Sunday, November 5, 2017

How to Hide a Serving of Vegetables Inside Meatloaf


I have often said on this blog that I am huge fan of all-in-one meals. If I had the time to make a main dish plus one or two involved and interesting side dishes, I would, but I don't, so I make stews, casseroles, skillets, and one-pan dinners. (Click here for some of my favorite easy chicken recipes.)

A dish that probably isn't first to mind when brainstorming such dishes is meatloaf. Yes, it is possible to sneak a full serving of vegetables into meatloaf. Here are some of my suggestions. Mix and match or, if feeling adventurous, try them all! 

Also, I recommend substituting bread crumbs with almond meal for a paleo- and gluten free-friendly option. (It probably adds some healthy things, as well, being almonds and all.)

  1. Shredded carrots 
  2. Chopped onions
  3. Shredded zucchini
  4. Chopped celery
  5. Shredded turnips
  6. Chopped or shredded squash
  7. Chopped green beans
  8. Chopped bell peppers
  9. Chopped mushrooms (not a vegetable, but tasty)
  10. Corn kernels (technically a grain)
With a food processor, you could probably cook up any vegetable or veggie medley, spin it into tiny bits and sneak them into the ground meat mash. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy experimenting!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Two Vegetarian Pasta Recipes That You Need to Try

My schedule has been packed with the new issue of the Crazy Wisdom Community Journal coming out May 1st. But I'm back to share with you these two fantastic recipes I recently made. They were introduced to me via those ubiquitous recipe videos that flood across Facebook. These two looked not only tasty, but super easy. And they were!

1) Cheesy Pierogi Lasagna


Pierogi Lasagna is the most beautiful of international marriages. It's also great for me (Italian) and my husband Greg (Polish). Also, it's vegetarian! And so rich and cheesy... Mmm... I was surprised how easy this recipe was to make. It took less than an hour and fed us for three days (one dinner and two lunches).

Find the recipe here at 12tomatoes.com.

2) One-Pot Spinach Pasta


This recipe I made vegetarian because we were out of chicken, and I don't think it hurt the recipe at all. Maybe I ended up with a little bit extra sauce, but really, is that such a bad thing? Just get some garlic bread and sop it up! And again, super quick and easy recipe (even more so without the meat). I find myself craving this dish even now, weeks later. I might have to run out to the store after posting this and buy the ingredients so I can make it for dinner again, it was that good. This maybe fed us for two days because I was like NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM and before I knew it, it was gone. Sigh...

Find this recipe on Buzzfeed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rice Pilaf With Roasted Red Peppers and Peas

The recipe in the book the Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is actually "Orzo Pilaf With Roasted Red Peppers and Peas," but after checking two grocery stores, we couldn't find orzo, so Greg got Arborio rice instead. This is a terrific book that Greg picked up from the library. I've been wanting to incorporate more meatless meals into our diet for a while (an inconsistent work schedule makes this difficult), and there are so many simple, delicious-looking recipes!

Because I am short on time, I took a picture of the page so you can see the recipe with instructions. And please buy the book and support the author if you like what you see! (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)


As I said, it's an easy recipe mostly comprised of ingredients that I already had on hand. And if, like us, you can't find orzo, the Arborio rice was a fine and tasty substitute. Oh, and I used regular organic green peas because I didn't see baby green peas either, but I feel like this may be a minor substitution.


If you don't care about having a meatless meal, you could easily use this as a side dish. Also, it reheats well, so you can pack it for work lunches.


Look how colorful that is! Truly, this is one fine dish.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I Quit Sugar's Mexican Chicken and Sweet Potato Boats

What I like about the I Quit Sugar food philosophy is that it's full of sweet stuff! Like sweet potatoes. Super sweet! Here is the recipe for Mexican Chicken and Sweet Potato Boats.

This recipe was both really easy and very tasty - my favorite kind! The chicken itself was a little weaker on the flavor end, which means next time I think I will either use more spices or let it sit longer in the spices in hopes it will better absorb them. It could also have been just not particularly flavorful chicken, though I do generally find chicken thighs more flavorful than chicken breasts. Juicier and all that.


Since neither Greg nor I are fond of kale (except kale chips - I love kale chips), I used the Earthbound Mixed Baby Greens since Meijer was out of just spinach.


