What’s Cooking Wednesday – Shredded Beef Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Y’all… Jeff and I have decided that we are just going to put ALL THE THINGS in baked potatoes from now on! We had some amazing buffalo chicken stuffed baked potatoes last week (you can find that recipe here), and this week I decided to stuff some leftover Easy Slow Cooker Roast in our baked potatoes and it was the best idea I’ve had all week.

Also, you should know that this meal is NOT Whole30 approved. Our September Whole30 turned into a September Whole17. I woke up with a fever on Monday morning and did not feel like shopping or cooking, so we had takeout. After having a couple little slip ups, we decided that we are going to continue trying to eat healthy, but since we obviously were not mentally prepared for a real Whole30 this month, we’re going to just try again later (maybe January?). 

I have done a successful Whole30 before, and I will tell you that it definitely requires you to be in the right mindset. We kind of rushed into our decision to try it this month and did not consider how hard it was going to be to shop and meal prep with a newborn (who still hasn’t had his shots, and therefore can’t go to the store with me). If you’re doing the Whole30 this month, keep it up! I hope you are more successful than we were this time. 

Now on to the fun stuff… the recipe for these awesome baked potatoes! 

Ingredients:

  • Large russet potatoes (one per person)
  • Easy Slow Cooker Roast (this is a great use for leftovers!)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Chives
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  • Wash the russet potatoes and pat them dry. Coat the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle the skins with salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 60-90 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes – cook them until they are tender).
  • Heat up the leftover meat from the Easy Crock Pot Roast while the potatoes are cooking. Shred the meat and place it back in the cooking liquid to keep it moist.
  • When potatoes are done, slit them down the middle and squeeze them open so there’s plenty of room to stuff them. 
  • Scoop on a nice portion of the shredded roast and top with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Top with a drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives. 

Easy Slow Cooker Roast

This recipe is a staple at our house. It’s easy to toss everything in my slow cooker before I go to work and it’s perfectly tender and has the house smelling amazing when we get home. It’s incredibly easy to do, requires almost no prep, and just does it’s thing in the slow cooker without me having to do anything. On a busy weekday, that’s definitely a win in my book!


Ingredients:

  • One 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 handfuls baby carrots
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • 1/4 cup beef broth

Instructions:

  • Place the chuck roast in the slow cooker. If you want it to cook faster, you can cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Top with carrots, cubed potatoes, and sliced onion. 
  • Pour in 1/4 cup beef broth (or you can use water, but it won’t have as much flavor).
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours OR on high for 4-5 hours, until potatoes and carrots are fork tender and meat can be easily shredded with a fork.

This reheats really well, and I usually have a couple days worth of leftovers when I cook a roast this size. I use leftovers for an easy lunch or use them to make sandwiches or my Shredded Beef Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Baked Chicken Breasts with Zucchini Noodles in Spinach and Walnut Pesto

I made zucchini noodles today and now I am wondering why it took me so long to try them. They were amazing! I could replace spaghetti with zucchini noodles forever and not miss it one bit. Also, they were incredibly easy and cooked super fast. This meal came together so quickly that I barely felt like I had cooked, but it was really tasty and Jeff gave it his stamp of approval. That’s always a win. Check out the recipes below:

Simply the Best Baked Chicken

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this, but you could absolutely use bone-in chicken. You’d just need to adjust your cooking time. Usually bone-in chicken tends to take a little longer to cook. Just make sure that the juices are running clear when you puncture the chicken to be sure it is done.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 Tbsp avacado oil

Salt

Pepper

In a skillet, heat the avacado oil over medium high heat until warm. Make sure to swirl it around to coat the entire skillet. 

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet seasoned side down. Season the other side with salt and pepper. 

Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until browned. Flip the chicken and cook on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. 

Transfer to a 400 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes. 

Browning the chicken in the skillet first makes such a huge difference in how flavorful this chicken is! Having that crispy, browned crust makes it so savory!

Spinach and Walnut Pesto

1 1/2 cups finely packed spinach

1/2 cup fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Combine the spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. 

Put It All Together

Spiralize 3-4 large zucchini using a vegetable spirializer like this one. Sauté the noodles on medium high heat in avacado oil with a little salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add two tablespoons of pesto to the noodles and toss until coated.

Serve with sliced chicken breasts and toasted walnuts for garnish. 

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the ultimate comfort food recipe. When Jeff and I were dating, he asked me if I could make him a chicken pot pie. I flipped my hair and said, “of course!” even though I had never made one in my life. I was certain that it couldn’t really be that hard. I tried a few different recipes before I settled on this super easy creation.

Tonight, I added a little extra to my normal recipe by adding bacon to the pie. It’s totally optional, but who wouldn’t want bacon in their chicken pie???

Here’s what you need for my super easy Bacon Chicken Pot Pie:


2 chicken breasts

4 slices of bacon

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

Small bag mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, and peas)

2 refrigerated pie crusts

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by boiling the chicken breasts. When they are done, shred and set aside.

