What to do with leftover Ham

Easter is just around the corner. That means many of us are thinking about all those delicious things we’ll be cooking and eating for Easter Dinner. But after Easter is over, if you are lucky you’ll have the awesome bonus of some delightful leftovers. If you are really lucky (or get a great deal at the store on extra!) you’ll have a nice little stash of leftover ham. I love leftover meats because it jumpstarts my meal planning and makes prep so much easier on super-busy days.

Turkey and Chicken aren’t the only meats that you can turn leftovers into lots of wonderful meals with! There are dozens of ways to take that bit of extra ham and turn it into meals your family will love–and ask for more of!

In this post you’ll find 14 of our family favorites. These are almost all super easy to make. Some of them take just 15 minutes from prep to setting it on the table. Others are true comfort foods, and all of them are absolutely delicious.

14 Ways to Use Leftover Ham

1. Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice

2. Ham Asparagus Swiss Quiche

3. Sausage Ham Cheese Quiche

4. Western Omelette Casserole

5. Ham and Bean Soup

6. Quick Ham and Pineapple over couscous

7. Ham and Swiss Scalloped Potatoes

8. Ham and Vegetable Soup

9. Potatoes and Ham

10. Ham Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

11. Scrambled Egg-wiches

12. Red Beans and Rice with Ham

13. Ham Potato Chowder

14. Breakfast Casserole

I’d be thrilled if you took a moment and dropped me a comment telling me what you do with your holiday ham leftovers!

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The Little Things – Giveaway

Last Tuesday I went to Nashville and got to meet someone who has made a huge difference in my business and life.  I’ve talked about Andy Andrews and his books on my blog before a couple of times. Over a year ago, I joined his Unshakeable Entrepreneur program and I can’t say enough about how wonderful it’s been.  I’ve learned so much and it’s had a huge impact on my business.

On Tuesday Andy and his team hosted an UE event in Nashville.  Everyone had a chance to meet Andy.  He spoke and did a Q&A.  We heard Jimmy Yeary sing a few songs for us.  And we got to meet many other UE members and hear about their businesses.  This was by far the best business event I’ve ever been to.

If you have a business, get on the email list so you’ll know when Unshakeable Entrepreneur opens again!

Andy has a new book out that is fantastic!  It’s called The Little Things – Why You Really Should Sweat the Small Stuff, but I promise that it will impact you in a big way.  I’ve read through it once and I’m starting it again.  It’s that good.  I’ve heard the audio book is outstanding too.

Giveaway!

I’m giving away 5 copies of The Little Things to five winners.  To enter, tell me in the comments if you’ve ever read one of Andy Andrews’ books before and if so, which one.

Winners will be drawn and notified by email on March 29.  US residents only.

No matter what, make sure you get yourself a copy of The Little Things!

 

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New! Breakfast Plans are Here!

 

 

So many people have been asking for Breakfast Meal Plans, so we got busy and created them for you!  I did a survey of Eat at Home Meal Plan members to find out what types of things were important in getting breakfast for the family every day and we really tried to incorporate those wish list items.

We’ve pulled together 12 weeks of breakfasts that are perfect for springtime.

We aimed for quick and easy and/or make ahead and freezer friendly.

We included some grab and go meals, for quick mornings.

Protein was important to a lot of people, so we added a “protein of the week” option that can be mixed and matched with all the breakfasts on the menu.

We also added a “fruit of the week” option to give a bit more interest to the meals.  Mix and match the fruit, meat and meals any way you like!

There are some meals that work well for slower weekend mornings – meaning you can linger over the table, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing the cooking.

To celebrate I have a special code to use for a discount – enter the code BREAKFAST at checkout. The code is only good through March 23!

If you’re looking for help and ideas for breakfast, check them out!  I hope you love them 🙂

Click here for more info on Eat at Home Breakfast Meal Plans!

