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Chicken Salad

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 c leftover roast chicken, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 c crisp, sweet apple (i.e. gala or honeycrisp), diced
  • 2 T mayonaise
  • 1 T spicy brown mustard
  • 2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 t dill
  • pinch kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Best served chilled.
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Chili with Beans, spicy

serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lb 90/10 ground sirloin
  • 3 c small red beans
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes w/ jalapeno OR 1 1/4 c tomato, diced + 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 t worchestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in mole sauce, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T light brown sugar
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 3 c water

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium high in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion, red pepper, garlic, and salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Put beans in crock pot. Pour ground beef over beans.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, except water, and mix well.
  6. Add water. Cook on high for 6 hours. Lightly mash beans with potato masher for thicker consistency. 

Chicken Pizza

makes two pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 premade thin pizza crusts
  • 2 T olive oil
  • oregano
  • basil
  • 8 T marinara sauce 
  • 1 c feta cheese
  • 2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 c cooked chicken breast, 1/2″ cubed or thin sliced
  • chopped, fresh cooked bacon
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven according to instructions on crust package.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush crusts with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle basil and oregano on crust.
  4. For a crispy crust, prebake crust for 5 minutes, otherwise skip to step 5.
  5. Spoon 4T of marinara over each crust and use the back of the spoon to spread. Don’t spread over edge of crust.
  6. Spread feta and 1/2 of parmesan cheese over both crusts.
  7. Spread chicken and bacon over both crusts.
  8. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over both crusts and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bake until parmesan cheese melts.

MamaJo's Black Bean Tortilla Soup Close-Up

Plated, with cheese quesadillas.

Plated, with cheese quesadillas.

MamaJo’s Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pablano pepper, seeded, cut in 1in x 1/4 in strips
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 c (app) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 4 cups (app) natural chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • spray oil (canola or olive)
  • sour cream
  • 2 avacados

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to large skillet, heat to medium.
  2. Add pepper and onion, saute until just tender.
  3. Turn off heat, add cilantro.
  4. Pour chicken broth in large sauce pot, set heat to med high.
  5. Add contents of skillet to broth.
  6. Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, and spices. Increase heat to high, bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low, simmer at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Cut tortillas into 1/2 in strips.
  9. Set oven to broil.
  10. Spray cookie sheet with spray oil.
  11. Place strips on cookie sheet, try not to overlap.
  12. Spray tortilla strips with spray oil, sprinkle with kosher salt.
  13. Cook in broiler until exposed sides are golden (just a minute or s0).
  14. Flip strips, brown other side.
  15. Garnish soup with tortilla strips, fresh diced avocado, and a small dollop of sour cream.

MamaJo's Friend Cheryl's Ziti Salad 

MamaJo’s Version of Cheryl’s Ziti Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1lb  ziti pasta, cooked, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 red pepper, cut in app 1 in x 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 8 ounces mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese, julienned
  • 1 3.5 oz bag of Real Bacon Recipe Pieces

Instructions:

In a VERY large bowl or stock pot, toss all the above ingredients together.  Plate, then top with chicken breast chunks and the following vinaigrette.


 

MamaJo’s Version of Cheryl’s Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 4 TBS cider vinegar
  • 4 TBS lemon juice (I use lemon juice from concentrate, but fresh is better)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • a generous splash of red pepper sauce (Tobasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce works)
  • 1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Whisk above ingredients, or put in a dressing carafe and shake until well blended. Serve with Ziti salad. (Make a little ahead of time and chill for best results.)

The Mama’s Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 already cooked pizza crusts
  • 1 small jar of pizza sauce (non-meaty spagetti sauce will do as well)
  • 1 8 oz bag of finely shredded italian blend cheese
  • 1 8 oz bag of finely shredded pizza blend cheese
  • 2 T dried basil
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • toppings: any vegetable and meat of choice (tonight we’re using 12 oz of chopped canadian bacon and a 3.5 oz bag of bacon pieces)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven according to instructions on crust package.
  2. In a small bowl combine basil, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a small, microwave safe measuring cup (the kind with a spout, like Pyrex) combine honey and olive oil and heat for about 20 seconds. Mix well.
  4. Lightly drizzle honey/oil onto pizza crusts. With hands or paper towel, spread evenly over both crusts.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 of spice mixture on each crust (use 1/2 mix total).
  6. Generously pour pizza sauce on center of each crust. Spread with the bottom of a large spoon or ladel, leaving about an inch of crust around the edge.
  7. Sprinkle one cup (about half) of each type of cheese evenly on each crust.
  8. Sprinkle half of toppings evenly on each crust.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8.
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the top of each pizza.
  11. Bake according to instructions on crust, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.

Yields 12-16 pieces of pizza, depending on how you dvide it up.

Guilt Free Sloppy Joes (or is it Sloppy Does??)

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 lbs – ground venison (mine is a deer/pork combo)
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 T + 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c katsup
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2T cider vinegar
  • 2T yellow mustard
  • 1T chili powder
  • 1T worcestershire sauce
  • 1T liquid smoke
  • 1T flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat cast iron skillet or dutch oven to medium-low.
  2. Add onion, garlic and meat to pan.  Stir until well mixed.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high.
  4. Add dried mustard, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Mix well and brown.
  5. Add browned meat to large crock pot (do not drain if using lean meat!).
  6. Add remaining ingredients to meat. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. (This recipe can be converted to stock-pot by simply simmering on low for about 45 min.)

Serve over whole wheat buns with mustard and pickles to garnish. Pair with beans and a green salad for a complete evening meal.

Easy Peasy Toodle Noodles

Ingredients (estimated, as usual):

  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce (we like Bertoli) with about 1/3 c water added
  • 1.5 c sweet peas
  • 2 cans tuna in water
  • 1 cup shredded packaged mozzarella and provolone mix
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • a dash of dried mustard
  • a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes
  • 1 package whole wheat, no yolk egg noodles
  • 1/2 package (about 2 cups) herbed croutons or stuffing mix
  • 1/4c freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a medium size bowl, mix first nine ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions, until just firm. Drain, return to pot.
  3. In pot, combine sauce mix with noodles.
  4. Spread noodle mixture into a 9×13 glass pan.
  5. Combine herb stuffing mix with about 1/4c water to barely moisten. Mix well, and spread over top of noodles.
  6. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
  7. Bake at 400 until stuffing is golden brown and slightly crispy to touch. About 20-30 minutes. To save energy, do not preheat.

Pair this with a hearty roll and a green salad for a complete evening meal.

Homemade Taco Meat

Ingredients:

  • 1# Lean ground meat (we prefer turkey)
  • 1T chili powder
  • 2T onion powder
  • 1t cumin
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t paprika
  • 1t oregano
  • 1/2t salt

Instructions:

Measure spices into a small bowl or measuring cup. Put meat in a skillet warmed to medium. Pour spices on top and mix in with fork until evenly coated. Brown meat.

Taco Fixins

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat tortillas
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • freshly shredded sharp Cheddar
  • sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

Instructions:

Put tortilla on plate. Put meat on tortilla. Pile on the fixins.

About the Cook



I'm a busy wife and mom who knows the value of a meal that can be prepared quickly. I prefer to cook with whole foods and you will almost never find a prepared food in my recipes or my pantry.

This blog started as a way to recall recipes that I've created and now I am excited to share them with you! Bon Apetit!
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