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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Chicken Waldorf Pita Sandwich


I love chicken salad. I also love and miss my Mom’s Waldorf Salad. I thought it would be great to combine these two.  I can’t begin to tell you how tasty this was. Brilliant!  I used pita bread. You can use any bread or bun or croissant you want but I truly forgot how great pita bread was. I used to eat it a long time ago and forgot how delicious it really was. If you have never tried it, go for it. 


This is the pita bread I used for my sandwich. I was a little hesitant to buy this because it sounded too healthy to taste good. I was wrong.  Really wrong. It’s delicious and I will buy it again. 


Ingredients:

Both breasts of a rotisserie chicken, shredded in bite size pieces, I used Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken and it was about 4 cups shredded

 2 apples, chopped into bite size pieces, I used Braeburn which are large apples, if you use small or medium size, add another apple or two

3/4 cups walnuts, chopped

 1 cup celery, chopped

1 lemon, juiced*

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise 

Season to taste

Lettuce leaves or spinach leaves, optional

Sliced tomatoes, optional

Pita bread, cut in half


Place shredded chicken, nuts and celery in a medium size bowl.  In another bowl, juice lemon and add the chopped apple. The lemon will prevent it from turning brown and add a zesty taste. Once you have tossed your apples in the lemon juice, add the brown sugar, sour cream, mayonnaise and blend. Add this dressing/apple mixture to the the chicken mixture in the other bowl.  Season to taste. Fill pita half with your Chicken Waldorf Salad. Add a lettuce leaf or spinach leaves to your pita. Enjoy!


*Place your room temperature lemon in the microwave for 11 seconds. It will yield more juice. 

Tortellini Caprese Salad

I love Caprese Salad. I could eat it daily. I love it so much I have incorporated it in two recipes now. The first was my Caprese Pizza and now my Tortellini Caprese Salad.

Ingredients:
1 package of frozen tortellini (my bag was 1 pound 3 ounces)
1 container of grape tomatoes
I package of fresh mozzarella pearls
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 heaping cup scallions, mine were tiny, I used green and white snipped with kitchen shears
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Basil leaves, I love basil and I had some tiny new leaves and I snipped probably 8 leaves total (use as many as you like, to taste)
Balsamic Glaze on top as garnish (can be purchased at grocery store near vinegars)

Prepare frozen tortellini according to package directions. My package was cooked in 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until tortellini is cool. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except balsamic glaze. Drizzle balsamic glaze, garnish with additional basil leaves if desired. Manga, manga!

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Southwest Pasta Salad

After a long delay, sorry it took so long to get this post to you. This is a quick, easy put together pasta dish. If you added chicken, it could be a meal.

Ingredients:
8 ounces of Rotini pasta, or whatever you have on hand
1 can of Bush’s Seasoned Black Beans, drained, not rinsed
1 can of corn, drained
I 4 ounce jar of chopped pimentos, drained
1/2 cup of cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup onion, diced fine
1 small green, yellow or red pepper, diced fine (you pick the color)

Dressing:
1 cup of salsa, I used Pace chunky medium
1 cup of sour cream

Smokey paprika and green onions to garnish, optional

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water after draining. Add beans, corn and pimentos. Stir to mix. Add onion and cheese, stirring to mix.

Combine salsa and sour cream together in a separate bowl. Add to pasta salad. Garnish right before serving.

If pasta dries out in the refrigerator, add more sour cream and salsa together.

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Mom’s Taco

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo! I grew up eating this salad. It’s like a taco in a bowl. The ingredients are everything you would like on your taco. If I haven’t listed your favorite topping in this recipe that you like on your salad, add it! This is a family favorite. My children love and request this often. Enjoy!

  
Ingredients:

1 head of iceberg lettuce
8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated (no bag stuff)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped*
1-2 avocados*
1/2 bottle of Wishbone Deluxe French Dressing (more or less, you don’t want a soggy salad)
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef or turkey (if using ground turkey, season the meat well)
1-2 cans of dark red kidney beans, drained (if you love beans, add 2 cans)
2 envelopes of taco seasoning mix
1 bag of Nacho Cheese Dorito Chips, crushed in large pieces
Salt and pepper
Salsa, optional
Sour cream, optional

Brown meat. I season my meat with pepper and garlic salt, regular salt is fine too. While meat is cooking, tear up lettuce in a large bowl. Add onion, tomato, cheese and chips. Toss. Drain meat of all grease. Add taco seasoning mix, DO NOT ADD WATER! Mix well. Add drained beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Add avocado to salad. Add beef and bean mixture. Add salad dressing. Toss and serve into bowls. Garnish with salsa or sour cream or whatever you top off your tacos with. This serves 4-6 people, depending on the appetites! 😉

*depending on size of tomato or avocado and how much you like them.