Entertaining, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

$10 Weekday Gourmet: Amazing chicken recipe from fridge to table in less than 45 minutes (Serves 4-6)

If you know me well you know that one of my favorite words is “cheap”… not in the sense that I like low quality things. I’m actually quite the opposite. I tend to like very high quality things (food, clothing, jewelry, vacations) but I do my best to acquire these things at cheaper prices than most people would pay.

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My approach to food is no different. I love dining out at high quality and highly recommended restaurants. But I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to eat out every night and honestly, I don’t think I’d want to. I like cooking way to much and after a long day of work, it’s sometimes nice to just chill at home.

I think most people are like me. People want food that tastes a good as possible, as quickly as possible, and as cheaply as possible. I want to start sharing some recipes that I’ve found that have allowed me to do just that!

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As I’m writing this post, I’m sitting here eating a meal that I’ve made TWICE (yes, I said it, twice) in the last week. The Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce recipe by Food & Wine has been my favorite and I wanted to share this meal and recipe with you. I have a few suggestions for how to make this recipe as quickly and cheaply as possible and the best side dishes to pair it with.

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This recipe is delicious and it really is easy. The parsley sauce combined with the roasted lemons is a match made in heaven…. And yes, you heard that right. you CAN eat roasted lemons. Skin and all. Just make sure you slice them thin and remove any seeds.

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I’ve been blessed to live in a town where I have an abundance of grocery stores that are all pretty close together. My husband and I try to stick to a strict budget of about $70 a week for ALL our groceries. We eat at home at least 5 nights a week and I bring my lunch to work from home as well…. All that to say is that we have quite a few meals to make with a relatively small budget. I have to take advantage of all the stores in the area to create delicious meals without going over budget. I’d honestly rather save money on food and put some of our savings in our vacation fund.

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For this recipe we did our shopping at Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market in Smyrna, Georgia. I warn you, you can get some great deals here but the shopping experience is always an… experience. But again, for me, it’s worth it for the savings.

I spent $8.13 plus tax for most of the recipe ingredients (I had garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in my pantry).

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs: $3.95
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley: $0.69
  • 16 oz of White Mushrooms: $2.49 (This is cheaper than the mushrooms suggested in the original recipe)
  • 1 Lemon: $1.00

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Tonight I paired this recipe with mashed potatoes. The first time I made it I served it with Garlic Quinoa and broccoli (we always have quinoa in the pantry and broccoli in the freezer). Regardless, I suggest serving with a carbohydrate  and a green veggie.

My steps for getting this recipe plus two side dishes on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Step 1: Preheat oven AND empty sheet pan to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place chicken and olive oil on pan and let roast for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Cut mushrooms and lemons while chicken is roasting. Toss with olive oil.

Step 5: Add mushrooms and lemons to pan with chicken and allow to roast for 30 additional minutes.

Step 6: Prepare quinoa as outlined on package. I suggest cooking in chicken broth instead of water.

Step 7. Chop parsley and garlic and mix all ingredients for the sauce.

Step 8: Cook broccoli as desired when there’s just 5 minutes left for the chicken to roast (microwave or stove top with salt and pepper is easiest).

Step 9. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! To find the recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce please CLICK HERE.

Enjoy!

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Entertaining, Food, Protect The Pantry, Recipe

Protect the Pantry: Croutons

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Last week I posted an introduction to my “Protect the Pantry” series. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, please do so by CLICKING HERE!

The goal of this series is to create dialogue and conversation around food waste. There as so many ways we can grocery shop in our own kitchens and create food and meals with items we already have. I also want to encourage you to recycle or re purpose foods you might otherwise toss out.

Recently I purchased a loaf of Italian bread. I’m not sure why, but I did. By the end of the week i’d used only half the loaf, with no intention of using the rest. As I was sitting there meal planning for the week I wanted to find a way to re purpose this slightly stale bread.

Then I remembered, there’s almost no better way to re purpose bread than using it for croutons. Here are 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Tear or cut leftover bread to bite sized cubes.

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Step 2: Toss in olive oil, melted butter, or a combination of both — being sure not to saturate the bread.

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Step 3: Season — I typically use Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese but be sure to try your own flavor combination.

Step 4:Toast in a 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes until your desired crispiness! Enjoy on top your salad or as a snack! Store in an airtight container. 

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I decided to base my weekly meals around ingredients that I could use in multiple recipes and that used ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge. I settled on a Black and Blue salad as a backdrop for my croutons.

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My salad was inspired by Creme de la Crumb. I used romaine lettuce, skirt steak, caramelized onions, tomatoes, avocado, and croutons. I topped with Honest Fare’s Guitless Blue Cheese Dressing

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Food, Lifestyle, Protect The Pantry

Protect the Pantry Series: Introduction

I have a bad habit that I’m sure many of you have as well… I’m a sucker for a GREAT DEAL or and AMAZING FIND. I’ll just call it what it is, I’m an impulse buyer. This is is true for me when it comes to clothing shopping and even grocery shopping. I love finding cool pantry items at Trader Joes and Aldi… the issue is that I end up with a pantry full of food items that I probably wont use or might expire before I get to try them.

I don’t think anyone is to blame.

American’s are blessed to have access to food, water, restaurants, and the best grocery stores. We love buffets, order the full portion and leave half to be dumped instead of ordering the half portion, shop at warehouse stores, and freeze extra food that we know we’ll never eat. We’ve got to do better. I’ve got to do better.

The National Resources Defense Council states that, “Store promotions leading to bulk purchases or purchases of unusual products often result in consumers buying foods outside their typical meal planning, which then gets discarded.” I’m guilty of this and I’ve got to do better.

According to feedingamerica.org, “An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed” and even worse is that “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste.”

I’ll be the first to admit that historically, I don’t do such a great job trying to avoid food waste. I cook a lot and because I’m a “food blogger” I try out lots of different foods and recipes and sometimes it’s more than my husband and I can enjoy together.

My hope is to create a “series” of posts that encourage you to use food items you might have sitting in your pantry or to avoid buying more than you need. Some of these posts might be my own recipes or I might share some foods I made using recipes from other bloggers. Other ideas might encourage recycling leftovers into lunches and other dinner meals or providing suggestions for better portions.

Hopefully this will be ongoing. I’ll do my best to share my thoughts and attempts to protect my pantry and the food I order and/or bring into my home.

Join in on the conversation with me. How do you protect your pantry and avoid food waste?

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #ProtectThePantry and @PinchPlateParty

SOURCES:

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/how-we-work/securing-meals/reducing-food-waste.html

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