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Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Simple, fresh ingredients yield a moist, flavorful one-pot chicken meal that your whole family is sure to love.

Simple, fresh ingredients yield a moist, flavorful one-pot chicken meal.

I won’t prattle on and on about how moist and flavorful this simple roasted chicken recipe turned out.  Or how these were the best roasted vegetables I’ve ever had in my life.  You don’t want to hear about the perfectly light, citrusy sauce in the bottom of the roasting pan that came from the lemons, garlic, fresh herbs, and onion stuffed inside the chicken cavity. 

Simple, fresh ingredients yield a moist, flavorful one-pot chicken meal.

No siree. I wouldn’t want to bore you with the fact that I’ll be making this recipe again and again. I’ll let you be the judge. P.S. Don’t forget to use the leftovers for this or this.

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roasted chicken and vegetables

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Simple, fresh ingredients yield a moist, flavorful one-pot chicken meal.


Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken (we get our chicken from here)
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 large bunch of fresh sage, rosemary, or thyme (or a mixture of those; about one big handful should do), divided
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 34 red potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 large carrots, sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep the chicken: Pull the neck and gizzard out of the chicken cavity (save and use in our chicken stock recipe).
  3. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry.
  4. Coat the outside of the chicken with oil.
  5. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on outside and inside the cavity, as well.
  6. Using some kitchen twine, tie the legs of the chicken together. Tuck the wing tips underneath the body of the chicken. This makes for more even cooking.
  7. Stuff the lemon halves, half the herbs, garlic head, and 1/2 of the onion into the chicken cavity. Set aside.
  8. Prep the veggies: Cut the other half of the onion into 1-2 inch pieces.
  9. In a heavy-bottomed roasting pan, toss onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots with enough EVOO to coat the veggies. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle the sprigs/leaves of Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
  10. Place roasting pan on center rack of preheated oven.
  11. The chicken is done when an internal meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F or the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. This took about 1 hour and 15 minutes in my oven, but it depends on the size of your chicken. Make sure not to overcook!
  12. Once chicken is done, place on a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Mini Crab Cakes Recipe {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Surprise your family and friends with these incredibly-tender crab cakes! Filled with veggies and spices, these are sure to impress!

If I had to pinpoint one favorite food, it might well be crab legs.

A few years ago, when I was on staff with my church, my best friend and I took several high school girls to Charleston for Spring Break.  Those girls were far more sophisticated and mature than I was as a senior.  Every day with them was a culinary adventure, as we searched for great restaurants and analyzed every meal.  I can still taste the delicious fresh crab legs we had one night.

I sometimes lament the fact that I live in the mid-West and don’t have access to fresh caught seafood.  I just do my best with what we get (and what I can afford), which is canned crab in this recipe.  If you’re asking this crab lover, they were tasty none-the-less! My 4-year-old picky boy and my opinionated-but-lovable husband both enjoyed them, too.

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Mini Crab Cakes Recipe {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 mini crab cakes or 4 regular-sized crab cakes 1x
  • Category: Freezer Meal
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Surprise your family and friends with these incredibly-tender crab cakes! Filled with veggies and spices, these are sure to impress!


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley (crush in hand)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for coating cakes before cooking
  • 2 6-ounce cans of crab meat, drained well
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Optional garnishes: lemon wedges or seafood sauce

Instructions

  1. In medium pan, saute onion, celery, and pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat until soft (2-3 minutes.) Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  2. In medium bowl, mix mayo, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, egg, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, and parsley. Stir in slightly cooled sauteed vegetables. Gently fold in breadcrumbs and crab meat. Cover and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Form meat mixture into 8 mini or 4 regular-sized crab cake patties. Lightly coat both sides of crab cakes in more panko bread crumbs.
  4. Melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium pan over medium heat. Cook patties for about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once when first side is nicely browned. Remove from pan.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges or seafood sauce.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze: Put the patties together and then freeze in airtight container before cooking.
To Prepare: When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge or in the microwave on the defrost setting. Cook as directed.

Pizza Stromboli {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

These homemade strombolis make a great meal that can be personalized to the likes of your family! Made with whole wheat and filled with cheesy goodness, these are a winner!

Tired of the same old boring pizza?  Want something that looks impressive (especially when you slice into it), is comforting, is kid-friendly and parent-friendly in one dish?  This Pizza Stromboli might just be it!

