Feta & Bacon Stuffed Chicken & Watermelon-Feta Arugula Salad

Well, Hello there.

It’s been a while, I know. That is what happens when I go to school, but on the brightside- I am HALF done my 5 year degree! Whoot whoot.

Since I haven’t blogged in forever, I thought I’d start back up again with an absolutely mouthwatering meal. Even thinking about it makes me hungry (& I just ate!)

One of the best things about this meal is that both parts, the chicken and the salad, use Feta so the block doesn’t sit in your fridge for a few months before you’re like “Oh crap! I forgot about the feta!” I served the feta in one block on top of the salad because that is how feta came on top of the Greek Salads in Greece, but feel free to crumble it.

 

The chicken is supossed to be stuffed, but my chicken breasts weren’t thick enough so I pounded them out some more and rolled the stuffing into them Cordon Blue style (Is it Blue or Bleu??)… anyway, they were delicious… messy to prepare, but yummy.

Before going to Greece I did not like feta at all. But with it being everywhere I had to eat it, and now I love it.

How to make it? If you really want to know…

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Onion Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 35 Min | Servings: 3 chicken breasts | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/8 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia®), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned but still soft. Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet, and cool the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, mix the bacon together with the feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of sour cream, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

 

Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 2-inch pocket in the chicken breast. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Spoon the bacon mixture into the pockets. Pour the flour, egg, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow dishes. Gently press the chicken breasts into the flour to coat. Dip each into the beaten egg, then press into bread crumbs.

 

Reheat the bacon grease over medium heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides in the hot fat, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan. Place the breasts on a baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink and the filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

 

Meanwhile, place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

 

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the onion in the remaining bacon grease over medium heat until very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are done, mash together with the onion, butter, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sour cream. Serve the chicken breasts accompanied by the mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 1498 | Total Fat: 84.2g | Cholesterol: 360mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Feta-and-Bacon-Stuffed-Chicken-with-Onion-Mashed-Potatoes/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=58580727&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2011-05-09&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipePhoto&me=1

 

You may have noticed that the recipe has a side dish with it… I just ignored that. This time. I’ll probably try it with the chicken next time… Maybe next week actually.

Instead of those potatoes I made a salad. A delicious salad. Who does not love watermelon? I think in my entire lifetime I have heard one person actually say “I don’t like watermelon,” and I didn’t know them, it was at work.

The first time I encountered a watermelon salad was at a restraunt in Sudbury called Ripe, and it was instant love. Move over Buttermilk Nectarine Salad, there’s a new guy in town. It is so SO so refreshing, I think about it sometimes, just ‘pop’ in my head when I’m hungry but watermelon and feta are, unfortunately, not items I keep on hand. Maybe I should.

The salad is supper easy to whip together, the thing that took me the longest was cutting the cucumber because I bought a normal cucumber and not a seedless one- but, if you buy the correct cucumber it would take only as long as it takes to chop up a watermelon (unless you bought it pre-sliced, which I do not advise because it is a money scheme).

Another, yes, another good thing about this salad is that the left over watermelon can be used for breakfast or lunch the next day, or for a nice refreshing after school snack for kids (or college/university students!!)

Watermelon & Feta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 Servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1⁄4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-lb piece seedless watermelon
  • 1⁄2 seedless cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the onion and let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon into thin 2-in. pieces.

3. Add the watermelon, cucumber and arugula to the bowl of onions and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta.

Source: http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Watermelon-Feta-Salad-Recipe.html

So simple. So yummy, with the chicken, a great meal!!!

Slowcooker BBQ Ribs & Hashbrowns

I don’t make ribs often, they are pretty expensive for a student/poor person budget… but when I do, They HAVE to be Slowcooker BBQ Ribs! It is the most simple recipe I have ever made (easier than KD), and are SO so SO, fall off the bone, delicious. I can be stuffed to the point of exploding but I will finish every little bit of these ribs, no question.

So, how do you make these heavenly ribs?

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 6 hrs | Servings: 2 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Sweet Onion, sliced
  • 6 country-style pork ribs or beef short ribs
  • 2 (10ounce) bottles of barbeque sauce

Directions:

1. Lay the onion slices on the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the ribs on top of the onions. Pour the bottles of bbq sauce on top of the ribs and onions.

2. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours or more. The longer you cook them, the more tender and falling apart they will be.
Source: The Healthy College Cookbook

Them ribs is (improper English on purpose) sooo yummy, however, the ribs aren’t the only good thing about this meal. I loved each and every part of this meal… In fact, having to think about this meal makes me want to make it RIGHT NOW! But, I have something new and exciting planned for tonight. Feta and Bacon stuffed Chicken with a Watermelon Feta salad… oh yeah baby.

 

But, with the AMAZING ribs, I made Hashbrowns and Glazed carrots… The Hashbrowns were super easy and yummy, and the carrots were just as easy and gace the meal just a little bit of sweetness.

Hash Browns

Prep Time: 8 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Servings: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped

Directions:

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the potatoes; cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the potatoes and onion, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and saute until the potatoes are browned to your satisfaction.
Source: Healthy College Cookbook

Glazed Carrots

Prep Time: 0 min | Cook Time: 8 mins | Servings: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Nutmeg

Directions:

1. Bring the water to a oil in a saucepan. Add the carrots, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Add the honey and butter to the hot saucepan, and stir until they are melted together. Add the carrots and gently toss. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste.
Source: Healthy College Cookbook

 

Make this meal. ASAP. When you are making your mealplan and grocery list for the week, make sure these three dishes are on there, especially with it getting colder out (or is that just Northern Ontario??)

Now that I’m back at school for the year (Third year of University… Almost finished… almost!!), this meal will be FANTASTIC for those days where both Chris and I leave the ouse first thing in the morning and don’t get home until dinnertime and are STARVING. So, anyone in a similar situation, you’re welcome.

Enjoy 🙂

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce & Microwave Smashed Potatoes

My favorite pop in the entire world is Dr. Pepper. Actually, I hate pop unless it is Dr. Pepper. So, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce, I HAD to make it and as soon as possible.

And so, it happened, and it happened within 48 hours of me finding the recipe.

 

But, in the end it didn’t meet my extremely high expectations. This is mostly my fault because I imagined heaven in a sauce. It was good, but not great.

The BBQ sauce was extremely tangy!

I think it would have been better with Chicken, it tastes like a chicken sauce not a pork sauce, but I had defrosted Pork so that is what we had it with.

 

 

Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr 35 mins | Servings: Makes 2-3 cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes, about 15 ounces
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1 Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

2 When the onions are just beginning to brown, add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes.

3 Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and purée it until it is smooth. (Note that if you are using a blender, either work in batches, filling the blender no more than a third of the way at a time with the hot sauce, or slowly add the sauce while the blender is running on low speed.)

4 Put the sauce into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 hours.

The sauce will store for several weeks in the fridge.
Source: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/dr_pepper_barbecue_sauce/

 


What we had with the Dr. Pepper Pork Chops was ‘Microwave Smashed Potatoes’ which were So so SO easy to make, and tasted as though I had slaved over the oven to make the real deal. They look like normal potatoes, I pressed them into a bowl and served them in neat little piles because I think they look fancier that way 🙂

 

 

 

Microwave Smashed Potatoes

Prep Time: — | Cook Time: 20 MINUTES | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Place potato pieces in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; cut a 1-inch slit in center of plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients to bowl; mash with a potato masher.

 

SOUTHWEST VARIATION: Omit sour cream and chives; decrease milk to 2 tablespoons and salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Add 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 206; FAT 1g (sat 0.6g); SODIUM 236mg

 

ROASTED GARLIC VARIATION: Note: You can find roasted garlic cloves at the salad bar in many grocery stores. Omit sour cream and chives; increase milk to 3/4 cup. Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 223; FAT 2.9g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 329mg

 

BACON AND CHEDDAR VARIATION: Decrease salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Add 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese and 1 slice center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 254 (0% from fat); FAT 6.1g (sat 3.7g); SODIUM 280mg

Nutritional Info:

Amount per serving Calories: 225 Fat: 4.1g Saturated fat: 2.5g Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g Protein: 5.6g Carbohydrate: 42.6g Fiber: 2.8g Cholesterol: 13mg Iron: 0.8mg Sodium: 333mg Calcium: 78mg

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/microwave-smashed-potatoes-50400000112982/
That night Chris and I had the Bacon & Cheddar Variation, but I have since then made the normal ones using only 1 potato as a lunch with some left-over gravy and it was great! (Not a very healthy lunch, but yummy!)

Overall, the Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce was great to try but next time I will be making changes to it just using this recipe as a guide line, and the potatoes were super easy and yummy- an easy and quick side for a busy day =D