Tag Archives: easy dinner

Happy St. Potato Cakes

16 Mar

Potato Pancakes

Hi Everyone! I’m sorry I’m so behind on posting right now… I’m replying to your emails as fast as I can… My lent this year is all animal by products… So vegan eating. I’m not big on the replacement options for meat or dairy products. Let me know if you have some suggestions, I’d love to try them! Click on the link below for my post last year with yummy Colcannon Potato Cakes 🙂

Colcannon Potato Cakes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

XO- G

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The Cheaper Chicken… Piccata

25 Oct

Full Plate

I can’t believe HOW long it’s been since I’ve blogged… I was in wedding hell… I mean bliss for so many months. 🙂 Working 3 jobs, planning a destination wedding and at home reception is apparently enough to keep you busy. Then, when I thought I was going to be bored with all my extra time after the wedding, my husband got a job that required a move in 4 days. Now, I’m finally bored again. Thank you Jesus! And now I can share with you all things wedding/planning/moving to a studio… ETC. YAY!

I love to entertain for any amount of people, but it can be quite expensive once you and your friends make the leap from Coors Light with pizza to good wine and 5 star restaurants. I love the movie Father Of The Bride, one of my favorite quotes ever is while picking the wedding menu and going over budget Steve Martin yells out, “We’ll take the cheaper chicken!” Chicken is always the best go to when budgeting. However, flavor should NEVER be a compromise. I would cancel a dinner party before I ever served mediocre food and wine. Chicken Piccata has amazing flavor, easy crowd pleaser. It’s not spicy and it’s not overwhelming. The squash is sooooo yummy and easy to find at Trader Joe’s.

While making this dinner last night I realized that I got so many great new kitchen gadgets as wedding gifts that I need to put together a post entirely about essentials to ask for on your registry or from Santa.

Lets get started…

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS buy your chicken in bulk, wait until it’s on sale and stock up. Immediately separate into smaller Ziploc bags and freeze.

CHICKEN PICCATA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 5 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
  • 3 Boneless/ Skinless Chicken Breasts (Cage-Free Organic Recommended)
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup, 1 TBSP All-Purpose Flour Divided
  • 1/3 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1-2 Lemons Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Chardonnay
  • 1/3 Cup Rinsed Capers

DIRECTIONS

Prep- In a large skillet add your Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Peeled Garlic. If you don’t have a Garlic Peeler… Get one NOW! This one is from Crate & Barrel for $6.95. It’s a kitchen must have. Also, Slice your lemons into 1/8″ thick slices. Then using a Reamer juice your lemons. This is my favorite Reamer from Crate & Barrel for $3.95.

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Now, grab your chicken friendly cutting mat (Yes, if you have one kosher element to your kitchen it should be cutting mats) my favorite are the Martha Stewart Set of 4 Color Coded with Pictures 🙂 on SALE now $11.99. You need to cut off any extra fat or cartilage. A bite of either will ruin your meal, take the extra minute. Make a horizontal cut through the middle of the width. Salt and pepper each side. These can be done a day or two in advanced and kept in the refrigerator to make meal time faster. Mix the 1/3 Cup of All-Purpose Flour with your Bread Crumbs. Cover both sides of the breast and tap off excess. (NOTE: If you leave too much flour or bread crumbs they will burn in your oil.)

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Next, heat your Oil over Medium High heat. Add your garlic cloves, this helps to add flavor to the oil and garnish to your serving platter later. Cook each side of the chicken breasts for 4 Minutes. Set the cooked breasts on a plate. DO NOT clean out your skillet, leave the goodness in there 🙂 Add the 1 TBSP of All-Purpose Flour, Lemon Slices, Lemon Juice, Chardonnay and Capers. Mix over heat for about 2-3 Minutes when it starts to bubble, add your Chicken Breasts and continue to heat for 2-3 more Minutes.

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Lastly, plate your meal. I usually use tongs to plate all the chicken and then pour everything in the pan on top.

