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Lazy Day Casserole

Lazy Day CasseroleThanks to my misreading of this recipe title it has forever been renamed in my mind.  Via pinterest I found the recipe for Lazy Sunday Casserole from Kayotic Kitchen.  My sister made it before I could and told me it turned out amazing.  I bumped it up on my dinner list and away we went.  I knew it was going to make a large quantity, after adding a few extra potatoes.  I ended up with a 10 x 15″ glass baking dish full of goodness.

I made a quick phone call to my grandma and asked if they wanted us to bring dinner to them.  We ended up feeding five adults and two small children, just about licking the dish clean.  My grandpa whose appetite is usually small, went back for thirds.  No one besides me had eaten fennel bulb before but the only complaints came from Mr.Picky, shocking I know.

I did adapt the recipe slightly,  I used Yukon gold potatoes and did not peel my potatoes.  Also I think I would add a parsnip or two, sliced to the size of my carrots.

Lazy Day Casserole:

  • 4 raw sausages, I used italian brats
  • About 1 pound of new or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 pound carrot, peel and medallion or use baby carrots
  • 1-2 parsnips, peel and medallion
  • 1/2-1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound fennel bulb, stems removed and cut into wedges
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Cut potatoes, fennel, and onions into wedges.  Pepper into thin strips, carrots and parsnips into medallions.  Place in a roasting pan.

Combine oil, herbs, broth, and garlic.  Pour over vegetables and toss around a bit to coat.

Season with fresh ground pepper and salt, cover with foil tightly.

Bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.

While vegetables are baking, brown sausages on all side but do not cook through.  Slice each sausage in half and set aside.

Remove foil from vegetables and place sausages over the vegetables, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Return to oven uncovered for 25-30 minutes.  Serve nice and hot!

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Baked Sweet Potatoes

Mr.Picky will never like sweet potatoes.  No matter which method I find to prepare them, he wants a regular starchy worthless potato.  This is fine as long as he will try other vegetables against his will.  He has come a long way from when I met him, and there are so many vegetables he never thought he would like.  Well maybe not like, but find good enough to choke down in order to set a good example.

In order to stay healthy I try to eat a variety of food, mostly consisting of fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorite filling vegetables are sweet potatoes.  Although I often will eat them as a substitute to a sweet craving, they are amazing fixed savory.  A few years ago my mom said, “you need to try a baked sweet potato with just two simple toppings”.  In no way did this sound appealing but my mother has a great palette so I thought I should try it.  Give it a try it may just surprise you.

Baked Sweet Potato

Baked Sweet Potatoes:

  • Sweet potatoes or yams
  • sour cream
  • green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simple wash the sweet potatoes and poke with a fork.  Place them on a cookie sheet and in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes depending on size.  Cook until just tender, you can test by sticking a fork in them easily.

Slice through the skin and pull open, fluff up the potato with a fork.  Add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions, and season with salt and pepper.  You could can probably use greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make it even healthier.

7 Layer Salad

7 Layer Salad

This recipe is very familiar to me, we ate it growing up for dinner in the summer time.  Mr. Picky loves this salad, he often requests it.  It is probably the easiest way to get him to eat his vegetables and go back for seconds and thirds.  Okay so the vegetables are covered with mayonnaise, cheese, and bacon but who am I to judge.

The best part of this salad is that it tastes best if made 4-24 hours ahead of time.  Which makes it perfect for summer or to take along to a potluck.  Make it the night before a busy day and come home to dinner done.  I have seen the ingredients vary from recipe to recipe but this is how I make it.

7 Layer Salad:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce(not the same if you substitute, you really need this to make the salad have it’s crunch)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion (either red or green onions 3-4 stocks), chopped
  • Frozen Peas (16 oz.), thawed and rinsed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded), I only had a blend on hand this day
  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs powdered parmesan cheese (what I call “fake” parmesan out of a can)

Wash, chop, and dry your lettuce.  You want to have nice bite size pieces of lettuce.

Whisk together mayo, sugar, pepper and powdered parmesan cheese.  Set aside, this will be your dressing layer.

In a large glass bowl you are going to layer your salad in the following order.  A clear glass trifle bowl works great so you can see all the layers.  I don’t have one  but will be on the look out the perfect one to add to my collection of bowls.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Layering: Lettuce, green pepper, onions, peas, mayo dressing, shredded cheese, and then bacon.

Cover and refrigerate for  4 to 24 hours.  The salad really needs to chill for at least 4 hours or it will not taste the same.  When serving be sure to scoop all the way down through your layers.

Even though we are a small family of four this salad lasts in our fridge for a few days just dishing it out as we want.

Individual 7 Layer SaladsAfter making this the other night for dinner Mr.Picky decided he wanted bowls of it packed for his dinners for the week.  So away I went making generous Tupperware filled with 7 Layer Salad.  No complaints from me, he is eating vegetables and I only had to make one thing for three dinners.

Carrot Salad

Carrot Salad is a great vegetable side for anytime.  It keeps for at least a week in the fridge, and can accompany any meal.  Both kids can eat these raw carrots easily because they are grated.  Just one more way to enjoy your vegetables.

Carrot Salad

Carrot Slaw:

  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and grated (equal to about 4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 Tbs honey (or more if you have a sweet tooth)
  • 2 Tbs half and half, heavy cream, or coconut milk

In a small glass dish place raisins, and just cover with boiling water.  Allow them to sit while for about 10 minutes and they will plump right up.

Once raisins are plump combine with shredded carrots in a bowl.

Whisk together mayo, honey, and cream.  Pour dressing over carrot mixture and toss until coated.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

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