Category Archives: Main Dishes

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I have seen this recipe posted on Facebook and Pinterest several times over the past few months.  I decided to make it two months ago and it was a hit with Mrs. Ninja.  I even had to make some the following weekend for her to take to a work potluck.  I’ve gotten tired of soup all week so I decided to make this casserole but I would chop the chicken up really small to make it easier to chew.  This is an all in one meal or you could add a few sides like peas or green beans.  Fresh rolls really go quite well with this dish.



The first thing you want to do is chop up your chicken breasts in bite sized pieces and place them in a bowl with 1/3 cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce (I actually like 1/2 cup).  Mix it around well and let it marinate while you prep.

Set your oven to preheat at 350 degrees and spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.


My twist to the recipe is to add onion.  I took a small onion and chopped it, then gave it a sauté for about 10 minutes.


Excuse the mess but a ninja shreds without finesse.  I took 3 medium sized potatoes and grated them with my cheese grater.  Most of the recipes online have you use frozen hash browns.  Those are expensive when compared to grating these fresh.  You want about 5 cups of grated potatoes.


Mix your onions up in the bowl with the chicken and then place in an even layer of your baking dish like above.


In the same bowl, mix up your potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over  the chicken.


Sprinkle the top with panko bread crumbs.


You want to bake it covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes and then uncovered for 25 minutes.  Then you are in for some Good Eats that even Alton Brown would be jealous of.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
5 cups potatoes, grated w/ box grater
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces and mix in a bowl with Frank’s hot sauce and allow to marinate while you prep.

Chop up the onion and sauté for 10 minutes.  Mix with chicken and hot sauce.

Place in baking bowl in an even layer.

Grate 5 cups of potatoes and mix in bowl with ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, and cream of chicken soup.

Spread potato mixture evenly over chicken.  Top with panko bread crumbs.

Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes and then bake uncovered for 25 minutes.




Poor Man’s Awesome Spaghetti Sauce

I love to make spaghetti sauce or as some call it, gravy.  When you read this, you may huff and puff when you see how I made this.  I mentioned yesterday that I am on a goal to eat cheap this week and tonight is no exception.  The commissary had some cheap sauce on sale so I decided to give it a whirl.  Here we go, off into the wild spaghetti yonder…….


As you can see, that Del Monte Meat sauce is just staring at you in the background and you have to tell yourself this can’t be good.  That can was on 50 cents and my Jewish blood said get it you cheap bastard. Not pictured here is red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes.  I forget to set them out as I prepped.


Chop up a medium onion and man do I love these!


Fresh basil  from the garden just waiting to make this sauce happy.


1 lb of frozen turkey because I need to keep my nerdish ninja figure in check.  I added this after sautéing the onion for about 8 minutes.


After the turkey is browned off, I added 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  I then cooked this off for about 3 minutes to work in the garlic and paste real good into the turkey.  I also added 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  I normally add a quarter cup of red wine to most of my sauces but unfortunately we are out of red wine.  If you find this too acidic, add a tablespoon of sugar as well.  I love vinegar.  It’s my southern genes.


Here I have added the tomato sauce, Del Monte Meat sauce, 1 tablespoon of oregano, and the chopped basil.


Here is the sauce after it has simmered for 30 minutes.

I then served this over some tortellini that I had purchased from Costco awhile back.  On the side was some frozen garlic bread that I baked in the oven and I forgot to cook my baked potatoes.  Sad panda.

Chicken Tacos

I think that one of my favorite things to eat are quite simply, tacos.  I love a street style taco and will almost always try a new taco truck or stand that I drive by.  My favorite has to be lengua tacos.  Most Americans don’t like this and my family fits into that group.  So tonight as a part of my goal to eat cheap this week, I made chicken tacos out of the leftover rotisserie chicken from last night.


Start off by sautéing some onion.  Man do I love some onion.


Chop up your leftover chicken or if you are using fresh just chop it up bite sized.


My secret ingredient to chicken tacos is adobo chipotle peppers.  I have one left over from chili night so here it is, all chopped up ready for chicken taco glory.


Now take your package of taco seasoning, add a cup of water, and your adobo chipotle chili.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.


I like beans and these were on sale for 50 cents.  I will be able to keep the fleas out of the bed tonight!



Once your chicken is done, assemble your tacos.  I like some cheddar cheese and sour cream with my chicken tacos.  I also garnish with some green onion.  If I had cilantro on hand, I would have used that.  Enjoy!
Chicken Tacos

1 lb of fresh chicken cut into bite sized pieces OR
Leftover rotisserie chicken
1 package of taco seasoning
1 adobo chipotle chili
1 medium onion chopped
tortillas or taco shells to serve in

Sour Cream, cheddar cheese, and green onion for garnish



Mexican Rotisserie Chicken

Who doesn’t love rotisserie chicken?  I could eat this every single week.  It’s cheap and I can almost always make a second meal out of this the next day.  Just what, that’s just what I did to this chicken but more on that later.



This is the chicken after I rubbed it down and tied it up and place it in my magical Ronco rotisserie.  I just love to set it and forget it.  I made up an injection which I will post down below and then rubbed the outside with olive oil and used taco seasoning as my rub.


This is starting to look good after 45 minutes in the rotisserie.


My wife went to a scratch and dent store and picked up this dressing.  It calls for a can of chicken broth.  I figured this would be a good meal to serve it with. As it turns out, this is pretty damn tasty.


Here is the chicken after an hour and a half in the rotisserie.  Let it rest for about ten minutes before you carve it.


My meal for the night.  Rotisserie chicken, cranberry stuffing, peas, and broccoli rice.

Mexican Rotisserie Chicken

Remove innards and wash chicken then pat dry.
Inject with your favorite injection (mine is below)
Truss the chicken for your type of rotisserie
Rub the outside with olive oil and taco seasoning
Wait patiently for the magic to happen

Marc Is A Ninja Chicken Injection

Half a cup of butter
6 ounces of apple juice
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of Tobasco sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder

Melt the butter in a sauce pan but do not boil.  Add the remaining ingredients and heat just enough to dissolve the spices.  Let cool to room temperature and inject in your chicken or pork.



Pork Chops in a Sour Cream Sauce

I love pork chops.  There is something is just grand about the other white meat.  This dish is pretty good if you can get the sauce to turn out right.  I let mine cook a little long so it is not a pretty color but man did it taste good.



Start off with about a 1lb to 1 1/2 lbs of pork.  If you can get thick pork chops, go with that.  They turn out much better.


Salt and Pepper both sides.  Cook till both sides are golden brown.


Place your onions over the pork chops.  I used extra onions because I love cooked onions.


Pour your sauce consisting of stock, mustard, paprika, and sour cream over the pork chops.  Bring to a boil and then lower and simmer for 30 minutes.


Serve!  I took some of the sauce and added cornstarch to thicken it up for a tasty gravy on my mashed potatoes.  The cornbread is leftover from chili night.  My plating isn’t pretty but the food was damn good.


Pork Chops in a Sour Cream Sauce

1lb to 1 1/2 lbs of pork chops.  Thicker the better (That’s what she said)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
1 can of beef stock
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard
1 teaspoon paprika (I like smoked paprika)
8 ounces of sour cream

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper.

In a large deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Brown the pork chops on both sides for about 3 minutes till golden brown.

Place the onions over the pork chops.

In a small bowl, combine the stock, mustard, paprika, and sour cream.  Season with some salt and pepper and maybe a little Cajun spice like Tony’s.

Pour the sauce over the pork chops and bring up to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Serve with a side like rice or mashed potatoes.  You can take some of the sauce and thicken with cornstarch for a nice gravy on the side.

Poor Man’s Awesome Chili

I love chili, what can I say.  Chili makes you just feel plain awesome on any day and this weekend was no exception.  We had a rainy kind of day so I decided in all of my fine wisdom; that chili was in my future.  I call this poor man’s chili as it is pretty cheap to make, takes about 30minutes, and you have leftovers for just the next day if you are a single nerd.

The first step is to get all of the ingredients together.


*Note, I did not use the northern beans.  I wanted to but the wife hates them and I don’t want to get my ass kicked.


Now you need to chop up the onion.  I used a large onion because I love onion in my chili.  Some people may think it is too much so use a medium or half a large onion if you are a wimp.


Sauté onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Then you would add the tomato paste and chipotle chili and sauté for about a minute or so more.  I was in such a ninja mode, I completely forgot to take a picture of this step.


Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.  Next  you would add the beer and cook till it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes in ninja time.


While the beer cooks down, it is time to wash your beans.  Beans are good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you ………….


This is how it should look after the beer has reduced.  This is heaven in a bowl.


Add the beans and the tomatoes.  Cooked uncovered for about 30 minutes or if you want to be a ninja like me, cook it covered on simmer for 3 hours.


My camera sucks as I am too lazy to get my good one out.  This is the finished product.  I give this 4 ninja stars.


Poor Man’s Awesome Chili


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound ground turkey
1 light beer of your choice
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese


Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more.
Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color.
Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes–crushing them through your fingers into the skillet–along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil.
Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.
Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.