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Category Archives: Vegetables/Sides

Drunken Peppers and Onions

I came across this recipe which looked amazing for Flank Steak Fajitas Recipe : Sunny Anderson.  I didn’t have any flank steak so I decided to make my chicken fajitas.  The idea of drunken peppers and onions sounded amazing.  Plus the one reason I don’t usually make fajitas is everyone complains about all the peppers.

So I decided to make the chicken fajitas and drunken peppers separate as Sunny Anderson had made hers.  The peppers were great.  Although my chicken lacked a bit of flavor because it was not cooked with the peppers and onions.  It still is the best fajitas I have had.  Mix dinner up and add a little drunken peppers to the meal.

I winged the recipe and used what I had but they turned out great.  I was worried the jalapeño might be too spicy but it was just right.  Of course it depends on the jalapeño.

Drunken Peppers and Onions along with chicken fajitas.

Drunken Peppers and Onions along with chicken fajitas.

Drunken Peppers and Onions:

  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup beer, we used modelo since we were having mexican food

In a large sauté pan heat oil.  Add in all the peppers and onions and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Drunken Peppers and Onions

Season with salt and pepper and add the beer, cover and cook another 8-10 minutes until the peppers and onions are almost caramelized.

Use to top fajitas, hot dogs, or anything your heart desires.  I think this would make a great dip as well if you added some cream cheese and yogurt.


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Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Broccoli Quinoa BakeI made broccoli quinoa bake as a meatless meal last night.  We loved it, in fact I am already thinking of endless quinoa bake ideas.  Mr.Picky was not around to try it but I think he would tolerate it.  We ate it as a main dish because quinoa is full of protein and we had plenty of broccoli in it.  It would also make a great side dish accompanying any meat really.

Think of it as an easy risotto.  Don’t let the broccoli and quinoa fool you.  We combined both healthy ingredients with some cheese to come up with a family edible solution.

I had inspiration from many recipes I found but I ended up revamping the recipe to my taste.  I made a white sauce by scratch with pulled the whole thing together.  The fat content in other recipes seemed extremely high to me and I reduced that and all turned out well.  Give it a try, it is a great dish to test quinoa out on the family.  I just told them it was rice.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 1 tsp Morton Nature’s Seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded blended cheese (Colby,cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • 1 green onions,chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed until tender and chopped
  • 2 Tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

Bring quinoa, water, and dash of salt to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa looks like it has white tails.  Fluffy with a fork and set aside to cool slightly. (You can skip this step and use leftover cooked quinoa about 1 1/2-2 cups worth).

While the quinoa is cooking steam up the broccoli or use frozen and thaw.  Either way coarsely chop the broccoli.

In a saucepan you are going to make a white sauce or base soup to pull the whole dish together.  Combine 1 cup cold milk and 1 Tbs cornstarch.  Whisk until smooth and continue to heat over medium heat.  At this point you can add the chicken bouillon, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to taste, dash of nutmeg and to season I added Morton Nature’s Seasoning (see link to create your own).  Continue until starting to thicken, make sure and taste your seasoned sauce.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

(In substitute to the white sauce you could use a can of cream of mushroom, cream or chicken, or cream of celery soup.  You can also add in mushrooms to the white sauce or any other vegetable you desire)

Now to put it all together in a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cooked broccoli, the white sauce, 1 green onion chopped, shredded cheese, and mayonnaise.  Stir until well combined.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Pour into a lightly greased 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with 2 Tbs parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

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Crockpot Refried Beans

When looking for a simple refried bean recipe I came across Refried Beans Without the Refry Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  This was so easy and my family fell in love.  My daughter is constantly asking when I will make a pot of beans.  Not only is the an inexpensive side dish but is makes a large quantity that can be split and frozen for later uses.  You are controlling what goes into the beans including the amount of salt.

I make these beans as a side dish usually with mexican food.  We eat them up through the week by making bean and cheese burritos for lunch or into a tasty late night snack dip.  Give these beans a try you can’t go wrong.  I gave the recipe my own tweaks after making them multiple times now.

Crock-pot Refried Beans:Crockpot Refried Beans

  • 1 1/2 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cup dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Placing a colander over a bowl strain the mixture of all liquids (but reserving the liquids).

Return the beans to the slow cooker.

Using an immersion blender pulse until desired consistency adding about 1/4 cup of liquid at a time as needed.  You can also mash beans with a potato masher for a coarser bean.

Taste for additional salt if needed.


