Meat

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Bowl of buffalo chicken mac and cheese next to casserole dish

 

What is more deserving of the “comfort food” label than Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese?!  NOTHING.  Two of my favorite things (mac and buffalo chicken dip) combined to create a mega perfect meal.  And all you need for ultimate satisfaction is an oversized sweatshirt and your bed!

What I love about this recipe is that it’s super easy to make, and isn’t as bad as you may think!  The macaroni and cheese is made with Banza’s gluten free pasta…so no guilt trip there.  And the chicken is slow cooked with Frank’s Red Hot and garlic, to keep it lean and without any added fat, sugars, or carbs.

 

white bowl filled with buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese

 

If desired, you can bake with a butter-panko mixture and add some freshly chopped cilantro for the finishing touch!  This tends to be a favorite of mine on Sunday evenings, when my motivation to do anything is low, but my comfort-food craving is high.

 

hand holding white bowl full of buffalo chicken mac and cheese

 

Earlier in the day, I’ll start by adding 1.5-2 pounds organic chicken breasts in a crock pot, with a little broth, red hot, and garlic.  Let this cook on high for 3 hours, then shred right there in the crock pot using two forks.  If serving later, just let sit in crock pot on WARM until ready to mix in with mac and cheese.

If planning to be out of the house all day, you can cook chicken on low for 7-8 hrs.

 

cutting board with a white bowl full of buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese

 

When ready to eat, make Banza’s Macaroni and Cheese as the directions outline on the box.  Once your mac and cheese is finished, add to a small baked greasing dish.  Take shredded buffalo chicken and mix into your mac and cheese.

I add a little extra almond milk at this point, to keep everything from drying out in the oven.  If adding buttery panko crust, make sure to melt butter before mixing in panko.  Take mixture and sprinkle over top of mac and cheese to form a crust.

If you want to get even fancier, drizzle a little extra red hot on top!  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, add chopped cilantro, and enjoy!

 

 

casserole dish filled with buffalo chicken mac and cheese

 

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Healthy comfort food made with Banza macaroni and cheese, buffalo pulled chicken, extra red hot, and topped with panko and cilantro! So delicious, but without all the extra calories and fats!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banza, buffalo chicken, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese
Servings: 2 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1 box Banza Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1-1.5 lbs organic chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
  • 1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed or chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Instructions

  • Take chicken, broth, garlic, and red hot, and cook on HIGH in slow cooker for 3 hours.
  • 20 minutes before planning to eat, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make Banza Mac and Cheese according to box instructions.
  • Take finished mac and cheese, and transfer to a small greased baking dish. Pour in extra almond milk and mix in. This will help prevent it from drying out in the oven.
  • Turn off crock pot and remove lid. Using two forks, shred chicken directly in crock pot. Take 1 cup of shredded buffalo chicken (or more if you'd like), and mix into mac and cheese in baking dish.
  • Take bowl with melted butter and mix panko into it (add more panko if too liquidy). Sprinkle panko/butter mixture over top of of mac and cheese. Drizzle extra red hot over panko if desired.
  • Bake for 10 minutes with tin foil. Top with fresh chopped cilantro before serving.
Meat

Mexi Steak Salad

mexican salad in large wooden bowl with avocado cilantro dressing

 

Truth be told, if I wasn’t so blatantly Irish, I would probably assume I’m of Mexican descent. ‘Cause daaaaaaamnnnn do I love to make some Mexican food.  What I love about Mexican cuisine is that the ingredients are always so fresh, colorful, flavorful…and oh my lord CILANTRO.

Let’s just get this out of the way now…I.LOVE.CILANTRO.  I know there’s some weird genetic thing that you either have the cilantro-loving gene, or you think it tastes like soap.  Well…my deepest condolences for all those aboard the cilantro soap train, because this herb tastes like magic!

 

mexican steak salad in wooden bowl with belle peppers on white table

 

Now with that being said, I’m sure it comes to no surprise that this delicious Mexican Salad is topped with a cilantro-avocado dressing!  I’m a huge fan of making my own dressings so I know exactly what’s in it.  That way, nothing unwanted sneaks into my meal (like added sugars, inflammatory oils, or unnatural chemicals).  Make in small batches, so not to waste any, because natural ingredients tend to be more perishable.

What’s great about this salad is that it uses simple ingredients and requires little hands on time from you!  There are three main areas of focus, veggies, steak, and dressing.  Everything else just needs to be dumped on at the end!

 

mexican salad in wooden bowl with mini bell peppers and lime on white table

 

VEGGIES:

  • I use different colored mini bell peppers and a red onion, cut thinly with a mandoline
  • Coat in oil and spices…I’m a huge fan of using paprika and garlic on my mexi veggies

STEAK:

  • Marinate your top sirloin in oil and garlic cloves for as long as you can.  I’ve done up to 24 hrs before.
  • Grill until cooked to your desired temperature, or cook on stove top over medium heat (high heat will burn the outside while leaving the inside uncooked).

DRESSING:

  • Take all fresh ingredients and add to a blender.  Blend until well combined!
  • Avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime, oil, and spices.