The sweet potatoes were packed with flavor! I love sweet potatoes. (I love sweets.) My mother used to mash them with butter when I was growing up, and Greg often slices and bakes them into steak fries. High in antioxidants, they go well with both chicken and greens.

I enjoyed this dish because it was a unique take on the all-in-one meal (two sides mixed in with a protein). It's also pretty filling. If you like sweet potato skins, you could pick it up and eat it like a taco, once it's cool enough to pick up. Once the weather is warmer, this might be a fun dish to put on the grill.


Mmm... 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Break Week

I have a lot going on this week, so rather than post something of my own creation, I am choosing to share one of my favorite poems that just happens to be about food... Or is it?



This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten 
the plums 
that were in 
the icebox 

and which 
you were probably 
saving 
for breakfast 

Forgive me 
they were delicious 
so sweet 
and so cold

Monday, February 6, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Chicken Bake from the Pinning Mama

To be build on last week's easy chicken recipes post, here is another super easy, super quick all-in-one (unless you want to add rice, like I did, noodles, or potatoes to go with) chicken dinner from the blog Pinning Mama

She uses a Campbell's Oven Sauce packet, which I don't keep on hand. I did, however, have her substitution suggestion of condensed cheddar broccoli soup. I used only one can since I was only using two chicken breasts. 

Here is my pared down version:
  • 2 non-frozen chicken breasts
  • half a package of frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 can condensed cheddar broccoli soup
  • half a package of finely shredded cheddar cheese
This is the order in which you layer them in your pan. (I used a glass pie dish because that is what was clean.) I popped it uncovered into the pre-heated to 400°F oven and set my kitchen timer for 50 minutes.

We got to use our brand new meat thermometer (from finishing off one of wedding registries), so the chicken was nice and tender! I really liked this flavor combination, but I think next time, I'd season the chicken with a little salt and pepper before pouring on the frozen broccoli florets. The chicken just tasted bland next to the richness of all that cheddar.

But for a simple and satisfying dinner that only took an hour to prepare and cook, A+.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Some of My Favorite Easy Chicken Recipes

Due to being raised without beef and pork, resulting in a sensitivity to both (I completely avoid pig products, but beef is usually OK for me now), chicken is my main source of meat, and I am always looking for new and interesting ways to cook it. It's not always easy, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes that I have found in case there are others also looking for some new chicken recipes.

1) Chicken Paprika

I found this recipe on Pinterest courtesy of the blog Chef in Training. One of my favorite things about this dish is not how flavorful it is - and it really is! - but rather how simple. These are all ingredients I have on hand in my kitchen, though I do substitute vegetable bouillon for chicken since Greg, my husband, is allergic to chicken broth (which complicates a lot of chicken recipes). 



2) Creamy Crockpot Chicken Stuffing and Green Beans

This one pot slowcooker meal comes to us from the blog Family Fresh Meals. I love all-in-one meals. (You'll note I have a ton of casseroles in my blog.) I also love stuffing. It's my favorite part of Thanksgiving. This recipe is reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner, but totally fine to eat year round without being at all weird.

3) One Pan Chicken Dinner

Here's another all-in-one chicken-based meal from MyFridgeFood using green beans and potatoes as sides. Five ingredients and only an hour in the oven. Magnificent! 


4) Chicken, Salsa, and Cheese

This is a recipe I grew up eating, and I have posted about it here on my blog. I like to think of chicken as a blank canvas, and there is a lot you can put on it. Like this variation with BBQ sauce rather than salsa in BBQ Chicken with Cheddar and Bacon or Pizza Chicken with pasta sauce in place of salsa and shredded mozzarella as the cheese. But the dish that introduced me to this concept was the salsa and cheddar version, so it's a classic.

5) Chicken Cheese Casserole

Another classic chicken dish in the Coburn household was the Chicken Cheese Casserole, or Chicken Cheese Stuff as it was usually called. In case you weren't aware and couldn't guess, chicken and cheese go beautifully together. And this casserole is versatile because you can include or exclude your vegetable of choice. I really liked it with asparagus, but broccoli or green beans would also work well. 



Aw man, now I'm hungry.