Category Archives: Lunches

Super Easy and Quite Healthy Crock Pot Lasagna

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The last time I was trying to lose weight, the one dinner that I missed the most was Lasagna. I was lucky to find, and adapt, this incredibly, tasty AND healthy version that is quick to put together. You can simply leave the lasagna to cook in your crock pot while you do other things around the house. It makes a great dinner, and as with all Lasagna recipes… it makes an even better lunch!

Quick and easy slow cooker lasagna that can be good to go in just a few minutes

Quick and easy slow cooker lasagna that can be good to go in just a few minutes

Crock Pot Lasagna
(6 servings)

1 Onion, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 pound Lean Ground Beef

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 1/2 tsp.  Italian Seasoning, dried

1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

28 oz Crushed Tomatoes , canned

15 oz  Tomato Sauce, canned

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1 cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese

1 package Frozen Spinach, chopped

1 1/2 cups Part-Skim Mozzarella, shredded

6 Lasagna Noodles, no-cook variety

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

OPTIONAL: 1 cup Zucchini, shredded & 1 cup Fresh Mushrooms, diced

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1. Brown ground beef, onions and garlic with seasonings on stove in pot large enough to accommodate all the sauce ingredients.
To save time on this step I just use 3-4 cups of my usual spaghetti sauce from the freezer.

2. Once the meat is cooked, add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (and optional vegetables). Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Mix the thoroughly drained spinach with ricotta and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella in a bowl.

4. Snap your lasagna noodles in half (depending on the size of your crock pot) using the edge of your counter, as shown.

5. Place 1/3 of the meat mixture in the bottom of your crock pot. Then layer 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top. Lay 4 lasagna noodles on the cheese mixture, and repeat all layers one more time.

6. Place the crock pot cover on top, and turn your crock pot on low for 4 to 6 hours.

7. Just prior to serving, turn off your crock pot. Mix 1/2 cup parmesan with 1/2 cup mozzarella, and add to your Lasagna as topping, and let melt for 10 minutes.

What is the secret ingredient in favourite Lasagna recipe?
Please feel free to share your tips in the Comments section below.

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Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

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So I took the plunged and picked up some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls during my weekly grocery excursion. And today I decided was the day to finally make an attempt at one of Pinterest’s most Pinned recipes using the crescent rolls.

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

As I love all things Mexican, it seemed a
natural choice to create a Mexi-Chicken stuffing.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

(makes 8 rolls)

1 tube Grands Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 Chicken Breast, uncooked

½ cup Spicy Clamato Juice (or Tomato Juice)

2 tbsp. Spicy Salsa

¾ cup Light Mayo

1/3 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, fine-grated

1/8 cup Jalapeno Peppers, minced
Taco Seasoning

Salt & Pepper

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  1. Slice your chicken breast into strips.
  2. Cook the chicken slices in non-stick frying pan (no oil) for 3 minutes each side. Sprinkle ½ tsp. of each – taco seasoning, salt and pepper over the slices.
  3. When flipping the chicken, add the salsa and juice to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from pan, and dice it into very small bite-sized pieces, and let cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  6. Mix together mayo, cheese, jalapenos, and cooled chicken pieces in a bowl, add a bit of the cooked salsa/tomato liquid for flavour, about 1 tbsp will do the trick.
  7. Open and unwrap your crescent rolls. Cut each triangle length-wise to form two, long triangles.
  8. Place one teaspoon of your chicken mixture on the wider end of each triangle. I like to use my “Martha” gelato scoop for this step.
  9. Roll up each triangle from wide to narrow end, and place on a cookie sheet with Silpat or sprayed with Pam cooking spray. I sprinkled my crescent rolls with poppy seeds for decoration.
  10. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. And enjoy!

This made for a very impressive lunch for hubby and I yesterday. I’ll definitely be making these again. Finally I understand what all the fuss was about on Pinterest in regards to these stuffed crescent rolls.

What do you use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for?
Please feel free to share your Comments below.

