Cheesy Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

When someone mentions Shepherd’s Pie I immediately think of something with beef, gravy and mashed potatoes.  I’d planned to use some chicken to make a pot pie, but Darling Hubby suggested I use up some more of the leftovers we had in the fridge, so I pulled out a pound of cooked chicken and parmesan mashed potatoes (leftover from Bug’s 9th birthday a few days ago), some green beans from dinner yesterday, some frozen corn and peas, and Velveeta cheese and made a yummy dinner.  Bug was already asking me to make it again before he’d even finished his first bowl (yes, he had seconds in addition to eating the leftover kale and kidney beans, also left over from his birthday dinner.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take any pictures while I was cooking, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Cheesy Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
1 lb cooked chicken, cut into chunks
10 oz of frozen or leftover veggies (I used cooked green beans and frozen corn and peas)
8oz of Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks
freshly ground pepper
2Tbsp unsalted butter
2Tbsp flour
1 cup hot water
Mashed potatoes (2 cups will probably be enough – I didn’t measure exactly)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375*

Put the chicken, veggies and Velveeta in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the cheese starts to melt.  Stir gently and frequently until all the cheese melts and everything is coated.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and combine with the flour.  Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Gently whisk in the water and heat til bubbly.  Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken mixture is coated with cheese, taste and season with pepper (you probably won’t need salt), pour into an 8×8 pyrex square baking dish.  When the gravy is done, pour that over the chicken mixture.  Do not stir.

If, like me, you are using leftover mashed potatoes, warm them in the microwave for a minute or 2 until spreadable.  Spread around on the top of the gravy.  Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.

Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is brown.

Enjoy!

Prep time was about 25-30 mins, cook time 20-25 mins.

Tips and additions:

If, unlike us, you like onions and want to add them, saute a few in a little butter before adding the chicken, veggies and cheese.
Hubby added some rosemary to his portion.
This would be yummy with leftover turkey…maybe try this after Thanksgiving.

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Food for Friday! 4/20 – 5/3

I started making a menu and a grocery list while looking at what I thought was the current flyer…only to discover when I’d gone through it twice that the sales don’t start until Sunday…So I had to go online and start again.  Boo.  At least I know what stuff I want/need to get on Sunday…And, I’ve started to make my menus running from Saturday to Friday rather than Monday to Sunday.  It just makes it easier to get something fresh for dinner on Saturday if I want…Maybe now we can occasionally have fresh fish!

Saturday – Bacon & eggs
Sunday – Baked fried chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies
Monday  – Macaroni & cheese
Tuesday – Chili & cornbread
Wednesday – pizza & wings
Thursday – Homemade Chicken Parm over pasta
Friday – Tacos

Saturday – Steak-um sandwiches
Sunday – Rotisserie Chicken with Kale & beans, mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce
Monday  – Sausages on buns with homemade fries and veggies
Tuesday – Shepherd’s Pie (modified from this recipe)
Wednesday – Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Friday – Pancakes

Food for Friday! 2/13 – 2/26

Making a soy free menu is getting a little easier now that I know what ingredients I can use and what I can’t.  I did find that either Rachel Ray or Emeril (can’t remember which, but it was one of the 2) makes a soy free stock, so I can still make beef stew or chicken soup.  I use a lot of bullion, so cutting that out was going to to pretty tough.

I’ve been eating a lot of homemade pumpernickel bread.  While it’s not a dinner item, it’s good for breakfast or a snack drizzled with a little honey or even smeared with my beloved chocolate peanut butter (Dark Chocolate Dreams by Peanut Butter and Co.)  YUM!

Monday Baked Fried Chicken, veggies and oven roasted potatoes
Tuesday – Craft Night – My turn to cook – Pizza roll-up or cheeseburger roll-up (I’ll decide once I find out if I can have the velveeta…I’m thinking not…lol)
Wednesday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce, homemade meatballs, and homemade Italian bread
Thursday – Biryani
Friday – Homemade hamburgers, homemade buns, homemade fries/sweet potato fries and veggies
Saturday – Cordon bleu (ham and swiss stuffed chicken breasts breaded with panko), mashed or baked potatoes, veggies
Sunday – Pasta, broccoli and homemade cheese sauce

Monday – Ginger-Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens, broccoli and white rice.
Tuesday – Craft Night – Rose’s turn – Hamburger Helper for the boys at home.
WednesdayBeef Stew (subbing out the broth for soy free stock)
Thursday – Game Night –  Pork Ragu
Friday –  Ham steaks and eggs
Saturday – Shepherd’s pie made with the beef stew
Sunday – Pork chops,  rice and veggies

Food for Friday! 1/30 – 2/12

Trying to make a menu this time around has been pretty tough.  Trying to find soy free alternatives has been pretty tough, but I’ve got a good start.  I’ve found I’ll be making my own bread, hamburger buns, taco seasoning, french fries, and chicken nuggets.

