Sloppy Pizza Joes

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sloppy Pizza Joes adapted from Simple & Delicious
1lb ground beef (90% lean)
1 jar (14oz) pizza sauce
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
4 hamburger buns, split
4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:  Cook beef over medium heat in a large skillet until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the pizza sauce and seasonings.  cook and stir until heated through.  Serve on buns with cheese.

Here's what you'll need:
I put the ground beef on to brown.  As it was cooking, I got to thinking that this might be the perfect opportunity to add some veggies and have "veggie pizza sloppy joes" so I grabbed a can of mushrooms, can of black olives, and a red pepper.  I drained the mushrooms and olives and then diced up everything.

Once the beef was cooked, I drained it and then threw in the mushrooms, olives, and red bell pepper.

Added the pizza sauce and herbs.

Let it simmer.

Sprinkled mozzarella cheese all over it.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
This was a very simple and delicious meal.  I am so happy that I thought to add the extra veggies to the mix.  Not only did the olives, mushrooms, and red bell pepper add to the flavor but also acted as a healthy filler.  For a family of 5, I only used 1lb ground beef.

I was thinking more about this and really anything that you would put on a pizza, you can add to this dish-pepperoni, sausage, onions, pineapple, Canadian bacon, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

Kanin gave this dish a 5 and that is good enough for me!

Hope you enjoy!

Spaghetti Salad

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spaghetti Salad adapted from Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
1 pound thin spaghetti
10 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup salad seasoning mix*
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble.

In a large bowl combine cooked spaghetti, celery, onion, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and salad seasoning.  In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice and minced garlic with olive oil.  Pour over spaghetti mixture and toss.  Add crumbled bacon and lightly toss.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Chill until serving.

8-10 servings

Home-made Salad Supreme Seasoning
3 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
1½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 dashes cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or Romano (fresh is best)

Directions:  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Makes ½ cup

I did not take an ingredients pic.

Mix all of the ingredients of the Homemade Salad Supreme Seasoning and set it to the side.

Chop up the celery.

Chop up the red onion.

Chop up the green pepper.

Put celery, onion, and pepper in a bowl.  Drain the can of black olives and add to the mix.

Chop up the onion.  Add to the other veggies.

Cut up the cucumber.  Add to the other veggies.

Throw the spaghetti on to cook.

Add the seasoning mix to the veggies.

Fry the bacon.

Zest the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl.

Mince the garlic cloves.

Whisk the olive oil and garlic in with the lemon.

Drain the spaghetti and add it to the veggies.

Add the garlic lemon oil.

Chop up the bacon and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
Ok, I want you to go to the store, buy all of these ingredients, and make this dish.  It was SO GOOD.  I am absolutely going to make it for my next get together. 

All of the flavors came out in this dish from the lemon zest to the garlic to the tomato juice from the tomatoes.  The black olives and cucumbers gave it a Mediterranean taste and I kind of wished that I would have had feta cheese instead of the Parmesan even though the Parm was delicious, too.

If I could change one thing about this recipe, I would use penne pasta instead of spaghetti.  The spaghetti did kind of overwhelm the vegetables but nothing a spatula couldn't get around.  I also don't think that the bacon was needed.

Scott also had the great idea of adding some grilled chicken to the dish.  This would be a fantastic way to use leftover or extra chicken breasts. 

Bottom line, it was great!!

Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Casserole

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Casserole adapted from Heartfelt Balance, Handmade Life
7 Bell Peppers, cut into 1" pieces--I used Green
28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves--minced
1 lb. ground chicken
1 mild Italian Sausage--skin removed
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. dried Parsley
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp dried Basil
Dash of Black Pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Bag Steamfresh frozen Brown rice

Directions:  Take the skin off of the sausage and break apart to brown it in a skillet on the stove. Brown the ground chicken with it. Once it's browned, put all ingredients except the rice and parmesan cheese in the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Add the frozen rice and parmesan and heat until rice is warmed. We were busy yesterday, so it actually stayed on warm for a couple hours after I added the rice and it was still good. The rice didn't get mushy.

-Instead of all of the herbs, I used a Zattarains Dirty Rice Mix.
-I used 2 cups of whole grain brown rice instead of a Steamfresh frozen bag.
-I used a turkey bratwurst instead of Italian Sausage.

Here's what you'll need:

Brown the ground beef.

Remove the casing from the sausage and add with the ground beef.

Mince up the garlic cloves and add to the meat.

Roughly chop up the peppers, I used 4.

While the meat was still cooking, put the peppers in the crockpot.

Put the meat on top of the peppers.

