Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday is for Suppers: Convenience Cooking- Quick Chicken Tacos, Crunchy Chicken Strips, 20-Minute Noodle Bowls

We are getting ready for a hurricane.  Yes, Hurricane Sandy is supposed to hit sometime tonight and into tomorrow morning.  It will make landfall mainly by New York and New Jersey, but we will feel the effects all the way down here in good ol' VA.  School has already been closed, so this means my Sunday was full of family time and no blues about work starting back up on Monday.  With that being said, the dinners for this week are kinda up in the air.  We are wondering, are we going to have power?  Luckily, my hubby has learned how to grill just about anything, so the grill is our back up this week. 

We always have chicken on hand-who doesn't?  You'll see that this week's meals are full of chicken since we need to either get rid of it or have something quick to eat.

Quick Chicken Tacos (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens) 
I love cooking with anything that can be turned into a taco!  I love making these because it's basically just assembling the toppings that takes the most time.

1 16-ounce can refried beans
2 6-ounce packages refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips, cut into bite-size pieces
1 10.5-ounce package 6-inch flour tortillas (10)
2 cups shredded Mexican-style four-cheese blend
2 cups shredded greens or iceberg lettuce
1 large chopped tomato
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

In a saucepan, cook refried beans over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat chicken breast strips according to package directions.  Spread about 2 tablespoons refried beans on each tortilla.  Top with chicken, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  Fold tortillas over filling.  Serve with salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

Crunchy Chicken Strips (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Goldfish and Ranch dressing are two of the ingredients?!  How can you go wrong when you have to cook for kids?

Nonstick cooking spray
7 cups bite-size cheddar fish-shape crackers or 14 cups pretzels (14 ounces)
1 1/2 cups bottled buttermilk ranch salad dressing
2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line two 15x10x1-inch baking pans with foil.  Lightly coat foil with cooking spray; set aside.
Crush crackers (put them in a freezer bag and roll a rolling pin over them) and transfer to a shallow dish.  In another shallow dish place the 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing.  Dip chicken tenderloins into dressing, allowing excess to drip off; dip into cracker crumbs to coat.  Arrange chicken in prepared pans.  Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray.
Bake uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, rotating pans halfway through baking.  If desired, serve half of the chicken strips with additional ranch dressing.
Cool remaining chicken strips for 20 minutes.  Place in an airtight container, cover and chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.  To reheat strips, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange chilled or frozen strips in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake, uncovered, until heated through. (allow 15 min. for chilled and 20 minutes for frozen strips)

20 Minute Shrimp Noodle Bowls(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Very often, we have shrimp in the freezer because our local grocery store always has it on sale.  These are soo so good.  Just thinking about them makes me want to cook them up right now!

1 14-ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth or lower sodium beef broth
1/2 cup bottled peanut sauce
2 cups frozen stir-fry or mixed vegetables
2 3-ounce packages ramen noodles (any flavor, broken)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Cooked shrimp

In a large saucepan combine broth and peanut sauce.  Bring to boiling.  Add grated ginger.  Stir in frozen vegetables and noodles (discard seasoning packet).  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 3 minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender.  Stir in cooked shrimp and heat through.  Divide noodle mixture among four bowls.

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