Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Chili weather makes me oh-so-happy and today I am featuring a Pumpkin Chili recipe that you just have to try this year in your slow cooker. Yes, you heard me right, Pumpkin Chili is my new favorite chili and once you try this pumpkin chili recipe, you will be singing its praises too.

I am one of those people that gets settled into her old routines when it comes to recipes especially recipes that I just don’t think they should be fooled with. Chili is one of those types of recipes, yet, I have found myself on the hunt for fresh new pumpkin recipes and just knew that I had to try out this idea for Pumpkin Chili.

After stumbling upon a recipe, trying to take it completely apart, playing with spices, and then switching out the ingredients until they pleased me, I now have a version of Pumpkin Chili that is all my own.

Don’t be scared of the pumpkin because chances are that you won’t even notice the pumpkin flavor. No, all the flavor for this one comes from the pumpkin pie spices that are incorporated within in it. Much like my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta recipe (you MUST try that!), it just leaves everyone going, “Hmmmm…What is that?!”

Basically, when you lean in to smell the chili in your slow cooker, it will smell like pumpkin pie, but you will see chili in there and get super confused. And then it will all work itself out when you taste it, and then might be a tiny bit confusing, but then you will realize that it is perfectly genius together.

And all will be right with the world again.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. In fact, I am making my second batch of that this week along with another batch of Slow Cooker Stuffed Green Pepper Soup, another slow cooked wonder that I highly recommend.

If you are looking for another great chili recipe, be sure to check out my White Chicken Chili for another fun variation!

Happy slow cooking, friends!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Once you try this chili, you will never make any other type of chili again. Pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice are the secret ingredients that make this chili a standout recipe and make your guests go, "Hmmm...What is that?"
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
  • 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (or adjusted to your own level of heat)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef and ground turkey until brown; drain.
  2. Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes. Transfer ingredients to your slow cooker.
  3. Add in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree.
  4. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and sugar.
  5. Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  6. Serve in bowls with a variety of your favorite toppings.

 

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Roasted Tomato Bisque

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Roasted Tomato Bisque

There is nothing like a big pot of soup and today I wanted to share with you an easy recipe for Roasted Tomato Bisque. This roasted tomato bisque recipe is so easy and can be made from those garden tomatoes that you might need to put to work in your kitchen or created with whole canned tomatoes that you can keep in your pantry.

Walmart challenged me this month to share an easy weeknight meal strategy with you. I admit that my best weeknight meal strategy is making a big pot of soup on the weekends that we can enjoy all week long. I have gotten so good at making soup that I told my husband that if this blogging gig falls through that I would open my very own little soup kitchen.

True story.

Roasted Tomato Bisque

Have you ever roasted vegetables for a soup? It adds another layer of flavor to your soup that will surprise you. This soup is packed with roasted carrots, tomatoes, and shallots. The soups depth of flavor comes from a few interesting additions that add a beautiful layering when you eat it. First, the veggies are coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar that adds a little sweetness and saltiness to the soup. The second addition that makes this soup so special is a little sherry that adds a real depth of flavor. The third is the finishing of just the tiniest bit of cream. If you have a dairy allergy or are looking for a vegan alternative, you could leave the soup without it or add rice milk to finish the soup.

Weeknight Meal Strategies

I wanted to dive in a little bit more about my weeknight meal strategy. You see, it rarely changes although as my kids get older it does get more challenging in the evenings with our homework and extracurricular activities. On Sunday afternoons I do all my shopping and planning for the week. I purchase a week’s worth of food and I try to plan our dishes around that week’s activities.

Here are the themes I use for menu planning although I never assign a day to them unless it is our weekly pizza night and Sunday brunch. Everything else falls into place depending on the week’s activities.

Weeknight Meal Ideas

Soup Supper

If you are looking for a little soup inspiration, here are six easy soup recipes to try, a delicious white chicken chili, and a Stuffed Green Pepper Soup that is always a slow cooker winner. Serve these with a loaf of crusty bread or find out how to make an easy big batch of toasted cheese sandwiches when cooking for a crowd.

Meat-Free Night

Here are 30 of our absolute favorite meat-free dishes that we try to create in our kitchen once a week. For a new spin on tacos, try this recipe for easy 10 minute tacos for your family.

