Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

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I do this thing where I scroll through pinterest and find a bunch of recipes that look AMAZING. That seems pretty normal, but I don’t stop there. I often cannot decide between recipes for the week’s menu so I take elements from a bunch of recipes and mash them together. That said, I took the heat and cheese from jalapeno popper recipe, and the sausage crumbles from a breakfast stuffed pepper recipe. Sometimes these recipe risks are epic fails, but other times they turn out so good that they make it to the blog. This is one of those times. These peppers are super savory and spicy, and the creamy cheese adds balance to bigger flavors. This is definitely going to be a frequent item on our dinner menu this summer.

Makes: 24 peppers          Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 large jalapenos
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook up sausage and crumble it with your spatula as it browns.
  3. Slice jalapenos in half and remove ribs and seeds.
  4. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder and garlic powder. Once this mixture is combined well, fold in the cooked sausage.
  5. Scoop some of the sausage mixture into each sliced jalapeno.
  6. Set the filled jalapenos on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and peppers are tender.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

Spinach Tomato and Sausage Skillet over Angel Hair Pasta

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I am not a big fan of super saucy dishes unless it is curry. I feel that when things are over sauced it takes away from the real stars of the dish. The big players in this one are spicy sausage and chunky style sun dried tomatoes. The combination of these two offers a degree of savory-sweet (with a kick). It is my favorite flavor combo making this recipe a new favorite in my Rolodex. If you are into bold flavor and a meal that will feed your family for a few days than give this dish a try! This recipe was adapted from a beautiful recipe blog called Julia’s Album.

Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (I went with spicy but refine to your own taste)
  • 8.5 oz jar of sun dried tomatoes julienne cut in oil (reserve the oil you will use it to cook)
  • a pinch (or more) of red pepper flakes. I tend to like things spicy and opted for upwards to three pinches. Tailor it to your taste
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • One bunch of fresh basil, chopped (I am aware that “one bunch” is incredibly vague so to clarify just buy a packaged bunch of fresh basil from your market’s produce section)
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb angel hair pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet heat the entire contents the sun dried tomato jar over low heat. Once heated up the temperature to medium and add the sausage and red pepper flakes. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Add Roma tomatoes, basil, spinach, garlic, and salt/pepper to taste. Toss this mixture gently to be sure that all veggies get coated with the tomato oil goodness. Continue to cook until the spinach begins to wilt. Then remove the skillet from heat and cover it.
  3. Cook your pasta per the packaging, drain and add it to your sausage and vegetable skillet. Mix it all together and plate.
  4. One extra and totally optional tip is to reserve some of the spinach (or buy extra) and add crisp spinach to the dish as you plate it. This adds color, nutrients and a wonderful crunch to the dish. I highly recommend.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

 

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

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Kale, the superfood we are all told we should eat. Am I the only one who can not stomach getting a raw, firm and chewy piece of kale down? As much as I would love to be that woman who sits at a cafe and somehow manages to daintily eat an entirely kale salad and sip on green juice I know I will never be that kind of lady. No offense to those brave women who can do it, I am envious and wish I had your determination! That said, I want to set an example for my boys and try to get some superfoods into our diet. This soup is very kale heavy but it doesn’t have the raw chewy texture. The sausage really rounds out this soup and the beans are the perfect protein filler. We shared this soup with friends and it was a hit all around. (UPDATE: It is now 2017 and this has become our winter soup. I make a massive pot of it every other week. SO yummy and so good for your soul!)

Serves: 8     Calories: 298 per serving     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, we used sweet Italian
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock, divided
  • 1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed and chopped or torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese/ crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place a large pan over medium heat. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in pot and add sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned. Remove sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Pour the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the pot, and add minced garlic. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour 5 cups chicken broth/stock into pot and stir in kale, bay leaf, and garlic powder. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Place about 1/3 of the drained beans in a blender or food processor along with the remaining 1 cup broth. Blend until smooth.
  5. Once kale is tender, add beans, broth/beans mixture, and browned sausage to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir and simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo/video are originals belonging to me 

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

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Italian Baked Sausage and Pasta

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This recipe had me at pasta and sausage. Who doesn’t love an Italian style bake?! It’s easy and IT’S DELICIOUS! This one seems like it has a lot of steps but it’s actually pretty effortless. I was impressed with how nicely each step came together.

Serves: 6     Calories: 400 per serving    Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 6 oz. bag baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce, we used a sweet basil variation
  • 1 container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk, we used 1%
  • 1 and 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, we used reduced fat
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta. You don’t want it to be cooked completely because you are going to bake it. You still want a little crunch when you strain it. (DON’T STRAIN UNTIL YOU READ STEP # 6)
  3. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and cook sausage over medium heat until cooked through/browned (approximately 15 minutes).
  4. Add in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant. Turn off heat, remove sausages, and scrape what sauce and garlic is left in the pan into a bowl.
  5. Slice the sausage into bite-sized disks.
  6. Place the spinach in the bottom of your strainer. When pasta is done, pour pasta and pasta water over the spinach allowing the spinach to wilt.
  7. Pour pasta, sausage, spinach, and tomatoes into bowl with the garlic.
  8. Add tomato sauce, yogurt, milk, 1 cup of the cheese, and spices. Mix very well.
  9. Pour into casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Cover dish with foil.
  10. Cook for 30 minutes covered. Remove foil, cook for an additional 10 minutes.
*Photo is an original belonging to me
*Recipe adapted from http://www.taylormadebytaylorbee.com/

