Recipe: Baked Chicken and Zucchini

Disclaimer: I’m bad about timing each step. I cook by how things look and smell at different steps more than anything else. And I rarely measure out seasonings and such. I’ll try to get close though!

My mother-in-law gave us some zucchini and tomatoes from her garden recently. Her garden has been going crazy producing veggies and we’ve benefited from it as well.

I only had one chicken breast to work with, so yours will probably look fuller in the pan.


2 chicken breasts, cut into large pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

4-5 tomatoes (I used Roma)

2 medium sized zucchini

Bag of steamable broccoli

1-2 Garlic clove

Seasonings (to your taste buds preference):

Black pepper

Poultry seasoning

Onion powder


Slice your zucchini into rounds and dice your tomatoes.

Season your chicken with black pepper, poultry seasoning, onion powder, turmeric. Heat up the olive oil (I used medium heat), add in the garlic and chicken, then brown the chicken on both sides. I think I did 5 minutes per side.

Take the chicken out of the pan and set the chicken into a glass baking dish (I used 9×13 pan). Start the oven preheating to 325.

In the pan on the stove that you used to brown the chicken, add your zucchini. You should still have hot olive oil in the pan so be careful. Couple minutes per side, or until zucchini slices start to soften. (At this point I had steamed the bag of broccoli, but I would recommend only doing half the time the bag calls for. I did end up with soggy broccoli at the end).

Add your tomatoes to the pan. Let them cook a couple minutes together.

While the tomatoes and zucchini were cooking I dumped the steamed broccoli into the glass baking dish with the chicken.

Then I added the zucchini and tomato mix on top. Then put it in the oven. The dish baked at 325 for approx 25 minutes.

Then we ate!

Changes I would do next time: add more chicken. Season a little heavier. Remember the garlic. Less steaming on the broccoli before baking. Cook the zucchini a little longer on stovetop before adding to the dish. Maybe add some cauliflower rice.

Chicken Salad with Homemade Dressing

I’m not sure what to call it besides a surprisingly good and simple salad. I took two large chicken breasts (from Sam’s Club, so they are huge) and threw them in a large pot of water with:

  • 2 garlic cloves (I used “Pop n Cook” frozen garlic)
  • Approx. 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • Approx. 1 tsp black pepper
  • Approx. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp roasted chicken “Better Than Bullion”.

(I’m bad about actually measuring things out. I just eyeball it)

I brought it all to a boil then reduced heat and let the chicken simmer for several hours. It went longer than I had planned because I got busy doing other things (cutting fabric and batting), but it turned out really tender and flavorful.

Then I shredded up the chicken and tossed it in a bowl with shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. I decided to add in chopped up cucumber because I love cucumber. I would have added more stuff but I need to go grocery shopping.

I also made my own dressing, which I think is what ended up making this tastes so good. I put some olive oil in a bowl and added Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Whisked it together. And then I mixed it up with my little salad. I did not really measure anything, as stated above I’m bad about that, I just tossed it in the bowl and mixed. I didn’t use all the dressing you see in the picture, that would be too much!

If I had to make a guess though I would say:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Add the italian seasonings and garlic powder to your personal taste. Start light and taste as you go, adding more until you get the flavor you like.

You can add also add more or less lemon juice depending on how much you like the flavor. Mine was heavier on the lemon flavor.

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. We spent ours with family and friends on Sunday.

Monday rolled around and we were left with the daunting task of…what to do with leftovers. Last year we started a tradition with our neighbors across the street of doing a holiday leftover night. We heat up what we had leftover, they bring over what they had, and we see what’s left by the end of dinner and plan out the next meal.

Most of ours was gone! Except the ham. The big, delicious spiral ham.

I chopped up what was left of the ham, put it in a deep pan with garlic, water, chicken bullion, onions, a bag of dry split peas (rinsed and sorted), and then added shredded carrot and diced potatoes. Seasonings were black pepper, Garlic powder, and onion powder.

I cooked it on the stove for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And I think it’s the best attempt I’ve made yet!


Diced ham from Easter leftovers, about 2 cups

Bag of dry split peas, rinsed and sorted

4 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup diced onion

1 garlic clove (I used frozen Walmart ‘pop n cook’)

2 tablespoon chicken bullion (I used ‘Better than Bullion’ brand)

Add the following to your taste:

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Add to large pot, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and let it cook about an hour to 90 minutes. Stir occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the soup.

Note: I was worried the potatoes would cook too quickly and become mush before the peas cooked down, but they turned out great.

