I realized last week that I was in a cooking rut. I was turning to my two or three quick-dinner standards almost every night, and I was ready for a change! Nathan would never complain- I'm pretty sure I could make spaghetti every night and he would be happy. But, I was ready for something new, so I went to allrecipes.com and found some things to try. Here are some favorites so far.
Ham and Potato Soup
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 Tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the bouillon, salt and pepper. (*I used 3 or 4 cups of chicken stock instead of the water and bouillon.)
2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
*The only other change I made to this recipe was to saute the chopped onion in a little butter before adding them to the soup. Nathan isn't a big fan of onions, and this seems to make them less strong.
Spinach and Sausage Quiche
1 pie crust
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 pound sausage, browned (I used maple flavored)
3 cups of fresh spinach, finely chopped
1. Prepare pie crust and place in pan (do not poke holes in the bottom). Bake at 450 for ten minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, cheese, pepper, sausage and spinach.
3. Remove pie crust from oven and fill with egg mixture. Cover edge of pie crust with foil to prevent burning. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until eggs are set.
I served this for dinner with cooked carrots and french bread (I cut slices of french bread, buttered one side and toasted them directly on the oven rack while the quiche was baking). We had leftovers, so for breakfast I warmed it in the oven and served it with fresh fruit. It works well for either breakfast or dinner.
This is a favorite dinner in our house because it is quick, simple, and very yummy!
4 chicken breasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
4 cups rice
1. Place four thawed chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Bake at 400 near the top rack for 10 minutes, flip over and bake for 10 more minutes.
2. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from oven and pour spaghetti sauce over chicken (I usually add basil, oregano and pepper to the sauce). Sprinkle cheese over the top.
3. Return to oven for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and spaghetti sauce is bubbly.
4. Serve chicken over white rice. I make ours in a rice cooker- we received it as a wedding gift and love it!