Lazy Sunday Casserole

When I saw a this recipe had “lazy” in the title, I knew I would be happy. Although baby boy is beginning to become more cooperative, I still have a heck of a time getting dinner on the table without some assistance from the husband. Thankfully he works from home, so most of the time, he can sneak upstairs to allow me some dinner prep time if he has a break in his schedule. Once I told him there was sausage and peppers involved in this meal (two of his most favorite things), he had no problem clearing a little bit of time in his schedule so I could make this “lazy Wedensday” casserole.

I tried like crazy to get a more appetizing looking picture of this, but try as I might, I just couldn’t get it, but trust me when I say this is fabulous! I’m not a fan of sausage, or vegetables, but I ate everything, and enjoyed it! It didn’t take as long as I thought it would to prep this, and while the husband finished up work, I enjoyed some time with my boys while the oven did all of the work. The balsamic vinegar really steps this up a notch. I cannot wait to make it again…maybe I’ll make it for a lazy Monday, or Tuesday, or…

Lazy Sunday Casserole

5 Italian sausages
1 pound red potatoes, cubed
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
8 ounces whole fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all of the chopped vegetables in a large roasting pan. Whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, basil, oregano and fennel seeds. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Meanwhile, brown sausages in a large skillet over medium heat. They do not need to be cooked all the way through, just browned. Remove from skillet and slice into thirds. Remove foil from vegetables and add sausages to pan. Pour in balsamic vinegar and give everything a good stir. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, or until everything is browned as the sausages are cooked through.

Source:  Let’s Dish Recipes, originally adapted from Kayotic Kitchen


Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

I’m like a little kid when it comes to eating my vegetables. Once I see them, I start the “But Mom, I don’t LIKE [insert evil vegetable name here]!” whining. I guess that’s the fun part about adulthood…you don’t have anyone forcing you to eat the dreaded veggies. Or at least until you have kids. Because now I have to convince two very smart boys that vegetables are delicious! Thankfully, the tiny man is a big fan of the veggies…I’ve actually seen him choose cherry tomatoes or sliced red peppers over cookies. No joke. How is this kid mine?

Because I need to continue the “veggies are great!” routine around here, I really need to embrace eating them, and find some delicious ways to prepare them. Let me tell you, this recipe for green beans is an excellent start! First of all, everything is better with bacon, and that’s where these bad boys start. Add some onions (which I didn’t do this time because I was somehow out of onions), saute for a bit, then add the green beans, water, salt, pepper and sugar, and voila, a tasty green bean side dish in a short amount of time! These do taste better the longer they cook…the first time I made them they only simmered for about 10 minutes, but the second time I let them go for a little over 30 minutes, and they tasted much better the second time around. If you are veggie-phobic as I am, or have veggie-phobic kids/spouses/etc., I recommend giving these a try!

Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

2 (16 ounce) cans of green beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 a medium onion, diced

Drain green beans and set aside. Mix water, sugar, pepper and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

Preheat a deep pan over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon. Cook until just starting to get crispy. Add the onions and cook until they are tender, then add the green beans and liquid mixture. Stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until ready to serve.

Source:  As seen on Taste of Home Cooking, originally slightly modified from The Rookie Chef

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans and Potatoes

This is yet another Pinterest find that looked intriguing.  The husband and my toddler man both love green beans, and I love lemon, so I added to my meal plan for the following week.  This dish was so easy to throw together and works great for a weeknight if you have the time for everything to cook in the oven.  We all really enjoyed it and had absolutely no leftovers.  I, a very vocal green bean hater, even ate and ENJOYED the green beans!  I’m slowly coming around to vegetables…very slowly, but this dish was a good step for me and something I will make again very soon!

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans and Potatoes

1 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 1.5 pounds)
3/4 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed, washed
8 small red potatoes, washed and quartered, skin-on
1 lemon
5 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Lemon-Pepper seasoning

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix your olive oil, the juice of the lemon, salt, pepper and garlic in a medium-sized bowl.  Toss the green beans in the mixture, then using tongs remove the green beans to a roaster or casserole dish (coated with nonstick spray), leaving the liquid in the bowl.

