Tag Archives: real food

Simple Mustard Chicken

Sometimes, I just buy chicken breasts without a plan.

I’ve had to extend a BUNCH of grace to myself in the kitchen (read here). Unpredictable pain and the fatigue that settles in afterwards will do that. I am getting better on that front – read about that here – but it’s still something heavily managed.  Girlfriend’s gotta have major flexibility in what she’s planning.  (Haha… there’s a pun there… if you’re looking for it and you’re up-to-date on the health issues in the previous post!)

This means, many times, I cook up a storm in the kitchen. I’ll make a bunch of things at once to carry us over in the event my health issues or our schedules don’t align.  So, yeah. Buying chicken breasts without a plan.

This recipe is EASY for those nights without a plan. Aside from the fact it’s crazy easy to prepare, it never takes long to cook.

Confession: this is based on a recipe that once existed – where? I do not know.  I know I scoured my pinterest boards, googled, and everything… and I ended up making my own recipe for this over the last few years since I can’t seem to locate the original. So while I cannot take credit for the creative idea for this dish, I can for instructions, measurements and pictures – that is all my own.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cuts of boneless (here is 1 breast cut to tenderloin and 3 thighs)
1/2 c whole grain mustard (dijon will work ok, too)
salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Grease your pan. If you use well-season stoneware, you won’t need much. Otherwise, do it well. Or grab some parchment paper. I usually drizzle, then use my hand to finish spreading. (Olive oil is a great moisturizer! And it now means other stuff won’t stick to my hands as I continue to work with the chicken.)

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

I found this awesome mustard at Aldi’s. Man, I love that store. You can find neat stuff there. (Read my ramble on good finds at Aldi’s, here.)

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

Use a spoon, spatula, and probably a finger or two to smear the mustard all over both sides of the cut of chicken.

Note about the cuts: I’ve never tried drumsticks, but I gotta imagine you’d have to lower the temperature and cook for much longer – bones do that, ya know.

Salt and pepper the chicken.

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

I wish it looked as good as it tasted.

Cook in oven at 425 degrees for a total of 15 minutes – I recommend flipping the cuts at about 10 minutes.

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

The mustard does something wonderful about keeping the moisture in, I love it. They also come out nice and golden.

I served this with roasted potatoes (recipe soon!) and green beans cooked with bacon. (You can do those green beans up with a easy step, here! Veggies never go wrong with bacon!)

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

All of these three items cook simultaneously in about the same time – aside from preheat, I don’t think I spend more than 15 minutes active cooking all of this and voila! Masterpiece!

Simple Mustard Chicken - Foodies Gone Real

Perfect… and simple.

Simple Mustard Chicken.

Advertisements

Cinnamon Granola a.k.a. Best Granola of Your Life

We love cereal in this house.

Cinnamon Granola - Foodies Gone Real

But I am faced… EVERY SINGLE FREAKIN’ MONTH making the same choices everyone else makes: spend less on food and eat ingredients that aren’t as beneficial, or spend more on food and sacrifice something else.  Sometimes, I don’t have a choice. Medical bills from ongoing issues (story here), car repairs you don’t expect, the vacuum cleaner breaks. You know, life. And then it means we have to eat cheap because if I don’t have the money, I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY.

And you all know what I’m talkin’ about.

Now, I have my methods around this. First off, Aldi’s, y’all. ALDI’S. This store saves me. In the perfect world I would be a perfect locavore. But… when it feels like everything breaks in your home at the same time and the family still has to eat… Aldi’s. I’ve told you all before how this store makes up for my imperfect life.

So back to my cereal… the ingredient lists are mostly disheartening.  And if the ingredient list is not disheartening, then the price tag is… I can guarantee it. Do I sacrifice ingredients or my money?

My work around: granola.

Oats are CHEAP. I throw in nuts when I have them (a.k.a. can afford them) but you can easily sub in more oats instead. Run out of milk already? Sub in more water. I use coconut oil (back to finding something awesome at Aldi’s!) but you can put in whatever oil/butter you have on hand.  You can make this what you want and as expensive OR cheap as you desire.

Cinnamon Granola - Foodies Gone Real

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 Cups of Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup of Slivered Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup of Melted Coconut Oil
  • 4 Cups of Warm Water (just not ice cold…. does funky stuff to that oil)
  • 1 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Whole Milk
  • 1.5 Cups of Sweetener of Choice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbl Cinnamon (or Pumpkin Pie Spice is great, too!)
  • Good Dash of Salt

TOOLS:

  • Large Bowl for Mix, one that you can seal up for several hours (cling wrap is fine)
  • Dehydrator OR You can use the oven (see instructions further down on this)

DIRECTIONS:

Okay, so are you ready for this: MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS THOROUGHLY.  Let it sit on your counter at room temperature for about 7-8 hours. (You can let it sit for longer if you need to!)

YES.

You read that right.  That’s all you gotta do before the cooking.

I recommend covering it… but really just to ward of bugs and hands who want to taste it early.

