WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Four ingredients March 31, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 9:27 am

Hello, kiddies.  So I have this book of recipes that all have 4 ingredients or less.  I’ve had it since college, and I dug it out last weekend and found some things to make.  Exciting, no?

Stuffed Yellow Squash


  • 3 large yellow squashes
  • 1/2 block (4 ounces) light cream cheese
  • 1 box frozen spinach
  • 1 packet French Onion Soup mix
  • (I added a sprinkle of Panko bread crumbs too)


  1. Halve squashes lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until squashes are tender.
  2. In the meantime, cook spinach on stovetop according to package directions.  Drain well and return to pan.
  3. Stir in the cream cheese and soup mix.  Do not let cream cheese boil. 
  4. Spoon mixture into squashes and top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs.  Spray bread crumbs with cooking spray to help with browning. 
  5. Bake for another 15 minutes or so until mixture is bubbly and bread crumbs are slightly browned. 

***Just a note – next time, I would use only half or 2/3 of the package of soup mix, it was a little salty for my taste! 

Spicy Chicken and Rice


  • 2-3 chicken breasts, sliced and cooked
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes


  1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased baking dish.  Bake, covered, at 350 for 45 minutes.  Remove cover during last 5-10 minutes.

Steak and chicken March 28, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Chicken,Pasta,Side dish — WannaBe Chef @ 9:51 am

Hi, all!  I’ve got two hearty, meaty meals for you today.  I’m still working on the iron thing, so I’ve been trying to eat meat at least once a day (along with lots of non-meat sources of iron, too).  I have a feeling my iron will still be low at my next appointment, but I reeeally don’t want to have to take iron supplements.  If you don’t know why, I would suggest googling “side effects of iron supplements,” because the reason is totally TMI for a food blog 😉   Onto the food…

Steak and Warm Tortellini Salad

For the steak:  I had two “bottom sirloin steaks” (I think?) that I marinated in a mixture of worchestershire sauce, chipotle hot sauce, olive oil, and grill seasoning.  I let them marinate for the day – around 5-6 hours.  I seasoned them with salt and pepper, then broiled them in the oven.

For the salad:  First, make a quick balsamic vinaigrette in a large bowl.  I don’t measure, but here’s what I do:  whisk together one part vinegar with a squirt of dijon mustard, a squirt of honey, salt and pepper; stream in one part of olive oil and whisk until well combined.  Set aside.   

Cook some frozen cheese tortellini according to the package directions.  Drain and return it to the pot.  Stir in 2 or 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach and let it wilt slightly.  Pour the pasta/spinach into the bowl with the vinaigrette, toss to combine.  Serve salad warm and top with parmesan cheese if desired. 

Hawaiian Chicken
Recipe from Macaroni and Cheesecake


1 cup crushed pineapple
1 tbsp. honey
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. cilantro
2 large chicken breasts, cut in half or 4 smaller chicken breasts


In a medium sized bowl mix together pineapple and all other ingredients except the chicken until combined. Place chicken in the bowl to marinate and refrigerate until ready to use. We marinated for 1 hour, but if you have less time it would be just fine.

After marinating, place chicken & marinade in a large skillet, sprayed with cooking spray. Cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and marinade has reduced just slightly. Serve chicken topped with cooked marinade & garnish with cilantro.


This was really flavorful and tasty!  I will say, though, it was quite salty (even after using the low-sodium soy sauce).  Next time, I would definitely leave out the extra 1/4 tsp of salt and maybe even reduce the amount of soy sauce a little.  Otherwise, I would highly recommend this recipe!


Loaf March 24, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 9:16 am

I’m back!  I had an awesome, but very short, trip back to MI for my baby shower this past weekend.  We had a great turnout, lots of good food, and tonssss of lovely gifts.  I’m a lucky girl!  Maybe I will share some pics sometime, but I’m thinking anyone that still reads the old blog is my FB friend and already saw them.  So, for today I will just share our dinner from last night.

