Quick and Easy Dinners

This is a pretty straight forward post, a few easy dinner ideas for you to hopefully throw into your rotation! This time of the year who has time for anything more.  Anyone else feeling a bit crazed throughout Halloween and now into November?? This girl is!! I’m already starting to panic about Christmas and wondering how it is all going to get done!  These meals just might help me, and you, get through it.  They are really simple but get solid meals on the table within the confines of a crazy night!  I hope you enjoy.  Be sure to let me know if you do by leaving a comment here or on FB and Insta!!

As always, xoxo,

K

Homemade Shake N’ Bake

shake n bake

My mom never made shake n’ bake for us as kids.  So when a friend invited my kids over for shake n’ bake chicken for dinner I really did not know what to expect.  Well, they loved it!!  I realized that there was probably a way to make this at home without having to purchase the boxed variety.  I found this recipe from The Black Peppercorn and we’ve been eating it ever since.  I have changed a few things along the way, so below is my adapted version.  If you want to see the original, click here.

This makes a lot!!  The best part of that is that you make it once and you have it in your cupboard ready to go for the next time–and I promise there will be a next time.  I use chicken legs, but you can use any part you want.  You just may need to adjust the cooking time.  Use gluten free breadcrumbs to make this gluten free.  I have and it is just as good!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano

What to do…

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until no clumps remain in the breadcrumbs.  Put in a mason jar or Tupperware to store for later.
  2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour some of the breadcrumb mixture into a gallon size ziplock bag.
  4. A piece at a time, put the chicken in the bag to shake and coat.
  5. Place coated chicken on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with foil. **This is not necessary, but I think it cooks the best this way.  If you don’t have a wire rack then cook on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
  6. Bake chicken legs for 30-35 minutes.  **If using boneless chicken decrease cooking time.  If using larger bone-in cuts increase cooking time.

Honey Garlic Chicken

honey garlic chicken

 

This recipe came to me via the blog Recipe Tin Eats.  I love a lot of her stuff so if you get a chance check it out.  She uses regular sized chicken breasts for this, but after making once or twice I decided I prefer using chicken tender sized pieces.  The sauce is so delicious that I wanted more in every bite and that happened when the pieces of chicken are smaller.  It also cuts down on cooking time a bit! You could even go one further and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.  I like to serve this with roasted broccoli and rice.  You won’t be able to stop dipping the broccoli pieces in the sauce, I promise you!! For the original recipe click here, or scroll down to see my adapted version.

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken tenderloins, about 1-1.5 lbs.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour- can sub gf flour
  • 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter- more if necessary (or 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white or other clear vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce (or all purpose, Note 2)
  • 1/3 cup honey

What to do…

  1. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  2. Place flour in a shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  3. Melt most of the butter in a large skillet over high/medium high heat – hold back about 1 tsp for later.
  4. Place chicken in skillet and cook until golden. Turn and cook the other side, until cooked through.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate.
  6. Turn heat down slightly.  Add garlic and top with remaining dab of butter. Stir garlic briefly once butter melts.
  7. Add vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Stir  to combine.
  8. Bring sauce to simmer, then simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  9. Add chicken and any juices on the plate back into pan.
  10. Turn chicken to coat in sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a touch of water and stir.
  11. Remove from stove immediately and serve

Sausage, Spinach and Tortellini Soup

tort, sausage and spinach soup

My mom used to make a version of this soup, I actually have the little recipe card with browning tape stuck somewhere. Last week I had sausage that I had to use and I decided to throw it in a soup.  I make the tortellini on the side so you can add as much or little as you like!! This can be on the table in under a half an hour, it so quick and easy but still filling!

Ingredients

  • 4 mild sausage links- casings removed
  • 32 ounces chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • a few large pinches of salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • a few handfuls of baby spinach – as much or little as you like
  • frozen tortellini
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

What to do…

  1.  Remove casings from sausage and brown in a large soup pot until no longer pink.
  2.  Once sausage is browned add chicken broth, tomatoes, italian season and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add baby spinach and continue to simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water.  Once boiling, cook tortellini to package directions.
  6. Drain tortellini and toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  7. Place tortellini in soup bowls and add the soup, top with parm if desired.

 

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