Zuppa Toscana (copycat recipe)

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Zuppa Toscana recipes are all over pintrest. There are so many that I probably have about 6 different variations pinned in my “recipes to try” board because I cannot decide which one could be better. This winter my Zuppa Toscana recipe problem was solved. My brother-in-law’s wonderful girlfriend, Leah, told me about this amazing soup she and her sister made. I looked at the recipe on her facebook page and thought, “Alright this is it! If Leah thinks this one is the best then it must be the best.” I promptly deleted the other pins so as to not get confused with all the recipes. A few weeks later I made the soup. You guys, I cannot say it enough, this recipe is amazing! What is even more crazy is that we made it without bacon. The plan was to make a big pot of soup and take it over to my father-in-law’s house for dinner. Since he was eating with us I tried to subtract as much sodium as possible which meant the bacon had to go. I would describe this dish as creamy, hearty, spicy, and comforting. There is something to be said about a big ol’ bowl of soup that really does warm the soul.

Serves: 10     Calories: 290 per serving     Time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian sausage, we used the spicy stuff
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, less if you do not like it too hot
  • 3 large russet potatoes, cubed (skin is optional)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of kale, chopped
  • 64 oz of chicken broth, we used less sodium
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 hearty tsp of white pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, brown the sausage and stir in the pepper flakes. Transfer to a dish and set aside
  2. To the same pan add the onions and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, until onions are tender.
  3. Stir in chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft (approximately 20-30 minutes)
  5. Once potatoes are cooked, add the whipping cream, cooked sausage and white pepper. Cook until heated through.
  6. Add kale just before serving.
  7. Dish and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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

Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Gravy (Irish Sausages and Mashed Potatoes)

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Lately I’ve been struggling to find quality recipes and when I was about to give up on new recipes I found a fantastic site called yummly.com. It lets you choose a cuisine, diet, and even specific ingredients. You can really customize the type of dish you want to make and this week I decided to pick from the “Irish” tab. This recipe was one of the first to come up and it ended up being an amazing dinner. I could not get my hands on any English or Irish sausages like the recipe calls for so I had to use regular sausages. Nonetheless it came out amazing and the gravy is to die for! These are also the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. The cabbage and bacon (we used turkey bacon) complimented each other perfectly. This will be my standard St. Patty’s Day dinner for now on.

Serves: 4     Calories: 520 (I know that’s kind of high for what I usually cook)    Time: approx 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 lb bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces (We used turkey bacon to cut back on calories and fat)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter (we used margarine, once again to cut back on the bad stuff)
  • 1/4 small head of cabbage, sliced very thin
  • 4 green onion, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil (we used canola)
  • 1 lb sausage, Irish or English preferred (we used regular sausages since we could not find the Irish or English ones)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic (you know me, if it calls for one clove I use two haha)
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle of Guinness
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter (once again we used margarine)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • milk to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add potatoes and simmer until tender (approximately 20-30 minutes)
  2. Cook bacon in a large pan over medium heat until it starts to curl. (about 3-5 minutes)
  3. Add 1 tbsp butter (or margarine) to the bacon and season with salt and pepper. Cook until it foams, about 1 minute.
  4. Add sliced cabbage to the bacon. Mix to coat and let cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes)
  5. Add the green onions to the cabbage mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. In a separate pan heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  7. Add the sausages and cook until golden brown (approximately 2-4 minutes per side) and then set them aside.
  8. Add onions and sauté until tender (approximately 5-7 minutes)
  9. Add garlic and thyme and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute
  10. Sprinkle in flour and let it cook for a few minutes
  11. Add Guinness, mustard and worcestershire sauce and brown sugar along with the sausages and simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove sausage again and continue to simmer until the gravy reduces by half (approximately 10 minutes)
  13. Drain water and mash the cooked potatoes. Mix in cabbage followed by 1 tbsp butter (margarine),  sour cream and enough milk until you get your desired mashed potato consistency.
  14. Spoon mashed potatoes, or colcannon if you want to be correct :), onto plates and top with sausages.
  15. Drizzle, or as Perry says “pour” gravy over top and enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me

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

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

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Since the sun sets earlier and the wind blows colder it’s time for hearty stews and soups. I had never tackled a Jambalaya before so I found this “beginner friendly” recipe that ended up being amazing. I would do only one thing different next time and that’s huge because I usually tweak a recipe a lot the second time around. I’ll add my suggestion during the directions section of the recipe. Perry loved this one especially because it had so many left overs which meant gourmet lunches for work. This recipe found at http://www.prevention.com

Calories: 317   Serves: 6-10

Ingredients:

– 1 large onion, peeled and diced

– 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

– 2 stalks of celery, diced

– 2 carrots, diced

– 2 medium red sweet red peppers, rinsed and chopped

– 1 15oz can of crushed tomatoes

– 1 cup of long grain brown rice

– 1 12oz pkg of andouille turkey/chicken sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (we used chicken)

– 1 tsp. hot sauce

– 2 tsp. dried thyme

– 1 tsp. salt

– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

– 2 cups of water

– 3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

– 1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined.

Directions:

1.) (In this specific order) Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice and sausage in the crockpot. (My suggestion is to cook the rice separate because it gets a little mushy cooked in the crockpot for so long. Stick to the recipe the first time you make it to see what you think.)

2.) Add hot sauce, thyme, salt, pepper and water.

3.) Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours

4.) One hour before it’s due to be done add parsley and shrimp. Stir until combined adding more water if needed.

5.) Enjoy!

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

**Photo is original taken by me