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Did you hear the news? My husband has officially joined me working full time for NeighborFood. I am beyond excited to have his ideas and energy in this space. Will is creative and generous and kind and genuinely hilarious, and he’s offered to do my accounting which made me want to marry him all over again. I can’t wait for you all to get to know him better! 

In the meantime, we’ve got another great meal plan for you this week, with two slow cooker options, a steak that would be perfect for grilling, and a couple light and refreshing grain bowls that are perfect for these warmer days. Enjoy!

May Weekly Family Meal Plan 3
Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
MONDAY- Chicken Pasta Salad

Summery Chicken Pasta Salad is full of colorful fruits and vegetables; mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, grapes, celery, and onions.

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Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
TUESDAY- Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos

These incredibly easy Slow Cooker Lentil and Brown Rice Tacos will completely change your Taco Tuesday!

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
WEDNESDAY- Hot-Pressed Chicken Caprese Wraps

Grilled wraps filled with easy balsamic chicken cooked in the slow cooker, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

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THURSDAY: Cilantro Lime Marinated Skirt Steak and Simple Salad

This zesty skirt steak is so juicy, tender and flavorful thanks to a quick cilantro lime marinade!

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
FRIDAY- Honey Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls

Feed your family a quick and healthy meal with these Honey Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls topped with Avocado Dressing. Shrimp never tasted so good!

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SIDE DISH: Easy Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Feta

Summer's best produce is marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce then grilled to perfection and topped with fresh goat cheese.

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
DRINK: Strawberry Limeade Punch - Diary of A Recipe Collector

Strawberry Limeade Punch makes a fabulous drink to serve at any party!

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
BREAKFAST: The BEST Banana Nut Bread

The BEST Banana Nut Bread is an ultra moist and tender quick bread topped with crunchy toasted walnuts. This recipe makes 2 loaves and only requires 1 mixing bowl. It’s sure to become a family favorite!

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Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
DESSERT: Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars are packed with soooo much goodness; two buttery oatmeal crumb layers with a happy lemon cheesecake layer sandwiched right between them! These cookies are easy to make and always a crowd pleaser!

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Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
DESSERT- Triple Chip Cookies

These Triple Chip Cookies are soft and chewy in the middle, crisp around the edges and loaded with dark chocolate, white chocolate and butterscotch chips.

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The post May Weekly Family Meal Plan 3 appeared first on NeighborFood.

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Use this easy homemade vanilla syrup for coffee, tea, cocktails and so much more!

I didn’t know how much I needed vanilla simple syrup in my life until I made it for the first time. Once I had it around the house, I started using it in everything.

It all began with a swirl of syrup in my morning coffee.  Then, I tried drizzling it over berries for an afternoon snack. Soon, I was stirring it into yogurts, adding it to smoothies, and shaking it in cocktails. This vanilla syrup recipe quickly became a pantry staple, and it’s one of the most versatile ingredients in my kitchen. 

Today, I’m sharing three ways to make my favorite vanilla syrup, but I’ll also give you a basic simple syrup recipe you can customize to your liking!

Why Use Simple Syrup

Unlike plain sugar, simple syrup blends effortlessly into both hot and cold beverages, which means no more graininess or stirring and shaking like a maniac to dissolve the sugar. 

Mastering simple syrup is the first step to becoming an at home barista or expert cocktail crafter. Simple syrup is a blank canvas for adding almost any flavor to your drinks, and it also allows you to control exactly how much sweetness you’d like.

How to Make Simple Syrup

All simple syrups start with two basic ingredients: water and sweetener. The standard sweetener is granulated sugar, but of course you can experiment with other sweeteners like brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

The water and sweeteners should be kept in a 1:1 ratio, usually 1 cup to 1 cup. 

  1. To make simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a sauce pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Immediately turn the heat off, and add flavoring agents while the syrup is still warm. Cover and allow to steep until the mixture has cooled down. 
  3. Strain out any solids, then store in a glass container in the fridge. 

Some of our favorite flavor agents include fresh herbs (mint, lavender, and rosemary are especially nice), cinnamon sticks, citrus rind, and extracts. The sky’s the limit here, so check out your spice drawer and your herb garden for ideas!

