Chicken & Broccoli Ranch Rollup’s

Someday’s we just really need a quick dinner, one that will give us the comfort of a home cooked meal that has taken hours to prepare, one of those meals that you need when your upset, or had a long day, or just need a little more to your dinner because you had not eaten much during the day. I love those meals, for me that is dinner. I rarely eat a lot during the day, I try to eat a small lunch and do not even tend to snack much during the day so I need a hearty dinner, one that will fill me up not only physically but emotionally because it just tastes so good that it boosts my mood.

After finding a roll of crescent rolls that I had left over after grocery store sale, and a bit of broccoli left over in the fridge after I made my classic pasta salad I decided to try to throw something quick, but new together for dinner. Something that had ingredients that not only I tend to have on hand but what other people my have on hand, like chicken, salad dressing, and pre-made crescent or biscuit mix.

So heres my take on a perfect quick dinner on a rushed night when you need something that just tastes to good to ignore.

Chicken And Broccoli Ranch Rollup’s img_1923

  • 2 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dough sheet
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (bite size)

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  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch round pan with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, mix chicken, ranch dressing cheese and broccoli. 
  3. On large cutting board, unroll dough sheet; spread chicken mixture evenly over dough, leaving about 1/2 inch on 1 long side uncovered.
  4. From the one long side that is covered in the mixture start rolling from one side until you reach the side that is uncovered, then wrap fully and pinch to seal it tightly
  5. Once you have one long log use a sharp knife to cut 8 equal slices. Place those 8 slices in the prepared round pan
  6. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is deep golden brown and baked through.

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Please let me know in the comments how this recipe turns out for you!

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Flexitarian Lifestyle Plus Tofu Stir-Fry

You may never have heard of the term flexitarian before but you may have heard the term vegetarian, meat eater and vegan. Flexitarian is another term coined recently that allows someone that does eat a mostly vegetarian diet (no meat, no fish, but able to drink milk and eat eggs if you wish to) but you are able to indulge once in awhile with meat products such as poultry and fish. Some vegetarians and vegans are against this term but in my opinion a flexitarian diet is just one more way to gradually become a vegetarian or vegan one day in the future. flexitarian

Back in 2012 I became a vegetarian. It was a choice I made to help me with my mental and physical health. I was not in a good place back in 2012 and I was trying many different things to create a more balanced life. I began noticing the first few weeks that I was paying more attention to eating healthier foods, it created a sense of pride in myself, and I stopped being as sluggish. One day quite a few months in though I began to feel worse, I had low energy, I couldn’t concentrate and my body was starting to have pain. I sadly gave up my vegetarian diet because I realized I did not do enough research and was not balancing my diet once I took out the meat products, I wasn’t given my body the nutrients it needed and once I realized that I also was pregnant, I decided to take a break and one day return to vegetarianism once I did my research and felt comfortable to take the step without harming my body and possibly my daughters if she also choices to be a vegetarian.

My love for tofu has not diminished these past few years, maybe it has even grown since I have not been able to eat it when living with my daughters father since he refused to eat it. I love using portobello mushrooms instead of using meat patties for burgers, I hope to make myself one of those Buddha bowls I’ve been reading so much about, and I can not wait to try a vegetarian restaurant with my friend later in May. One of my favorite fast recipes from my days of being a vegetarian was this quick Hoison tofu stir fry that I would eat after a day biking or at the gym (I was a lot more active back then)304306_342446442517718_1628567836_n (1)

Hoison Tofu Stir-Fry 

Ingredients: 

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Rice Noodles (I mostly eye ball it because some days I like more, some days I like less)
  • Fresh vegetables  (I like baby corn on the cobs, green beans,  carrots, broccoli)
  • Garlic Hoison (Or regular hoison) Eyeball how much you would like

Directions:

  1. I normally begin this recipe two days in advance, or really early the day before. I begin by pressing my tofu, which I normally do by unwrapping the tofu brick, wrapping it in damp paper towels and wrapping that in a dish towel (to collect the water in tofu) put on a plate and on top of the tofu bundle put a heavy pan (I use a cast iron pot) and place in your fridge. I like doing this 24 hours in advance but if you are strapped for time, half a day should do fine.
  2. The night before, or morning of cube the pressed tofu and place in a Ziploc bag and pour in hoison sauce to marinate.
  3. When ready to cook the dinner, in an oiled saucepan pour in cubed tofu and sear.
  4. In a pot boil the water for the rice noodles and cook the noodles. (I find that if you strain the rice noodles they just mold together, so I leave the noodles in the water until I need them and just scoop the noodles out of the pot right into the tofu frying pan)
  5. Cut your chosen vegetables into bite size pieces
  6. When tofu is seared pour in your vegetables and sear them also. (Sometimes I like to add a little tsp. of hoison sauce to the tofu and vegetables just to add a little bit more flavor!)
  7. Add the noodles into the frying pan and pour in the wanted amount of hoison sauce. Cook all together for a minute or so stirring occasionally and then plate and enjoy!

Relish My Egg Salad Sandwich

What to do, what to do with all those hard boiled egg’s left over after Easter? Every year after Easter, after getting colored eggs not only from my own parents but from my grandmother also after visiting her for Easter dinner there would be one sure thing in our fridge; Egg Salad for the perfect Egg Salad Sandwich.  It’s the perfect use for a hard boiled egg, and can make a quick lunch or snack if you make a big enough batch for use over a few days.

I wanted to add a little something special to my egg salad sandwiches and I went through the fridge to find what I could use. What did I come up with? Dill pickle relish. I love dill pickles, there crunchy, sour and a perfect snack to munch on during those hot summer days. Putting that into my egg salad? nothing could taste better, so what did I do? I added it of course and it made a normal egg salad into something perfect. 2015 WINTER 088

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Relish
  • 3 Tbsp  Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • 4 Slices of Bread

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Spoon filling onto slices of bread
  3. Enjoy!

Buttery Garlic Spaghetti Squash

If you have taken a quick look around my blog you would have seen my “Culinary Bucket List” link at the top of the page, click on it and you will find an incomplete list of culinary “to-do’s” that I have been adding to over the years. One of the things on that list is the intimidating spaghetti squash. 

The spaghetti squash has been intimidating to me because I just never understood what to do with it! I’ve heard many people just use it like any other spaghetti, but I didn’t think the lightness of a vegetable would be the best carrier for something so heavy like a red sauce…on top of that fact I’m not a huge lover of red sauce as it is, so that was out of the question. I’ve been looking for ideas for months know, but when my mother and I went shopping with Lily and were planning on just us for dinner we were looking for something more simple and healthy for dinner. I was looking in the produce section and found that this squash was on sale, and nothing makes me take the plunge on a new recipe then something having a good sale.

I wanted to taste the squash as much as possible (you actually don’t get the full flavor of a regular squash with this variety) so I decided on flavors of garlic with some butter to coat the strands and some Parmesan cheese to add some depth. My mother swooned over it, Lily kept staring at it, and I ate it all up!  Of course it was all eaten before a good photo of the finished product was able to be taken, but hey what can you do?  2015 WINTER2 135

Buttery Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients 

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash (I used a small roasting pan to keep it from rolling) for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds.Use a fork to create long strands of “noodles” If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant add salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt, or even garlic.The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) – but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.