Now toss the potatoes in the liquid, and using a slotted spoon remove them and add to the green beans.

Toss the chicken in the mixture and then place the chicken on top of the green beans and potatoes.  Drizzle any remaining liquid in the bowl over the chicken.  Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on top of the chicken.

Bake/roast for 50 minutes, then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside and cook the green beans and potatoes for another ten minutes or so – until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork.  While that’s cooking, check if your chicken is done.

Return the chicken to the pan and serve.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cooking with Christen, originally adapted from Real Simple

Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad

One of our favorite summer side dishes is a simple cucumber salad with bottled Italian dressing that sometimes includes some tomatoes or onions.  I’d say we probably have this 3-4 nights a week.  But let’s face it, sometimes the same old same old gets boring, right?  Enter this yummy recipe for cucumber salad with some great Asian flavors!  We had this with Sesame Teriyaki Chicken and it made for a great dinner.  The best part is it only took an extra 2 minutes or so to mix up the dressing for this salad, so I’m certain we’ll see this frequently at our dinner table.  Enjoy!

Sesame -Miso Cucumber Salad

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (I forgot these, but will definitely add next time!)
2 tablespoons white miso (soybean paste) or lower-sodium soy sauce (I used soy sauce)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 cups thinly sliced seeded cucumber

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber; toss to coat.

CEiMB: Tortellini-Spinach Soup

I’ve mentioned before that soup is one of my favorite foods, so I’m always on the lookout for a good soup recipe that is relatively healthy.  Talk about hitting the motherload here…not only was this soup easy to throw together and absolutely delicious, but it is very healthy too!  I’m not a vegetable eater, but I made myself try a bite of this soup without picking out anything, and I loved it.  Definitely a great way for me to sneak in my veggies.  I followed the recipe as written, except I omitted the celery as I’m not a fan.  The husband enjoyed this as well (the toddler refused to eat any…apparently green pasta creeps him out our something…), so this will definitely be something I make again!

You can find the recipe for this delicious soup on Bri’s blog, Yoshimi vs. Motherhood, and also here.  You can also find it on page 90 of Ellie Kreiger’s cookbook, So Easy.  Check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed this.  Up next week is Beef Stroganoff with Green Beans and Grainy Mustard.

CEiMB Rewind: Confetti Chili

I am not a fan of most vegetables, so in order to force myself to eat them, I have to hide them in my meals as if I were a little kid.  Ellie Kreiger comes through again!  This chili was a great way to do that, and was absolutely delicious.  Even the toddler ate a good sized bowl!  This has a nice smoky flavor from the chipotle chilis and adobo sauce, and the only vegetable I could taste was the corn (which I love).  So you get all of the nutritional benefits of the vegetables without having to taste them…just the way I like it!  I still like my homemade chili recipe better, but I will definitely be adding in some red peppers, carrots, and corn next time I make it. 

Confetti Chili
From Ellie Kreiger’s The Food You Crave, page 187

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (1/2 cup – I used 7 baby carrots, diced)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pound lean or extra-lean (90% or higher) ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups water
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 2 tsp of the sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, prefereably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can kideny beans, prefereably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernals (I used one 14.5 ounce can of no-salt-added corn, drained)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring. for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipolte and adobo sauce, and oregano and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. 

Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer, until the chili is nicely thickened.  Stir in the corn and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

CEiMB Rewind: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

This is another recipe the CEiMB group made prior to my joining, and was also one I really wanted to try after buying Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave.  As usual with Ellie’s recipes, this one did not disappoint.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the amount of onions and the celery, so next time I will cut the onion in half and omit the celery.  Other than that, this was a great dinner for a chilly, rainy day.  It comes together easily and I’m happy to have another soup recipe to add to my repoitre.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

4 tsp olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling. 

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs.  Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while.  Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened.  Do not let the soup come to a boil.  Add the cooked chicken to the soup.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Source:  From page 86 of Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave