my go-to meals.

i'm trying to be better about eating out ... meaning i'm trying not to eat out as much. guys, you know me. you know this is gonna be REAL hard for me. is a week without habit burger a week worth living??? i'll find out.

to aid in my addiction recovery, i'm making a list of my favorite go-to meals, quick, easy, and delicious.

1. baked macaroni and cheese
i CRAVE this recipe. it has a crispy top made of breadcrumbs and cheese. i use the giant elbow macaroni and eat it leftover for daysss after.

2. blackened chicken with avocado
i'm always amazed how easy this is and then how GOOD it is. follow the link to the recipe if you'd like, but the steps are so simple. just get some cajun seasoning, throw a breast of chicken in a skillet with oil and blacken it with the seasoning. while the chicken is cooking, dice an avocado, mix it with some chopped cilantro and stir together with a bit of lime juice. when the chicken's done put the mix on top and enjoy. if i'm REALLY fancy i will also make some cilantro rice to go with. this is the perfect meal for a single gal. all you need is an avocado, some frozen chicken, cilantro, the seasoning, and some rice. it all stays fresh in your fridge while you accidentally are eating at in and out and forget to cook.

3. cowboy caviar (or any bean salad) in an avocado
this is my newest discovery. i bought a jar of cowboy caviar salsa at tj's and put it in one half of an avocado and enjoyed! it would be better though if you made your own cowboy caviar, or any bean salad (think kidney, black, garbanzo, with tomato, onion, and garlic) ... let's be honest, any lunch served in an avocado is bound to be delicious.

4. nachos! (with avocado obvi!)
so, i make this like ... on the weekly. sometimes i think to myself how much of what i'm eating would be shown on an illustration of junk food? and then i feel bad for myself cause i'm usually eating junk. but forgo the junk food nacho image you have in your head currently and think about this instead:  first the chips, then a layer of  black beans, then the cheese, put it in the oven on broil so everything gets really crispy and delish. then add tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, olives, etc, etc, etc. to your heart's content.

5. tater tot casserole
this is a wightman family classic. perhaps not the healthiest of meals, but easy and good for leftover purposes (most of what i eat is put to the test:  will it still be good for tomorrow's lunch?) well the answer to that with tater tot casserole is YES. some might argue that it's BETTER the next day.

1 large pkg of tater-tots
1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom is ok too)
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 can milk
grated cheddar cheese

put frozen tater-tots in a 9x13 casserole dish. fry hamburger with onion until brown and season to taste. drain off any fat and layer meat on top of the tater-tots. mix soup, evaporated milk and regular milk together and pout over the meat and potatoes. top with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

6. pizza with black beans
i don't know if you are catching on to the themes of my meals, but i mostly love two things:  black beans, and avocado. they make the food world go round. for this courtney specialty, get a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza. it can even be frozen, but something like a take-and-bake costco one is best. take that sucker home and spice it up with more meat, veggies, and black beans. then you're not eating empty calories and it fills you right up. supes easy.

7. veggie sandwich
i think i ate this for a solid week, lunch and dinner once. the great thing about this is you can chop all the veggies beforehand and have the ingredients all ready to go. get a pita (the pocket kind is best), use hummus and garden veggie cream cheese as the spread and go crazy with veggies. avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper, etc. mmm.

8. chicken cass (this isn't the quickest of the bunch ... but it's good)
i love this recipe and it's great as leftovers. i feel like anything with ritz crackers is a yes for me. they should call them crack crackers.

9. spaghetti pie
this was one of my mom's go-to meals while i was growing up. it's so good that it crosses generations folks!

4 ounces spaghetti - cooked
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan
1 tablespoon butter
mix all this ^^^ together with the hot spaghetti and put in the bottom of a pie tin. top with 1 cup cottage cheese mixed with 1 egg, 1/2 pound of hamburger, 3/4 cup of spaghetti sauce and top all this off with mozzarella cheese. bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

10. mashed potatoessss
uh, when i have nothing else to eat in the house, i usually go for mashed potatoes. has anyone ever realized how easy this is? why would you ever EVER buy dehydrated mashed potatoes? STOP! me eating this for a meal is usually synonymous with being home alone with netflix ... i just realized that. it's called comfort food for a reason people. so i just take that potato and boil it with salt. while it's boiling i put sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper, and milk in a bowl big enough to mix it all in, but small enough to eat it in after it's all done. conservation. the potato only takes what, like 15-20 minutes? when it's done mash that sucker with the other goods (using an electric beater works magic). bon appetit! oh, and i ALWAYS make sure to bring the salt and pepper with me to the couch. don't want to have to take extra steps for extra sodium.

11. pb and chocolate smoothie
pretty sure i talked about this a couple weeks ago. this is the perfect after-workout meal. not too heavy and just filling enough.

12. chicken enchiladas
i love this because it's so easy and so good and still so good when it's a couple days old. what more could you want out of food?

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (half monterrey jack, half cheddar)
1 can black olives, sliced
1 package flour tortillas

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
milk to dilute

combine chicken, onion, chiles, cheeses, and olives. save some of the cheese mix to put on top. spoon in some of the sauce to bind. spoon chicken mixture into tortillas. roll, seam side down in greased 9x13 inch pan. top with remaining sauce and saved cheese. back and 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

there you have it. my life in 12 recipes.
wish me luck with the whole not eating out thing ... i need it.

**i remembered one more that is an old time fave - spinach, feta, strawberries, and brianna's blush wine vinaigrette ... to die for.

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