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Bowtie Lasagna

Try this bowtie lasagna for those nights you’re cramped on time and need a delicious meal the whole family will love!

You’ll Need:

1 pound ground beef

1 box bowtie pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup shredded mozzarella (there’s a great vegan alternative, if you have any dairy allergies or intolerance)

1 cup sour cream (again, if necessary, there are vegan alternatives)

Preparation:

  • Boil pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In separate pan, brown beef and drain excess fat.
  • Add pasta to beef pan.
  • Drizzle on olive oil, then add sauce, salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir all together.
  • Add cheese and sour cream.
  • Stir over low heat until the cheese melts completely.
  • Enjoy!

That’s it, you’re done! This can literally be ready in 30 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

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Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Try something easy and healthy one night this week. This recipe for a Cucumber Quinoa Salad is easy to prepare, takes barely any time, and is perfect for a healthy summer meal.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups of cooked and then chilled quinoa
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (there are vegan options available)
  • 1/3 cup basil (fresh preferably, but packaged will work too, just make sure it’s in small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare:

  • Toss the quinoa, cucumber, cheese and basil together.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together.
  • Combine and enjoy!

Original recipe can be found here: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cucumber-quinoa-salad-recipe/

Chicken Cheese Pasta

This is a recipe I made in food prep class in high school and it was one of my absolute favorites. Y’all it is easy, it takes literally under an hour to cook, and it tastes amazing. This is perfect for a quick dinner on a busy night.

You’ll need:

2 cups frozen peas

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cans cream of chicken soup

A dash of garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pieces baked chicken

Pasta

2/3 cups cheese

 

Prepare:

Dump everything but the pasta and cheese into a pan on the stove and turn on high until it begins boiling, stirring occasionally. Once it hits boiling, turn down to low and simmer uncovered for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2/3 cups cheese and mix in. Once your pasta is cooked, add the pasta in, and voila! Dinner is served. If you are lactose intolerant, use vegan cheese and unflavored unsweetened almond milk instead.

Mom’s Chicken and Gravy

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes y’all, and one taste and you will agree. This is my mom’s recipe, and while I have tried to make it, it’s not quite as good as hers, but it’s a delicious option when you need some comfort food.

Ingredients:

4-6 pieces of chicken

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Black pepper to taste

Water – to be determined

Butter for bottom of pan

Preparation:

  1. Put 3 tablespoons of butter in skillet
  2. Rinse chicken
  3. Mix flour and seasonings in large bowl
  4. Coat chicken in flour and seasonings
  5. On medium-high heat, brown both sides of chicken
  6. When browned, add a couple cups of water, turn to medium-low heat to simmer
  7. Add portions of the flour mixture to thicken gravy
  8. Add water as necessary.
  9. Check the chicken every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan, but let simmer for 30 minutes
  10. Make a side of rice to go under the chicken and gravy
  11. Enjoy!

Be careful with the flour and gravy, the first time I made it, I had a gallon of gravy by the time I was done. If it’s a little thick or thin, that’s ok. If you have extras, Huskies love this stuff, at least mine did!

Make an Extra Meal for Someone

Life can get hectic, and people can get overwhelmed, especially if they have a lot going on in their personal life. Make an extra meal for someone who needs it. This can be for any reason, but I know from personal experience, if you’re trying to do a million things, cooking can be the last thing on your mind.

Mango Chicken Bowls

This is a recipe I found that is based off a dish I have at one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It is delicious, filling, and full of good stuff. The only tweak I make, is I add black beans on top of the rice under the chicken.

Check it out! https://thefeedfeed.com/wellnesswithcourtnie/mango-bbq-chicken-with-mango-salsa-and-rice

FOR THE SALSA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE BOWLS:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw Jasmine rice
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

MAKE THE

METHOD

  • STEP 1

    Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Set aside for later.