Add the can of crushed tomatoes.  I also filled the can of tomatoes with water and added it to the crockpot.

Add the seasonings

Add the rice.  I used 2 cups of whole grain brown rice.

Cover and cook for 4-6 hours or until rice is done.  Once done, add the Parmesan cheese.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
Scott loves stuffed bell peppers and normally I make them like THIS, which he absolutely loves.  Recently, though, we have really changed our eating habits and I didn't want to use the enriched white rice of the Zatarain's Dirty Rice mix so I used the brown rice.

When planning to make this I thought that the spice/herb mixture of the Zatarain's came separately from the rice.  When I opened the box, though, I realized that it was all mixed together.  We love the taste of that Dirty Rice and I had my heart set on that flavor so . . . I tried to strain the seasoning from the rice.  I did get some of it but not all so I ended up using some of the herbs listed in the actual recipe.

This is definitely an easy way to make this dish.  It took very little effort and had a great flavor.  The rice was cooked perfectly and not mushy at all.

Hope you enjoy!

Grilled Fish in Tinfoil

Friday, August 19, 2011

Grilled Fish in Tinfoil
1 piece of halibut (or fish of your choice)
Italian dressing
Lemon Wedge

Direction:  Salt and pepper the fish.  Place the fish in the center of tinfoil.  Drizzle with Italian dressing and squeeze a lemon wedge on top.  Close the tinfoil up and make a tent out of it.  Throw on the grill for 8-10 minutes.

Here's what you'll need:

Salt and pepper the fish.  Drizzle with Italian dressing.  Squeeze a lemon wedge over the fish.  Throw on the grill until the inside temp reaches 145 degrees or until it flakes off.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
Protein in our house is always an issue.  I don't eat pork and Scott doesn't really like fish or seafood; thus, we are stuck with poultry or beef.  Last week while doing my shopping, I decided to go ahead and get myself a piece of fish and Scott a couple of pork brats and we were both happy.

This is the first time that I have ever cooked fresh fish and it turned out great.  I found this "recipe" online and decided to give it a try.  To be honest, I don't think the Italian dressing added a whole lot to the taste.  I think it would have been better if I would have just added some olive oil, fresh herbs and a lemon but it was still really good.

As a bonus, I gave a taste to both Kanin and Gracie and they loved it so I will definitely be cooking fresh fish again in the future.  Scott even took a bite and said it "wasn't bad". 

Do you have any good fresh fish recipes?  If so, I'd love to try them out.  You can email me at awesty2 at yahoo(dot) com.

Hope you enjoy!

Baja Chicken & Slaw Sliders

Monday, August 8, 2011

Baja Chicken & Slaw Sliders adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 tsp grated lime peel
1/4 tsp lime juice

1 cup broccoli coleslaw mix
2 Tbsp finely chopped sweet red pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp sugar

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
8 Hawaiian sweet rolls, split
8 small lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato

Directions:  In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, lime peel and lime juice.  In another small bowl, combine the slaw ingredients.  Chill the slaw and sauce until serving.

Cut each chicken breast in half widthwise; flatten to 1/2-in thickness.  Sprinkle with seasonings.

Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.  Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 iches from the heat for 4 to 7 minutes on each side or until no longer pink.

Grill rolls, cut side down, for 30-60 seconds or until toasted.  Serve chicken on rolls with lettuce, tomato and slaw.

-I used whole wheat buns instead of Hawaiian rolls.
-I did not use cilantro in the slaw.

Here's what you'll need for the slaw:

Here's what you'll need for the sliders:

Preheat and clean the grill.
Mix the sour cream, lime peel and lime juice.

Combine the slaw ingredients in a separate bowl.

Chop up a little red bell pepper, sweet onion, and jalapeno and add them to the broccoli slaw mix.

Put the two separate bowls (slaw and dressing mix) in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Cut the chicken breasts in half width-wise.

Place the cumin, chili powder, and salt in a bowl.  

Add the chicken and stir to coat.

Grill chicken until done.

Pull the slaw and dressing from the fridge and mix together.

Serve the sliders with the slaw on top.  Add any other toppings.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
This was a really good summer dish.  The smokey spiciness of the chicken was a good combination with the creamy coolness of the slaw. 

I wasn't really thinking things through when I cut the chicken in half because the little slider-sized chicken did not fit on the buns.  They would have fit perfectly, however, on the smaller Hawaiian rolls.

The slaw was interesting.  I think the lime paired well with the cumin and chili powder on the chicken but, by itself, I don't think it was good at all.

Hope you enjoy!