Shredded Broccoli Salad

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I don’t remember what inspired me to make this salad a few years ago, but it’s one of my favourite ways to eat broccoli. Not only can you buy broccoli slaw pre-made like I did, but you can also use your broccoli stalks and shred them yourself to create this salad. We love this as a side to just about any meal!

A quick and easy new salad to try that is super healthy

A quick and easy new salad to try that is super healthy

Broccoli Salad
(makes 2 servings)

1 cup Broccoli Slaw

1/2 cup Shredded Carrot

1/8 cup Almond Slivers

1/8 cup Dried Berries

1/8 cup Oil & Vinegar Dressing
(like Kraft Calorie-Wise Balsamic Vinaigrette)

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Mix all ingredients together and toss in the vinaigrette. Serve chilled.

Keeps great for 2nd day servings!

Do you use Broccoli Slaw?
What is your favourite recipe?

Creamy Flank Steak Stoup: When Supper Transforms and Becomes Lunch

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One of my newly found, favourite recipes from last summer was Miles Thatcher’s Guinness & Honey Marinated Hanger Steak (I use flank steak) from the June 2012 issue of Flavours Magazine. I’ve made this recipe about 4 or 5 times since discovering it’s yumminess, and usually one flank steak is way more than enough for the two of us. And a great accompaniment to this recipe are my Spicy Marinated Mushrooms.

Guinness Beer

BUT… neither my husband nor I are big fans of Guinness‘ darkness… Nothing against the brand, but I just don’t drink beer. Initially I was leery of trying this recipe because I was worried that the strong taste of this Stout would be pronounced in the final result. But it’s not, this is an incredible BBQ recipe that you will want to add to your repertoire – forever.

Here’s a great tip… when I want to make this flank steak, I try not to waste the leftover 3/4’s of the can of beer… so I actually make a quadruple batch of the marinade, and freeze the extra three portions for later use.

So when you make this flank steak recipe, and if you have leftovers that you don’t want to use for sandwiches, fajitas, steak & eggs breakfasts or… whatever, please consider giving my soup a try for lunch the next day.

Just a lil' something I threw together

Just a lil’ something I threw together that was a big hit

Originally, I wasn’t going to blog about this soup because I’ve been including a lot of soup recipes lately. Plus, I’ve been making these soups up off the top of my head. It’s been very cold here in Winnipeg this past week, so soup has, of course, been top of mind.

After grocery shopping and picking up some fresh mushrooms and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup to have for an easy (i.e. discrete and not blogged about) lunch I found myself inspired to try yet another LunchFor1 soup recipe.

I had also picked up a couple Tetra Paks of Beef Broth because my freezer’s stash of broth was getting low, and it’s always a good idea to have some broth either in the cupboard, in the fridge, or in the freezer at all times for quick soups, sauces and stews.

So it was with these ingredients on hand that inspiration struck! Plus I had to do something with the leftover flank steak… and thankfully it all worked out – and we loved it!

Creamy Flank Steak Stoup

(Stoup is a word I first heard used by Rachael Ray, it’s Stew+Soup)

Leftover BBQ Flank Steak, diced

1L Campbell’s Beef Broth

1 Ready to Serve Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

20 Baby Carrots, chopped

3 Celery Stalks, chopped

3 cloves Fresh Garlic

1/4 Onion, diced

1/4 cup Pot Barley

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

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1. Heat oil in large pot.

2. Add vegetables, and saute for 5 minutes.

3. Add diced beef and beef broth, and bring your soup to a boil.

4. Add uncooked barley to the pot, and turn down your stove to Medium-High. Cook for 30 minutes.

5. Stir in cream of mushroom soup just prior to serving, and warm the soup through for 5 minutes. NOTE: Overcooking this step may cause your soup to “break” or separated, so be careful.

6. This recipe made 4 hearty servings, with a side dish. Try my Chevre Grilled Cheese Sandwich or my Feta Dip and crackers as an accompaniment – those posts will follow later this week.

Soul warming, hearty goodness made quick and easy for a yummy supper or lunch.