Slow Cooker Night

I am a HUGE fan of my slow cooker and use it at least once a week. Here are a month of ideas to bookmark for slow cooker creations in your house.

Waffles/Pancake Brunch

Sundays are for brunching in our house. I love to make a variety of waffles and pancake recipes on Sunday to be frozen and eaten for weekday morning breakfasts. Now that it is Fall, our pumpkin pancakes will be in constant rotation.

Pizza Night

Have you tried making pizza dough in your bread machine? I have been making pizza dough in my bread machine for almost a decade now and our Fridays just wouldn’t be the same without our fun pizza night.

Sandwich/Burger Night

Easy dishes like sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken pesto burgers, and Italian beef sandwiches are just a few examples of easy sandwiches/burgers that can be easily doubled for easy lunches and dinners.

Seek And Ye Shall Find Night

It is Biblical. Sunday night you need to seek and ye shall find in the refrigerator.

 

As you plan out your week, I hope you enjoy this soup for your own weekly soup night. Of course, the best part about soup is that it is the perfect dish to share with others. Be sure to share this one with those you love because I know they will love you for it.

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Roasted Tomato Bisque
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A delicious roasted tomato bisque recipe packed with delicious roasted vegetable flavor and a hint of cream.
Ingredients
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained of their juices. If using fresh tomatoes 20-24 fresh tomatoes, washed, cored, & cut in half.
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 4 carrots, peeled, cut in half, and chopped into sections
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (can increase to ½ teaspoon if more spice is desired)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or favorite milk substitute)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the drained whole tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes), olive oil, light brown sugar, carrots and shallots, and toss to coat. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the vegetables on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 30-35 minutes.
  4. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until foaming. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the sherry. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, crushed tomatoes and 1 cup chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the heavy cream and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until uniform in texture.
  7. Add more chicken stock to adjust the consistency to how you like it.

You can find tons more strategies for meal-time planning in my first book, “The Good Life For Less!”  Grab our free weekly calendar printable for your menu planning needs!  What is your strategy for meal planning?

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Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Big Batch Toasted Cheese SandwichesDid you know that it is possible to make big batches of toasted cheese sandwiches in no time flat? Today I want to share with you my secret for making a big batch of toasted cheese sandwiches in your oven which is one of my best little hostess party trick for entertaining a crowd.  You can also refer to it as your lunch lady trick. I am a little bit of both of those around here.

One of our favorite ways to entertain in the Fall months is with a big pot of soup or chili and a loaf of crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches. If you are entertaining a crowd, manning the griddle for a big group can take you away from really enjoying your guests and honoring a million different types of cheese or sandwich filler requests can also be overwhelming. Instead of doing that, try this strategy for toasting up your sandwiches

It is so easy that it is embarrassing to provide a recipe for you. Simply butter both slices of bread, stick your favorite cheese or add-in’s into the sandwich, cook at 450 for 6-8 minutes, flip and then cook for 6-8 more minutes. The end.

What you will get it is super HOT toasted cheese sandwiches, evenly toasted bread on the outside, and the gooey cheese inside you are after.

I hope you can give this trick a try in your kitchen!

Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

5.0 from 2 reviews
Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy way to make toasted cheese sandwiches for a crowd
Ingredients
  • 12 slices of bread
  • 6 slices cheese (choose your favorite)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Butter each side of the bread slices with butter and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Place cheese on each slice of bread.
  3. Top with remaining bread.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes at 450.
  5. Flip the sandwiches, and bake an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Side Note- You can double this recipe if needed!

 

 

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Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.With the Fall comes all of the game time festivities and today I wanted to share a slow cooker chicken wing recipe that you can enjoy at your next game day festivity. These Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and are one of my favorite game time recipes I love to share with my family.

Walmart asked me to share a fun game time recipe with you and also would love to remind you that they are a one-stop-shop for all of your game time needs. The best part, of course, is that the will price match those competitor ads for you so you can get everything you need and the best deal on it while you are there. While you are there, I wanted to showcase one of my favorite game day recipes that I love to make for our family!

