Category: Main Dishes

Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

I promise, we’ll get to the chicken pot pie, but first I have to share a great customer service story.  I blogged about my Built NY lunch bag right after I got it for Christmas in 2010.  Since then, I have used it almost every weekday.  It’s carried breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a few times in grad school, all three!)  It has ridden on trains, buses, and planes.  There have been countless spills, and each time, it’s come out of the washing machine completely clean.

I was a little bummed when the strap broke last week, but to be fair,the bag was (over) stuffed with a container of overnight oats, a container of chicken pot pie, a piece of fruit, and an ice pack.  I emailed the company, thinking ‘it can never hurt to ask.’  They got back to me quickly, and said they’d check for a strap in the warehouse.  When they found one, they immediately shipped it to me, free of charge.  The bag is back in action!

builtny lunchbag


Now, onto the main dish.  I was inspired by this chicken pot pie recipe from Eating Well, which features a biscuit topping.  Like most aspects of life, I went ahead and made things a little more complicated.  Note that this is NOT a weeknight dish.  I had boiled the chicken the day before, and it still took well over an hour to prepare from start to finish.  Then I had to let it cool before I could eat it.

This is a great pot pie recipe though, and the leftovers were incredible.  The filling was rich, and the biscuits were tender.  You could easily adapt this further to whatever vegetables you have on hand, and you could expand the recipe to feed a larger crowd.




Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

1 T + 2 t canola oil, divided
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped carrot
1 (10 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
2 c. vegetable broth
2 T cornstarch
1 c. frozen broccoli, thawed
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, boiled, and shredded
1/4 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t thyme
1 T cold butter
3/4 c. nonfat buttermilk

Heat 2 t canola oil in a large frying pan.  Add onion, celery, and carrots, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to brown. Add mushrooms, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is evaporated.  Add 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Mix cornstarch into remaining vegetable broth, and add to pan.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.  Add broccoli and chicken and stir well.  Add yogurt, stir well, and remove from heat.  Pour filling into a 2 qt baking dish.

To prepare biscuits, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, and thyme.  Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter.  Add buttermilk and 1 T oil, and stir just until moistened.  Place large spoonfuls of biscuit dough on top of the filling.  Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting.

-Adapted from Eating Well


Wegman’s Sesame Chicken with Lo Mein

Have I mentioned yet that I live near a Wegmans?  It’s a grocery store that has some of the specialty items stocked at Whole Foods, some value items like you’d find at Trader Joe’s, and a full liquor store.  Plus a hot and cold food bar that makes a great lunch or dinner.

Wegmans has a seasonal magazine called “Menu”, with recipes that use ingredients you’ll find at the store.  They’re designed to be quick, convenient, and health oriented.  I decided to put their Sesame Chicken with Lo Mein recipe to the test.

List in hand, I walked into Wegmans.  To be fair, I am still not very familiar with the store layout.  It took a bit of time for me to find all the products I needed.  Eventually I was able to round up the following: cleaned and cut green beans, cleaned and cut Asian slaw, Teriyaki seasoned chicken thighs, lo mein noodles, and a bottle of Sesame Garlic Sauce.  I had oil and minced garlic at home.

wegmans sesame chicken ingredients


The recipe calls for just 20 minutes of “active time”.  Now, I am not a speed demon in the kitchen, but 20 minutes would be very tight.  You need to blanch the green beans and the noodles, stir fry the chicken, and then mix it all together with the sauce.  The steps were fairly simple though, and you don’t need a lot of cooking experience to execute the recipe.

I wasn’t sure that I’d like using a bottled sauce, but I really did like the taste of this dish!  I had a friend for lunch, and she enjoyed it as well.  There was a part of my brain screaming, “you could make this all from scratch and it would probably be so much better, and less expensive, and have less sodium…..”  But I was also grateful that I had time to do errands that morning, and the meal was still less expensive and healthier than typical take-out.  So I am calling it a win!


wegmans sesame chicken

Titanic Curried Chicken and Rice

My blog absence had nothing to do with the Boston Marathon Bombing, and yet it was hard to focus on technical problems with everything going on.  Special thanks to WP Site Care for resolving my technical issues so quickly.   The effects of the Boston tragedy will certainly linger, but I do feel ready to get back in kitchen, and back writing again.

But first, we need to go back in time to 2 weeks ago, when my cooking club had a Titanic-themed meal.  The idea was to recreate some of the dishes served on the ship, whether they were enjoyed by First Class, Second Class, or Third Class.  There is a whole book dedicated to this topic, but many of the recipes are posted online.

I decided to make the Curried Chicken and Rice discussed here, with a clear influence from India, a British colony at that time.  I used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken and made a few other changes for convenience.  I was really happy with the end result; the chicken was very tender and the dish had a great flavor.

We had many great dishes that evening, including my favorite: Punch Romaine.  It was a ‘palate cleanser’ featuring wine, champagne, orange juice, and simple syrup, mixed with crushed ice.  It’s always interesting to go back in time and explore food history!





