Italian Stuffed Shells
- · Thaw Shells completely before baking. Loosen the lid, then bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove lid and bake 10 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and shells are hot throughout.
- · If baking from frozen, baking time will be 1 – 1.5 hours.
Crock Pot Mongolian Beef & Broccoli:
Crock Pot Time: 4-5 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low
- Place beef, veggies and sauce into crock pot, saving out the broccoli and container of corn starch. Cook until beef is very tender, 4-8 hours, depending on crock pot setting.
- If desired for a thicker sauce, combine corn starch with water until it is a thick liquid, then stir into mixture until well combined. Cook an additional 30 minutes on low setting
- If desired, add broccoli into crock pot at this point and allow to soften (but don’t leave it for too long, or broccoli will become mushy). You can also prepare broccoli by steaming, stir frying or just enjoy raw.
- Heat rice in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a wet paper towel, for 3-5 min. until hot.
- Serve beef over rice. Leftovers can be frozen.
Two Soups Dinner:
- Thaw soups in fridge or in a warm water bath, then heat separately on stovetop or in the microwave. If heating on the stove, stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Serve Chorizo Lentil Stew with Goat Cheese, if desired.
- Serve Mushroom Tarragon Soup with Parmesan Topping.
- WWarm Rolls in the oven until hot
- Pasta, Plain & Fancy:
- · Thaw pasta sauces completely.
- · Cook Rotini for approximately 10 minutes or until they reach desired tenderness.
- · Warm Eggplant Marinara on stovetop or in the microwave. Serve over rotini and top with shredded parmesan if desired.
- · Warm Alfredo sauce on the stovetop, adding in the grated parmesan while warming, stirring until cheese is melted and well-combined with sauce. Add rotini to the pan, stirring until the pasta is well-coated with sauce. Serve on plates an top with additional parmesan, if desired.
Famers’ Market Israeli Coucous with Smoked Chicken:
You can enjoy your Couscous hot or cold, over spinach or on its own. If you want to heat it up, just warm it up in the microwave (covered with a damp paper towel, of course), for a few minutes. I like it a little closer to room temp rather than piping hot, but see what you like best. I would make a bed of spinach and then add the couscous on top, drizzle with a little Basil Balsamic dressing and call it a day, but to each his or her own. You can also add things from your own pantry or fridge, like extra cheese, croutons, hot sauce, nuts (I think sunflower seeds would be really good in here), olives, green onions, etc. You get the picture – pretty much anything goes.
Of course you’ll want to start your meal with a little pita & hummus appetizer. Just warm the pita up in a toaster or in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so until it’s soft and toasty. Spread with hummus & enjoy!
Fiesta Bake Dinners: Happy Cinco de Mayo!
If you ordered a Fiesta Bake dinner, you’ll want to plan ahead a bit to enjoy your dinner. We recommend defrosting in the fridge at least overnight. Make sure you have your favorite taco toppings on hand – we’ve included salsa, and some of you may have ordered the guacamole as well, but we’d also suggest sour cream, shredded lettuce, and hot sauce. When you have all of that ready, remove the cover and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot throughout. You may want to throw the tortillas in the oven for the last few minutes to get them nice and warm before serving. Serve the meal family-style, scooping filling into your tortillas and then topping with anything you like.
To serve your guacamole, I recommend defrosting either in the fridge or in a cold water bath (in the bag, of course). Squish the bag around a little as you defrost. We kept it mild, so you may want to spice it up with some extra jalapenos if you like!
Porch Pocket Pies:
· Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place your pockets on a cookie sheet. Allow the pockets to thaw slightly before baking, either in the fridge or on the countertop. Bake them for 20-40 minutes or until they are slightly brown on top and cooked throughout. (Your cooking time may be shorter or longer depending on how thawed they are when they go in the oven.)
· Warm your orzo in the microwave in a glass dish for a minute or two, covered, then stir.
- · Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and popping you Bake pan in for about 30 minutes. Loosen the lid before you put it in, but leave covered the whole time. If you’re in a big hurry, feel free to scoop the bake into a bowl and microwave, but baking is our preferred method. (The low carb chicken bake can be prepared the same way.)
- · While the Bake is warming, make up some bowls with the other toppings – the slaw, lettuce, salsa & sour cream. If you have other family favorites, like jalapenos, black olives, or hot sauce, by all means add those right in.
- · Finally, your tacos will be tastier if you warm the tortillas up a bit too. You can either heat them in the oven with your bake for 5 minutes or so, wrapped in foil, or in the microwave, wrapped in a paper towel for 30 seconds – 1 minutes. Then, keep them wrapped in a cloth towel until you are ready to eat so that they will stay soft and warm.
- · Once everything is ready, bring it out to the table and let everyone dig in! I am proud to say that this dinner had a 100% satisfaction rating in our house, mostly because everyone was able to customize to his or her liking! If you’re not in a taco mood, you can also top your lettuce and veggies with the chicken taco mixture and enjoy a hearty salad. Or make a hybrid – I like mine totally loaded with lettuce and slaw, while some others at the table were less enthusiastic about the green stuff. Any way you do it, though, we hope it will be a hit at your house!
Heat your quesadilla in the oven, on the foil, for 10-15 minutes while your bake is warming. Let it cool slightly before cutting into it, and you should be good to go. Add toppings as desired!
