If there is one thing my children love and would eat daily it is macaroni and cheese. It has been a challenge to match that creamy macaroni and cheese we loved without paying an arm and a leg for a really good gluten-free version.
That is why I am SO EXCITED to share that we finally mastered an incredible one pot gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe after MUCH trial and error in my kitchen. If you are looking for easy, affordable, minimal dishes, and a recipe that yields a lot than I have an incredible recipe for you!
As you can see, the pasta holds up to this recipe well, BUT this has been a lot of trial and error in my kitchen with many different pasta brands and types. It is VERY important that if you are attempting to make this dish that you choose the right pasta for the job.
No, this is not a sponsored post.
This is just a poor mom who has had many failed one-pot attempts before I was able to achieve the consistency that I was after.
THIS is the pasta- do not substitute. I have tried the elbows with the best results and the second best results are their rotini noodles.
You will find a video tutorial below to walk you through each of these steps (let me know what you think- feedback is always appreciated!) and the first step is to rinse the starches from your pasta before you cook it. It sounds strange, but you are doing exactly what you would do if you made rice to rinse those starches away and to create a fluffier consistency. After that, you add your milk and spices, then start stirring and YOU NEVER STOP.
You know how Dory has to keep swimming? Yeah, you have to KEEP STIRRING while you make this because the pasta will release those starches and it will create the thickening agent needed to make that milk thick and creamy. I used skim milk and still had a plenty thick enough sauce for our macaroni and cheese.
The finishing touch is, of course, the cheese! If you feel inclined, freshly shredded is lovely. Let’s just say, I’m not inclined on a busy weeknight so packaged stuff it is.
I hope you love this recipe as much as my family and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Since I have made this, we have it in our weekly rotation for a satisfying bowl of comfort food.
Check Out My One-Pot Gluten-Free Video Tutorial Below!
This easy one-pot gluten-free macaroni needs to go on your weekly rotation for an easy comfort food dish that has all the flavor without the gluten. You won't believe how easy this is to do!
One Pot Gluten-Free Macaroni & Cheese
3 cups gluten-free elbow macaroni (see my tips above for best brands and types)
3 cups milk
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried mustard
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1½ cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
Pour uncooked dried pasta into colander and rinse the pasta well to remove some of the starches. Place the drained pasta in a pot with milk and seasonings. Turn heat on medium-high and stir, just as you would a risotto, until the pasta mixture comes to a simmer. Once it is simmering, turn the heat to low and continue stirring and cooking for another 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. You may need to add a small amount of additional milk during this process if it absorbs too quickly. Finish by folding in your freshly shredded cheese until it is fully incorporated. You can also add additional milk, if needed, to thin out the sauce. Serve immediately.
This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!
One of my favorite dishes is a delicious green bean sauté spooned over a big platter of rice that I had discovered at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The crunchy green beans adds a fresh flavor and texture to contrast with the heartiness of the meat in this dish. You would think it would be bland, but the layers of salt and spice make it a flavorful dish that I crave often.
I can also admit that this highly addictive dish is usually ate in record time and I am always left wanting more.
Did anyone witness me slamming this dish in three seconds flat?
I hope not.
It has been on my cooking bucket list to create this dish at home to save some money and to indulge in it a little more regularly with wild abandon. What could be healthier than a big dose of veggies and protein to start your new year of cooking out right?
My partnership with Honeysuckle White seemed the perfect excuse to add this meal to our planner to share with you.
It has been a unique experience to now feel a deeper connection with our food this year, thanks to this fun partnership. I was invited out to Virginia to tour the River Hill Farms, one of the 700 independent family farmers that works with Honeysuckle White. Not only did we discover they are well-trained in animal handling practices, but they also happen to exceed the standards and they wanted to share that experience with us.
Glenn & Sheri Rhodes were so gracious to open up their farm to us and the pride they feel for the land and their animals was felt by all of us as we visited their gorgeous property.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I received the invitation and was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the beauty all around us. The farm was beautifully kept, the spaces were generous for the animals, and it is so good to know that the farm is committed to raising their turkeys without any growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.
As if that wasn’t lovely enough, Glenn made us all some good old-fashioned kettle corn that we shared over snacks and discussed his life’s work and the pride he has felt for his farm.
My great-grandfather was one of the hardest working farmers that I had ever known and I felt that same sense of warmth, family, and commitment to good work in both Glenn & Sheri. It felt a little like the summers that were spent on my grandparent’s porch after their long day of hard work and good food.
As the new year begins, I know many are making resolutions like eating at home more and eating better food for your health. If you are trying to reach a weight-loss goal this year, it’s good to know that turkey has more protein, fewer calories, and less total fat and cholesterol than chicken. When mixed with this delicious combination of sauces and spices, you will also find that it increases the flavor and you may even forget that you are eating such a lean and smart protein.