Vanilla Syrup Recipe: 3 Ways

Vanilla is my favorite simple syrup because it’s so versatile, and I always have what I need to make it on hand. 

You can make vanilla syrup with either vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or a whole vanilla bean. 

  • Vanilla Syrup made with Vanilla Extract: After the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and stir in 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. 
  • Vanilla Syrup made with Vanilla Bean Paste: After the sugar is dissolved, stir in 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla bean paste + 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Vanilla Syrup with Vanilla Beans: Use a sharp knife to slit the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the pods into the pot with the water and sugar. Add the whole bean to the pot, then heat, stirring until everything is dissolved. Allow the vanilla bean to remain in the liquid until it’s cooled then strain and store as usual. 

My favorite method uses vanilla bean paste, because it’s easy but also has the intense flavor of real vanilla beans.  I keep Nielsen Massey’s Pure Vanilla Bean Paste on hand for this, but they also have Bourbon Madagascar Paste if you like an even darker, richer flavor. 

Uses for Vanilla Syrup

There are so many ways to use this syrup! Of course, I love using vanilla syrup for coffee and lattes, but it’s equally wonderful in lemonades (try this Vanilla Lemonade!) and cocktails. It’s also a staple in London Fog Tea Lattes, one of my favorite winter beverages. 

Try drizzling vanilla syrup over Ricotta Pancakes or stir it into an Old Fashioned for a delightful surprise. It also makes a wonderful glaze for classic fruit salad. You can even stir it into your morning yogurt!

 To lock in moisture and add layers of flavor, try brushing vanilla syrup on freshly baked cakes before icing. It goes particularly well with Easy Strawberry Cake, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, or this White Chocolate Layer Cake. It would also be amazing brushed on Grilled Angel Food Cake!

How Long Can You Keep Simple Syrup?

Simple syrup lasts for about 1 month in the fridge. You can store simple syrups in any glass container, but I’m in love with these oil bottles from World Market. They’re the perfect size for one batch, make for easy pouring, and look lovely as well. 

Vanilla Syrup Recipe
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
This easy vanilla syrup recipe is the perfect way to sweeten and flavor coffee, lattes, tea, and cocktails. It's also a wonderful addition to fresh fruit, pancakes, and yogurt!
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract *see note for substitutions
Instructions
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool before transferring to a glass container. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Notes

  • To Substitute Vanilla Bean Paste: After the sugar is dissolved, stir in 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla bean paste + 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • To Substitute Vanilla Beans: Use a sharp knife to slit the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the pods into the pot with the water and sugar. Add the whole bean to the pot, then heat, stirring until everything is dissolved. Allow the vanilla bean to remain in the liquid until it's cooled then strain and store as usual. 
© Courtney
Cuisine: American / Category: Sweet

The post Vanilla Syrup for Coffee, Tea, Cocktails, and More appeared first on NeighborFood.

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This Mother’s Day, I wish I could give you an assistant to make dinner for you every night, but, alas, I’m still waiting on the engineers to develop their dinner-making robot technology. “Alexa, make dinner!” still isn’t working. 

In lieu of your personal robot sous-chef, I offer you this meal plan with quick, family friendly dinner recipes. I hope they make your week less stressful and more delicious!

P.S. If you haven’t gotten your FREE week-long Meal Planning Ebook, click the picture below to get your copy!

May 2019 Meal Plan: Week 2
Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
MONDAY: Hamburger Hotdish

This eight ingredient Hamburger Hotdish is a classic family recipe that will never go out of style. Ground beef, egg noodles and creamed corn combine in this bubbly, cheesy comforting casserole.

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TUESDAY: Summer Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos

Make the most of summer veggies with this 30 minute sheet pan shrimp taco recipe.

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
WEDNESDAY: 3- Ingredient Kalua Pork

Kalua Pork is the most tender and juicy pork you’ll ever eat! It only takes 3 ingredients, 5 minutes prep time, and can be made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.

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Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
THURSDAY: Chicken Pasta Salad

Summery Chicken Pasta Salad is full of colorful fruits and vegetables; mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, grapes, celery, and onions. It’s tossed in a tangy and creamy dressing that makes all the flavors shine, then is topped with crunchy cashews!

