Category Archives: Main Dish

Baked Tostada Shells

Lately, one of the go to lunches for my daughter and even an easy supper for the entire family are these bean tostadas. I love that they come together in no time and it’s easy to always have the ingredients on hand for them.

Baked Tostada Shells. The easiest thing in the world! Avoid yucky oils and other ingredients by baking them!

In the bean tostada post I shared that I like to bake corn tortillas to make my own crispy tostada shells. When I was first shopping for tostada shells one of the first things I noticed was that many brands had yellow dye added to the shells where as corn tortillas didn’t. Artificial colors are pretty high up on the list of things we try and avoid in our home. Baking them myself I knew I’d stay away from the coloring and also the unhealthy oils they were fried in.

Baking tostada shells is so easy! I like to fill my oven up and use the leftovers over the next few weeks. The only thing you need is a big package of corn tortillas. Another tip – if you like these, I recommend buying the big package of tortillas (I get the 50 pack instead of 20) and keeping what you don’t bake in the refrigerator. I can tell you from experience, they last forever! I’ve had a bag in the fridge several months. Sure, they get a little drier and break a little easier as time passes but if I’m just planning on baking them in the oven instead of rolling them into enchiladas that’s okay with me.

If you are short on time, I’m sure you could turn the oven temperature up. You’d just have to keep a close eye on them. If I did that, I’m sure I’d end up burning at least some of them, so low and slow works best.

3.0 from 2 reviews
Baked Tostada Shells
 
Ingredients
  • Corn Tortillas
Instructions
  1. Two Methods:
Method One
  1. Spread tortillas out across the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Bake at 200 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes or until completely crispy. Flip the tortillas over every 15 minutes the first 45 minutes. It will help keep the tortillas from curling quite so much.
  3. Cool and store in a zipped storage bag.
Method Two
  1. If you don't want to put your tortillas directly on your oven rack place them on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours or until completely crispy. Flip tortillas after an hour.
  3. Cool and store in a zipped storage bag.

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Bean Tostadas

Today I have a guest post to share with you that I wrote from The Best Blog Recipes. If you are looking for something super easy your kids will love that you can dress up a little for the adults, this is it!

Bean Tostadas. Super simple meal your kids will eat up. I love that it can be dressed up for the adults.

I spent 5 years working as a server at a Mexican restaurant in our town. The kid’s menu was filled with things like corn dogs, mac and cheese, burgers, and chicken fingers. Then there was the taco meal and Mexican pizza. I always thought the name Mexican pizza was a complete misnomer and if any poor child ordered it for the first time they’d be sorely disappointed. It was a crispy corn tortilla topped with taco meat and melted cheese served with beans and rice. Not a very traditional pizza.

This recipe is basically that “Mexican Pizza”. It’s a super easy and quick lunch or supper that kids love! My daughter inhales this when I make it. If I already have beans and tortillas cooked, it is done in under 10 minutes. Can’t beat that on a rushed day.

You can make this as easy or complicated as you’d like. Use canned or dehydrated refried beans or cook up your own. I like to cook up my own beans in bulk and freeze in meal size portions. Buy tostada shells or what I do is bake corn tortillas directly on the oven rack at 200 degrees until they are crispy. Serve simply topped with cheese or set out an array of toppings that everyone can add after the tostadas come out of the oven. Things such as: green onions, sliced olives, sour cream, homemade salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cilantro. My daughter loves hers with just the beans and cheese. I’m okay with that (plus, it’s less messy for her to eat)!

Head over to The Best Blog Recipes for the complete post and recipe!

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Creamy Mac and Cheese

Creamy Mac and Cheese! Tasty and yummy and on the table in under 30 minutes!

Today I have another guest post up on The Best Blog Recipes! We were gone all day and I needed something fast to put on the table for supper and an added bonuses was that my daughter had leftovers to eat for lunch all week.

Imagine with me for a moment. You are gone all day running errands in a nearby city. Not only are you gone all day but you also run into car trouble and your trip is extended by several hours. You arrive home after 7 and no one has eaten since lunch. The kids are tired and hungry and you really don’t want to do anything. What options are there? Buying take out. Frozen food from the grocery store. Eating out. Looking in the pantry and finding something quick and easy. This was a scenario that recently played out in our home. I didn’t want to spend any more money than we already had that day and wanted to feed my family something quick and healthy.

I opened the pantry and saw noodles and knew I had milk in the refrigerator. Macaroni and cheese it would be. I seriously had this ready to eat in under 30 minutes. The secret is to make the most of your time in the kitchen. Noodles will take the longest so the first thing you are going to want to do is to start the water to boil. Once you’ve done that move on to quickly chopping some onions and garlic and getting them sautéing. By the time the noodles are cooked, your cheesy sauce will be ready and you can mix them together. Steam some broccoli while you are already at the stove or cut up some raw vegetables and you can have a rounded meal on the table in no time. Our supper was done in the same amount of time it would have taken to go to the store and cook frozen pizza or pick up take out from the restaurant down the road.

Head over to The Best Blog Recipes to see the recipe!

I’d love to know what your favorite meals are you can have on the table in under 30 minutes!