Titanic Curried Chicken and Rice

1 lime
1/4 c. garlic ginger paste
3-4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 T canola oil, divided
2 T curry powder
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 T honey
1 1/3 c. white rice
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. golden raisins

Zest lime.  Squeeze juice.  Toss lime zest, lime juice, and garlic ginger paste with chicken thighs.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Heat 1 T oil.  Brown chicken thighs, working in batches as needed.  Remove from pan onto a plate and set aside.

Heat remaining oil.  Add curry powder and stir for 1 minute.  Add chopped onion and honey, and saute for 10-15 minute, until tender.  Add rice, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown.  Add broth and raisins.  Nestle chicken pieces into pan, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.


Crockpot Ground Turkey and Vegetables

I wasn’t sure what to call this, really.  It’s kind of a goulash, I guess.  Or maybe a stew?  Like chili, without any chili powder.  No matter what you call it, it made some balanced meals for the week.

It’s a very simple dish of browned ground turkey and vegetables.  Browning the turkey is an extra step, but worth the effort.  This also allows you to drain off some of the extra fat.  The vegetables came right from my freezer, no chopping required, but you could use any combination of fresh or frozen.

And now I am off to make preparations for Easter dinner, no crockpot required!



Crockpot Ground Turkey and Vegetables

1 (20 oz.) package ground turkey, browned and drained
1 (16 oz.) package frozen stew vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and potatoes
1 (16 oz.) package green beans
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. water

Mix all ingredients in your crockpot.  Cook on High for 5-6 hours.

Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, the grocery store has a huge display of cabbage.  But you don’t actually have to eat cabbage with corned beef.  While I like a good boiled dinner once a year, cabbage is a versatile vegetable.  Remember these egg rolls?

This time, I used cabbage in a stir fry, inspired by this recipe from Eating Well.  I substituted chicken for the beef in the original recipe, and added sliced baby bella mushrooms which were on sale.  I turned up the heat in the peanut sauce with cayenne pepper, and the end result was a tasty (and vegetable-packed) meal.

I served the stir fry over rice, and there was plenty of sauce to soak up.  You could also serve this with noodles if you like.  So hurry up and grab a head of cabbage before the grocery store takes down the display!



Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. Trop 50 orange juice
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
Dash cayenne
4 t canola oil, divided
1 T garlic ginger paste
1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
1 bunch scallion, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 medium head cabbage, chopped
1/4 c. water

In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cayenne.  Set aside.

In a large pan, heat 2 t oil. Sauce garlic ginger paste for 2 minutes.  Add chicken, and saute until chicken is cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat remaining 2 t oil in pan.  Saute scallion for 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms, and saute for 5-10 minutes, until beginning to brown.  Add cabbage and water, and saute until tender.  (If all the cabbage doesn’t fit in the pan, add a portion and allow it cook down, and then add the rest.)  Add reserved chicken and peanut sauce.  Stir, and heat through.

-Adapted from Eating Well

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

I saw this recipe for Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken from Budget Bytes and was drooling.  The original recipe calls for using bone-in chicken and broiling it at the end, but I took the easy way out with boneless, skinless chicken thighs that were on sale.  At the end, I just shredded the chicken right in the pot.

This crockpot meal took less than 5 minutes to throw together, and made a great dinner served with a big salad and a dinner roll.  It also made a couple of lunches, served over steamed sugar snap peas.  There is a fairly spicy aftertaste from the serrano pepper; if you want a completely mild dish, leave the pepper out entirely.  If you want even more heat, chop it up and keep it in the crockpot when you shred the chicken at the end!  I liked this version, and am already anxious to make it again soon.



Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

2 T brown sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T minced garlic
1 t ground ginger
1 t thyme
1 t allspice
1 T cinnamon
2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 serrano pepper, sliced

Mix sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Place chicken in the bottom of the crockpot.  Pour spice mixture over chicken, and rub it in with your hands.  Place onion, orange, and pepper slices in crockpot, nestled between the chicken pieces.  Cook on High for 4 hours.

Remove orange and pepper slices.  Shred chicken with 2 forks.

-Lightly adapted from Budget Bytes



Scallops with Zucchini and Red Onion

I am just getting started with cooking apps on my Iphone.  (It’s about time, right?)  I pretty much only use free apps, and iCookbook Diabetic was highly rated in a magazine and free right now, so I decided to try it for fun.

I found a recipe for Rosemary-Garlic Scallops with Polenta, and adapted it just a bit.  The scallops were great, and made for a quick but ‘fancier-than-usual’ meal.  I would like to eat seafood more often, and this was a simple, healthy recipe.

However, the polenta was far too thick.  If you want to serve the scallops over polenta, just use a standard 4:1 ratio of liquid (such as vegetable broth) to cornmeal.  Or if you have more time, you could make these cute Polenta Triangles.




