Last weekend I made shepherd’s pie and it turned out to be one of the best things I may have ever made. It was so good that I kind of want to make it again. And again. And then again.
I have officially made shepherd’s pie twice in my life. The first time was a few years ago and it was quite a failure. Well. It wasn’t BAD. I just remember being very disappointed with it. And I think at some point I had to run to the grocery in the middle of making it because I wasn’t following a recipe and realized at the last minute that I needed something urgently. That sounds like something I would do.
I found a recipe on Pinterest that makes shepherd’s pie in a cast iron skillet which is a little bit quicker and requires only about one less pan. But you know what? One pan is one pan and if I have a say, I will always vote for the method using less dishes. It ended up working perfectly and I can promise you that I will forever make shepherd’s pie in my cast iron skillet. It’s so silly to cook the filling in a pan and then transfer it to a baking dish when you can just cook it all in a pan that can go in the oven. I don’t know… it’s just genius and everyone should just listen to me and do it.
As for the actual shepherd’s pie. Wow. It was delicious. I tweaked the recipe a little to make it easier and I really just didn’t think some of it was super necessary, like adding an egg to the mashed potatoes and I wanted peas in mine… little things like that. I think what really made it so good was the A1 sauce I decided to throw in there at the end. I have a feeling that’s not a normal ingredient to go into shepherd’s pie, considering I haven’t seen it used in any of the recipes I looked up, but believe me when I tell you, adding A1 sauce brings it to the next level. You get an extra kick of salty-sweet-tanginess that you really just can’t get from anything else. We even added more once we dished it all up for dinner!
There’s just no way you can go wrong with this dish. Meat and potatoes. Isn’t that every guy’s dream? It’s a little time consuming to make since you have to the filling and the mashed potatoes to go on top, but I can promise you, it’s worth all the work. It’ll feed you and another person two dinners and a lunch and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wishing for more after every bite!
Skillet Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Laura’s Sweet Spot
Makes 6 servings (it fed Brad and I two dinners and a lunch)
1 pound ground beef
2-3 pounds of russet potatoes, cut into chunks (you can peel them but I prefer the skins on)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2-1 whole cup milk (just depending on how thick you want your mashed potatoes)
Butter (to go into your mashed potatoes. Dare I say I used a whole stick of butter in mine??)
1/2 onion finely shopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium sized carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2-4 tablespoons of A1 sauce (start off with a little and taste as you go)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Ok- put the potatoes into a large pot and put enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Add a hefty pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your potato chunks. Drain. Mash the potatoes either with a masher or with a hand mixer. Add the milk a little at a time along with the butter until you get a desired texture and taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside when finished.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and carrots. Once they start to soften, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, drain any leftover fat. Mix in the tomato paste and then slowly add the beef broth, worcestershire sauce and A1 sauce. Again, add a little of the A1 sauce at a time making sure to not add too much for your liking. Bring to a boil. Add thyme and peas and simmer for about 5 minutes. To thicken the sauce, pull a couple spoonfuls of the sauce and mix with the cornstarch to create a thin paste. Stir into the meat and veggies mixture. Allow to simmer for another 5-7 minutes until sauce is nice and thick (you might have to add more cornstarch). Spoon the mashed potatoes onto the top of the meat and spread around evenly. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. It’s already hot so it doesn’t have to go in there for very long. You can flip the broiler on to just brown the tops of the potatoes, but I wanted to bake it for a little while.
Remove from oven carefully (the sauce seeps up from under the potatoes) and let it sit for a couple minutes. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!!
Welp, today is day 4! We are chuggin along! It’s been going well, fast actually. I’m surprised this week has gone so quickly. We’ve made a couple pretty good meals that I thought I would share with everyone! All of these recipes are coming straight from the Clean Program website. There’s tons of resources on their website, including a meal planner that we have been using! There’s a Pre-Cleanse planner and a full on 3 week Cleanse planner. We expect to use most of that planner for the next 3 weeks. So all of the recipes that we have used so far have been from that meal planner.
If I’m going to be honest… for the most part, these recipes are time consuming to make. We’ve been making breakfast the night before while dinner is cooking. It’s a lot to do all at once, but it works well with our schedules. We’ve actually had quite a bit of leftovers and I’ll be sure to note that in each recipe!
1 cup almond flour or meal
1 cup almond or rice milk
pinch of sea salt
splash of vanilla (optional)
½ cup almond butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
coconut oil (you only need like 1 tablespoon)
cashew or almond butter + fresh or frozen berries
Mix batter until well combined and almond flour is smooth. On high heat, bring a frying pan or griddle
to a very warm temperature, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and let it melt, spreading on the pan to avoid sticking.
Lower heat to medium and with a measuring cup pour pancakes onto the pan/griddle and wait until they begin to
bubble on top and then flip. Serve warm with almond or cashew butter and fresh berries.
Miso Glazed Salmon:
2 wild salmon fillets
3 tablespoons gluten-free miso
2 teaspoons coconut nectar
In a small bowl mix the miso, coconut nectar and enough olive oil to make it into a thick liquid. Cover
the fillets and broil or pan fry until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.
