I’ve got a new really simple dinner recipe for you, but first let me share what sparked this idea. I was recently at an agricultural event where the farmers were talking about how everyone always goes for the pork chops, and they hoped people would branch out.
I recently put together a list of what I buy at Whole Foods Market, but the list was so long that I had to split it into two parts. Below I’m covering the areas of the store that I didn’t include last time.
I’ve got a “one dish” meal for you today that can be ready in no time at all! So warm up with this flavorful kale, sausage and white bean soup before the spring weather is here to stay.
With many of us hosting overnight guests this holiday season, it’s nice to plan not only that big, special dinner, but also a tasty and filling breakfast! This breakfast bake is another one of those recipes I “made over” by replacing a processed boxed mix with something more wholesome. You may even recognize this “real foodinized” version of Bisquick’s Breakfast Bake! This was actually a fairly easy dish to “make over,” and when you look at the ingredients on the back of a Bisquick box, it’s not hard to see why you would want to avoid it and use a homemade replacement instead.
In the Box: Enriched refined white flour (labeled as “wheat flour” without the word “whole”), partially hydrogenated oil (i.e. the same trans fat the FDA just admitted was really bad for us), and dextrose (an additive I do not cook with at home).
My Version: Whole-wheat flour, unrefined cooking fat (from the pastured sausage), and other whole, recognizable ingredients.
It’s funny to me how the Bisquick Breakfast Bake recipe tells you to drain the natural fat from the sausage just so you can add in their boxed stuff that contains trans fat. No thank you!
So anyway, whether you serve this for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner, I think you’ll find this is a super easy crowd pleaser, and with all of the cooking we’ll be doing this holiday season, that’s exactly what we all need!
This Sunday sauce is a hearty, delicious crowd pleaser. There is just no other way to describe it! I was first introduced to this style of spaghetti sauce by our old babysitter, Kim, long ago when we lived in Florida and I was working full time for corporate America. While the baby (who is now 8 going on 9!) was napping, and I was working, rather than sitting around Kim would start or sometimes even make our dinner for us.
Now that is a good babysitter. If you are paying someone by the hour, there is just no need for sitting around in my opinion! And with our work schedules back then, it was such a life saver at times. Granted, at that time in our lives, the meat wasn’t local and the tomatoes weren’t organic and the pasta definitely wasn’t whole-grain, BUT it was still a somewhat wholesome meal I very much enjoyed and remember to this day.
And thanks to a similar dish made by my friend Trang and a “Super Sunday Sauce” recipe I found in Rachael Ray Magazine I was able to piece together how Kim made this for us plus – added bonus – turn it into a dish that can simmer all day long in the slow cooker!
My husband’s family is from New Orleans so they get all the credit for introducing me to the unique and flavorful cuisine of The Big Easy. From jambalaya to crawfish etouffee to seafood gumbo…many new dishes have been added to my list of “favorites” since my first visit to New Orleans almost 15 years ago. And even though beignets are basically deep-fried white flour treats, they certainly make my list of favorites as well. :) Today I want to share a family recipe that came from my husband’s Aunt Vicki. It was introduced to us as a “seafood gumbo,” but what I’ve learned over the years is that this dish can easily be an “anything gumbo” instead. What that means is don’t go out and buy a bunch of new ingredients to make gumbo…instead try to use some of what you already have on hand. If you don’t have shrimp and crab well then throw in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey (if you still have some in the freezer like us). And if you don’t like bell peppers then just add more celery instead. My favorite dishes are the ones that are flexible so use this recipe as a guide and don’t be afraid to get creative. As long as you start with the suggested roux (butter and whole-wheat flour) it’s pretty hard to mess up.
This recipe could go two ways. You could make this dish the next time you have guests over for brunch, especially since the mixture could be made and put into the muffin cups in advance. Or you could bake a big double batch this weekend and freeze them for those busy weekday mornings. If you decide to freeze them with the foil muffin holders still on then you’ll be able to pop them right into the toaster oven. Or if you take the muffin holders off before freezing they’ll be microwave ready. Either way I do recommend taking them out of the freezer the night before so they can thaw out overnight. Whatever you decide to do with this recipe though I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…it’s hard to go wrong with breakfast food!
Whether fall is officially here or not I think anytime is a good time for some hearty, tasty soup! And this soup is so darn easy that my 6-year-old practically made it by herself (with close supervision of course). All I had to do was chop an onion and garlic…oh and buy the ingredients and help her read the recipe, but she pretty much did the rest. So the point is if a child can make this soup then so can you. :) And the best way to get your own child to possibly eat this pea green soup is to get them involved in making it with you. I suppose topping the soup off with chopped hot dogs or bacon might help lure them in as well. My other daughter, who is the pickier one, didn’t dig right into this soup like I had hoped. But as soon as she saw the bacon (which is her fav!) floating in there she ate a decent sized portion of the soup, which made me happy. So without further ado here it is!
Get ready to add a new favorite dinner to your weekly rotation…whole-wheat pizza pockets! These are sure to please eaters of all ages and the best part is you can use up food or leftovers from your fridge for the fillings. Little ones might especially enjoy making their own pizza pocket so don’t be afraid to get them involved. Their friends might like to help as well so for the next sleepover or birthday gathering consider hosting a “make your own pizza pocket” party. And if you have time to double the recipe these are great leftover the next day or even weeks later if stored in the freezer.
This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative and make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!). When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal!
Making spaghetti sauce from scratch is surprisingly easy, and not surprisingly, delicious (especially if made with locally grown or homegrown tomatoes). While this dish takes a little bit of time to prepare, it takes very little skill. I recommend to double (or even triple) this recipe for lots of leftovers with little additional effort. The extra sauce can be thrown in your freezer for another day. Now that I have spoiled my family by making this sauce with tomatoes from our garden, I am going to have to load up at the next farmer’s market and freeze enough sauce to last us until the next tomato season. Wish me luck with that one!