Italian Chicken & Spinach Delight

You know I appreciate an easy recipe. This Italian Chicken & Spinach Delight couldn’t get any easier. It’s so good that my kids have asked for it every week for the past three weeks, and since it’s so easy, who am I to say no? Oh–and the funny name? Reader and fellow-twin-mom Julie sent me this recipe over Facebook, but it didn’t have a name. As my son was ooh-ing and aah-ing over each layer as I made it, I asked what we should call it, and he said Chicken & Spinach Delight. Voila!

Italian Chicken & Spinach Delight | MoneywiseMoms | An amazingly easy layered meal that your family will love!

Italian Chicken & Spinach Delight
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • Bag of baby spinach
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced to even thickness
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup of good-quality Balsamic Viniagrette Dressing
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x11 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Layer the bag of baby spinach in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Lay the chicken on top of the spinach.
  4. Cover chicken with diced tomatoes.
  5. Pour dressing over chicken & tomatoes.
  6. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken reaches 160 degrees as measured with meat thermometer.

I served this over pasta, but it would equally good over quinoa, couscous or rice to soak up the juices. It’s our new favorite dish. If you’re eating gluten-free, just make sure your dressing is GF, or make your own. Enjoy!

 

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms For more easy, family-friendly casserole recipes,
follow my Capitivating Casseroles board on Pinterest.

 

Italian Chicken & Spinach Delight is linked up to Fluster’s Creative Muster at Fluster Buster, Gluten-Free Roundup at Musings of a Housewife, What’s For Dinner Tonight? at Confessions of an Overworked Mom and What’s Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back.

10 Sensational Sides for Soups & Stews

10 Sensational Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms

This fall weather brings with it lots of yummy soups and stews. I prefer to use my slow cooker to let them simmer all day, which frees up a little time to make some fresh-baked bread or other side to go along with them. Here are some new sides for soups & stews to jazz up your meals:

Easy Homemade French Bread from The Frugal Girl

This Easy Homemade French Bread from The Frugal Girl is such a great alternative to buying a loaf each time you’re at the grocery store. The ingredients are so inexpensive, and there are only five of them!

Honey Jalapeno Cornbread from Dough-Eyed

This Honey Jalapeno Cornbread from Dough-Eyed is a nice change from regular, and it would go great with everything from chowder to tortilla soup.

Divine Breadsticks from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Quick bread recipes are great to have on hand for last-minute sides. These Divine Breadsticks from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe take about an hour (between rising, rolling and baking), and they’re sooooo good.

Quick & Easy Herb Parmesan Bread from Foodista

A really basic recipe like this Quick & Easy Herb Parmesan Bread from Foodista is great to have in your wheelhouse. It goes with any kind of soup or stew and makes a great gift.

Basic Biscuits from Krissy's Creations

Basic Biscuits, like this traditional recipe from Krissy’s Creations, are simple but elegant. I’ve never had a biscuit cutter; I just use the top of a glass.

Easy Homemade Garlic Knots from The Recipe Critic

Make Easy Homemade Garlic Knots from The Recipe Critic. They don’t take long to rise, and you can knead by hand if you don’t have a mixer. The garlic spread are what put them over the top into fantastic!

No Knead Beer Bread from Buttercream Fanatic

Beginner bread baker? This No-Knead Beer Bread from Buttercream Fanatic is perfect for you. It’s a flavorful loaf that’s doesn’t require any rising or kneading.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread from Wishful Winking

Try something new with this Super Simple Rosemary Focaccia Bread recipe from Wishful Whisking. My kids love sticking their thumbprints in the dough and pressing the herbs in. It does take 12-18 hours to rise, so start it the night before you plan to serve.
Crusty Artisan Bread from Somewhat Simple

If you haven’t jumped on the easy Artisan Bread wagon, now’s your chance! It really is THAT easy. This Crusty Artisan Bread recipe at Somewhat Simple will show you how.

Dill Ricotta Rolls from MoneywiseMoms

My Dill Ricotta Rolls are a nice change from regular dinner rolls, and you can substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta if needed.

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms For more yummy bread, rolls, and breadstick recipes,
follow my Bread & Baked Yums board on Pinterest.

 

This post is linked up to Happy Hour Friday at Happy Hour Projects.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

If you’ve never tried cooking stew, this simple Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe will make it easy for you. Just throw it all in the crockpot and let it go all day. We love some garlic bread or biscuits on the side, but you can also add some peeled potatoes to the stew for your carbs.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew | A simple recipe for beginner cooks to make a hearty crockpot meal

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
 
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 lbs beef stew meet, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup flour*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 32 oz beef broth
Instructions
  1. After chopping, put all of the vegetables into the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, coat the beef with flour, then add to the slow cooker (just discard any extra flour).
  3. Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce and broth.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (it can't be overdone).

*This recipe is easily made gluten-free just by substituting GF flour to coat the meat (I’ve done it before it works fine). Double-check your beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to make sure they’re gluten-free, too.

If you’re a beginner cook, just look for beef marked “Beef for Stew” in the meat department at your grocery store. The chunks are quite large, which is why I cut them smaller for the kids before cooking.

