I threw this dish together last night because I was in a huge hurry and hadn’t planned my meals for the week. I’m a big advocate for meal planning, but I’ve gotten a little lazy this week before Spring Break… Anyway, I was completely surprised that the kids loved it! I’ve now got this recipe in my back pocket for busy weeknights or lazy Sunday nights. And hash is always perfect for brunch.
Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
about 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (rotisserie works well for this)
4-5 eggs (depending on how many people you are serving, one egg for each person)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped green onion for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 450.
Toss potatoes with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes or until tender and brown.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and shredded chicken. Cook over medium high heat until everything is warm, just a couple of minutes.
For serving, you can fry or poach the eggs and just add them to the hash. Or you can break the eggs directly into the skillet and put the whole pan under the broiler until the eggs are cooked through (yolks should be runny, but warm, and the white should be fully cooked).
Sprinkle the dish with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with green onions.
These rosemary scented soft white beans, topped with salty and cheesy breadcrumbs, left under the broiler just until bubbly and crispy are great on a cold winter night.
White Beans with Parmesan Breadcrumbs
1 pound dry navy beans, great Northern beans, or cannellini beans
1- 32 ounce box beef stock (I prefer the meaty flavor of beef stock, but water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or bone broth are fine)
2 cups water (or enough water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches)
1 whole onion cut in half
1 spring fresh rosemary
Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Kosher salt, olive oil, for serving
Rinse beans and discard any rocks. Place beans in slow cooker, cover with stock plus water. Add whole peeled onion and spring of rosemary. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
When beans are soft, discard onion and rosemary (some leaves will fall off and that’s fine). Place beans in a 9×12 baking dish and top with equal parts Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, sprinkle with Kosher salt, and drizzle with olive oil. You can also use individual ramekins for each serving like I did. Place beans under the broiler for about 10 seconds, or until the topping is crispy and browned.
This recipe for Chicken Parmesan Casserole is a little different from others because I omitted the pasta, cut the cheese in half, and only added a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs. You can feel good about feeding your family this one, and you won’t even miss all that extra cheese and pasta.
Chicken Parm Casserole
4-6 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 jar (24-25 ounces) high quality marinara
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
olive oil spray
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a 9×12 baking dish with cooking spray.
Layer the chicken, then marinara, and then the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top, just in the middle section. Spray the breadcrumbs with olive oil spray, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly, and the breadcrumbs are brown.
For the sauce:
1 lb ground beef (I use ground chuck for best flavor)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend (dried basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 jars marinara sauce (look for a high quality brand with fewer than 5 ingredients, no sugar)
¼ cup red wine
For the lasagna:
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook ground beef over high heat until cooked through. If there is a lot of fat, drain the fat. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to the ground beef. Add marinara, and stir. Add wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cook over low for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9×12 rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the ricotta, half the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the sauce. For the next layer, add the rest of the pasta, ricotta, sauce, then mozzarella last for best looking presentation. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil, until the sauce is bubbling. Remove the foil, turn up the oven to broil, and broil lasagna until cheese begins to brown (about 2 minutes, watch it very closely). Let the lasagna cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Did you notice the secret ingredients? Adding red wine to the sauce really changes the jarred sauce, and the goat cheese in the lasagna gives it a lovely flavor.
I actually put all the ingredients into the slow cooker the night before and stored it in the fridge. That way, in the morning all I had to do was plug it in . And I used the kind of rice you just heat up in the microwave, so dinner was served in less than 5 minutes. Love that. I also got to use up a can of that pumpkin I bought back in October…
Pumpkin and Coconut Curried Black Beans and Rice (from Get Along Home)
1 pound dry black beans, rinsed
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon red curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1-32 ounce box chicken broth
plain yogurt, cilantro, chopped red peppers, and a sprinkle of Tony’s for serving
Add onion, garlic, beans, pumpkin, tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, coconut milk, salt, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours.
For serving, add hot rice to a bowl and top with beans. Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt, cilantro, and chopped red peppers.
If you are hosting a small group for Thanksgiving, you might consider roasting a full turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. Or if you have a really big group, throw on another turkey breast to ensure you have enough. It really couldn’t be easier to roast a turkey breast, and if you have white meat lovers in your family, they will be thrilled! I like to keep the recipe simple with just salt and pepper as the seasonings. But you can, by all means, add any seasonal herbs you like.
To roast the turkey breasts properly, you need a sturdy roasting pan with a rack. I like this Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick Roasting pan from Zwilling Henckels. You know the knife people? They have wonderful cookware as well!
Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Drizzle turkey breast with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place in a roasting pan with a rack and roast according to time chart below. The weight of the turkey will be listed on the tag on the bag.
