“You’ve Been Chopped”…Not!

One of my favorite television shows is the Food Network phenomenon, Chopped. Four chefs compete to win $10,000, where they create an entrée, dinner, and dessert while being judged on creativity, taste, and appearance. After my marathon of Chopped, I am inspired to add more salt and pepper and try different recipes; however, being a full time employee, I need creative dishes that take twenty minutes. Below are a few of my favorite quick and easy ways to make dinners.

My favorite appliance to use is my Ninja Crockpot. It’s easy to throw in some chicken broth, spices, vegetables, and chicken breast and you have a delicious meal. Recently, I decided to try using beef and make a stew. The recipe I found was super easy! All you need is beef stew meat, your favorite vegetables (i.e. carrots, celery, onion etc.), potatoes, garlic, and beef broth. I added some peppers and mushrooms which added more texture! It is easy to throw together in twenty minutes and to slow cook while you are at work. You can find the complete recipe here. ninja beef

When you have hit snooze too many times in the morning, preparing a crock-pot dish is not ideal. This next recipe I have mastered is for those mornings. I take chicken breasts, (cutting them long ways in half allows them to cook faster), add some olive oil and spices, and vegetables and bake for 20-30 minutes on 350 degrees. Broccoli or zucchini and squash make for a wonderful vegetable choice. My favorite spices to use are fresh garlic, lemon zest, and thyme.  For when I need to change it up, I have used a canned of green beans and substituted the olive oil for Kraft Light Italian dressing. My inspiration for this recipe came from this sitelemon chicken

These recipes have helped me master the basics and feel more comfortable with adding new things or substituting different spices. One thing that really helps making dinner convenient is having a spacious kitchen. Camden offers great size kitchens with plenty of counter space and cabinets to store your tools. And did you know, in select Camden’s, cable and internet are provided. So I can watch Chopped and cook in the kitchen.

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