What’s For Dinner? Green Bean Chicken Alfredo Casserole!

This yummy little dinner is one that I came up with after watching a roommate in college make a similar concoction. If you can use fresh tomatoes and green beans from the garden (oh, okay… or from the store too), then by all means do. Otherwise, the canned alternative works wonderfully as well.

Green Bean Chicken Alfredo Casserole

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 pint canned chicken
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained (or about 1½ cups fresh beans, cut up)
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced, seasoned tomatoes (whatever you favorite seasoned kind is), drained (or 1-2 large tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 jar of your favorite alfredo sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups (8 oz) fresh grated mozzarella or parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse your canned chicken. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add your chicken. Sprinkle the grilled chicken seasoning over the chicken and saute for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Drain the cooked pasta and transfer it into 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the chicken, green beans and diced tomatoes into the dish and give it a stir to evenly distribute the ingredients.
  4. Pour the alfredo sauce over the top and lightly mix it in (just enough to get the sauce settled into the pan). Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top according to taste and then layer with the cheese (if using).
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are warmed through. Enjoy!
  6. Serves 6-8 people.


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What’s For Dinner? Chicken Enchilada Soup!

This is one of Hubby’s favorite soups! The recipe comes from a knock off of Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup and I’ve adapted it even further to be completely shelf stable. It’s pretty doggone tasty and will definitely bring a smile to your face on a cold winter night. 🙂

{And, yes, this picture was a bit of an afterthought, so I’d already eaten part of my meal and the soup just looks like it’s a big bowl of cheese… but I promise it’s yummy! :)}

Chicken Enchilada Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pint canned chicken, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp McCormick’s Grilled Montreal Chicken seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups water + 1 chicken bouillon cube)
  • ½ cup masa harina (can be found in the international aisle, or next to cornmeal)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • Garnish with: shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips, and/or Pico de Gallo

Directions:

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the drained and rinsed chicken and seasoning to hot oil and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so. Add the chicken broth.
  3. Combine the masa harina with one cup of the water in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Add the masa mixture to the pot and stir.
  4. Add the remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese and spices to pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup for 30-40 minutes or until thick and the flavors have melded together.
  5. Serve in bowls and garnish with chips and cheese and Pico de Gallo, if desired (and available). Makes approximately 6 servings. Enjoy!


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What’s For Dinner? Sweet & Sour Meatballs!

This is a favorite from my childhood days. Growing up, our family tradition was that on your birthday you got to pick the meal you wanted for dinner. This was always my pick. I don’t eat it as much these days because Hubby isn’t as big of a fan, but every now and then I pull this recipe out for a little home nostalgia. 🙂

{And sorry for the lack of pictures recently. I just got a new camera for Christmas (our old one was having issues) but I haven’t gotten back into the habit of taking pictures again yet. So pictures to come! :)}

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Ingredients for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk (reconstituted powdered milk)
  • about 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • about 1 tsp sage
  • about 1 tsp oregano
  • about ½ tsp garlic powder

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1-2 cups pineapple juice (I just use the juice drained from the chunks- it’s about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks (or tidbits), drained

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well with your hands (measure the spices according to your own taste and preference, but if you’re guessing impaired, you can use the above measurements for an estimate :)).
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Form the meat mixture into approximately 1-inch balls and place them in the frying pan. (Tip: Start putting them in on the outer part of the pan first and work your way towards the center (since the center is usually the hottest) to help prevent burning.)
  3. Cover and cook until fully browned all the way through. Drain off any excess fat.
  4. While the meat is cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce (except for the can of pineapple chunks) and mix well. Add the sauce to the meatballs once they finish cooking and have been drained.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat and allow to simmer (over about med-lo heat) until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the pineapple chunks last, just prior to serving and give it a stir. Serve over rice.
  7. Makes about 4-6 servings. Enjoy!

This recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ due to the ground meat needing to be stored in the freezer. You can can meatballs, which would make this meal totally shelf stable, but I haven’t heard rave reviews about them so I haven’t tried that yet.

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What’s For Dinner? Baked Spaghetti!

This is a new favorite of mine. I can’t believe I’ve never tried making this before! Not only is it easy, but it is absolutely wonderful! Especially on a cold night. Serve it with the Easy Dinner Rolls from last week and some green beans and you’ve got yourself an absolutely fabulous meal that just screams ‘Homemade Comfort!’ 😀

Baked Spaghetti

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spaghetti noodles
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef or sausage (I like sausage)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (your favorite kind)
  • 2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Generously grease a 9 x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cook your spaghetti noodles according to package directions until al dente.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, brown your meat and drain off any excess fat. Add the pasta sauce to the meat and stir till combined.
  4. When the noodles are done, drain and then place them back in their pan. Add the butter and allow it to melt and coat the noodles. Once melted, add 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese to the noodles and again stir to coat.
  5. Layer the noodles in the prepared pan and top with another 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese.
  6. Add the meat sauce on top of the noodles in an even layer.
  7. Top with the grated mozzarella and remaining parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and return the pan to the oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  9. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Note: This recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ due to the mozzarella cheese and the meat (unless you have that meat canned).

Adapted from Baked Spaghetti by Campbell’s Kitchen

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What’s To Eat? Easy Dinner Rolls!

