Baked Chicken and Gnocchi

Oh Mondays….

Yes, today is Monday. And today, we had homeschool group. My 3 year old son… MILDLY behaved and reminded me of the previous week.

So, last week.. here’s the situation: my son thinks that he can be independent and make his own decisions. As his mother, it is my job to teach him that mommy knows what’s best and if he refuses to do what I say, consequences will follow. The problem? When we are in the car, driving 60+ mph down the freeway, it is VERY hard to discipline a little boy. So, we leave our homeschool group, and he’s tired and hungry. I hand him a baggie of veggie straws (Like… potato straws, but made from veggies… very chip like). 3 seconds later, he LOUDLY proclaims that he’s “ALL DONE!”. I, at that moment in time, cannot reach back and grab the bag from his grimy little hands. I tell him, “hold on to the bag for a minute until mommy can grab the bag”. He then proceeds to start to chuck the veggie straws AT MY HEAD! Yes, yes this is true. I am yelling “No, mommy will take the bag”, as well as telling him consequences that will happen from these bad choices. I start trying to get the bag from him and trying to grab at any part of his body that I can reach, and he stealthily, like a tiny ninja, somehow completely evades my reach! I cannot turn around to see how this is happening, as we are STILL on the freeway. He then starts throwing them all over the car, one at a time and starts yelling “na-na-na boo boo”. Yeah. That happened. By the time we got home 30 minutes later I was fuming and he was asleep. Ugh. I carry him inside, and do NOT put his cars in bed with him like he requested before he fell asleep… (that sure told him!)… and proceed to take my dog out to eat all of the veggie straws from the van floor. Whew! What’s a mom to do? Cry and an call her husband, pray that the next day will be better, and figure out how to properly discipline in the car… working on it… I think I will be a consistent work in progress.

So today… another Monday, another homeschool group day. This evening, I feed my kids their meal (rice and beans with a smoothie… easy.. so very easy) and was going to have that for me and my hubby… then I see the package of gnocchi in my fridge and just HAVE to have it tonight. So, I proceed to start cooking and then go out to my detached garage where I keep all of my meat in our deep freeze. I then find out that for some reason our lock is broken. The key gets STUCK in the door. I literally cannot get into my garage until 1.5 hours later when my husband gets home. So… dinner was late. But whatever, it was good!!!!! Gotta be honest… Mondays are always a bit rough!

So, here’s my craving meal for tonight…. cuz I needed a bit of comfort food!

bakedgnochi

Baked Chicken and Gnocci!

And, I gotta say, it’s a comfort food and I will definitely be craving it in the future!

Inspired by: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/baked-gnocchi-with-chicken.html?soc=sharingpinterest

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onions
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
1 cup low-sodium free range, fat free chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups diced chicken. I used 3 large chicken tenderloins seasoned, cooked and diced (Orig. recipe called for leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 17 .5-ounce package potato gnocchi
1 1/2 cups loosely packed baby kale
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
1/2 tsp cumin
dash cayenne pepper
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
bakedgnocchi2

Directions
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not let burn. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat; add the flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Add 2 TB lemon juice and the lemon zest. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth; simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg, cumin and cayenne.

Add the chicken, onions and garlic back in, and the gnocchi and kale to the sauce and stir until coated and the kale wilts. Sprinkle with the parmesan, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler; broil until lightly browned on top, about 3 more minutes.

bakedgnocchi3

I definitely kept to a smaller portion with this one, because of the yummy creaminess… but it was DELICIOUS! I liked the uniqueness that the cumin and cayenne added, but you do NOT have to add those spices… that’s my addition. This one you can definitely play around with.

Well, my day is done, I have enjoyed an evening of Bachelor watching with my friends, and now I’m gonna kiss my hubby and babies goodnight! Have a good one!

And for the quote of the day:

parenting-quote-3

CousCous Stuffed Acorn Squash

stuffedacornsquash

As the weather cools I usually start craving different squash dishes, and warm baked dishes. Now, the “cool” part of the day here is still not dipping very low, but this acorn squash just sounded delicious!

It’s more of a “southwestern” take on it, or tex-mex… maybe? But this one turned out great! You can make it your own too by adding your own leftover meat from the week, or leaving the meat out and letting it be vegetarian!

This one is a good one!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 acorn squash (about 2-3 lbs each)
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 3 TB butter
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh minced cilantro for serving
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup leftover turkey sausage crumbles
  • 3/4 cup leftover shredded pork
  • salsa (optional)

stuffedacornsquash2

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice the tops off each acorn squash and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Toss seeds in the garbage and lay the squashes, cut side down, on a greased foil lined sheet tray. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until very tender when pricked with a fork.
  3. While the squashes are roasting, prepare the filling. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized saucepot with the butter, olive oil and the salt and cumin. Once boiling, add the couscous and remove from the heat and place lid on. 
  4. In the mean time, place the heated up pork (or whatever leftover meat) and the sausage in a large bowl, the can of tomatoes, black beans, and chopped cilantro into the bowl. Once the couscous is done (according to pkg), pour into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fill the inside of the squashes with the couscous mixture and top with mozzarella cheese. Broil on low for about 5-6 minutes until cheese melts.
  6. Top squashes with fresh cilantro, more hot sauce and salsa if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings

stuffedsquash

Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

2eabc35921ea0cc90f83e513e3565beb