Cajun Shrimp & Crabmeat Bake in a Montery Jack Cream Sauce

Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Almond Chex Delight

 For this recipe, you only need 4 ingredients:
- Gluten Free Corn Chex
- Almond Butter 
- Almond Milk (you can use regular milk if you prefer)
- Brown Sugar

 In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the Almond butter, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons milk.  I throw it in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it up a bit, then I mix it all together really well.  It should now look like a paste.

 I then throw 1 cup of the Chex cereal into the bowl and coat it with the almond mixture. 

 ENJOY!  I also sometimes add crushed walnuts if the mood strikes me :)   It makes a great gluten free (and dairy free if you use Almond Milk) breakfast.  It's quick, easy, healthy & yummy!



The Magical Rotisserie

As much as I would LOVE to be one of those people who can grocery shop for a full week’s worth of meals, it’s just not realistic for me.  I’ve tried, but inevitably I forget something or something goes awry a few days in and I’ll forget to freeze meat and it goes bad.  No, I just can’t do it.  I’ve come to terms with that and really, my comfort zone is somewhere in the “shop for 3 days” ballpark.  Yes, I’m a 2 time per week grocery shopper and that’s just how it is.  “Hi, I’m Melissa and I’m a 2 time a week grocery shopper…”  Anyway, meals still need to be super simple to make and of course budget friendly.  That said – I LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I mention LOVE?) the Rotisserie Chicken.  It’s so darn versatile and you can literally use it for 3 nights of different meals and have leftovers for lunch the next day.   Here are 3 of my favorite recipes along with a shopping list to go with it. 


  • 1 cooked Rotisserie chicken – you can buy in the deli section of most     grocery stores (hot or cold)

  • 1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 box Ziti Pasta
  • 1 jar Alfredo (I like Bertolli)
  • 2 pack Boboli pizza crust – already made – usually in the bread  or pasta aisle
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce ( I LOVE Bertolli 5 Cheese!!)
  • 8 ounce package of shredded mozzarella
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 3 cans chicken broth (any brand)
  • 1 Can Sliced carrots
  • 1 Can sweet peas
  • 1 Package Egg Noodles (any brand)


Night 1

Quick & Easy Chicken, Broccoli & Ziti 


  •  2 Cups Chicken –diced up
  •  1 bag frozen broccoli florets
  •  1 box Ziti
  •  1 jar Alfredo Sauce

Boil water and cook pasta to al dente.  Meanwhile, defrost broccoli in microwave.  Drain pasta and return to pot, mix in broccoli, chicken and entire jar of Alfredo sauce and simmer for 3 minutes on low or until all ingredients are hot.   I love to serve with some grated parmesan on top.  Serve with a salad and garlic bread for a super easy, but super yummy meal.   We always have some leftover that Brian takes for lunch the next day – it heats up nicely. This is also a great meal if you’re having guests for dinner.  Inexpensive & easy to make…but nobody will know that ;)

Night 2

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

  • Boboli Pizza Crust (located in pasta/sauce aisle of grocery store) – I usually get the 2 pack – it’s cheaper and I make 2 pizzas so we have leftovers for breakfast  lunch!
  • Your favorite tomato sauce (I like Bertolli 5 Cheese)1 jar is enough
  • 1 Package Shredded Mozerrella – use ½ package for each pizza

  •      1-2 Cups shredded rotisserie chicken (1 cup per pizza)

  •  3 Tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce  (more or less depending on your taste for spicy!!)

  • 1 Teaspoon Honey (optional – when mixed with the hot sauce it gives it a nice tangy taste and takes off a bit of the spicy edge)
  • 1 small onion

Lay pizza crust on lightly greased baking sheet (I “grease” sheet with ½ teaspoon of olive oil – it’s healthier).  Spoon on half jar of tomato sauce evenly over each crust.  Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella – use ½ package per pizza.  Put shredded chicken into a small bowl (by shredded, I mean that I don’t cut it up with a knife, but instead just tear small pieces off the chicken), add in 3 Tablespoons of the Red Hot Sauce and 1 teaspoon honey– coat chicken evenly.  Spread chicken evenly over pizza.  Slice up small onion and set the rings evenly over pizza.  Bake for 12 minutes at 450 degrees.  Serve with some Blue Cheese dressing on the side.  Make this a meal with a side salad

Night 3

15 minute Homemade Chicken Soup

  •  Meat from thighs and legs of chicken- I use the remainder of what's left  of the chicken…
  •  3 Cans Chicken Broth (any brand)
  •  1 Cup Water
  •  1 cup sliced Carrots – Canned
  •  1 cup Peas – Canned
  •  1 small onion
  •  2 Cups uncooked Egg Noodles
  •  Various spices (use what you have in your pantry…dried oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, salt & pepper – a dash of some or all -  to taste)

In a large pot, add in chicken broth, water, carrots, peas & diced onion & chicken.  I use the remaining meat on the thighs and legs of the chicken- it works really well in a soup.  Cook on high until it comes to a full boil – add in 2 cups of UNCOOKED egg noodles and boil covered 7-10 minutes.   This is a hearty, healthy soup cooked up in about 15 minutes.  Serve with a chunk of bread for dipping!  If you want to make extra and freeze it, just double the recipe. 

