Sloppy Joe Casserole

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If you look at my pinterest search history you will find that 90% of my recipe search terms are “casserole.” I love the convenience of throwing a bunch of tasty things into a baking dish and letting magic happen in the oven. This recipe is especially wonderful as it takes the flavor of a Sloppy Joe and maximizes it with a cornbread base. Talk about savory sweet, this dish is packed with flavor! I chop up a bunch of extra vegetables to add a bit of crunch (and nutrients too I guess) and it is a slam dunk. I adapted this recipe from http://www.bunsinmyoven.com

Serves:  10    Calories: 462.4 per serving     Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8.5 oz) box of cornbread mix
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup of milk, I used 2%
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (14 3/4 oz) can of cream corn
  • 2 (16 oz) cans of sloppy joe sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13 baking dish
  2. Mix together the cornbread mix, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, milk, egg, and cream corn.
  3. Pour this mixture into your baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes.
  4. While cornbread is baking melt the butter in a large pan.
  5. Sauté the onion and peppers for 3 minutes
  6. Add the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink.
  7. Drain the fat from the pan. This is important because you don’t want this mixture to be too liquid-y.
  8. Add all but 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe sauce to the beef mixture and stir it all in.
  9. By now your cornbread should be done baking. Check for readiness with a toothpick (basically stab the cornbread with a toothpick once and if it comes out clean the bread is done).
  10. Puncture the cornbread with a fork to create little holes. Spread 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe sauce over the cornbread.
  11. Pour the beef mixture over the cornbread and spread evenly. Top with the rest of the cheddar cheese and return the baking dish to the oven for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute or two, top with green onions and serve.
  13. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.bunsinmyoven.com

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Baked Jalapeño Popper Rolled Tacos

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I snagged this recipe from the Land o Lakes website. That’s right people I actually found a decent recipe off of a commercial brand’s website. I am willing to try my hand at anything inspired by jalapeño poppers. How could a recipe involving creamy, cheesy, spicy goodness go wrong?

These rolled tacos are amazing. There is really no other way to describe them. Their crispy baked shell add the perfect texture to a creamy filling. I went crazy with the jalapeños because we like spicy food so if you are not a big fan of heat I suggest using half of what this recipe calls for. These tacos are perfect for weeknights when time is tight as it doesn’t take very long to make. We finished with quite a few left overs, but keep in mind that only two of us were eating these. That said, if you have a larger family with older children you may want to double the recipe and stock your freezer with left overs. These are large rolled tacos, not your small 6 inch rolled street tacos. One of these with a side dish is more than enough to fill you up for dinner.

Makes: 10 rolled tacos     Calories: 295 per rolled taco    Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of milk, I used 2%
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
  • 1 (12oz) jar jalapeños, drained and chopped finely
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas

Directions

  1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add cooked chicken, milk, cream cheese and jalapeños. Mix together until the cream cheese is soft and all ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Turn off heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the chicken mixture over one half of each tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each rolled taco on a baking sheet with the seam side down.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and brush a little over each taco.
  6. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from the oven to flip the tacos. Bake for an additional 7 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two before serving.
  8. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.landolakes.com

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Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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I have seen these recipes floating around on pintrest for a while but I’ve been too skeptical to give them a try. Our neighbors, Ryan and Laura, are fellow foodies and we often share samples of what we are cooking. They gave us a sample of their zucchini boats a few weeks ago and it totally fueled this recipe. I was blown away by the flavor and heartiness of their boats. A bit later I bucked up and gave this taco variation a try. This is a safe place to start in the world of zucchini boats because you can add toppings and customize it to your tastes. We floated some Ghost Scream Hot Sauce (a gift from Ryan) that really kicked these babies up a notch. The recipe in general isn’t overwhelmingly “squash-y.” Instead it is a fresh addition to the classic taco flavor. I’m very excited to experiment with these and am looking to try out a sausage or lentil zucchini boat recipe in the near future. Massive thanks to Ryan and Laura for giving me the confidence to try this recipe! I also want to note that this recipe is adapted from http://www.willcookforsmiles.com

Makes: 8 boats     Calories: 350     Time: 5o minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large jalapeno, chopped (if you like it hot include the seeds)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • (optional toppings we used) rotel tomatoes, hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. To keep stability of the zucchini boat on your baking pan cut a little sliver out of the green flesh on the bottom side so that the zucchini will lay flat. With a spoon scoop out the seeded middle part. Set the boats aside.
  3. In a large pan heat oil and saute the onion, tomato and jalapeno for about a minute
  4. Add the ground beef and crumble as you cook. When it is about half way done add the taco seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Stuff each zucchini boat with this beef mixture and place them on a greased baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and top with pepper jack cheese. Continue to bake them until cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from the oven once more and top with your favorite toppings.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.willcookforsmiles.com

Spinach and Mozzarella Meatloaf

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This is not you mother’s ketchup and brown sugar topped meatloaf. This is a flavor packed cheesy meatloaf. I’ve had fails with meatloaf before that left me with a brick of dry beef but this recipe made such a juicy loaf that I doubt I’ll ever use a different one again. It is really hard to describe just how good this meatloaf was! I was able to prepare this ahead of time which was great as I had a busy afternoon planned with the kids. We got home in the late afternoon and all I needed to do was preheat the oven and cook this baby up. It does take an hour and 15 minutes to bake so be sure to allow yourself that time.

Serves: 1 loaf about 8 slices     Calories: approximately 444/ slice     Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups of finely chopped spinach
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together ground beef, spinach, bread crumbs, 1.5 cups of the mozzarella cheese, onion, garlic, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well but do not over-mix as you run the chances of drying it out.
  3. Transfer this mixture to a loaf pan.
  4. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top of the loaf.
  5. Make a tent over the pan with foil. Don’t let the foil touch the cheese on top of the loaf because it will just stick to the foil and peel off.
  6. Bake for 1 hour
  7. Remove loaf from the oven and take off foil.
  8. Place loaf back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.simplifylivelove.com

Mozzarella Filled Meatballs with Pesto

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Not only are these extremely easy to execute but they are also wildly delicious. This recipe has a lot of different flavors that range from bold to simple. They all work really well together. The pesto is very fresh and robust, whereas the gooey mozzarella adds an amazing creaminess. The chicken meatball “shell” ties it all together with crunchy garlic bits and a bread-y base. I wouldn’t recommend serving these with anything too heavy because they are really the star of the show. I served them with steamed vegetables and found them to be the perfect “supporting actors.” By some miracle, we did not eat all of these in one night and were able to get two dinners out of them. They reheat really nicely. This will be a repeat recipe and I can’t wait to get creative with what we serve alongside them.

Serves: 5     Calories: 385.4 per serving   Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or store bought pesto, (My Fresh Pesto Recipe )
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella or 1/4 of a roll of mozzarella cheese, to roll into small balls
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mozzarella is a pretty melt-y cheese so if you are using shredded cheese mold the cheese into about 20 small/medium balls. If you’re using a block of mozzarella, cube about 1/4 of the block and roll into 20 small/medium ball shapes. Put these into the refrigerator while you mix up the meatball ingredients. This shouldn’t be too difficult as the warmth of your hands should make the cheese pliable enough.
  3. Mix together the ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and 2-3 tbsp of the pesto.
  4. Form a small/medium sized meatball and press one mozzarella ball into the center. Roll the filled meatball in your hands to make sure the mozzarella is completely covered by the chicken mixture. If you don’t do this well enough the mozzarella will just ooze out in the oven. Repeat until meatball mixture is all used up.
  5. Bake for 13 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  6. You can either toss the meatballs all together with the pesto or you can spoon a bit over each meatball. I chose to spoon a bit over each because I love pesto that I didn’t want any to go to waste. I ended up with quite a bit left over (scrambled eggs anyone 😉 )
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com

Crispy Oven Fried Green Beans – ★★★★★

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This is a really fun and delicious way to dress up green beans. I absolutely loved the tender crisp result. Let’s be honest, you cannot really go wrong with parmesan crusted anything! The only problem is that these were so good that we had none left over. The recipe is super easy and took very little time to prepare so I’ve got a feeling this will be my standard weeknight side dish. Delicious! Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

“These beans are awesome! I think they would make for a good appetizer with a dipping sauce. They almost didn’t make it to our plates because when Kelsey pulled them out of the oven we automatically started snacking on them while we waited for the chicken she was also making to come out of the oven. The parmesan was really browned in some spots giving off an almost smoky taste. I think the next time Kelsey makes these I’ll suggest she does a couple of pounds worth of greens.

Serves4-6     Calories:130 per serving     Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine oil, garlic, egg, garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Toss green beans into the mixture, coating them well.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and continue to toss gently until coated.
  5. Lay the green beans out evenly on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Broil for an additional 2 minutes or until crispy.
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe adapted from http://www.sugarfreemom.com

Chiles Rellenos Casserole

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It has been over two months since my last post because it’s been over two months since I’ve cooked a meal. The end of 2014 was possibly one of the most hectic and stressful times of my life thus far. November/December/January was chock full of birthdays, holidays, new babies and a cross-country drive with our toddler and our newborn. Needless to say my motivation to cook was nonexistent. However, now we are back in California and I’m back to having the space/time to be creative in my own kitchen. 2015 will, I hope, bring more family recipes to this blog. Cooking with a toddler AND a newborn is really difficult but I’m discovering new ways to make it all come together.

Now that you’re all privy to what’s been going on in my life let’s get down to business, chile relleno casserole! This recipe is perfect for so many reasons. First, it is a casserole so throw it all in your dish, bake it and you’re good. Second, this is chile relleno so the flavor is spicy and amazing. Third, this makes so many servings we will probably have left overs for a few days. Fourth, you can simplify some major steps to save time and frustration. And finally, the original source is a blog I stumbled upon that I trust and who has their stuff together (www.goingreno you freakin’ rock the internet). Seriously, this was a great recipe to come back to the blog with. I will definitely be making it again soon.

Serves: 8-10     Calories: 409.6/serving     Prep: 1 hour 20 minutes    Cook: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano peppers (if you want to save time get 3-4 cans of whole green chilies)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup of milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (save time by purchasing already minced garlic rather than hand mincing)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions: 

  1. If you are roasting fresh peppers follow each step, if you are using canned chilies skip to step 6.
  2. Turn oven to broil setting
  3. Wash the peppers and rub with oil and season with 1 tsp salt. Place on a cookie sheet and broil on each side for 10 minutes. (20 minutes in total.)
  4. Transfer peppers to an airtight container or plastic bag and let sit for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove the skin, seeds and ribs from peppers. I literally used my finger nails to scrape the skin off. if you do this PLEASE wear gloves. The oils from the peppers will burn your skin (I learned this the hard way) and you’ll be in agony soaking your hands in milk while trying to enjoy your casserole. Do not be concerned if the peppers split when trying to clean them. You want them to lay flat in the end anyways in order to layer the casserole. if they don’t split cut them so they lay flat.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Mix together the diced tomatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of milk in a pot and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. This will seem watery but that is okay.
  8. Spray a 9X13 baking pan and pour the tomato mixture into it.
  9. Place half of your poblano peppers, as evenly as you can, on top of the tomato mixture followed by half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of peppers and cheese.
  10. Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, flour, cumin and salt/pepper to taste (except don’t taste it… raw eggs you guys.. eyeball what you think will add good flavor. I did a light sprinkling of each). Pour this mixture over the entire casserole.
  11. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs have set. To check, insert a fork into the center and if it comes out clean you are ready to eat! I check a few different spots though just to be sure – raw eggs gross me out.
  12. Slice into 8-10 squares and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe found at http://www.goingreno.com 

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