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
FRIDAY: Chicken Parmesan Panini

Grilled sandwiches filled with crispy, breaded chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce, provolone, and roasted red bell peppers.

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
SIDE DISH: Basil Pesto Orzo

A quick and easy side dish made with only 4 ingredients! Plus it can be made gluten free too!

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Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
BEVERAGE: Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato

Four ingredient Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato takes less than five minutes to create – so much faster than a trip to see your favorite barista!

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BREAKFAST: Overnight Chia Pudding with Fruit

This Overnight Chia Pudding with fruit and coconut is a perfect way to meal prep for busy mornings. Made with coconut milk and yogurt, it's packed with protein and naturally gluten free!

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Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
DESSERT: Soft Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

These thick cookies are a little crispy on the edges and perfectly soft and chewy on the inside. Plus they’re loaded with cinnamon chips just to be sure you get plenty of warm cinnamon flavor in every single bite!

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
DESSERT: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

This easy, rich, and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is the perfect cake to make for your next birthday celebration!

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The post May Weekly Family Meal Plan 2 appeared first on NeighborFood.

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When my lunch routine is feeling a little drab, I like to kick it up a notch with this Turkey Avocado Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo made with new Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Thin Sliced Bread

THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY PEPPERIDGE FARM. AS ALWAYS, ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

Recently I was asked to my name my three favorite foods, a decision nearly as difficult as naming a favorite character on The Office.

I pondered the sea of foods I absolutely adore and decided to start with an easy one: Giant Bakery Style Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They’re classic, comforting, familiar yet decadent. 

My second choice? Sandwiches. 

I know, I know, it’s a bit of a cheat to choose an entire category of foods as your favorite. But narrowing it down to just one sandwich felt like cruel and unusual punishment. 

I couldn’t bear to leave The Best Veggie Sandwiches out of the mix, and I certainly didn’t want Grilled Banana Fluffernutter Sandwiches to feel left out. And then there’s gooey grilled cheese in all it’s glory and variations. I mean, what’s life without the occasional Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Ham and Fig?

The truth is, I could eat sandwiches every single day and never get bored. The only problem is, sandwiches can sometimes be a heavy lunch. After indulging in a few thick slabs of bread, cheese, and meats, I want to take a nap, and let’s face it: the life of a work-from-home mom of two boys does not lend itself to mid-afternoon nap breaks. 

That’s why I was really excited to try the new Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Thin Sliced Bread. It has the lovely soft and chewy texture of other Pepperidge Farm breads but with 70 calories per slice. Each variety is made with 100% Whole Grain and no artificial ingredients. With 4 grams of fiber in two slices, the 15 Grain variety makes a satisfying and filling sandwich that doesn’t leave me in a food coma. 

A Turkey and Avocado Sandwich Recipe to Beat the Afternoon Blues

Part of the appeal of sandwiches (and why they made my top 3) is the truly endless possibilities they represent. All manner of meats, cheeses, spreads, and veggies can find themselves between two slices of bread. 

I’ve loved many a sandwich in my day, but I return over and over to the classic deli turkey sandwich. It’s a trusty, familiar sandwich filling, and it’s the perfect base for experimenting.

With this turkey sandwich recipe, we’ve cranked up the flavor by adding a few simple ingredients. Sliced avocado adds a wonderful creamy texture. Gouda cheese brings a mild, buttery flavor to the mix. Trusty tomato adds its signature juicy freshness.

Finally, the ultimate flavor booster: chipotle mayo.  This simple combination of mayonnaise and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce delivers some serious smoky heat. 

All stacked up between Pepperidge Farm’s 15 Grain Thin Sliced Bread, this makes for one killer turkey avocado sandwich. 

How to Make the Best Sandwich

Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks for turning any ho hum sandwich into a truly delectable sandwich. 

  1. The spread. Whatever you’re using, be it mayonnaise, mustard, a homemade aioli, or this chipotle mayo, be sure to spread it to the edges of the bread. There is nothing worse than a dry sandwich, so be sure not to leave those poor edges bare.
  2. Use salt and pepper! They’re the most underrated sandwich ingredients around. Deli meat and cheese are typically plenty salty in their own right, but if you add any vegetables to your sandwich (tomatoes, avocado, radishes, etc), make sure to give them a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. It really helps bring out their flavors!
  3. Balance the fillings. If you’ve got thick, hearty slices of bread, match the fillings with thick stacks of hearty meats and cheeses. If you’re using a thinner bread, like the one here, go easy on the fillings so you don’t overwhelm the bread.
  4. Pay attention to the distribution of your ingredients. Ideally, you want a little of each filling in each bite.

