Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

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Slow Cooker Chili Mac

April 19, 2017

Slow cooked dinners are magical. You add everything to the crock pot and turn it on. Hours later….BAM! Dinner is done! D loves chili and noodles. This combines the best of both. We used ground turkey, but you could substitute lean ground beef. You can also check out this alternative that we tried right after R was born.

You will need:

 

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (30 oz) chili beans in chili sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 c low sodium beef broth
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2 T of pickling spices in a tea ball
  • Salt and pepper ,to taste
  • 8 oz favorite shaped pasta, uncooked (e.g., elbows, cavatappi)
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • Small bunch of scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • Sour cream for serving (optional)

 

Then you will…

  1. Put the ground turkey in the bottom of your slow cooker and break into smaller pieces. (Optional: if you wanted, you could brown it lightly in a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil first).
  2. Add in the onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, beef broth, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
  3. Stir together.
  4. Add the tea ball of pickling spices.
  5. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on LOW.
  6. Fifteen minutes before serving, taste test.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in the pasta and shredded cheese. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn slow cooker off.
  9. Top with scallions and serve with sour cream, if desired.
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Chicken Enchilada Skillet Casserole

April 11, 2017

I love dinners that can be prepared in one pot or skillet. It makes clean up simple, plus all the flavors get to come together as you cook (rather than when you plate!).

You will need:

  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 can (4oz) chopped green chiles
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz) reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 2 c shredded cheese (recommend a cheddar-jack blend)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in flour and allow to cook for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken broth, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt.
  5. Continue whisking until smooth and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the green chiles with any liquid from the can.
  7. Add the chicken and bring to a simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  9. Meanwhile, spread the corn tortillas on the baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 7 minutes and stir/toss. Bake another 3 minutes or until starting to crisp up.
  11. Remove tortillas from the oven and set aside.
  12. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred, leaving the heat on low.
  13. Return the chicken to the pan.
  14. Stir in the black beans and sour cream into the sauce.
  15. Stir in the tortilla pieces until combined.
  16. Sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese and cook until the cheese is melted.
  17. Serve warm and bubbly!
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Bacon & Ranch Chicken Pizza Roll

April 3, 2017

This is a very simple meal or snack, and we loved that you could pick it up with your hands! We loved the gooey cheese, the savory chicken and, of course, all the bacon.

20170311 Chicken Roll 02

You will need:

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza dough
  • 4 oz light chive and onion cream cheese, softened until spreadable
  • 3 c cooked and shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 c shredded chicken
  • 1 packet dried Ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 lb thick cut bacon, cooked until crispy and roughly chopped
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • ¼ t garlic powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly roll the pizza dough into a 12×16 rectangle.
  3. Spread the cream cheese on the dough.
  4. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese on top of the cream cheese.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chicken with the Ranch seasoning.
  6. Sprinkle the chicken on top of the shredded cheese and top with the chopped bacon.
  7. Reserve a handful of the cheddar cheese for on top of the pizza roll.
  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the bacon.
  9. Roll up the pizza dough so it is a long roll.
  10. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Gently tuck the ends under to loosely seal the roll.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven.
  14. Combine the butter and garlic powder.
  15. Brush the top with the garlic butter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  16. Bake another 5 or so minutes until cooked through and golden.
  17. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.
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Baked Sausage and Beans

March 28, 2017

This is a play on hot dogs and beans, but we dressed it up with yummy sausage. It comes together very quickly and makes excellent leftovers.

You will need:

  • 16 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 T sherry vinegar
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 2 t dried parsley
  • ½ t ground pepper
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (or your favorite sausage), each sausage cut into two pieces
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) low sodium great northern beans, drained and rinsed

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large ovenproof Dutch oven, mix together the cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, parsley, pepper and salt. (You can also use a 9×13 baking dish).
  3. Mix in the sausage.
  4. Bake 35 minutes, until the sausages are roasted and cooked through. Stir once in the middle of the baking time.
  5. Stir in the beans.
  6. Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the beans are warmed through.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad!