 

 

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – March 13

I realize I haven’t posted on the blog in quite a while now.  It’s not that I haven’t been working or cooking. In fact, my world has mostly shrunk to the kitchen and my desk.  I’ve been doing a lot of recipe testing for the cookbook. I’ve learned that a great recipe makes me think this whole process is going to be fun and easy, while a dud of a recipe makes me feel like I’m an imposter who will never be able to write a single decent recipe, let alone a whole book full.   I swing freely between those two mindsets.  The good news is that I have created some really good recipes that I know you’ll love.

I’ve also been working on Eat at Home Breakfast Plans.  These should launch very soon, hopefully this week.  Breakfast plans were requested by many Eat at Home Meal Plan members. We’ll be rolling out 12 weeks of plans that include quick and easy recipes, freezer friendly recipes, prep-ahead steps and more.

Let’s get to what’s working in the kitchen:

1.  Amazon ordering for little things

I’m really glad I live in the age of Amazon, because I hate running errands.  This week I placed an order for a new pancake spatula, because our old one started melting plastic on the griddle.  Plastic swirled pancakes aren’t very appetizing.

I also ordered refill sponges for our Dawn dishwashing wand (calling it a wand makes it sound a lot more magical than it really is).

For some reason, I haven’t been able to find those refill sponges in the stores. Rather than continuing to look in various places, I just ordered a couple from Amazon.

Do you use Amazon for little things like that?

2. Hint, hint…

In other news, Mother Teresa now gives us all a guilt trip if we don’t wash our own dishes.  Apparently, some people in this family have no qualms about living with guilt.  The truth is though, we all pitch in for dish duty and life with no dishwasher is still fine.  Even while writing a cookbook.

3.  15 minutes of decluttering a day

I’ve been slowly working my way through the kitchen, decluttering cabinets and even the fridge and freezer.  I do one or two shelves each evening.  It’s not much, but it’s quick to do and makes me feel like I’ve really accomplished something.  My plan is to stick with this and work my way through the whole house.  It’s going to take a while, but I’ll get there.

Notable things I’ve gotten rid of:  An old 40 cup coffee percolator that I’ve had for ages and only used once or twice.  A vacuum belt to a vacuum we no longer own.  A jar of marshmallow cream of questionable age. And a lot of other things.

We now have several empty shelves and things are much more organized.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – Testing, testing…

1.  Recipe testing for the cookbook

I shared this in my email newsletter that went out over the weekend, but in case you missed it there I’m writing a cookbook.  A real, published by a real publisher, hold in your hands and sold in stores cookbook.  Writing a book is a long process.  In fact, I started work on the proposal last summer and the book won’t release until Fall 2018.

I can’t tell you too much about it yet, but I will say that all of you who read and comment here have definitely shaped this book.  It’s going to be a cookbook that is meant to be used, pulled out on your busiest nights to help you get dinner done.  My goal is to make it a problem-solver, a dinner helper loaded with new favorite go-to recipes that your family will love.

This weekend I tested five recipes.  I’ve scratched two of those, because they didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.  The others were winners though!

2. Subtle hint to my family

I ordered this print from an artist on Etsy after seeing it on The Art of Simple the other day.  I’m hoping it will remind all of us to wash the dishes as we use them vs leaving a sink-full for someone else to do later.

We are still living without a dishwasher and have no plans to buy one anytime soon.

3.  Testing breakfast recipes

I’ve also been testing a few breakfast recipes for the new Eat at Home Breakfast Plans.  You asked and we’re working on them!  I’m hoping they’ll be ready very soon.  I will say, the recipes I’ve tested and tasted have been great!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas (with a slow cooker option)

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas has been one of my most popular recipes, both on the site and in my kitchen.  These Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas are destined to be just as popular.

They couldn’t be easier to make.  The Instant Pot version starts with still frozen chicken, adds onions and bell peppers along with a can of Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies.

The tomatoes provide not only the extra liquid needed to bring the pot to pressure, but also a fantastic flavor boost.  Canned tomatoes are one of the staples that I always keep on hand in the kitchen.  In fact, I have a whole drawer in the pantry dedicated to tomatoes.  And Red Gold is my favorite brand.

