Monday, May 21, 2018

Baked Garlic Green Beans

Do you need to amp up the vegetable consumption in your life? Or find a way to get your kids to eat more veggies. If yes, then this super easy, super delicious preparation of green beans is for you. And maybe you eat plenty of veggies, but need a new inspiration - then this is for you, too.

Green beans are one of my favorite veggies and the kids at my house happily eat them as well. But when I made these, well, they gobbled them up. They actually asked for more and I didn't have any left on the pan! I think that may have been the first time we RAN OUT of vegetables at dinner! So, even though these aren't the most picturesque beans in the world, they are delicious, and they are super easy to prepare. I hope they'll make frequent appearances on your table this summer.

Baked Garlic Green Beans

1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and ends cut off
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Place green beans in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over green beans and toss. Add garlic and stir well to coat all the beans. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Pour beans onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or use a silpat liner).

Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes, tossing half way through the cooking process. Serves 4-6.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet Dinner

I'm always on the look out for fast, easy and delicious meals - they are a life saver on weeknights, especially busy weeknights that involve sports practice, music concerts, and who knows what else. When you have less than an hour to cook AND eat, you have a bit of a challenge. But this is one of those recipes that comes to the rescue! And it only dirties one pan. Save the dishes for after the concert!

I added more meat and vegetables than the original recipe, so I ended up using my large electric skillet so that everything could cook evenly. It worked like a charm. And the best part? It's tremendously versatile - use your favorite veggies or the ones that are languishing in the fridge. I loved zucchini and asparagus together but I'm sure there are many other combinations that would be equally great. Quickly chop up the veggies and sausage, thaw the shrimp, and you'll have a really delicious dinner on the table in no time.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me.

Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet Dinner

2 tsp. olive oil or coconut oil
12 oz. large cooked shrimp
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
12 oz. smoked sausage or keilbasa, chopped
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup medium yellow onion, large diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (or use a large electric skillet at 350) and add coconut or olive oil. Season shrimp with Old Bay seasoning and set aside.

Cook onions and bell peppers in skillet with for about 2 minutes; add sausage and zucchini to the skillet, cook another 2 minutes. Add shrimp and asparagus into skillet along with the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, then add chicken broth mix well to moisten all the vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Serves 6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Paleo Newbie

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

I've been doing the Whole 30 this month. Have you ever tried it? It's been good to "re-set" my body and take a break from junk, and it has also motivated me to try new recipes. This was one I made and loved, so I wanted to share it with you!

I love red curry, and these meatballs are bathed in a delicious red curry coconut sauce. I made regular rice for my family members who are not "whole 30" complaint (ha!) and these would be really good over cauliflower rice as well.

These chicken meatballs are chock full of carrots, onion and herbs and spices. They reminded me a little of falafel, which I am also a huge fan of! It doesn't matter if you're doing the Whole 30 or not, these have such great flavor that you and your whole family will love them. Add some variety to your dinner time, and make these meatballs as soon as you can!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Fabulous, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Let's Party, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate, Weekend Potluck, Sugar and Spice, Awesome Friday.

Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs

1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pound ground chicken

1 can coconut milk
1 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. almond or peanut butter
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. minced garlic

Place all the meatball ingredients except chicken in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the chicken and mix well. Roll into 1 1/2 – 2″ balls and place them on a lined or greased pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then gently turn the meatballs over and bake them for an additional 15.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the coconut milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce, stir to coat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice. Makes 6 servings.

Recipe Source: The Bewitchin Kitchen

Monday, April 16, 2018

Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars

Here is a super sweet, super delicious bar to help get you through these last few days of winter. I loved these served chilled, so that the dulce de leche is nice and sticky in between the layers of oatmeal cookie dough. As I said, these are suh-weet. So make sure you have a big cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk (or vanilla ice cream for sugar overload factor) when you eat one (or two, or three).

I made my own dulce de leche in the instant pot. I only used about 1 1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, and that made plenty of dulce de leche. (of course, if you are prone to eat this out of the jar with a spoon, you might need to make the full two cans, in two separate batches. The can and a half filled my pint jar TO THE BRIM and it still worked beautifully.) There are various versions online for making dulce de leche in the crock pot or stove top, too, so feel free to do what works best for you - or just buy it at your grocery!

Whatever you do, you will love these bars. (And so you will your dentist, ha!)

Find more inspiration at Full Plate, Wonderful Wednesday, Let's Party, Whisk It, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Awesome Friday, Weekend Potluck, Sugar and Spice.

Oatmeal Dulce de Leche Bars

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
3 cups oatmeal
2 {14 oz.} cans Dulce de Leche

Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly. Mix in milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine salt, baking soda, flour, and oats. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.