I made eight Pizza Strombolis last night for my freezer club, and then we baked one for dinner. (You’ll find 60+ more freezer-friendly recipe HERE.) It was cheesy deliciousness.  I’m going to call it “healthy” because of the whole wheat crust and vegetables, ok?  The recipe below is for the amounts for half kid-friendly (ham and cheese)  and half adult-friendly (ham, veggies, and cheese). However, feel free to use your own favorite toppings. That’s the beauty of this recipe.

In fact, what I learned after we ate it last night was that you can easily hide veggies in this dish because it is rolled up and smothered in cheese.

Wondering what the process of making this looks like? It’s not hard at all…

These homemade strombolis make a great meal that can be personalized to the likes of your family! Made with whole wheat and filled with cheesy goodness, these are a winner!

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Pizza Stromboli

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

These homemade Stromboli make a great meal that can be personalized to the likes of your family! Made with whole wheat and filled with cheesy goodness, these are a sure winner!


Ingredients

  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ¾ cup ham, chopped
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, sliced (about 3 mushrooms)
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) organic baby spinach, torn in pieces
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • garlic powder, enough to sprinkle over the top
  • Italian seasoning, enough to sprinkle over the top
  • 1 ½ cup Italian Mix shredded cheese
  • 1 ½ cup Mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (to make the egg wash)
  • Our whole wheat pizza dough

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 10 by 14 inches.
  2. Next, spread the pizza sauce leaving a 1-inch border.
  3. Then, sprinkle around other items in order listed: ham, mushrooms, spinach, parsley, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, Italian mix cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Using a pastry brush, paint the border of one long edge with egg wash.
  5. Starting at the opposite long end without egg wash, roll up the dough into a cylinder, pinching the edges to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of the Stromboli with egg wash.
  6. Bake until nearly completely golden brown, about 25-30 minutes (mine took at least 30 minutes). Optional: Sprinkle Stromboli with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted and the dough is golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Assemble pizzas with desired ingredients. Roll up. Wrap each Stromboli in foil and place in freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. *Freeze before baking.
To Prepare:
When ready to eat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the fridge. Then, bake according to directions. You may have to bake longer if it’s still a bit frozen in the middle.

Oven Omelet {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

This oven omelet is easy to make and feeds a large crowd. It's also incredibly versatile - pack it with any breakfast meats or veggies!

My family has a love affair with eggs whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  No skin off my back, since they are cheap, easy to make, and healthy.  This “omelette” casserole is either breakfast or dinner at our house at least once a week.  A few advantages of the Oven Omelet:

  • less work and mess to make than scrambled eggs or a traditional egg casserole
  • great for a big crowd
  • you can easily refrigerate the leftovers and reheat later
  • your kids can help you make it
  • you can use a piece of it on a toasted bagel or English muffin for a quick breakfast sandwich
  • you can hide veggies in it, which I often do for my kids (try finely grated carrot, pureed squash, pureed sweet potato, chopped up green pepper, chopped up spinach or pureed pumpkin)
  • make it vegetarian by replacing the meat with some sauteed peppers and onions

We often pair this breakfast item with fresh fruit and Brownie Baked Oatmeal or Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal.

Make sure to check out our other breakfast recipes for more healthy ideas. Enjoy!

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Oven Omelet {Freezer Meal}

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Oven Omelet is so easy and flavorful, you’re going to love breakfast again. Inexpensive, easy and healthy? Now that’s winning breakfast!


Ingredients

  • 89 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (you could sub other cheeses like mozzarella, fresh Parm, swiss, or pepper jack)
  • 1/21 cup chopped ham or cooked breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley, crushed in your hand or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs and milk until combined. Stir in cheese, meat, pepper, and parsley (or any other additions you like).
  3. Pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze:
Put casserole together in a freezable casserole dish but do not bake. Carefully wrap dish in plastic wrap and foil or apply a lid. Freeze.

To Prepare:
Thaw completely. Bake according to directions.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer

Update on 8/4/14: I tested this soup again and made a few tweaks. It’s incredible! Who knew this many veggies in one bowl could be so scrumptious? Serve with some crusty bread, and you’re good to go.

Need to use up some vegetables quickly?  Here’s an idea.  A brief perusal of my refrigerator and freezer this morning revealed some aging celery, onions, garlic, green beans, and a host of other veggies that had to go soon. So, I tried my hand at a vegetable minestrone soup.

