Dinner In 30 Minutes

I really wasn’t trying to make a dinner in 30 minutes but when I did, I thought I would share it. This recipe isn’t written in stone, you can change the pasta to low carb or gluten free. Change the dressing to one of your favorites. My cost for dinner was under $20 because of the ingredients I already had at home. However, if you were to go buy everything from start to finish, it would still be under $25 in my area.

Ingredients for Main Course:

1 package of Bow tie pasta, or your favorite low carb, gluten free

*1 package of chicken tenders, cooked or rotisserie chicken, cut in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup pasta water

**Olive Garden Salad Dressing, or your favorite dressing, you add how much you like. I didn’t drown my pasta in dressing.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, make garlic bread. Cut chicken in bite size pieces. I also made my bag salad.

Garlic Bread:

Sliced bread

Garlic butter or spread

Parmesan cheese

Paprika

Spread prepared garlic spread or butter on sliced bread. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and sprinkle paprika on top of cheese. Broil under butter has melted. Timing depends on how close the rack is set close to the broiler. The closer it is, the faster your bread will cook or burn. You must keep an eye on it.

Salad:

I bought a Caesar Salad in a bag. No shame in that. The kit included dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons in the bag. The package I bought was two for five dollars. Can’t beat that. These salads literally take a few seconds to make. Cut open the bag, dump in the ingredients and toss.

*Believe it or not, chicken tenders I purchased were $9.00. A rotisserie chicken is under $5 at Sam’s Club, a little higher at my grocery store.

**Cant find Olive Garden dressing or like it, a good substitute a good Italian or Balsamic Italian Dressing, whatever you prefer.

Another helpful money saving hint, my grocery store often has buy one get one free pasta. I often stock up on pasta when that happens.

My cost:

Chicken Tenders $9.00

Pasta $1.69 (free from my pantry)

Bread $3.00

Garlic spread $3.60 (I used what I had)

Salad $2.50

Salad dressing $3.99 (already had in my pantry)

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Copycat Chicken Salad Chick Grape Salad

To be perfectly honest, I have never heard of or tried grape salad until recently. I thought perhaps it might be a Southern recipe but as I was doing my research, come to find out it originated in Minnesota. When it comes to copycat recipes, my recipe may not be the exact recipe or ingredients but the taste is the same. I first tried this grape salad at a new restaurant near me, Chicken Salad Chick. The restaurant is not new, just the location near me is new. So far the chains are only located in the South. I love this grape salad. I am hooked. Now you can make this salad at home even if you do not have a Chicken Salad Chick near you.

Ingredients:

8 oz softened cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

⅓ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 pounds (10 cups) seedless grapes (red and green all sizes are fine, I used both red and green like the restaurant)

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, or more if desired

Lightly cover top with brown sugar

Whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla combine together. In a large bowl place 10 cups of red and green grapes. Stir in cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, add the toppings. The chick tops with brown sugar only if you need to be nut free. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!

Other options:

Fat free or reduced fat sour cream and cream cheese can be used. I personally would use full fat but that’s me.

I did use Splenda Brown Sugar instead of regular brown sugar. I could not tell the difference.

Crockpot Enchilada Casserole 

I love Mexican food. I could eat it everyday. Not only is this a fast and easy to prepare but also very easy on the budget. It takes about 5 minutes to get this recipe ready for crockpot and it is done in 3 hours.




Ingredients:

1 packages of chicken tenders

Garlic salt, season as desired

Pepper, season as desired

Smoked Paprika,season as desired

I/2 onion chopped

I  16.8 ounce can of chicken tortilla soup

1 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce

1 small can of green chilies chopped, do not drain

3/4 of a bag of Nacho Cheese Dorito Chips, crushed in your hands

8 ounces of Sharp cheddar cheese, enough to cover the entire top of the casserole

Garnish with your favorites, I used sour cream and Jalapenos.  If you like black olives, use them.



Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Lay chicken tenders in the bottom of the crockpot. Season with garlic salt, black pepper and smokey paprika. Cover tenders with chopped onions. Pour chicken tortilla soup over the chicken. Put the green chilies in. Pour the enchilada sauce over the green chilies. Crush Doritos in your hand and cover the surface of the crockpot. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.  Add cheese and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Enjoy!


Easy Peeling Deviled Eggs

One thing about deviled eggs that is not easy is peeling cooked eggs. I always knew the older the egg, the easier to peel. Reason being is that the PH in the egg increases as it gets older. I always try to buy my eggs a week before I boil them. That helps, but not always. I have been making deviled eggs all of my life and I admit, I have been making them the wrong way!  For this recipe, I used freshly bought eggs, not a week or a day old and they peeled perfectly.

Ingredients:

8 eggs  (room temperature)

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons  Mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons Mustard (your choice, yellow, Grey Poupon, grainy, whatever you prefer)

Paprika, or McCormicks Salad Supreme

Chives, optional

Bring a quart of water to boil on your stove. Add room temperature eggs to the boiling water.  ( in the past I used cold eggs, cold water)  boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and place a lid on the pot for 15 minutes. Drain water and cool eggs in cold water for 15 minutes. Perfect peeling eggs and my eggs were not a week old!  I was so happy!

Peel eggs, slice eggs in half and remove yolk, placing in a separate bowl.  Mash egg yolks with fork or potato masher.  Add salt and pepper.  I used about 1/8 teaspoon of each.  Add mayonnaise and mustard and mix well.  Spoon egg mixture back into egg whites.  Top with Paprika or Salad Supreme and chives, optional.  *The more eggs you boil and prepare, your mustard and mayonnaise will increase. Easy peeling eggs every time!  Enjoy!