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All year around veggie casserole

I understand that this Tomato and Zucchini Casserole is not much of a fall recipe. But what inspired me to cook this dish is that it’s not only a healthy casserole, but it also has the Christmas colors red and green.

So overall I am going to have to say that this veggie casserole is packed full of fresh flavors of not just summer but also for any season of the year. It’s an excellent way to use up extra garden veggies. Topped with a crispy Parmesan and bread crumb topping, this side dish is a welcome addition to any meal.

Tomato and Zucchini Casserole

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 lb medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 7 cups)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 C grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 C chopped fresh basil leaves

1 C shredded Italian cheese blend (4 oz)

1/2 C Progresso™ Italian style panko crispy bread crumbs

1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese

Additional chopped fresh basil leaves, optional

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, salt and pepper; cook seven to ten minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp tender. Stir in garlic; cook thirty to sixty seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat.

3. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup basil to zucchini mixture, stirring to combine; transfer to baking dish. Top with Italian cheese blend. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and remaining one tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle on top of shredded cheese layer in baking dish. Bake thirty to thirty five minutes or until cheese is melted and vegetables are tender. Top with additional chopped fresh basil.

Source Pillsbury

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Holiday Cooking in the South

I can’t believe Thanksgiving already ended. It’s crazy how it just came and went in a flash. I intended on writing an article last week, but I got with everything – mainly cooking and eating delicious food. How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was wonderful!

I can’t believe Christmas is just right around the corner. I am very excited! It’s one of my favorite holidays. I can’t wait to share some yummy recipes with you over the next few weeks.

Do you have any of your favorite dishes or desserts you would like to share?

Now onto the recipe

The weather in Texas during the fall and winter months can be funny and strange. If you have ever lived or visited the state of Texas, then you’ll understand. If not then let me explain the craziness of the weather. On some days it will be hot (the high 80’s) and it will be like that for most of the day. Then there are other days where it’s super cold in the mornings, but throughout the week/day, it gradually will get warmer. Oh, it hardly ever snows here.

So, I admit that it sometimes can be hard to be inspired to cook soups, stew, and chili while living in Texas or pretty much anywhere in the South. I forgot what day it was last week, but the weather was hot for the most of the day, later that evening it was going to be chilly. So that inspired me to cook this Buffalo Chicken Chili.

This recipe is so simple and has only a few ingredients in this slow cooker dinner. Creamy and spicy all in one! It will certainly warm you and family up on a chilly night.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Chili

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts

2 14.5 oz can great northern beans

1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes with juice

2 C chicken broth

1/4 – 1/2 C Frank’s red hot buffalo wing sauce

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

8 oz cream cheese

Optional

Blue cheese crumbles

celery slices

Directions

1. Add the chicken, beans, tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt into a 6-quart crockpot.

2. Cover and cook on low for six hours. Cut the cream cheese into small cubes and stir into the slow cooker. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return chicken to the slow cooker.

3. When the cream cheese is melted ladle into bowls and serve. Top with blue cheese crumbles and serve with celery slices if desired. Enjoy! 🙂

Source The Girl Who Ate Everything

Mustard Balsamic Pork Chops

I intended on making Bacon Swiss Pork Chops, but I soon discovered that I didn’t have everything that I needed, so I decided to cook Mustard Balsamic Pork Chops with Rosemary recipe. Get this: the prep time is just five minutes.

These pork chops couldn’t get any simpler; they’re so delicious and juicy, they simply melt in your mouth! Yum!

Mustard Balsamic Pork Chops with Rosemary

Ingredients

4-6 pork chops

1/4 C olive oil

2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp dry or fresh rosemary coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients (minus pork chops) into a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture begins to emulsify. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and place them into an airtight plastic container. Pour the marinade over the chops.

2. Make sure they are entirely covered in the sauce. Cover with a lid. Be sure that it’s closed tightly. Place the container in the fridge with the chops inside. You can keep them in the refrigerator for eight hours to overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking with cooking spray. Set aside. Grab your pork chops from the fridge and place them into the previously prepared baking dish. Then bake them for about 45-60 minutes or until done.