Soul warming, hearty goodness made quick and easy for a yummy supper or lunch.

What recipe do YOU make for supper one night, and then turn around the next day and create an amazing lunch from?
I’d love to hear about it in the Comments section below.

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms – A Great Holiday Appetizers

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At this time of year it’s a great idea to have a few last-minute appetizers to pull out of your fridge to wow unexpected guests. These marinated mushrooms are super easy to make, and hold well for 3 to 5 days in the fridge, or can try canning them for a longer-lasting product.

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Tender, spicy mushrooms for the fungi-fan in your family

Spicy Marinated Mushrooms

1/2 bag White Button Mushrooms, small
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce, Low-Sodium
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more)

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1. Boil a large pot of salted water.

2. Place the mushrooms whole into the boiling water for 7 minutes.
I do not recommend washing your mushrooms until just before you are going to cook them – a light washing is fine. I scrub mine 4 at a time in my hands under running water.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sririacha.

3. Once the mushrooms are done boiling, drain them, and place them into a large resealable container.

4. Pour the liquid over the mushrooms, stir together, and cover with the lid.

5. Let your container sit on your kitchen counter to cool.
Allow the mushrooms to begin their marinading process at room temperature for a couple of hours.

6. Then you can refrigerate your mushrooms, and use as needed.

7. Create an Antipasto Platter by adding Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic. Serve the mushrooms with on a platter with room-temperature cheeses, deli meats and crackers or baguette.

TIP: The spicy taste is great!!! For a more intense flavour, pull the mushroom stems out of the caps before boiling which will allow the marinade to permeate into the mushroom from the inside.

These little, succulent snacks go well with any appetizer spread

These little, succulent snacks will go well with any appetizer spread you can dream up this Holiday season

Other Uses…

* Diced the marinated mushrooms up and use as a condiment on burgers or beef dip sandwiches.
* Mince them up to use as a mushroom tapenade on french bread.
* Pop off the stems, and pipe in some soft cheese like Boursin for a fancier appetizer.
* They’d be a great accompaniment to any steak.
* Excellent choice for use in any salad, especially to dress up a Caesar salad with fresh tomatoes.

What do YOU like to have with these mushrooms?
Please feel free to share your uses below in the Comments section.

Perogies – Ukrainian Cure for the Common Cold

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Today, my husband, Jeff is home sick again – so it’s LunchFor2! When lunch rolled around, he again requested a bowl of soup… URGH! I thought that I’d whip out a little of my Russian magic, and try a “perogie-cure” on him. Hopefully this will do the trick to get him back to work tomorrow!

Using ready-made perogies allows you to create a quick lunch in about 10 minutes

Using ready-made perogies allows you to create a quick lunch in about 10 minutes

There’s nothing really special about heating up pre-made perogies. Ann’s Perogey Palace here in Winnipeg are one of our favourite brands. And our preferred flavour is Potato and Cheddar Cheese. It’s a bonus that I can easily pick these up fresh at my local, independent grocery store.

Check back tomorrow to find out if my Ukrainian cure for the common cold worked!

Check back tomorrow to find out if my Ukrainian cure worked!

As you can see, buying a dozen perogies can get pricey at $7 each. However after attempting to make perogies from scratch last year… I know first-hand that the trick is to get the dough just right. And I am SOOOO not a great dough-maker. It’s one of my Bucket List items to perfect in the kitchen!

To make my version of super easy perogies, place your 2 dozen perogies in a large pot of boiling, salted water, and cook them until they float.

While simultaneously using a small fry-pan to cook 3/4 of an Onion (diced) in 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until translucent.

I then threw in 3 – 4 tablespoons of Butter in the fry pan to melt with my the onions.

For a quicker finish to lunch, I added a small handful (1/3 cup) of good-quality Bacon Bits (Costco’s Kirkland brand are my favourite) to the fry pan and tossed that around for a minute.

Strain the perogies out of the pot into a casserole dish. Again I love my Coring Ware dish with lid as it allows me to quickly put my leftovers away in the fridge.

