Mini Meatloaves 

Meatloaf. It can be done so well, but it can also be done horribly. I’ve had my fair share of successes and failures when it comes to meatloaves (more failures sadly), but this attempt came out really good and I’ll be making it again. I did not bake it in a loaf pan, but instead shaped mini loaves and baked them on a baking sheet. That way I was able to drain some of the fat off too. 

Ingredients: 

       (Meatloaf) 

– 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef 

– 1 egg

– 1/2 cup breadcrumbs 

– 1/2 cup diced onion 

– 2 tsp. seasoning salt 

– 1 tbsp. lemon juice 

      (Glaze) 

– 1/4 cup ketchup 

-1/4 cup brown sugar 

– 2-3 tbsp. Water to dilute the mix 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the meatloaf ingredients and mix well with your hands. Separate into 6 even sized balls, and shape into loaves. Place the loaves on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 

While the meatloaves are baking, make the glaze. Combine the ketchup, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Stir to combine. 

After the 15 minutes is up, drizzle some glaze evenly over the meatloaves and put them back into the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. 

Serve warm with mashed potatoes and veggies. 

  

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Macaroni and Cheese with Ham 

I had leftover ham from Easter that I needed to use up so I found a version of Mac and cheese with ham and sort of made it my own. It came out really good and my whole family loved it. 

Ingredients: 

– 2 cups diced ham 

– 1 onion, diced 

– 3/4 box of bow tie pasta (or any pasta) or 2 cups cooked pasta 

– 2 cups cheddar cheese 

– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 

– 2 cups whole milk 

– 1/4 cup butter 

– 3 tbsp. flour 

– pinch of salt and pepper 

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Begin by heating up a pan and adding a tbsp. of butter. Add in the onion and diced ham. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Pour into a bowl and set aside. 

Cook the pasta. 

After the pasta cooks, add the butter to the pan you sautéed the ham and onions in. Once the butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk for two minutes constantly. Then, add in the milk slowly and continue to whisk. 

Next, slowly add in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and whisk until the cheese is incorporated and begins to thicken. 

Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and then add in the ham and onion mixture. Give it all a big stir and pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil until the top is golden. 

Serve with a side of veggies. Enjoy! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Lasagna 

I believe this was only the second time making lasagna in my adult life. I am kind of weird about cheese and do not care for ricotta, which has caused me to shy away from lasagna. My inlaws made it when they were visiting a few months ago and I actually really enjoyed it, ricotta and all! So I gave it a try and it came out pretty good. I served it with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. 

Ingredients: 

– 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

– 1/2 lb. ground beef 

– 1/2 cup onion, diced 

– 2 cloves garlic, minced 

– 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes 

– 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste 

– 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce 

– 1/2 cup water 

– 1 tsp. sugar 

– basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley seasoned to taste 

– 12 lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil) 

– 1 (16 oz) container or ricotta 

– 1 egg 

– 3/4 lb shredded mozzarella cheese 

– 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 

Directions: 

In a large pan with tall sides, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Drain the fat and return to pan. 

To the meat, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Stir everything together. 

Next add the sugar, basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley, taste and adjust accordingly. Stir to combine. 

Simmer, covered for at least 1 1/2 hours or longer. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, egg, a bit more parsley, and a pinch of salt. 

Preheat oven to 375F. 

To assemble: grab a 9×13-inch pan and spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta mixture, and top with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers and add Parmesan to the top layer. 

Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Place a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings that may fall. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

Cilantro Chicken Stir-Fry 

Oh boy, was this good! I am such a sucker for cilantro so when I saw this I just had to make it. Also, the peanuts were a surprising, but great addition to the stir fry, and we all enjoyed it. 

Ingredients: 

– 2 tsp. Olive oil 

– 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

– 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts 

– 1 red bell pepper, diced 

– 4 cloves garlic, minced 

– 1 tsp. ground ginger 

– 1 tbsp. soy sauce 

– 2 tsp. rice vinegar 

– 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce 

– 1 tsp. sesame oil 

– 1 tsp. cornstarch 

– 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped 

Directions: 

Begin by heating up the olive oil in a large frying pan preferably with tall sides over medium- high heat. Addin the chicken and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the peanuts, red bell pepper, garlic, and ginger to the pan with the chicken. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. 