3-4 pound turkey breast: 1-1.5 hours
4 to 5 pound turkey breast: 1.5-2 hours
5-6 pound turkey breast: 2-2.5 hours
6-7 pound turkey breast: 2.5-3 hours
Using a meat thermometer, check for internal temperature of 165 to ensure the turkey is thoroughly cooked.
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
It’s important to carve the turkey breasts properly to ensure the most tender and juicy turkey.
First, using a sharp knife (again, I have a preference for this one from Zwilling Henckels), cut along each side of the breastbone.
Remove the turkey breasts from the bone and slice them against the grain (horizontally).
This recipe has a lot of steps, but don’t let it intimidate you. It doesn’t take long, and everything can be done in advance. In fact, this dish is even better the next day.
Thai Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce (adapted from Toast the Host)
For the rice:
1 ½ cups dry white rice
1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup water
For the salad:
2 bell peppers, chopped (red, yellow or orange)
½ red cabbage, shredded
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 cup arugula
For the sauce:
⅓ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Garnish: cilantro, toasted cashews, Sriracha sauce, lime wedges
In a medium saucepan, mix together the rice, coconut milk, salt, and water. Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Cook on low for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Allow rice to cool while preparing sauce and salad.
In a blender, combine the peanut butter, honey, ginger, garlic, vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Add water until mixture is a pourable consistency.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped peppers, cabbage, carrots, onion, and arugula. Add in the cooled rice (doesn’t have to be cold, but if it’s too hot it will soften the veggies). Add about ½ cup of the dressing and stir the salad.
Serve the salad in a big bowl with extra dressing on the side. Garnish with cilantro, cashews, lime wedges, and Sriracha.
This recipe will work for frozen or thawed roast. You can use beef stew meat or a whole chuck roast (which is what I had). If you use a whole roast, just pull it out right before serving and remove all the fat. Pull the meat apart (it will probably just fall apart) and return it to the slow cooker and discard the fat. Wanna see what that looks like? It’s not pretty, but here ya go.
Slow Cooker Roast Beef
2 pound chuck roast (or alternately, 1-2 pounds stew meat), can use frozen
4 large carrots, cut into chunks, no need to peel carrots
4-5 potatoes, cut into similar sized hunks as carrots, I leave the leave the skins on
about 2 teaspoons salt, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
beef stock to almost cover (or chicken stock, whatever you have)
Salt both sides of the roast (or sprinkle salt all over the stew meat). Add the beef, carrots, and potatoes to the slow cooker. Spread the tomato paste on the roast, and add the spices and beef stock to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or longer if necessary). Before serving, remove roast and shred meat, discarding fat, and add beef back to slow cooker. Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Add mixture to slow cooker to thicken the sauce. Stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes with the lid off. Serve stew with crusty bread.
Also, I should point out the the technique used in this recipe is different than traditional risotto. It’s so easy! No babysitting the pot while you ladle in chicken stock. **
So Le Creuset sent me this gorgeous French Oven in the mail a few months ago, and after I jumped up and down like a little girl, I got right to cooking! I mean, this color is beautiful…it’s called Fennel.
Le Creuset asked me to take a photo of myself with the French Oven, but because no one was home except Alex, I had to do a selfie (I don’t own a tripod…blogger fail). And I got photobombed by a turtle, who happens to also be a ninja, a mutant, and a teenager. I was in a rush, so I had to just go with it.
Here’s the recipe:
Lazy Mushroom Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 pound mushrooms (baby bella or crimini)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup goat cheese, for serving
caramelized onions, for serving (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse the mushrooms (don’t soak) and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Slice the mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
In a Le Creuset French Oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Finely dice the yellow onion and garlic, and add it to the hot oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan, turn up the heat to medium high, stir, and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are brown and the liquid has evaporated.
Add the rice and rosemary, stir well, and cook for about 3 minutes.
Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, balsamic vinegar, and chicken stock to deglaze the pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of pan to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom. Stir in the salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover the French Oven with the lid and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the Caramelized Onions.
Top each serving with caramelized onions (recipe below) and goat cheese.
2 large sweet onions (Vidalia is my preference)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
Slice onion in half, and then thinly slice each half into semicircles. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven until butter is melted. Add the onions, and cook over low to medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and sweet. If you see dark spots on the bottom of the pan, add a little water and scrape up the browned bits.
Just cut open some “whomp’em” biscuits (you know, you gotta “whomp’em” on the counter to open the can), add some swiss cheese and smoked ham. Drizzle with honey, press the biscuits together, sprinkle with salt, and bake.
Honey Ham Biscuits
1 can flaky layers biscuits
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
about 1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste)
sprinkle of coarse salt (fleur de sel or other sea salt)
extra honey for serving
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut open biscuits and add honey, cheese, and a drizzle of honey.
Seal the biscuits closed and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 15-17 minutes at 350°, or according to package directions, until golden brown. Serve with additional honey.