Court’s Cooking Notes: The cooking time depends on the thickness of your pork chops. You could prepare these the night before and bake them when you come home from work or school.

Source Jo Cooks

No stovetop required green beans

Give yourself and your stovetop a day off by making these easy and delicious green beans on the counter top in your slow cooker! This is an excellent dish to prepare for the upcoming holidays.

Crockpot Green Beans

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 lbs fresh green beans or frozen, washed and trimmed if using fresh

1 (14.5 oz) chicken broth canned

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat saute the onions and garlic in the butter. Saute onions and garlic in butter until the onions turn translucent. About seven to ten minutes.

2. In the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, add the green beans, sauteed onions and garlic and the chicken broth. Cover and cook on LOW for four to five hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Source Crockpot Ladies

Clean Eating Taco Soup

This is a simple, healthy, & gluten free stovetop or a slow cooker meal that uses ground turkey (bison, beef, or venison) along with tons of clean eating vegetables and other wholesome ingredients like canned beans. The option to use homemade ranch and taco seasonings take this dinner to a whole new level. This fast, skinny, and low carb recipe is easy to prepare and will quickly become a family favorite!

Clean Eating Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, venison)

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1 (14.5 oz) can corn

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can of Goya black beans

2 C water

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

3 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning or 1 packet

3 Tbsp of homemade ranch seasoning or 1 packet

Optional Toppings:

Sour Cream or Greek yogurt

shredded cheese

tortilla chips or crackers

avocado

lime wedges

Directions

1. In a large pot, brown the meat. Discard the fat. Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer for thirty minutes. Taste. Add more seasoning such as chili or cayanne powder, salt, or pepper if needed.

Court’s Cooking Notes

This soup is quite thick, feel free to add in more water or beef stock to “stretch” the meal further!

Crock-pot variation: Toss all ingredients including browned meat in crock-pot and cook on LOW for six hours.

Source Grounded and Surrounded

Crispy Onion Chicken Dinner

This delicious crispy onion chicken recipe called for two and a half cups of French’s fried onions but I discovered that I didn’t have enough. So I decided to use breadcrumbs to make up the difference. It wasn’t as crispy, but the breadcrumbs did not take the yummy flavors away from the chicken. I also didn’t have enough honey mustard, so I made another change by combining regular mustard and honey. It surprisingly worked out great!

I am very proud of myself. I am getting more and more confident with substituting ingredients and working through the difficulties of cooking. This is one of the several reasons why I enjoy cooking so much. It involves a lot of learning and discovering new things. I hope that cooking is just as beneficial for you as it is for me.

This chicken dish is 100% crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside onion chicken. The flavor is amazing!

Crispy Onion Chicken

INGREDIENTS

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 C honey mustard

1 1/2 C French’s fried onions, crushed

Directions

Preheat oven 375° F. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick spray or cover with foil (and spray foil w/ non-stick spray) for easy clean-up.

1. Place honey mustard in a medium shallow bowl. Place crushed fried onions in a separate medium bowl.

2. Coat each chicken breast in honey mustard then coat in crushed fried onions. Carefully lay coated chicken on baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of the chicken with a little more of the crushed fried onions.

4. Bake for thirty-fifty minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Source Life in the lofthouse

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Slow Cooker Tomato Tortellini Soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb Italian sausage

1 (32-oz) container chicken broth

1 (14-oz) can petite diced tomatoes

2 (10.75-oz) cans tomato soup

2 (8-oz) containers chive and onion cream cheese spread

Directions

1. In a medium skillet, cook Italian sausage until browned and no longer pink. Transfer cooked sausage to slow cooker. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato soup to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for six to eight hours.

2. Stir in cream cheese and cheese tortellini. Cover and cook on HIGH for fifteen to thirty minutes, until tortellini is cooked.

Source Plain Chicken