Mealtime Mama: Easy Chicken & Dumplings

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Do you ever buy those rotisserie chickens that are ready-made at grocery stores? They taste great and save tons of time when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry.

With our small family — mom, dad and daughter — we only eat a little of the meat on the chicken. So the last time we had it for dinner, I (Shannon) made sure to get all the extra meat off the bones then made my own broth for chicken and dumplings I planned to make the next night (broth recipe below).

Two meals from one chicken! Yes!

My sister, Gena, made these chicken & dumplings once and we loved them. My husband said mine turned out even better (smart guy):

Chicken & Dumplings

cdRotisserie Chicken pieces

Broth from leftover chicken bones

2 extra cans chicken broth

Bisquick

2/3 cups milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Basil to taste

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Directions: Pour homemade chicken broth in large pot and add canned broth. Add basil, salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning to taste. Now add the chicken pieces from the Rotisserie chicken. While waiting for this to boil, mix up your dumplings (just 2 cups Bisquick mix and 2/3 cup milk until a soft dough forms). Drop the dough by spoonfuls into the boiling broth mixture. After the dough is added, reduce heat. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes.

How to make your own broth from the leftover rotisserie chicken: Making your own chicken broth is easy! I just used the leftover rotisserie chicken bones to make mine. Just fill a pot up with cold water (about even with the top of the chicken), bring the pot to a boil, then put it on a low simmer for about 90 minutes. (Here’s a more detailed recipe if you don’t like to “wing it”.) After the cools a bit, strain the broth and then put it into a container and store in the fridge for when you need it the next day. All the fat will float tot he top and you can skim it off before using if you wish (I do).

Hope you love them!

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Cute gifts at Ozark Natural Foods

If you’re running out to Ozark Natural Foods for last-minute ingredients or just to pick up another quart of milk, remember you can also find some pretty cool gift items while you’re grocery shopping.

Look at all the cute things we’ve spotted at Ozark Natural Foods lately — cute Zum soaps, Blue Q coin purses, roll-on perfume by Love & Toast, mineral fusion nail polish, Freaker bottle coozie, Every Man Jack Body Bar, and even organic chocolate lollipops shaped like Santa! Use them as gifts, stocking stuffers or both!

gift collage1Click HERE to see descriptions and prices on all the items pictured above. They’re all outlined in the Ozark Natural Foods Holiday Gift Guide.

Happy shopping!

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Mealtime Mama: Recipes from nwaMotherlode readers!

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When we ran the Big Chill giveaway, we asked nwaMotherlode readers to share their favorite recipes for an extra chance to win the refrigerator from Metro Appliances & More.

We got lots of delicious sounding recipes and we wanted to share some of them with you over the next few months.

This broccoli salad recipe is from Northwest Arkansas mama Denise Richards. It would make a great side dish for the holidays:

Broccoli Salad

broc2 – 4 bunches broccoli, cut into small pieces

1 purple onion, chopped (I usually leave this out unless I know the onion is sweet)

1 or 2 cups Kraft sharp cheddar cheese

1 or 2 bags Oscar Mayer real bacon bits

1 bag dried cranberries

1 package slivered almonds

Mix together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Dressing:

16 oz jar light mayonnaise

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup sugar

(Or take the easy way out and just use a bottle of Kraft coleslaw dressing.) 

Denise says: Wait to pour dressing over salad until right before serving.  Or, leave the salad dry (as leftovers will keep much longer) and let each person add dressing to suit. 

Ozark-Logo1-300x214If you need ideas for additional sides or the whole ONF’s new deli, A la Carte, offers lots of options (and catering!). Just FYI, Ozark Natural Foods has a full service coffee bar and offers custom coffees blended by Onyx Coffee Lab. They have all sorts of muffins and scones that go great with the coffee. In addition to the delicious breakfast options, A la Carte has a hot bar and a salad bar. They also offer plated salads and made-to-order sandwiches. Normal A la Carte hours are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mealtime Mama: Pancake-battered honey crisp apples with caramel sauce

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Our awesome friend Heidi Clark (who works for the awesome company Great Day Farms) was inspired on a recent Saturday to make a recipe she called Pancake Battered Honey Crisp Apples with Caramel Sauce.

Don’t they look delicious?

Heidi's recipe

We asked Heidi how she came up with the recipe:

“I’d have to say inspiration was that I love fall and I look for the honey crisp apples like others look for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ve been thinking of all the fun ways that I could use them and then one morning for breakfast it came to me. I make oatmeal with them so why not thin sliced pancakes? My picky eater Sawyer loves both apples and pancakes and I thought the match up, especially with the caramel sauce, was great.”

Here’s how to make them:

Step 1: Slice Apples on the thickest setting or use a knife to cut 1/4 inch thick.

Step 2: Mix your choice of pancake batter using Great Day Farms eggs, heat skillet to a little less than medium.

Step 3: Batter apple slices and cook in a non-stick pan (we used coconut oil to give them a crispness).

Step 4: Flip and evenly cook both sides. Serve immediately dusted with white sugar or drizzled with caramel sauce (1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, melted).

Enjoy!

Find Heidi Clark at her blog, The Busy Nothings.

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Mealtime Mama: Pauline’s Pesto

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Pauline, the produce manager at Ozark Natural Foods, offers all kinds of great advice and recipes on the cooperative’s website. We noticed her pesto recipe on the site recently, and since ONF sponsors Mealtime Mama, we thought we’d share it here!

Paula says it’s definitely time to make pesto — and she likes the recipe below not only because it’s delicious, but because you can also make it vegan if you don’t do dairy.

Pauline’s Pesto

basil, ONF

Organic basil at ONF

½ lb fresh basil leaves
1 ½ cups walnuts
1 4oz container of parmesan cheese
3 ripe avocados
7-10 fresh cloves garlic
Olive oil
Braggs amino acids
Water

Directions: De-stem the basil and mix leaves, walnuts, cheese, avocado, and garlic cloves in a large bowl. Fill up the food processor and add small amounts of olive oil, braggs, and if you need a little splash of water (to help with the processing). Eyeball it each time and taste as you go. I enjoy this variation for several reasons, the avocado makes the pesto soooo much more creamy and the Braggs adds a lot of flavor. For a non-dairy version substitute the cheese for 3 more avocados and add a little more Braggs for a salty flavor. The only real difference is that it will brown faster.

Pauline adds: Between the basil special and the slicer tomato sale, I have been filling my freezer with pesto and my pantry with tomato sauce. Last weekend I put up 22 jars of just plain tomato sauce. Simply chop up the tomatoes, cook down for about 20 minutes and add salt to taste, then immediately place in wide mouth mason canning jars and let sit until the lid seals. With so many tomatoes to chop I didn’t want to add other ingredients right now but rather make a base sauce that I can turn into salsas, pasta sauces, or soup bases later.

ozark-natural-foodsOzark Natural Foods is a locally owned consumer cooperative dedicated to participatory democracy. Its mission is to provide owners and the Northwest Arkansas community with natural and organic products that encourage healthful living and a sustainable planet. Click here to become an owner, which has all kinds of special benefits! New on the ONF website: The Fresh Flyer features products in the ONF Fresh departments weekly. These products are on sale or are seasonal. Click here to see the latest.