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You can add a wide variety of side dishes to this meal. You should always pick your sides by what is on sale. I love all the different squash you find everywhere this time of year. When I walked into Trader Joe’s they had Delicata Squash for 99 Cents… DONE & DONE. This is another one that can be completely prepped the day before and refrigerated until you’re ready to cook.

DELICATA SQUASH

INGREDIENTS

  • Delicata Squash (Washed & Dried)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

Delicata Step 1

Pre Heat your oven at 375 Degrees. Then using your Vegetable Mat Slice the Squash horizontally. Using a spoon scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff (technical term). 🙂 Lightly drizzle the EVOO, I used my favorite little Martha Stewart Misto. Then, sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. You can add cheese or stuff with meat. Place them face down in a Pyrex or other Oven Safe dish, cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for 35 Minutes.

Delicata Steps 2-5

It has a buttery corn-like flavor. The peel is soft enough to eat as well.

Delicata Step 6

I threw together a little Simple Salad to keep more Vegetables on the plate than meat 🙂 Organic Baby Greens (Costco has the best prices), Red onion, Avocado, Salt & Pepper, Oil & Balsamic.

Simple Salad

As a recovering Carb-oholic I know my limits. I never buy bread to just have in the house. But for special meals like this I buy EXACTLY how much I need. Since this dinner was just for my husband and I… I got a sandwich size roll for 50 Cents, sliced it and had EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping. This way I can’t “Over Do It” 🙂

Bread EVOO & Balsamic

Lastly, October always brings the new release of my favorite cheap Red Wine to Trader Joe’s… . It’s a blend of different Reds each year the percentages always change but it includes Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. It’s WONDERFUL!

Chariot Gypsy Wine

So there you have it another meal that I hoped to have broken down to make a quick and easy dinner for 2 or 20. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions at all.

Mangia,

-Mrs. Training

Cheesy Lasagna Cupcakes

21 Mar

It’s the first week of Spring and in Northern California its been 80 Degrees and gorgeous outside as we’ll as freezing and raining… So I wasn’t sure which way to go for Meatless Fridays. I made my Vegan Chili yesterday & we’ve been eating that to stay full and warm 🙂 But now it looks like its going to be nice out….? I’m not sure what the weather is doing but I’m ready for a bit of a guilty pleasure… 🙂 Portion control has been my biggest savor in my indulging while on my beach bride diet I mean lifestyle change 🙂 Also, trying I’m to make more “Skinny” Italian dishes so I don’t feel the need to cheat on my new “lifestyle”. I made the Mac & Cheese Cupcakes for Super Bowl which were such a HUGE hit… They still get daily hits on the Blog 🙂 So next Italian favorite in a perfectly portioned cupcake… Lasagna! This is kid friendly, easy, CHEAP and Delish! Also because of the size, these would be great appetizers for a party or Pot Luck. You could easily turn these into a carnivore delight. Add cooked Italian Sausage instead of Mushrooms & Zucchini. Lets get started…

Lasagna Cupcake Recipe

  • 24 Won Ton Wrappers
  • 1 Cup Fast & Easy Marinara Sauce Recipe (You may use a jar, IF you must)
  • 12 Slices of Zucchini
  • 1/2 Cup LIGHT Alfredo Sauce or Pesto Sauce
  • 6 Thinly Slicked Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Italian Cheese Mixture (Or Mozzarella)
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan-Romano Grated Cheese
  • Dried Oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

PRE HEAT Oven to 375 Degrees.

These are the Won Ton Wraps I found at Safeway (On sale for $2.00)

Won Ton Wraps

Slice your Mushrooms VERY thin and sauté over Medium heat with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a couple of minutes.

Mushrooms

Slice your Zucchini thin, but not paper thin… Like, 1/8″ thickness.

Zucchini

Using your MISTO (Because you ALL better have one by now) spray your Cupcake pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Won Ton Wrapper One

You will need 2 Won Ton Wraps per cupcake.

