Ridiculously Easy Recipe: Two-ingredient chicken and salsa

Easy. Easy. Easy. Easy. Easy!

Did I mention how easy this recipe is?

This simple slow cooker chicken recipe is from Holly Homer at Kids Activities Blog. It requires two ingredients and a slower cooker. There is virtually no prep, which is perfect for days when everything has gone crazy.

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken (frozen is fine)
  2. Fresh salsa

Mix the salsa and chicken in your slower cooker, and set it to cook. You can cook it half a day on high, or a whole day on low. And voila! Easy chicken. Shred the chicken and serve.

Ridiculously Easy Recipe: Chicken and Salsa

You can eat the chicken by itself, or mix it with rice. It would also taste great in a taco or fajita.

Use fresh salsa if you can, but you could substitute that with jarred salsa.

Click here to see the original recipe!

So easy! Chicken and Salsa. That's all you need!

What’s for breakfast? Power pancakes!

Healthy and easy power pancakes! The Shortcut MomThis year I decided to put my sports bra back on and start exercising again, post baby. Serious exercise. I love it — a hard workout always invigorates me.

It also increases my appetite.

The next morning (post workout), I am ravenous, so I started to eat more protein for breakfast. And yes, I quickly grew tired of scrambled eggs.

When I read about protein-packed pancakes, I was all in.

I love, love, love pancakes. However, when protein is the main ingredient instead of flour, it is more challenging to make these pancakes as tasty.

On top of that, any recipe I use should also be simple and quick. I need to be able to make it in the morning before work with a toddler in tow.

I experimented with several types of protein pancakes and found one that really tastes like a pancake.

Healthy and easy power pancakes! The Shortcut Mom

There are three key ingredients in these power pancakes: oatmeal, cottage cheese and egg whites. You can add other flavors to your liking but the basic components are healthy and easy.

1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup egg whites (or less. Too many eggs ruins the pancakes. Trust me)

It’s 1:1:1

Optional: vanilla extract, stevia (or other sweetener), chocolate chips, fruit (bananas, yummy!)

Take one-part oatmeal, one-part cottage cheese and one-part egg whites and mix it up in the blender. It only takes a few seconds. (Then try this blender cleaning hack afterwards.)

Add your optional ingredients, then cook up your pancakes. I eat them with almond butter. I can still taste this morning’s batch!

After eating these power pancakes, I feel filled-up full and ready for the day, without that “oh-my-goodness-what-did-I-eat” feeling.

As a shortcut, I often make the batter at night, add a little water or milk in the morning and whip them up before I go to work.

Here are two of my favorite pancake shortcuts:

A better way to powder your pancakes: Easy DIY sugar dispenser

DIY powdered sugar dispenser: Use an old spice jar!

Kitchen hack: Clean your blender faster

Clean your blender faster! #momhack

 

Easy Protein Power Pancakes

Keywords: fry breakfast gluten-free

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup egg whites

Instructions

Blend ingredients in blender or other mixer.

Make as you would normal pancakes.

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Freeze your own rice: simplify dinnertime and save money too!

Freeze your own rice: save time and money!Frozen rice is a gift from God. It can save 20-30 minutes on busy nights. Just pop it in the microwave (or heat on the stove) with a little butter and spices.

I used to buy frozen rice at the grocery store until I realized I could cook and freeze my own rice at a fraction of the cost. Frankly, I think it tastes better, too.

Step 1: Make a big batch of rice.

Freeze your own rice: save time and money!

Step 2: Let it cool some and put 1-2 cups of rice per freezer bag, depending on your usage.

Step 3: Refridgerate the rice bags, and when cool, transfer to the freezer. Make sure the bags lie flat so that it doesn’t take up too much space when frozen.

So easy. And so much cheaper than buying pre-packaged frozen rice!

 

 

I tried to make a cookie with only three ingredients and….

I tired to make a single three-ingredient cookie and ....I would love to find the perfect three-ingredient cookie recipe. I love simplicity. I love cookies and anything baked. Wouldn’t it be great if the two worked together?

Last weekend I found a recipe for a single peanut butter cookie on Pinterest. Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t want to eat more than one cookie. It was only three ingredients.

It was almost too good to be true.