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms For more fall & winter slow cooking recipes,
follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot board on Pinterest.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew is linked up to the GF Recipe Roundup at Musings of a Housewife and Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.

Fabulous Fall Slow Cooker Soups

Fabulous Fall Slow Cooker Soups | Get dinner on the table with these easy, one pot meals.

Slow Cooker Soups are just what you need this fall to get dinner on the table easily. I love being able to throw everything into one pot, give it a stir, and enjoy the results. It’s not just a time-saver, it’s a stress-saver! There’s often leftovers for lunches or even to freeze for another dinner later in the month.

Slow Cooker Soups

Baked Potato Soup
This easy recipe from Today’s Mama calls for sauteeing the onions ahead of time to soften them, but I might give it a try without since I hate pre-cooking when I use my slow cooker. It can be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and skip the bacon topper.

 

Slow Cooker Soups

Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is one of our family favorites here at MoneywiseMoms. It’s got a low spice level for  my kids, but you can add crushed red pepper flakes, Tabasco, or hot sauce if you’d like to rev it up. We add  sour cream and crushed tortilla chips to the top for garnish.

Slow Cooker Soups

Taste of Tuscany Soup
With the tastes of sausage, beans and tomato, this soup from Yummy Mummy Club is hearty and filling. Garnish with fresh baby spinach for a little texture. So many healthy ingredients!

Slow Cooker Soups

Sweet Potato Chili
Skip the ground sirloin to make this a vegetarian chili. Find this healthy recipe at the blog Can You Stay for Dinner?

  Slow Cooker Soups

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Dress up the usual chicken noodle soup by adding some cream cheese for a creamy, delicious broth. All but the noodles go in the slow cooker in the morning; add the dry noodles about a half hour before serving. Find the recipe at Better Homes & Gardens.

Slow Cooker Soups

Sausage and Lentil Soup
This hearty soup combines chicken sausage, zucchini, tomatoes and lentils. While my recipe has instructions for stove-top cooking, you can easily throw it all into a slow cooker for the day.

If you’ve never tried cooking soups from scratch, challenge yourself this fall to give it a try. It’s not as hard as you think, and the flavors are tastier than canned. You’re also eating healthier.

What are your favorite Slow Cooker Soups?

Brown Sugar Maple Muffins

It’s fall! Bring on the yummy-smelling baked goods, like these Brown Sugar Maple Muffins. You’ll find a lot of muffin recipes here at MoneywiseMoms because they make a great healthy afternoon snack and are easy to slip into a lunchbox. These come out of the oven with a slightly-crisp edge that’s just divine. These would be great with some chopped walnuts added as well, but we have to avoid nuts in my house.

Brown Sugar Maple Muffins | Simple recipe using whole food ingredients for delicious Brown Sugar Maple Muffins, perfect for an afterschool snack or lunchbox treat.

Brown Sugar Maple Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk, butter, syrup, yogurt, egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until moistened.
  4. Prepare muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or paper liners. Recipe will make 48 mini-muffins or 12 regular-sized muffins.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees; 11-13 minutes for mini-muffins or 16-20 minutes for regular-sized.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans.


Looking for more great muffin recipes? Try Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, or Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins and others listed in my Recipe Index.

This Brown Sugar Maple Muffins recipe is linked up to Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale and Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

Are your mornings busy, too? As we head into the back to school routine, I’m having a hard time getting my son to eat breakfast. Soon, he’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn to swim, and he shouldn’t exercise on an empty stomach. This Banana Blueberry Breakfast Muffins recipe will help. It’s healthy–filled with fruit, fiber (from the wheat flour, oats and flaxseed), and yogurt. It’s also portable, perfect to eat on the drive along with a cup of milk. It’s a quick breakfast for moms, too, not just kids!

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

Banana Blueberry Breakfast Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 2 whole ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add yogurt, oil, and egg.
  2. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, sugar, flour, flaxseed and oatmeal.
  3. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Spoon into 12 greased or paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


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This Banana Blueberry Breakfast Muffins recipe is linked up to Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale, Taste of Tuesday at Blissfully Miller and Let’s Get Bananas, and Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.

 

Summer Slow Cooker Meals

Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Slow cookers are usually thought of for fall and winter comfort foods–soups, stews, and pot roast. Now that it’s summer, we’re looking for the same ease and low-stress meal prep that the slow cooker allows but with a different menu.  These Summer Slow Cooker Meals are my family’s favorites and easy enough for you to try anytime this season:

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken | Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
With just 6 ingredients, this makes a full meal that’s satisfying and savory. If you prefer to make your own teriyaki sauce, it’s easy enough to do.

Foil Packet Tilapia
Prep some tilapia filets in aluminum foil and cook on high for 2-2.5 hours. Serve with a fresh salad or veggies from your garden for a light summer meal. Stephanie’s Foil Packet Tilapia recipe is so easy–just mayo, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese–and the fish comes out flaky and tender. If your kids haven’t tried it, tilapia is a great “first fish.”

