Thursday, February 24, 2011

Salsa Chicken Wraps

       It's been a while since I had time to post a new recipe.  My husband and I have been very busy at work the last two weeks and the frozen meals have really come in handy.  It's nice to have a home made meal ready to go into the oven or onto the stove top instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way home from an exhausting day.  Then after dinner we put the dishes in the dishwasher and fall into bed.  No pots or pans to wash and the kitchen is not a mess at 9 o'clock at night.  Then it's up at 5:15 in the morning and we have leftovers in the fridge ready to take with us to work.  Now I have two days off and I'm trying to make the most of it before I head back to work on Saturday. 

Today I wanted to show you how to make Salsa Chicken Wraps.  These little wraps make an awesome lunch or a late night snack.  They are equally yummy without the chicken if you are a vegetarian.  You can wrap them in foil and heat them up in the oven if you are home, or you can wrap them in plastic wrap and heat them in the microwave if you are going to work.  All the ingredients are fully cooked, so if you thaw them out a day in advance you can eat them at room temperature on a job site or in the car. 


2 chicken breasts                         2.49
1 can black beans                           .80 
1 C brown rice                                 .41
8oz pepper jack cheese                2.18
16 oz salsa                                      3.48
1 pkg taco seasoning                      .58
1/2 C chopped cilantro                  .37
1 C corn (not pictured)                  .25
2 pkg 8 inch flour tortillas           3.52


Poach the chicken breasts and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.  Steam the brown rice according to package directions.  As these are cooking you can drain and rinse the black beans.  Drain excess moisture off the salsa.  Grate the pepper jack cheese.  Mix the rice, beans, salsa, cheese, taco seasoning, corn and cilantro in a medium mixing bowl.   At this stage you have the vegetarian version.  Now add the chopped chicken for the original version.

Now place two heaping spoonfuls (about 2/3 C) of this filling into the middle of a tortilla.

Next the left and right sides of the tortilla in over the filling and roll up the tortilla from the bottom to the top.
I couldn't wrap and take pictures at the same time, so here is the finished product.
Then wrap each filled tortilla in plastic wrap.

When all the tortillas are filled and wrapped place them in two gallon sized freezer bags.

Then place in the freezer.  When ready to eat, you can put one plastic wrapped Salsa Chicken Wrap into the microwave and cook on high for a 2-3 minutes.  Then let it rest for a minute or two so it is cool enough to handle.  Unwrap the plastic wrap and enjoy.
Delicious!  At home I garnish with sour cream and cilantro, but at work I just eat with my hands with no toppings.  All the flavor is already inside!

I was able to make 16 Salsa Chicken Wraps for 88 cents a piece!  I can assure you this is what my husband will be eating while I'm working hard this weekend.  If you use mild salsa and pick a chicken taco seasoning this is a great option for kids.  If you like extra spicy then add a small can of diced jalapenos to the filling.


Christie aka Keeza 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hot Turkey Sandwiches

These sandwiches are fantastic on a cold winter Saturday and even better on a Spring picnic.  If you take them strait from the oven and put them in your picnic basket they will still be toasty and warm when you unwrap the foil at the park.   You can surprise your Honey with a hot sandwich at the job site, or after he shovels off the driveway. 


6 wheat rolls                                      1.50
3/4 lb smoked sliced deli turkey         4.92
1 pkg fully cooked bacon slices         2.68
1 medium onion sliced thin                   .30
1 pkg sliced pepper jack cheese        2.36
12 Tbsp BBQ sauce                           .30


Carefully slice each wheat roll and open up on a cutting board.  Spread 2 Tbsp of BBQ sauce on the top bun and place three slices of turkey on the bottom bun.  If your store has smaller buns then reduce the amount of BBQ sauce to 1 Tbsp so you don't have a soggy sandwich.

Then place one slice of pepper jack cheese on top of the turkey and a few rings of sliced onions on top of the BBQ sauce.

Lastly put 3-4 slices of precooked bacon on top of the cheese.
Then close each sandwich and wrap in foil.
Put two sandwiches a piece into gallon zip lock bags, label and freeze.

I put two sandwiches into the oven at 250 degrees for 20 minutes to melt the cheese.  The other four sandwiches go into the freezer.  When you're ready to heat up the frozen ones place two sandwiches in the oven and bake at 200 degrees for 60 minutes.  This gives the inside to warm up before the bun gets too crispy.