Butternut Squash Fries:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground pepper
flavor variations: cinnamon: add 1 tsp of ground cinnamon along with the salt, oil and pepper and toss.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease. In a
large bowl, add all of the ingredients and toss to combine. Lay squash slices on the baking sheet in an individual
layer. (If the pieces are touching, it will take longer to bake) Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and
beginning to crisp on the edges, turning pieces over halfway through
This one is actually two recipes. We ate the side dish (Cranberry Mango Millet Salad) on Monday for lunch and had so much leftover that we ate it with some Black Bean Burgers on Tuesday. The salad makes enough to eat for 2-3 meals. And it’s pretty good!
Cranberry Mango Millet Salad
1 cup millet
½ cup quinoa
3 cup water
1 mango, cubed
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
¼ cup yellow onions, diced
Lemon poppy seed dressing:
¼ cup lemon juice
1½ tablespoons coconut nectar (or a few dashes of stevia to taste)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
¼ teaspoons herbamare seasoning
Place millet and quinoa in a strainer and rinse in cold water for a couple of seconds. Place rinsed
grains in a medium sized saucepan and combine with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce
heat to simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until water has absorbed. Remove from heat and allow
to sit with the lid on for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool. Meanwhile, combine remaining salad
ingredients in a large bowl. Add lukewarm or chilled grains. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, mix together lemon
poppy seed dressing ingredients before pouring over the salad. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
We were able to make 6 burgers out of this. They were smaller but we ate 4 for lunch and then saved the other 2 for lunch the next day. We also topped them with avocado and extra lime juice. I highly recommend this as they are a little bit dry and the avocado and lime add some good moisture. And it’s super tasty!
cup black beans
cup quinoa cooked
1 teaspoon cumin
lime juice from 1/3 lime
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 yellow onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. Mix with the quinoa and then add the
other ingredients. This will make 2-4 patties depending on how big you like them. Heat the oil in a skillet over
13edium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the patties until they are nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and
fry the other side
Wilted Spinach and Spiced Chicken
This recipe only serves ONE, so you have to plan accordingly. We actually liked this so much we are going to eat it again on Saturday. We doubled the mango when we first ate this, but when we make it on Sunday, I think we are going to just use one mango. In case you were wondering.
1 4-5 ounce chicken breast (we did one chicken breast per person)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 tablespoons sliced red onions
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven 350°F. Place the chicken breast in a baking dish, coat with olive oil, sea salt, paprika,
cumin and coriander. Bake for 12 minutes or until fully cooked (check with a fork). Remove from the oven and let
it cool on a cutting board, once the chicken is slightly cooled, cut into thin pieces. Meanwhile, heat a large saute
pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and gently cook the onions for 2-3 minutes, stirring
continuously. Add the mango and cook until warmed through. Add in the sliced chicken breast, gently toss then
add in the spinach and lemon juice. Cover the pan and allow the spinach to steam. Sprinkle in a touch of sea salt
and serve immediately
Shepherd’s Pie With Lamb
This has fed us for one dinner and sort of 2 lunches. We ate small amounts at like 11 and then at about 2 today. It’s crazy good! I’ve never had lamb before and never really wanted to, but it’s the only red meat we can eat. I’m trying to be adventurous and stick to this plan, so I ate it. And it wasn’t bad! I even ate the mushrooms in it too! My only suggestion would be to use much less garlic for the mashed cauliflower top. It doesn’t really get the chance to cook so it’s very overpowering.
1 medium head of cauliflower
1-2 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¼ cup unsweetened, plain almond, rice or coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
optional, but tasty: chives or other fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop cauliflower into florets. Steam until tender. Put in blender or food
processor with garlic, coconut oil. Puree until smooth. Slowly add milk until proper consistency – smooth, but still
thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
1 pound ground lamb
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces baby bella or cremini mushrooms, sliced (we used baby bellas)
1 large carrot chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon coconut flour or almond flour
¾ cup chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock
2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
dash of balsamic vinegar
Heat oil on medium in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots, garlic,
mushrooms and celery. Saute until they start to soften. Add lamb and saute for 5-10 minutes or until the meat
starts to brown. Stir in the coconut or almond flour. Add broth and herbs and reduce the heat to low and simmer,
stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until liquid reduces and sauce starts to thicken. Stir in tamari and
balsamic vinegar at the end. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put meat and vegetable mixture in a casserole dish.
Spread the mashed cauliflower over the top. Bake for 35 minutes.
This recipe comes for the actual CLEAN book. It was our first time making juice and the first time using our new juicer. It was really good, however, it was pretty tart because there’s a lot of lemon. I would suggest using at the most half a lemon, if that. It says in the book that you can put all the ingredients in a blender and then just strain all the fruit chunks. We opted for the more expensive route… buying a juicer. It’s really cool and quick. It’s a little pain to clean up, but it’s worth it. I am very excited to use it more! This recipe serves1.