It was Sunday afternoon, and my husband and son were going down for their afternoon naps. I thought I would try it. If it turned out well, I wouldn’t have to share.

1. Mix:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of whisked egg

2. Roll into balls, place on cooking sheet and make criss-cross pattern with a fork.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depends on the oven).

Here is the original recipe. (This is a fantastic tutorial with great pics.)

I took some shortcuts here — I used the toaster oven. I didn’t have any creamy peanut butter so I used my husband’s chunky. I put it on foil and let it go.

The original recipe called for 12-15 minutes and I let it cook 12 minutes, which was too long. Yes, it was a little crispy. You could smell the slight tinge of almost-burn wafting in the kitchen. (Although, it wasn’t bad enough to set off the smoke detector, which would have woken up my son. Whew!)

The taste: I ate around the crispy parts and it wasn’t bad. Tasted like cooked peanut butter that was sweetened. Hit the spot for me that afternoon but I wouldn’t serve it to guests.

Seriously, what can you expect from a three-ingredient cookie? There is a reason why some things are more complicated to make.

So here is my shortcut takeaway: Three-ingredient cookies are a quick fix if you need something now. Otherwise, if you are looking for a good shortcut cookie, go to your neighborhood bakery!

P.S. Don’t try this with almond butter, or anything other than peanut butter. Trust me — it does not work at all!

Ridiculously Easy Meal: Ham and Peas Cheesy Pasta

Ridiculously Easy Recipe: ham, peas and cheese shellsI’ll jump to the point: 15-minute meal and an extremely happy family! This is quickly becoming one of my go-to recipes.

Who doesn’t love cheesy pasta? Mix that with ham and peas and you have a full meal.

Here is the original recipe, found at Dinner, A Love Story. I had to change it up a bit because my husband doesn’t like onions. I also simplified the recipe, cutting out a few steps that would probably make it even tastier.

All you need is:

Box of shell pasta. Or any type of pasta that you like.

Frozen peas. About a cup

2-3 Thick slices of Ham (or more): you can buy this packaged or from a deli counter. I recommend buying more ham than you think you need if you like meat in your meals, like we do.

Cheese. The original recipe calls for 1/4 cups of Parmesan, which tastes fantastic. Sometimes we use mozzarella, or whatever we have on hand. Use as much, or as little, cheese to your taste.

Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper flakes, Olive Oil

Optional: Onions

And here is the process:

Ridiculously Easy Ham, Peas, and Cheese Pasta

1. Start boiling your water in a large pot. Cut the ham into small pieces while you wait.

2. Cook pasta as instructed. During the last minute, add the peas.

3. Drain your pasta and peas and let them sit while you return the pot to the stove.

4. You will use a little olive oil, add seasonings, salt pepper etc, and saute your ham a little. (If you use onions, cook those first before you put the ham in.)

5. Return the pasta and peas to your pan. Add cheese to taste.

Voila!

Interested in more Ridiculously Easy Recipes? Click here.

Ham and Peas Cheesy Pasta

Ingredients

  • 16 oz small shell pasta (or any pasta)
  • 1/2 cup Frozen peas
  • 2-3 Thick slices of Ham (or more)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan or mozzarella Cheese. (Add more to desired cheesiness)
  • Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper flakes, Olive Oil
  • Optional: Onions

Instructions

1. Start boiling your water in a large pot. Cut the ham into small pieces while you wait.

2. Cook pasta as instructed. During the last minute, add the peas.

3. Drain your pasta and peas and let them sit while you return the pot to the stove.

4. You will use a little olive oil, add seasonings, salt pepper etc, and saute your ham a little. (If you use onions, cook those first before you put the ham in.)

5. Return the pasta and peas to your pan. Add cheese to taste.

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Ridiculously Easy Meal: Ham, Cheese, and Peas Pasta

Ridiculously Easy Recipe: Four-ingredient chicken pesto bake

Four Ingredient Chicken Pesto BakeIt’s a new year and I am on the prowl for new, painless dinner recipes. I love to cook but I usually don’t have time to whip up a masterpiece after working all day, and also spend time with my toddler. He actually likes spending time with us right now and I know that won’t last forever!

I ran across this Easy Italian Chicken Bake recipe from Pinning Mama that met my criteria — very few ingredients, easy prep and relatively healthy (depending on how you make it). Our family calls it chicken pesto, though.

