Quick Meals for Busy Teachers!

Quick Meals for Busy Teachers!

Recently, I have noticed that education must have some sort of vendetta against eating lunch. Many teachers only get 30 minutes, which definitely isn’t enough time to wrap up, go out, and have a nice meal. Many of the administrators I work with forgo lunch all together. Not to mention that there is lunch duty and other responsibilities that call to us during our lunch hours. I know it is legally required, at least in the state of Texas, for educators to receive a 30 minute duty free lunch, but in our current landscape, that is often not the reality.

Let’s expand this vendetta against lunch to meals in general because let’s face it, eating is a challenge. When you get home the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. You’re exhausted mentally and physically. Sunday meal preps seem like an impossible feat when you must also create a lesson plan for the week. The Sunday scaries are real, and batch cooking 5-7 meals many times is not possible or sustainable. Soooo, what do we do?

A teacher suggested to me a quick meal called egg roll in a bowl. I made it when I got home, and it was so easy that it took less than 30 minutes and little to no prep. I also had lunch for the next couple of days. It made it that much easier to win a battle for food in this education world. It inspired me to go on a journey to find quick meals, I mean super quick meals, with the smallest amount of effort possible! Here are three of the recipes I found!

For this recipe, I used Italian sausage because it is already seasoned, an “asian mix chopped salad” from Aldi, and PF Chang’s sweet red chili sauce. It was so quick, delicious, and I had enough for lunch the next day! I linked a full recipe if you need more step by step instructions! (the subheading of this section is a link to a recipe for this!)

  • Rotisserie chicken Alfredo

I got a rotisserie chicken from Kroger and Primal Kitchen’s dairy free Alfredo sauce, but you can use any Alfredo sauce. I sautéed some spinach, mushrooms, and combined it all together. Cook some pasta, and you have an easy, quick, after school meal. 

  • Italian Chicken

My coworker told me about this one, and it was easy and great! All I did was wrap chicken and Italian salad dressing in foil, then bake it in the oven. Yes, it was that easy! I roasted some veggies and potatoes also, but you can make this even quicker by buying microwave steam-able veggies and potatoes.

I also have a blog post on eating well in a hurry, and I still employ those tips and techniques so, it’s linked to this post!

Please, please, please eat well. Your body does so much for you, and it needs nourishment to function. So many times I have seen teachers and administrators alike skip lunch and eat snacks from the vending machine because they do not have the time to prep, and or they spent their lunch prepping for another class or task. I want us as educators to prioritize things that will enrich our lives both mentally and physically because both elements are more connected than you may realize. 

Lobster Grilled Cheese

Lobster Grilled Cheese

My goal when eating is to not require a recovery after each meal. For me, that means my usual diet doesn’t include dairy or bread, but the occasional indulgence is a must! This is why, on Valentine’s day, I decided to splurge and make this lobster grilled cheese. It was AMAZING. My fiancé took one bite and said, “I knew you loved me.” That is when I knew I had to share it with you. Whether your occasion is a birthday, anniversary, or just making it through the day (because sometimes it be like that). Here is the perfect recipe for celebrating and making dinner extra special!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Lobster tails (the amount varies on size of both the lobster and portion of grilled cheese)
  • Sour dough bread or a baguette
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Salted butter
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt

Making the Grilled Cheese

Step 1: Boil the Lobster

  • Add water to a medium/ large pot. The amount of water and size of the pot will depend on the size and amount of your lobster tails. You want to make sure that the water completely covers the lobster.
  • Salt the water and bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add your lobster tail(s)
  • You will know that the lobster tail is done when the internal temperature is between 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit (57-60 degrees Celsius). The lobster will turn red as a hint!
  • Take the lobster out and let it cool!

Step 2: Assemble the Sandwich

  • Remove the lobster meat by cutting down the middle of the lobster tail with kitchen sheers. Roughly chop the lobster meat do your desired size. I like mine to be thiccc!
  • Place the lobster meat, gruyere cheese, and gouda cheese between two slices of bread. I used Trader Joe’s baguette, but you can also use any sour dough bread you please.

Step 3: Grill the grilled cheese!