Italian Sloppy Joes  | Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Italian Sloppy Joes
Sloppy joes are a kid fave, and they’re easy to load into the slow cooker when you’ve previously browned your ground beef or ground turkey and frozen it. This recipe calls for mushrooms and onions, but you canalso add chopped peppers or zucchini for an extra veggie.

Pork Ragu & Fettuccine
This has become one of the most-requested meals at our house, especially by my husband. I love how easy it is, and it uses ingredients I often have on hand (like diced tomatoes), so it gets made often.

Slow Cooker Moo Shu | Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Moo Shu Chicken or Pork
With just three ingredients, this Moo Shu is easy to pull together and easy to serve in either wheat or white tortillas as wraps.

Mediterranean Chicken
My famly just loves Greek flavors, so this is always enjoyed. Layer chicken breasts or thighs in the slow cooker, then cover with a can of diced tomatoes, a can of artichoke hearts, and a can of olives (my kids prefer black to green). Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then serve over rice, pasta or quinoa to sop up the juices. I usually sprinkle a little Feta cheese on top for a little tang.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches | Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
This is the recipe I pull out whenever we have company over the summer. It’s easy to double–or triple!–if needed, and it always comes out great. The sauce is a great mix of mustard and vinegar barbeque flavor, and it’s made from scratch. You could also just use a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Sometimes we’ll do BBQ Chicken instead of pork.

Shredded Chicken Tacos
This is one of the most versatile “dump” recipes you’ll ever use: just combine chicken breasts or thighs with a jar of salsa (or salsa verde), or a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, and then shred the chicken. It’s moist and delicious, which makes for great tacos served in flour tortillas with all the fixings. With the leftovers, I usually make quesadillas another day, or roll enchiladas to stick in the freezer.

Chicken Cacciatore from Eat At Home | Summer Slow Cooker Meals | MoneywiseMoms

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
This Chicken Cacciatore recipe from Eat at Home includes a homemade sauce, but you can just use a jar if you don’t have the ingredients on hand. Serve over pasta for an easy meal.

Slow Cooker Fajitas
Instead of peppers and onions with an Italian sauce, change over to Mexican and make fajitas instead. Just layer strips of raw chicken breast with sliced onions and bell peppers in your slow cooker, add 2 teaspoons each of chili powder, cumin, paprika and garlic powder (in lieu of a Taco seasoning packet), and cook on low 6-7 hours. Serve in tortillas with salsa, sour cream, and other sides.

What are your favorite summer slow cooker meals?

Looking for more easy crockpot/slow cooker meals? Read 5 Beginner Crockpot Meals and follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot board on Pinterest.

Herb Roasted Pork

This Herb Roasted Pork is one of my family’s favorites because of the flavorful rub and how tender the meat comes out. I love it because it takes minutes to prep and then the oven does all the work. It does have a long cooking time (1-2 hours), so keep that in mind when adding it to your meal plan. This spicy Herb Rub would taste great on chicken, too, if you’re not a fan of pork! With the warmer weather upon us, it’s time to switch from the oven to the grill, and this recipe should transfer well. Just make sure you use a thermometer to check that your pork reaches a safe cooking temperature.

Herb Roasted Pork

Herb Roasted Pork
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb Boneless Pork Loin Roast
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Combine all the spices and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and combine to make the Herb Rub.
  4. Apply to all surfaces of the pork roast and place in shallow pan (I use a 9x12).
  5. Roast in oven for 1-1.5 hours (approximately 20 minutes per pound), or until temperature reads 145 degrees.
  6. Remove roast from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing to serve.

 

I’ve been buying a four-pack of boneless pork loin roasts from Costco since they’re priced at $1.99/lb. Between this, the Slow Cooker Pork Ragu & Fettuccine, Pineapple Pork Chops, and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches I’ve got a whole month’s worth of pork meals in my rotation.

This Herb Roasted Pork recipe is linked up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Fluster’s Creative Muster Party at Fluster Buster.

Slow Cooker Moo Shu (Chicken or Pork)

Need a quick & easy meal to save you on a busy weeknight? This Slow Cooker Moo Shu can be made with either chicken or pork and is super simple! The slow cooker is such a lifesaver on the nights that we have sports practice around the dinner hour. By setting up the slow cooker earlier in the day, I can walk in the house to a great smelling dinner. I love it! Since we always order Moo Shu when we do Chinese takeout, I knew a home-cooked version would go over well. I adapted this Slow Cooker Moo Shu recipe by simplifying this recipe from Taste of Home.

Slow Cooker Moo Shu

Slow Cooker Moo Shu
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pork loin or boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 jar Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw or cole slaw
  • 8 whole grain tortillas
Instructions
  1. In large slow cooker, combine meat with Hoisin Sauce. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Ten minutes before serving, add broccoli or cole slaw to slow cooker.
  3. Serve wrapped in tortillas, with additional Hoisin Sauce, if desired.

 

10 Sensations Sides for Soups & Stews | MoneywiseMoms For more easy, family-friendly slow cooker recipes,
follow my Slow Cooker & Crockpot board on Pinterest.

 

You’ll find more easy meals to save your busy weeknights at my readers’ Favorite Recipes of 2012 or my Recipe Index.

Slow Cooker Moo Shu is linked up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam.

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