Category Archives: Savory

Recipes and Cooking How-to for savory dishes

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

 

Whoever decided that Brussels sprouts would come to be known as the enemy vegetable of children was way off. When seasoned and roasted properly this vitamin packed veg is savory and delicious! Plus you can tell your little ones it is Barbie lettuce (or G.I. Joe) and they will think its fun. Here’s a quick and impressive recipe for any night of the week.

 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Brussels Sprouts are named after the city in Belgium?

 

Slice the brussels in half lengthwise and add to a large bowl.

 

Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat each piece (don’t overdo it or they will be greasy).

 

Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese.

 

Pour onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 for about 20-25 minutes.

 

Give them a toss about half way through to make sure they roast on both sides.

 

 

The parmesan cheese sort of crusts on the brussels and creates an amazing flavour/texture combination. Try it! I know you’ll like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crockpot Beef Stew with Pumpkin Beer

Well in Florida the weather is still balmy and warm, but the odd breeze gives me hope that Fall will be falling on us in the coming weeks (okay maybe months).

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of crockpot recipes on Pinterest and I figured it was time for me to invest in one of my own. I had one awhile ago but it was broken during a move and I never replaced it. I saw this really cute damask pattern crockpot at Target for only $25 so I picked it up along with some beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, celery and mushrooms.

Here’s a super easy recipe for a hearty fall stew.

What you need:

  • 1 lb stew beef cubed
  • 4-5 small/medium potatoes (or 3 large ones), cut into medium cubes
  • Half of a red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of baby carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1-2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-2 cups whole baby mushrooms
  • 2-3 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2-3 teaspoons of tarragon
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 1 beer, ale or dark beers are best

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the crockpot, turn it on high. Mine takes a good half hour to heat up, so you may want to start this before you even chop the veggies.

Chop all your veggies. No need for precision here. This is a rustic stew, so make them as large or as small as you want. I try to make all the pieces uniform in size, about 2/3 of an inch.

Next, toss all the veggies plus the whole mushrooms (you can cut them too if you want but I like them whole) and the beef into a large bowl. Add the herbs, salt & pepper, and garlic and toss so everything gets coated. Then pour everything into the crockpot. (If you have a larger crockpot you could do this inside the pot but mine isn’t large enough to toss everything, so I find it easier to do this step in a large bowl.)

If you like my thyme spice bottle, here’s how I made my spice bottle collection.

 

Pour one entire beer over everything. I used Shocktop Pumpkin Wheat because that’s what was in my fridge, but normally I’ll use a darker beer like guinness or Newcastle. You can use whatever you want. I recommend a more deeply flavoured beer to compliment the beef, something like Corona or Budlight wouldn’t really give you the nice round flavour that you’re looking for. Any kind of autumn ale would go nicely in this stew. Fill the empty bottle to the top with water and pour that into the pot too.

 

Sometimes the beer can give a slightly bitter taste to the stew. If you don’t prefer that flavour you can add about 2 Tbsp of sugar and stir it in. This will cut the bitterness and I promise it won’t make the stew sweet. Put the lid on, and forget about it for the next 6-7 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like a nice thick stew. If you do too, you can make what is called a slurry to thicken it up. When you’ve got about an hour left, ladle out about a cup of the beef stock from the pot into a small bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp of flour to your hot stock and whisk until it is completely incorporated and there are no lumps of flour. It may help to sprinkle the flour in a little at a time to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Pour the slurry back into the pot and give it a good stir.

 

 

Let the stew cook for about another hour to cook out the flour, and then you are ready to serve! This stew is delicious with some nice buttery biscuits. Enjoy!

How to Make Gourmet Campbell’s Soup

4 WAYS TO DOCTOR UP REGULAR CAMPBELL’S SOUP

I have always been a huge fan of campbell’s soup. It was the first thing I learned to cook on my own as a child, and its always been my go to for a quick, cheap, easy meal. At around 100 calories per can, it doesn’t add to my waistline either!

Over the years I’ve come up with a few ways to doctor up the regular ol’ campbell’s recipes. Here are a few of my favourites!

BAKED POTATO SOUP

  • 1 Can Campbell’s Cream of Potato
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp bacon bits
  • Salt & Lots of Pepper
  • 1/tsp dill or dill pollen
  • 1 Tbsp Sour Cream as a garnish
  • 1 Tbsp freshly chopped scallions

Add everything together and heat till cheese is melted. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh scallions.

 

GREEN MINESTRONE

I love this minestrone soup but I like a little more green. Jazz up this soup by adding using chicken stock instead of water and add about 2/3 of a cup (a handul) of chopped kale right to the hot soup in the pot. Cook down for about 5-6 minutes. You will have a delicious and healthy soup full of tons of vitamins and nutrients!

 

 

 

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER

Make a quick corn chowder using Cream of Chicken Soup, one can of sweet corn (including the juice), and one chicken breast (cooked and cubed). Combine all the ingredients and use one can full of chicken stock instead of water. Be sure to add plenty of pepper and a little salt. A hearty meal in minutes! You could also do one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of potato.

 

 

SPICED AUTUMN SOUP

Harvest Orange Tomato is new on the Campbell’s scene but it has quickly become my favourite! It has the warm smooth comfort of tomato with a deeper more savory flavour. Use one can of chicken stock instead of water, and add 1/2 tsp of allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and you’ve got a delicious fall soup! If you want to get really fancy add 8oz of frozen mashed butternut squash and melt it into the soup. It is to die for!

Southern Field Peas O’Brien

RECIPE FOR SOUTHERN FIELD PEAS WITH ONIONS, PEPPERS, & BACON

Down south we call them Black Eyed Peas, but the fancy schmancy name is Field Peas. I like to be fancy schmancy. Technically they’re different peas but to me they’re all the same. All I know is that they’re delicious and I eat them a lot!

Here is a tasty and healthy recipe!

FACT: Did you know that 1 Tbsp of Bacon Grease has the same amount of calories as 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil? About 115 calories for each. Butter comes in the lowest at 100 calories for 1 Tbsp. So don’t think you’re being all low-cal by using Olive Oil. Its all the same folks, so bring on the BACON!!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 strip of Bacon
  • 2 cups of Field Peas
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Creole Seasoning
  • 2-3 cups of chicken stock

Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Using a pair of scissors, cut the bacon into small strips. You could do this with a knife but I find that scissor make the job much easier. They don’t have to be perfect. Fry the bacon until crisp.

Step 2: Once the bacon is nice and crisp stir in the onions and peppers. Fry them in the bacon grease until the onions are sweating and the peppers have softened a bit.

Step 3: Stir in the Field Peas. I like to use Today’s Harvest Field Peas w/ Snaps. They come in the freezer section and I add them right to the pot still frozen. If you can’t find this brand at your super market they will probably have some kind of frozen field peas (or black eyes peas) and they are very easy to prepare right from the freezer so I highly recommend going this route.

Step 4: Cover the peas just to the surface with chicken stock. You don’t need to drown them, you just need enough to cook them down. All the liquid is going to cook out.

Step 5: Add the seasoning. I like to use S&P of course and a little bit of Tony Chatchere’s creole seasoning because it has a nice kick and there’s nothing else like it. I call it Chatch ūüôā

Cover the pot and let the peas simmer for about 30 minutes on medium/low heat (About a 4 on my stove). Give it a stir every now and then just to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. You know its ready when the peas are tender and all the stock has absorbed. Enjoy!

Don’t forget we have a giveaway coming up this Monday, August 27th! Stay tuned…

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

For some reason I’ve been on a fish kick this week. I picked up the individually packaged frozen tilapia fillets from Publix and they make eating fish so convenient! While I would prefer fresh fish, the frozen tastes great, and it doesn’t go bad sitting in my fridge waiting for me to get around to cooking it! They thaw really quickly and make a wonderful and quick lunch.