  • Option 1
    • in a small bowl or ramekin, soften a couple table spoons of butter (the amount of butter does not need to be exact).
    • Next combine the softened butter with thyme, oregano, and minced garlic.
    • Then, spread the now garlic butter on each side of your sandwich.
    • Finally, Place the sandwich in a skillet on low-medium heat and cook until the bread has browned and cheese is melty goodness!
  • Option 2
    • Melt a couple of table spoons of butter in a medium saucepan on low heat.
    • Add thyme, oregano, and minced garlic to the skillet. Wait to add the minced garlic until the last possible second. Garlic will burn easily!
    • Finally, Place the sandwich in a skillet on low-medium heat and cook until the bread has browned and cheese is melty goodness!

Thank you!

There you go! A decadent, yet approachable, fancy pants celebration meal! I absolutely loved making and eating this dish. It helped to make my Valentine’s day special and I hope it can bring something special to your next celebration, even if that celebration is simply being alive because you are a gift and worth celebrating!


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Garlic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

This is a decadent way for you to prepare your brussels sprouts. A perfect addition to any meal to make it feel special and fancy pantsy! These were inspired by the brussels sprouts I got at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I wanted to bring that luxury to my dinner table, and I think that I succeeded! Here is the recipe, so you can bring some deliciousness to yours!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Brussels Sprouts (I used 1 16 oz bag from Walmart)
  • 1 lemon
  • Butter 1 stick (salted or unsalted)
  • Olive oil
  • Minced Garlic 2 tbs
  • Bacon 4 strips
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste (optional)
  • Baking pan
  • Skillet
  • Cast Iron Skillet

Making the Brussels Sprouts

Step 1: Bake the Brussels Sprouts

  • First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit..
  • While the oven is heating, cut each brussels sprout in half, and spread them out on a metal baking sheet. Next, drizzle olive oil onto the brussels sprouts and make sure they are evenly coated. Then season the brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The garlic power is optional. I like garlic an awful lot, so the extra seasoning is my jam!
  • After seasoning, place in the oven for about 15 minutes. They do not have to be cooked all the way through because we are going to finish them off in the skillet!

Step 2: Create the Sauce

  • In a regular skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon until crispy then set them aside on a paper towel to drain. I used 4 slices, but if you would like more bacon in your brussel sprouts, you can adjust it to your desired bacon level. I mean, who doesn’t like more bacon?
  • In a separate cast iron skillet, melt butter, on low heat, until the bottom of the skillet is evenly covered. The amount of butter you use will depend on the width and depth of your skillet. I used about half a stick.
  • Once your butter is melted, add 2 tbs of minced garlic

Step 3: Combine

  • By now, your brussels sprouts should be ready to come out of the oven. Place them into your cast iron skillet.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces and add them to the skillet. You can use a knife, but I tore off the pieces with my hands!
  • Next, cover and cook on low-medium heat until the brussel sprouts soften and begin to brown! (tip, if your butter starts to smoke, you have the heat too high. Also, you can always add more butter to the pan while cooking to make sure your mixture doesn’t burn.)
  • Lastly, squeeze lemon juice onto the brussels sprouts at the last minute before taking the brussels sprouts out of the pan. This is very important! The acidity brings brightness to the rich buttery flavor. I used about half a lemon, but it is really to taste!

Thank you!

And there you go! A delicious and easy way to cook brussels sprouts. I paired my brussels sprouts with lamb chops and mashed potatoes for a delicious Christmas dinner! As usual, thank you so much for reading. It means so much to me that people take the time to read and try my recipes. Don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!

Crunchy Baked Garlic Parm Wings!

Crunchy Baked Garlic Parm Wings!

In Texas, football is king! So, last week, when I was talking to my dad – a huge Dallas, Cowboys fan – he suggested that I start making tailgaiting food with a healthy spin! So, naturally, I went for wings! They are so quick to cook, easy to eat, and pack a bunch of flavor. So here is my recipe for delicious baked wings ready for any tailgate!


Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Chicken wings and drumettes 2 pounds
  • Butter 1 stick
  • Parmesan cheese about 1/2 cup
  • Lemon Juice 1 Lemon’s work
  • Hot Sauce 2tbs
  • Minced Garlic 4 cloves
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Making the Wings

Step 1: Parboiling

First preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the easiest way to get that signature crunch without frying the wings is a technique called parboiling. All means is to partially cook the wings by boiling them for 7 minutes before putting them in the oven. This renders off some of the fat in the wings, allowing for them to get crispy! So, the first step is boiling the wings in heavily salted water in a large pot for 7 minutes.

Step 2: Dry the wings

With a paper towel, dry each wing before placing them on a baking sheet with plenty of space between each wing. It is important that you dry the wings because water will prevent the wings from crisping! Season with Creole seasoning of choice!

Step 3: Bake the wings

Bake your wings in a 425 degrees oven for about 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. You should see fat starting to caramelize on the pan beneath each wing! To make sure your chicken is completely done and safe to eat, use a food thermometer to make sure the internal temp. of the wings is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Making the Sauce

This is a simple sauce, that is primed for customization! If you would like to start off with a base of caramelized onions, you can. Or, if you would like to sup out full butter with clarified butter or ghee for a healthy take, you definitely can. The possibilities are endless but bellow you will find the simplest and quickest version of my garlic butter sauce!

Step 1: Melt the butter

In a small pot, on low heat, melt 1 stick of butter!

Step 2: Combine

Add 4 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tbsns of hot sauce, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the butter does not cook off and begin to burn!

Toss the Wings

In a large bowl, add the wings, sauce, and about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (you can put more if you want extra cheesy wings!). Toss wings until each peach is completely coated with sauce and cheese!


Thank you!

And there you go! Crispy parm wings that you can share with your family and friends while you root for your favorite team! Thank you for reading and as always, remember to make Everydaylicious!

Check out my other recipes!

Quick Meals for Busy Teachers!

Let’s expand this vendetta against lunch to meals in general because let’s face it, eating is a challenge. When you get home the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. You’re exhausted mentally and physically. Sunday meal preps seem like an impossible feat when you must also create a lesson plan for the week. The Sunday scaries are real, and batch cooking 5-7 meals many times is not possible or sustainable. Soooo, what do we do?

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Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper Chicken

If you want to dress something up, throw a lemon butter sauce on it and taste the magic! My lemon butter chicken is the best weeknight meal because it is easy and requires few ingredients, but it doesn’t cheat you on taste!

Ingredients and Equipment

  • butter 1 stick
  • minced garlic 2 tbsp
  • lemon juice 1 cup
  • thyme 1/2 tsp
  • oregno1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • pepper 1/2 tsp
  • chicken breast fillets (or normal chicken breast)

  • 2 Skillets
  • A spatula

Recipe

Step 1: Create the Sauce

In a skillet, on low, melt 1 stick of butter. After the butter has melted completely, add 1/2 of a grilled onion to the skillet and cook on low until the union is translucent. Next, add 1/2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 2tbs of minced garlic, and 1 cup of lemon juice to the melted butter. Stir, and cook on low until the sauce has thickened and the onions begin to brown. You can turn the heat up to medium but be careful not to burn the butter. If you start to see smoke, turn the heat down.

Step 2: Brown the Chicken

Season you chicken as desired. I like to put salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Heat of 1 tbs of olive oil in a separate skillet and add the chicken breast. Cook thoroughly until there is no pink throughout the breast and it begins to brown. You always want to cook chicken well done to avoid food poisoning!

Step 3: Combine Chicken and (Optional)

If you want your chicken to take on some extra flavor, add your chicken to the lemon sauce and heat for 1-2 minutes for the sauce to begin to work its way into the chicken! Pair it with vegetables, potatoes, or rice. The possibilities are endless!


Thank You!

Thank you so much for reading! Subscribe to get email notifications, so you don’t miss a recipe, and don’t forget to make Everydaylicious!

Healthy Popcorn Balls!

Healthy Popcorn Balls!

Fun fact: my day job is teaching English to High School Freshmen. I will be returning to work soon which means healthy quick snacks are a must. This inspired my healthy popcorn balls! I used whole grain popcorn that is not prepackaged in a bag and replaced white sugar with coconut sugar to remove some of the unhealthy qualities of traditional popcorn balls. Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it!

