Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

10 Ideas for Deli Chicken Tenders

I try to cook most of my food from scratch-better for our health, better for our wallet, and in-line with my food philosophy.  However, these past few weeks have been insanely busy for me as happens sometimes in life.  When I am completely out of time, I am tempted to grab a burger.  Instead I head to my grocers’ deli and grab some chicken tenders and a few other ingredients.  This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, healthy, but healthier than a burger and fries.  If you keep your kitchen stocked you should only need to grab fresh veggies to complete these complete meals.  None of these meals takes more than 10 minutes of active time.  And when you have more time, you can make all of these from scratch.






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Quick Chicken Parmesan

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes; Cooking:  15 minutes
Hardware: 11x7 baking dish, measuring cups

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 1 large jar spaghetti sauce
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • pre-washed green salad & Italian salad dressing
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place the chicken tenders evenly spaced out into the pan.  Lay a slice of cheese onto each tender.  Pour the sauce into the pan, spreading it out evenly and covering the chicken.  Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the sauce.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
  3. While the chicken is baking, prepare the spaghetti according to package directions.
  4. Serve the chicken Parmesan over the spaghetti.  Open a pre-washed green salad.
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Greek Pita Pockets

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring cups

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 4 pita pockets
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large tomato
  • ¼ cup olives
  • ¼ cup Greek salad dressing
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • hummus and pretzel chips
  1. Slice the tenders into bite size pieces.
  2. Peel and chop the cucumber.  Roughly chop the tomato.
  3. Divide the chicken and veggies equally among the pita pockets.  Top with salad dressing and cheese.
  4. Serve with a side of hummus and pretzel chips.
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 California Chicken Salad
Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes,  Cook time: 10 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring cups, a skillet, a paper towel covered plate, and a fork
California Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
  • 4 slices of bacon*
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 green onions
  • ⅓ cup Ranch salad dressing
  • 4 flat breads
  1. Fry the bacon until it is crispy.  Drain it on the paper towel covered plate.
  2. While the bacon is frying, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  3. Roughly chop the veggies.
  4. Divide the chicken and veggies among the flat breads.
  5. Top the salad with salad dressing and crumbled bacon.

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Chicken Faust
Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cooking: 5 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knife, measuring cups and spoons, 8x8 baking dish, a bowl, and a whisk

Ingredients:
  • 7 chicken tenders
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 package of microwavable ready rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
  • Chicken Faust
  • pre-washed green salad & salad dressing
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.  
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Spread the chicken evenly into the pan.  Sprinkle with the cheese and then the pickled jalapeños.  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 
  3. While the Faust is baking, microwave the rice according to package directions.
  4. Whisk the sour cream and milk together.
  5. Top the rice with the Faust and then with the sour cream sauce. 
  6. Serve with a pre-washed bagged side salad.

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Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes, Microwave time: 6 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring cups, a large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • ½ cup Buffalo sauce
  • ½ bag pre-washed shredded cabbage (used to make slaw)
  • ¼ cup blue cheese salad dressing
  • 4 whole wheat wraps
  • 1 bag microwaveable whole kernel corn
  1. Microwave the corn according to package instructions
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Toss the chicken with the Buffalo sauce in the mixing bowl. 
  3. Divide the chicken and cabbage evenly among the wraps. Top with salad dressing.
  4. Fold the bottom of the wrap up over the filling.   Fold one side over the bottom fold and then roll the wrap up.
  5. Serve immediately with a side of corn.
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BBQ Chicken Salad

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring cups, a large mixing bowl, a can opener, a bowl and a whisk

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • ½ cup +¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 bag pre-washed American salad greens
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 small bag pre-shredded carrots
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 single serving size can of corn
  • ¼ cup Ranch salad dressing
  • ½ cup French fried onions (such as Durkee)
  • ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Toss the chicken with ½ cup of the BBQ sauce in the mixing bowl. 
  2. Drain the corn.
  3. Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Slice the onions.
  4. Toss the salad greens with the chicken, corn, tomatoes, carrots, and sliced onions. 
  5. Whisk together the Ranch dressing and remaining BBQ sauce. 
  6. Top the salad with the dressing, French fried onions, and shredded cheese.
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Chicken Nachos

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cooking: 5 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, a can opener, measuring cups, a baking sheet, foil, a large serving plate

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 1-14 ounce bag tortilla chips
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • ½ bag pre-washed shredded lettuce
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • Cooking spray
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil.
  2. Chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces. 
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans.  Drain them again, thoroughly.
  4. Spread ½ the tortilla chips on the baking sheet in an even layer. Sprinkle ½ of the cheese evenly over the chips. Spread the chicken and the beans evenly over the chips.  Finally top the chicken with the remaining chips and cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  5. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  6. Place the nachos onto the serving plate.  Top with the remaining ingredients.  Serve immediately. 
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Asian-Inspired Chicken Stir Fry
Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes, microwave time: 7 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring cups and spoons, a mixing bowl

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 1 package of microwavable ready rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
  • 1 package of microwavable Asian stir fried vegetables
  • ½ cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. Microwave the rice and vegetables according to package directions.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.  Toss the chicken with the teriyaki sauce in the mixing bowl. 
  3. To serve, top the rice with the veggies and then with the chicken and teriyaki sauce.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Chicken Tacos

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; microwave time: 7 minutes
Hardware: a baking sheet, cutting board and knives, measuring cups and spoons, a mixing bowl, a can opener

Ingredients:
  • 7 chicken tenders
  • ½ cup + ¼ cup taco sauce
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ bag pre-washed shredded lettuce
  • 2 green onions
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 8 hard-shelled corn tacos
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can seasoned black beans
  • 1 package of microwavable ready rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
  1. Microwave the rice and beans according to package directions.
  2. Heat the shells according to package directions.
  3. Chop the chicken into small pieces.  Toss the chicken with ½ cup of the taco sauce in the mixing bowl. 
  4. Wash the veggies. Chop and seed the tomatoes. Slice the green onions.
  5. Divide the chicken among the taco shells.
  6. Divide the veggies evenly among the shells.
  7. Top the tacos with the remaining sauce, cheese, and sour cream.
  8. Serve with a side of black beans and rice.
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Chicken Club Sandwich

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes, cook time: 10 minutes
Hardware: cutting board and knives, measuring spoons, a skillet, a paper towel covered plate, and a fork

Ingredients:
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 6 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon*
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ bag pre-washed shredded lettuce
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • pretzel chips
  1. Cut the bacon strips in half.  Fry until it is crispy.  Drain it on the paper towel covered plate.
  2. Slice the tomato. Cut two of the chicken tenders in half.
  3. Spread the rolls with mustard.  Divide the chicken evenly among the rolls.  Top each sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and bacon halves.
  4. Serve with a side of pretzel chips.



*If you are too busy to cook bacon, you can substitute pre-cooked bacon or even bacon pieces that you can find with the salad dressings.

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