Stay home tonight and make yourself a salad just like Olive Garden!
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been inside an Olive Garden restaurant … the unlimited salad and breadsticks used to always get me … I am a sucker for warm, soft bread, you know? Oh, and I just love that salad too … the dressing, luckily, is easy to replicate, as is the salad itself.
Quick! Does anyone else have these really cool metal bowls from, probably the mid 1960’s early 1970’s? My mother in law had a ton and when she passed away, I snagged a few to bring home … my all time favorite salad bowls!
The other good news about this salad? Saving you moola … as in a minimum of $20 … like I said, been a LONG time since I’ve been to Olive Garden but I do remember that a dinner entree was at least $12.99 and that was a few years ago … so figure two people, easily $25 AND then most likely, a beverage (or two) and there you have it … el cheapo night out got a little more expensive …
I’m off on President’s Day (wheee!) and figured, what the heck, let’s get some meal prep stuff out of the way since I have THREE days instead of just two to get stuff done … I’ve been pretty Hangry lately because there’s been a real lack of motivation to really cook anything up with Mark being iffy on what he can and cannot tolerate … certainly a learning curve, that’s for sure!
Anger fueled by hunger.
My goal/plan is to have some grab and go meals in the freezer. Only problem is the freezers … well, they are rather full AND unorganized.
Yeah, that was NOT an exaggeration, was it? Yes, we have THREE refrigerators with freezers. More than any household should have under normal circumstances and trust me, I’m going to have an adjustment period when we downsize to a smaller house (and kitchen!)…
So first thing I had to do was pull out some beef from the main freezer for the Broccoli and Beef dish to make …
Chicken thighs for the Mississippi Chicken (and yes, I had to sing the song to type that out)
It was a good thing that I had pulled out 2 steaks and box of spinach for Saturday night’s dinner … there’s some leftover creamed spinach that I’ll be incorporating somewhere …
And then I grabbed a bag of the General Tso Chicken from Trader Joe’s and a bag of fried rice, also from Trader Joe’s (both from the guest kitchen freezer) with the rest of my fresh broccoli to make me a few Take Out Fake Out Bowls … because I’ve been craving chinese take out lately …
And at the last minute, I decided I want to make a quick Unrolled Egg Roll in a Bowl dish …
I realize that I have not been keeping up very well with transferring my recipes over to this site … I promise, I’m working on it!!
Anyone else using that extra day off for meal planning? It can be such a time, money AND life saver, trust me!
Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!
#MealPrep #MealPlan #UsingWhatWeHave #SavingMoney
Jan and Mark Lipinski are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Ok, up front and center: These only cook for FIVE minutes, BUT they do take time to come to pressure AND do their natural release. And then you should really toss them under the broiler to give them some color.
So, yeah, they cook “fast” but not 5 minutes, eat and be done, ok?
I just hate when I see something that says FIVE MINUTES and then you see all the extra time involved 😉
Now, a little background on me … for years, I h. a. t. e. d. wings … like, ew, get those out of here.
Now? I LOVE THEM! So much so that I’m always making them different ways to find the most efficient and best results!
I think the pressure cooking thing is it. I mean, heck, the clean up is minimal … they certainly will NOT be splattering all over your oven …
Ready to do this?
Grab yourself a cup of water. And your wings, however many you’d like … I did 15 (!)
Put water in the bottom of the pot and insert that trivet. We covered this before, go find it!
Season up your wings with whatever seasoning you’d like. I opted to use Mark’s Special Seasoning Mix. Be generous!
Add the wings on top of the trivet. The purpose of that there trivet is to keep the wings OUT of the water! I did not stand them on end, and yes, they were touching each other, stacked up on each other. Whatever.
Put the lid on and lock it in place. Make sure your little knob is flipped back to “pressure”.
Hit manual and set for 5 minutes (high pressure). Walk away and you’ll hear it beep in a few seconds and it will say “on”.
After about 10 minutes, you’ll hear it beep again and now the number 5 will be on the display and it will start counting down! Whee!!
After the 5 minutes are up, let it release on it’s own for about 10 minutes. NOW you can flip that knob forward and let the rest of the steam out. Go ahead and turn on your broiler now (oh, hey, check open that oven door and look inside BEFORE you turn on the broiler, ok? I’ve had a pizza box smoking before! Whoops)
Take the lid off carefully, it’s HOT! Remove the wings to a parchment paper lined baking tray. I just re-used the tray that I had roasted some broccoli on earlier for meal prep work! No need to waste resources!
See how pale they are? THAT’S why you want to broil them a little!
If you’d like, brush some sauce on those babies.
I opted to broil mine naked and THEN added sauce on afterwards … I’m not a big sticky sauce kind of girl, you know?
These were really good and I think may be my new way to make them forever! There’s minimal fuss and mess to deal with! Go ahead and give them a try! Up next will be the salt & vinegar wings … or maybe lemon pepper wings … or maybe ranch wings! The possibilities are endless!
And yes, we are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Every time I do this, I kick myself for forgetting how good it is.
And then, every time someone ask how it’s done, I kick myself for forgetting how EASY it is.
Onions and Peppers …
Grilled in the grill pan. On the gas grill (although, I’m certain the charcoal grill would be awesome too!)
Cut your onion in half (root end to top) and then cut in thicker chunks. Toss in to a large bowl.
Deconstruct your peppers: push the stem down and pull out, shake out the seeds and cut in half (bottom to top) and again, cut in to thick chunks. Toss these in with the onions.
*Optional, if you like, you can add chunks of squash as well, which is what I’ve done here, but 90% of the time it’s just onions and peppers in my household!*
Grab some olive oil and add a bit to the bowl. No measuring allowed on this recipe. You don’t want them swimming in oil, but lightly coated.
Take some salt, pepper, and any other kind of seasoning that makes you happy and sprinkle over the veggies. I use my boirsion stuff which is a coarse ground seasoning mix, or a blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Let the bowl sit there on the counter. Stop by and say hi to the veggies as you do your thing in the kitchen.
When ready to cook, get a grill pan (you know the ones, open holes or grates?) and toss it on the grill to get hot and then toss the veggies in the pan. Leave them alone for a little bit and then go mix them up some … you want them to get a little ‘dark’ around the edges, but as I always tell Hubby, fine line between COLOR and BURNING so keep an eye on them once they start to get a little color.
Once the color is to your liking and ready, go ahead and remove them from the fire and serve. Yummy.
NOTES: I use whatever type of onions I have on hand. As for the peppers, I almost always have the sweet mini peppers from Costco so I just cut them in half and toss in. Of course, IF I have regular peppers, that’s what I use.
Also, I started using my Fire Wire Skewers to do this as well, however, the threading the pieces on is a little more time consuming … you can check that method out here.
There you have it, an easy make ahead side dish that can easily be reheated in a skillet while your protein is cooking, or it can used for a quick stirfry, or added to an omelet and so on!
Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties … go check them out!
Somedays, all I want to do is head out to Sweet Tomatoes and have an all you can eat salad buffet with unlimited soups and a few other starchy things on the side. I never opt for dessert because I’m usually a stuffed pig by the time everyone is ready to hit the yogurt bar. No thank you. Mark and Jamie, on the other hand, are all about the frozen yogurt and such …
They do NOT serve Cobb Salads there but whenever I get around to making this, I’m always like, YUMMMM, we should do this more often!