Chicken Taco Bowl

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From start to finish, this dish couldn’t be easier. My crockpot cooks at odd temperatures, so you may not want to follow my cooking time. The original recipe calls for the dish to be cooked on low for 8 hours. My pot cooked this dish in under two hours on the low setting. BudgetBytes always offers up delicious and wallet friendly dishes!

Ingredients
1½ lbs. chicken breasts
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn
1 Tbsp chili powder
½ Tbsp cumin
½ Tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp salt
to taste cracked pepper
2 cups dry rice
8 oz. shredded cheddar
½ bunch cilantro (optional)

Directions
Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with ¼ cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.

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Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs. Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions.
After 8 hours, or however long your crockpot normally takes to cook chicken, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Using two forks shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

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Enjoy! Thanks again, Budget Bytes!

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Buffalo Chicken Baked Shells

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I’ve been pinning various recipes lately, in hopes to find meals that all three family members will enjoy. When I came across these Buffalo Chicken Baked Shells on Baked by Rachel, I was sure I found a winner. I added an extra chicken breast and mushrooms to the recipe. I made 22 shells, 12 I baked the night that I prepared the meal, 10 I froze to be cooked at another date.

Ingredients

1 chicken breast ( I used 2 )
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
3/8 tsp pepper, divided
3/8 tsp celery seed, divided ( I didn’t have any, so it was left out)
1/4 cup buffalo sauce, plus additional for topping ( I used Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
12-15 jumbo shells
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup mushrooms

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

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20140218-212209.jpgIn a slow cooker, add chicken and broth. Cook for two hours on high, then shred meat. My slow cooker has issues, so I cooked my frozen chicken for 1.5 hours on high. Discard liquid. Shred chicken and chop onion, celery and mushrooms. Season shredded meat with 1/4 tsp celery seed and 1/4 pepper and salt. Toss with buffalo sauce until meat is coated. Set aside.
In a large pasta pot bring water to a boil, add 12-15 jumbo shells to the water. Cook 9-12 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Drain and let cool on a baking sheet or nonstick surface.

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In a small skillet over medium heat, add onion, mushrooms, celery and butter or olive oil. Sauté until tender and onions are translucent.

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In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp celery seed, blue cheese crumbles and vegetables. Add chicken mixture and stir well.

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Prepare baking dish with a light coating of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of buffalo sauce. Fill one shell at a time with spoonfuls of chicken and cheese mixture. Carefully arrange in prepared baking dish. Drizzle with spoonfuls of buffalo sauce and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Baked for 20-25 minutes. I wrapped the tin tray tightly in plastic wrap and then closed in freezer friendly bag for use at a later date.

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Totally yummy! Thanks Baked by Rachel !

Chicken & Rice

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I randomly buy mushrooms to incorporate into dinner recipes.  I’m not a fan of the fungus, but my husband is.  I purchased a package of sliced baby bella mushrooms at the grocery the other day, with no set plan in mind on how I was going to use them.  I had half a bunch of asparagus that were on their last day of holding on to whatever life was left in them, a small yellow onion that needed to be used, along with an orange pepper (pepper was an after thought).  I figured I would cook some chicken in the crock pot, while Reagan and I went to the park and then saute the onion, mushroom and orange pepper, bake the asparagus and cook the rice when we got home.  Sounds good, right?

Something is quirky with my crock pot…Reagan and I were gone for less than an hour and when we got home, the chicken, which was cooking on low, was over cooked.  So on to another plan.  I chopped the chicken into small pieces and put together a stirfryish dish using some soy sauce.  I wasn’t convinced that the basil dressing that I cooked the chicken in would be the best match with the soy sauce, but I gave it a try anyway.  Overall a quick and easy meal…that Reagan wouldn’t touch (NOT A SURPRISE), but that Ryan and I enjoyed.

The amount of ingredients included below were enough to feed Ryan and I with no leftovers.  The pictures could have been better, but we were flying by the seat of our pants. Not everything that was incorporated in the dish  is included in the pictures.
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Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

basil vinaigrette dressing

1 bell pepper

1 small yellow onion

1/3 of an 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms

1/2 a bunch of asparagus spears

4 servings of instant rice

salt

pepper

olive oil

soy sauce

Directions:

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Cover bottom of crock pot with dressing.  Add in chicken, top with dressing and cover.  Cook time depends on your crockpot.  My chicken was over cooked within an hour.

IMG_8295Begin to prepare your asparagus by turning your oven to 375 degrees.  Snap the ends off of the asparagus and place on a baking sheet.  Lightly cover asparagus with olive oil (roll around so completely covered) and sprinkle with salt.  The asparagus will bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  I don’t like my asparagus crispy, if you do, I would suggest additional cooking time.

Cut mushrooms lengthwise and then in half. Chop onion and thinly slice pepper.  The pepper was an afterthought, so it isn’t included until the final picture.  Heat olive oil in pan until hot.  Add in mushrooms, onion and pepper. Cook, while continuously stirring for approximately 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.

At this point, I would begin the Instant Rice by following the directions on the box.

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Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add into pan.  Add 1/3 cup, or more, of soy sauce to your chicken and veggie mixture.  I just continually added more and more soy sauce until I had the desired amount. Add pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes while occasionally stirring.

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Place a large spoonful of rice on a plate and top with chicken mixture.  Serve with a side of asparagus.