Dinner Experiment – Chicken and Veggies

Tonight I decided to experiment a little bit with a basic chicken and veggie recipe. (Ingredient list at bottom of post)

I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep skillet and started heating it up on medium heat (to prevent burning I heat it on medium). While it was doing that I diced up 3 chicken breasts into small pieces.

Once the oil was hot I added 2 chopped garlic cloves (I get frozen ones from Wal-Mart that I just pop them out of the tray into the pan), diced white onion, and diced green pepper. Let them saute a minute or two until the onion starts to become translucent) then added the chicken. Seasoned it all with black pepper and poultry seasoning.

I kept the heat on medium and stirred fairly often to keep things from burning.

When the chicken was almost done I steamed a bag of broccoli florets and then steamed a bag of riced cauliflower with Italian cheese.

Once the chicken was done I dumped in the broccoli and sauted a minute, chopping some of the larger florets up in the pan, then added the riced cauliflower and about a tablespoon of butter (we use Land O Lakes butter with olive oil).

It turned out much better than I expected! Very flavorful and filling, even without starchy rice or potato.

Ingredient list:

  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  3. Diced onion (as much as desired)
  4. Diced green pepper (as much as desired)
  5. 3 chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
  6. Bag of steamable broccoli
  7. Bag of steamable riced cauliflower with Italian cheese
  8. 1 tbsp butter
  9. Black pepper, to personal taste
  10. Poultry seasoning, to personal taste

Let me know if you try it!

Chicken Pot Pie Egg Rolls

Yes,  the title is right.  Chicken pot pie egg rolls! 

Tonight was my first time making any kind of egg rolls.


And they turned out pretty good! 

First I cooked up some chicken breasts, corn,  and carrots,  let them cool a little.  Shredded the chicken and diced the carrots up into small bits.  Mixed the shredded chicken,  carrots,  and corn together with a can of cream of broccoli.

I put this in the fridge until I was ready to cook.  Using egg roll wrappers,  I put a couple tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center,  added broccoli sprouts and shredded cheese.  Then I rolled up the egg rolls as the instructions said to do on the package. 

Half of the rolls also got diced onion and jalapeño.

Into a 400 degree oven for 14 minutes.  And out came some pretty yummy egg rolls that I’ve decided to call chicken pot pie egg rolls. 

Now to figure out a good dipping sauce! 


Easy Crock Pot Chicken stew


3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of broccoli
1 can cream of potato
1/2 bag baby carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced or sliced
1 clove garlic – crushed (I love the frozen cube ones, so easy)
Diced onion (recipe ready by birds eye is easy and quick)
2 cubes chicken bullion dissolved in 2 cups hot water.
1 can corn, drained.

Seasonings: poultry seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, rosemary leaves.

Mix the seasonings with the cubed chicken then brown the chicken in a sauté or frying pan.

Dump all three “cream of” cans in crock pot. Add the diced carrots, celery, onion, and crushed garlic.
Add the broth made from bullion cubes.
Add the browned chicken.

Mix well and let simmer on low in the crock pot for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.
During the last hour, add the can of corn.

If I would have had them, I would have added potatoes or rice to the stew.

What’s For Dinner? Taco Tarts!

Thursday on the way home from work, I was trying to think of something different to make for dinner (I have a long drive home, lots of thinking time).

And what pops into my head? Taco Tarts!


Don’t those look cute? Almost (yes almost) too cute to eat. But…that defeats the purpose, plus we’d still be hungry!

Step 1:
1 lb ground beef – cooked and drained.
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup taco seasoning

Add water and seasoning to meat and bring to boil. Let simmer til liquid is almost gone.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2:
Pillsbury has a can of dough that is like crescent dough but is a sheet instead of triangles. Cut into squares and press into muffin pan cups. Fill 1/2 way with taco meat. Top with desired items like onions, peppers, etc.

Bake for 10 min at 375. Remove from oven and add shredded cheese to each cup. Bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Remove from muffin pan to stop them from sitting and burning while doing next step.

Step 3:
Add your desired cold ingredients such as more shredded cheese and lettuce:


Or tomatoes and more peppers:


Or just add a little of everything you love on tacos!


Dinner Experiment

Tonight I was faced with a dilemma. What to do with 1 pound of hamburger and no ideas for dinner. I could have made the old standbys, either spaghetti or hubby’s favorite “rice meat stuff” but I wanted something…different.

So I tossed the hamburger into the deep skillet and started it slowly browning while I went through the fridge and cupboards. There in the veggie drawer was one lone onion and a red bell pepper that was getting close to seeing better days. So I diced up 1/4 of the onion and tossed that in the pan. Next I added the red bell pepper, cut up into inch long strips. A little seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic powder. Then while the meat continued browning, I went in search of the next ingredients to be thrown into what was at that point, a mystery dinner.