2 green apples
1/2″ piece of ginger
1 cup of spinach leaves
1 lemon, peeled
Just put it all through a juicer and drink!
Sooo… again… all these recipes except for the juice came from the website. It’s definitely worth checking out. Even if you don’t want to do the full pre-cleanse/cleanse you can at least make some of these recipes! I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted with our progress!
Well, I figured that since the world is going to end on Friday, I might as well squeeze in some posts so that everyone has some quality options for what to make for their last meal. I kid, I kid… the world isn’t ACTUALLY going to end… I hope not anyway, I have a lot of stuff that I still want to do!
Now that we have established my stance on the Maya calendar apocalypse the world is ending on Friday stuff… Let’s talk CHILI! Yay!!! I have shared with you an excellent vegan chili recipe, but while this one still doesn’t have meat, it isn’t quite vegan. Only because there is beef broth in it (you could sub vegetable broth or water to make it vegan though!). Yea, I got really creative on this one.
Anywho… this is a spicy chili. That will happen when you add 2 jalapenos, a green pepper and a poblano pepper to it. Oh and two packets of chili seasoning. However, it has incredible flavor. Roasting the vegetables brought out this wonderful smoky charred flavor and it really brought out the spiciness of the peppers, but also some of the sweetness. Mmm it was just really good.
I also added a fair share of beans to this chili. Which shouldn’t be that surprising considering I absolutely LOVE beans. You can use as many or as little as you want (but keep in mind, the beans are the main part of this chili, so use at the bare minimum 2 cans). You can use black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, red beans, cannelini beans… the list goes on! I had black, red and pintos in the pantry, so that’s what I used. If you wanted to, you could add a pound of ground beef to this to sub out some of the beans… I actually just thought of that. As always, this is definitely a recipe you can easily adapt to your liking!
Well, you could make this as your last meal for sure! It’d be a good one to end on. Better than what we will have. I forgot the world was ending on Friday when I made my meal plans and grocery list for the week, so we’ll be eating black bean and rice burritos. Obviously, not a bad choice… steak and lobster might have been a better way to out though! Haha!
Ok… I’m done talking about the world ending. I promise.
Spicy Roasted Vegetable and Bean Chili
Adapted straight from my head.
Makes 6-8 servings depending on how big your servings are
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper
1 large poblano pepper
1-1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1- 8oz can of tomato sauce
1- 14oz can of petite diced tomatoes
2-3 cups of beef broth (depending on how thick or soupy you like your chili)
3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (again, I used black, pinto and red beans)
2 packets of chili seasoning (I use the reduced sodium ones)
Ok… Move one of your racks in your oven to the top and turn your broiler on high. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place your peppers (I cut my green pepper in half so it would be easier to broil) on the cookie sheet and place under the broiler until the peppers get really charred, turning them a couple times to get all sides nice and black. Once the are charred and they are soft, pull them out of the oven and place in a plastic ziploc bag and set aside. Put your corn on the cookie sheet and place under the broiler for a few minutes, tossing the corn so it chars evenly. Once that is done, pull it out and just set the pan aside.
While the peppers are in the ziploc bag (hopefully not melting the bag like mine almost did since I bought the store brand of bags rather than the actual quality ziploc brand), put a large pot on the stove on medium heat. Pour the olive oil in there and once that is hot, add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring frequently until they are tender. Add the corn.
At this point, remove the peppers from the bag and rub off the skins. Chop the peppers (removing the stems and seeds) and add to the pot. Toss in the chili seasoning, the tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes and some of the beef broth. Don’t add all of it in case you want your chili on the thicker side. Stir that all together and then add your beans.
Simmer, covered, for a good thirty minutes. Add a pinch of salt, if needed, as well as more beef broth, also if needed. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Top with mounds of cheese, a lot of saltines and maybe even a dollop of sour cream. And ENJOY it!!!
Can I ask you guys something? … Where did 2012 go?? It’s December 2nd and I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that another year has gone by. Time seems to be going a little to fast for my liking and it’s starting to freak me out.
On the bright side, I am excited that it is the holiday season, which, let’s face it, is the best season of all. Nothing makes me happier than the first snow, lots of sweaters, a ton of time with family, and packing on a couple pounds so that I can stay warmer in the cold weather (wait, did I just say that makes me happy?). Either way, the cold weather definitely bring in new cravings for comfort food, especially hot, hearty soups that simmer on the stove for an hour and leave your kitchen smelling heavenly. Oh yes… how I love those meals.
This soup is by far one of the best soups I have made and I am pretty damn proud of it. The original recipe I based this off of was a more brothy soup. It’s not thick and it doesn’t have any barley in it. But with a few of my (fantastic) tweaks, this soup will leave anyone feeling full and satisfied after just a bowl! Which is perfect because it lasts longer and feeds more!