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Roasted Loaded Potatoes

After craving baked potatoes and Mr.Picky refusing to eat them I created a happy medium.  I made roasted loaded potatoes as I am calling them.  Roasted potatoes are one of Mr.Picky’s favorite ways to eat potatoes so I thought why not loaded it up like a baked potato.

Bacon, cheese, and potatoes can this combination even go wrong?  Of course the potatoes were well seasoned and roasted with some fresh garlic.  I will admit I ate two servings with sour cream atop.  The kids loved them “minus the green things”, as my daughter put it.  Although loaded with fat it was a wonderful change to the general roasted potato.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Roasted Loaded Potato Bites:

  • 8-10 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 dry ranch seasoning package
  • 1 cup cheddar or cheese blend, grated
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • sour cream or ranch dressing to top your potatoes

In a large bowl toss together potatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and ranch seasoning until well coated.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Spread potatoes on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping at least once.

Once your potatoes are cooked to your liking, just tender or crispy.  Top with 1/2 the cheese, bacon, onions, and the other half of the cheese to hold it in.

Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or ranch dressing drizzled atop.

Sweet and Sour Roasted Root Vegetables

I came across this recipe in Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004 cookbook it sounded great.  I love beets and to make it a meal I added sausage brats similar to lazy day casserole.  I also added some potatoes and onions.  Either way you can serve it as a side dish or as a meal.  I think it would be particularly wonderful with a roast.

My son ate it along with the two helpings I had, my daughter thought it was sour and just ate sausage.  Mr.Picky was preparing his own dinner that night.

I thought these wonderful root vegetable had a bright herb flavor.  In no way did I think they were sweet or sour tasting.  The only thing I would do different is to cut my beets up a bit smaller.  With the leftovers I created a big pot of borscht.

Sweet and Sour Root Vegetables

Sweet and Sour Roasted Root Vegetables:

  • 1 lb. small beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb. potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 6-10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Sweet and Sour Root Vegetables

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a 9 x 13″ baking dish with a bit of cooking spray.

Steam the first three ingredients covered in a pan for about 5 minutes.

Place vegetables in the baking dish.

Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a dish and set aside.

In a dish squeeze juice from lemon, add spent lemon halves to the beet mixture.

To the dish of lemon juice add oil, coriander, and tarragon.

Pour over beet mixture and toss well.  Add thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper.

Sweet and Sour Root Vegetables

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pour syrup mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat, return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Discard lemon halves and serve hot.

*If you are wanting to add sausage like I did just brown brats in a pan during the first 30 minutes of cooking.  No need to cook them through.  Slice each sausage in half and place on top of the vegetables for the last 30 minutes in the oven.

 

Feta and Tomato Spaghetti Squash

After trying Alfredo Spaghetti Squash I thought of endless toppings and ways to prepare spaghetti squash boats.  It is so simple and much healthier than sitting down to a bowl of pasta.  With endless fresh tomatoes from the garden and a large container of feta cheese a light bulb went off.

Not only was this filling and probably way more than a portion but I was starving.  It is squash how bad can it be for you?

Spaghetti Squash with Feta cheese and Fresh Tomatoes

Feta and Tomato Spaghetti Squash:

  • spaghetti squash, split and cleaned of guts
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • garlic seasoning to taste
  • salt to taste

 

The toppings are per half of squash.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare squash by cutting in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.  Scoop out seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water.  Bake until tender, about an hour.

Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the squash strand into the center.

Add oil, feta, and tomato and toss to combine.  Serve warm.

Enjoy as a main dish or as a side.

Italian Beans and Potatoes, Hot or Cold!

Italian Green Beans and PotatoesA while back my Grandma sent me home with a container of green beans and red potatoes prepared out of the garden.  That night for dinner I served it cold as a side and the kids went crazy.  Never before has my daughter even cared for green beans.  I am sure it is just because Grandma made it.  I told Grandma they were great and I needed a recipe to share.

She called a while later with four ingredients and I was amazed, it tastes so much better than this simple recipe.  We ate it both hot and cold.  At one point we ate it with meatballs and tomato sauce poured on top.  What a great healthy versatile dish.  Thanks Grandma.

Italian Green Beans and Potatoes:

  • 2 parts fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 part red potato, cubed into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic,crushed
  • salt to taste

Steam beans until tender crisp and steam potatoes until fork tender in a separate pot.

Meanwhile in a bowl that has a fitted lid combine garlic and oil.  When vegetables are ready toss into bowl and season with salt to taste.  Replace lid on bowl and shake until evenly combined.

Serve warm or cold.

 

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