Easy Meat, Veggies, and Potatoes

Adapted from: Saving Makes Cents

This is a recipe that has been floating around Pinterest and I’ve been meaning to try for almost a year.  I thought it looked too simple to be true, but it’s not…it is as simple as it sounds!  And my goodness, flavorful.  I added a few ingredients of my own to give it a little something special so feel free to play around with this dish!  What’s also great about this recipe is you can change up the veggies depending on what’s in season or whatever you have a taste for.  And don’t tell Nate, but I definitely tasted a whole spoonful of the sauce…three times.  I know…so bad.

Easy Meat, Veggies, and Potatoes - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, raw
Green beans (any veggie like broccoli, asparagus, or brussel sprouts)
New, Red, or Baby Potatoes, cubed
1 packet of italian dressing mix
1 stick of butter, melted

Add ons
fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar

-Preheat over to 350 degrees F
-Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper
-Arrange the meat, potatoes, and vegetables in a 9×13 casserole dish
-Sprinkle the packet of italian dressing mix over the whole dish
-Spoon butter over the chicken, potatoes, and vegetables
-Add Ons – I added capers and lemon juice to the green beans, and sprinkled some brown sugar over the chicken.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (recipe says to cover with foil, but I skipped that and the dish turned out fine!)

Crock Pot Corn on the Cob

Source: Practical Stewardship

Crock pot corn?  Yea you heard me.  This is my new favorite way to prepare corn on the cob.  I can’t wait to experiment with the seasonings to go with it!  The corn turned out tender and juicy, and was a sinch to make.  And unwrapping the corn from the foil was like opening up a present! Ahh, this is making me crave more corn.
Crock Pot Corn on the Cob - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

-6 corn on the cob, shucked
-4 tablespoons butter, melted
-1 tablespoon garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon italian seasoning
-6 sheets of foil

-Shuck the corn.

-Mix butter, garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

-Place each ear of corn on a sheet of foil and fold the sides up so when to pour the butter mixture over, it doesn’t spill out.

-Drizzle a spoonful of the butter mixture over each ear of corn.

-Wrap the foil around the corn so that the juices won’t run out and place each in the crock pot.

-Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.

Zesty Italian Potatoes

Another Pinterest find.  But I can not find the original source, so if someone knows it, please email it to me so I can give credit where credit is due!  Ever since having a baby, cooking has been a challenge.  Just getting to the grocery store takes some serious determination, and this has only happened once with baby in tow.  So I have been forced to get back to basics and find even simpler recipes to get us back in the groove with our new way of life with a  baby.  Oh, and living on one paycheck for 3 months has also made CHEAP a new MUST when trying a new recipe.

These potatoes flip the bill…cheap and easy.  And yes, of course, yummy…but that should be a given right?  I’ve found myself using zesty italian and regular italian dressing mixes on so many meals now.  Whenever I see it on sale I buy a ton of them to keep on hand!  It goes great with most veggies and meats…with the help of some melted butter.

Zesty Italian Potatoes - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife


Zesty Italian Potatoes - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

-1 bag baby potatoes (or cube up some red potatoes)
-1 package zesty Italian dressing mix
-extra virgin olive oil
-minced onion
-grated Parmesan cheese

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Place potatoes in large bowl
-Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle entire package of zesty Italian dressing mix, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and 2 pinches of minced onion.
-Stir to coat evenly
-Spread potatoes on baking sheet
-Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
-Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Source:  Add a Pinch

Pork is not a staple in our house.  Reason?  Because Nate’s job revolves around pork.  If you saw, touched, smelled, and tasted pork all day, would you ever crave it for a meal?  Don’t think so.  In fact, we often shudder at the thought of eating pork…especially barbecue or ribs.  Every now and then, we think we would enjoy a barbecue sandwich, only to order one, take a bite, and immediately regret our decision.  It’s actually funny when this happens, because we do it to ourselves.  People often ask us what our favorite foods are and our answer is usually “Well, a shorter list would be what we don’t eat, and that’s pork!”  Except bacon, love us some bacon!

