Reenergized For Dinner (Easy Swap Outs For Kitchen Happiness)

Yesterday I was battling a slight cough and a runny nose (and sneezing -- the worst) and dinner prep was just about the last thing on my mind. I was really dreading it. I had three chicken breasts thawed out in an 8x8 Pyrex and I just thought to myself that I'd end up throwing a bunch of random fridge/spice cabinet ingredients on top and calling it a day. You know, some random vinaigrette, a few splashes of balsamic, oregano, salt, pepper, some garlic ... nothing earth-shattering and nothing exciting, either.

Then Ian came home from hosting a luncheon at a medical office and he had leftover containers of sauces from Viva Chicken. If you know Viva Chicken, then you know that their sauces are basically liquid gold. It was my first time trying them even though I'd heard so many great things!

And BAM -- I was completely reenergized for dinner!

I ended up doing a simple oven-baked chicken entree, coating the chicken in an egg wash first and then dipping them in a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. They were simple but so delicious topped with the sauces.

So, this morning between 2 and 4 when I was wiiiiiiide awake from this cold again, and I was thinking of blog post ideas, I thought -- why not pass along some ideas that may reenergize you in the kitchen, too. We all need a little boost sometime!


+ Put them in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low or until they shred apart with a fork. Stir in cream cheese. Use this creamy chicken to make soft tacos, or pair with an enchilada kit for a delicious dinner. Serve with refried black beans.

+ Bread them, bake or pan-fry then, and make this copycat Chick-fil-A sauce. Serve with a fruit salad and slaw.

+ Marinate in a vinaigrette dressing of your choice, grill them, slice them and buy an Asian chopped salad kit. Toss all together. Add in some broken up raw ramen noodles (yep, the $.19/pack kind) to toss in for crunch.


+ Put it in the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low or until it shreds apart with a fork. Stir in your favorite barbecue sauce. Serve with Southern sides like coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, or cornbread. Delicious pulled pork.

+ Bake it in the oven, slice it, lay it on a platter, and drizzle with easy homemade tomato jam.

+ Grill it and then make these delicious looking Cuban sliders.


+ Brown in a saucepan and make baked tacos. Serve with cilantro lime rice. Extra lime wedges for me!

+ Make this meatloaf and sub out the preserves for orange marmelade (trust me). Mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower as a side.

+ Make homemade pizzas and top them with browned ground beef, pepperjack or mozzarella cheese, yellow pepper slices, and caramelized onions.

/ / / 

I hope this post helps spur some new ideas for you in the kitchen! 
Please let me know if you like this type of post. :) 


  1. Omg I needed this blog post in my life!! As someone cooking for one right now, it can be hard sometimes to find simple kitchen inspiration when I don't always want to attempt big recipes. Thanks for sharing these :-)

    xoxo A

  2. Yes!! I love when you do recipes! Could you do one for easy, delicious sides. I make your mashed cauliflower weekly (and have passed it on to many friends) and we also like the lemony bean salad you recommend. Thanks for all these new great suggestions!

  3. Love this post! I will have to try some of these ideas; they seem simple and delicious! Hope you feel better soon. 😊

  4. Great ideas!! I'm
    Always looking for good suggestions!

  5. Love your recipes! I have referred back to your recipe for how to make stewed white beans many times!!

  6. Great post. Often I get in a rut, and make the same ol, same ol, over and over. Love the idea of these quick and really easy meals, and you give me the inspiration to try something a little different. Thanks!!!

  7. Love this post, and love your quick recipe ideas. I still make your buffalo turkey meatballs and love them every time!

  8. LOVE this type of post! So fun and helpful. Thanks! :)

  9. This was awesome!! Love your blog so much!! 👍👍

  10. Hi! Just wanted to let you know your link to the sliders link back to the tomato jam. If you have a minute, can you post/link the sliders recipe! I love cubans but never make them myself actually! Great ideas by the way! Will probably put the meatloaf on our meal schedule in the next couple of weeks!


  11. Yesssssss, love! Great post.

  12. This post is perfection...I ALWAYS need ideas to motivate me in the kitchen. Would also love if you would post an "Aldi Haul" soon...those posts are some of my fave!


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