Cinnamon Granola - Foodies Gone Real

Now onto the cooking part:  You’ll need to cook this one of two ways:  either a dehydrator on its highest setting or an oven.   I’ve made it both ways, my preference is a dehydrator.  I own this dehydrator and L-O-V-E it.  You can buy it new, you can also buy it used. I mean… I am talking about saving money here. I asked for one for Christmas a few years ago and my dear, sweet husband who knows his wife’s heart found a used one, in good condition, on ebay.  You do what you gotta do.

1) You can leave it in a dehydrator for days and it won’t go bad.  Don’t have time to deal with it right then? It’s fine.  Leave it (you’ll just keep using electricity).
2) It doesn’t burn.
3) No stirring required or watching.
4) It takes about 6 hours at the highest temperature on the dehydrator.

If you use an oven, preheat to 350* and spread it as thin as you can across at least two cookie sheets. You have to watch it, take it out and stir frequently. (And taste frequently!) This method will work, it’s just more time intensive.  You can’t put it in and walk away like you can with the dehydrator… you need to stir it about every 15 minutes until it’s just starting to crunch when you taste-test it.  In my experience this can take an about an hour, but will depend on how thin you spread your granola across baking sheets.

You can store your in an airtight container… for a couple of weeks.

Here’s how I usually do it: I start the granola in the morning sometime.  In the evening, I put it on the dehydrator.  The next morning… viola. Breakfast ready.

No yucky ingredients.  I mean, you know exactly what’s in it.  You’ve got around 12 cups of crunchy goodness for breakfast. Depending on appetites and family size, this can carry you for quite some time!

We eat it like cereal… but is great with the traditional yogurt, too. Enjoy your money-saving treat as we do.  My girls say it’s the best granola of their life.

Cinnamon Granola - Foodies Gone Real

 

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE: There may be affiliate links within this post. I never recommend anything arbitrarily and receive small financial benefit. If I choose to recommend something, it’s of my own free will and volition and MORE because I think you’ll benefit from hearing about it more than me gaining the $$. 

Cajun Beans + Rice, and Fish If Ya Want It

In this house, we do SPICE.

P1190716

Sometimes, we enjoy a good tongue-burning experience, and I ain’t lying.

We do flavor.  This is not a surprise if you’ve followed for awhile… chilisloppy joesBBQ saucechicken wings… even pumpkin pie oatmeal.  All of this oozes flavor.

This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite “I need something quick and easy” meals.  It’s quick and easy because beans are already cooked, rice takes so little time to prep, and fish cooks QUICKLY. You don’t have to add the fish to make it enjoyable, but it helps us move towards the “one meal in one pan” kind of thing.  (It’s not an entire meal in one skillet though. Eat your veggies!  You could always saute some green peppers and onions to throw in!)

I do cook a large pot of beans regularly, and then freeze it into smaller portions.  This is WAY WAY WAY cheaper than canned beans, and healthier too.  When you soak and cook them, you reduce the phytic acid (which prevents you from absorbing nutrition), and consequently you are less gassy. :)  (You’re welcome!)

I do this in a crockpot.  If you’d like more information on my process, you can read about it here in this post from Deep Roots at Home.  (Or just google it.  There’s LOTS of info out there on soaking beans.)

P1190672

Personally, it’s better to do it in large amounts, which is why I go with the crockpot.  It’s not labor intensive, just takes time (as does all good/real food!).

My finished beans:

P1190707

Here are the basic ingredients:

Fish filet (This pictures 4 small Cod filet)
butter for frying (go grass-fed! it’s the healthy butter!)
1 cup prepared rice
1/2 cup prepared beans (pictured are kidney beans)
1/2 to 1 tbl favorite cajun spice blend (depending on your favored level of spice! we do 1 tbl and it’s pretty hot)

Fry up your fish in the butter.

P1190699

Throw in your rice and beans.

P1190711

Mix them together (the fish will likely fall apart, but that’s ok!), and sprinkle your spice mix, and mix until well combined.

You may have to add more butter as you go to prevent sticking.  I definitely had to as I was using stainless steel, not cast iron.

P1190722

And voila! Yes, it’s that easy.

We served ours with some of my much loved roasted tomatoes with cheese. (And I really wish I had thought of green peppers and onions before writing this post! That would be a phenomenal add!)

Do you do spice? Flavor?  What’s your favorite flavor explosion?

P1190714

Meal Plan: 5/8 – 5/14

I should be cautious when I say this, but I think this might actually be a normal week for us.  (BAHAHAHAHA!  Now that I’ve said it, we all know Murphy’s Law will go into full-force, and it will be anything but normal!)

I had some great success with newer recipes today (Saturday 5/7)… some of which will be posted to the blog soon (potatoes! health(ier) biscuits!).  I also tried a new homemade bread recipe that was SO.MUCH.EASIER.  Not to mention, I sliced the bread… and no crumbling.  If you’ve been making bread by hand for any length of time, you know that this can be quite a feat.