While in the grocery store and noticed how inexpensive pork tenderloins are and couldn’t remember a pork tenderloin that I had eaten ever being bad.  So I decided to take a whack at it.  This recipe was so delicious, easy, and saucy.  If you do not like your food spicy, you can easily control the heat level with the amount of sriracha sauce you add to the mix.  We will definitely make this over and over.  I’m excited to try it on the grill once the weather warms up.  Nate even commented that the meat was cooked perfectly…thank you very much 🙂  

Spicy Pork Tenderloin - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Spicy Pork Tenderloin - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

-1 3-4 pound pork tenderloin
-½ cup barbecue sauce
-¼ cup grape jelly
-2 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
-2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place pork tenderloin into a large ziploc bag.

Whisk together barbecue sauce, grape jelly, sriracha sauce, worcestershire, garlic and pepper. Pour half of barbecue sauce into the ziploc bag with pork tenderloin. 

Remove excess air from zip top bag and seal. Place in the fridge for at least an hour…overnight is best.  Cover and save the extra barbecue sauce in the fridge as well.

Bake or grill pork tenderloins until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. (I baked mine for 25 minutes at 400 degrees and then turned the heat down to 350 degrees for another 15-20 minutes)

Remove from oven or grill and wrap with aluminum foil (to keep warm) for five to ten minutes.

Brush with some of the extra sauce and serve with extra sauce on the side.

3 Months

I remember in the beginning thinking it would take FOREVER to make it to 3 months, and here we are!  What a journey it has been.  Things have definitely gotten better.  I still struggle with anxiety sometimes, but I’m hoping that will ease up as time goes on and we get onto a routine.  Another huge part of my anxiety and feeling overwhelmed is being alone so much and on the weekends.  It would be SO nice if Nate and I could have the same days off for once in our lives…one day.  And I’ve learned that I get my energy comes from being around other people, so when I’m alone and isolated, it really drags me down.  But what seems so crazy to me is feeling alone even though you have a baby…a person with you at all times, but can still feel so lonely.  Anyhoo, enough with that!

Dillon is still growing like a weed, happy and healthy!  He weighed in at 16 lb 5 oz at his last check up! haha  And we’ve gotten the OK from the doctor to start him on solids at 4 months…rice cereal.  We’ve been putting him in his high chair already which has been awesome.  We are able to all eat at the table together again and as long as we are talking (or entertaining) Dillon has a great time!  He is obsessed with this caterpillar toy…I’ve already gotten 2 replacements.  His hair is still coming in but we have no idea which color it is going to be.  His head is tie-dye at the moment.  His giggles are starting to happen more often and longer, we are still waiting on him to burst out laughing, he is so close!  He grins all the time and they are my favorite.  I don’t know how anyone would make it as a parent without those smiles and giggles!

We’ve been putting him in the jumperoo and he absolutely loves it.  He has been waiting for the freedom to jump around, so we decided to give it a try.  I’ve only let him stay in for 15 minutes because I don’t want him to get overtired.  We roll up a blanket behind him for extra support.  He is pushing up with his arms during tummy time and is starting to like tummy time (YEY!).  He bats and grabs on to toys, play time is becoming more and more fun each day.

He has started daycare and has done marvelously!  The teachers have all commented on how happy he is and how well he has done…like he’s done it before!  So that takes away some of the mommy guilt.  I start work on Thursday and of course I have my reservations on that, but I’m hoping it will be a great thing.  Dillon also has his first cold and probably corresponds with starting daycare.  Holy snot.  Somehow, D makes sniffles and sneezes so darn cute though.  And he has always laughed when he sneezes, so it is funny that he is giggling his way through a cold…except when I suction his nose.  He gets PISSED…then sneezes.  It’s pitiful!  He loves listening to stories and loves looking at the pictures.  It has amazed me how alert he has been his whole life.  He is mellow about it though thank goodness.

There is so much advice out there and I’ve realized that is a part of what intimidates me.  So I’ve decided to cut back on the baby books and Googling.  I’ve gotten this far by going off of Dillon’s cues and my instincts, and he is happy and alive!  So my goal now is just to have a happy and healthy baby…and do things at a pace that doesn’t stress me or him out.  So much of parenting is trial and error. If and when he is ever NOT happy, then I’ll figure out how to get him back on track.  So until then poof be gone intimidating, anxiety-causing books!

First time in the highchair



Visiting Daddy at work! Aka sleeping.

Meeting Roy!

When he discovered his nose…!