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Spicy Indian Chicken Sandwich

One of my sisters is married to a man from India. She cooks some killer Indian food. This recipe is one of hers and it is good. The Spicy Indian Chicken Sandwich is a fun change from a regular grilled or pan cooked chicken sandwich and has a nice kick. Adjust the spice depending on your family’s heat tolerance. My family can’t take things near are spicy as my sister and those she cooks for. On top of the heat in this chicken, she recommends topping the sandwich with sliced raw jalapeno. There is no way my mouth could handle that, but if you like fire, go for it!
Spicy Indian Chicken Sandwich. This is so tasty and a fun and flavorful twist. Can serve in a bun or in naan.

You can thinly slice the chicken breast and cook on the grill or cut into bite sized piece and cook over the stove. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion. Serve on a bun or in a piece of naan as a tasty wrap.

This will serve 6-8 depending on how large your chicken breasts are.

Spicy Indian Chicken Sandwich. This is so tasty and a fun and flavorful twist. Can serve in a bun or in naan.

Spicy Indian Chicken Sandwich
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts (thinly sliced or cut into chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-3 teaspoons of sambal oelek (these last two are the ingredients you'll want to adjust for how spicy you like)
Sandwich
  • Bread, Buns, or Naan
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken.
  2. Rub spice mixture over chicken and let marinate at least four hours and preferably overnight.
  3. Cook the thinly sliced pieces of chicken on a low grill being careful not to overcook or saute the chunks in a small amount of oil on the stove.
  4. Build your sandwich or wrap with your choice of bread and toppings.

 

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Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe

Hopefully you aren’t tired of all the pizza talk yet. (My husband would say there is no such thing as too much pizza.) I promise we are almost done. I shared my tips for making pizza on a budget and my recipe for crust and tips for making the perfect pizza already. Today, I’m going to give you my easy pizza sauce recipe.

pan with the best easy pizza sauce recipe. Pizza night made tastier and simpler!

Let me tell you a secret. Pizza sauce is one of the easiest things to make and can be done in seconds. There is no need to purchase jarred sauce if you have basic spices in your pantry. I use tomato sauce. If you are out, tomato puree or another tomato based product would work.

Pizza sauce is one of those things I never measure ingredients on. I add a shake of this and a shake of that. The past few times I’ve made it, I’ve pulled out the measuring spoons to get this recipe. Feel free to switch it up and taste and adjust at the end. Sometimes I’ll add thyme and in the summer when I have fresh herbs I love to add them instead of dried ones.

I will make this easy pizza sauce recipe on Fridays with two 8 ounce cans of sauce and use half of it for two pizzas and then save the other half in the fridge to make pizza again the next week.

Easy and Delicious Homemade Pizza Sauce. You can whip this up in seconds and it freezes great!

Easy Pizza Sauce Recipe

4.7 from 3 reviews
Homemade Pizza Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram
  • pinch of rosemary
  • pinch of fennel seeds, optional
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • freshly cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine everything in a small saucepan and gently heat on low to let the flavors combine.
  2. I use approximately ½ cup per pizza. This recipe makes enough for three or 4 pizzas.
  3. Freeze in pizza size portions if you aren't going to use it all.

 

pan with the best easy pizza sauce recipe. Pizza night made tastier and simpler!

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Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is a favorite in our house. This is one of our go to options for company and even though most haven’t had it before, this dish is loved by everyone. Serve with naan for an extra tasty meal or simply have a salad to round out the meal.

Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you. This recipe is actually easy and comes together quickly. All of the ingredients except garam masala  are ones you already have and trust me, garam masala is worth purchasing. You’ll want to make this many times and this Indian Layer Dip also uses it.

The leftovers taste just as good so this is a meal you could prepare the night before and pull out and gently reheat on the stove while the rice is cooking on a Sunday after church.

If you enjoy Indian food, you’ll want to see next Friday’s recipe – one of my favorite breads ever (and a great option to serve along side this dish)!

Butter Chicken | This recipe is one of our favorites. Great for company too - everyone loves it

4.5 from 2 reviews
Butter Chicken
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
Sauce
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 T. finely minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 T. finely minced ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 t. garam masala
  • 1½ t. cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • ¼ cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cups tomato puree
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 t. salt
  • pepper
Chicken
  • oil
  • 1½ pounds chicken cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 t. garam masala
  • ⅛ t. cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • 1 T. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • ¼ cup water
  • Cooked rice for serving
Instructions
Sauce
  1. In a large pan saute onions until tender. Add in ginger, garlic, butter, lemon juice, garam masala, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, and bay leaf.
  2. Cook until ginger and garlic are done.
  3. Add tomato puree and stir and heat through.
  4. Add in half and half and yogurt. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust other seasonings if needed.
Chicken
  1. In a skillet heat a small amount of oil and brown chicken.
  2. Add garam masala, cayenne pepper, and a little salt
  3. Add a few spoonfuls of cooked sauce and let the chicken finish cooking.
  4. Add cooked chicken to the sauce mixture.
Finish
  1. Combine and arrowroot powder and water and add to the butter chicken. Cook until the mixture thickens and is heated through.
  2. Serve over hot cooked rice.

