The Adventure Starts Here: Recent Recipes

Monday, January 16, 2017

Recent Recipes

Happy Monday!  Chris has off for MLK Day, but Noah still has school.  So while it will be nice to have Chris home, we are kind of back to our normal routine today.  Ever since the new year started, I've made it a point to get back to my meal planning routine.  As a result, I've been cooking a lot more the last two weeks.  First off, Chris has actually been getting home somewhat on time and we've been spending more weekends at home.  Secondly, Chris wants to lose some weight, so I'm trying to make some healthier dinners around here.  I still make pasta on the nights I know he will be working late and package up the leftovers for me to enjoy the next night or for lunch.  Here are a few of the recipes I've been making.  Three are new to me and one is a favorite from last winter that I haven't made in a while!  

Chris was searching for healthier recipes and found this Shrimp and Asparagus stir fry.  While shrimp isn't cheap, this was a really nice and light dinner to enjoy on a Saturday night.  Super simple to make and I always view shrimp as being a little more special than our typical weeknight chicken dinners.  

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

1 pound raw shrimp
1 pound asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (I didn't have, so I seasoned the shrimp with cayenne pepper instead)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to the pan, then season with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook until the shrimp is pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

2. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add asparagus. Add ginger and garlic, then season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir frequently and cook until the asparagus is tender-crisp.

3. Return the shrimp to the pan, then add soy sauce. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Just before the dish is ready, add lemon juice, stir once more, then serve while hot.

While this meal is super healthy on it's own, I decided to serve it over brown rice.  I love Uncle Ben's microwavable brown rice since it's so convenient!  

I've been using my crock pot more and more lately.  Even though I am home all day, it's nice to be able to prep for dinner when Noah's at school and have it all ready come dinner time.  I've made a few shredded chicken recipes, but this Apricot Chicken was new for us.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken 

1 pound chicken breasts
1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup Catalina salad dressing
1 (1-oz.) packet Lipton onion soup mix

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  
Shred the chicken when done and serve over rice.  

This next recipe is not new to us, but these stuffed tomatoes are still one of my favorites.  Using my favorite vegetable chopper makes this recipe so much easier!  I also love that I can make a bunch and then just bake the tomatoes as I need them.  This way if Chris does have to work late, I simply bake mine when I'm hungry and save his for when he gets home.  I usually just pop it in the oven when he gets off the train and it's ready for him when he gets home.

Stuffed Tomatoes

1 lb ground beef
4 tomatoes, hollow out insides of tomato
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrot, small diced
1 green pepper, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
sprinkle of breadcrumbs (either italian or almond meal)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place olive oil in sauce pan on med/high heat.
Saute carrot, onion, pepper, celery, and garlic for 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook through, for about 8-10 minutes. Halfway through cooking the beef, add 1/3 cup of chicken stock, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce.
Stuff the tomatoes with the meat mixture. You will most likely have meat mixture left over. It's really good the next day either on it's own, with some tostito chips, or over white rice.
Sprinkle each tomato with breadcrumbs and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are browned.  I like to make a few extra and refrigerate to eat as leftovers the following day.  If you do this, I would bake for an additional 5 minutes to make sure it's heated through.

And finally, I made this Chicken Francese for our "Movie Date at Home" this weekend.  My good friend made it on New Year's Eve and I knew I had to try it myself.  I served it with some plain pasta but kind of wish I had a salad to go along with it... next time.  

Chicken Francese 

1lb chicken breasts (I used the breast tenderloins)
1/2 cup flour plus 5 tsp
2/3 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dry white wine 
4 TBS butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large eggs beaten (or egg whites)
1 lemon juiced

Heat oil I large pan in medium high heat.
Dredge chicken in flour, then shake off excess and dip in eggs.
Drip off excess eggs and transfer chicken to hot oil and cook until golden brown, about two to three minutes on each side. 
Transfer chicken to a paper towel lined plate. Cover and keep warm.
Discard remaining oil, then add butter and return to heat.
Add the 5 tsps of flour to the chicken broth and mix with a fork.
To the melted butter, add chicken broth (with flour), white wine, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened.
Return chicken to the pan and coat in the sauce.

Serve with pasta and/or a green salad.

Any new recipes you've made recently that I should add to my meal planning?


  1. Yum! Those all look so good. We have a bunch of healthy recipes if you are looking for ideas. I'd be happy to share.

  2. You have been busy in the kitchen! All of these look great and healthy too. Also my stomach is now growling, seriously. I guess I should go eat something. Have a great Monday friend!

  3. James has been asking me to cook more fish so your shrimp recipe will be the first I try. I am not a big fan, I like meat to have a bit of toughness to it and shrimp doesn't do that for me. However, mixed with rice and asparagus and I'm good to go.

  4. I like to make shepherds pie. It is easy and yummy.

  5. I love when you share recipes because everything sounds so good!
    I'm like you with shrimp too... I love it but it is more expensive, so it would make a perfect weekend meal to make, something a little more special!

  6. I am slowly getting back into a meal planning/cooking routine. Not quite there yet, but working on it. Give Nathan all the shrimp stir-fry and I will take the apricot chicken! I’m making that apricot chicken next week. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. I love tomotoes but have never geard if stuffing them?!?! Mind blown. Ill have to Pin this and refer to it sometime soon. I also love asparagus and never thought to pair it with shrimp. Would frozen shrimp work, you think?


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