After careful consideration, I pulled out beef broth, barley, a can of diced tomatoes (with green chilies), a can of corn, and a can of green beans.

Once the meat was browned, I added the barley and tomatoes, brought to a boil then reduced heat and simmered, covered, for 1 hr 15 minutes. Added in the corn and green beans, another 5-10 minutes, and dinner was served!

There we have it, a successful dinner experiment! I guess it would be a hamburger barley soup? Whatever it would be called, it’s good!


Hamburger Barley Soup

1 pound hamburger, browned

1/4 onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch strips

2 boxes beef broth (32 oz each)

3/4 cup barley

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 can corn – drained

1 can green beans – drained

Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder – to taste


  1. Brown hamburger in a deep skillet along with diced onions and bell pepper, adding seasonings to meat while cooking. Drain grease.
  2. Add both boxes of beef broth, can of tomatoes (with juice) and barley to skillet.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hr – 1 1/4 hrs. Stir occasionally.
  3. When barley is softened, add 1 can of corn (drained) and 1 can of green beans (drained) to skillet. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes longer.
  4. Serve!


Lessons: Needs a little more seasoning. Will need to tinker with different seasonings the next time I make this.





Hearty Beef Stew – Updated

Ever get those food cravings where something sounds really good, and while you won’t go nuts if you don’t have it (unlike pms cravings) you still end up buying and/or making the food?

Yesterday I was thinking that beef stew sounded pretty good, but I’m fighting a cold so I was not in the mood to cook last night. Today though I’m feeling a bit better and so I stopped on the way home to pick up meat and veggies to make beef stew.

There it is, cooking away in the pot. Doesn’t that make your mouth water?

Ingredients in Shell’s Hearty Beef Stew:

1 1/2 lbs stew beef

4 redskin potatoes, diced

5 stalks of celery, diced

1/2 bag of baby carrots

1 1/2 cups barley

1 green pepper, sliced

1/2 cup cut green beans

1/4 cup cut sugar snap peas (would have been more but the bag wasn’t as fresh as I thought)

Swanson’s Beef Broth – low sodium

It has about an hour left to cook, but I’ll try to get a picture of the stew in the bowl once it’s done!

11/6/11 – Edit to add photo and lessons learned:

Lessons learned:

  • This was my first time using barley as an ingredient. 1 1/2 cups of barley is too much once it’s all cooked (unless you have room to add more broth in the pot). Didn’t realize it expanded THAT much! But… this was very delicious and my husband’s response was “This is really good.”
  • I would probably use red bell pepper next time, to add more color to the meal.
  • Last lesson… it’s still really good the next day!

Chicken Pot Pie

Other than the rough looking crust…what’s pictured above is my very first attempt at making a chicken pot pie. And it’s a success! (other than the looks of the crust as I said).

What does the looks of the crust matter, when the inside looks this good?

Rather than ramble on more, I’ll share my recipe for my readers.

Shell’s Chicken Pot Pie


3-6 chicken breasts (less if they are thick, more if they are thin)

1 can Cream of Chicken (10 3/4 oz)

1 can Cream of Broccoli (10 3/4 oz)

1 large idaho potato, cut into small chunks

1 cup baby carrots, diced

1 cup frozen corn (thawed)

1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix (thawed and diced up)

Chopped onion (amount depends on your preference)

Chopped green pepper (amount depends on your preference)

2 tsp diced garlic

1 tsp poultry seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 pkg Pillsbury Pie Crust (2 crusts)


1. Add chicken, chopped onion, green peppers, and carrots to a sauce pan. Add enough water to cover everything. Next add 1 tsp of diced garlic and 1 tsp poultry seasoning. Cook for 10-15 minutes (until chicken is cooked). If you like, add salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a small sauce pan, add the chopped potato, water, and allow to cook until almost soft but not falling apart. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. In a large bowl, combine the diced broccoli, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, 1 tsp diced garlic.

5. Drain the chicken and cooked veggies. Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add the chicken and cooked veggies to the bowl of other veggies.

6. Mix everything together and add in the cans of Cream of Chicken and Cream of Broccoli. Make sure everything is mixed together well.

7. In a deep dish pie pan, roll out one of the Pillsbury pie crusts. Fill the crust with the chicken mixture. Roll out the 2nd pie crust and place on top of the pot pie. Seal the edges of the crusts together then cut steam vents in the top.

8. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees.

9. Serve!