Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that this is not the place to go for light and healthy, trendy super foods. This is not the place to go for your five a day or tips on how to get six pack abs. This is not the place for quinoa, chia seeds, or kale or whatever health food is currently trending. Most of the food you’ll find here might not even look that good on Instagram. Believe me, there are plenty of food blogs out there where you can get all those things. This is not that.

What you will find here is food that tastes really really good. Food that’s indulgent and easy to make. Food that’s so good you’ll want to dance and sing. I guess you could say I’m teaching you self-discipline because this is food you won’t want to stop eating but maybe should. All things in moderation, including Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. I know my point of view, and I’m sticking with it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese recipe has three different kinds of cheese, plenty of Transformer Chicken, and enough buffalo sauce to make your nose run. It’s not outrageously spicy, but there is a noticeable level of heat. Get into it.

This recipe is a bit involved and will dirty quite a few dishes. Nothing is difficult, but there are a few separate elements that all have to come together. It’s absolutely delicious, though, and makes enough to feed six very hungry people, so it’s undoubtedly worth it. My husband said this was the best macaroni and cheese he’s ever had, and I make a lot of mac and cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s a good thing to know yourself and be content. Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy, too.

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese
Serves 6
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is an indulgent dish with a serious kick.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2.5 ounces unsalted butter, divided
  2. 1 pound elbow macaroni
  3. 2 shallots, minced
  4. 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3/4 cups buffalo sauce
  7. 2 tablespoons flour
  8. 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  9. 2-1/2 cups half and half
  10. 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
  11. 8 ounces pepper jack cheese or cheddar with chillies, cubed or shredded
  12. 2/3 cup sour cream
  13. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  14. 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  15. 1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and spray a large casserole dish or 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add some salt, then cook your macaroni until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.
  3. While your pasta is cooking, melt 1.5 ounces of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add your shallot and cook for a few minutes until it softens. Next, add your chicken and garlic and let it cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add 1/2 cup of the buffalo sauce. Stir this all together and bring it to a simmer for a minute or so to thicken the sauce slightly. Turn off the heat and set this aside while you get on with your cheese sauce.
  4. Melt 1 ounce of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, about a half cup at a time, whisking until smooth before you add the next addition. Once you've created a smooth creamy sauce, you can then stir in your remaining half cup buffalo sauce. Once your mixture is bubbling gently, add the cheddar, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream, and stir until the cheese is melted and your sauce is smooth.
  5. Now it's time to toss together all the parts. If your sauce pan is big enough, you can add your pasta and chicken straight into that, but it may need to all go into the pasta pot to give you enough space to stir it all together. Once your mixture is properly combined, transfer the whole lot to your waiting casserole dish.
  6. Scatter the top of the casserole with your panko breadcrumbs, then dot the whole thing with blue cheese all over the top. Finally, sprinkle the parsley over everything.
  7. Bake this mass of cheesy goodness for 30-40 minutes until as brown and bubbly as you desire.
  8. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool before you try to eat this. It's best served straight away, but it's still pretty awesome reheated, though your cheese may become a bit oily.
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I am weird. This is probably not news to you. I get obsessed with things, and then I have to turn them into an overly complex list and absorb everything about them. Dance was my first ever obsession, and though I’ve tried to break the habit repeatedly, it keeps worming its way back into my life.

In addition to trying to add a weekly dance class into my busy schedule, I’ve decided to get on YouTube and watch every single season of So You Think You Can Dance. Even the first season I had never seen before. News flash, it was kind of awful. But it’s bringing back so many great memories of fabulous choreography and fantastic personalities. It’s giving me life.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

An obsession that completely possessed me later in life is, of course, cooking. This Mexican Lasagna is a perfect example of how deep my obsession goes. I’ve made this recipe many times, but I’ve never eaten it. I’m famously not a fan of vegetables, and this spicy layered dish is loaded with them. Plus some beans and cheese. 