I admit that I’d never thought too much about the flavor difference of canned tomatoes until I visited Red Gold in Indiana and then did a taste test myself.  Red Gold actually tastes like tomatoes.  Really good, farm fresh tomatoes. In fact, Red Gold was recently named the best canned tomato by Epicurious.  The tomatoes are grown on family farms in the Midwest and the Red Gold company is family-owned.  Those things shine through in every aspect, including the flavor of the tomatoes.

We usually wrap the chicken fajita filling in soft taco shells, adding cheese, sour cream and other fixings.  But it also makes great nachos.  Or try serving it over rice.

Using the Instant Pot makes the whole process quick.  You can have the entire meal done in about 30 minutes and that includes putting the ingredients in the pot, allowing time for it to come to pressure and to cook.


Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas (with a slow cooker option)

Serves: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. frozen, boneless chicken tenders
  • 3 Peppers (Green, Red, and Yellow), sliced
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1 can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 1 Package of Taco Seasoning
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Toppings – sour cream, cheese, guacamole, etc.
Instructions
  1. Put frozen chicken tenders in pot.
  2. Add peppers and onions and pour tomatoes over the top.
  3. Sprinkle taco seasoning over everything.
  4. Seal the lid and set the cook time to 12 minutes. Do a quick pressure release.
  5. Serve in tortillas with toppings.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Gold, however all opions are my own.

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week plus Music I’ve been loving

1.  FB Live cooking a 15 Minute Meal

I did a FB live on Friday and made Pizza Quesadillas from this week’s Traditional Meal Plan.  I timed it and actually finished in just 9 minutes.  You can make dinner super quick!

I don’t know why my eyes are closed in the screen shot of this.

 

2.  Didn’t work – Breakfast Casserole in the Pressure Cooker

You don’t know till you try.  I thought it would be so great to make a quick breakfast casserole in the Instant Pot, except the pot never came to pressure.  Big fail.  But know I know.

You could put the casserole in a dish that fits inside the pot and add water around the outside of it, but I don’t think you would be able to make a very big casserole doing that.  At that point, I’d rather use the oven or slow cooker.

3.  Bread Machine

This hasn’t worked in the kitchen yet, but we ordered a bread machine.  We used to have one many, many years ago, but it broke so when we want bread we make it by hand.  The other day I was watching Laurie from Passionate Penny Pincher make her dinner on FB live and she was setting up her bread machine.  I said something about it and my 18 year old son heard me.

Somehow he’d never heard of a bread machine and as the person most likely to bake bread in this house, he was flabbergasted that this appliance exists.  He even offered to go halfsies with me on one, so we ordered this one from Amazon.  It comes tomorrow, hopefully in time to make a loaf of bread to go with dinner.

Music I’ve been loving

I’ve been listening to Ellie Holcomb’s new album called Red Sea Road.  It’s very good.  I listen on Spotify and have had the album on repeat all week.

What’s working in the kitchen for you?

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Instant Pot Beans for the Freezer

I’ve been making this recipe for years in the slow cooker.  It’s one of my favorites, because you get a lot of bang for your buck and for your time.  Using the Instant Pot makes it really easy too.  Not that the slow cooker is hard to use, but the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) makes it faster.

This recipe makes a lot and that’s a good thing!  Freeze the beans in 1-2 cup quantities, depending on your family size.  You can use them just like you would canned black beans.  A quick thaw int he microwave and they’re ready to be added to:

  • tacos
  • quesadillas
  • enchiladas
  • casseroles or soups
  • mash them to make “refried” beans

 

The kids love having these in the freezer for a quick snack or late meal.  Grab a tortilla, cheese and any other fixings you like and you have a healthy, quick meal.

Since I’ve made these a number of times, I’ve learned that you can substitute for the diced jalepeno.  I don’t always have a fresh pepper on hand, so I’ve used a can of diced green chilies or diced jalapeno instead.  Any of these options works fine.

Instant Pot Beans for the Freezer
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans
  • 1 lb. dry black beans
  • 10 big cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 oz can diced green chilies or diced jalapeno
  • 1½ tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbs. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • water - enough to cover the beans, but no higher than half way mark on pot
Instructions
  1. Sort and rinse beans. Place in the instant pot.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the pot.
  3. Set manual cook time for 25-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like the beans.
  4. Do a natural pressure release.
  5. Mash or keep them whole.
  6. Can be frozen for later use.