While the chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, Stiracha, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the sauce to the skillet and cook, stirring until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken. 

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the chopped cilantro. Stir to combine and serve over rice with lime wedges on the side. I always use brown rice in my dishes and it is delicious! 

Enjoy! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala 

This was a really good recipe. Nice and easy in the crockpot and didn’t take forever. I served it over a bed of mashed red potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side. Delish! 

Ingredients: 

– 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut thinly in half 

– 3 cloves minced garlic 

– 2 cups chicken broth or 1 cup Marsala wine (I used the broth) 

– 1/2 cup water 

– 1/4 cup cornstarch 

– salt and pepper 

– 8 oz. mushrooms (I left these out because I didn’t have any on hand) 

Directions: 

Lightly spray your crock pot with cooking spray. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the crock pot. Add the minced garlic and pour in the chicken broth/wine. Add the mushrooms. 

Cook on low for 5 hours. 

Once the time is up, remove the chicken breasts, set aside. In a small bowl, make a slurry from the water and cornstarch (mix the two together) and pour into the crockpot. Turn the setting to high and give it a big stir. Add the chicken back in and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Stir occasionally. 

Serve over mashed potatoes and top with the sauce. Enjoy! 

  

(Healthier) Tatertot Casserole 

So I am totally not above making Tatertot casserole, my only issue with it is, I think cream soups are disgusting and I try and avoid them in all of my recipes. This kind of resembled more of a shepherd’s  pie with tatertots on top, but it was really yummy, regardless! 

Ingredients: 

– 1 lb. ground beef 

– 1 onion, diced 

– 1 cup frozen vegetables (I used a mixed vegetables assortment) 

– 1 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 

– 1 tbsp. chili powder 

– 1/2-1 cup of water or beef broth (beef broth would give more flavor, I was just lazy) 

– 1-2 cups shredded cheese 

– 3/4 of a 32oz bag of tatertots 

– salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste  

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Begin by browning your meat and onions. Once no longer pink, drain the fat and return to pan. 

Add to the mixture: Worcestershire, seasonings, chili powder, frozen veggies, and water/broth. Give everything a big stir and taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Also adjust your liquid amount too. Just try not to add too much liquid, you don’t want a soup! Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are no longer frozen, and you have a good consistency. 

Pour into an 8x 11-inch baking dish. Sprinkle on shredded cheese, and then top with frozen tatertots. (You could sprinkle on a bit more cheese on top, if you really want to get wild 😉

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tatertots are crispy on top. Remove from oven and let set a few minutes before serving. I served mine with a fresh fruit salad and it was a nice light addition to our meal. Enjoy! 

   
    
    
 

Chicken stir fry with mushrooms and zucchini 

This was a delicious stir fry and is apparently a Panda Express copycat recipe. I served it with brown rice and we all thought it was very good. 

Ingredients: 

– 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut thinly into bite sized pieces 

– 3 tbsp. cornstarch (I probably will not use this next time)- see note at the bottom 

– 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 

– 1 tbsp. sesame oil 

– 8 oz. mushrooms 

– 2 medium zucchinis 

– 1/4 cup soy sauce 

– 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 

– 3 gloves minced garlic 

– 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 

– sesame seeds (optional) 

Directions: 

Slice up your veggies and set them aside for later. 

Slice up the chicken breasts and toss the chicken with cornstarch in a medium bowl. 

Heat the oils in a pan and add the chicken. Cook on medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. 

Turn the heat to medium high and add a bit more of each oil. Add in the veggies and cook until they start to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or so. Coon for another couple minutes if the vegetables need to soften a bit more, but don’t over cook. Add the chicken back in and stir to coat. Add in the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and give everything a big stir. Serve over brown rice. Enjoy! 

Note: I will probably not use cornstarch next time. It cooks to the bottom of my stainless steel pans and I ended up having to transfer the chicken to another pan to finish the cooking. I think the chicken would be fine without the cornstarch addition.