Recipe Reviews #72

Welcome to the first Recipe Reviews on my blog since the middle of June. Honestly, I have no excuse for not writing any in so long. It’s not like I don’t have a TON of content– I’m still on dinners we had all the way back in March!!

Chopped Taco Salad + Homemade Catalina Dressing

Recipe found on Simply Scratch
My Rating: 5 out of 5

My Review

In one of my earlier Recipe Reviews, I posted a Catalina chicken recipe and raved about it. It was the first time I had ever tried Catalina dressing and boy, was I a fan! My friends, Jinjer (@The Intrepid Arkansawyer) and Courtney (@Courtney’s Corner), both commented that it was a key ingredient for Taco Salad so, of course, I had to give that a whirl!

I fell in love at first bite. The dressing was tart but, still a little sweet. It reminded me of French dressing with more of a flavor punch. It was perfect on top of the taco meat and even better with all the veg. I would definitely eat this meal again and again… and again! Don’t expect your typical savory taco flavors if you try this, though. It’s different, a sweet and spicy mix, but, I liked it a LOT.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1/2 a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup extra light olive oil

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Recipe found on Meaningful Eats
My Rating: 3 out of 5

My Review

The pretzels didn’t do well in the oven. They tasted a bit stale and lost all of their crunch. It was a fun change from bread crumbs and I did like how they tasted but, next time, I would grind ALL of the pretzel pieces to a sandy texture. On a positive note, the chicken was moist and well-seasoned inside.

We served them with… Alexia Crispy Rosemary Fries w/ Sea Salt and Daiya Alfredo Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1-1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 2 cups crushed gluten-free pretzels
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cooking spray

Pumpkin Rigatoni w/ Italian Sausage & Spinach

Recipe found on Simply Whisked
My Rating: 1 out of 5

My Review

Oh no no no. Never will pumpkin go with pasta again. On my tastebuds, this was not a good combination. It only sounded creative and possible but, in the end, it was not.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 16-ounce package rigatoni
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

I will be bringing you three new recipes once a week from now on, so, stay tuned!

20 thoughts on “Recipe Reviews #72

  1. Yayyyyy I’m glad me and Courtney talked you into trying the Catalina Taco Salad!!!! Your description is spot on!

    Too bad about the pretzel chicken. That sounds so good.

    I missed your recipes and am glad to see them back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess!! I’m so happy you guys talked me into the Catalina Taco Salad, too. It’s so yummy!! The Pretzel Chicken had potential but def could use some improvement. 😛 I’ll be trying my best to get my Recipe Reviews out once a week again, I don’t know how I just kept forgetting about them!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The taco salad looks bomb! I actually havent tried many dressings but I probably should I’m sure I’m missing out on a few!
    The pretzels may do better as a dusty substance. A friend of mine once made chicke with plain cornflakes and idk why this reminded me of that lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Taco Salad was awesome! You should make this homemade Catalina dressing from the recipe 😉 it’s so yummy!

      I do think the pretzels would have been much better if they were all grounded into a dusty substance! We have made cornflake chicken tenders before & we LOVED them!! Much recommended over these pretzel ones lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to take a screenshot or save the website to my phone
        Ah yay! That’s a first me mentioning the corn flake chicken and someone actually has made them lol. I want to make them again I need to find a recipe and hopefully Alex will want some too lol

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Here you go 😀

              Preheat oven to 375.

              1) In a small bowl, combine the egg and mustard. On a plate, mix the crushed corn flakes and spices.

              2) One by one, dredge the chicken tenders in the egg/mustard mixture, then in the corn flake mixture until fully coated. Place the coated tenders on a cooking sprayed or nonstick baking sheet. You may need more than one — I used two baking sheets!

              3) Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh, I remembering wondering for awhile if you’d review the taco salad and then I forgot about it, lol! Yayyy I’m SO glad you loved it! Also thank you for the link. ❤ But I'm just stoked you liked it. This inspires me to make taco salad soon!! I really can't imagine having taco salad without Catalina, that would just be odd now lol!
    What a shame that the pretzels lost their crunchiness in the oven! That totally defeats the purpose of using them.
    And oh my, pumpkin on pasta doesn't even sound good, so I'm sorry you had to taste it! I've never been a fan of savory pumpkin dishes, though. I think it works better in sweet dishes haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess!! I am just a bit behind on all the recipes we’ve tried but I did truly love the taco salad with Catalina. Not sure I wanna eat it any other way again, either!! Thank YOU for the recommendation. ❤ 😀

      Yeah, agreed about the pretzels on the chicken. It was like, stale… I don't know, not good lol. & I think this was my first savory pumpkin dish… I think I'll stray away from now on!!

      Liked by 1 person

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