My husband definitely benefits with my obsession as he gets to eat this all by himself every time. So you know that it’s not only tasty the first time around but also makes terrific leftovers. If you are looking for a simple, veggie-filled, all-in-one, dish, Mexican Lasagna is for sure the way to go.

Mexican Lasagna | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

A healthy obsession never hurt anyone, especially when it leads to awesome food.

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 6
Mexican Lasagna is spicy, cheesy, and layered with veggie goodness.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 bell pepper
  5. 2 serrano peppers or other small chillies
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can petite diced tomatoes with peppers (any combination of 2 cans of tomatoes will do)
  9. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  10. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can whole kernel corn
  12. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 4 large tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and find your deepest round baking dish, 9 or 10 inches in diameter, at least 2-1/2 inches deep.
  2. Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your knife and peel the skin off. Toss the whole clove into a skillet with your olive oil and heat over medium. Don't forget to pull this out at the end. Chop your onion, and peppers and add them to the pan. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to cook and soften for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then fill each can about 1/4 of the way up with water. Swirl it around to get the tomatoey goodness off the side of the can, then add the water to the pan. Squeeze in the ketchup and allow it all to simmer together for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your filling by mixing together black beans, corn, and most of the cheese. Hold a bit back for the very top.
  5. Now it's time to assemble. Start with a few spoonfuls of sauce spread around the bottom of your pan, then lay down a tortilla. Next, add a third of the filling, and some more sauce. Repeat this two more times.
  6. Lay down the final tortilla on the top. Spread the last of your sauce over these, then top the whole thing with some extra shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes. You will may want to put a baking sheet underneath your pan to catch any drips.
  8. When the time is up, let your dish hang out for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice into wedges like a pie and serve it to your veggie loving friends and family.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

After a month of pure indulgence, I’m working on taking some control over my body. I’m trying to alternate jogging and yoga, with a weekly dance class thrown in. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep my dancing addiction under control this time. We’ve also started intermittent fasting again. The first week has been tough but encouraging. I’m already starting to feel better.

People love to tell me I’m dumb for only eating 500 calories in a day, but this is the only thing that works for me. In most other diets, you have to restrict yourself all the time, but with fasting, I can eat pretty much anything I want five days a week. So even when I’m super hungry on a fast day, I know that I just have to keep myself distracted until bedtime, then in the morning I can eat something tasty without feeling guilty. And if I want t have a doughnut every once in a while, I can just do it.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This probably doesn’t have anything t do with Buffalo Chicken Tacos except for the fact that I can eat them on a non-fast day and feel totally awesome about it. They’re somewhat indulgent with two types of cheese and a drizzle of ranch dressing, but they’re not outrageous. You could even add avocado for a hit f healthy fat if you’re into that sort of thing.

My favorite thing about buffalo chicken anything is the contrast. These tacos marry spicy chicken breast chunks with the funk of blue cheese, the creaminess of cheddar and ranch, and a bit of crunch from a sprinkling of green onions. It’s all wrapped in a chewy whole wheat tortilla. I could eat eight of them, but I don’t because fasting also helps to keep you focused on your goal and recognize the difference between hunger and cravings. I’m in it for the flavors, and the flavors in Buffalo Chicken Tacos are seriously good.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Go on, indulge a little. Make yourself some Buffalo Chicken Tacos. It’s gonna be awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Serves 2
Buffalo Chicken Tacos are a delicious bundle of contrasting flavors.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  3. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. 2 tablespoons corn starch
  6. 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  9. 4 taco size whole wheat tortillas
  10. Toppings
  11. blue cheese, crumbled
  12. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  13. chopped green onions
  14. ranch dressing
  15. extra buffalo sauce
  16. Whatever else you think is awesome
Instructions
  1. Place chicken pieces in a small mixing bowl. Season your chicken pieces with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle corn starch and flour over chicken pieces and toss the chicken with tongs to coat them in the flour.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Give the chicken pieces a gentle shake to get rid of any excess flour before adding them to the pan. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken to a clean bowl, then toss with buffalo sauce.
  5. Assemble your tacos, wrap 'em up, and go to town.
Adapted from How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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