This dish has A LOT of kick, thanks to the chili garlic sauce, but you can crank it down with less or add more for some FIRE in your tummy!
I was looking forward to binging on these leftovers with a Netflix marathon, but once my kids dug into this, they seemed to be overcome by the same shovel-it-all-up-in-your-face-in-three-seconds struggle that I have.
No green bean was left behind which is an awesome rarity in our house.
How can I complain about that?
You must give this recipe a try and save your family loads of money on this delicious and healthy takeout dish made at home! I have already added it to our menu planner again for this week and hope you enjoy this one half as much as we did! A huge thank you to Honeysuckle White for sharing a little behind-the-scenes on how their products are made and their commitment to delivering the best quality at the lowest price.
Green beans and ground turkey are loaded up with delicious Asian flavors and served over rice for a healthy and delicious way to start your new year!
2 cups medium-grain rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey
½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce (this is spicy for us, increase or decrease to your own personal taste)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 pound washed and trimmed green beans
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Prepare rice as directed on packaging.
Place a separate skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté garlic for one minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add ground turkey to the skillet and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked, breaking the meat up with your spoon.
In a small bowl mix together chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and soy sauce and stir to coat. Pour this sauce over the ground beef and add back in the green beans, stirring to coat everything fully.
Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.
This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!
I have heard from so many of you that you are so excited about your new Instant Pot purchases for the holidays, but are also feeling a little perplexed about what to do with that gadget you just scored. I remember feeling the same way when I got mine and now that I’ve been enjoying it for the last few months, I can honestly say that it has saved us a bundle on dining out thanks to its speedy cooking.
In fact, it has helped me feel more confident taking on dishes that I normally would never try, whether it is because of time constraints or complete intimidation, allowing for a lot more variety in our rather tired menu plan that had I had been executing month after month.
Of all the dishes that we have made in our pressure cooker, I must say that the biggest hit has been these easy 3-ingredient ribs that you can make in your Instant Pot. Ribs are something I have often thought of adding to our menu plan, but I just didn’t think they could ever taste as good as what we would get out in restaurants especially on a busy weeknight. I must say though, these ribs are BETTER than many restaurants we have been to and are fall-off-the-bone tender every single time.
I have done a rack of Baby Back Ribs in my 6-quart Instant Pot and I have even been able to fit up to two racks in this size cooker without any trouble, although it is a much tighter squeeze than a single rack. Cut your ribs into thirds so you can fit them in comfortably. Add a cup of beef broth in your cooker and put your steaming rack inside (that little rack that came with your cooker!). Season your ribs generously with salt and pepper and place these on top of the steaming rack.
Lock that baby up, press the meat button on the front, and adjust the timer to 30 minutes.
While the ribs are cooking, line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, pour in your favorite barbecue sauce for brushing. This one is always a Clark favorite from the supermarket, but I’d love to hear if you think there are any others we should try!
After the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release on that valve on the top.
Don’t know what a quick release is?
This just means that you are going to move your valve from Sealed to Venting and allow all that steam to come out quickly instead of letting it release pressure on its own. It is going to REALLY steam so make sure you are prepared for that and keep it away from your cabinets, face, and hands. Also don’t scream because you will want to the first time. It’s terrifying.
Almost all the recipes I do usually say to do this Quick Release method, rather than a Natural Pressure Release, where you sit around just waiting and letting that pressure to come down on its own which can take on up to 30 minutes.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. We already had to wait for the pressure to build, people, we can’t sit around waiting for the pressure in this gadget to subside. We are BUSY!
After the pressure has released, remove the lid and carefully take out those ribs with a pair of tongs and place them on your lined cookie sheet. Starting with the back of the rib, brush them each generously with sauce.
Turn on your broiler on your oven and slide the ribs in for 3-4 minutes, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
Flip them over, and repeat with the other side of the ribs.
Finish by cutting them into sections and serving with additional barbecue sauce.
HELLO, HEAVEN! These are SUCH A HIT at our house and I’m guessing they will be a hit at yours too. Keep in mind, if you are new to the Instant Pot cult (totally a thing!), that it takes awhile for these to come to pressure so give yourself a 20-25 minute allowance before that stated 30-minute cooking time I’m sharing.
We have loved these so much that they have become the new birthday request and we even took a couple of racks of these and my Instant Pot on vacation so we could enjoy this yummy treat while we were renting our beach house on break. I now make it a regular habit to keep my eyes peeled in our grocery flier for any sales on racks of ribs to keep stocked in our freezer.