The recipe this is based on is from a store/restaurant/cafe in Geneva, Illinois. It’s called The Little Traveler. It’s the ultimate girl place, filled with everything from kitchen stuff to candy and tea, from kiddie toys to fancy crystal bowls, from a year round Christmas room(s) to some pretty interesting clothes… it has everything. But best of all it has a little restaurant inside that has, by far my favorite vegetable soup. When I thought the other day about making it though, I was worried that it just wouldn’t be enough for us. Sometimes I get really hungry and let’s face it, a bowl of soup just doesn’t do it for me. I remembered I had a package of barley still in the pantry from when I made beef stew about a month ago and decided I’d make some alterations to the original recipe to make it more filling.
It’s a rather simple soup to make, it does take a little time though to cut up all the veggies and simmer. But in my opinion, it’s well worth the wait. It is loaded with vegetables and has a lot of flavor that comes from beef broth. You could try to make this soup vegan by using vegetable broth, but I worry it would be quick as flavorful. You could pair this soup with fresh out of the oven cornbread or crusty bread or biscuits… or it my case, just a lot of saltine crackers. Whichever you choose, they will pair well with the soup.
This is the most perfect meal for a cold night, especially a Sunday night where you can curl up on the couch and watch football, if that’s your thing. If it’s not your thing, then just make it on any night you want, no big deal. I really think you will enjoy this soup, I hope so anyway! I’d love to hear about if you do!
Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup
Adapted from a recipe that’s not online or anywhere to be found other that in my mom’s recipe box… oh wait, yes it is, I wrote about it on my old blog!
Makes a lot… I’d say at least 8 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
14-28oz petite diced tomatoes (I don’t like a lot of tomatoes so I only used half of a 28oz can)
6-8 cups of low sodium beef broth (I used about 7 cups, almost 2 full cartons)
1 really big thinly sliced potato
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
3/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 of a small head of cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
Ok… heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion and saute until they start to get tender. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, potatoes and the basil and parsley and bring to a boil. The stir in the barley. Add salt. Simmer this for a good 30 minutes. Next, add the cabbage and stir. Using a ladle or measuring cup, remove about 1/3 cup of the broth from the pot and stir in the flour. Poor this back into the soup and stir to combine. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Check seasonings and add any if necessary. Serve and enjoy!
You know what sucks? Other than it being Sunday already, or that we started training for Tough Mudder this week, or the fact that we had to rake leaves this morning and our yard is already covered in more…
It sucks that it gets dark SO early now. It’s really not that bad for me exactly because I get out of work around noon everyday so I get to enjoy daylight while others are stuck at work sitting in front of computers in an office… it’s one of the benefits of working 4am-noon everyday. However, it sucks that it gets dark so early because it ruins all my photos I take of our dinners! I start dinner while it’s still plenty light out, but it gets dark so quickly that by the time I’m finished, I have to take photos with our kitchen lights.
Oh the misery. How will I ever survive??
Anywho… last week I was feeling under the weather. I had to go home from work at 5am on Thursday but luckily felt decently well enough to go in on Friday. However, my stomach was still in recovery mode for many days (and I think it still isn’t quite at normal yet). I thought I was ok but everything I ate upset my stomach. Brad claims it was “Beth-didn’t-get-a-flu-shot-itis” (if you saw the way I am about needles, you wouldn’t suggest I get one). I think I just ate something weird or something along those lines. Whatever it was, it sucked. So I decided I was going to make chicken and noodles. But it turns out this recipe is more like a thick chicken noodle soup than anything.
No matter what you want to call it, it’s amazing. And it will make you instantly feel less sick than you did before you ate it. You’ll feel cured (for a few hours anyway). This soup literally makes you feel so much better with the first bite. It’s a perfect comfort food for a day that you are feeling under the weather, but also for any day that the actual weather isn’t so lovely. It makes for a great Sunday night meal that will give you plenty of leftovers come Monday for lunch and even Monday night for dinner (for two people).
It’s moderate on the labor scale. It’s not as easy as warming up a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, but it’s worth the work. You can easily gather up enough energy and you’ll be so happy you did. I loosely adapted this recipe from Pioneer Woman (link is below), but I had to do some major tweaking as I was in no mood for deboning and boiling my own chicken. Instead I used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and quality store bought chicken stock. I also finally bought some of those chicken bouillon cubes to get even more chicken flavor. Sometimes I just don’t think chicken broth or stock and actual chicken gives it enough umph. I was also able to finally find Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles which is something I have searched for at least 3 times at our grocery store but have never found. Which, come to find out, is because they are on the very top shelf in the freezer section and pushed pretty far back on the shelf which makes it nearly impossible for a 5’2″ person like me to find. What are those grocery people thinking!?
In the end I was REALLY happy with the results. I felt that my tweaks worked out really well. The soup had a perfect amount of flavor to it, it was thick but not too thick and in my opinion it had just enough veggies in it. I’m telling you, this is going to be my go-to chicken noodle soup recipe. It’s better than any version of that soup I have ever tried to make. It will forever be at the top of my list of things to eat when I’m feeling crappy. And I am 100% sure it will be up there on your list too!