Here are the four ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Pesto (I used Trader Joe’s Pesto and Quinoa but any will do.)
  • Tomatoes (I used roma.)
  • Mozzarella cheese .

All you have to do is layer the ingredients in a baking dish. Chicken first, spread with pesto, add sliced tomatoes and top off with cheese.

4 ingredient Pesto Chicken Bake

Bake it at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven). On the side, you can add almost anything. We usually add veggies in some form. Pasta is also an option. Please visit Pinning Mama’s blog if you want exact recipe quantities and more detailed instructions.

4 ingredient Pesto Chicken Bake

I omitted the tomatoes on part of the dish, to test. It’s definitely better with tomatoes!

4 ingredient Pesto Chicken Bake

I made this for the first time last week and it took about 8-10 minutes of prep because I had to slice the chicken breasts, which were gigantic. That left 30 minutes of cooking, and Zj and I went outside to play on the slide.

Adding more playtime in our busy schedule is a very good thing! Thanks Pinning Mama!

Ridiculously easy meal: Trader Joe’s marinated pot roast

Trader Joe's Marinated Cabernet Pot Roast. Super easy and yummy!

It is pot roast week and I forgot to add pot roast to my husband’s grocery list. (Insert head palm here.) So I ran up to Trader Joe’s for a few other things, and came back with a Cabernet Beef Pot Roast. Pre-marinated.  It looked good.

I always mix my own pot roast marinade. Usually with onion soup, beef broth and other seasonings. Throw it in the crockpot for the day and voila! Still a ridiculously easy meal.

But the Cabernet Beef Pot Roast marinade was good. Very good. And was even less work on my part. I just threw it in the crock pot and it was better than my original.

Looking forward to the leftovers tonight!

Ridiculously easy vegetables: Foil packet grilling

Foil packet grilling

Lately, I’ve been struggling to make veggies taste great in the little time we have to make dinner.

We had some green beans in the fridge that were almost at the end of their lifespan, and I was uninspired by my previous attempts at quick green bean preparation. I figured it was time to try something different.

This is not a new concept but it’s new to us: Grilling vegetables in a foil packet.

It’s simple:

1. Throw some veggies on foil.
2. Add a little olive oil and salt/pepper/spices.
3. Seal the packet and throw on the grill next to the chicken or burgers.

We are hooked. The veggies we have tried so far have been delicious, and it is easy. The clean-up is even easier: just throw away the foil.

I am looking forward to trying different vegetable and spice combinations!

Ridiculously Easy Recipe: Pasta with Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Capers

Welcome to the first installment of Ridiculously Easy Recipes!

The idea behind this series is to try (and hopefully love) some extremely easy recipes.

No brainer, right?  There are millions of “easy” recipes out there.  But I am going to redefine what the word “easy” means.

To be considered ridiculously easy, a recipe must meet the following criteria.

1. Only a few ingredients, yet taste delightful. It’s easy to find 4-ingredient recipes but many taste ho-hum.

2. The preparation should also be simple, with only a few steps. There are too many recipes out there claiming they are easy. No, these recipes aren’t difficult, but they could be easier.

3. Preferably family friendly. But this is not a hard and fast rule. Many meals can be made to be family friendly.

And the first recipe is: Pasta with Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Capers.

 

Pasta with Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Capers Recipe

I found this recipe on Cup of Jo (originally created by Katie Morris of Katie at the Kitchen Door).  I HIGHLY recommend going to these sites for more on this recipe. The visuals are amazing.

This recipe looked fantastic and met the criteria for ridiculously easy.

Ridiculously Easy Recipes: Pasta with Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Capers Recipe

Here are the ingredients:

½ lb rotini pasta
½ cup crème fraîche
1 tbsp capers
6 oz smoked salmon
sea salt and black pepper (to taste)

It’s simple:

  1. Boil the pasta, drain and return to pan.
  2. After the pasta cools for a moment, add the crème fraîche and capers.
  3. Flake off the smoked salmon with a fork and place on top!

NOTE:  If your kid doesn’t like salmon, why not include chicken too? Because the protein goes on top, this allows for different variations for particular tastes!

The Verdict: We loved it! It had nice flavors and it was incredibly easy to make. I am adding it into our dinner rotation!