Monday, December 10, 2012

A Quick Delicious Menu for Christmas

As part of the TOS Staff Party, I've submitted an everyday type menu.  At this time of year, there are lots of fancy meals and preparations.  But this is a new yummy meal for you to try that won't stress you out. This is my most favorite casserole and my favorite way to prepare fresh vegetables.  Finally I'm including our favorite salad dressing adapted from a stint when we did weight watchers.  This would be a great family meal or even one for entertaining.  It's that good!

Chicken Au Lay

(The original recipe was on the internet somewhere.  This is my adaptation.)

  • 1 bag of ridge-type potato chips, crushed in the bag. NOT the family size bag and NOT the individual-sized bag.  You want the large size that's smaller than a family-size bag.
  • 2 chicken breasts, which is really one whole chicken breast or two halves.  Cooked.  If I have the time, I roast them in a 350 oven with the bone and skin on.  Then I peel the skin & bone and discard and chop the chicken.  If I only have boneless/skinless chicken then I just boil it until it's cooked.  It's better, when you boil it, if you cool it in the juice.
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup.
  • 1 can of skim milk, or whatever kind of milk you have.
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese, or 2 cups shredded cheddar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all together and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly and a little bit browned on top.

Our favorite roasted vegetables

  • Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Yep, that's not a typo, 500 degrees.
  • Put your favorite fresh veggies in a large cast iron skillet.  Don't overcrowd the pan.  We like broccoli crowns, cauliflower, baby carrots, butternut squash, asparagus, brussel name it.  Spring onions, trimmed, are delicious using this method.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat all the veggies.
  • Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  We use kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • Roast in your oven for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables just start to brown.  Depending on the veggies it can even take less than that.  Just keep an eye on it.

Lemon Salad Dressing

(adapated from the Escarole and Endive salad found on Weight Watchers)

In a large salad bowl, whisk the following ingredients:

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 clove garlic, minced fine, grated, or pressed through a press
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp mustard
  • 6 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

When that's nicely blended and looks like salad dressing, chop one head of iceberg lettuce and lay it on top of the dressing.  Do not toss.  THEN sprinkle the lettuce with 4 Tbs of Parmesan Cheese.  When you're ready to serve toss the salad.  Your salad bowl could actually sit untossed for a few hours until you're ready to serve.  I like to prepare the salad ahead of time like this and then toss right before we're ready to eat.  It's a make-ahead step that makes serving time less stressful.

So, here's a meal you can prepare over the busy holiday season to put something warm and nutritious in your family's bellies.  Enjoy!

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