Hi, kids. It’s been an eventful past couple days. No, I didn’t go into labor or anything haha. Remember my anniversary flowers? Well, in case you didn’t notice, they contained stargazer lilies which happen to be toxic to cats. We kept the flowers waaaay up high anytime we weren’t downstairs so Ziggy wouldn’t get into them. Apparently, they started dying and a couple petals fell off onto the floor. I’m sure you can see where this story is going. We noticed Zig’s chin and chest were bright yellow and figured out that he ate some of the fuzzy stamen thingys and and an unknown amount of the petals. After googling, totally freaking out, and calling the emergency animal clinic…. we had to take him in. He was acting just fine, but the consequences were just something we couldn’t risk…. can you say kidney failure and death within just a couple days??? Uuugh, so after an overnight at the emergency clinic, a full day at the regular vet, and way too much money to even mention, he’s back home and seems to be just fine. Not a fun experience for a hormonal pregnant woman who happens to consider her cat her first child.
Anyway, I do have some easy dinners to share. I planned a lot of last week’s meals around the fact that I wanted to get our freezer stash started. Both of these meals were easy, versatile, delicious, and freezer-worthy.
Taco Cornbread Bake
Adapted from recipe >>>HERE<<<
**Makes two 8×8″ pans
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 packets taco seasoning (you could probably get away with just one)
- 1/2 large jar salsa
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (however much you want!)
- 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread muffin mix
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (you will need 2/3 cup according to muffin directions, but I always add a little more so it doesn’t dry out)
- In a large skillet, saute the beef until cooked through. Add about 1/2 cup water, the taco seasoning, beans, corn, and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- While meat mixture is simmering, make the cornbread according to the box directions for muffins.
- Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with cooking spray. If making two batches, line another 8×8″ baking dish with foil, and spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Pour half the meat mixture into each dish. Top with cheese, then carefully spread half the cornbread batter over each dish.
- Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until cornbread is browned and set.
- I baked the one for the freezer (the one in foil) for just 10 minutes. Then I let it cool to room temp and placed the whole pan in the freezer until frozen solid. Next, I took the frozen “block” out of the dish, wrapped in another layer of foil, and placed in a freezer bag. When I want to bake it, I can just plop it back into the same baking dish, let it thaw, and bake.
Chicken and Rice Burritoes
**Makes 7-8 large burritoes
- 3 chicken breasts, thawed
- Jarred jalapenos, 1 chicken boullion cube, garlic salt for poaching liquid (or you could cook the chicken however you wanted)
- 1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 large jar salsa
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 7-8 large whole wheat, low-carb tortillas
- Place chicken in a high-sided skillet and cover with water. Add desired seasonings. I used jalapenos, some of the jalapeno juice, a chicken boullion cube, and garlic salt. Cover the pan and boil the chicken until cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and shred or chop chicken into bite size pieces. Discard the poaching liquid.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the rice according to the package directions.
- Dump the chopped chicken and rice back into the large skillet. Stir in the salsa and cilantro. Feel free to add anything else that sounds good – corn, beans, jalapenos, whatever.
- Let the chicken and rice mixture heat through. Assemble burritoes with chicken/rice mixture and cheese. Add sour cream or other desired toppings.
- If freezing the leftovers – let the chicken/rice mixture cool. Assemble burritoes, roll, and wrap in plastic wrap then a layer of foil. Place burritoes in a freezer bag and shove in freezer for later. When ready to eat, wrap in paper towel and pop in the microwave.