Won Ton Wrapper 2

Add 1 1/2 TBSP of Marinara to the bottom of each wrappers, then place a Zucchini slice on top.

Lasagna Cupcakes Steps 1-2

Then, add 1 TBSP of Alfredo or Pesto Sauce on the Zucchini. Top your Sauce of choice with Sautéed Mushrooms (Or Meat for those who wish).

Lasagna Cupcakes Steps 3-4

Top Mushrooms with a “Healthy” Pinch (One of my favorite measurements) of Italian Cheese Blend. Then, top your Cheese with a TBSP of your Marinara, Alfredo or Pesto Sauce (Whichever you prefer most).

Lasagna Cupcakes Steps 5-6

Top Sauce of choice with Parmesan-Romano Blend and Dried Oregano.

Lasagna Cupcakes Steps 7-8

Place a piece of Aluminum Foil on top of this, don’t tighten and secure around the edges, just lightly set on top. Place on the center rack of your Pre-Heated oven for 15 Minutes. Then, remove foil and continue to bake for 5 Minutes.

Lasagna Cupcakes Baked

This is the rough part, because now they’ve filled your house with a yummy smell. But, you need to let them cool for about 10-15 Minutes… 😦

Lasagna Cupcakes Plated

This is what the wonderful goodness looks like inside…

Lasagna Cupcakes Inside

So easy, so quick and lets you get some DELISH in without all the guilt. I make a big green salad or steam a bunch of veggies as my main dish and enjoy one or two of these. Makes you feel naughty, but you still fit in your Skinny Jeans 🙂

We’ve only got one more Meatless Friday after this. It’s Good Friday and I know many of you will be hosting Easter at your house, so you don’t want to spend a lot of time or have a mess Friday night… I’ll have a great recipe for that. Don’t you worry!

Here are the other Meatless Friday Recipes for you to try if you need other options:

Colcannon Potato Cakes Recipe

Better Than Carmela’s Baked Ziti Recipe 

Meatless & Tasty Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Easy Thai Yellow Curry Recipe

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

ENJOY MY TRAINEES!!!

Major shout out to CANADA!!! Canadian’s you were all showing Mrs. Training the most love & traffic this last week. Even more than the USA! I apologize for talking about our good weather this week!  🙂 And to EVERYONE who stopped by, Thank you and I hope you enjoyed!

Happy Spring!

-GMP

Colcannon Potato Cakes

15 Mar

Top O’ Tha Mornin’ To Ya!

I’m a BIG St. Patrick’s Day fan… I lived in Chicago for two years and my holiday spirit and liver were trained to perfection. I’m not even sure that Ireland does St. Patty’s like Chicago does… The River is dyed GREEN! People fly from all over the world to be in Chicago for St. Patty’s… That is no exaggeration… Bars OPEN at 6 AM that morning before the Parades start and don’t close until 4 AM the next day… The first time I did it, I felt like I should’ve gotten a T-Shirt at the very least. You get one after a Marathon, why not one for you AND your liver surviving 22 Hours of Green Beer?! This is a picture of the 1st year. This is at 10 AM…

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I can’t quite pull the 22 Hour celebration anymore…(God only knows how much I wish I could :() But I can celebrate in a whole new way… Mixing in some Irish Specialties. Since traditional Irish food is usually “Meat & Potatoes” I have to get a little creative since I don’t eat corned beef or fish and chips… I thought this would tie in perfectly with my Meatless Fridays during Lent. Which makes me wonder, since Ireland has so many Catholics, what do they eat on their Meatless Fridays??? Hmmmm… Well, maybe they will start making this dish, because it is SOOOOOO GOOD! I love carbs, we all know this by now, it’s a simple question. But what about fried potatoes?! YES PLEASE!!!! Latkes, Potato Pancakes, Fries, Tots, Oh My! So why not Colcannon Potato Pancakes? 🙂 First I will show you how to make just the Colcannon if you’d like to skip the breading and frying part 🙂