With these tips in mind you’ll be turning every sandwich into a masterpiece. Experiment with your own favorite spreads and fillings, but don’t be surprised if this Turkey Avocado Sandwich manages to wiggle it’s way into your top three. 

Turkey Avocado Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo
Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
This Turkey Avocado Sandwich gets its smoky heat from an easy chipotle mayo. It's the perfect way to upgrade your deli meat sandwich!
Print
Ingredients For the chipotle mayo:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce*
  • Pinch salt
  • Squeeze of lime juice (optional)
For the sandwiches:
  • 1/2 lb. deli turkey, or about 8 slices
  • 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 slices Gouda cheese
  • 8 slices Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Thin Sliced Bread**
Instructions
  1. Place the mayonnaise, chipotle pepper and sauce, salt, and lime juice if using in a small food processor. Pulse until smooth. Alternatively, finely chop the chipotle pepper and mix it into the remaining ingredients.
  2. Spread the chipotle mayonnaise on each of the eight slices of bread. Top with the cheese, deli turkey, tomato, and avocado slices, and second slice of bread. Serve immediately or store in a ziplock baggie or airtight container in the fridge overnight.
Notes

*Adjust the heat of the chipotle mayo by adding more sauce or a second pepper.

**Choose from 5 Grain, 100% Whole Wheat, or Honey Wheat

Nutrition Information: Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499 Total Fat: 41g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 28g Cholesterol: 75mg Sodium: 1185mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Protein: 17g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.
© Courtney
Cuisine: American / Category: Sandwiches and Burgers

The post Turkey Avocado Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo appeared first on NeighborFood.

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We try to make all of our menu plans family friendly, but this one is especially loaded with meals that kids will love. From fun takes on sloppy joes and pizza to my personal childhood favorites, tater tot casserole and dirt pudding, even the pickiest kids will have a tough time complaining about this line up!

Kid Friendly Meal Plan
Children and adults alike will love this kid friendly meal plan!
Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
MONDAY: Easy Cheesy Sloppy Joe Bombs

Make Monday a little easier with a super quick and simple recipe the whole family will love.

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
TUESDAY: 3-Ingredient Salsa Chicken Tacos - Garnish & Glaze

Celebrate Taco Tuesday with an easy slow cooker recipe for chicken tacos.

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Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
WEDNESDAY: Upside Down Pizza Casserole - Melanie Makes

Get your pizza fix with an easy casserole loaded with ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, green pepper, and onion!

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
THURSDAY: Taco Calzones - Diary of A Recipe Collector

Tacos and calzones combine to make one delicious dinner.

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FRIDAY: Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole

Classic Tater Tot Casserole combines creamy ground beef with green beans, cheese, and lots of crispy tater tots for a one pot meal the whole family will love.

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Photo Credit: www.diaryofarecipecollector.com
BREAKFAST: Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Croissant Bake

This make ahead friendly breakfast casserole is perfect for busy mornings.

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Photo Credit: www.littledairyontheprairie.com
APPETIZER: Skinny Poolside Dip

Cool and creamy, this dip hits the spot on a hot summer day.

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Photo Credit: melaniemakes.com
SIDE DISH: Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

These are a staple recipe for potlucks, family gatherings, and holidays, but are also perfect side dish for steaks, pork chops, and grilled chicken!

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Photo Credit: www.garnishandglaze.com
DESSERT: The BEST No Bake Key Lime Pie

This pie is a refreshing treat for the summer months!

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DESSERT: Dirt Pudding

This creamy Oreo pudding dessert is a HUGE hit with kids, and every adult I know loves it too!

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The post Kid Friendly Meal Plan – Menu 169 appeared first on NeighborFood.

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Neighborfood by Courtney - 3w ago

Taco Tater Tot Casserole takes a classic family favorite and gives it a spicy twist!

This post is sponsored by Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own. 

