Tag Archives: salt and pepper

Ground Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Mixing favorite veggies in an attempt to make a one-pot dinner resulting in our new favorite lasagna; although, I have to wonder if the new marinara sauce is to blame.

Ground Turkey and Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients:

8 0z Lasagna (half a box) noodles

One eggplant, 3/4 skin removed (potato peeler works nicely) and cubed

8 oz sliced mushrooms

Handful (about 4 oz) of spinach, roughly chopped

One jar (40 oz) of Victoria White Linen Marinara Sauce

One shallot, chopped

4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

8 oz cottage cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Leftover chopped tomatoes (about 7 oz canned)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Cooking spray

Layer in Crock-Pot on High for 3 ½ hours. 

I began with browning the ground turkey in olive oil on medium-high heat with salt and pepper 1/4-½ teaspoon of each. After draining the excess fat, add chopped shallots to the pan, stir in. Add eggplant, salt and pepper (1/4-½ teaspoon). Sauté until the eggplant is translucent. 

Coat inside of Crock-Pot with cooking spray. Add ingredients from pan to pot.

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Oops, forgot to sauté the mushrooms! Into the pan they go with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until translucent!

 

I almost forgot garlic, too! Right on top of the cooked mix worked out perfectly. (photo below)

 

Minced garlic, then chopped tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and marinara sauce. Generally when you do lasagna, you layer it three times, but I was running out of time. I needed to get the cooking time going on the Crock-Pot for this meal to be ready for dinner. I did two layers with the mushrooms and tomatoes only in the bottom layer and spinach only in the top layer.

The first layer is always sauce, so since I had half of the meat and veggies already in the pot, I added the tomatoes and half of the sauce over it. Then all of the mushrooms, a layer of pasta, 4 oz cottage cheese, 2 c mozzarella, ½ c Parmesan. Repeat meat mixture, sauce, add spinach, continue with remaining cheese. Cover and cook.

 

 

 

 

Mahi Mahi with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Spinach

In an effort to change things up a little, I made mahi instead of chicken; instead of rice, I made quinoa. I thought I’d try to cheat with quinoa, and cook it on the rice cooker. It worked! So easy, so delicious!

Three frozen fillets into the pot with salt and pepper (half a teaspoon or so of each). Fresh mushrooms on top.

Add some olive oil and red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon per fillet).

I waited until the last hour to add the spinach. It wilts quickly and will continue to wilt from the steam and heat if you don’t plate it once the dish is done.

Oh yes! Perfectly cooked mahi every time! Do you see how the fish flakes (I used a fork to break a piece in half)?

Beautiful, too!

Quinoa in the rice cooker? It came out perfectly! It may not have much flavor unless you use some kind of stock. I always have Better Than Bouillon in my fridge, so in it went. Two parts liquid per part quinoa. For rice, I always make three cups dry to four cups water (I’ve been doing that since I was 10 years old, so…).

I was surprised with how flavorful this meal was with so little seasoning.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken

Too easy! The chicken was already perfectly cooked in the Crock-Pot but with only salt and pepper as seasoning, and I wanted to add a sauce or additional seasoning so that we weren’t just having “roast chicken” again. I put it in the fry pan with some olive oil to brown both side, but as I was browsing recipes for chicken, I found this quick and minimal recipe. All I had to do was add thyme and Parmesan cheese!

I made a mess with how quickly this was done. I could have used a lower heat and waited a little longer before flipping the chicken; then I wouldn’t have the little pieces tear away and stick to the pan, but the resulting flavor was delicious! The thyme infused olive oil and chicken, and the Parmesan cheese gave it a little crust and a little salty taste, but just the right amount. Yum!

Steam some green beans in a bag quickly in the microwave (about three minutes) with some salt and pepper. You could add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to tie it all together, as they say in cooking, et voila!

 

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a46066/slow-cooker-garlic-parmesan-chicken-recipe/

Dijon Chicken and Mushrooms

Chicken cooked ahead of time to perfection in the Crock-Pot with salt and pepper. Browned in the skillet with butter and garlic.

Add mushrooms and cream cheese.

Allow to simmer while cooking pasta.

Use your favorite pasta. Cook to al dente.

Cover in chicken and sauce. Serve.

Here’s the recipe I used as a guide.

https://www.tillamook.com/recipes/dijon-chicken-and-mushrooms.html

Crock-Pot Loaded Potatoes

Beautiful potatoes, I agree. You have extra because you bought the ten pound bag at a discount, right? They won’t go to waste with this recipe!

Yeah, for real! Loaded potatoes, easily done in the Crock-Pot. Delicious, perfectly cooked, and a crowd-pleaser.

Wash and scrub them. Chop them into bite size pieces or cubes. The foil didn’t save from any mess that cooking spray could prevent, so save your foil. It’s easier to stir this goodness together which I recommend at least halfway through the cooking time to make sure all of the potatoes cook evenly.

I used chives from my backyard! I hate onions, but these are light enough to season dishes without any strong flavor from it.

Beautiful, right? Are you drooling yet?