This was our lunch and it was fantastic.  Once the snow melts I encourage you to warm up some of these sandwiches in the oven, grab them out and put them into your basket and have a picnic.  For Independence Day my husband and I like to bake some hot sandwiches then eat them out on the boat waiting for the fireworks to start over the lake. 

I made 6 sandwiches for $2.01 each.  Now add an apple and some carrot sticks and you have a fabulous lunch. Please try this will love it!

Christie aka Keeza

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spicy Peanut Chicken

My husband and I love spicy food.   We also like to make Chinese take out style food at home.  It's nice to make the sauce from scratch and control how spicy, sweet or salty it is. 


1 1/2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken            3.33
      (I uses chicken thighs this time)
1 green pepper chopped                                    .60
2 bunches green onions sliced                        1.00
1 lb of frozen sugar snap peas                        2.36
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts                        .72
1/3 C creamy peanut butter                             .40
4 Tbsp soy sauce                                                .40
1/2 C chicken broth                                            .30
2 tsp Sriracha sauce                                           .20
     (or substitute hot sauce or red pepper flakes)
2 tsp dried ginger powder                                 .30
2 tsp dried garlic powder                                   .10
1 C salted peanuts                                               .50


Chop the chicken into 1" pieces and brown in a large saucepan in 2 tsp of oil.  Remove and drain.  Add the veggies (green pepper, green onions, sugar snap peas) to the pan and saute over medium heat for two minutes.  Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, chicken broth, Sriracha sauce, ginger powder and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Once heated through add the chicken and drained water chestnuts and stir well.  Make sure you taste the sauce and add more Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce) to desired level of spice for your family.

Serve over hot steamed rice and sprinkle with salted peanuts. 

Put half the mixture into a 2 qt freezer container and freeze.  Thaw and heat through over medium heat when ready to eat.  Serve with rice and peanuts.  I made two meals for  $5.11 plus the cost of rice.  You can make this meal with any combination of veggies, fresh or frozen.  Edamame and broccoli would go well in this dish. 

Christie aka Keeza

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Italian Mac and Cheese

This pasta bake is creamy cheesy macaroni shells topped with a beefy marinara sauce.  It's a very hearty dish that boasts a lot of veggies and warms you up on a cold night. 


2 lbs ground beef                                         7.50
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes                           .94
6 oz can tomato paste                                    .50
26.5 oz pasta sauce                                       1.03
2 carrots peeled and shredded                     .20
1/2 onion chopped                                          .25
1 green pepper chopped                                .80
1 cup chopped frozen spinach                       .50
    (fresh baby spinach works great too)
1 lb box of medium shell pasta                    1.16
16 oz reduced fat cottage cheese                2.19
16 oz shredded part skim Mozzarella        4.39
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese                   .50
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper and sugar to taste


Fill a large pan with water and set it over medium high heat to boil.  Brown the ground beef and drain.  Add 2 tsp of oil to a large pan and saute the carrot, onion and green pepper until just tender.  Add the spinach and heat through.
Once the water is boiling in the other pot add the dry shells and stir.  Boil the pasta to the least amount of time recommended on the box.  To the large pot with the veggies add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and the tomato sauce.  Mix well.  Add a tsp or two of white sugar if the sauce tastes too sour.  Sprinkle in t tsp Italian seasoning.  Add the browned ground beef into the tomato sauce mixture and stir well.  Remove from heat.

This is a very thick sauce (I like a chunky sauce).  If you have a picky eater at your house you can cut the veggies very small or even puree them. 

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the shells and return them to the pot.  Add in all the cottage cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese.

 Ricotta cheese works well in this dish as well.  You can thin the Ricotta with a little skim milk.  I never eat cottage cheese so this is a great way to squeeze a little in.  Now lay out three 8x8 pans.  Put 1/3 of the shells and cottage cheese mixture into each pan.
Now add 1/3 of the beefy marinara sauce to each pan.
Top each pan with 1/3 of the shredded Mozzarella cheese. 
Now cover each pan with foil and label.  Put one pan in the oven to bake for dinner.  Since all the ingredients are fully cooked you can bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  The other two pans go into the freezer for later use.  Once thawed in the fridge for two days you can bake the these pans at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

This makes a very tasty dinner. It has all your veggies, protein and carbs in one dish.  I was able to make three meals for $6.65 each.  I was even shopping at a different store so this is a higher than normal price for me. 

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do!
Christie aka Keeza