Recipes

Stuffed Avocado Salad

by Katie on November 3, 2017

With avocados on sale for just $0.88 at Kroger this week, it’s a great time to break out all of my favorite avocado recipes. One of my new favorites is the stuffed avocado salad.  It mixes all the freshness of a garden salad with creamy sweetness of avocados.

I prepared the chicken using our family’s favorite Italian Parmesan recipe which is a favorite for all of our children (trust me…that’s nothing short of a miracle around here!).  I added in plenty of spinach and mixed greens, some fresh roma tomatoes, a bit of cilantro, and a splash of dressing on the side.

It’s such an easy meal idea, especially for a quick lunch.  And if you use leftover chicken, it can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

Stuffed Avocado Salad

2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Italian Dressing
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
2 Avocados
2 Roma Tomatoes
Spinach or Lettuce of Choice
Cilantro
Shredded Cheese

Place chicken in a pan and top with Italian dressing.  Allow to marinate for at least one hour.  Discard extra marinade.  Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle the chicken with the Colby Jack cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Remove chicken from the oven, and slice into strips.

While the chicken is baking, cut each avocado in half and removed the pit from each.  Top each avocado half with spinach, sliced tomatoes, cilantro, the sliced chicken, and cheese.  Add your favorite dressing and enjoy!

And because avocados are one of my absolute favorite foods, I thought I’d add just a few more of my favorite avocado-inspired recipes!

Chicken Avocado Wrap

Chicken

4 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of 3 limes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Whisk together olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Place chicken breasts in a large ziploc bag.  Pour mixture over chicken and marinate for at least 2 hours.

Avocado Spread

2 avocados
lime juice
kosher salt

Mash avocados, and add lime juice to desired consistency.  Add salt to taste.

Spread avocado mixture down the center of a burrito-sized tortilla.  Top with chicken, sauteed red onions, cheese, and cilantro.  Roll tortilla and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Dressing

Cilantro Lime Chicken

3 tablespoons of olive oil
zest and juice of 3 limes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
3-4 lbs. boneless chicken breasts

Whisk together all ingredients except the chicken in a medium bowl.  Pour mixture over chicken, and marinate for at least 2 hours (I typically put the chicken in a resealable bag, pour the marinade over it, and just pop it in the fridge until we’re ready to grill it).

Discard the marinade and grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Once the chicken was done on the grill, I sliced it into strips and added it into a salad made up of spinach, tomatoes, avocados, and colby jack cheese, and topped it with this recipe for avocado lime dressing:

Avocado Lime Dressing

1 bottle of low-fat ranch dressing
1 large avocado
juice of 1 lime

Mash avocado until it’s of spreading consistency.  Add avocado and lime juice to ranch dressing, and whisk together until smooth.

Keep in mind, the avocados are only on sale for $0.88 at Kroger through tomorrow!  

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kroger. All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on May 4, 2016

recipe-box

So, it looks like I’ll only be cooking three times this week, and I’m not gonna lie….I’m pretty excited about that!  It’s going to be a crazy busy week for our family with a Confirmation meeting, soccer games, our daughter’s recital, a Reds Game, and Mother’s Day, so it’s ideal timing for an easy cooking week!

Here’s what we have planned for our menu:

Monday – teriyaki chicken, rice, and veggie bowls

Tuesday – Chipotle for Teacher Appreciation Day

Wednesday – lemon chicken, flatbreads, spinach salad

Thursday – taco night for Cinco de Mayo!

Friday – dinner at Kings Island (still lovin’ that meal pass!)

Saturday – dinner at the Reds Game

Sunday – surprise dinner being made by my husband and kids 🙂

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on April 27, 2016

recipe-box

I’ve hit that point of the year where I’m completely burnt out with menu planning.  I’m tapped out of ideas for dinners, and I’m pretty sure that my family is more than bored with marinated chicken, turkey burgers, and tacos.

So, I’m avidly searching for new ideas, healthy recipes, and summer-themed meals.  I’m afraid that if I serve marinated chicken one more time this month, I may have a mutiny on my hands!

However, I am loving the fact that we have meal passes along with our Kings Island passes this year.  It’s a guaranteed “no cook” night at least once a week!  As for the rest of the meals, I’ll be scrolling through Pinterest, flipping through magazines, and consulting my cookbooks for new ideas.

Here’s what I have planned for this week:

Monday – barbecue chicken, corn, fresh fruit

Tuesday – baked ziti, spinach salad, breadsticks

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – teriyaki chicken, rice, and veggie bowls

Friday – dinner at Kings Island 🙂

Saturday – fajitas, grilled veggies, fresh fruit

Sunday – spaghetti, spinach salad

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on February 16, 2016

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As I started planning out this week’s menu plan, I realized that I completely forgot to post our family’s meal plan from last week.  Between a snow day last Tuesday and a busier-than-usual week for our family, we had mostly simple meals to streamline our schedule.

ethiopian-meal

Two weeks ago, I tried my hand at an Ethiopian meal for the first time.  I made Doro Wat (a chicken dish), Iab (a cheese sauce), and Injera (a spongy flatbread).  I was pleasantly surprised that everyone really liked the both the chicken and the flatbread.  While they weren’t crazy about the cheese, my husband and I absolutely loved it.  And putting it all together…just yum!

