What I like most is that they use real food for the most part.  Not cans of cream of something this and that.
This recipe originally called for 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast.  I had 3 1 lb packages of thighs in my freezer so I used one and added a can of mayacoba beans (you could use pinto or navy if you want.)  I liked the beans just fine but my 14 year old didn't.  No one else complained about them.  They kind of don't go with the whole asian aspect of the meal, so feel free to leave them out.  I was just trying to use less meat and add some fiber in the process.  Also note that the original recipe was called maple sesame chicken because it was topped with toasted sesame seeds.  I just didn't feel like adding them so I didn't.  Feel free if you love them.

  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepper (I have a mix of red, yellow, and orange diced in the freezer.)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 can mayacoba beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (original used flour and water.  I was lazy and mixed in arrowroot as I think it dissolves a bit easier.  You could also use corn starch and water.)
  1. Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker.  Sprinkle onions and peppers on top.  In a small bowl, combine honey, maple syrup, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.  Pour over chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  (I added the beans in about the last 1 hour of cooking and partially shredded the chicken when I added them.)
  3. Shred or chop the chicken and return to the crock pot (if you took it out.  I just shred mine with 2 forks in the crock pot.)  Add arrowroot powder.  (or other thickening agent)  I just pushed a measuring cup down on top of the chicken to get some juice in it, whisked the arrowroot into the  juice until smooth and returned it to the crock pot.  (With flour or cornstarch, I'd probably use water, whisk it together and add it to the pot.)
  4. Cover and let thicken.  Serve over rice.

Ravioli with tangy butter

I am the queen of bad bloggers right now for many reasons but we have had a few meals that were delicious lately and I really wanted to post them.  This ranks right up there for super simple, and Sooo yummy.  I don't know if the kids loved it as much as I did, but I thought it was absolutely wonderful.  All 4 boys ate all of it, so I guess it wasn't too bad, and Duncan even had the 2 left over raviolis (yes only 2 - and DH was out of town) for breakfast the next morning. 
I had worried with the name tangy in the title and with 2 Tablespoons of vinegar that it would be a bit too tangy for the kids - especially when I added the vinegar and it boiled and smelled strong.  However, it was definitely NOT too vinegary.
Sadly, there is no picture of this one.  With my lack of blogging has come a lack of picture taking.  :(

  • 18-20 ounces ravioli (I used closer to 21 oz of cheese ravioli - tortellini would also work fine.)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (more or less - I used less because only 2 people wanted walnuts)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for topping
  1. Cook ravioli according to package directions
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat stirring occasionally until it begins to turn golden brown (about 3 minutes.)  Turn off the heat.  Let cool for about a minute.  Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir in raviolis (or pour over raviolis.)  Stir to combine.  
  3. Serve and top each serving with walnuts and Parmesan cheese.  


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