Also, there are a lot of new challenges entering into the new school year, so trying, shooting, and writing recipes have been an outlet and a distraction from my growing anxiety of reentering the workforce. A special thank you to all of my readers for your support and love.


Ingredients and Equiptment.

  • Whole Grain popcorn (I used Orville Redenbackers Original Yellow Popcorn in a 45 Oz. Jar)
  • Coconut sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Raw unsalted peanuts
  • Cinnamon

  • Pot with lid
  • Small to medium pot
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Plastic wrap

Recipe

Step 1: Pop the popcorn

In a large pot with a lid, pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the pot over a medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with the lid. I like to leave my lid angled off the side a little for venting. Listen to the popping, you know when it is finished when the pops are far between. I would estimate about 15 seconds between kernel pops. Remove the popcorn from the heat, so the popcorn doesn’t burn.

Step 2: Make the Simple Syrup

In a small to medium pot, pour in 1/3 cup of coconut sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Stir the mixture then heat over medium heat. Let the mixture boil and stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. You will know that the mixture is ready when you can put a popped piece of popcorn into the mixture without the popcorn melting.

Step 3: Combine and Form

In a large bowl, add the popped popcorn, 1/2 cup of peanuts, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and simple syrup. With a large spoon, stir together until the ingredients begin to stick together and are evenly distributed. Next, scoop out the desired amount onto a sheet of plastic wrap (how much popcorn mixture you use will depend on how big you want your popcorn balls). Using the plastic wrap as a barrier between your hands and the mixture, form a ball and tighten the plastic wrap around it. Make sure you put a lot of pressure on the ball slightly crushing the popcorn to make sure it stays together.

Step 4: Chill and Enjoy

Put your formed popcorn balls in the freezer for 15 minutes so the simple syrup hardens and bonds the mixture together.

And there you go! Next step is simply un-wrap and enjoy!


Thank you!

Thank you for reading, and again thank you so much for providing an outlet for me! I wish everyone happiness and health going into fall! Remember to make Everydaylicious!

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Lately, I have found myself craving lemon bars. Instead of going out and buying them, I decided that I would try and make them myself. I am glad that I did. Here is the recipe if you would like to do the same!

Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment
  • lemons (6)
  • sugar 3 cups
  • powdered sugar 2/3 cups
  • all-purpose flour 2 and 1/2 cup
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  • melted unsalted butter 12 tbsn
  • eggs (8)
  • Baking pan
  • Parchment paper

Making the Short Bread Crust!

Step 1: Prepare dry ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flower, 2/3 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Step 2: Mix in melted butter

Add 12 tbsn of melted butter to your dry ingredients. I used my standing mixer with a paddle attachment, but you can use a hand mixer or you can mix it by hand. This will create a crumble. Don’t freak out if it doesn’t seem like a traditional batter, it is supposed to be thick and crumbly!

Step 3: Press the batter/crumble

Line your baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure that your parchment paper hangs over the side of your dish so that you can use it to remove your bars in the end. Pour the crumble into the baking dish and use your hands to press it down into the dish covering the whole bottom. The mixer should come together creating a crust. Once the entire bottom is evenly covered, place the pan in the oven to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Make sure your hands are extra clean!

Making the Filling

While your crust is in the oven, prepare your filling. You want to pour your filling on the crust while the crust is still warm, so use your time wisely!

Step 1: Juice your Lemons

You will need one full cup of lemon juice. How many lemons you need will vary, but I used 6 lemons to get my cup. If you would like to use pre-squeezed lemon juice, you can, but you will not get the same strong lemon flavor!

Step 2: Combine and Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups of sugar, 8 whole eggs, and 1 cup of lemon juice. I used a hand whisk, but you can use a mixer if you would like. Its super easy to mix, just whisk until everything is combined.

Pour, Bake, and Chill

The last thing to do is to pour the filling mixture into the baking dish over the crust, and pop it back into the oven. Bake your lemons bars oat 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 24-26 minutes. Make sure you rotate your bars halfway through to ensure even cooking. The middle will still be a little jiggly! Once it is done cooking, let it cool to room temp, and then put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour. I like to top mine with powdered sugar before serving!

Thank You!

I really enjoyed making and sharing these beautiful lemon bars! Let me know if you try the recipe, and remember to make everydaylicious!