Chop your romaine lettuce, rinse a can of black beans, and as always…add a little somethin’ somethin’ for the CRUNCH!  Feel free to have fun with this and mix up the ingredients as you please!  Adding some cheese, quinoa, or different veggies can definitely add a fun twist to this Mexi Steak Salad 🙂

 

mexican steak salad with avocado cilantro dressing in large wooden bowl on white table

 

Mexi Steak Salad

Mexican sirloin steak salad filled with seasoned veggies, black beans, crunchy tortillas, and topped with a homemade avocado cilantro dressing.  A healthy, easy, and gluten free dinner recipe!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: avocado, cilantro, dinner, dressing, fajita, gluten free, healthy, mexican, salad, steak
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 lbs top sirloin steak free range or organic
  • 4 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup mini bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1 15 oz can black beans rinsed

Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 whole bunch of cilantro remove leaves from stems
  • 1 cup crushed gluten free chips I use Food Should Taste Good Gluten Free Multigrain Tortilla Chip

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 tbsp oil and chopped garlic.  Using a brush or spoon, rub garlic oil on front and back of steak.  Wrap in tinfoil and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • Using a mandoline, thinly slice mini bell peppers (hold from top at the stem and start slicing from bottom), and red onion.
  • Take sliced veggies and dump into a broil safe baking dish.  Mix in 2 tbsp oil, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Broil for 20 min, mixing midway through.
  • While veggies are baking, grill steak to your desired temp, or cook on stovetop.  For a medium steak, cook on medium heat for approximately 5-6 min each side.
  • For dressing, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined well.
  • Rinse and chop romaine lettuce and place in large serving bowl.  Take a can of black beans and rinse.  You can leave as is, or heat up on a skillet with oil.
  • Once steak is finished cooking, cut into thin slices and lay on top of romaine. Top romaine with remaining ingredients...veggies, beans, and crushed chips.  
  • Drizzle dressing on top and serve!
Holiday, Meat

Traditional Irish Fare: Corned Beef and Cabbage with Roasted Potatoes

corned beef with roasted baby potatoes and boiled cabbage

 

In honor of my Irish heritage, my family has brought in St. Patrick’s Day every year with traditional corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes!  Seeing as though I now live out of my parent’s house, and am no longer surrounded by Irish kin, but rather an Italian and Bernese mountain dog, it is of upmost importance that I continue this tradition!

Which means…I have every excuse to celebrate this day like it’s the second coming of christ, or what I like to call “My Holiday”!

 

boiled cabbage with potatoes and a corned beef roast

 

With this dish already cooked up, plenty of leftovers in the fridge, and a potential soup recipe on the way (as suggested by my husband—yayy!), all thats left for me to do is to set myself up with an Irish coffee and some green beer!  Which I will happily abide to this weekend.

Instead of cooking the corned beef in a crock pot, like my mom always does, I decided to give this a whirl in the oven to reduce the amount of cooking/dishes being used.  In order to avoid the beef from drying out, I cut three slits into the beef and stuck a tbsp of butter into each score.  

 

corned beef marinade with butter and mustard

 

Between the butter, mustard (with the seeds in it), and foil cover, it helped keep the beef nice and juicy.  Not to mention the flavor from the marinade was freaking awesome!

While the beef was baking, I took around 2 pounds of baby potatoes, cut them in half and added to a large mixing bowl.  I mixed the potatoes with some chopped onions, oil, and spices, and then let it sit until the beef had cooked for 1 hour.

 

baby potatoes in a mixing bowl with oil and seasoning

 

I then added the herbed potatoes to the same skillet as the beed , and continued baking until finished.  During that time I began to boil the cabbage (that I cut into quarters).  Thus takes very little time, and you’ll know the cabbage is ready when you can stab it with a fork/knife and it is soft.

 

a whole cabbage cut into four pieces laying on a cutting board

 

baked corned beef with roasted potatoes

 

Eat your dinner the normal way, or if you want to have some fun with it, use the cabbage as a taco shell!  Not gonna lie, I listened to a little bit of Flogging Molly and The Corrs (omg I use to listen to The Corrs all the time) while cooking!

 

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Roasted Potatoes

A traditional Irish fare, with marinated corned beef, herb baby potatoes, and boiled cabbage.  A great recipe to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: cabbage, corned beef, dinner, irish, roasted potatoes, St. Patrick's Day
Servings: 6 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs corned beef
  • 2-2.5 lbs baby potatoes cut in half
  • 1 head cabbage quartered
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup EVOO or avocado oil
  • 3 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp parsley dried
  • 1 tsp rosemary dried
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a greased skillet or large baking dish, place corned beef.  Score 3 slices into top of flesh and insert 1 tbsp of butter into each score.  Cover surface with whole mustard seed.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • While beef bakes, cut potatoes and add to large mixing bowl.  Chop onion and add to mixing bowl with potatoes.  Mix in oil and all spices (parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper).
  • When beef cooks for 1 hour, remove from oven and add potatoes to fill the rest of baking dish.  Make sure to spread out potatoes in baking dish around the beef.
  • Bake for another hour.  Leave foil on beef for 40 min, then remove foil for last 20 min.
  • Take cabbage and cut into 4 large pieces.  Boil a large pot of water, and once brought to a boil, add cabbage.  Boil for about 7-8 min.  Poke cabbage with a fork or knife to see if soft, and if so remove from boiling water.  If not, continue to boil until soft.
  • Drain cabbage in a strainer and set aside to cool.
  • Once beef and potatoes are finished baking, serve in skillet/baking dish, with a side of boiled cabbage and extra mustard.