I hope to share many more recipes in the upcoming weeks with you! If you are on the hunt for great cookbooks to make the most of your Instant Pot this one, this one, and this one are all excellent books for a newbie Instant Pot cult member (totally a thing- I’m serious!).
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these 3-ingredient Instant Pot Ribs!
These ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and can be prepared with your favorite barbecue sauce. These are just one (of many) reasons to get an Instant Pot.
1 or 2 racks of pork baby back ribs
1 cup beef broth
Cut the racks of ribs into thirds and season generously with salt and pepper. (Note- if you prefer to add a rub on your ribs, this is where you would do that!)
Pour beef broth in the bottom of the pot, place the steaming rack inside, and put the seasoned ribs on top.
Lock the lid, select the Meat function, and set timer for 30 minutes.
Quick release your valve after the timer beeps and remove the ribs from the cooker. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet (prepared with cooking spray) and brush on your barbecue sauce on the back side of the ribs.
Broil the ribs for 3-4 minutes (watching carefully to prevent charring), flip the ribs over and brush the other side with barbecue sauce. Broil that side again for 3-4 minutes. Place on platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.
Don’t forget to check out my first recipe Instant Pot Korean Street Tacos for another fun weeknight meal! What is your favorite thing to create in your Instant Pot?
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
“I could eat breakfast for every meal,” is a common phrase spoken in our house. For us, breakfast is a feast that should be enjoyed anytime of the day and a sweet luxury when indulged in at our favorite restaurants. Simple ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and bacon all feel elevated though when combined into an elegant skillet dish and these are dishes I choose most often when we go out for a family brunch.
Why do I feel I have to go out to eat to enjoy a skillet dish?
Well, I don’t feel that way anymore!
There is no need to spend a fortune dining out when you can enjoy this breakfast treat at home! Today’s recipe is created in partnership with with Honeysuckle White as we put their delicious Smoked Turkey Bacon to work in this beautiful Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish. Thanks to their commitment to keep their products affordable for their consumers, all while retaining the highest quality meats, this entire skillet dish will cost you less than one meal out.
One of the reasons I really love these skillet dishes is that this can be a great way to put leftover ingredients to work in your kitchen. Thanksgiving season, as we have discovered, is when our fridge is loaded with odds and ends that need to be used. Last night’s roasted potatoes, for example, can be used as the base in your skillet. Odds and ends from your produce drawer, like mushrooms or spinach, can be woven into your potato base. Goat, parmesan, cheddar, or blue cheese can also be added for a creamy element.
One thing that I bet you not to sacrifice though is the salty addition of the bacon for a perfect finishing touch on your dish.
Turkey bacon is a great way to get that salty addition, but with 50% less fat in your dish, giving you all the flavor without all the guilt.
If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that this bacon is a gluten-free product. It also contains no added hormones or steroids and no growth-promoting hormones. They even let you virtually meet the farmers on their products so you can get to know exactly where your meat is coming from.
One of my favorite food combos is spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and I thought the addition of these would compliment this dish perfectly. To save time, look for bags of already julienned sun-dried tomatoes to save you some chopping time in the kitchen.
To save even more time on this dish, I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot is an incredible gift for making quick work of cooking potatoes for the week. Simply add a cup of water to the bottom of the pot, pierce your potatoes (I put in as many as I can fit!), lock the lid, and cook on manual pressure for 10 minutes. I then quick release the pressure and dice up the potatoes for our dishes or make delicious baked potatoes out of them by finishing them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees, slathered in olive oil and rolled in kosher salt!
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still make quicker work by starting those potatoes in the microwave, a technique that we have used often in our house. Once again, just prick the potatoes and then microwave on high for five minutes. Give them a few minutes to cool, and then you can start chopping them into cubes for your skillet.
I hope this dish inspires you to create your own skillet dish in the kitchen and, perhaps, put a few of those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to work in a skillet of your own.
Serve this healthy skillet dish packed with veggies and protein for your next brunch with any combination of odds and ends in your refrigerator. This recipe is a gluten-free crowd pleaser!
2 russet potatoes, scrubbed (skin left on)
3 slices Honeysuckle White Smoked Turkey Bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups baby spinach
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper
Prick potato in several spots in a fork; microwave on High for 4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then chop into ½-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium-high heat in a skillet until crisp (following directions on packaging for timing). Remove the bacon from the skillet, but leave the bacon drippings in the pan. Add oil, diced potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes. Add spinach; stir to combine and just wilt, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
Make 4 wells in the center of the hash and crack one egg into each well. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggs are partially set, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs whites are completely set, 1 to 2 minutes. Chop the bacon and sprinkle on top. Garnish with a generous grinding of pepper.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
For many years I have been dreaming about creating a Thanksgiving turkey that could be prepared in the slow cooker. I have a small kitchen and my oven doesn’t offer a lot of room for multiple dishes so my frustrations often mount when it is time to figure out timing of the bird and all the sides. If you are struggling too, I have come up with a slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey that looks beautiful AND saves you some space in the oven.