*Don’t forget this weeks’ GIVEAWAY {GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED} for food storage BROWNIES! Check out last Friday’s post to enter.*

Okay… No joking… These are the BEST dinner rolls ever. I made them this past week and my husband could NOT believe they were from scratch. And not only are they soft, moist, delicious and succulent, but they are 100% shelf stable friendly ingredients! Food Storage never tasted so good! Mmm-Mm! You may want to go ahead and just commit this recipe to memory… you’re gonna want it there! 🙂 Anyway, these would be great at any family gathering during this holiday season, so eat up and ENJOY!!

{P.S. I can’t believe no one ever complained about an error I found in this recipe! I originally typed it in as 1 Tbsp of salt, but it’s only supposed to be 1 teaspoon!! So if you have tried these and thought they were way too salty… that would be why! 🙂 It is now corrected. Sorry for any salt-attacks I may have caused anyone. :)}

Easy Dinner Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, plus 3 Tbsp warm water (almost hot)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat flour)
  • 1 egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 3½ Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the water, oil, sugar, and yeast until well combined. Cover and let it rest and rise for 15 minutes. (Side note: If using a KitchenAid/stand mixer to make these, you’ll want to use your dough hook. However, for this first step just give it a good stir with a whisk instead.)
  2. Add about two cups of the flour, the egg and the salt. Mix it up. Start adding the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time and continue to mix well. The trick to getting light, fluffy rolls (as always with bread dough) is to get the dough just to the tacky point. If you don’t use the full amount of flour, that’s okay. You just want to be able to touch the dough with your finger and have it stick a little, but not too much. (I don’t like to use the guideline of ‘when the bread starts pulling away from the side of the bowl’ because usually by that point I’ve added too much flour.) So let the stickiness be your guide.
  3. Leave the dough in your bowl/mixer, cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. (You can shorten this to about 10 minutes if you’re in a rush, but 30 minutes is better.)
  4. Spray two 8×8 square pans with non-stick cooking spray. (And go ahead and get your oven preheating to 375 ºF now too.)
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly greased surface (I like to spray my surface with non-stick spray) and knead it a few times. (Remember, if it’s a little sticky, that’s okay! It may make it a little harder to work with, but you’ll appreciate the end results!) Just add a little extra flour to your kneading if desperately needed.
  6. Using a sharp knife (which I also spray with non-stick spray), cut the dough into approximately 18 equal pieces. (Cut the dough in half, then cut each half into three pieces, and cut each of those into three pieces.) Shape each segment into a little ball by tucking the end pieces under (they don’t have to look super pretty or anything, but just try to get the top smooth) and place into your prepared baking pans (9 rolls to a pan). Cover each pan and let the dough rise again for roughly another 30 minutes until about doubled in size.
  7. Bake at 375 ºF for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve with butter and/or honey! De-lish!


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What’s For Thanksgiving Dinner? Sweet Potato Bake!

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law. It is absolutely de.li.cious! I had it for the first time last year at our family Thanksgiving and just about melted. It’s almost more of a dessert than a side dish, but *shhh!* It will be our secret! 🙂

Sweet Potato Bake

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large can (29 oz) sweet potatoes, drained
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter (4 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs (4 Tbsp egg powder + ½ cup water)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (recommended: pecans or walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and spread evenly.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour for the topping. Add the butter and mix until evenly combined. Then stir in the nuts. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ because of the butter (unless you have Butter Powder or canned butter).

Update: I got to make this dish for Thanksgiving this year, and I happened to have about a cup of canned pumpkin sitting in my fridge, so I threw that in there as well. It turned out delicious. I’m sure you could fiddle with some pumpkin pie spice to throw in there as well and give it a little ‘something extra’. 🙂 But it’s a tasty dish any way you serve it!

What’s For Dinner? Taco Soup!

Alright, y’all… I’m back! Sorry I’ve been out so long. But just an update, recovery is going well and I’m getting better (more or less) every day. That being said, some days I’m sure I will not be up to posting (maybe more like most days at this point) and I’m still going to need take it slow and focus on my priorities (family). So please bare with me as I slowly work my way back up to par. But I promise to try and get back up to full speed soon. 🙂

So ANYWAY, what better way to make a come back than with a hearty, healthy, warm-your-tummy, delicious dinner?! Mmm-Mm! This soup absolutely hits the spot on a chilly night. It is so delicious and is a healthy comfort food for any night of the week. And this is an entirely shelf stable meal, with the exception of the optional ingredients and toppings… which is why they are optional. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it! I know my family sure does!

Taco Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef (or 1 pint or quart canned ground beef, depending on how ‘meaty’ you like it, plus the broth)
  • 2 Tbsp dried onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into thin slices (optional from the garden)
  • 2 cans tomatoes, undrained (use whatever kinds you like… diced, stewed, etc)
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning

Optional toppings (that I highly recommend if you have them available):

  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. Alright. There’s two ways to start this. If you’re using frozen/fresh meat, brown the meat together with the onions in a large stockpot. If using canned beef, just add the beef (with broth) and onion to the pot and sauté for just a bit until the onion starts to soften.
  2. Add the celery, tomatoes, water*, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. (*Note: If you are using canned beef with the broth you may not need to add the water. Save the water until all the ingredients are added and then see if it is too thick. Add as much water as needed to make it your desired thickness.)
  3. Simmer 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately with any of the optional toppings you desire. Enjoy!!
  5. Note: This freezes well. So if you have a small family, just make a full batch and then toss the leftovers in the freezer for an instant dinner on another night. (Just thaw in the fridge and then toss in a pot again to re-heat… or use the microwave. :))


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