Chinese Take Out Made Easy

Welcome to November 5, the first Saturday in November. On the National Celebration Stage, the first Saturday of every month is National Play Outside Day. I’m not sure what that says about growing up these days that we need to set aside one day each month to play outside. When I was a girl, every day was Play Outside Day.

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Chicken in White Wine with Potatoes

I know it seems as though every day is some National Day. And it is, but not every recipe is inspired by a National Day. Yeah, that revelation might come as a shock to my guys. They swear all we do is try new recipes inspired by National Days.

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Spicy Buffalo Garden Chicken Wraps

So you’ve had a long week at work, and dinner has become something you grab on the run. The thought of yet another paper-wrapped burger tossed out a drive-thru window, only to be hastily wolfed down while multi-tasking at your desk just isn’t cutting it anymore.  Just when you’ve reached to point of total melt-down, the unexpected happens. Projects are complete. There is light suddenly piercing a long dark tunnel. What’s that? You get to go home? Dinner at home? Wonderful! Only one problem – nothing is thawed, nothing simmering in the crock pot – nothing!! You were prepared to suffer through yet another night of fast food drama, but not prepared to cook a real meal. You need something packed with flavor, something quick (after all, you are beat) and easy to prepare. How ’bout a spicy buffalo wrap with a garden salad? Yeah, that will hit the spot.

I like Foster Farms Buffalo Chicken.  It’s VERY spicy – just the way we like it. You can use the bites or strips for this recipe. It’s a complete meal inside the wrap – perfect for on-the-go or just kicking back after a long day. If you use giant flour tortillas, the wraps are so huge, there’s no need to make anything else. One wrap will fill a grown man.

Just a quick back story. Last year I made a bake chicken recipe and served it with a new salad recipe. There was salad left over, so we put it in the fridge for another day. The next afternoon my grandson and I were looking for something quick and easy for lunch. He remembered we had some buffalo chicken in the freezer. We also had tortillas and that left-over salad from the night before. So we combined them and had a wonderful lunch.  A few weeks later, I made it again for dinner to get hubby’s take on the Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Garden Salad Wraps.  He loved them. So these days, we keep the ingredients on hand for nights when cooking a real meal isn’t an option. It’s one thing to plan ahead when you have some inkling as to when you’ll get home. It’s another when you know you’ll be home sometime between six and midnight. These wraps are perfect – full of flavor, easy to make and the ingredients are usually on-hand.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken and Garden Salad Wraps
Garden Salad
5 Red lettuce leaves, torn into pieces
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Cucumber, sliced
1/2 Red Onion, sliced
1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Toss the romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and parsley together in a large bowl; season with salt.

Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the salad; stir.

Add the sour cream and mix until evenly coated.  Chill until ready to use.

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wraps
1 package Buffalo Chicken Strips
4 Tortilla Wraps (see notes)

Heat oven and bake chicken strips according to package. While chicken is baking, warm tortillas.

To assemble: Lay tortilla flat. Place chicken strips on tortilla, close to one side but not fully on edge.

Top with Garden Salad. Fold tortilla over filling, tuck in ends and roll tight.

Note: Flavored wraps such as Rosemary work well. This can be made with plain flour tortillas, whole wheat tortillas or carb-friendly wraps. It’s all delicious.

An Awesome Orange Chicken Starts with a Package

Yep, you read the title correctly. An Awesome Orange Chicken can come from a package. Do you like Chinese food? Do you like spicy orange chicken? We’ve all seen those packages of Orange Chicken in the frozen section of our local grocery stores. You’ve got the hankering for Chinese food and you don’t want take out, so you grab one of those pre-packaged frozen bags. You get it home, bake it up in the oven and toss with the sauce that came in the bag. But it’s not what you expected. There wasn’t enough sauce. The intense orange flavor was lacking and it just didn’t hit the spot. So you decide that the packaged Chinese Chicken just isn’t worth the money.

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