Tag Archives: weeknight meals

Mom Meals: Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Work ends at 5:00 pm. If I’m working in my office, I get home around 5:45 or 6:00 pm. Adella Grace hits the hay between 6:30 and 7:30 every night. This leaves approximately 20 minutes for dinner prep. The struggle for mama and daddy is very, very real. Enter this easy peasy chicken and rice casserole.


I dug out this family favorite recipe for chicken and rice casserole from the handwritten cookbook my aunt Lori gave me last night, and I’m so glad I did! Wheat mixed it all together (along with a couple edits we made) while I bathed baby.  Win/win for errybody.

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

– 1 cup Minute Rice (we used the multi-grain medley with brown rice, red rice, wild rice & quinoa)
– 1 rotisserie chicken, picked off bone (can substitute one large can of chicken)
– 1 can cream of mushroom soup
– 1 soup can water
– 1 small can evaporated milk
– 1/2 stick unsalted butter
– 1 can mushrooms (could use fresh if your fancy/have gobs of time on a Tuesday night)
– 1 jar pimiento peppers (I added this one, can opt out)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter. Mix all ingredients well (we do this right in the Casserole dish).  Pour into 9×13 Casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve with a salad or quick sautéed greens, etc. to make a complete meal.

PS we just discovered this variety of Minute Rice – it’s great! (PS no paid ad here – Wheat just found this in our local grocery store and we really liked it!)

PPS please excuse all the terribly iPhone photography today… and refer back to paragraph one. ;)

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Easy and Healthy Weeknight Meal: Eggplant Mini Pizzas

When a busy week has you all….

Adella Grace has a Case of the Mondays | oysters and pearls

but you’re trying to maintain that girlish figure, I now have the easiest “recipe” for eggplant of all time for you.  On top of being quick and easy, they’re healthy, gluten free, and mini!  What doesn’t taste better when it’s mini?

As often as possible, I sign up for a CSA box from Hopkins Farms Farm to Table.  It never seems to fail that I end up letting the eggplant go bad because I have no idea what to cook with it.  It doesn’t help matters that, although I like eggplant, my husband does not.  I now have a remedy for this situation: eggplant mini pizzas!  They are beyond quick and easy, they’re perfect for a quick but healthy week night meal (for me, when Wheat is out of town or at a meeting), and they would be really great for kids making their own pizzas.  Plus, it ends the question of “what the heck do I do with these eggplants?”

Eggplant Mini Pizzas | oysters and pearls

Please excuse the poor, poor photography.  Such is my life these days… aka quick and easy eggplant mini pizzas on the couch while making funny faces at the baby next to me.  I’ll take it over pretty pictures any day! :)

The “recipe” is simple:

Eggplant Mini Pizzas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Slice an eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds.  Top with tomato sauce of choice, shredded mozzarella, and mini pepperonis (or any other desired tiny toppings).  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool and eat!

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As with most of life these days, I chronicled these over on Snapchat a few nights ago.  Follow me there @nataliekirbo for a dose of our reality.  Because the reality is, I have little time for blogging but I can usually find time to snap it. ;)

eggplant mini pizzas | oysters and pearls

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

One Pan Sriracha Chicken

After a few weeks of the sweetest, most wonderful people in all the land bringing us meals so that we didn’t have take our eyes off our sweet baby girl for one minute… I’m back to cooking.  Not an awful lot, no little layer cakes or swiss meringue buttercream… but I am back to cooking real honest-to-goodness food.  Back to visiting the farmers’ market (which sadly, is over for the summer because it is too hot even for plants to grow), back to celebrating summer’s bounty in the kitchen.  Partially because I want AG to grow up seeing me cooking our family real, honest-to-goodness food and putting my cast iron skillets to work, and partially because I’m hungry.

Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken Thighs | oysters and pearls

A couple of weeks ago, I whipped up this DELICIOUS meal thanks to a tip from a high school friend, Mason.  We share a love of Ina Garten, and she knows my deep love for all things sriracha and hot sauce well. She tipped me off to this Tasty on Buzzfeed video for One Pan Sriracha Chicken, andddddd I ended up cooking it immediately (literally that night).

It lived up to its claim for ease, and it’s truly a one pan meal – and I made it even easier by not draining the chicken fat and just cooked the veggies in it instead.  I ain’t skeered of a little fat.  (In fact, I would argue that it’s good for you, but that’s not the point.)  I made a couple other small changes to make it even easier and speedier – pre-minced garlic instead of fresh, nixed the garnish, and upped the sauce.  The rest of the recipe below is almost verbatim from Tasty on Buzzfeed.  This recipe has earned a permanent spot in my kitchen rotation – the chicken is juice, spicy and sweet, the veggies delicious, and you could change up the sauce/glaze for almost anything if you can’t stand the heat.

Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken

Serving size: 4

INGREDIENTS
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided into 3 Tbsp.
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (the kind from a jar)
1 red onion, sliced into half-moons
6 small red/new potatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Sriracha

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add 3 tablespoons of butter. When butter has melted, add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. (This will melt out most of the fat underneath and will leave a nice crispy skin.)  Then remove chicken.

Add garlic and onion to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add bell pepper and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and return chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Mix Sriracha and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth, then pour onto the chicken and vegetables.

Place pan in oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Natalie’s Cook’s Note: When browning the chicken (or browning or searing anything), you’ll know it’s ready to flip or remove when you can jiggle the piece of meat with your tongs and it no longer sticks to the skillet.
Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken Thighs | oysters and pearls
PS – Mason has a blog herself – I’m Just In It For The Parking – go check it out for a good read to add to your blog roll. :)
Until Next Time - oysters and pearls