My love of tater tot casserole runs deep. Years ago I shared my favorite Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole recipe, and it remains a regular in our rotation. The simple combination of creamy ground beef, cheese, and tater tots is budget friendly and loved by our whole family. 

When I need my tater tot casserole fix but am craving something a little different, we turn to this Mexican-inspired Taco Tater Tot Casserole. If a taco and a tater tot had a baby, this casserole would be the result. With spicy taco beef, tomatoes, corn, cheese, and of course, a layer of crispy browned tater tots on top, this casserole is always a hit!

How to Make Taco Tater Tot Casserole

This easy casserole recipe is made with pantry staples and can be in the oven in less than 20 minutes. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Start by browning the ground beef and onions. 
  2. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies and a cup of frozen corn, then sprinkle with taco seasoning. I prefer to use my homemade taco seasoning recipe, but a store bought packet will work just fine. 
  3. Add a generous scoop of sour cream to the beef mixture then layer it in the bottom of a casserole dish. 
  4. Top with cheese (I love shredded Mexican Cheese blend for this) and frozen tater tots then bake!

Toppings for Taco Tater Tot Casserole

My favorite part of this taco recipe is actually the toppings! I love to load the finished casserole with chopped tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, and cilantro. The veggies and cilantro give the casserole such a great fresh flavor. 

This casserole is easy to make with whatever ingredients you have on hand or what your family loves!

Feel free to swap the canned tomatoes for salsa, add chipotles in adobo for a smoky flavor, sauté some peppers with the onions, or bulk up the filling with black beans. Jalapeño slices are also a great addition, either sautéed with the onions or scattered on top. 

If you like more heat, try adding some hot sauce or additional chili powder to the beef. 

What to Serve with Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

Round out a Cinco de Mayo menu with these other favorites!

  1. Simple Summer Salad with Lime
  2. Mexican Fruit Salad
  3. 3 Bean Cilantro Lime Salad
  4. Don’t forget the margaritas! I’ve got my eye on this Mango Margarita!
Can I Make Tater Tot Casserole Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! You can brown the beef and layer the casserole several hours or days before you’re ready to bake. Leave the tater tots off of the casserole until it’s ready to go in the oven.

Can I Freeze Tater Tot Casserole?

Yes! Tater tot casserole can be frozen fully assembled. I have frozen it in 9×13 inch glass pans, aluminum disposable pans, or in 2 9 inch pie plates. Just be sure to use saran wrap to seal it tightly and defrost it in the fridge overnight.

Enjoy Taco Tuesday with Ohio Beef

Beef is a staple ingredient in my fridge and freezer. In fact, my family and I actually buy a side of beef every year so we always have it on hand! A 3 ounce serving of beef provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients, plus it’s quick cooking, budget friendly, and so flavorful! We love using ground beef to make casseroles like this one or another favorite, Walking Tacos

We also love making Grilled Flank Steak Tacos. A citrusy marinade is perfect for tenderizing tougher cuts of beef. A 30 minute to 1 hour marinating time is all you need to get tender, flavorful steak. 

If you’d like to learn more about beef farming and get additional recipes and cooking tips, check out OhioBeef.org or watch this short video of the Grimes family. These Ohio family farmers pour their heart and soul into caring for their cattle and their land through innovation and cutting edge technology.

I hope your family enjoys this spicy Tater Tot Casserole as much as we do!

Taco Tater Tot Casserole
Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Taco Tater Tot Casserole with ground beef, green chilies, cheese, and all your favorite taco toppings is a weeknight dinner the whole family will love.
Print
Ingredients For the Casserole:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 packet taco seasoning or 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 a bag frozen tater tots
For the toppings:
  • 2 avocados, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the ground beef to a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook until some of the fat releases, then add the diced onion. Fry the two together until the onions are soft and the beef is no longer pink.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and corn and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Stir until well combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and one cup of the cheese.
  4. Spread the meat mixture into a deep dish 9 inch pie plate or 8 inch square casserole dish.
  5. Top with the tater tots and the remaining cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and cheese is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve. Top individual portions with avocados, tomatoes, sour cream, and cilantro.
Notes

To make ahead: Follow steps 2-4 then refrigerate or freeze. When ready to bake remove from the fridge (if frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight), top with tater tots, and allow to warm up slightly while the oven preheats. Bake as usual.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information: Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465 Total Fat: 33g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 106mg Sodium: 641mg Carbohydrates: 14g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Protein: 30g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.
© Courtney
Cuisine: Mexican / Category: Beef

The post Taco Tater Tot Casserole appeared first on NeighborFood.