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Hamburger Noodle Casserole

Hamburger Noodle Casserole. Freezes great and is kid friendly.

I’m excited for my first post as a contributor to The Best Blog Recipes!

My family stumbled across this simple recipe for Hamburger Noodle Casserole, using ingredients likely on hand, in a magazine years ago. It became a family favorite.

This recipe works well for freezing and as a meal to bring to another family. As a mom with little kids on a budget, I don’t have time, energy, or money to necessarily go and do a lot of things. I’m already feeding my family, though, and one way that I can minister to others is through providing supper for someone. Maybe a baby has just been born, there has been a death, or maybe it’s sickness. This would be a great meal to deliver and bless them with.

Bring it in a disposable pan and you won’t have to worry about getting your dish back. If it’s for a small family, divide it between two 8 or 9 inch square pans and bring one packaged for their freezer. Be sure to label it with contents and baking instructions. They will then be able to enjoy a meal on another stressful day. If you are making it for your family, I highly recommend you make extra for your freezer as well. Make the best use of your time in the kitchen and get two meals made at once.

My husband isn’t a lover of cream cheese or sour cream so what I do when making this recipe for our family is to cut the amount of cream cheese in half. He doesn’t even know either ingredient is in there. (Don’t tell him!)

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS: Completely assemble the dish as the recipe states. Also, put the shredded cheese and green onions on the top before you cover with foil and freeze. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until heated through.

You can also let the unbaked dish sit in the refrigerator a day or two before baking.

Head over to my post on The Best Blog Recipes for the full recipe and directions!

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Best Alfredo Sauce

This is one of the easiest meals in the world to make and it is super tasty! We had a pasta bar when we were visiting my family earlier this year and my brother-in-law declared this the best alfredo sauce he’d ever had!

The best alfredo sauce. So creamy, flavorful, and super easy! We love this recipe.

Most recipes say this amount will cover a pound of noodles. Not even close! Please make a double or triple batch if you are needing enough for that much pasta. This recipe will serve 4-6 depending on portion size, what else you are serving with the meal etc. Sliced blackened chicken would taste amazing served on top of the pasta.

Leftovers of the sauce will turn solid in the refrigerator. Slowly reheat and whisk to combine again and it will be perfect.


4.8 from 4 reviews
Best Alfredo Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the butter and garlic in a skillet and melt butter.
  2. After butter is melted add heavy cream and whisk. The mixture will be separated, just keep whisking as it heats and the butter and cream will combine.
  3. After mixture is hot and combined, turned off heat and whisk in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted.
  4. Serve immediately over your choice of noodles.
Notes
Optional - can top with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

 

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Broccoli Pasta

Broccoli Pasta coated with garlic and red pepper infused olive oil. Super simple and tons of flavor. Great as a side or main dish.

My family loves garlic, if you do as well this recipe will be a favorite.

Becky, a neighbor of my parent’s, gave them this recipe that her dad learned in Italy while they lived there for a few years when she was young. In her family, this recipe is served as a side dish along with grilled sausages or another piece of grilled meat.

In our family, we serve it as a main dish the majority of the time and it’s still loved by all.

Now, the recipe has you strain the garlic and red pepper flakes. Don’t toss them! We like to keep them one the side and those that really love the garlic flavor and want a bit more kick actually add it to their serving of pasta.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Broccoli Pasta
 
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces penne noodles or any other kind-of noodles
  • As much broccoli as you would like (1/2 -1 pound)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (you can add more to make spicier)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan heat oil, pepper flakes, and crushed or minced garlic on low heat.
  2. Watch the oil as it can burn easily. Cook about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain out the garlic and pepper and set to the side.
  4. Bring water to boil and cook noodles according to package directions.
  5. Steam broccoli to desired doneness.
  6. When everything is done, add the broccoli to the pasta and drizzle with the oil mixture (can use the garlic and pepper, toss it, or serve on the side).
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top with Parmesan cheese.

 

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Greek Wraps or Salad with Tzatziki Sauce

Some meals I just fall in love with the minute they first enter mouth. This recipe is one of those. So many great flavors and fresh ingredients all compliment each other perfectly. Great as a salad or layer in in a pita or tortilla to make a yummy wrap. Works well on the go or for a picnic dinner if you bring the sauce on the side to add before you are going to eat it.

Greek Wraps or Salad

Greek Wraps or Salad with Tzatziki Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For the Chicken:
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1½ pounds chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 t. oregano
  • ½ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Tzatziki:
  • 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • 6 c. romaine, leaf or artisan lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ c. fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ c. cucumber peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ c. pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ c. crumbled feta
For the Dressing:
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ¼ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 tortillas or pita wraps
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot add the chicken and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and oregano. Saute until cooked through. Cool.
  2. Place all the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Place all the salad ingredients into individual bowls to allow for personal preference during the salad building or toss everything together in a large bowl.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients.
  5. To assemble wraps or salad layer your bowl or tortilla with salad ingredients and top with chicken, dressing and tzatziki sauce.

Adapted from Family Fun Magazine

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