20170314 Sausage Beans 01

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Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers

March 22, 2017

My mom made stuffed peppers for dinner when we were growing up. They are nice, since you can prep them in advance and then pop the pan in the oven after work. You could also leave them in a slow cooker while you are away…then dinner will be ready when you get home! Depending on the size of your bell peppers, you may end up with extra filling. Bake it about 15-20 minutes alongside the rest of the dish, and then use it for a quick breakfast or dinner by topping it with some fried eggs.

20170303 Stuffed Pepper 03

You will need:

  • 6 bell peppers
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz tomato sauce (we used an arrabiata)
  • 1 t ground oregano
  • 1 t ground basil
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 c cooked long-grain/wild rice
  • 2 c shredded cheese (we used our favorite cheddar)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops of the bell peppers.Remove the stem and chop the tops. Set aside.
  3. De-seed the peppers and place the pepper cups in a 9×3 baking dish.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the turkey and start to brown and crumble, cooking about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped bell pepper, onion and garlic.
  7. Saute until the turkey is cooked through and starting to brown.
  8. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, scallion and rice.
  9. Allow to simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  10. Stir in half of the cheese.
  11. Spoon the filling into the bell pepper cups. Top with the extra cheese.
  12. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with foil.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the foil and bake another 20-25 minutes. The pepper shells should be slightly softened and the cheese melted and browned.

20170303 Stuffed Pepper 05

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Deconstructed Pierogi Lasagna

March 17, 2017

Pierogi are filled dumplings that often have some combination of potato, cheese and meat inside. Rather than making individual dumplings, we decided to try it in the style of a lasagna. This is a rich and hearty dinner, so consider a light salad alongside for freshness.

20170301 Pierogi 01

You will need:

  • 1 package fresh lasagna noodles (or 9 boxed noodles, parboiled)
  • 12 oz thick cut bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 lb red skinned potato
  • 3 T butter
  • 8 oz reduced fat chive and onion cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 c shredded cheddar cheese

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread the bacon on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until starting to crisp up. Remove from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble once cool.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  4. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add some salt.
  5. Bring the potatoes to a boil and allow to cook until able to be easily pierced with a fork, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add the butter and cream cheese, and mash the potatoes until mostly smooth.
  7. Mix in the scallions and half of the bacon.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Line the baking dish with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles.
  10. Spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
  11. Repeat two more times with the remaining noodles, potatoes and cheese.
  12. Sprinkle the top with the remaining bacon.
  13. Cover lightly with foil.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove the foil and continue baking until warmed through, bubbly and golden, another 15 minutes or so.

20170301 Pierogi 02

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Beef Stew with Red Wine and Cranberries

March 12, 2017

Beef stew was a staple in my childhood home. This version has some bacon for extra yumminess. We also added red wine and cranberries…this gives the stew extra richness and makes it a little unusual. If you have a Parmesan rind, feel free to add it to the sauce for even more flavor.

You will need:

  • 1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 lb steak, cut into 1-inch cubes (pick your favorite stew cut)
  • 1/3 c T all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 3 c carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c port
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) dry red wine
  • 2-3 c unsalted beef broth
  • 4 T tomato paste
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a diner plate with two sheets of paper towel.
  2. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium high heat until starting to crisp.
  3. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Place on the prepared plate.
  4. Pat the beef dry with paper towel.
  5. In a large ziplock, combine 1/3 cup of the flour with the 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the paprika.
  6. Toss the beef in the flour mixture.
  7. Add the beef to the dutch oven and saute over medium high heat until golden on each side, about 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the beef to the plate with the bacon.
  9. Add the onions and mushrooms to the dutch oven. Saute for 5 minutes.
  10. Add the carrots and garlic. Saute another 5 minutes.
  11. Mix in the port, and allow to reduce by half.
  12. Stir in the wine, 2 cups of the broth, and the tomato paste.
  13. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  14. Return the beef to the dutch oven.
  15. Stir in the cranberries.
  16. Add the bay leaves.
  17. Bake for 2 hours. Remove the bay leaves.
  18. Stir in the potatoes and add more broth as needed.
  19. Bake for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the potato is tender.
  20. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  21. Serve with crumbled bacon on top!

20170117 Beef Stew Cranberry

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