Tag Archive | "Quick and Easy Dinners"

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Gorgonzola

Posted on 16 February 2012 by noelskitchen

Spinach Salad marinates in fresh strawberry balsamic vinegar before being topped with strawberry slices, grilled chicken, lemon zest and gorgonzola cheese, resulting in a flavorful and fresh salad.

On Valentine’s Day, I wanted to try something a little different approach to our family meal. I wanted something fresh tasting and healthy. Spinach doesn’t make it to our table a whole lot for reasons unknown really. I love a good spinach salad but always afraid the kids with give me that Ewww!!!! comment.

One way that I’ve found that works and the kids seem to really enjoy having fresh spinach  is to marinate it in the dressing for awhile before I serve it. In this way, the spinach gets a little bit of extra flavor at the last minute before serving, resulting in a very fresh and still crisp salad.

The addition of oranges, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds lends texture and complexity at the same time as sweet, tart, and nutty goodness.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Gorgonzola

 Serves: 6


  • 1 Tablespoon balsmic vinegar
  • 6 strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (optional)


  • 8-10 ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled
  • crumbled Gorgonzola cheese


  • Create the dressing by adding balsamic vinegar, strawberries, salt, pepper, tarron, sugar and lemon zest to food processor or blender. Blend until well pureed.
  • While blending, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the dressing.
  • Place in a mason jar with lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Prepare the salad: spinach, red onion, sliced strawberries. Drizzle some dressing over the top. Mix lightly. Add grilled chicken and Gorgonzola cheese. (I have an easy way to “grill” the chicken for those of you who don’t have an indoor or outdoor grill that I’ll write up in another post. It’s so easy!)

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Taco Rice with Beans and Corn

Posted on 19 January 2012 by noelskitchen

Beans and Rice are regular staple in our house and these key ingredients are always found on the weekly menu. Sometimes they are a side dish and sometimes they just make it as the main meal. That’s why I love the fact that these three key ingredients work so well together. With Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix this is one of my Fast Fix Meals on any night of the week.

 Taco Rice with Beans and Corn

 Serves 6


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup black beans or pinto beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen or can)


  1. In a stock pot over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil, add rice and taco seasoning. Stir until combined.
  2. Quickly add black beans and corn, stirring until combined. Cover and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook for 25 minutes. Fluff lightly with a fork.
  4. Serve as a main dish or side dish.

*Garnish with tomato and cilantro (optional)

Recipe linked and shared on Recipe Lion’s Favorite Comfort Foods Giveaway

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Saturday Weekend Cooking:Hamburger Potato Casserole

Posted on 02 August 2010 by noelskitchen

photo credit: quinn.anya

Saturday Weekend Warrior

By dedicating a few hours each weekend, I am saving myself a lot of time during the week. This week as we gear up for Back to School, we need to start thinking about meals that are not only simple and quick, healthy and nutritious but also keeps to our weeknight school schedule. Try planning a few meals ahead of time, freezing them, than pulling out and placing in the refrigerator the day you decide to use that meal. It’s that easy. Here’s a simple dish with meat, potatoes and vegetables all in one!

Cooking Up Meals: Make IT Now- Bake IT Later!

Hamburger Potato Casserole


1 pound lean ground beef

1 medium size onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6 medium size  Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced

1 cup corn kernels

4 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

1 large can diced tomatoes with juice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onions. Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Add tomatoes with juices and corn to the meat mixture. Stir until all ingredients are combined. 

Lightly spray a  rectangular 9 x13 baking dish with baking spray. Layer sliced potatoes along the bottom of baking dish. Spread hamburger mixture over potatoes evenly. Add another layer of sliced potatoes over the top. Drizzle with a little ketchup.

Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are done. Let cool. Place in freezer, wrapped tightly or in refrigerator if you plan on using this meal within 1-2 days.  When ready to bake, defrost in refrigerator. Reheat in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with a green salad and french bread.

Recipe Tip: You could substitute green beans for the corn or even add celery or diced green bell pepper.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.com.

Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Clubon Facebook.  





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