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Each time I send out a survey to my readers asking what kinds of recipe they’d like to see more of, I get a resounding, “More chicken recipes, please!” So today, in lieu of a more traditional meal plan post, I bring you 15 Chicken Recipes you’ll definitely want to add to your rotation. Whether you’re looking for slow cooker chicken, sheet pan chicken meals, chicken tacos, chicken soups, or chicken pastas, there’s a recipe here for you!

Amish Chicken and Noodles from NeighborFood

Loaded Blackened Chicken from Diary of a Recipe Collector

Chicken Cordon Bleu Quesadillas from Little Dairy on the Prairie

Cornflake Chicken from Garnish and Glaze

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken from Melanie Makes

Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken and Vegetables from NeighborFood

Basil Pesto Chicken Alfredo from Diary of a Recipe Collector

Italian Chicken Bacon Sandwich from Little Dairy on the Prairie

One Skillet Chicken and Broccoli from Garnish and Glaze

Chicken Reuben Sheet Pan Nachos from Melanie Makes

Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken and Vegetables from NeighborFood

Crispy Chicken Wrap from Diary of a Recipe Collector

Pressure Cooker Lime Verde Chicken from Little Dairy on the Prairie

Chicken Waldorf Salad from Garnish and Glaze

Easy Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Melanie Makes

The post 15 Staple Chicken Recipes to Make this Month appeared first on NeighborFood.

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This Overnight Chia Pudding with Fruit is an easy make-ahead breakfast that’s packed with protein and perfect for meal prepping!

Chia Pudding has been on my list of things to make for years now, but for some reason I never got around to it.

Then one Sunday night as I was planning our meals for the week, I came across Chungah Rhee’s collection of easy, colorful overnight chia pudding recipes in her Damn Delicious Meal Prep Cookbook. It was the inspiration I needed to get to the kitchen and whip up a batch of chia pudding for myself.

I was easily able to adapt the recipe with the milk, sweetener, and fruits I had on hand. 15 minutes later I had four single serve breakfasts ready to go in the fridge! That’s some serious bang for your meal-prepping buck!

The next morning, I pulled a cup from the fridge and took my first bite. Wowza. It was rich and creamy, lightly sweet and quite filling, but not heavy. 

Of course, the real test was my husband. When I told him I’d made chia pudding, he raised a skeptical eyebrow, but being the good food blogger husband that he is, he tried it anyway. 

A couple of bites later he called, “Hey, I like this breakfast goop you made!” followed by, “I feel like I’m eating space food!” which may be the strangest and best compliments I’ve ever received. 

Needless to say, the chia pudding was a raving success. In this post, I’ll share more about the benefits of chia seeds, and teach you how to meal prep your own healthy Overnight Chia Pudding!

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds which are able to absorb 9 times their weight in liquid. Talk about space food!

The benefits of chia seeds are many, including being high in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and omega-3s. They’re also a good source of protein, which makes them an excellent way to jump start your day. 

Chia seeds’ unique ability to absorb liquid makes them a great thickening agent in Berry Chia Seed Jam or Lemon Blueberry Chia Seed Vinaigrette. They can also add crunch to things like Rosemary Parmesan Chia Crackers, or Oven Baked Chicken Tenders.

Of course, my personal favorite way to get a healthy helping of chia seeds is to turn them into a rich, creamy chia pudding!

How to Make Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is made by combining chia seeds and liquid and letting the seeds soak until the mixture is thick and pudding-like in consistency. 

There is no magic chia pudding ratio. A 1:4 ratio of chia seeds to liquid (or 1/4 cup chia to every 1 cup liquid) will make a very thick pudding. A 1:8 ratio (or 2 tablespoons per cup) will be thinner and almost drinkable. I like mine right in between, with about 3 Tablespoons of chia seed per cup of liquid. Feel free to experiment to find your perfect consistency!