Now that I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone, I’m feeling much more ambitious to tackle other new recipes.  It’s my goal to experiment with foods from other cultures and nationalities not only to introduce our kids to new recipes, but also to tie in with our lesson plans throughout the school year as well.

Here’s what we have planned for this week’s meal plan:

Monday –  waffles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal casserole, fresh fruit (per request for our youngest son’s 13th birthday)

Tuesday – Skyline Chili night!

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – marinated chicken, spinach salad, brown rice, fresh fruit

Friday – baked salmon, steamed broccoli, quinoa

Saturday – spaghetti with ground turkey, spinach salad, breadsticks

Sunday – white chicken chili, fresh fruit, baguettes

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on January 20, 2016

recipe-box

Since snow has been in the forecast multiple times this week, I’ve planned a rather simple meal plan.  I’ve noticed that when my older kids have a snow day, my level of productivity plummets drastically!  Somehow, we all tend to lose focus, and we end up like we did today….watching movies and playing games and LEGOs.

Here’s what we have planned for this week:

Monday – spaghetti, spinach salad, fresh fruit

Tuesday – 4-ingredient pork chops, brown rice, peas

Wednesdayturkey chili, spinach salad, fresh fruit

Thursday – sesame ginger chicken, spinach salad, quinoa

Friday – peanut chicken wraps, veggies and black bean hummus

Saturday – dinner out/fend for yourself night

Sunday – Philly cheese steaks, spinach salad, spiced apples

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French Apple Pie Recipe

by Katie on November 25, 2015

apple-pie

Thanksgiving is just not Thanksgiving in our family without apple pie….even if it does mean a small oven fire!  Unlike my mom, I don’t make my own pie crust, but instead, I borrow a little help from Pillsbury.  I love how easy the crusts are, and I think they taste very close to homemade.

Now, you won’t see any fancy crusts on my pies….it’s just not one of the talents that God bestowed upon me!  I remember growing up that my mom would make beautifully fluted or scalloped crusts, but that ability has clearly skipped a generation!

French Apple Pie

Refrigerated pie crust
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 cups thinly sliced apples
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup firm stick butter, cut into chunks

Line pie plate with refrigerated pie crust and crimp edges to form a decorative pattern (or decide to not even try if you have no talent in decorative pie edges….like me!).  Mix sugar, nutmeg, and apples and toss gently.  Spoon into pie crust.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly (I use a whisk for this, but a pastry cutter or two knives will work as well).  Sprinkle on top of the apples.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  Bake for an additional 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the apples are tender.  As a side note, I often tent the pie with aluminum foil after the first ten minutes to prevent excessive browning (and for goodness sake, don’t forget to put a tray under the pie plate to catch the juices!).

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Slow Cooker Black Beans Recipe

by Katie on October 28, 2015

slow-cooker-black-beans

I have a serious fondness for black beans.  I love pairing them with chicken, using them in chili, and have even been known to use them to make healthier brownies.  That being said, we go through a fair number of canned beans each month, which can get a bit pricey after awhile.  So, I decided to try a more budget-friendly recipe for black beans.

I’ve tweaked the recipe a few times, and now I not only love the recipe for being economical, but I also love the taste of the slow-cooker beans so much more than canned beans (okay…I guess that makes me sound like a bit of black bean snob!).  The recipe is super easy, and it’s nice to have a supply of beans ready at my fingertips in the fridge and freezer.

Slower Cooker Black Beans

2 lbs. black beans
7 cups water
1 large onion, halved or quartered
4-5 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt

Sort through beans to removed shriveled or broken beans.  Place beans in slow cooker, cover completely with water, and place the lid on the slow cooker.  Let beans sit in water overnight (I typically do this right before I go to bed at night).

In the morning, rinse the beans using a large colander, and rinse any residue from the slow cooker.  Place the beans back into the slow cooker and cover with 7 cups of water.  Add onion, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and salt.

As the beans are cooking, be sure that the water continues to cover the beans so they don’t burn.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours.  After 4 hours, check to see if the beans are done.  Spooning out a few, blow on them gently to see if the skins peel back.  If they do, and they’re soft and tender, they’re done.

Remove the onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaves.  Either use the beans immediately or store them in large ziploc bags or plastic storage containers once they’ve cooled.  I typically store the beans in the refrigerator for up to a week, and in the freezer for 3 months.

By the way, these beans are delicious in this turkey chili recipe!

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