Top the perogies with your onion/bacon/butter mixture, and serve with a dollop of Sour Cream, and some fresh-ground pepper.

You can almost taste the goodness if you get really close to the screen.

You can almost taste the goodness if you get really close to the screen.

Not the healthiest lunch… but definitely a great comfort food on a super cold day (-32*C with the wind chill here) when someone in your household is sick.

PS – There seem to be many different spellings for the word perogy/perogie… these are mine, and Ann uses Perogey. This food by any other name… still tastes just as great! 😉

Everyone has a favourite perogy, and way to prepare it – What’s Yours?
Please feel free to share it in the Comments section below.

Manitoba-Made Beef Short Ribs

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Click the logo for more great recipes featuring Manitoba made product

Last week I was cruising through my local butcher, and saw some packages of beef short ribs. I’d learned previously that my Food Fare (Portage and Mount Royal) only carries Manitoba Beef, so I knew I was getting a great quality product.

You might ask why I would bother to make Short Ribs for lunch… well I didn’t… I made them for dinner the night before. And wow were the leftovers amazing! So DO make extras when you try this recipe, because, like Lasagna, they are even better the next day!

Here’s a really, simple recipe that you can try (especially if you’re living in Manitoba) as it features Bon Vivant! Korean BBQ Sauce – a BIG favourite in our home. I love all of their products, but this one is my #1 choice.

Just five ingredients needed

Just six ingredients needed

By the way, I think that this recipe would also make a

n awesome appetizer for a small party.

Falling off the bone short rib goodness

Falling off the bone short rib goodness

What you will need…

Peanut Oil

10 Beef Short Ribs

1 Large Onion, rough chopped

4 cloves Garlic, rough chopped

1 cup Korean BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup Orange Juice

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of Peanut Oil on High in a deep, Dutch Oven, kind of pot.
I prefer to use Peanut Oil for searing as it has a higher smoke point than most cooking oils. But if you’re allergic to nuts, then pick one of these other choices, or use whatever you have on hand.

2. Pat your short ribs dry (on both sides) with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture otherwise it will hamper your ability to get a good sear on the meat.

I learned that trick from watching Julie & Julia!

3. Carefully place each rib into your hot oil, but do not crowd the pan.
I only put 5 ribs in at a time.

4. Sear the bottom side of the rib for 1 minute, then flip and sear the other side for a minute.
It’s okay to cover the pan while searing to avoid oil spatters.

5. Remove the seared ribs to a clean plate, and repeat for remaining ribs until all the ribs have been seared off.

Sear the ribs in smaller batches

Sear the ribs in small batches

6. For the next step, turn down your stove to medium high, and place your chopped onion and garlic into the oil to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.

You should have a nice base of onions to lay the ribs upon

You should have a nice base of onions to lay the ribs upon

7. Pour in a cup of your favourite BBQ sauce, and 1/2 cup of orange juice.

You could even add bell peppers to this or any other vegetable to make it more stew-like

You could even add bell peppers to this or any other vegetable to make it more stew-like

8. Place the ribs on top of the onions so that they sit-up about halfway out of the braising liquid.

9. Cover the pot, and turn down the heat to Medium-Low. Cook at a light bubble for 2 hours.

NOTE: Be careful not to over-cook the ribs though… I went a bit beyond the 2 hours, and they were REALLY falling off the bone.

10. Serve with my Oven-Baked Basmati Rice recipe. I also like to mix my veggies right in to the rice before I serve it.

Don't these just make your mouth water?

Don’t these just make your mouth water?

This recipe made 3 portions.

Don’t forget to save a bowl of this yummy goodness for your LunchFor1 the next day. You can thank me tomorrow!

UPDATE: January 6, 2013This recipe is just so tasty that we wanted to make it again already using the homemade sauce.

UPDATE: January 6, 2013
This recipe is just so tasty that we wanted to make it again already using the homemade sauce.

This was my first time cooking Short Ribs,
but I’m keen to know how you cook your Short Ribs.

Please feel free to leave your recipe details in the Comments section.