One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies

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I’m working longer days now. Which in part, I love because it earns me an extra day off per week (I’m working 4, 10-hr shifts). But, when that puts me walking in the door post-workout on a weeknight at 7:30, I don’t want a complicated recipe. (And honestly, who really does on a weeknight!)

I ran across this recipe, actually on Pinterest, a couple months back looking for easier dinner recipes. And this is one of the ones that stuck. We’ve made this several times. Often enough to be honest, that I’m a little embarassed that I haven’t added it on here yet.

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The basis for the recipe is from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. We make it largely as written using one of the pre-cooked flavors of chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s and tons of veggies. It’s probably us more than the recipe, but I usually end up roasting this on 2 separate pans. When the pans are too crowded the food ‘steams’ instead of roasting, and you all know we want the flavor that comes from those browned, roasted veggies.

With the addition of the red pepper flakes, it is a touch spicy. Probably not too much for many adults, but if you were making this for kiddo’s, you might want to back of the amount or leave it off. We typically serve this over brown rice, but you could easily serve over quinoa, couscous, etc.

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Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies
From Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Ingredients:
1 pkg. pre-cooked Trader Joe’s chicken sausage (5 links)
4-5 small red potatoes
0.75 lb. fresh green beans
2 bell peppers, any color
2 heads broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Quinoa/brown rice/couscous
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

For the veggies: cut the red potatoes into small pieces (~1/8 potato) to allow them to cook completely. Seed and chop the bell peppers. Cut the ends off the green beans and cut in half, if needed. Trim the broccoli florets and discard the stems.

Slice the sausages. Add both the sausages and the veggies to a large bowl. Add olive oil and spices, and stir to coat. Divide evenly between the pans. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir each pan and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes. Serve over your grain of choice and top with Parmesan cheese.

Chicken Shawarma Fries with Mediterranean Salsa and Garlic Sauce

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Does anyone else falter slightly when asked which food is their favorite? Please tell me I’m not alone here.

I feel like I like so many different flavors that it is hard for me to pick, although I will admit that Mediterranean is amongst my favorite. As long as we stay away from goat cheese. I just can’t do the “tang” and that flavor stays on anything it remotely touches on a plate. Goat feta/cheese = not for me. Cow feta = I could eat with a spoon.

I first talked about these Shawarma topped fries in my menu plan, but at the time, I wasn’t sure if I would serve this over fries or rice. I will admit I’m glad I went the fry route. Crispy skinned potatoes also are awesome. That said, I’m sure rice would work too and as long as you’re using a packet, would make this quicker for a weeknight meal.

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My recipe tips would be to be sure to cut the potatoes on the thinner side as this will allow for more crisping. I would also recommend spraying your foil with non-stick spray for the fries. Mine stuck to the foil a bit despite the olive oil (which was slightly disappointing as I lost the crispy sides on some of them). I also subbed some of the mayo out for plain Greek yogurt on the sauce, and it worked well for us.

Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Chicken Shawarma Fries with Mediterranean Salsa and Garlic Sauce
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. allspice
pinch cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 lbs (2 large) Russet potatoes
salt and pepper
non-stick spray

For the Mediterranean Salsa:
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup packed Parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 lemon, juiced
Cavendar’s Greek Seasoning, to taste

For the Garlic Sauce:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt
water to desired consistency

Add 1/2 lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, spices, and garlic to a large ziplock bag. Squash to combine. Add the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay the chicken in a single layer and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through, flipping the chicken halfway through. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes prior to cutting into bite-sized pieces. Set aside

Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.Re-spray the foil with non-stick spray (or replace the foil). Slice the potatoes thinly into fries (can leave the skins on). Toss in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. Add all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a bowl. Mix. Add water, a little bit at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Top the fries with the chicken, salsa, and garlic sauce. Serve.

Shepard’s Pie with Chard-Lentil Filling and Onion Gravy

vegetarian shepard's pie serving with onions2Growing up, shepard’s pie always meant one thing to me. Thanksgiving leftovers. Mom always made what we called shepard’s pie from all those Thanksgiving goodies. Thinking about it, it is essentially Thanksgiving all mixed together in one casserole. The base was always a mixture of shredded turkey, gravy, and any leftover vegetables (green beans, corn), and it was topped with any leftover mashed potatoes we could find. For the longest time, I didn’t even realize that shepard’s pie is traditionally made from lamb or beef, and I really think my first version will always be my favorite. It is definitely my favorite way to eat Thanksgiving leftovers.