Scallops with Zucchini and Red Onion

1 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ pieces
8 oz. bay scallops
2 t Penzey’s Mural of Flavor
1/4 t black pepper

Heat oil in a medium frying pan.  Add garlic, and stir for 1 minute.  Add onion and zucchini, and saute for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Add scallops and seasoning, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until scallops are done.


BBQ Chicken Mini-Meatloaves

My cooking club theme this month was “Things you Cook in a Muffin Tin”.  I was really bummed that I had to cancel because of the storm.  But since I was already in the muffin tin mindset, I went ahead and made these BBQ Chicken Meatloaves.

I was inspired by this recipe from Rachel Ray, and my BBQ 3000 spice from Penzey’s.   The spice contains salt, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, mustard, allspice, garlic powder, ginger, sage, thyme, white pepper, cinnamon, and natural smoke flavor.  I thought I was going to have to wait until summer grill season to try the BBQ 3000, but it worked perfectly here.

The mini meatloaves came out great!  They’re perfect to take for lunch, or heat up for a quick dinner.  If you have little hands in your household, they would probably love to pick these up.

The mini-meatloaves really do have a nice BBQ flavor.  You could serve them as-is, or topped with spicy BBQ sauce for even more kick.  I enjoyed mine with some homemade slaw – details tomorrow!



BBQ Chicken Mini-Meatloaves

1 lb. ground chicken
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 egg
3/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 T BBQ 3000
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Shape into 12 balls, and place them into a muffin tin coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, or until done.

Snowstorm Tuna Noodle Casserole

I did get to the grocery store before the Blizzard of 2013, but 1) I didn’t have time to make a list beforehand, and 2) I was pretty overwhelmed by the crowds.  I picked up a few pieces of fruit, a box of cereal, and a quart of milk.  I have so much food in my freezer and pantry that I wasn’t too worried.

As the flakes started to fly on Friday night, I decided to try my hand at a homemade tuna noodle casserole.  I used this recipe as a loose guide, and bulked up the dish with extra vegetables.  Except for the milk, all of the ingredients were things I had on hand.

This recipe certainly isn’t gourmet, but it turned out to be a fine pantry meal.  I liked the creamy sauce, and the seasoned breadcrumbs added in just a bit of flavor and crunch.  With just a little bit of creativity, it’s possible to make a balanced meal even during one of the biggest snowstorms ever!


Snowstorm Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 c. dry whole wheat rotini
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1 T Smart Balance spread
1 T flour
1 c. skim milk
1 (5 oz.) can tuna, drained
2 T seasoned breadcrumbs
2 T Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and vegetables in boiling water until tender.  Drain, and set aside.

Place Smart Balance in a sauce pan over low heat, and melt.  Add flour and stir.  Keep stirring as the mixture browns slightly.  Add in 1/2 c. milk, and whisk until blended.  Add in remaining milk.  Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.  Add tuna and cook for a few more minutes until heated through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix pasta, vegetables, and sauce in a large bowl.  Add breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna

Making lasagna the traditional way is a very tedious process.  You make your own homemade tomato sauce the first day, then assemble the lasagna the second day.  You can either bake it right away, or freeze it for later.  And it’s amazing, right?

This recipe is for a quick lasagna inspired by Eating Well, where your crockpot does most of the work.  You do sacrifice the pretty presentation of neatly cut squares, but this is still a delicious dish!  And those of you who like a saucy lasanga will really appreciate this version.  There’s a bit of extra liquid, but just serve it with a slotted spoon, and scoop up the extra sauce with a piece of crusty Italian bread.

Tomato season is so short in New England, so this recipe is made possible by some excellent canned tomatoes.  Tuttorosso was kind enough to send me some of their canned tomato products to sample, and they were great as promised.  There’s nothing like a freshly picked tomato in August, but canned tomatoes are the next best thing and available year round.



Here’s the lasagna, ready for serving.  Grab a spoon and dig in!  Garnish it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese of course. 🙂



Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna

2 c. part skim ricotta
1 egg
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 T minced garlic
10-12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 c. part skim mozzarella, divided

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, egg, Parmesan, mushrooms, and spinach.  In a medium bowl, mix crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and garlic.

Coat inside of crockpot with cooking spray.  Add 1 1/2 c. of the tomato mixture to the bottom of the crockpot.  Break noodles to fit into crockpot, and form a single layer of noodles over the sauce.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Spread 1 1/2 c. sauce over the ricotta, followed by 3/4 c. mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers, starting with noodles, and then ricotta mixture, sauce, and mozzarella.  Add one more layer of lasagna noodles, followed by all remaining tomato sauce.  Cook on High for 2 hours.

Remove cover, and add remaining mozzarella.  Cover and cook on Low until cheese melts.

-Lightly adapted from Eating Well

Tuttorusso sent me the tomatoes as a gift.  I was not compensated in any other way, and the opinions in this post, as always, are mine.