I love a good crust on my fish, so here’s a really simple crust to make and store in the fridge for a quick dinner. You could use this for any type of fish but it works nicely with a light white fish. I made this for dinner on Saturday and stored the extra crust mix in the fridge for lunch on Monday. I also had leftover Tarragon Potatoes from Sunday Brunch which were delicious with the fish! You can find the recipe for the Tarragon Potatoes here.

I don’t measure this at all but I will try for your sake.

For 2 pieces of fish here’s what you need:

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Creole Seasoning like Tony Chatchere’s

1-2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine

1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients on a plate. Rinse the fillets and shake off the excess water. While they are still damp press them into the mix making sure to coat completely. Flip over and repeat on both sides. Cook in a non-stick skillet coated with an equal parts mixture of HOT butter and olive oil. You want enough to coat the entire bottom of the pan but it doesn’t have to cover the fish. Fry the fish until crisp, only about 4 minutes on each side. Tada! You just made delicious Parmesan Crusted Tilapia!

P.S. As a side note, I wanted to let you all know that there will be a verrrry special giveaway coming up next Monday! Be sure to stay tuned and subsribe via email so you don’t miss it! Hint: Its something really adorable that you can wear! Yay!

Julia Child’s 100th Birthday #cookforjulia

Today is the late great Julia Child‘s 100th birthday. In honor of her amazing cooking legacy bloggers all over the world are participating in #cookforJulia. I was really excited to participate because I am the recent owner of my very own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking! My original plan was to make something fantastic from the cookbook, but holy cow! Her recipes are really hard, and I’ve found myself short on time this week, as I had a final and a wedding cake. Though I didn’t make one of her recipes, I cooked lovingly, a dish reminiscent of the coming fall. I cooked for Julia. So today I’m going to share my recipe with you as Julie and Julia plays in my apartment.

One comment about the movie. A short google search of Julie Powell yielded some pretty unsavory responses. One thing that was portrayed in the movie that I think is wonderful, is that while Julie complains, moans, and has temper tantrums, Julia shone in every parallel scene. She had such a gracious and forgiving manner about her. She was so grateful, confident, and authentic. My brother, Nathan Lippy, had the amazing fortune of meeting her while he was in school at the Culinary Institute of America. He told her to “keep on truckin.” She laughed and smiled and said he reminded her of her nephew. She was cool.¬†That is what I love so much about her.

So what I made in honor of Julia was a Turkey Roulade with Sage Sausage, Walnuts, Cranberries, and a side of Mashed Cauliflower & Butternut Squash with sauteed Kale.

Though it is really hot still in FL, the occasional breeze and back to school sales make me think that Autumn is on its way. This subconsciously made its way into my brain and I decided to make an early deconstructed thanksgiving dinner.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 turkey breast fillets (sliced about 1/2 and inch thick)
  • 1/2 package of Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped craisins
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower or 1 small/med head fresh cauliflower
  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash (frozen) or 1 small butternut squash
  • 4-5 handfuls of fresh kale
  • 1 slice of bacon
  • Sage, Tarragon, Thyme, Salt, Pepper

Here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 350.¬†Saute’ the sausage until browned, being sure to break it up into small bits. When its brown add the walnuts and craisins. No need to add any butter or oil because the walnuts and craisins will cook in the sausage fat. Set aside.

¬†Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your turkey, and pound it out until its about 1/4 inch thick. The plastic keeps bits of turkey juice from spraying in your eye. I don’t have a meat pounder but I do have a rolling pin, so that’s what I used.

Season the turkey with sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. Go heavy on the Tarragon, medium with the sage and light with the thyme. Then drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet and lay the pieces seasoned side down.

Spoon some of your sausage filling along the center of each piece, and then carefully roll up the turkey. There is no need to use a toothpick to secure them if you flip the roll over so it sits on its own tail. When it cooks it will seal up and you will have a perfectly closed little roll. Bake for about 30 minutes.

While the roulades are cooking, begin boiling the cauliflower until tender. While it is boiling, cut one slice of bacon into tiny strips using scissors. Brown the bacon until crisp. Add the Kale, some salt & pepper, and about a teaspoon of sugar, then toss so the bacon grease is incorporated. A drop or two of chicken stock or water might be necessary to help the kale cook down.

I’ve really been into mashed cauliflower lately, as you know, and my absolutle favourite way to punch it up is by adding mashed butternut squash. There are 3 options for doing this, you can buy fresh squash and roast it, then scoop out the flesh discarding the seeds (but that is pretty involved.) You can find frozen cubes which are great, but my new go-to is the pre-mashed little carton you can find in the freezer section. It is perfect for this side dish! After you’ve boiled the cauliflower, drain it and set it aside. In the same pot melt the frozen squash. It only takes a minute or two. Add the cauliflower back to the pot and then blend it all up with an immersion blender. The only thing I add is a bit of salt and a drizzle of honey. No butter or cream needed. It is delicious and healthy!

The plating for this dish is very simple. Just make a nice neat pile of the cauliflower mash, position the roulades on top and add some kale around it. 

I had some of the filling leftover so I made a delicious omelet with it for lunch today! It was really good, and I may make this filling for this purpose in the future. It is so good! Its a great filling to use with chicken or fish or anything really. I love it!

Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Soup – Only 150 calories!

Since I’m on a cauliflower kick I thought I’d keep going with the fun new recipes! Last night I was looking for something delicious and healthy with veggies I had on hand.

I’ve been loving the Archer Farms frozen butternut squash lately because it is so much easier to get cubed squash this way! Seriously, have you ever tried cutting into one of those bad boys? I always feel like I’m going to chop my hand off. This is a really easy solution and it makes me much more likely to cook with healthy veggies.

In fact I use a lot of frozen vegetables. Whenever I buy fresh veggies I immediately chop them, transfer them to zip bags, and pop them in the freezer. This way I know there are no preservatives, and my veggies don’t go bad. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown away perfectly good produce because we just can’t get to it fast enough. ¬†I especially love doing this with onions and peppers. I love having these chopped and ready to go, to add a bit of flavour to tons of dishes. It really makes dinner time a cinch. This is also great for smoothie fruit. Currently my freezer is stocked with frozen strawberries, mangoes, pineapple, spinach, and blueberries all ready for a delicious smoothie.

So for this recipe I had one head of cauliflower and one bag of frozen butternut squash. This made for a super delicious really low calorie soup that i’m sure you’ll love! I had originally planned on adding some herbs and spices, but once I tasted the soup, the incredible vegetable flavours just spoke for themselves. I love when a recipe with so few ingredients tastes so amazing. You’ll find that it favors the taste and texture of potato soup, but without all the carbs! I think in the future I might try it with more squash, I love the orange color.

Here’s the best part: The whole pot was only¬†624 calories! This recipe serves 4, so that means only about 150 calories per bowl. I can’t wait for you to try it. It is definitely going to be a new favourite in our home.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 medium (4″-5″) head of cauliflower, greenery ¬†and stalks removed
  • 2 cups of butternut squash cubed
  • 5 cups of chicken stock. (I like the swanson cartons because they are always bogo at publix and I stock up… lol no pun intended. I wish I was fancy enough to make my own but I just don’t have that kind of time.)
  • 2 T butter or spread
  • 1 cup of half and half or milk (low fat milk will make this lower in calories but less creamy)
  • Salt & Pepper

Here’s what to do:

Start by boiling the cauliflower for about 8 minutes, add the butternut squash and boil for another 10 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add the stock and with an emersion blender, blend until everything is smooth. Add the cream, s&p, and butter, then simmer for about 15 minutes. Do not boil.

Seriously, that’s it. This recipe is so easy, delicious and healthy. Go make it!

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