Quinoa Chicken Meatloaf
Recipe from Erin’s Food Files 


Canola spray
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup quinoa cooked with 1 cup of water)*
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 large egg
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and set aside.

In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is soft. Stir in the cumin, and cook for one minute. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion mixture and the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and transfer to the loaf pan. Bake for one hour. Turn the oven off, and let the meatloaf sit in it for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the oven, and let the meatloaf cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.


I pretty much followed the recipe exactly with the exceptions of using a tad less cumin, salt, and black pepper that it called for.  I thought this meatloaf had a good flavor, and it was very hearty with the quinoa in there.  The texture was much softer than your standard beef meatloaf, but the longer you let it sit, the firmer it gets.  I like crusty, almost-burnt edges on my meatloaf, so I think I would cook it even longer than an hour next time.


Sloppy March 17, 2011

Filed under: Beef,One dish meal,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 9:38 am

Happy St. Patty’s Day, loves!  Unfortunately, I don’t have anything fun and green to share.  I’m busy today packing and getting ready to go HOME for my baby shower this weekend!  Woohoo!  We’re only going for the weekend, so it will be a quick trip.  Anywho, just wanted to share out latest dinner.  I haven’t had sloppy joes in forever, and after finding out my iron levels are low, apparently beef is just what I need to be eating at this point…

Sloppy Joes

There’s no recipe for this, I just throw some stuff into the pan like my mom used to. 


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • finely chopped onion
  • finely chopped red bell pepper
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


  • ketchup
  • yellow mustard
  • BBQ sauce
  • worchestershire sauce

Top sandwiches with:

  • chopped raw onion
  • pickles
  • more ketchup and mustard if desired

Do I even need to say it? March 16, 2011

Filed under: Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 11:51 am

More delicious soup.

Chicken, Corn and Potato Chowder
As usual, I played with the quantities a little

3 slices bacon
1 lb. 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
scant 1 cup chopped onion
scant 1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
5 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
1 cup frozen can whole-kernel corn
1 can (14 oz.) creamed corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
scant 2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper totally forgot to add this, oops!
salt and pepper to taste
thinly sliced scallions or chopped cilantro, for serving

Cook bacon in a large sauce pan over medium heat until crispy.  Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
-Add chicken, onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan with bacon drippings.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add diced green chiles and continue to cook 1 minute longer.
-Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
-Add both frozen canned and creamed corn and stir to combine.
-Place flour in a medium bowl and gradually whisk in milk.  Add the mixture to the soup and bring up to medium heat.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the soup has thickened.
-Add the cheese and cayenne.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
-Ladle into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

This was really good!  But, really, what’s not to like when potatoes, corn and cheese are involved??  🙂


Boiled March 15, 2011

Filed under: Beef — WannaBe Chef @ 11:29 am

In honor of St. Patty’s Day coming up, I decided to make my first corned beef and cabbage on Sunday.  I don’t recall ever having it before, and I certainly have never made it before, but I’ve always wanted to try it.  It sounded easy enough… just put it all in a pot and boil it for a long time.  I did find a very simple recipe though, and it turned out really tasty!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I pretty much followed the recipe and timing it called for.  I did end up taking out the potatoes and carrots before adding the cabbage because the potatoes and carrots cooked really quickly.  The meat had a great flavor, but it was a little more fatty than what we’re used to.  We had our “boiled dinner” with vinegar and mustard on top.  Yummmmy!


That was good… March 14, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 8:33 am

We had this pizza last week for dinner, and I am currently remembering how good it was….

BBQ Chicken Pizza


  • 1 whole wheat, pre-made (Boboli) pizza crust
  • BBQ sauce
  • 1 chicken breast, diced and cooked with desired seasonings (I used grill seasoning for steak) and a splash of BBQ sauce
  • Red onion slices
  • Jarred jalapeno peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella cheeses


  1. Spread BBQ sauce on crust.  Top with remaining ingredients.  Bake according to directions on pizza crust package.  Top with another swirl of BBQ sauce, slice, and eat!