COLCANNON POTATOES RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 LBS Small Golden Potatoes (I leave the skins on you don’t have too)
  • 2 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/4 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cup Milk (You can use anything from NON Fat to Whipping Cream)
  • 6 Cups Coarsely Chopped Cabbage
  • 1 Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onion
  • 1 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Clean potatoes, remove the skin if you prefer too. If you use small Gold potatoes there is no need, the skins are so thin that once they’re boiled the skin is as soft as the potato itself. In a Large pot place all potatoes at the bottom and fill with cold water so that the potatoes are covered with water 2 inches above them.  Add 2 TBSP of Salt to the water for boiling. Bring to a boil and let potatoes boil for 15-20 Minutes (Until you can stick a fork into the center). Pour water and potatoes into a strainer. Let them stay there until later.

Colcannon Steps 1-2

In the same Pot, over Medium-High heat add butter and let it completely melt before you add in the Cabbage.

Colcannon Steps 3-4

Stir Cabbage into melted butter, let it cook for 5 Minutes. Then, add Green Onion and cook for another minute.

Colcannon Steps 5-6

Pour in your Milk, then your cooked Potatoes. Using a butter knife begin to mash the Potatoes.

Colcannon Steps 7-8

Continue to mash by hand or with your electric mixer (the Kitchen Aid is my personal favorite). Then, serve as a side to any meal of choice with a dollop of Butter (if you’re not worried about the calories 🙂 LUCKY!)

Colcannon Steps 9-10

COLCANNON POTATO CAKE OR PANCAKES RECIPE (This made 8 Cakes)

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • 2 Cups Colcannon Potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs & Extra for Outsides
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • Kosher Salt

INSTRUCTIONS

In a Medium bowl add Colcannon, Egg, Flour and 1/4 Cup of Breadcrumbs. Mix throughly, add Cracked Pepper to your taste.

Colcannon Steps 11-12

Using your hands, form the mixture into a 1/4 Inch thick patty and dip into your additional Breadcrumbs.

In a Medium or Large Skillet over Medium heat, add Vegetable Oil. Cook your Cakes for 3-5 Minutes on each side (Time depends on your stove & personal preference to crispiness). Lightly sprinkle with Kosher Salt.

Colcannon Steps 13-14

Then, remember this is a St. Patty’s Vegetarian meal, so add a nice big Green Salad, Artichoke, Asparagus or other GREEN Vegetable to help even out the nutrition of this dinner. And here you go…

Colcannon Finale

Here is a sneak peak inside…

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Soooo delish! So now you can still enjoy your Green Beers, but now you have something to help soak up those Irish Car Bombs and also help nurse your hangover 🙂 I will be making some Guinness Brownies tomorrow and posting the recipe. If you need more Meatless Friday recipes please try my past weeks Posts:

Mushroom Risotto Feast

Easy Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

Meatless & Tasty Lettuce Wraps

Fast & Easy Marinara Sauce

Better Than Carmela’s Baked Ziti

Remember to head over to Target, Michael’s, Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Store, Walmart and other discount stores for your VERY Cheap St. Patrick’s Day T-Shirts, Green Wigs, Socks, Hats, Decorations & More!

Thank you for stopping by Mrs. Training!
XO

-GMP

Veggie Chili & Cornbread Waffles

29 Jan

Yes, that is right, Chili and Cornbread Waffles! I LOVE chili in the winter, unlike soup, you aren’t hungry an hour later. Since the Chili is Vegan, it is low-fat and low calories… The Waffles, however, are more of a treat 🙂 I make a Big Ol’ Pot (that’s an official measurement term) of this each time and feast on it for days. It also freezes perfectly. I also like that when I want to indulge with Chili Cheese Fries, I don’t feel as bad when using this… Plus, it’s WAY tastier than anything you’ll ever buy in a jar. Make this easy and filling meal for the family during the week, or to fill the guys during Super Bowl. Everyone will love it!