I’m partnering this year with Honeysuckle White and, believe me, it isn’t a stretch at all. Our bird every year has been from their company because it always cooks up beautifully. I was so excited to give my dream of slow cooking a bird a spin and wanted to share with you how I did that.
As you can see from these early morning shots, I got this started first thing in the morning so that it would be ready for our dinner hour. You are going to want to aim for an eight to nine pound bird to make sure that it can fit into your slow cooker. The slow cooker that I have is called the Ninja Cooker. Since we are finishing the bird in the oven to give it a golden skin, I love that I can just pop this insert right into the oven without transferring the bird.
One year I did a beautiful turkey using Ina Garten’s herb roasted turkey breast recipe and our family absolutely loved it. I wanted to recreate that delicious flavoring, packed with fresh herbs while swimming in wine, and make it using the slow cooker method.
I am not flashy with my turkey and usually have it already sliced before our guests arrive, but I know that many love to have a beautiful golden bird to carve right by the table. Maybe I saw National Lampoon’s turkey scene too many times and that may be why I am so scared.
Rest assured, a slow cooker bird can still be beautifully displayed and you can even achieve a golden skin. As I’ve gotten more familiar with pressure cooking, it has opened my eyes that it is possible to start something in your gadgets and finish it somewhere else. The slow cooker turkey can be started in the slow cooker and finished under your broiler, but WATCH CAREFULLY. I found that it needed to be moved around quite a bit as it broiled to achieve an even color and to avoid burning the skin.
Although I have always loved the flavor of the Honeysuckle White Bird, I am ashamed to say that I did not know very much about their company until I had the opportunity to work with them. I know that knowing where our food comes from is such an important thing and that’s why it’s good to know some of their business practices better. Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised on 700 independent family farms by farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards. They even have a spot on their site where you can virtually meet the farmers- how cool is that?
They also realize that good quality food shouldn’t cost a fortune and believe everyone should be able to access it. They try to offer their products at a price point that would be comparable to other products, but with higher quality standards.
I hope this post inspires you to give slow cooking your Thanksgiving turkey a try this year and to look for a Honeysuckle White turkey (available in most states) or for the Shady Brook Farms turkeys, Honeysuckle White’s sister brand, available over on the East coast.
1 Honeysuckle White whole bone-in turkey, 8-9 pounds
2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 cloves)
4 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of your slow cooker.
Place the turkey carefully over the wine and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours. The turkey has a pop-up timer on it that you can watch for gauging when the turkey is done. Turkey is done when breast meat is 165˚ F and dark meat is 175˚ F.
Once the turkey is done, remove and put in an oven-safe dish (unless your slow cooker insert is oven-safe). Broil under your broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching the turkey carefully to make sure not to burn the skin.
When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.
This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!Pin It
I have heard the praises sung from so many about their Instant Pots that I finally decided to take the plunge and get one for our family. We have had the best time cranking out meals, breakfasts, and snacks with it and I am so excited to share those recipes with you on the site. The first recipe we made were Korean Tacos for a fun Friday night feast together. The best part is that this meat is fall apart tender in 45 minutes and so easy to shred, it is just a matter of pulling it apart a bit with two forks.
If you haven’t joined the cult of Instant Pot, I would like to share why the church of the Instant Pot is the best. In this one gadget you are able to saute your dishes, slow cook your dishes, pressure cook your dishes, and even use it as a rice cooker. It has, basically, eliminated the need for multiple kitchen gadgets in my house. I bought the 6-quart that is minus the yogurt making setting and I am really happy with it. You can certainly splurge a little more for all the bells and whistles and tell me all about it!
Pressure cooking the first time was SCARY! I read my booklet three times and about lost my crap when I had to release the steam out of the top of the venting thingamabob. When I say I lost my crap, I basically started screaming and ran in the other corner of the kitchen.
Then I realized that this really was not a big deal.
I will not die from it.
There is a learning curve with this one. One day I was venting it when it was supposed to be shut, another day I had it closed when it should be venting, and the biggest issue I have had is figuring out timing.
If a dish says it is ready in JUST seven minutes, please know that they are not counting the preheating time which can be agonizingly long when you wait until the last minute for that “JUST seven minute” meal.
Several nights my kids were clutching their bellies and moaning around the house.
“How many more minutes? I’m so hungry.”
