Last week went so much smoother with my meal plans and freezer meals. This will be week 2 using the freezer meals I prepared over the Summer. Here is what’s on tap:
Don’t let this week’s meal plan fool you. It may appear that I have my act together after the arrival of baby #5 just three weeks ago. However, this week is the start of using my freezer meals (see the post on how I stocked my freezer here). My moms have left, and my husband will be gone 5 out of the 7 days this week. Freezer meals to the rescue! Here’s what’s on tap for this week:
Monday, September 17
Tuesday, September 18
Wednesday, September 19
Thursday, September 20
Leftovers with Mandarin Chicken Kale Salad
Friday, September 21
Saturday, September 22
Sunday, September 23
Have a most delicious week!
I made this salad for dinner this week, fully intending that my husband and I would eat fifty percent of it. Boy was I wrong! The kids devoured this salad before I got much of a helping. I will most definitely be doubling the recipe next time. It went over so well that my two school-age kiddos asked for me to put it in a wrap for their school lunch the next day. I always feel like such a champion in the kitchen when my kids approve of a new recipe, not to mention a SALAD recipe. I hope you and your next dinner guests enjoy this as much as we did.
Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad
The BEST recipe for barbecue chicken salad that the whole family will love.
- 6 Cups Romaine Lettuce chopped
- 1 Cup Rotisserie Chicken (see notes)
- 2 Tbsp Barbecue Sauce Kraft Original
- 1 Cup Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1 Cup Black Beans rinsed, drained
- 1 Cup Corn
- 1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1/2 Cup Tortilla Strips Fresh Gourmet
- 2 Tbsp Green Onions sliced
Homemade Ranch Dressing
- 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise full fat
- 1 Cup Plain Milk Kefir (or Buttermilk)
- 3 Tbsp Dry Ranch Dressing Mix Hidden Valley
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except for tortilla strips.
In a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients. Shake until well combined.
Use a pair of tongs to mix in the Ranch dressing. Top with tortilla strips.
Any type of cooked chicken will work in this recipe. I always have frozen rotisserie chicken on hand, so that is what I use. Also, to ensure this recipe is gluten-free, make certain you are using gluten-free chicken, dressings and tortilla strips. The brands I have recommended are all gluten-free. You can find the BBQ sauce and tortilla strips linked below in the Featured Products. Boston Market, Costco or Sam's Club all carry gluten-free rotisserie chickens. I also buy my dry Ranch Dressing mix at Costco.
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A few months ago, I was trying to think of a new menu item for Taco Tuesday when a childhood memory of one of my favorite Mexican joints in Sheridan, Wyoming popped into my mind. When I was a kid, I used to love eating at a place called, “Pablos.” I’m sure it was anything BUT authentic, and, as is always the case in small towns, it went out of business a long time ago. Regardless, I always ordered the same thing: Macho Nachos. It was a massive platter of all the good stuff. I re-created it for my family a few times using Mel’s Pressure Cooker Refried Beans and it is a huge hit. My eight-year-old, soccer-playing, totally active, off-the-growth-chart son is especially happy when he sees this on the table! It’s SUPER filling, easy, and fast to make. I like to roast a pan of veggies to go with it to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!
A super easy meal for Taco Tuesday--it's delicious AND pretty nutritious!
- 6 Cups Tortilla Chips
- 2 1/2 Cups Mel’s Pressure Cooker Refried Beans
- 1 1/2 Cups Rotisserie Chicken shredded
- 1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 Cups Tomatoes chopped
- 1 Cup Lettuce shredded
- 1 Cup Mashed Avocado
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 Cup Green Onions sliced
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
On a large sheet pan, spread tortilla chips in an even layer.
Heat the beans and chicken until warmed through. Drizzle the beans over the chips and sprinkle the chicken and cheddar cheese on top.
Place the pan in the oven and broil on low just until the cheese melts.
Remove from oven and top with tomatoes, lettuce, dollops of avocado and Greek yogurt. Garnish with Green onions and Cilantro.
Serve with roasted vegetables to make a complete meal. I always have a steady supply of Rotisserie Chicken and Mel’s Pressure Cooker Refried beans in the freezer, so that makes this dish a total cinch. You can read more how I do the chicken here. And Mel has a great tutorial for freezing beans on her website as well here.
When I served this colorful salad for dinner last night, my 3-year-old exclaimed, “It’s a Wainbow Salad!” That it is. And it tastes just as good as it looks. This salad has everything—sweet, savory, chewy and crunchy. With fruits and vegetables, the best nutritional guideline is to eat all the colors of the rainbow. This salad has you covered. You can leave the chicken out and serve it as a lighter side-salad, or keep it in and make it a main dish. Enjoy!
Mandarin Chicken Kale Salad
- 6 Cups loosely packed Kale
- 2 Cups Romaine Lettuce
- 1 1/2 Cups Carrot Ribbons (See Notes)
- 3/4 Cup Red Bell Peppers chopped
- 1/4 Cup Green Onions sliced small
- 10.5 ounce can Mandarin Oranges drained
- 1/2 Cup Chow Mein Noodles (Omit for gluten-free option)
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Almonds sliced
- 1 Cup Rotisserie Chicken shredded
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (See Notes)
- 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger zested
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce* (See notes)
- 1 clove Garlic finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
Combine all dressing ingredients into a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
In a large mixing bowl, massage 2 tablespoons of dressing into the kale. Use your hands to get the best result. This helps take the bitter flavor out of the kale. Let it sit to marinate while you prepare remaining ingredients.
Toss kale with the romaine lettuce to coat, and add remaining salad ingredients.
Drizzle with more dressing as desired.
Makes 8 side servings or 2 main dish servings.
To make the Carrot Ribbons, simply lay a large carrot flat on a cutting board. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel the carrot from top to bottom. Keep peeling until the carrot is too thin to continue. Also, you should know that I am a wimp when it comes to spicy food. The 1/2 teaspoon of Sriracha is just enough to add flavor to the dressing. You can use more if you like the heat. Remember to use Bragg Liquid Aminos as a soy sauce substitute and to omit the chow mein noodles for gluten-free needs.
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Light and Creamy Potato Salad
- 8 Cups Potatoes cubed
- 2 Cups Celery chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (1 1/2 Cups), chopped small*
- 3/4 Cup Dill Pickles chopped small
- 1/2 Cup Carrots chopped small
- 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise Regular Fat
- 1/3 Cup Green Onion chopped fine
- 3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Boil potatoes until the cubes are soft yet still hold their shape. Strain and then pour potatoes into a large serving bowl. Put it in the fridge or freezer to chill while preparing remaining ingredients.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Add remaining vegetables to potatoes. Pour dressing over top and mix until well-coated.
Chill the potato salad in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours before serving so the flavors can blend.
"Cubed" or "chopped" versus "chopped small" in this recipe is specified by the size of blade I used in my vegetable chopper. The larger blade was for the potatoes and celery and the smaller blade was for everything else. I cut my food prep time in half (pun fully intended...) by using my beloved Vidalia Chop Wizard. Seriously. I can't survive in the kitchen without it. More details below:
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