Bytes to Bites

Korean Beef Bowl
April 9, 2017, 2:52 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


This looked like a pretty neat recipe when suggested in one of my cooking groups. Sounded like a quick and easy weekday recipe – with taste!


1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tspns sesame oil

1/2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbspn vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground beef

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp sesame seeds


1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.

3. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Serve on rice, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.


This was pretty good! First of all, it wasn’t a total tank with the kids. The youngest ate a bit and claimed “yum” (then ate a hot dog). But, I think I could convince both to eat it again, which is always a miracle at our house. Good taste and I’d bet this sauce would be great in a stir fry as well…next time!

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites



Lemon Chicken Orzo
April 2, 2017, 1:50 am
Filed under: Pasta, Uncategorized, Weekday Meals


We tried this new orzo recipe tonight, with success. Sort of. My 3yo wouldn’t even try it with a chocolate bribe. But, that’s not unusual for him. If you go back to the original recipe link (noted at the bottom), the author has the weight watchers points listed as well.


4 tsps all purpose flour

1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, salt and black pepper

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp light butter

6 oz uncooked wheat orzo pasta

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced sodium fat free chicken broth

1 cup fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces

3 tbspns fresh lemon juice

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

additional salt to taste.


1. Combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a small dish and stir to combine. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon zip-top bag and add the flour mixture. Seal the bag and shake/massage it around until the chicken pieces are coated.

2. In a large saute pan, bring the oil over medium heat and then add the chicken. Stir to coat with the oil and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked through and begin to brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a side plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the inside of the skillet.

3. Place the skillet back over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the orzo to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the orzo across the surface of the pan and allow it to cook for 2 minutes until a few of the orzo pieces begin to brown. Add the garlic to the pan and stir. Allow to cook for another minute.

4. Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to simmer and cover the pan. Simmer covered for 4-5 minutes and then add the asparagus. Stir and re-cover. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes and basil along with salt to taste. Stir together and then add the reserved chicken to the pan. Stir to combine and serve.


Alright, here’s what we did to this recipe. I did not have asparagus, so I threw peas into the pan. The did not need quite as much time as the asparagus might have, so put them in a bit later than the recipe indicates. Lemon isn’t our favorite flavor, so I should have gone easy on the lemon juice at first. Not sure if it was because I didn’t use fresh, but it seemed quite strong at first. It toned down in the cooking process, but I’d still probably start with 2 tbspns next time and see where that takes us. I think this would also be a great recipe with an alternate flavor (if I could figure out what that flavor would be). I didn’t use the entire cup of tomatoes either and this was enough for us. The last thing we added was some sliced black olives, always a favorite in our house and we liked them in this recipe too!

My husband said this was a 3.5 bits out of 5, but I downgraded it for the fact that one child only took a bit and the other one outright refused. Still, for a nice summer meal (with alternate kid choice), I would definitely make this again and look forward to trying it as leftovers!

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites


Chicken Meatballs
September 12, 2016, 3:17 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


My husband found this recipe online and boy, were they good! Recipe includes his modifications, but the original is linked at the bottom.


1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (we used panko)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsps fresh oregano (or the equivalent dried)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

2 tbspn olive oil


1. Place ground chicken, egg, parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, paprika and salt in a medium bowl. Knead mixture together with hand till evenly combined. Roll in breadcrumbs (panko)

2. Form mixture into 1-inch balls.

3. In large non-stick skillet, warm olive oil over high heat.

4. Place meatballs in pan, up to 8 at a time, and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 3 minutes for each meatball. Remove with slotted spoon.



Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites


Tuna & Vegetable Pasta Cheddar Melt
May 1, 2014, 1:47 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals | Tags: ,


A quick an easy Tuna Casserole meal from Campbell’s.


1/2 tbsp oil

1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups uncooked whole grain rotini

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

2 cans low sodium tuna in water, drained and flaked

1/2 cup shredded light cheddar cheese



1. Cook broccoli, mushrooms and garlic in heated oil in a large non-stick skillet at medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove vegetables and set aside.

2. Add broth to skillet and heat to a boil. Add rotini, reduce heat and cook at gentle boil until tender – about 15 minutes – stirring often. Do not drain.

3. Stir in soup, milk and pepper. Gently stir in tuna and reserved vegetables. Heat just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.



Pretty good! Nobody complained about it. I like that it cooked in one pot, didn’t need to bake and had some veggies in the recipe, rather than needing the side.

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites


Cheese Bacon Chicken Casserole
March 24, 2014, 4:35 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals


This was a Pinterest recipe. It looked quick and easy, and lived up to it’s expectations!


4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breats

6 stripes of quality bacon – cooked and crumbled

2 – 10 oz cans of cream of chicken soup

2 cups shredded Monteray Jack cheese

16 oz dried spiral pasta

2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook and crumble bacon. While bacon is cooking, cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Set cooked bacon aside for later use. In the same pan, cook chicken in bacon drippings. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

2. While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to the directions. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400.

3. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of Monteray Jack cheese. Stir to mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.

4. Top with crumbled bacon. Top with remaining cup of Monteray Jack cheese.

5. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, just until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top.


The recipe suggests a number of ways to change it up and different flavors – add a packet of ranch dressing mix, green chilies, a favorite vegetable.

I used one can cream of mushroom and one can cream of chicken, just because like the flavor better and also added fresh mushrooms. The mushrooms were added to the meat just before it finished to give them a quick saute before baking. I’d also consider mixing the bacon in with the pasta and sauce, as it had a tendency to clump on top of the dish amongst the cheese (easy pickings for a toddler….and husband!). But, very good!

Our Home Rating? 5/5 bites

Source: (via Pinterest)

Oven Baked Pork Chops with Rice
March 15, 2014, 1:56 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals


So far, this is the easiest recipe I’ve found for this dish that I love.


1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 cups of ater

1 cup long grain rice

1/4 tsp pepper

4 pork chops

salt and pepper to taste


1. Mix first four ingredients together. Place in a casserole dish.

2. Add the pork, salt and peppering each side.

3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hour.

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites

Source: Internet, forgot which site.

Slow-Cooked Parmesan Chicken
December 31, 2013, 4:28 am
Filed under: Dinner, Slow Cooker, Weekday Meals


Another slow cooker meal that will do in a pinch.


6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 pouch dry onion soup mix

2 cans condensed Cream of Mushroom soup

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup converted long grain white rice

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts inside.

2. Stir the onion soup mix, mushroom soup, milk and rice together in a medium bowl. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or until the chicken is cooked through. (Note, mine cooked for about 5 hours on low and was fine).

Our Home Rating? 3/5 bites