  • STEP 2

    Combine the chicken breast and BBQ sauce in a sealed plastic bag or container. Move the chicken around until fully coated in sauce. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

  • STEP 3

    When chicken had marinated, preheat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat and cook chicken for about 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions.

  • STEP 5

    Divide the rice among for bowl, and top with cooked chicken and salsa.

Rosé with Rachel: Valentine’s Date Ideas

If you’re struggling for a unique idea other than dinner, here are some fun Valentine’s date ideas.

Do It Yourself Spa Day

Sometimes, you just need a good spa day. However, if you’re trying to save money, it can be really difficult to do that, since you can’t exactly go drop a couple of hundred dollars at the spa for a massage and facial. While a do it yourself spa day isn’t quite on the same level as getting a professional massage, you can still have a lot of fun, and find some zen during the day. Here are some tips for a do it yourself spa day.

Do It Yourself Spa Day Suggestions:

  • Invite some gal pals over. If you’ve been missing your girls, then invite them over for this day. You can crack open some sparkling wine, break out some snacks, and catch up on everyone’s lives.
  • Buy a gel nail polish. It’s cheaper than going to a nail salon, but they really work. Two of my favorites are Sally Hansen gel, and Essie gel. Neither of them need that harmful UV Light either, and Essie I keep finding sales on the polishes at Target, so I’m getting one for $5 instead of the $12.
  • Get some facial masks. I have very sensitive skin, so this one will take some looking for, but if you want to give yourself a facial, the easiest way is with one of those masks. If you have sensitive skin like me, look for one that specifies it’s good for sensitive skin. I tried a SheaMoisture one for sensitive skin, and my face resembled a burn victim for two days, so I highly recommend avoiding that one.
  • Before the girls come over, soak in a bubble bath or use a bath bomb. Take 15-20 minutes to just relax, and get yourself in the zone.
  • Light a nice smelling candle, and play some music. I’m sure you’ve got a candle laying around that smells great, and Pandora has some free relaxation music stations that will get you in the zen mode.
  • Use a bowl from your kitchen to soak your feet and hands in before painting your nails. This will help soften up the cuticles and the nails, and give you that same relaxing feeling you get at the spa.
  • Slice up some cucumbers! Does it do anything, not really, at least according to those that work at a spa, but it sure does feel nice to put those cucumber slices over your eyes while your mask is working its magic.
  • Make some fruit infused water. Whether you want watermelon lime or just plain lemon water, whip up a batch, and be sure to drink plenty of it. Everyone needs some good H2O when going to the spa.
  • Wear your fluffy robe. Why not, you’re at a spa! You’ll feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • Have some magazines ready for browsing. You can take the little quizzes or read all your celebrity gossip.
  • If you have a neck massager, or a massage rolling ball, use those! It’s not quite the same as a spa massage, but it will help remove some of those knots from your neck and back area.
  • Get a bouquet of fresh flowers. Put them in a vase on the table or near where your spa zone is set up, and enjoy the fresh scent they bring.
  • Set yourself up in your back patio or by the pool if you have one. If not, create a zen area in your house.
  • Have glasses of wine or cocktails ready. Mocktails are a great option for those under 21, and you can get as fancy as you want with them.
  • Prepare your favorite snacks. Little fruit parfaits are delicious and healthy, and it’s always nice to have your friends over and eat some delicious treats with them.
  • Have a nice meal delivered at the end of the day. Order takeout and with everyone chipping it, it won’t be too bad price-wise, and you can extend this party into the evening.
  • Have an old-fashioned sleepover. If you prefer to get everyone together at night, have the girls over for a sleepover instead.

There are so many great ways to elevate your do it yourself spa day. If you are desperately needing some me time, then take these tips and make them for one. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some music, and sit back and relax. Whether you want a group or not, a do it yourself spa day is much cheaper than going to a spa or salon, and it can be just as much fun. You’ll be able to relax, spend some time with friends or yourself, and enjoy a couple of hours of your day that’ll help you to recharge for the upcoming week.

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