Dice the bacon into small pieces. Spray a medium sized pot (I love my enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven for this!) with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until done. 


When the bacon is done, remove and drain on a paper towel. Turn the heat down to low. Deglaze the pot with a splash of chicken broth. Add the cream of chicken soup and about half the can of chicken broth. Stir until well mixed. Stir in the frozen mixed vegetables. Cover and let cook on low for about 10 minutes. 


Next, add the shredded chicken and bacon to the mixture. 


Stir until mixed well. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


Cover this mixture and remove from heat.

Roll out one pre-made pie crust into the bottom of a pie pan. 


Poke the crust with a fork to allow it to vent. Pour the chicken mixture into the bottom crust. 


Roll out the second pie crust and place on top of the pie. Use a fork to press the edges together. 

Cut vent slits in the top of the pie. I usually cut three large ones in the middle and a few tiny ones around the edges. 


You can bake it just like this, OR if you want a really pretty, crispy crust, coat the top of the pie with an egg wash (one egg and some water whisked together and brushed onto the dough). This will give you a beautiful, golden brown crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Watch the crust carefully. You may need to cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent them from burning (the edges cook faster than the rest of the pie). 


Allow the pie about 10 minutes to rest/cool before serving.


Jeff has been raving about this pie all night. He said it is my best one ever. I think the bacon is definitely here to stay. 


If you want a happy tummy and a happy husband, go make this. You won’t regret it. 

Open Faced Turkey Sandwiches with Mamaw’s Chicken Dressing

This is one of my favorite treats! I rarely make these because I don’t usually want to spend the money to buy the thick sliced turkey I use for these sandwiches, but sometimes, I just crave them and decide to treat myself. This weekend was one of those times.

This recipe is actually a copycat recipe of one of my favorite dishes from Bates House of Turkey in Greenville, Alabama. I lived in Greenville during my middle school years, and this amazing little restaurant was owned and operated by a classmate’s family. It is absolutely the best place on the planet to get your Thanksgiving food cravings satisfied all year round.

Bates made the most amazing open faced turkey sandwiches, and that’s almost always what I ordered when my family went there. Since we have moved back to north Alabama, I often wish I could just run by Bates on the way home and pick up one of these beauties, but nowadays, I have to settle for making them myself.

I start out with my great grandmother’s chicken dressing recipe. There are many chicken dressing recipes in my family, but Mamaw Hall’s is my favorite and the one my mother always makes, so it’s the one that I can make without having to dig through a recipe box or open up a cookbook. It’s really the easiest dressing ever. My one tip for this recipe is to make sure you DON’T overcook it. It needs to be moist when you take it out of the oven. This is not a cakey dressing. You want to scoop it out of the pan, not slice it like a cake (I am NOT a fan of those kind of dressings, but to each his own, I guess…)

Here’s what you need for the dressing:

(Note: This is my great grandmother’s recipe and is made for feeding a large family. When I make this just for myself and my husband, I either separate it into smaller pans and freeze some or I cut the recipe down to avoid waste.)

1 large pone of cornbread, crumbled

1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

1/2 white onion, chopped

6 eggs, beaten

8 Chicken thighs, boiled and shredded (I like white meat, so I usually use 4 chicken breasts for this part. Also, a mixture of white and dark meat is awesome!)

Chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken)

Salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning to taste

Crumble the cornbread and crackers into a LARGE mixing bowl. Add the onions and stir until mixed. Lightly beat the eggs and add them to the bread mixture. Stir until mixed well. Add the shredded chicken, and then slowly add the chicken broth as needed.

*Make sure you add the hot chicken broth slowly and mix it up after each addition or it can boil the bits of egg and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in your dressing, which  nobody wants.

The mixture should be pretty wet. Last, add seasonings to taste. I usually add about a tablespoon of each, then taste a forkful and adjust as needed.

Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until just starting to brown on top.

 

Now to assemble the sandwiches!

For each sandwich you will need:

3 pieces of toasted sandwich bread

2 to 3 slices of thick sliced deli turkey, heated (I love Sarah Lee or Butterball – this can be expensive, but I have found that they usually have a coupon at the grocery store deli and they always have a special running, so ask before they slice it to see what their deals are for that day)

Turkey gravy, heated (I buy this in a jar at the grocery store and heat it up in the microwave- making gravy is my nemesis)

Mamaw’s Chicken Dressing

Slice the toast into triangles and layer on the plate. Spread some of the gravy on each piece of toast, then lay the turkey on top. Scoop a couple large scoops of dressing in the middle of the sandwich, then drizzle on some more gravy.

 

Like I said, this is a RARE treat. It’s enough food to put you into a Thanksgiving food coma, but it is SO GOOD. It’s almost like being back at Bates in Greenville. I think the first time I made this for my husband is when he decided he was going to ask me to marry him. It’s that good.