Krazy Kale Smoothie

It's one thing to SAY you're going to eat more kale because it's oh-so-good for you, but it's quite another to actually EAT the kale. Kale is the gold standard of leafy greens.  To put it in lay terms - it's the bomb diggety of the veggie world, and according to health professionals all over -the more kale you eat, the more likely you are to survive a zombie apocalypse!  In addition to that, it's nutrition packed with vitamin, antioxidants, and also contains anti-cancer health benefits.  Ok great!  Sign me up.  Sign my family up!  Oh wait, I can barely convince my kids to eat fruits like strawberries and blueberries - and they look and taste yummy.  So how am I going to sell this thick, leafy green pile o' health to 2 very discriminating preschoolers when even I'm not too thrilled about eating it?  Yes, you guessed it - disguise the kale as something YUMMY.  Actually, hide it in something yummy.  So let me present to you my Krazy Kale Smoothie...(although I just tell my kids it's a chocolate shake ;)

The ingredients you'll need are:

 2 Cups Baby Kale - the baby kale is a lot more tender and palatable than the big bunches of kale you see in the produce section - I love Olivia's baby kale because it's organic and prewashed

8 large strawberries
1/2 Avacado
1 Banana (I buy bananas and slice them in half, slather some almond butter on them, and freeze them - YUMMY in a smoothie and they keep in the freezer for months!  This is what you see in the plastic bag above)
2 Tablespoons Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1-2 Tablespoons Raw Honey (not pictured here)
2 cups Ice Cubes
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Almond (or regular) milk

Blend on high speed in blender until desired consistency is reached.  You can add more Cocoa powder to taste.  The end result is a super healthy smoothie packed with nutrition and health and it tastes like chocolate.   It's absolutely yum-o-licious and not only do I love it, but yes, my kiddos love it too!  I got my children to eat KALE!!!  Score 1 for this momma!!

Thai Salad With Sliced Chicken & Peanut Lime Dressing

I found a recipe on Pinterest for Choppped Thai Chicken Salad that looked sooooooo yummy that I just had to try it!  The only problem was that it called for some strange ingredients that I either had no idea what they were, couldn't find, or just wasn't comfortable putting in a salad (fish oil...BLEH!)  So I tweaked the ingredients and changed some things around and came up with a simplified version that's absolutely yumm-o-licious!  Here's what you'll need...

2 Cups shredded ICEBERG Lettuce (perfect texture & crunch for this salad!)
1 Cucumber - Diced or Shaved
1 Large Carrot - Diced or Shaved
1/2 Cup Diced Scallions (aka - green onions)
1/4 Cup Diced Fresh Cilantro
1 large or 2 small boneless skinless chicken breast
Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili (pictured below) - found in Thai aisle at any grocery store

1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1 heaping Tablespoon Sugar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1) Slather Raw Chicken Breasts with 3 Tablespoons of Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili and either grill or bake Chicken until cooked through and set aside. (I basted chicken with additional Sweet Red Chili Sauce as it was cooking - YUM!)
2)  Combine Iceberg Lettuce, Cucumber, Carrot, Scallions & Cilantro in large salad bowl and store in fridge to keep cool while you make the dressing

3) In a separate small bowl combine the Olive Oil, Lime Juice, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Sugar, Garlic and Water and whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Add in the Peanut Butter and whisk until smooth and creamy.

4)  Slice Chicken up and serve atop Salad - Drizzle dressing over top and serve immediately. 

EZ Enchilada Bake

I got this YUMMY recipe from a friend and it's AWESOME!  You'll totally have leftovers, too!  It's quickly become a "go to" meal in our house and it's so easy.  Here's what you'll need...

1 Can Black Beans
1 Bag frozen Sweet Corn (or 1 Can)
1 Can Enchilada Sauce - (I used Chi Chi's  mild)
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar or Mexican Cheese
1 Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (I cooked it on the stove top in olive oil on medium heat - sprinkle with salt & pepper and cook about 7 minutes per side)
Flour Tortillas - Any kind/size
OPTIONAL - Spanish Rice.  I LOVE the Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds and you're good to go.

First rinse the black beans in a colander.  They come in a thick sauce so you'll want to give them a good rinse.

Mix together the black beans, can or bag of corn (if corn is frozen, defrost in microwave first), chopped up chicken  breast, 1 Cup Cheese, and half can of the Enchilada Sauce.

Scoop mixture onto flour tortilla and roll up...

I used smaller tortillas so I could fit about 9 in a glass baking dish.  If you use the larger tortillas you'll have fewer, but larger Enchiladas.

(Optional step: I then cooked the Spanish Rice and scooped it all around the Enchiladas.)

Use the remaining Cheese and Enchilada Sauce to cover the tops of the Enchiladas...

Bake at 425 degrees uncovered until cheese is melted (about 20-25 minutes)!  Serve with Sour cream.

The reason I don't have a picture of what they look like cooked is because we dived into them and devoured them so quickly, they didn't stand a chance :)  

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