Chicken and Noodles OR Chicken Noodle Soup
Loosely adapted from Pioneer Woman
Makes about 6-8 servings (for us it was closer to 8)
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
2 whole celery stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Meat of 1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded or cubed
2- 32oz containers of chicken stock
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
Salt and Pepper
1- 16oz package of Reame’s Frozen Homestyle Egg Noodles
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
First, shred or cube your chicken and set aside. Heat the olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery. Saute for a few minutes until the veggies start to get tender. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add 2 of the chicken bouillon cubes (reserve the 3rd for later in case you want it, I like to start with less, you can always add more but you can’t take away!). Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the noodle are tender. Pull out about 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a measuring cup and add the flour to it. Stir until the mixture is smooth (add more stock if needed). Slowly add that to the soup, while stirring. Let that simmer for a couple minutes until the soup starts to thicken. Add more flour if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can add dried parsley, thyme, turmeric or whatever else you want. I just didn’t want anything crazy with my stomach being weird. I didn’t think the soup really needed any of that, but you might!
Have you ever eaten something and didn’t know what to do with yourself because it was so good. So good that you realized half an hour later that you ate a good 4 extra helpings just because it tasted that good. So good that you were sickeningly full but didn’t regret a single bite because… well… it was that good.
This dish is a prime example of that situation. I was so full, but I still ate 2 servings (ok, I lied earlier about eating 4) just because I wanted to keep enjoying it.
I’ve never had chicken n’ biscuits before. Never. I don’t think so anyway. But this is pretty similar to chicken pot pie, only with biscuits on it. And I have definitely had chicken pot pie. But this is chicken pot pie times 100. It’s incredible. It’s chicken and veggies in a deliciously creamy sauce with hints of sage and parsley. And the biscuits. Oh god the biscuits. The biscuits, my friends, have cheese in them. CHEESE. And they are flaky and layer-y and fluffy and gooey on the bottom because they bake in the chicken wonderfulness. This dish is heaven in a bowl. Seriously.
Warning though. This isn’t just magically tasty without any work. You have to devote a good afternoon to working on this dish. I opted to separate everything out, doing one thing at a time, but you could do a good amount of multitasking and get it done in slightly less time. However, I had a whole Saturday afternoon to myself so I was in no rush. But I do think you need to know that it’s just not a “this cooks in 30 mins or less” meal.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it. By all means, make this dish. I mean in. It’s an incredibly delicious meal that will leave you feeling amazing. It’s a perfect meal for a cool, fall day. Oh! It’d also be perfect for Halloween night! Oh, I have to remember that! This is 100% on my must make a million times list!
Chicken n’ Biscuits
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run (instructions are pretty much word for word from her)
Makes 6 servings (from our experience.)
1 quart chicken stock (I used broth and it was just fine)
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3-4 medium sized red potatoes (I used like 5 small ones because I wanted it potato-y)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you could technically cheat and use a rotisserie chicken I think, but I would suggest following the recipe)
6 tablespoons butter (yea, it’s a lot, but you do need all of it)
6 tablespoons flour
3 cloves of garlic, peeled smashed with a knife
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
*Original recipe calls for 2 cups of chopped mushrooms, but I hate mushrooms so I just added an extra carrot and an extra stalk of celery. If you choose to add the mushrooms, only use 3 carrots and 2 stalks of celery.
For the biscuits:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons COLD butter
2 tablespoons COLD shortening
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (this is what the recipe called for. I only had half & half on hand, but it worked just fine!)
In a large pot filled with water and the garlic cloves, poach the chicken breasts until cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into cubes.
In another large pot (I used the one I cooked the chicken breasts in, just emptied the pan and did a quick rinse. Less dishes this way), bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are done. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon and reserve broth. Combine chicken and veggies and set aside.
In a dutch oven, melt the butter. Add the onions and saute for about seven minutes, or until they are soft. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Keep cooking for about five minutes, making sure to scrape the flour from the bottom of the pot so it doesn’t burn. Now, slowly pour in the remaining stock, whisking as you pour. Crank up the heat to high and whisk your heart out for about five minutes as the sauce thickens and boils. Add the thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the chicken and veggies into the dutch over (or a casserole dish) and set aside while you make the biscuits. You could also make the sauce earlier in the day and stick it in the fridge until later….just be sure to make the biscuits right before you serve it!
Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter and shortening and use your fingers to mix until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in the cheese. Break the egg into a measuring cup and add the buttermilk to the egg. Whisk and then pour the mixture into the flour mixture and mix so that you have a relatively smooth ball of dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough four times (FOUR TIMES) and then roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut biscuits to desired size (I made 6 biscuits because I didn’t want a massive biscuit per serving). Place biscuits on top of the filling and brush the tops with egg wash (just one yolk mixed with a little warm water—this gives the biscuits shine) and prick with a fork.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and the chicken mixture is bubbling. Serve hot. And eat till you can’t stand anymore.