I used the following recipe as a guide.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50007/slow-cooker-loaded-potatoes/?src=social-email

Lemon Chicken Piccata

I love finding a variety of recipes with the same main ingredients. It just takes a simple change in seasoning to make a recipe different, and seasonings keep well throughout the year if stored properly, so if you cook as much as I do, it’s worth having an assortment of dried herbs and spices in your kitchen. I also have a small garden of our most used herbs growing fresh in the backyard. The pint of cream I bought for this recipe, I split to also use for the Zuppa Toscana so as not to waste the cream which is not a common item in my kitchen. So, on with the show…

There’s an Italian grill chain restaurant that makes a piccata which is actually my favorite dish to order making this recipe that much more satisfying to be able to cook at home. I absolutely love cooking and love knowing exactly what is in my food.

I think I want to make double the recipe next time! There just wasn’t enough leftovers.

Here’s the sauce with all the yummy bits from browning the chicken. Add heavy cream.

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Add capers and lemon juice.

The chicken breaded and browned a nice golden brown. Remove from pan to finish the sauce. It has a nice crust of parmesan and flour with salt and pepper.

I actually cheated and cooked frozen chicken in the crockpot for four hours on High. It always comes out perfectly cooked and tender that way. Cold from refrigerating it the night before, I then breaded it and browned it on the skillet with olive oil. I think there’s less chance of it drying out if you start with cold chicken since the breading doesn’t take long to brown. It came out perfectly delicious.

Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken (Piccata)

Zuppa Toscana

Doesn’t that look scrumptious and satisfying? It is. I feel like I can say that because I didn’t make up this recipe. It is supposed to be a copy-cat of a popular chain Italian restaurant. The link to the recipe is at the end of this post.

This was much more flavorful than I expected. Eight ingredients, but very well chosen. The  Italian sausage is perfectly seasoned to balance the mild veggies in this recipe.

 

 

 

 

http://12tomatoes.com/zuppa-toscana/

Shepherd’s Pie

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I crushed in pretzel crackers to give it the crunch you would normally get from roasting this with mashed potatoes on top.

Traditionally made with lamb meat and a mashed potato crust, I will be using ground turkey for Shepherd’s Pie. Since it’s called Cottage Pie if you use beef, maybe we should rename it to whatever protects the turkeys. Pen Pie. Not so appetizing. Remember the story that ends with a blackbird pie? Can we find something that hints at the ingredients? Free-range pie? Ha ha. Playing with collective nouns, Rafter Pie. I like it. Enough of that, let’s get to the food!

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Here again, we start with the culinary trinity. Carrots, celery, and I’ve replaced onions with shallots. Add potatoes which would be the “crust” if you cooked this in an oven.

I’ve added the ingredients I would use to make a cream of mushroom soup. Butter, mushrooms, dried thyme, flour, garlic, salt and pepper, chicken bouillon, and water.

Add the rest of the ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie; green beans and ground turkey.

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In the pot:

1 pound ground turkey, browned in skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder (½–1 teaspoon each, depending on your taste)

1 shallot, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

6 red potatoes, chopped

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

10 oz frozen green beans

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken bouillon (1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon, plus one cup water used here)

4 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, about ½ teaspoon each used for the veggie layer as well as the meat layer

Stir together. Cook on High for 4 hours. Top with crumbled, crispy, butter crackers or pretzel crackers.

 

Beef Stew

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If you prefer a more traditional beef stew over the previously posted meatball stew, then this is one way to do it.

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The fresher your food, the better!

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While chopping these potatoes, I was trying to remember how many times in my life I’ve cut myself while cooking. I could probably count on my fingers; but then again, I’m careful (I would never complete a meal on the Iron Chef)!

The beast. This may be the single food that can instantly give me a migraine, and I’ve never liked taste. In addition to wetting the knife and rinsing the onion after peeling off the paper, I actually held my breath. Wetting the knife is sufficient enough for me to chop shallots to avoid the always uncomfortable fumes of the onion causing my eyes to burn and water, but this beast requires extra measures. Also since I can’t palate the raw, bitter flavor or unique crunch of onions between my teeth, I find that chopping it into quarters and removing the centers makes it very easy to not only find in the pot, but remove and discard from the recipe before serving. Why use it at all? Good question. There are few recipes, in my opinion, that require onion to maintain the integrity of the dish. Keeping to traditional cuisine, the Holy Trinity of French cooking or mirepoix requires carrots, celery, and onion. It’s always a good start when trying a new recipe or attempting to hack an old one, as I did here.

Salt and pepper the meat. Coat it with flour. Add the water and bouillon cube.

1 1/4 pounds stew meat

2 pounds red potatoes, chopped

4 carrots, chopped 

6 stalks of celery, chopped

One yellow onion, chopped into quarters, center removed 

One cup water 

One low-sodium beef bouillon cube

6 ½ oz tomato purée (I made enchilada sauce at the same time and needed tomato sauce but only had a can of chopped tomatoes which I blended to make purée, so 8 ounces went into the enchilada sauce and the rest into the beef stew an hour before it was done)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons flour 

2 tablespoons garlic powder

On teaspoon of dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

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The onions should go where you can find them easily if you intend to remove them at the end like I do. Make sure to avoid breaking them up when you stir the pot halfway through (if you’re home); otherwise, I would make sure to put the carrots on the bottom of the pot (or whatever veggie you want to make sure becomes tender by the time it’s done). Chopping the potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces will also ensure everything cooks evenly.

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Salt and pepper the veggies.

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Add garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano. Wait until an hour before it’s done to add the tomato puree. Definitely stir it then.

Everyone in the covered Crock-Pot on Low for 5 ½ hours. Great with rice or sourdough (maybe a sourdough bread bowl?). Yum!