To make the pudding, combine the chia seeds with the liquid and stir well. I like to stir it a few times over a period of 5-10 minutes to make sure the chia seeds don’t clump together.

Any kind of liquid can be used to make chia pudding. Dairy milk, non dairy milks, and yogurts are all great options. I personally like to make chia pudding with yogurt and coconut milk. Greek yogurt adds extra protein and also makes an extra creamy chia pudding.

You can also add spices, sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, vanilla extracts, and citrus zest or juice to the chia and liquid combo. 

Can I Soak Chia Seeds Overnight?

Absolutely! This is actually my preferred method for making chia pudding.

Chia pudding thickens in 15-20 minutes, but I love the ease and time savings of soaking chia seeds overnight.

To make overnight chia pudding, stir the ingredients together, give it a shake or stir after 5 minutes, then seal the container and refrigerate until morning. It’s the perfect easy grab and go breakfast!

Chia Pudding Toppings

Once your chia pudding is assembled, it can be topped with anything your heart desires! I love topping chia pudding with fruit, nuts, and coconut slivers. I’ve been especially loving the combination of blackberries, kiwi, and coconut lately. It’s so refreshing! 

You can also top chia pudding with jams, similar to this Apple Butter Overnight Oats recipe. Some other combinations to try include Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding, Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, or Mango Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding

How Long Does Chia Pudding Last?

This chia pudding recipe will last up to five days in the fridge, meaning it’s perfect for meal prepping on Sunday and eating throughout the week. I recommend adding the fruit in the morning, as certain fruits can get watery if left in the fridge too long. Nuts or jams can absolutely be added in advance. 

How to Meal Prep Chia Pudding

The chia pudding recipe I’ve included below makes enough for four servings. I prefer to mix it all up in one bowl then portion it out into individual containers that can easily be grabbed on the run.

Any container with a sealed lid works well for this, but I’m partial to good old fashioned wide mouth mason jars

Feel free to double the recipe if you’d like to make enough servings for the whole family’s weekday breakfasts. 

The recipe below is my favorite Overnight Chia Pudding, but I’ve also included plenty of other variations for you! Feel free to experiment with your own favorite milks, fruits, extracts, nuts, and more!

Overnight Chia Pudding with Fruit
Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This Overnight Chia Pudding with fruit and coconut is a perfect way to meal prep for busy mornings. Made with coconut milk and yogurt, it's packed with protein and naturally gluten free!
Print
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I used an original sweetened version)
  • 1 cup 2 % or full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • For serving:
  • Fruit of your choice (I love kiwi and blackberries, strawberry and banana, or fresh peaches)
  • Dried coconut flakes
  • Sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chia seeds. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times to avoid clumps.
  2. Transfer the pudding into four containers, seal, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, top with your favorite fruit, coconut flakes, and nuts if desired. Enjoy!
Notes

Substitutions:

  1. You can sub any milk of your choice for the coconut milk
  2. Fat free Greek yogurt can be used, but the chia pudding will be slightly less creamy
  3. Honey can be used in place of the maple syrup

Favorite combinations:

  1. Kiwi and Blackberry Chia Pudding
  2. Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding
  3. Peaches and Cream Chia Pudding

Nutrition is calculated using sweetened coconut milk, 2% Greek yogurt, and toppings of kiwi, blackberry, coconut, and almonds.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information: Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 80mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 21g Sugar: 16g Protein: 16g
© Courtney
Category: Breakfast

The post Overnight Chia Pudding with Fruit appeared first on NeighborFood.

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Avocado Toast with Radish, Chicken, and Peas is a bright and fresh springtime recipe you can enjoy for any meal of the day. 

I have this thing about ordering at restaurants. If I can make a dish at home easily and cheaply, I don’t order it.

There are a few exceptions, of course. I make a mean pile of Perfect Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, but I can’t quite replicate the charm of the crusty old booth and chipped plate at my favorite local greasy spoon. 

The first time I saw Avocado Toast on a restaurant menu, I scoffed. 8 dollars?! It’s avocado smashed on a piece of bread! I was indignant, but intrigued. What could possibly make this simple dish worth 8 dollars? 

I don’t remember if I ordered the Avocado Toast that day. I’m pretty sure I turned it down for the Chicken and Waffles (sorry/not sorry).