Press 2/3 of the cookie dough into a greased 9x13" prepared pan.

Transfer the Dulce de Leche to a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds. Spread the Dulce de Leche over the cookie dough in the pan. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from High Heels and Grills

Monday, April 9, 2018

Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak

Winter is hanging on here in the north, (it just snowed AGAIN yesterday!) so another comfort food recipe is required on this Monday. Even though this is good comfort food, it's also loaded with broccoli, carrots and whatever other vegetables you want to add. Stir fry recipes are so great that way - just use what you have! I love the savory/spicy flavor of this sauce, and the steak makes it extra special.

I did not have udon noodles when I made this and substituted rice noodles, as you can see in the picture. Udon noodles are those "heavier" wheat-y noodles, and would typically fit this kind of dish much better. But again, I'm a "use what you have" girl, so rice noodles it was. In any case, you could easily sub cooked linguine or something that makes it easy for you - you'll get similar results, and it's really the veggies and sauce that shine in this creation.

Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pound sirloin steak, sliced very thin
2 (7 oz) packages Udon Noodles (about 3 cups)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 large crown broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. mirin, sherry, or other sweet wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 Tbsp. corn starch

Make the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Add the mirin and cook for another 30 seconds, letting the liquid cook off a bit.

Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. Whisk the ingredients together, cooking until the sugar has melted.

Combine cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. water and whisk to dissolve.

Bring the pot to a simmer and slowly whisk in the corn starch mixture. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

For the noodles:
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large wok or skillet over medium- high heat. Add the steak to the the hot pan, and cook 3-5 minutes, working in batches as necessary, then set aside.

In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and broccoli and carrots, and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the noodles and lightly fry for about 2 minutes.

Stir in the sweet soy sauce and stir until all the noodles are coated. Stir in the steak, cooking until heated through.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4

Monday, March 5, 2018

Triple Berry Streusel Muffins

We make muffins nearly every week at our house. The kids grab them on their way out the door for an easy "eat in the car" breakfast, and so I'm always looking for new recipes to try. I like to find varieties that incorporate fruit, and this one was perfect, since I usually have a bag of that frozen berry blend in the freezer!

Another trick I like to use in muffins is substituting applesauce for some of the butter or oil. You can also use half whole wheat flour to make these healthier! I also love it when recipes make a big "batch" - these kind of muffins freeze beautifully so you can use the ones you need now, and freeze the rest for another week!

Triple Berry Streusel Muffins

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups frozen triple berries blend


1/2 cup flour
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks

Thaw berries in the microwave for 1 minute or on the counter until they are soft, then mash with a fork to partly break up the pieces. In a large batter bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce and oil. Add the sugar and stir until it is incorporated.

Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, and mix until all batter has been incorporated and is moist. Fold in the berries along with the juice of the berries until the berries are evenly distributed in the dough.

In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter for the streusel. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Spoon muffin batter into 24 muffin cups sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with paper liners. Distribute the streusel evenly over the batter in each cup. Bake at 400 for 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Art of Gluten Free

Monday, February 26, 2018

Brownie Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

This cake was on my list as one of the things I would make in 2018. And it's only February and I've already made it, along with Cuban Quesadillas and Instant Pot Cheesecake. I've learned this is the way to make the things on my list - make them early in the year!

And the great thing about making it early in the year? Lots of opportunities to make it AGAIN! And who wouldn't want to make this again and again? It's a brownie cake with cookie butter frosting! Do you know cookie butter? It's made out of those unique Biscoff cookies that you get, among other places, on Delta flights! It has a really distinguishable flavor that is different from anything else. It's great to use in cakes, cookies and bars.

This dessert is very sweet, as you might imagine, you can cut the pieces small, and serve with piping cups of coffee. My dinner guests loved it, and my kids' response on seeing it on the counter: "WHAT is that CAKE?" I guess I should use chocolate shavings more regularly to avoid the shock factor.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Let's Party, Full Plate, Wonderful Wednesday.

Brownie Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp. instant coffee
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup speculoos cookie butter
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. half and half

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, add the dark chocolate and coffee, and let sit for about 30 seconds, then whisk it all together until smooth and glossy. Add the brown sugar and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, then sprinkle in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the dry ingredients gently until no flour specks remain.

Spread the brownie mixture into a greased 9" springform pan and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake has puffed slightly and the top is settled. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before removing the sides of the springform pan.

For the frosting, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix together the cookie butter and butter for a full minute so it’s light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and half and half and beat for another minute, or until the mixture is fluffy and spreadable.

Spread the frosting on the cake, garnish with chocolate shavings, and cut into wedges to serve. Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes 8-12 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
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