This version of shepard’s pie is from Joanne at Eats Well with Others, and it is worlds apart from my old version filled with turkey and gravy. What originally attracted me to this recipe was the onion gravy. Think onions caramelized so far that they make a sauce (with some added water), and they are that good. I could have eaten the onions alone as my dinner.

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vegetarian shepard's pie in plate

This recipe isn’t going to win any time awards, but the time spent is worth it. It is equally filling as a traditional shepard’s pie recipe, and fed the two of us for several meals. I followed the recipe exactly for the filling and onion gravy, but added my own touch to the mashed potatoes. My go-to mashed potato recipe during the holidays adds sour cream in the mashing process to make the potatoes extra creamy, so I added a tablespoon or so of non-fat plain Greek yogurt when mashing the potatoes. My other touch was just a little bit of garlic salt rather than traditional salt. Even with the garlic included with the potatoes, it adds just a bit that makes the mashed potatoes irresistible.

If I haven’t convinced you enough, go make this recipe. It’s almost as good as my Thanksgiving leftovers. 🙂  If anyone wants to bring me any, it would be graciously accepted. This pie totally complements the type of day we’re having here! Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Shepard’s Pie with Chard-Lentil Filling and Onion Gravy
Adapted from Eats Well with Others, originally from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook

Ingredients:
Wine-Braised Lentils:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 cup dried brown or green lentils
2 Tbsp. red wine
3/4 to 1 cup of water
1/4 tsp. salt

Onion Gravy:
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups sweet onion, sliced thinly into half moons
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce

Shepard’s Pie
1 recipe wine-braised lentils
1 recipe onion gravy
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (I left the peels on)
2 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
3 Tbsp. almond milk or low-fat/skim milk
1-2 Tbsp. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste
3-4 cups Swiss chard (from 1 bunch), washed, stemmed and chopped/torn into ribbons
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

For the lentils, in a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are slightly softened. Add the lentils and stir to cook. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, allowing the wine to reduce. Add 3/4 cup of water. Return to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a slight simmer until fork tender, around 40 minutes. Add water as needed while cooking so that the lentils do not dry out. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, taste. Add more salt if necessary.

For the mashed potatoes, fill a medium-sized saucepan with 4 cups of water. Add the potatoes and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the whole garlic. Return the lid and cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large mixing bowl and mash. Stir in reserved cooking water and milk as needed to keep the potatoes moist. Add the Greek yogurt and mix until creamy. Add the garlic salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook the chard and minced garlic until wilted, 3-5 minutes, tossing with tongs to coat evenly. Stir in the nutmeg and season to taste with salt. Mix together with the cooked lentils and add to the bottom of the pie plate. Top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through. During the last 2 minutes, set the oven to broil to brown the cheesy topping.

Star the onion gravy while the pie is cooking. In a deep skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions and thyme. Toss to coat the onions with butter and cook over medium-low heat until softened, reduced, and jamlike. This can take 20-30 minutes. Keep cooking over lower heat to avoid burning the onions. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a lively simmer. Reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The gravy will continue to reduce. Stir in the salt and sugar, and taste. Finish with soy sauce. Serve spooned over a slice of the pie.

Mashed Potato Pizza

Mashed potato pizza. What a great idea. Saw this right before Thanksgiving on Iowa Girl Eats. In her post, Kristin talks about how she used to work right above a pizza parlor. That would be heaven in my husband’s book. In fact, I am not sure I’d ever see him again 🙂

Kristin’s idea was to use up leftover mashed potatoes to recreate one of the parlor’s pizzas at home. We found ourselves with some extra, extra mashed potatoes after our little Thanksgiving gathering, so I thought I would give it a whirl as well. Our verdict – unique and absolutely delicious. As Kristin did, I would recommend making it on a thinner crust to counteract the layer of potatoes. This pizza is everything that is good about a loaded baked potato piled on a crispy crust.

If you have any mashed potatoes leftover from Christmas dinner, I would highly recommend giving this pizza a shot! 

(Printable Recipe)

Mashed Potato Pizza
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1 prepared or purchased thin crust pizza dough
1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
chopped broccoli, steamed or cooked (I used part of a steamer bag)
1 roma tomato
1-1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Place a pizza stone (if you have one) in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Roll out the pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Spread the mashed potatoes over the dough. Layer with broccoli, cheese, tomatoes and crumbled bacon. Briefly take the hot pan out of the oven and slide the pizza (on the parchment paper) onto the hot pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is browning around the edges and the cheese has melted. Slice and enjoy!

SRC: Crockpot BBQ Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes

Another month, another Secret Recipe Club post. I can’t believe how fast this past month has gone! Summer – unofficially out the door, my birthday – yesterday, my residency – picking up steam like an unstoppable freight train, football – depending on the league you follow started either last week or this past weekend. I guess fall must really be knocking on the door because they are forecasting temperatures below the triple digit mark here next week. Not sure I am ready yet…

This month for SRC I was assigned Tami from Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk. I am somewhat familiar with Tami’s blog as she is the wonderful host of the Cookie Carnival in which I’ve been involved for quite awhile. While I’ve somewhat known about her blog through the carnival, I was excited to get a chance to look around! Much of the time I’ve spent over there has involved cookies in some form, so I wanted to find a non-sweet dinner recipe from her archives.  As it turns out, this was harder than it sounds as Tami has some yummy sounding desserts over there! Nonetheless, I ended up combining two of her recipes – BBQ chicken sliders in the crockpot and homemade BBQ sauce to make a great, non-involved, easy dinner.

My only change to her recipes was omitting the whiskey from the barbecue sauce. In reality, this wasn’t an intentional change. If you are worried about the alcohol, it will all cook off while the mixture is boiling. My issue was the lack of whiskey in our pantry. I swore we had some but when I went to look for it, none was to be found. As a result, my barbecue sauce ended up a little on the sweeter side. While it was still great, I think the whiskey in here serves the purpose of cutting the sweetness a little bit. I also blended it with my immersion blender at the end to incorporate the onion chunks. 

The idea for this pairing came from our love loaded baked potatoes. Not the side-dish kind. The meal kind with chicken, onions, and cheese. It has been a long time since we have had them! Growing up, mom always made ours with canned or rotisserie chicken mixed with bottle barbecue sauce. By combining Tami’s recipes for BBQ sauce and crockpot pulled chicken, I was able to make both from fresher ingredients in my own kitchen with only a little bit more effort. By making the barbecue sauce ahead of time one Sunday morning and cooking the chicken with it in the crockpot later that day, the only step left was cooking the potatoes and chopping a few ingredients right before serving. A perfect busy day recipe. Success if you ask me. My husband is already asking for them again!

(Printable Recipe)

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Loaded Baked Potato
Adapted from Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk

Ingredients:
BBQ sauce:
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. pepper
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. mesquite flavor liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. tobasco sauce
2 Tbsp. whiskey (optional)

Loaded Baked Potatoes:
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 cups of BBQ sauce
5-6 russet potatoes
cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream
red onion, diced
black olives, sliced
aluminum foil

For the barbecue sauce, warm a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic with the whiskey until the onion begins to soften. Combine remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If a smoother sauce is desired, blend with an immersion blender or let cool and add to a regular blender. Blend until smooth. Use 1-1/2 cups in the following recipe. Save the remaining sauce in the refrigerator.

Layer the chicken breasts into the crockpot by alternating one piece of chicken with a little barbecue sauce. Add the remaining barbecue sauce over the top of the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. After 4 hours, check to see if the chicken is cooked through. It should begin to shred itself if it is finished cooking. If it is not quite done, continue to cook for another hour. Remove the chicken and place on a plate. Shred using two forks. Place the chicken in a resealable container and mix with any remaining barbecue sauce from the crockpot. Refrigerate until ready to use.

On the day you are planning to eat the potatoes, wash and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped, raw potatoes in the clean crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. When ready to eat, warm the chicken on the stove or in the microwave. Add more barbecue sauce to the chicken if desired. Top the potatoes with your desired ingredients. Enjoy!

Savory Chicken Sausage, Spinach, and Onion Turnovers

Since I finished my school schedule a couple months early, I have been enjoying the opportunity to spend a decent amount of time in my kitchen. I have been trying to use this extra time “wisely” to tackle some of the meals on my “must-make list” that tend to take a little bit longer. You know the type. Yeasted breads. Decorated cupcakes. Mile long ingredient lists. While I have some time right now, this may not be the case in a couple months because a couple weeks ago I accepted a residency position that starts in July. I am REALLY excited for it to get started, but I also know that this means I need to start looking for some quick meal ideas.

This is a recipe I spotted in a section of Cooking Light called “store-bought shortcuts for easy, home-cooked meals.” They included a section about how using store-bought pizza dough, pie crust, rotisserie chicken can be okay (even nutritionally) if you have a night where you need to get dinner finished quickly. I actually defeated the purpose of the article by using my own pie crust, but to my credit, I had one in the freezer that I only had to thaw before using. They have a good point, and while I like to try to make these things at home when I plan out our menu for the week, there are nights (like last Sunday) where Trader Joe’s pizza dough certainly comes in handy.

So what about the part that matters. Were they good? Definitely! I was a little disappointed that my homemade pie crust didn’t brown much like the one in their photo, but on that thought, I don’t think it was a pie crust recipe that I will use again anyway. It just didn’t work quite right here or in the pie that I made. I only made one change because I realized at the last minute that the chicken sausages we had were already pre-cooked, so rather than crumbling them, I simply diced them and browned them quickly in the skillet. Besides my aesthetic browning issue, the turnovers were great! I was pleasantly surprised that they packed as much flavor as they did from a list of pretty unassuming ingredients, and I know that the hubby really enjoyed them too. Don’t let the pie dough turn you away. Even with it, all of this comes in at less than 350 calories per turnover. It is certainly a recipe that will be going in the “quick and easy” file for the next year. Enjoy!

I am linking this post to Melt in Your Mouth Monday!

(Printable Recipe)

Savory Chicken Sausage, Spinach, and Onion Turnovers
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2011

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
2/3 c. diced, peeled red potatoes
1/3 c. diced red bell pepper
1/3 c. diced yellow onion
2 (3.5 oz) links hot chicken Italian sausage, casings removed (or diced if pre-cooked)
3 c. bagged washed baby spinach
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 (14.1-ounce) pkg. Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough (or homemade dough for 1 crust pie)
2 Tbsp. water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and onion to the pan; saute 4 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble if using the uncooked variety. Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in basil, salt, and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat.

Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup potato mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder. Fold dough over potato mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough to form a rim with fingers or a fork. 

Place turnovers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray if needed. Combine 2 tablespoons of water and egg white in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; brush evenly over the dough. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons cheese over each turnover. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 turnovers (4 servings)

I am linking this to Hunk of Meat Monday.

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Black-Bean Smothered Sweet Potatoes

This is another one of the quick meals that I have been enjoying while the hubby is away. When I found this recipe here on Eatingwell.com, the ingredients immediately were added to my grocery store list. We used to make loaded baked potatoes for supper when I was growing up, and the substitution of a sweet potato for a normal one makes it that much better in my book.
This is a pretty quick meal as written, but I have this great microwave baked-potato bag that was given to us for our wedding that cuts the time down to under ten minutes. I don’t know where the bag came from, but I can tell you that if you find one you MUST buy it. I can stick two potatoes the microwave and have them completely cooked in about 5 minutes! Perfect for those nights when I work until 9:00!
The recipe is written for 2 servings. I cut everything in half except for the tomato when I made it for myself, and it worked great. Enjoy!
Black Bean-Smothered Sweet Potatoesadapted from eatingwell.com
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 medium tomato
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (at most)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt (can leave out – salt with the canned beans!)
2 Tbsp. non-fat sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
Wash and dry potatoes. Put in the microwave bag, and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Alternately, can bake at 425 degrees for about an hour or microwave without the bag for 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine beans, tomato, oil, cumin, coriander, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high until just heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, slash each sweet potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center, and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Sweet Potato on Foodista