Jumbo Stuffed Shells:
You can bake these at 350 degrees from frozen, for approximately 1 hour or from thawed for approximately 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes further. Serve with bread & green salad – yum!
This salad is wonderful warm or cold, so heat if you like. We love it over greens, mixed with a little dressing and the goat cheese that we've included. If you want to make it more of a meal, add pieces of rotisserie chicken or chopped chicken sausage. It's gluten-free, too!
Fresh VeggieSalad & Zesty Remoulade Dip:
Depending on your crew, you can either throw everything into your salad together or let each person do it for him or herself. We seem to have more success getting the kids to try new things when they are the ones to put it on the plate. The dressing is our version of Remoulade –it’s full of garlic and herbs, and it’s so tasty!
Central Grocery Mini Muffaletta:
A muffaletta sandwich is one of my favorite New Orleans treats. I love olives & Italian meats, and the combination is pretty hard to beat! If you have small people eating, you may want to cut your muffaletta sandwiches up into smaller pieces – I’m sure you can find something to do with any extras! If the olive spread is too strong for the kids, take a piece of the salami and a piece of cheese and roll them together for a simpler version of the real thing. If you love this olive spread, check the blog for the recipe!
Shake Your Money-Maker Jambalaya:
Jambalaya is a dry rice dish, similar but slightly different than it’s soupy cousin, Gumbo. I tried to keep it a little less dry so that the rice could soak up the flavorful liquid, but it’s a tricky balance! To warm without drying the dish out, dump everything in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel and heat for several minutes until hot. You may want to add toppings like green onions, cheese, or hot sauce, depending on what suits your fancy.
Kids’ Ham and Cheese & Fresh French Beans:
Your kids can eat these sandwiches as they are, but they’d be even better toasted for a few minutes! The beans are just barely cooked, so still very fresh and crisp. My kids like to dip them in ranch dressing, but they are great plain with just a little salt. If your kids are the fancy types, they might like them even better if you refer to them by their fancy French name, Haricot Verts.
Chicken or Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Red or Green Sauce:
Defrost sauce and enchiladas before baking (although enchiladas can be baked from frozen if you’re in a hurry). Remove cover and pour the sauce directly onto the enchiladas, then sprinkle with cheese. Replace cover loosely, and bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on whether enchiladas were fully defrosted before you baked them. Remove cover and bake 10-15 minutes further until the cheese is melted and bubbly. All to cool and serve with a salad chips, and other fun goodies like salsa, guacamole, and sour cream!
Mamacita's Tortilla Soup:
Defrost soup in the fridge or in a warm water bath, then heat on the stove. Serve with a wedge of lime, diced avocado, cheese, chips and hot sauce for people to mix in!
The Cha Cha Chipotle Pork Tostada & Fixings
- Depending on how you want to serve the meal, you have two heating choices. If you want to let everyone make their own tostada at the table, heat the meat, rice and beans separately first. The best way to heat the meat up would be to warm it, covered, for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, then uncover it and turn your broiler on for no more than 5 minutes. This will give it that great crunchy crust that makes pork so yummy. But if you’re in a hurry and just want to get the food on the table before a riot breaks out, you can also just throw it in the microwave for a minute to warm it up.
- To heat your rice, simply put it into a microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and heat for 1-2 minutes. It will be nice and hot, but not dried out.
- Once the meat, beans and rice are warm, just bring everything out to the table and let the fun begin! Everyone can make tostadas at the table, topping them with any or all of the elements included in your bag – beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce & Ninfa’s Green Sauce (we kept it milder this week so your kids might like to try it too!). It’s fun to see how different everyone’s dinner will be! You may even find extras in your own fridge to add on – black olives, jalapenos, onions, etc. Whatever you like!
- If you prefer to get the plates ready in the kitchen, prepare the basic tostadas (I would suggest loading them this way: tostadas, beans, meat & cheese) and then heat them on a cookie sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese melts. Once you have the basic tostada on the plate, everyone can top with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, etc. Serve the rice on the side or on use it as a topping too.
- Another variation on the meal would be to use the shredded lettuce to make a salad. Add the meat and whatever toppings you like, then use the Ninfa’s as a salad dressing (or your own favorite). Crunch up a few chips on top like croutons and you’ll have the best looking salad in town.
- If you ordered the kids’ meal, heat the quesadilla in the oven on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or until thoroughly warm and melted. Your kids may enjoy topping their quesadillas with various things as well!
We love this avocado-based salsa as a dip for chips, but it’s also great as a salad dressing or as a topping for tostadas. You can enjoy it cold as is, or warmed up slightly in the microwave. If you want to spice it up a little, add in some Texas Pete’s or jalapenos!
Super Bowl Party Package:
- Mole Enchiladas: To heat, defrost the container of mole sauce in a warm water bath or in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour mole sauce onto the enchiladas, top with cheese, then recover loosely with metal lid or with foil. Bake for 1 hour, covered, then remove lid and bake 15-20 minutes further or until heated throughout.
- Corndog Casserole: Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for one hour, then remove lid and bake 20-30 minutes further or until heated thoroughly.
- Empanadas: Bake on a cookie sheet from frozen, at 400 degrees, for 15-20 minutes or until hot throughout. Serve with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
- Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball: When ready to serve, roll the ball in the pecan-bacon-jalapeno mixture until covered all over. (We kept the nuts separate to be careful of allergies, but if you are using them, just mix in with the bacon & jalapenos.)