 

 

 

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen Feb. 6

1.  Countertop Cooking Challenge starts today!

You know I love my slow cooker and I’m quickly falling in love with the Instant Pot too.  I’m so, so excited about the Countertop Cooking Challenge that officially starts today.  Laurie from Passionate Penny Pincher and I are going to be cooking through Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans for the next four weeks.  We’re using the Slow Cooker plan.  She’s going to be doing Facebook live videos in the morning showing what’s going in her crockpot for the day.  I’ll be doing Facebook lives a few afternoons each week using the Instant Pot.

We’ve added Instant Pot/pressure cooker recipes to Weekly Meal Plans now and I think you’re going to love that option.

Please join us, no matter if you’re a Meal Plan Member or not.  You can use any recipes you like, we just want to encourage you to get dinner on the table as easily as possible this month.

If you would like to become a member, you can get a great discount by using the code EARLYBIRD at check out, now through Feb. 10.

2. Chicken for the Freezer using the Instant Pot

One of my biggest time saving tips in the kitchen is to cook chicken and freeze it so it’s ready for quick soups, casseroles and other dishes. The other day I used my Instant Pot to cook about four pounds of boneless chicken breasts. I set the cook time to 15 minutes, added 1 ½ cups of water and salt and pepper. The IP switched to the “keep warm” setting when it was done cooking, which meant I could pull the meat apart when I was ready.

You can also cook chicken in a slow cooker or the oven with the same results. No matter how you do it, it’s always a bonus to have the cooked chicken handy when you need it!

3.  My husband

While writing this post, I told Jim I needed a third thing that worked in the kitchen.  He said, “Me!”  And that’s true!  He does work in the kitchen.  He was washing dishes when he gave me that suggestion.

Since Valentine’s Day is getting closer and I am blessed with a wonderful husband who takes care of us in so many ways, including washing dishes I’ll sing his praises publicly 🙂

We’ve been married 29 years.  Not many people can say they made a decision when they were 20 years old that had a huge, positive impact on the rest of their life, but I can.  Many people thought I was too young to get married at 20.  They had a point – twenty is very young!  But marrying Jim turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  The fact that he washes dishes is a nice bonus.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

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Chicken Salad with Chick Peas – easy lunch or dinner

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise recently contacted me asking if I’d like to try their new Organic Mayonnaise.   I gave a quick yes!  Hellmann’s is my favorite mayo and this one is really good.

I decided to try it in a chicken salad.  This recipe is a little different than most chicken salads and it’s really good.  The dressing is creamy and flavorful, despite the simple ingredients.  Red onion lends a punch of flavor and cucumbers add crispness.  The chick peas and chicken are a surprisingly good combo.

For this recipe, I used chicken I’d cooked in the Instant Pot.  More on that another time, but I will say that’s a great way to cook a bunch of chicken.  I used part of the chicken for this recipe and froze enough for two more meals.

Here’s what you’ll need to make Chicken Salad with Chick Peas:

The ingredient list is very simple.  The salad comes together quickly and is very healthy too.  It would make a great packed lunch or easy dinner.

Chicken Salad with Chick Peas - easy lunch or dinner

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chick peas , rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup thinly sliced seedless cucumber
  • ⅓ cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods Organic Original Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • crumbled feta, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine chicken, chick peas, cucumber, feta, Hellmann's® Organic Original, mint, onion and lemon juice in large bowl.
  2. Serve over fresh spinach. Top with crumbled feta, if desired.

Hellmann’s Organic Mayonnaise is made with organic cage-free eggs, organic expeller-pressed oil, and no artificial flavors and preservatives.  Hellmann’s also has a certified vegan dressing and it’s delicious! It has the same rich, creamy taste, but it’s eggless, cholesterol free—with 10g of fat per serving- and made with non-GMO sourced ingredients.

You can find both Hellmann’s Organic and Hellmann’s Vegan by going to Target.  Use the Cartwheel app to save 20%.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time in writing this post, however all opinions are my own.

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