Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

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Simple Potato Au Gratin

September 19, 2017

D loves steak and potatoes. For his birthday, we decided a simple potato au gratin would be an excellent side dish for some freshly grilled steaks. These were so yummy!

You will need:

  • 1 lb gold-skinned new potatoes or russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half (root to top) and then roughly chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Create a layer of potato slices in the baking dish, using about 1/3 of the slices.
  4. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the onions.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat two more times with the remaining potatoes and onions.
  7. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in the flour and allow to cook for about one minute, whisking constantly.
  9. Whisk in the milk gradually to avoid clumps.
  10. Allow to thicken, whisking periodically, about 5-10 minutes or until it reaches a pudding-like consistency.
  11. Whisk in the garlic powder and paprika.
  12. Whisk in the cheese and stir until smooth.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Pour over the potatoes.
  15. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 90 minutes. (I lined a baking sheet with foil and placed the baking dish on that for easier transfer in and out of the oven).
  16. Remove the foil and allow to bake another 15 minutes.
  17. Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving, as the cheese will be very hot and bubbly!

 

20170819 Potato Au Gratin

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Pasta with Sausage, Peas and Ricotta

September 3, 2017

We are always looking for new ways to build a pasta dinner. This is combination of sausage and tender peas with spice from crushed red pepper flakes is excellent with the creamy and bright whipped lemon ricotta. Just add your favorite dried or fresh pasta for a lovely dinner. We used our fresh arugula pasta, and it was an great pairing.

You will need:

  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/3 c + 3 T grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb mild Italian sausage, out of its casing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c frozen peas
  • 1/2 c favorite stock (I used beef because it was on hand)
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lb pasta
  • Pepper to taste

20170523 Pasta with Peas 04

Then you will…

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta with the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the sausage and saute 5-6 minutes until starting to brown, breaking it up as you stir.
  5. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion softens and turning golden, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the peas, stock, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix together.
  7. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer and reduce, while you cook the pasta.
  8. Cook the pasta in salted water according to its instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the sauce when you strain the pasta.
  9. Stir the pasta and Parmesan into the sauce.
  10. Add the pasta water, a little at a time, until your sauce is the desired consistency and coats the pasta.
  11. Season with fresh pepper to taste.
  12. Serve the pasta and sauce topped with some of the ricotta and pine nuts.
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Slow Cooker Shredded Ranch Chicken Tacos

May 10, 2017

Yumm. Isn’t it great when you can do almost no prep work and still end up with a delicious dinner? This slow cooker taco chicken would be great on top of nachos or a salad too. We toasted tortillas and served it up with salsa, cheese and sour cream. Our toddler couldn’t get enough of the chicken!

You will need:

  • 2 lb chicken breast
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 packet Ranch seasoning
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 t salt

Then you will…

  1. Combine everything in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove and shred the chicken.
  4. Return to the slow cooker and mix with the sauce.
  5. Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite toppings!

20170412 Crockpot Taco 01

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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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