Food Thursday: Dinner Inspiration

Variety is the spice of life – literally when it comes to dinner in my house. I try not to make the same recipe twice in the same month. You’ll never hear the people in my house complain “we’re having THAT again?!?” (they’ll complain about plenty of other things… “This tastes too spicy.” or “What is this green thing??” or “Why can’t we just have macaroni & cheese?” All said in a whiny tone.) I ignore the whining and push on with new ideas, old favorites and combinations of the two. I take it as a personal challenge to feed my family healthy food and to stretch those taste buds. This mission of mine requires two things:

1. A lot of cookbooks, recipes and comfort messing around with favorite food items to create something new.
2. Reliable resources for new recipes and ideas.

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite online resources for new recipes and ideas: Tasty Kitchen. For those of you who are fans of Pioneer Woman you probably already know about this spin off that she created. It’s a repository of recipes from people all over the Internet. And it’s a great place to go for inspiration and recipes – many of which are focused on feeding a family.

This week I needed one more meal for my weekly plan. I had a craving for some sort of chicken, cheesy, casserole type dish. I have some recipes for that but I wanted something new. Off to Tasty Kitchen I went where I came across this yummy concoction: Chicken Tamale Casserole

A tweak here and there and we had a dinner plan! Here’s my minor revision to the original:

Chicken Tamale Casserole

3-4 chicken breasts
1 jar of salsa
1 bag Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend, Divided
1/3 cup Milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoons Ground Red Pepper
1 box Corn Muffin Mix (such As Jiffy)
15 oz can Cream Style Corn
4 oz can Chopped Green Chilies
1 red bell pepper, diced
10 oz can Red Enchilada Sauce
Sour Cream

– Early in the day: Put chicken in crock pot and cover with salsa. Cook 4 hours on low. (Can cook all day if needed, just add a little water.)

– Dinner time: Preheat oven to 400F.

– In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, corn muffin mix, corn, green chilies and bell pepper; stir until moist. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. While it’s baking, take your chicken out of the crock pot and shred it.

– Pierce surface liberally with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over the top. Top with chicken and remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.

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