“LOOK, I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN. IT SAID SEVEN MINUTES AND EVERYONE IS A LIAR. IT’S ONLY 9 AT NIGHT. YOU ARE ALL BEING VERY DRAMATIC.” (runs under table to shield oneself from the evils of the steam monster).
Once I started to understand when to vent/when not to and gave myself an extra half hour start time before meals, I fell in love with this. I have used it every single day since we got it from slow cooked oatmeal to quick risottos to these delicious Korean tacos today. It is my new best friend!
Pressure cooking is amazing for its ability to make quicker work of things that normally take a long time or that can be very labor intensive. Steel cut oatmeal in four minutes, risotto in seven (with no pot hovering), shredded beef in forty-five minutes. It’s a dream come true!
I am sure I will have more to say about this gadget as I progress my way through new recipes! For now, let’s make some tacos!
These Korean tacos take about 45 minutes to make (after the preheat time- ahem!) and is made with items you most likely already have in your kitchen. A squeeze of fresh orange juice, soy sauce, beef broth, and a diced apple make an incredibly flavorful beef. I love that this is created from a bottom roast so it makes this an affordable dish to create and a wonderful one to entertain with.
To balance the saltiness of these, I topped these with a sweet Asian slaw made from cabbage, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and honey (to taste). It adds that irresistible crunch and balances the flavor in these.
Don’t have a pressure cooker? No worries! Just put this meat in a slow cooker for eight hours on LOW instead.
Don’t forget that this can also be transformed into taco bowls for your week too! Prepare the rice in the Instant Pot (some recommend getting an extra insert to make quick work in the kitchen!) and enjoy this delicious meal all week long.
These were a huge hit with my whole family and we made quick work eating through this batch on busy weeknights! I can’t recommend this one enough!
Put your Instant Pot to work to create this flavorful Korean Street Taco for your week. This is a great one for busy weeknights & can be made into delicious rice bowls for your lunches!
4 pounds bottom roast, cut into 2" cubes
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup beef broth
½ cup soy sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
juice or one large orange or 2 small
Corn tortillas (warmed)
1 cup red cabbage (shredded)
2 cups cabbage mix (shredded)
¼ cup cilantro (chopped)- cilantro haters OMIT.
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sriracha, optional for added heat
Season your bottom roast meat cubes generously with salt and pepper.
Turn on your Instant Pot and select the Saute setting. Once the pan is hot coat the pan with the olive oil and in batches brown the meat on all the sides. Transfer meat to a plate while you’re working.
Once all the meat is browned, using a whisk, deglaze the bottom of the pot with the beef broth, scraping up all the browned bits.
Pour in the soy sauce and stir to combine.
Return all the meat back to the pan and then place the garlic, ginger and appl on top of the meat, stirring lightly to slightly combine.
Finish by adding a squeeze of orange juice.
Place the lid on your Instant Pot and using the manual button on normal pressure set to 45 minutes. IMPORTANT: Make sure the valve is CLOSED.
While the meat is cooking, begin preparing your slaw. Add the red cabbage and regular cabbage mix to a medium sized bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk the rice wine vinegar, sriracha (optional), soy sauce, honey and sesame oil together.
Pour the dressing the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
Once the pot is done, release the steam and shred meat using a fork. On a warmed tortilla, scoop meat and then slaw to finish.
Nothing says summer like dinner prepared outdoors on the grill. I relish those al fresco dinners even more because of how easy it is to clean up afterwards! What mom wouldn’t enjoy fewer dishes to wash and making dinner in the fresh sunshine?
Grilling success was harder to come by for our family. The first year we began grilling outdoors was a year of trial and error. Over the years, we discovered that our key to success relies on a good meat thermometer, an arsenal of good marinades, a little bit of patience, and these tips and tricks that make grilling even easier.
I’m also sharing with your our family’s favorite grilled corn recipe – it’s so simple, yet SO good! (Amazon affiliate links are included where appropriate for your convenience.)
Tips for Grilling Success
1. If you don’t want your food to taste like last year’s burger, start with a clean grill. My biggest grill-cleaning hack is this: I take the simplest approach possible when cleaning my grill racks by using the self-cleaning function on my oven. Simply bring the grill racks indoors and place them in the oven, run the oven through the self-cleaning mode and you’ll end up with a clean oven and beautifully clean grill racks!
2. Maintain those shiny grates by oiling them before you grill. When you’re done grilling, use a wire grill brush to clean off the grates while the grill is still warm.
3. Plan your menus in advance. Prepare meat in bulk and store in freezer bags (I double-bag mine to prevent messes) or freezer-safe containers. I love to prep a few different marinades at a time. Most marinades have similar base ingredients (olive oil, vinegars, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce) and it’s so much easier to do it all at once. Chop meat for kabobs and jot down any cooking times or special instructions on the outside of the bags. Then just stick the containers, marinade and all, in the freezer!
4. Consider investing in a digital meat thermometer. This will ensure that your meat is always fully cooked and at its optimal flavor. Look for a thermometer with a probe that beeps when the internal food temperature is reached. The best part is that some now come with a separate receiver that you can take indoors with you, letting you prep the rest of the food without worrying about burning the meat.
5. To get the best flavors from your meats, always:
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (to prevent the meat from sticking).
Season both sides of meat generously with salt and pepper.
Apply sauces at the end of the cooking time to prevent charred meat.
Let meat rest ten minutes after removing from grill, to allow the juices to redistribute.
6. Grilled vegetables are the perfect side dish. Large veggies like eggplant, squash or onions can be cut into chunks and placed on the grill rack. Smaller vegetables like cherry tomatoes or sliced veggies work best in kabobs.
My favorite tricks are to throw veggies into a cast iron skillet right on the grill, to save on time threading kabobs, and grilling in a heavy duty foil. So easy and just enjoy the delicious taste of grilled flavor throughout!
Herb-Buttered Grilled Corn Recipe
Our favorite summertime food has always been grilled corn on the cob. Our new favorite is this herb-buttered version that you must try. This recipe is a great way to use up any herbs from your herb garden. The finished product is delicious, buttery and so fresh tasting!
I am the queen of adapting takeout food at home. From lo mein noodles to restaurant-worthy steaks to fish tacos, there is little that I haven’t been willing to try to save money. When I visited my friends in Colorado we enjoyed a delicious night of Indian takeout and I fell in love with Butter Chicken. Have you had it? It’s so rich and delicious, just as you would expect from its name. I knew when I got home that I wanted to attempt making the dish and I set out to find a recipe that would adapt to my small town supermarket.
One of the ingredients in this recipe is a spice combo called garam masala, that you will find is used in many Indian dishes. After standing in our spice aisle for a good half hour, I discovered our store did not have it (or apparently was out of it on the day I decided to be adventurous!). Since I had already visited three stores that day, I found this recipe for making your own garam masala spice combo out of spices you likely have lurking in your pantry. It was easy to know what I already had thanks to my newly organized spice cabinet and this saved me some money especially since I wasn’t sure if my family would love this dish as much as me. If your store doesn’t have this spice too, this diy recipe will do in a pinch or you can order the real stuff online.
With basmati rice in my rice cooker and my Ninja Cooker for my frying and then warming (The greatest gift of an appliance to busy moms. Amen. AND on sale. Ahem.), this was an easy dish to prepare and to double.
I also noticed that our ALDI has boneless skinless chicken thighs now and at around $4-5 for two pounds of meat, it is a very economical dish to make at home. You can basically make enough for your whole family instead of just indulging in one small takeout dish. For this frugal girl, that is a true bonus!
Although I intended to be flashy and show off my gluten-free naan to accompany this dish, I still need to work on tweaking the recipe.
Don’t worry, I haven’t given up yet (but maybe my poor mixer and dirty kitchen have).
If you haven’t had Butter Chicken before it is DIVINE and a great way to dip your toes into Indian cooking and eating. It’s a mildly spiced curry dish and you can do the majority of the preparations the night before which makes it an easy weeknight meal. The chicken is marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and a variety of spices (including that garam masala we talked about!) overnight. The next day, you simply cook the meat and add a creamy tomato sauce to finish it off.
I hope you can give this dish a spin in your house and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
Butter Chicken is an affordable dish you can make at home instead of relying on takeout. Be sure to read my notes about substitutions for small town markets! Oh, and double it! You'll thank me!
½ cup full-fat plain yogurt (do not substitute with Greek yogurt!)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala (see my notes above to make your own spice combo)
½ tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper powder (you can go lighter if your family prefers a less spicy dish)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup tomato passata or puree (I used crushed tomatoes because that is what our store offered. If you prefer a smoother consistency substitute with tomato sauce and use a little tomato paste to thicken)
1 tbsp sugar
1¼ tsp salt
½ cup- ¾ cup heavy cream (we went a little lighter with half-and-half)
Combine the marinade ingredient in a bowl. Dice your chicken thigh meat and place in a food storage bag. Pour the sauce over the chicken, seal, and shake bag to coat your chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.
Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in a large fry pan. Add the chicken coated in the Marinade and cook for around 3 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked on the outside. It has a yellow hue thanks to the tumeric!
Add the tomato passata (or crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce with the addition of a little tomato paste to thicken), sugar and salt. Turn down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Do a taste test to see if it needs more salt. Stir through the cream, then remove from heat.
Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves if using. Serve with basmati rice.