Monday – Bug’s 7th birthday – as per his request – Tacos – I’ll be making my own seasoning.  Found I have shells that are soy free (Old El Passo).
Tuesday – Craft Night – Leana’s turn – Hamburger Helper for the boys at home.
Wednesday -pizza (homemade crust)
Thursday – Rotisserie chicken with brown rice and broccoli
Friday – Homemade hamburgers, homemade buns, homemade fries and veggies
Saturday –  Bug’s birthday party day.  After the party I’ll make Chicken over salad with homemade dressing or wraps for the boys.
Sunday –  Cube steak in tomato sauce, rice and veggies

Monday – Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots
Tuesday – Craft Night – Rose’s turn – Hamburger Helper for the boys at home.
Wednesday – Homemade chicken nuggets (using cornflakes), homemade fries and veggies
Thursday – Game Night – Chili and Frito’s Scoops (Clear Value (Price Chopper) chili seasoning packets and Frito’s Scoops are soy free)
Friday – Bacon and eggs (hopefully the bacon is soy free – won’t know til I’m at the store)
SaturdayFrito Pie using leftover chili and Fritos
Sunday -Leftovers/FFY

Food for Friday! 11/21-12/4

Monday – Steak, carrots, rice
Tuesday – Craft Night – Rose’s turn to cook (probably Hamburger Helper for home)
Wednesday – Bacon and French Toast
Thursday – Chili with tortilla chips
Friday – Friendly’s for dinner followed by Lights in the Park
Saturday – Tacos
Sunday – Christmas Dinner – Rotisserie Chicken, Rosemary Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes & gravy, Crescent Rolls and homemade cranberry sauce

Monday – Chicken Soup
Tuesday – Craft Night – my turn to cook – Barber’s Chicken Cordon Bleu, Fries and veggies
Wednesday – Mini Calzones
Thursday – Game Night – Chicken Alfredo
Friday – Sausage, biscuits and gravy
Saturday – Fend for yourself/leftovers
Sunday – Fend for yourself/leftovers

Food for Friday! 12/5-12/18

Since I didn’t get to make all the menu items from my last 2 weeks for various reasons (mostly cause we had a ton of leftovers!), I’m reusing those ideas for this 2 week period…I’m hoping for a non-expensive week at the store this time around.  Most of the items on my grocery list this week seem to be staple items like soy sauce, peanut butter, flour and personal care items…not much in the way of fresh meat (since I have a lot in the freezer that needs to be used so we can defrost it.)

Monday – Spanish Rice and tortilla chips
Tuesday – Craft Night – my turn to cook – Subs
Wednesday – Pizza
Thursday – Bacon and French Toast
Friday – Chicken Alfredo
Saturday – Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Sunday – Fish Fillets, french Fries and veggies

Monday – Steak, scalloped potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Craft Night – Rose or Leana’s turn to cook (leftovers or Hamburger Helper for the boys at home.
WednesdayCheeseburger Roll-up
Thursday – Game Night – homemade macaroni and cheese with ham
Friday – Pork chops, rice and veggies
Saturday – Dinner with family for an early Christmas
Sunday – Dinner with family for an early Christmas

Thanksgiving Dinner Meatloaf

When someone mentions comfort food, I usually think of Thanksgiving dinner, and with Thanksgiving in 2 weeks I’m already drooling for the roast turkey (check out Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey – it’s the best, ever!), mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes with toasted mini marshmallows (or baked since Darling Hubby doesn’t care for the marshmallows), green beans and who could forget cranberry sauce.  Mmm…makes my tummy rumble just thinking about it…But, in today’s busy world, who has time to cook a turkey with all the fixin’s for dinner during the work week when you are craving that comfort food?  Well, aside from me, being a stay at home mom, not many people do.

I don’t know if this recipe exists in the world already, but it’s something that I made up based on another meatloaf recipe.  I like to call it Thanksgiving Dinner Meatloaf.  It’s nice served with mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes and marshmallows if you desire) and veggies to round out your weeknight meal.

Ingredients:

2lbs ground turkey
1 6oz package of your favorite stuffing mix (turkey flavored)
1 cup water
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, divided
1/4 cup of dried cranberries (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

Mix the turkey, dried stuffing mix, water, 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and the eggs together until well combined.  I do this in a bowl with my hands, but you can also put everything in a large zip top bag and mix it that way.  Shape into a loaf and place on a rack on a sheet pan (or on another pan that will allow for drainage of any grease).  Top with remaining cranberry sauce.  Bake for 1 – 1.5 hours at 375*F until internal temperature reaches 165*F.

Slice and serve with your desired fixin’s and enjoy!