Holy balls. I’ve been wanting to write about this dish for a little less than a week now and I am so happy to say that I finally have a minute to sit down and write about it!
I’m actually off of work today because Brad and I went to Cincinnati yesterday to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Cincinnati Reds!! Pittsburgh is one of our favorite teams because players from our minor league team here in Indy go straight to the Pirates! So a lot of the players were saw yesterday, we have seen throughout the past few years. We had a great time in Cinci. We’ve gone before but never into the city like we did yesterday. We left about an hour after I got home from work and drove the two hours (well, I slept part of the way) down there. We made our first stop at Arnold’s which is Cinci’s oldest restaurant, it opened in 1861. We had a couple beers there then made our way to Moerlein Lager House which is literally across the street from the Reds’ stadium. Here we drank some beer and were blown away by some amazing food. Calamari tossed in a red chili aioli and then we split half a bbq chicken with green beans and some of the best smoked cheddar mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. We couldn’t even believe how good the food was. Eventually, after stuffing ourselves with food and beer, we made it to the game. We got an autograph from one of the Pirates’ players, had amazing seats and played with 8 week old basset hounds more than I should have been allowed. It was Bark In The Park last night, which means if you bought the special tickets, you got to bring your dog. Unfortunately, the tickets were sold out by the time we got ours, so we couldn’t bring our pups (and it freaking killed me) but I suppose I got enough dog love from those damn puppies. The game ended up going into extra innings (they played a total of 14 I believe) however, we left after the top of the 10th inning. Having to drive 2 hours home put a damper on the end of our night because, well, sometimes you just don’t want to go! But all in all it was an amazing day that I am suuuuper glad we got to do!
And so now it’s Tuesday! Luckily, I was smart and took today off of work because we didn’t get home until about 1:15 this morning and I’m pretty sure I would be a useless baker if I got less than 2 hours of sleep. Wise decision on my part! So here I am, enjoying some extra free time and writing about this delicious dish… I promise, I will actually write about it!
I happened to find this recipe while browsing through Eat, Live, Run’s website. I happened to see it and thought it looked worth checking out. While it’s something right up our alley and is something we have definitely had before, it’s also something like we have never had before. I have never made a dish, especially a Mexican style dish, using cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I was genuinely concerned that this was not going to turn out. I was thinking in the back of my mind, while cooking, some places we would be able to eat at if it didn’t turn out. I wanted to be prepared with a backup plan.
Luckily, and shockingly, I didn’t need a backup plan! Because this dish is in-cred-i-ble. When you make this, because you will make this, it will completely blow your mind. Along with the sweet potato and cauliflower, there are green peppers, red peppers, poblano peppers, corn and onion that really fool you. You honestly don’t even realize you’re eating such healthy food because it is that good. You also layer the veggies with spinach! I mean, let’s face it, this is a power meal! I think a lot of the greatness comes from the salsa and cheese layered in there as well. A little salsa and cheese can go a looooong way!
Anyway, I supposed this is long enough. Trust me when I tell you, you really need to make this dish. It’s the perfect way to trick yourself, or others, into eat a lot of healthy veggies. I think even if you went heavy on the cheese it’d still be healthy. But don’t add too much or you’ll lose the flavors of everything!
Ok… I’m going to go now. I just accidentally started the MasterChef season finale and so now I have to watch the whole thing without stopping and I just can’t be distracted!!
Layered Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Makes 6-8 servings
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4-1/2 head of cauliflower, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups of your favorite salsa
2 huge handfuls of fresh spinach, rinsed and stems removed
4-6 flour tortillas (or whole wheat) torn into large pieces
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Toss the chopped poblano, green pepper, red pepper, onion, sweet potato and cauliflower with olive oil and cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes until veggies are tender and being to brown. Toss your veggies every 10 minutes. Remove pan and reduce heat 350.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the salsa and cilantro. Spread 1/4 of that mixture on the bottom of the pan. Cover with one layer of the torn tortillas. Top with 1/3 of the roasted vegetables and then a handful of the fresh spinach. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese on top of that. Cover with another layer of tortillas, then spoon over some salsa, then top with roasted veggies and lastly, the cheese. Repeat this one more time until all the ingredients are used up and ending with cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and then bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
You can serve this with sour cream and chopped scallions, but I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s amazing without it!
Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love it because the (supposed) cooler weather, the fact that I get to wear jeans and long sleeves and sweaters instead of shorts and tank tops, the apple orchards, the pumpkin picking, the fact that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not too far and of course… the food.
**Side Note: Last week, Brad and I packed up the pups and headed to the Upper Peninsula/northernest tip of Wisconsin with my family for our annual vacation. This was our 24th year up there and it was amazing. It was jam packed with sleeping in a small bed, waking up just as the sun was coming out to go fishing, eating big breakfasts, going fishing again, eating a bunch of food at lunchtime, then fishing again, being hot, then eating a big dinner and then more fishing after that. And then there were trips to town for a twist cone… or two and burgers and curly fries. There was a walk or two with the dogs in there, a decent amount of beer, some margaritas, and an attempt to check out a for real haunted house, that failed. We took the dogs on the boat with us where we found out that a boat apparently puts Cash straight to sleep while Etta helped us fish. We caught big fish, we caught small fish, but from the looks of the beginning of the week, we were just happy to catch any fish. Brad got to filet some fish for the first time, which was very exciting and we were able to have a fish fry (eh hem, appetizer) on Friday night!
It was an amazing week away from television, computers and phones that was long overdue. It was a refreshing to escape from the daily grind (although let’s face it, life isn’t that hard here) and it was the perfect change of scenery we were in need for. If only it wasn’t 10 hours away… So if you were wondering why I haven’t posted anything in, let’s see, almost 2 weeks, that would explain why. We arrived back on Saturday night and pretty much laid low and did laundry and ran errands on Sunday and then I started back at work on Monday. So I really haven’t gotten the chance to sit down and write a post in awhile.
When we arrived back from vacation, we were welcomed by some rain here in Indy, which felt like a miracle since we’ve barely had any over the past 3 months! It sputtered on Saturday but the real rain came on Sunday and most of Monday where is pretty much rained most of those days. But, as I said, we were totally happy about it because we now have green grass! But a rainy Sunday is no day for grilling or any type of summery food…and so when I woke up that morning, I knew what was in store for us that day… CHILI.
Oh chili… how I love thee.
While the temperature was not exactly in the chili making lows (it was still like 75 out) I just couldn’t keep myself from eating a perfect bowl of chili. And luckily, Brad was in the same mood I was.
Now, I’ve made several types of chili. Ok… maybe not several, I think I’ve made 3 or 4, but who’s counting? I have a go-to easy chili recipe that my mom makes that’s pretty simple. It’s browned meat and onion, packet of chili seasoning and some diced tomatoes. Maybe a can of tomato paste too, I can’t remember. Oh and kidney beans. But it’s a great last minute chili to make that tastes very good. I’ve also made a more time consuming pot of chili that comes from Paula Deen’s son that is more involved but has more veggies in it. It takes awhile to simmer, so it’s more of a chili that you plan on making and set aside a few hours to make.
This pot of chili is a bit of a combination of the two… and it’s vegan (and I didn’t even realize it until Sunday)! It’s got the veggies of the more complex chili, but the seasoning and tomatoes of the easy chili and beans from both, and some extras that I add on my own. It’s relatively simple, just a little time consuming because you have to cut up a decent amount of veggies, but I like it because you can either eat it right away or you can simmer it on the stove for an hour or two while your husband takes a nap on the couch and you watch Masterchef on Hulu in the library. Just sayin.
This chili has a great amount of spice and can easily be great with meat but it’s just as good without. You can add extra veggies like carrots or sweet potatoes or maybe corn, but I was too scared to change it on Sunday so I went with what I knew was good. You can also add or take away spice, make it soupy or thick and you can take away or add beans. All around, it’s a very versatile chili that I think can please most anyone!
Oh and you can make it not vegan by adding cheese on top and crackers! Which, let’s face it, is the way to eat it.
Makes about 6 servings I think
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 packets of chili seasonings (I only had one but definitely had to add more seasonings)
1- 14.5oz can of petite diced tomatoes (I like my tomatoes very small in my chili, you can also use regular diced or whole)
1- 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/2- 1 1/2 cups of water depending on how thick/thin you like your chili
Cheese and crackers for serving, optional
Heat the oil in a large soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the celery, green pepper, jalapenos and onion. Saute until veggies start to get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Pour in all three beans and stir. Sprinkle in the chili seasoning (I’d suggest one packet first and then sprinkle in the other packet once all the ingredients have been added and you have tasted the chili). Stir to combine. Next, pour in the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and add as much water as you would like to get the right thickness. Let this simmer for at least 10 minutes. Check your seasonings and add the rest of the chili seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer for at least another 5 minutes. You can serve the chili at this point, or you can simmer on a low heat for another hour or so. Serve with cheese and crackers if you want!
Oh… this is Cash not wanting to go out in the rain.
Oh god. Stop what you are doing, NOW. You need to read this, then go to the grocery store and then immediately go home and make these freaking things because they are THAT good. Yes, just trust me.
I have made enchiladas many times before and I might even go as far as saying that they could be one of my specialties because every time I make them, they are all I want to eat for.ever. I have always made them with chicken, though and since it had been awhile since I had made them and I decided I wanted to do something different this time. Plus, we needed a meatless meal for the week and, let’s face it, Mexican food is the easiest to make meatless. When in doubt, sub beans for meat!
Anyway, so I basically used the same recipe that I have used before for my chicken enchiladas, only instead of the chicken I used black beans and pinto beans. To be honest, you don’t even notice that there is no chicken. They are still equally filling and filled with equally amazing deliciousness.
These are pretty easy to make, but they do take a little bit of time to chop, saute, assemble and bake, sooo… fair warning. It can all be done in about an hour, but you need to be pretty focused and… let’s face it… a seasoned professional like me. No, it’s really not anything complicated, there are just some things you need to do.
Anyway, so I would make this right away if I were you. It’s cheesy, beany, spicy, corny, Mexicany, vegetabley, and just all around wonderful. It’s even great on a hot day! Which seems crazy to turn the oven on, on a hot day, but this dish is so worth heating up the house a few extra degrees! The best part is that it makes a TON so you’ll have plenty for 2 dinners and at least one lunch, maybe even 2 lunches since they are so filling! I just love these enchiladas. You’ll leave the table feeling so great after eating them!
Now go make them!!
Two Bean and Corn Enchiladas
Makes 10 enchiladas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2-2 cups frozen corn
1 can Rotel Original
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans enchilada sauce of your choice
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
10 whole wheat tortillas
Shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese (we used about 1/2 an 8oz block of each)
Start off with sauteing the peppers in the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the peppers start to soften. Add the red onion and corn and saute for another few minutes. Toss in the garlic and saute for just a minute. Then add the beans and Rotel and stir to combine everything. Add the seasonings and just 1/2 of one can of the enchilada sauce. Don’t use anymore than that because you’ll need it for other stuff! Ok, so mix that all together and cook for a few minutes until everything is hot. I like to add a handful of cheese to the filling just for a little something extra. If you choose to do this as well (which I highly recommend, go ahead and do that at this point. It won’t take long to melt)
Time for assembly!! Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Pour the rest of the 1/2 can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread out. Heat up your tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds until the tortillas are soft and pliable. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling in the middle of the tortilla. I’m not exactly sure on this measurement, as I just use a large cooking spoon, but I think about 1/2 cup is close. Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling and then fold the other side over. Place folded side down in the pan. Repeat with all remaining 9 tortillas. I have found that sometimes I make less than 10 and sometimes I make more than 10. It just depends on how much filling you use! Once all your enchiladas are in the pan, pour the other whole can of enchilada sauce over all of them. Then top with the shredded cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be in there long because you already cooked everything else. You just need it in there long enough for the cheese to get gooey and melty. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a couple minutes, as it’s hard to dish up straight out of the oven. So, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then serve!!
It’s Sunday! And this is the perfect meal for a Sunday night! However, it’s 3:20 and I am just now starting this, so by the time I finish it and post it, it’ll be too late to plan to make tonight. So maybe you can make this next Sunday… or just any other day, it doesn’t have to be Sunday.
Sometimes I get tired of jarred spaghetti sauce. I’ve managed to find a couple that we really like and tend to stick to, but every once and awhile we’ll live on the wild side and get something different. And even less frequently, I’ll make it at home. Spaghetti used to be one of our go-to meals, especially in the winter, but we haven’t been eating it quite as much (probably because it’s the last thing I want to eat when it’s 104 outside) because we have been trying not to eat much meat, especially red meat. But, I couldn’t remember the last time we ate spaghetti, so I decided it was time.
The spaghetti sauce I make is essentially the same sauce I make for both lasagna and mostaccioli, only I don’t add any water. I think it’s a really delicious sauce and luckily, it doesn’t require a whole lot of extra work!
All you need is a jar each of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste, some chopped onion, a little seasoning and of course, meat and pasta!
You start by sauteing the onion and then adding the meat to brown. Mix in the tomato paste (I always think it’s easier to mix it in before adding the sauce and diced tomatoes) and then add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Mix that all together and sprinkle in your seasonings and then you let your sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Like I said, it’s really not that hard!
I love this sauce on spaghetti. I think it’s great by itself like that. As I said before though, this is the sauce I use in my lasagna and mostaccioli. If you do that, you just need to add about 1 can’s worth of water so the pasta has something to soak up. For lasagna, you simply layer sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta and mozzarella. For mostaccioli, it’s even easier! You layer sauce, pasta and mozzarella! I love all three dishes using this sauce. It’s very flavorful and it’s something that I like to make when I’m really in the mood for cooking, but don’t want to get too crazy!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings (4 big servings or 6 small ones)
1- 14.5oz can of tomato sauce
1- 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
Garlic powder and Italian seasonings to taste (I did about 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning… I think. You can also use a couple fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped)
Enough pasta for however many people you are serving. I’m very bad at figuring out how much to make, so you can figure this out on your own!
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside.
In a large, deep skillet, saute the onions in the olive oil. Cook on medium heat until onions start to get transparent. If you are using fresh garlic, add it at this time and saute for only an extra minute. Add the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and mix until pretty well combined. The mixture will be gloppy, but it’s ok because… next you add the tomato sauce! I like to add it slowly so I can get it mixed pretty evenly. Once that is thoroughly mixed together, add the diced tomatoes. Stir a little bit more and sprinkle in your seasonings. Carefully stir everything and let it simmer on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Check your seasonings, add salt and pepper if needed. Simmer for another minute. Serve over pasta and, of course, with garlic bread!