Word must have spread how nuts our family is about these meals and the publishing house for the, Sheet Pan Suppers cookbook reached out to see if they could send me copy of the book to review. I had mentioned it had been on my radar, but my biggest struggles with cookbooks is that I don’t know how many gluten-free offerings are going to be in them and I have to stick to gluten-free meals in our house.
I was pleasantly surprised that the cookbook was well-balanced between gluten-filled offerings and gluten-free offerings. From appetizers to meats to vegetarian to brunch to dessert…this cookbook offers a little something for everyone. My biggest struggle was picking which recipe to start with. I figured the cover dish had to be a winner if it was showcased on the front of the book so we went with that. A delicious fish dish with fresh veggies tossed with a pistachio gremolata sounded like a winner for our house.
What is a Gremolata?
This was my first gremolata and I was intrigued by the pairing of pistachios with fish. If you haven’t heard of a gremolata before, you need not worry that this is out of your level of cooking expertise. This is a simple Italian condiment that is traditionally made with herbs, garlic, and lemon zest, and sometimes an accompaniment like pine nuts (or in this case, pistachios- YUM). You can use your food processor and pulse a few times (this is the one I have), but I prefer to avoid washing the food processor and opt for a quick hand chopper, which has been worth its weight in gold in my kitchen.
To save even more time, I purchased the pistachios already out of their shell at our supermarket. Although a bit pricier per pound, it saves a great deal of time on a busy weeknight or on a tired night with my vino in the evenings after a long day of running kids.
If you live somewhere where you have access to great fresh fish, the author utilizes Arctic Char in this recipe. In Indiana, salmon fillets are affordable and easy to come by in our frozen section of the store. Resting these on top of fresh asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and topped with lemons, this is a sheet pan guaranteed to satisfy all your taste buds. The gremolata adds the final touch on the cooked fish, adding that salty crunch that takes this from a basic meal to a restaurant-worthy one!
I really loved this cookbook and my family is already looking forward to us eating this again in our house! Thank you to the publishing house for sending us a copy of, Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert to give a spin in our kitchen! We are big fans!
Roasted Salmon and Asparagus With Pistachio Gremolata
Author: Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 servings
An easy sheet pan meal with salmon and veggies topped with a quick pistachio gremolata for a fancy crunch to this beautiful dish. Company-worthy and easy? Winning!
1 bunch asparagus (roughly 1 pound total)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless fillets Arctic char, salmon or trout (5 to 6 ounces each)
½ medium red onion, sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-moons
½ lemon, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
½ cup roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 350 with a rack in the center position. Mist a sheet pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Gently bend one asparagus spear between your fingers and snap off the bottom where it breaks easily. Line up the rest of the bunch and slice off the bottoms at the same distance from the tips. Place the trimmed asparagus on the prepared pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and spread the asparagus in an even layer.
Place the fish fillets on top of the asparagus, evenly spaced apart, and sprinkle with an extra pinch of salt and pepper. Scatter the onion, lemon slices and cherry tomatoes around and on top of the fish.
Bake until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the fish is almost opaque (20 to 30 minutes if using char, other types may vary). For my salmon, I cooked thawed fillet for just 12-15 minutes!!
While the fish cooks, mix together the lemon zest, garlic, parsley and pistachios in a small bowl- this is your gremolata.
Sprinkle the gremolata over the fish and asparagus before serving warm.
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though!! xo
There are a few great gifts I give myself in the morning. The first, is to rise an hour earlier than necessary to get in an uninterrupted hour of reading (BLISS!). The second is to always program my coffeemaker the night before so I wake up to a fresh brew (HEAVEN!). The third? Packing my freezer with smoothie packets that make creating a morning smoothie filled with greens and fruits incredibly easy and practically effortless (WINNING AT LIFE).
I posted about my make-ahead smoothie packets on Instagram and got a lot of questions about it. Something I have come to think of as a weekly routine really sparked a lot of questions about my recipe, what the smoothie looked like, and what to do for fruit substitutions. I thought it deserved its own little post because it has become a very vital part of my morning routines and sets a good foundation for healthy eating the rest of the day.
Not only does this strategy save you time in the morning, but it also puts ripe fruit to work and is a great way to utilize spinach before it goes bad making the most of every grocery dollar. I never waste a banana in our house or any greens anymore because they always have a home. If I have run out of frozen berries, I just add the rest of these ingredients into a packet and get them ready for my next grocery day when I can get the frozen fruit to add to it. As someone trying to reduce their food waste, this has been an awesome use for those often tossed items.
Also, if you buy smoothies regularly, you know they are not cheap. A typical smoothie around these parts (said in my best Midwest accent) is around $4-6. Even if bought weekly, that can add up fast!
Here were a few of your questions for me!