Anyway, without much further ado…

SUNDAY:
Breakfast:  cereal, eggs, bananas
Lunch: not sure yet.  We may come home and have our traditional pasta, but with it being Mother’s Day I don’t really know the plan.
Dinner: guacamole grilled cheese (or just by the spoonful for me!)
Snacks, Other: make blueberry muffins… probably this recipe from Holistic Squid
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: PBJ, cucumber slices, yogurt, applesauce

MONDAY:
Breakfast: leftover biscuits (from this recipe from The Elliott Homestead), cottage bacon, pineapple beet carrot juice (homemade)
Lunch: salads with extra bacon or pan-fried chicken breast, applesauce, yogurt
Dinner: chicken broccoli alfredo 
Snacks, Other: homemade granola (recipe soon!)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: homemade lunchable, carrots + peanut butter, home-canned pears

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: leftover blueberry pancakes from Ditch The Wheat (I added blueberries), homemade breakfast sausage (I use this recipe from Prairie Homestead… make a batch, freeze smaller portions in baggies), applesauce
Lunch: quesadillas with grilled chicken, carrot sticks
Dinner: grilled salmon, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts + bacon
Snacks, Other: Overnight chocolate oatmeal (for tomorrow morning!)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover quesadillas, cucumbers, apple slices, blueberry muffin

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast: Overnight chocolate oatmeal, salmon+scrambled eggs+cream cheese+chives (leftover salmon from last night!)
Lunch: ham + cheese rollups, salads
Dinner: Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots
Snacks, Other: make homemade yogurt (I use this method from the Prairie Homestead, but use a dehydrator to maintain temperature instead)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: PB & J, Apple +spinach squeezy pack, yogurt

THURSDAY:
Breakfast: blueberry muffins, bacon, bananas
Lunch: leftover chicken and carrots
Dinner: Italian sausage in red sauce and zucchini (pasta for those inclined)
Snacks, Other: smoky roasted almonds (recipe soon!)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover spaghetti, peaches, slices of cheese, muffin

FRIDAY:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, leftover oatmeal, apple slices
Lunch: peaches, leftovers from the fridge!
Dinner: cabbage stir fry, Korean beef from The Elliott Homestead
Snacks, Other: start bread with this recipe from Nourished Kitchen

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: einkorn waffles, bacon, fresh fruit
Lunch: homemade coleslaw, homemade bread (I tried this new method and loved it!), hotdogs
Dinner: bacon + green beans, homemade stuffing, paleo coconut chicken (new recipe I’m trying!)
Snacks, Other: prep breakfast for tomorrow morning!

Meal Plan 5/1 – 5/7

This month I’m trying something new.  I am trying to make more of my “cheap” meals right form the get-go.

I love to cook, and try new things, but sometimes this gets the best of me (and my budget) when creating that meal plan for the first full week of a month.  In other words… I hate that I’ve used up most of my budget so early and then have the STRETCH later.  So, I’m trying to STRETCH now, so maybe buying some funky ingredients later, or treating the girls to a not-so-cheap-but-healthier-than-conventional snack later in the month.

Also, check out the links – some of them are mine, many are links to recipes for other bloggers.  You should know that NOTHING I have planned for this week is new, I have made it ALL before and enjoyed it enough to do it again.

SUNDAY:
Breakfast: cinnamon toast, bacon, applesauce
Lunch: ham sandwiches with this grain-free wrap
Dinner: ravioli (except for me!), chicken thighs cooked in red sauce
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: peanut butter jelly sandwich, strawberries, cucumber, slices of cheese

MONDAY:
Breakfast: leftover oatmeal (for family), greek omelette (eggs, spinach, oregano, feta), pineapple + beet + carrot juice
Lunch: quesadillas made with this this grain-free wrap, side salads with bacon
Dinner: homemade pizzas (GF crusts)
Snacks, Other: soak flour for biscuits tomorrow morning,
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover pizza, fresh fruit, yogurt, carrots

TUESDAY:
Breakfast: homemade biscuits, fried eggs, fresh fruit of choice
Lunch: salads with broiled chicken breasts
Dinner:  sloppy joes, sweet potatoes, green beans
Snacks, Other: make this apple spice bread
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover quesadillas, apples and carrots + PB

WEDNESDAY:
Breakfast:  leftover apple spice bread, bacon, almonds
Lunch:  leftover sloppy joes, cucumbers
Dinner:  scrambled eggs, apple slices (we have a busy night!), popcorn for snacking
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: homemade lunchable, cucumbers, pears

THURSDAY:
Breakfast:  leftover waffles, scrambled eggs, fruit
Lunch: salads – probably this cobb salad
Dinner: chicken thighs cooked in red sauce with zucchini, pasta for those inclined :) (soak kidney beans for cooking tomorrow)
Packed for Daughter’s lunch tomorrow: leftover pasta, fresh fruit, yogurt

FRIDAY:
Breakfast:  start cooking kidney beans, leftover biscuits (biscuit egg sandwiches), mangos
Lunch:   leftovers – clean out the fridge :)
Dinner: beer braised beef (over potatoes for those who want it), broccoli, macaroni cheese
Snacks, Other: soak flour for bread tomorrow

SATURDAY:
Breakfast: pumpkin spice oatmeal, bacon (Extra for tomorrow morning), fresh fruit
Lunch:  fresh bread, cucumbers, fresh fruit, hardboiled eggs
Dinner: rice + beans (cajun style), tilapia, roasted carrots

%d bloggers like this: