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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BLT Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad, I’ve reached chicken salad status… To some this may seem like a stupid thing to consider a milestone, but entertain me for a second. I remember the days my mom was done with every single one of us kids because we were crazy. When it came time for dinner she had very little energy to put into making a big meal. One of her go to recipes was egg salad… Yes, it is as disgusting as it sounds. Hard-boiled eggs smothered with mayonnaise and some salt and pepper. I “yack” just thinking about it. It always made me wonder “how bad are we that she would actually feed this to us?” Nightmares still plague me about how she would sometimes send us off to school with an egg salad sandwich tucked into our lunchboxes. I made my own vow at a young age to never feed my future husband and child(ren) rotten-eggs-on-toast (egg salad). Chicken salad is a big deal for me because it is my go to “quick and easy” and it doesn’t suck. Sorry mom, kinda..

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on http://www.thegarlicdiaries.com. If you get the chance, please check out their beautiful website. They do the 21 day fix so if you are looking for recipes to fit your diet plan for the 21 day fix you will want to head over there right away. What drew me to the recipe is the BLT part of its title. Why have standard chicken salad when you can have BLT chicken salad?!  Not only is the recipe easy and delicious but we have a few days worth of left overs.

Serves: 8    Calories: 156.4     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz pkg of bacon, I used center cut bacon
  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 (5.3 oz) containers of plain greek yogurt
  • I head of romaine lettuce, chopped (yields approx 5.5 cups of lettuce)
  • OPTIONAL: Salt, pepper, dill to taste
  • OPTIONAL: toast, crackers, avocacos

Directions:

  1. Cook chicken and bacon.
  2. Chop up lettuce and tomatoes. Put chopped veggies into a large bowl with greek yogurt.
  3. Shred chicken and crumble the bacon.
  4. Add the meats and optional seasonings to the bowl and mix well.
  5. Scoop onto toast, crackers or like http://www.thegarlicdiaries.com suggested avocados! We grilled our avocados. If you wish to do the same just cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and rub them with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and put the on the grill “cut-side” down. Grill until you get the desired char (only a few minutes at medium heat).
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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

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

Hearty Hot and Sour Soup

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My gosh this soup has so much flavor! With this recipe you’ll expect tons of veggies, tons of spice and such a savory broth. Don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping up every last drop of this stuff. I had started getting tired of the traditional vegetable soups. You know the usual culprits – barley vegetable, summer vegetable, root veggie puree. We desperately needed something different so I turned to my recipe companion, Pintrest. I fall so hard into the Pintrest web but have climbed my way out with some killer recipes, this being one of them. The original recipe does include tofu and mushrooms, but there are just some things I cannot stomach and those are two of them. So if you want to make this soup even more hearty then you will want to visit the original recipe posted at http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com.

Serves: 8     Calories: 200/serving     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (Add an extra one if you really like it hot)
  • 1lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6-8 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, ginger, and jalapenos Cook for a few minutes, stirring.
  2. Add in the carrots, and cabbage. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, cold water, and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the zucchini, and bell peppers to the pot. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the soy sauce mixture and stir until the soup thickens, about 8 minutes. Add in the bok choy and tomatoes and bring the soup back to a simmer. Stir in the sesame oil.
  5. Dish and Enjoy!

*Photo and video are originals belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com

Salisbury Meatballs – ★★★★★

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I have not been motivated to try new recipes these past few weeks, but when I clicked through my “recipes to try” board on pintrest.com I quickly re-ignited that flame. This recipe originally comes from Ree at http://www.thepioneerlady.com , and it is absolutely delicious and very easy to pull together. I would recommend making this on a weeknight because the left overs are just as tasty if not more. I did cut the ingredients in half because there were only 2 of us enjoying this meal, so if you’re cooking for a crowd jet over to thepioneerlady.com and see the ingredients Ree has listed to serve 12. Perry gave this recipe 5 stars and this is why:

“My first impression of this recipe was how savory the meatballs were. The flavor was so true to salisbury steak that I was blown away. I also found myself sneaking into the kitchen for extra spoonfuls of the gravy which was really rich and delicious covering the noodles. I’m giving this one five stars and hoping Kelsey puts this on the regular rotation.”

Serves: 5   Calories: 535.4 per serving with egg noodles   Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • 1 crumbled beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1-1/4 cups Beef Broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with a bit of beef broth to make a paste
  • 1 package of egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Combine the first eight ingredients in a large mixing bowl to make the meatballs. Roll into medium sized balls and place on a plate.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the 2 tbsp of butter. When completely melted add meatballs to pan and gently roll them around to brown, and set on a clean plate. Do this in batches if you need to. I needed to do two batches as my pan wouldn’t accommodate all the meatballs at once.
  3. Once all meatballs are browned, add the sliced onions to the same skillet and cook until browned (approximately 4 minutes).
  4. Now would be a great time to start boiling water for your egg noodles.
  5. While onions are browning, combine the cornstarch and a bit of the beef broth. Stir well as to break up all the chunks of cornstarch. Set aside
  6. Once onions are done add the beef broth (without cornstarch), additional worcestershire  sauce, ketchup and mustard. Stir this all together to scrape any bits off the bottom of the skillet and bring to a boil. Once boiling stir in the cornstarch mixture and add the meatballs. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Serve meatballs over egg noodles sprinkled with fresh parsley and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.thepioneerwoman.com 

Hearty Minestrone Soup – ★★★★★

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We’ve been eating on the heavier side lately so I consulted pinterest for “healthy affordable family dinners.” I found this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for.There are seven different kinds of vegetables in this soup plus beans and a bit of pasta. You do not need a side salad or sandwich with this soup because you will be guiltlessly full after one bowl. The aroma of oregano had my stomach growling the whole time I was cooking and the flavor was everything its scent promised. I’m dubbing this my “sick soup” because I know that if I’m ever feeling under the weather this is the kind of soup I would want to warm me on the inside. Perry gave five stars and here is why:

“This soup is extremely hearty and has an awesome variety of vegetables. Kelsey always says that she wants to eat more veggies but I’m such an adamant meat eater. THIS is THE way to get your family eating veggies. The flavor is robust so don’t be ashamed when you are slurping it down to the last drop. I could honestly eat it every day.”

Servings: 10-12 (1 cup)       Calories: 240       Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (if using dried you can use about 1 tsp)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 yellow squash, diced
  • 2 large zucchini, diced
  • 3 medium/large carrots, diced
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 3 (14-oz) cans less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  3. Stir in squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat
  4. Place 3 chopped roma tomatoes and 1 can of chicken broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat.
  5. Stir in remaining chopped tomatoes and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in spinach, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.
  9. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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