But eventually, it popped up on another menu, and another menu, and another, until it finally wore me down. I gave in and bought the dang toast. 

And it was good. Really good. 8 dollars good? Perhaps. 

I walked away from the restaurant wanting more, which is always a good sign. But the more exciting news was this: I knew I could recreate this trendy dish at home, and I could do it both easily and cheaply. Score. 

How to Make Avocado Toast

You likely don’t need me to re-say what’s already been said on this topic. I’m far from the first person to make avocado toast and plaster it all over the Internet. 

But in case this is your first introduction, the gist is this:

  • Grab some good quality bread, preferably something crusty and flavorful in its own right, like sourdough or a seedy grain bread.
  • Toast the bread. I like mine on the toastier, crunchier side.
  • Find the elusive perfectly ripe avocado. Scoop it out and smash or spread it onto the toast. 
  • Season, season, season. Kosher salt or sea salt will suffice, but a little black pepper is a welcome addition. Or go wild and add some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or Everything Bagel Seasoning. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil. The good stuff. Now is not the time to skimp. Besides, that expensive bottle of olive oil will still get you a lot more avocado toasts than ordering it for $8 at a restaurant. 
  • Eat it up. Be amazed. Repeat ad nauseam. 

These are the basics, but avocado toast can be dressed up, loaded up, and fancied up for nearly any occasion. I’ve seen everything from Chorizo Guacamole Toast to Honey Pistachio Avocado Toast. And now I’m adding my own special twist to the mix. 

Springtime Avocado Toast with Radish, Chicken, and Peas

Whether you’re an avocado toast newbie or an aficionado, I think you’re going to appreciate this fresh take on everyone’s favorite instagram breakfast. 

A couple of surprises make this Springtime Avocado Toast something special:

  • Let’s start with the toast. I swapped out the typical thick slice toasted bread for thin, crispy, buttery Melba Toast. Holy Game Changer. This was what all my previous avocado toasts had been missing. That crunchy base was the perfect foil for the smooth and creamy avocado. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to regular bread ever again. 
  • Next up, toppings! This was all about spring, so I loaded the avocado toast with radishes, sliced snap peas, and leftover rotisserie chicken. The flavors are so bright and refreshing, and it’s filling enough to make this a legit meal. 
  • I kept the seasonings simple with just some Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, but make sure you season each layer to bring out the flavor of all the veggies.
  • Finally, the drizzles! We’ve still got classic olive oil here, but I added balsamic reduction for a little sweetness and tang. 
  • Bonus: if you’ve got access to micro greens of any kind, they add such lovely color and flavor. I used pea shoots here, but I also love broccoli and radish greens.

Avocado Toast Toppings

Just like any avocado toast recipe, this one is endlessly adaptable. Feel free to omit the chicken if you’d like to keep this vegetarian. Add other favorite spring veggies, like shaved carrots or asparagus, if you’d prefer. 

A squeeze of lemon juice or a quick lemon vinaigrette would also be a lovely substitute for the balsamic vinegar. 

Whichever way you stack or spread it, I think you’re going to love this Avocado Toast with Radishes. It’s a restaurant quality meal you can make at your home in a flash. 

Springtime Avocado Toast with Radish
Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Avocado Toast with Radish, Peas, and Chicken is a gorgeous, fresh, and easy spring-inspired recipe you can eat for any meal of the day.
Print
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of bread of your choice, toasted (see note)
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 8 sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped chicken
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Microgreens (optional)
  • Good Quality Olive Oil
  • Balsamic reduction or High quality balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash it gently with a fork. Spread it evenly on top of the four toasts. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Top the avocado mash with radishes, chicken, and snap peas. Season with salt and pepper again. Add microgreens if desired.
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.
Notes

My absolute favorite bread to use for avocado toast is Melba Toast. It's super crunchy and a wonderful foil for the avocado. That said, you can use any toasted bread for this recipe. I also recommend sourdough or a seedy whole grain bread.

Melba Toast slices are on the small side, so if you're using bigger slices of toast, you might need a second avocado and more toppings.

Nutrition Information: Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 toast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302
© Courtney
Cuisine: American / Category: Lunch

The post Springtime Avocado Toast with Radish, Chicken, and Peas appeared first on NeighborFood.

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