Mujaddara: Rice and Lentils with Crispy Onions

Mujaddara Rice and Lentils with Crispy Onions - Chew Nibble Nosh

This is one of those meals that, ever since I made it, I’ve wished I hadn’t run out of leftovers.  It’s that good.  I first tried Mujaddara, basically the Middle Eastern version of beans and rice, when I was visiting family in Michigan.  Friends owned a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant, and we made sure to grab a meal there every time we were in town.  I remember my sister-in-law ordering Mujaddara, and telling me it was her favorite.  I thought, “Lentils and rice?  OK…” and I ordered some other delicious, meaty, item off the menu.  My dinner was perfect, but Kelly offered me a bite of hers, and I realized I should never doubt the power of a simple beans and rice dish.

Lightened Up Kung Pao Chicken

Lightened Up Kung Pao Chicken - Chew Nibble Nosh

Have you ever had one of those nights when dinner just completely sneaks up on you?  That was last night for me.  I’d had a busy day, and was a little drained.  The kids were home from school, homework was done, I had a half an hour until my husband would be on his way home, and we needed to eat on the early side of the evening because Avery had to be somewhere.  I told myself that I’d sit down for a half an hour and just take a breather.

Just about an hour later…

One Pot Coconut Chicken and Rice

One Pot Coconut Chicken and Rice - Chew Nibble Nosh

And just like that, it’s September and I’m back to playing extracurricular taxi driver after school. Wow, that was fast.

Getting back into the swing of things always takes some adjustment.  We’re all going through that transition now, and one of the ways I can help navigate the crazy is with some simple meals to throw together come dinnertime.  Plus, if I can work it so clean up time is minimal, that’s a huge bonus.

Chicken with Potatoes, Peas & Coconut Curry Sauce

Chicken with Potatoes, Peas & Coconut Curry Sauce - Chew Nibble Nosh

This is a great recipe to have on hand when you really want to go out to your favorite Indian restaurant for dinner, or grab carry-out from them, but it’s too darn cold to go and you’d rather just stay home, put on your pajamas and slippers, and stay warm.

It’s really a simple dish to throw together, and for you curry naysayers out there…my kids even liked this.  It is warm and cozy, with just enough heat to put us in a warmer frame of mind on a cold, winter night.

Lightened Up Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Lightened Up Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Chew Nibble Nosh

Out of nowhere the other day, I was suddenly craving stuffed cabbage.  I don’t know why.  Nobody had mentioned it, I hadn’t seen it anywhere, it had been completely and totally off my radar so far this winter.   That said, I was just about to go to the grocery store, when inspiration struck, and I had to change up my list to accommodate my craving.

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with Lemon Zucchini Rice

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with Zucchini Lemon Rice  - Chew Nibble Nosh

This is one of those meals that I’ve made often over the years, but whenever I make it, I wonder why I don’t make it more often.  It’s an oldie, but a goodie, coming from a cookbook I’ve had since I got married.  My mom had the cookbook, made this meal and many others from it, and then got the cookbook for me before we moved into our first apartment.  I just looked at the copyright date and it came out the year after I graduated from high school.

Yikes.

Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli

Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli - Chew Nibble Nosh

Got a busy night?  Stir-fries are a quick solution for a night when dinner prep just can’t be time-consuming.  My biggest beef (no pun intended) with stir fries, though, is that the meat involved can often end up cooked to death.  Even though it’s quick and easy, the thinly sliced meat that facilitates that quick cooking time can sometimes end up rubbery and just plain overdone.

Chicken with Asparagus, Lemon, Garlic, and Dill with Lemony Scallion Pilaf

Chicken with Asparagus Lemon Garlic and Dill and Lemony Scallion Pilaf - Chew Nibble Nosh

There are certain flavors that pair well with certain seasons.  When I think Spring, I think fresh flavors like lemon and dill.  This dinner is the perfect meal to kick off the Springiest month with.  It’s easy to put together, and both the chicken dish and the pilaf call for a few of the same ingredients, so as you prep, make sure you prep enough for both…which will save you time in the long run.

First, I prepped everything.  I had every lemon zested, every asparagus stalk cut into pieces, my dill minced, my garlic sliced, my green onions chopped, my chicken breasts pounded.

Lazy Man’s Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage

Lazy Man's Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage - Chew Nibble Nosh

Aaron’s Aunt Cathy came through for me again.  Her garden continues to overflow with amazing, homegrown produce.  I continue to defy successfully growing anything, so when we saw her last weekend, she handed over some beautiful cabbage and red, ripe tomatoes.

I was trying to think of what to do with the cabbage, and trying to come up with my next week’s menu, when I happened across a recipe for “stuffed” cabbage in my favorite slow cooker cookbook.  I love stuffed cabbage rolls, but I don’t often make them because it isn’t exactly a ‘throw together on a weeknight’ type meal.  This recipe was titled Lazy Man’s Stuffed Cabbage, though, and it involved a slow cooker.  Sounds good to me!

Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken

Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken - Chew Nibble Nosh

 There’s something about stuffed peppers that makes me happy.  I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the comfort food aspect or the fact that digging into one is like breaking into a pretty little package.  Whatever it is, I like ’em.  A lot.

I was really excited when I ran across this recipe from Fine Cooking magazine.  The peppers are easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, but also fun, and different enough, to serve when friends are heading over for dinner.  Sounds just about perfect, to me.