Although I passed up using meat in the ingredient list (I’m sure Italian sausage would be great), I was pleased to learn that my farm-boy-carnivorous husband liked it!  Not only that, but much to my surprise, my kids even ate this vegetable soup (a minor miracle!).  Of course, feel free to substitute in the things you like and omit the ones you don’t; it’s hard to mess this one up.

Hope you enjoy this filling, healthful, and cheap soup!

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Vegetable Minestrone Soup

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Who knew you could enjoy so many vegetables in one bowl of soup? Try this hearty vegetable minestrone for your next weeknight meal. You’ll be so glad you did!


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 celery stalks, chopped
  • 23 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 6 cups low-sodium, all-natural vegetable broth
  • 4 cups tomato juice (i.e. V8)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, and celery until soft (about 3-4 minutes). Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
  2. Add garbanzo beans, vegetable broth, tomato juice, water, Italian seasoning (crush in hand before adding), salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. {Freezer instructions begin here}
  3. Add whole wheat macaroni noodles and cook for 4-5 more minutes (or a few minutes less than the directions say to cook it.)
  4. Then, add green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook for 4-5 minutes (or until crisp-tender).
  5. Stir in the frozen peas and turn heat to low (no need to cook these, as they will warm up in the soup). Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaf.
  6. Serve warm and topped with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Fully cook the soup through Step 2 (before adding the pasta), let it cool completely, and freeze in a BPA-free gallon freezer bag or other air-tight freezable container for up to 3 months.
To Prepare From Frozen:
Thaw soup and add to a large pot. Bring to a simmer, add the pasta, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Chicken, Brown Rice, and Veggie Casserole {Freezer Meal}

By Rachel Tiemeyer
A fantastic, healthy way to use up some leftover broccoli and chicken. Try this casserole and win over your family!

Update on 8/5/14: I retested this recipe, simplified the instructions, and added more liquid to the original recipe. It’s pretty close to perfect if you ask me and my family. But feel free to tweak as you like or offer suggestions in the comments portion.

I was looking for a way to use up some leftover chicken and broccoli recently, and desperately wanted to find a recipe that didn’t include a canned soup, as do most standard Chicken and Rice Casseroles. I didn’t have much luck, so I decided to make my own version I’m calling Cheesy Chicken, Brown Rice, and Veggie Casserole using what I had on hand. Guys, this was a hit with my family!

A fantastic, healthy way to use up some leftover broccoli and chicken. Try this casserole and win over your family!

One of the things I’ve learned is that many canned soups can be loaded with sodium, MSG, trans fats, hidden sugars, and a ton of ingredients I’ve never heard of nor seen in my life.  For instance, Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup contains among a plethora of other things:  potassium chloride, guanylate, disodium inosinate, sodium phosphate, soy protein isolate.  What are those things and why would I ever want to eat them if I can help it?

Check out how easy my real food version is to put together…

A fantastic, healthy way to use up some leftover broccoli and chicken. Try this casserole and win over your family!

I served it with crusty whole wheat rolls, salad, and some fruit. Ready to give it a try?

A fantastic, healthy way to use up some leftover broccoli and chicken. Try this casserole and win over your family!
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Chicken, Brown Rice, and Veggie Casserole

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A fantastic, healthy way to use up some leftover broccoli and chicken. Try this casserole and win over your family!


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup finely chopped cauliflower
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 11 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup sour cream (or whole plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago or fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (finely shredded melts best)
  • 1 cup whole wheat or panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy non-stick pan and saute broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic for about 4-5 minutes, just until tender. Season with ground thyme, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, and lightly with salt and pepper while veggies cook. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add diced chicken and brown rice into pan with the veggie mixture, and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, chicken stock, and chopped parsley. Then stir in Asiago cheese and cheddar cheese. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.
  5. Spoon rice mixture into the 2-quart casserole dish and press down to evenly distribute. Top with bread crumbs.
  6. In a separate small bowl, combine bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until casserole is slightly bubbling around the edges and golden brown on top. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end, if the top isn’t brown enough. Serve warm.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Put casserole together, tightly wrap with plastic wrap and a layer of foil, and freeze it before baking.

To Prepare: Thaw in the fridge over night. If it’s still slightly frozen in the middle, you’ll just have to cook it longer than the recipe calls for or defrost a bit in the microwave before baking. Cover it with foil if the top gets too brown in the oven.