Do you store these packets in the freezer and for how long?
Yup, I recommend freezing in quart-sized freezer storage bags and making sure to push out any air in the bags to keep these ingredients as fresh as possible. I would recommend using these in one month for optimum flavor.
How many smoothies do these packets make?
I drink an enormous smoothie in the morning (24 ounces) and my daughter has the size I am showing you in the cup below and this packet with my recipe I have listed makes enough for that. For “normal” people, maybe it might make three, but this is my breakfast, people, and I’m a big eater. I got one of these for me to help make toting these in the car a little easier since I drink these on the way to the gym in the morning. I also have this giant water bottle from the same company and it has improved how much water I intake as well as my healthy smoothie habit for breakfast. I have been happy how they have held up (over a year now!) compared to some other insulated cups I have tried.
Do you blend these with milk or use a milk substitution?
My stomach can’t process a lot of dairy so I use unsweetened almond milk in mine. I do use Greek yogurt though (either vanilla or unsweetened) and that doesn’t seem to bother me. You can definitely use milk, soy milk, or coconut milk if you would prefer. I’m a big fan of the flavor of the almond milk!
Can I make these without spinach? I don’t think my kids will drink these if they are green!
I just want to show you how very slightly these are tinged with green when you only add a cup or so of spinach to them. Additionally, if I am really concerned an extra handful of frozen blueberries cancels out all other colors so sometimes if I am really generous with the blueberries, these look more blue.
Are you using frozen spinach? Frozen berries? What does the spinach look like when it is frozen?
Here is a packet that has been frozen for three weeks and this is what it looks like. The spinach is fresh spinach (I don’t want to hassle with the frozen stuff- personal preference), the berries are frozen, and the bananas are fresh. I like to cut the bananas in half to help them break down a little easier in the blender. As you can see, the spinach looks almost the same as it did when I threw it in there.
The bananas may brown over time, but they will still taste the same. As rapidly as we go through these though, I have rarely even seen that happen.
By freezing these fruits and veggies, you eliminate the need for ice in your smoothie which creates a much creamier consistency and a smoothie that holds together longer. Sometimes I will make these in the morning and pop one in the fridge for my daughter for her afternoon snack. It always looks just like I had just made it. When I add water or ice, it tends to separate and grosses her out.
Should I flash freeze any of the ingredients?
If you aren’t familiar with flash freezing, I do this a lot with foods for our freezer. Typically, I fan whatever I am freezing out on an open parchment paper lined cookie sheet, freeze just until frozen, and then toss in a bag.
I experimented with this and here is what I will say about that. You can cut the bananas in half and flash freeze and they will stay separated, making it easier to pour into your blender and it is really great. It’s an extra step though. My lazy freezer routine is to cut them in half right in the bag, freeze (where they tend to fuse back together) and then smack the bag as hard as I can on the counter until they loosen from each other while I listen to the political crap insight on NPR. It’s kind of like a therapy session. You can do it whichever way fits your lifestyle best.
What kind of protein powder do you use? What can I use if I am vegan or dairy-free?
When I was dairy-free, I experimented with a lot of terrible protein powders so I can honestly tell you this is the only brand that I really liked that was plant-based. Now that I’m not dairy-free, I just purchase the store brand protein powder at our local grocery store in a vanilla flavor. Like I said, we had to try a few before we found the ones we liked best and I always try to keep my eyes peeled for a sale to maximize the savings. The goal is to keep this as a frugal routine for us.
What kind of blender do you have?
I have had the same blender for probably eight years or so and, unfortunately, they don’t make mine anymore. When mine bites the bullet, I will probably invest in this one because I have heard they last forever. In order to blend up these fruits, you really need to have a high powered blender though. If you have a $20 blender, it will burn out your motor. I say this because I did it. Twice. Invest in a good blender and it will more than pay for itself, I promise you!
I can’t eat bananas. Do you have any recommendations for substitutions for my smoothie?
Do your kids really like these? My kids are really picky!
They really do and so do I. My daughter was a terrible breakfast eater, like her mother, and I worried a lot that she wasn’t eating enough to be fueled for her day at school. This is what she “eats” and she stays full until lunchtime. If she is running late, it is something that can be finished while she waits for her bus. Fun straws are always a great addition to this morning treat especially when first pitching this idea to your kids. She says it tastes like a milkshake.
For me, it’s been an incredible way to get fueled before I workout. Working out on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea for someone with low blood sugar. Eating something too heavy made me feel like I was going to be sick. These smoothies are a great option to be fueled without a lot of heaviness in my stomach. Sometimes I drink half and pop it in the fridge until I get done exercising and finish the other half when I’m done.
I hope these tips are helpful and I hope you love these as much as our family does!