Vegan Chili

  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • 4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup of Diced Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup of Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Diced Zucchini
  • 1 Cup of Diced Roma Tomatoes
  • 32 Oz of Vegetable Broth
  • 15 Oz Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 7 Oz of Fire Roasted Green Chilies
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Corn Kernels (canned, frozen or fresh)
  • 15 Oz Can Black Beans Rinsed
  • 15 Oz Can Red Kidney Beans Rinsed
  • 15 Oz Can White Beans Rinsed
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Granulated Garlic

In a Large Pot, over Medium heat add Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add Onions, Red & Green Bell Peppers, Garlic stir for 5 Minutes or until Onion becomes transparent.

Chili 1-4

Stir in Zucchini and cook for another 5 Minutes. Add Tomatoes, Vegetable Broth, Tomato Sauce, Green Chilies and Corn stirring for another 5 Minutes.

Chili 5-8

Add Black Beans, Kidney Beans, White Bean, Chili Powder, Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Cumin and Garlic. Bring to a light boil, cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 35 Minutes.

Cornbread Waffles (Not Vegan)

  • 2 – 15 Oz Boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup of Milk
  • 7 Oz Fire Roasted Green Chilies
  • 1 Cup of Corn Kernels
  • 1 Cup Finely Shredded Cheddar
  • 2 TBSP Finely Chopped Jalapeño (You can leave out for the kiddos)

In a Medium bowl mix the Cornbread Mixes, Eggs and Milk. Then, add Green Chilies, Corn, Cheese and Jalapeño. Mix thoroughly.

Cornbread 1-4

Drop onto your Pre-Heated Waffle Iron and cook until browned.

Cornbread 5-6

Serve under or next to your Chili or other favorite soup. You can also cook these for 12 Minutes at 400 Degrees in a muffin pan if you don’t have a Waffle Iron.

Chili Bowl 1-2

Add your favorite toppings, such as Avocado, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Chopped White & Green Onions

Toppings

And the Grand Finale…

Chili Bowl

Mangia!

-Mrs. Training

Minestrone My Way

10 Jan

I don’t know about you… But I’ve been COLD lately. Like the kind of cold where the heater is on you take a hot shower, bundle up with UGGs on and you’re still cold! I also don’t like cooking when I’m this cold… It does after all require getting off the couch without my blankets. 🙂 But it’s worth it, because really nothing trumps homemade soup on a cold day. I’m going to give you a quick, cheap and delicious dinner.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 1 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • 2 Celery Stalks Sliced
  • 2 Medium Carrots Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 Large Potato Peeled and Diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Green Beans (About 1″ Pieces)
  • 1 Zucchini Sliced
  • 64 Oz Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 TBSP Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 TBSP Kosher Salt (I get all canned items ‘No Salt Added’)
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 28 Oz Can of Diced Tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 15 Oz Can Kidney Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
  • 15 Oz Can Cannellini Beans (Drained and Rinsed)
  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach or Kale
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

Optional Toppings: Grated Parmesan Cheese, Crushed Red Chili Flakes, Finely Chopped Basil, Croutons

Instructions

In a large pot, over medium heat, add Olive Oil and Onions. Stir until Onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add Garlic, Celery, Carrots and Potato and stir for another 5 minutes. Add green beans and zucchini, stir vegetables for a few minutes. Pour in broth and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add Italian Seasonings, Bay Leaf, Kosher Salt, Cracked Pepper to your taste. Then, add Diced Tomatoes with juice, Kidney Beans, Cannellini Beans and Spinach or Kale. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese and serve.

Minestrone

* If you like pasta in your Minestrone, cook it and add separately to your soup bowl. If you add to the pot it usually falls apart.

You should pair with Garlic Bread, Biscuits, Sliced Baguette or other warm carb of choice.

Mangia!

-GMP

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