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This week I want to share some winning dinners I've made in the last month or so: two chicken and one meat. (If you're not a meat eater, you could try subbing tempeh, mushrooms, or tofu -- or just leave the meat substitute out completely.) All three are on our make-again list and appear on my Recipes: Tried and Liked board over at Pinterest. These were weekday dinners for me because they could be made in under an hour.
Be sure to check out my notes so you see where I strayed off the recipes.
King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole: This was really good and easy to put together. I made the quinoa in my rice cooker, so I didn't have to watch it. The recipe calls for cooked chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, but I used leftovers from a chicken I roasted earlier in the week. I don't like the taste of low-fat cheese, and I don't think it melts right, so we used white, full-fat Cheddar. Finally, I didn't bother with step 1, which called for toasting the quinoa. I didn't see the point because it was going to be layered in the casserole, which would soften it back up. I thought the 8x8 pan was really full (probably because I had extra chicken), so next time I'm going use a 9x9 pan.
Collard Greens Saute with Chicken and White Beans: This cooked up in no time, and I bet it would be good with any sturdy greens, so if you prefer kale or chard, go for it! You may notice a trend here--again, although the recipe called for cooked chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, I used the leftovers from a roasted chicken I made at home. Apparently this dish was developed in conjunction with a shrimp recipe, so I had to make a couple of other changes. I used canned white beans, and instead of leftover cooking liquid, I used low-sodium chicken broth. I know people commonly use sugar when they cook collards, but I left it out and we didn't miss it. I made one change to the directions: At the end, I added the chicken mixture to the pan with the collards and heated it all through before sprinkling with the bacon.
Italian Slab Pie: Okay, so I had never heard of a slab pie before, but sausage & puff pastry? Yeah, I was giving this a try. The recipe calls for jarred marinara sauce, but I used salt-free tomato sauce and added my own seasonings (basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and whatever else caught my eye). I couldn't find fresh basil at the store (grrrr) so I just sprinkled on dried. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. (I know! Don't fall over in a faint!) This was fabulous, and I will be making it again. I can see changing around the ground meat and flavorings for all kinds of different dinners: Lamb, Greek seasonings, and feta? Pork, Southwestern flavors, and queso? I don't know, I have to think on this. The only thing I would do differently next time is to blot the sausage really well to eliminate the extra grease/fat. The photo for this is my own -- doesn't it look beautiful?
Hope one these sounds good to you! And if you have interesting ways to use up leftover roast chicken, be sure to let me know.