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.Making wings taste delicious in a slow cooker can be a challenge, but my trick is to season and broil my wings for ten minutes on each side to give it that beautiful color on the skin and to make sure that the wings start out well-seasoned before being slid into your slow cooker. I love that a lot of the fat renders out of the wings too while being broiled so it is a much healthier option than frying them.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.The secret is, of course, in the sauce that they are glazed in. My sauce has a mixture of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic, and that bold and spicy Bourbon flavor comes from a new Sweet Baby Ray’s Kickin’ Bourbon Chicken Wing Glaze that you can find over in the condiment aisle of your store. The more of this you add to your sauce, the spicier it will be. This glaze will be thin, but will coat your wings beautifully.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.The slow cooker gets a little crowded with this many wings in there so I do the ultimate slow cooker no-no and open that lid up and shift them periodically. Thanks to broiling them beforehand though, these wings will be done in two hours on high or four hours on low!

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These wings are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The best part though, is that they can be created right in your slow cooker for game day entertaining!
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup Sweet Baby Ray's Kickin' Bourbon Wing Glaze
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Season wings with salt & pepper. Place wings on a cookie sheet and broil for 10 minutes on each side.
  2. Transfer wings to the slow cooker.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and mix well.
  4. Pour the sauce wings.
  5. Cook on high two hours or low for four hours.

Looking for more game day recipes? Check out this list of 12 Great Tailgating Delights! Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Don’t miss this One Month of Slow Cooking article with 30 recipe ideas for your family!

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.

Labor Day festivities are just around the corner and with that comes the fun with grilling out and sharing dishes with friends. Today I wanted to share a delicious Greek Quinoa Salad that can be made with many of the veggies lurking in that backyard garden and that easily pairs with a few items you just might have in your pantry.

Walmart challenged me to create a unique dish for Labor Day and I couldn’t wait to share this one. You see, I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since my visit with my allergist. I was advised to limit my pasta intake and it has been a hard sacrifice for me because I happen to love my pasta…and, sadly, my pasta salads are my claim to fame in the cookout world.

I’m thankful that I discovered quinoa last year because it has helped me so much with my pasta hurdle. I hope you caught my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers I made last week and that handy tutorial for preparing your quinoa in the rice cooker! I have been continuing to experiment with this delicious and protein-packed ingredient for my summer cooking and couldn’t wait to pair it with some of my favorite Greek flavors. This quinoa salad proves that there are certainly some fun ways around that pasta hurdle and I doubt you will even miss your pasta after you try this!

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.

The most labor-intensive part of this recipe (no pun intended!) is the chopping. It is an awful lot of chopping, but the flavors are so worth it. This Greek Quinoa Salad is filled with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, and fresh parsley. The salty bites come from the Greek olives and the bites of feta cheese (optional, should you be dairy-free). The whole salad is tied together with a delicious red wine vinaigrette made even more flavorful the longer that it sits.

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.This is one of those recipes that you can customize depending on what you have growing in your garden or what is on sale that week in your store. If you are shopping Walmart, be sure to bring the competing store fliers in and have them price match those produce prices for you!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope it can be your very own, “claim to fame,” at your next cookout! Happy Labor Day, friends! Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.


Greek Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Greek Quinoa Salad has all the right flavors, colors, and textures with a light vinaigrette dressing to round it all out.
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped to a paste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pitted Greek olives
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cucumber, diced and seeds removed
  • Feta for sprinkling on salad (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest from one lemon. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear.
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed above in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  4. Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumbers and dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before serving. The longer it sits the better the flavor.
  7. Just before serving, transfer to a platter and sprinkle feta on top.

Adapted from Bobby Flay Fit

Looking for more fun cookout dishes? Be sure to check out the Best Steak Marinade in Existence, my Corn Grilled in the Husks, my Three Cheese Grilled Potatoes, and my delicious Grilled Portobello Burgers to tempt your tummy!

 

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Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Looking for an easy recipe that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Look no further than these Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers for a fun weeknight meal. You will love these bell peppers for a meatless dish that is packed with protein and very filling with just the right balance of sweetness, from the peppers, and spice from the enchilada sauce,  in this recipe.

Walmart challenged me to come up with a gluten-free dish made from their grocery aisles of ingredients. Quinoa may sound like an ingredient that you can’t find at your store, but Walmart not only sells quinoa, but they now sell a couple of varieties of quinoa on their store shelves. No need to run to a specialty market to find this ingredient anymore!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

If you haven’t bought or prepared quinoa before, then be sure to check out my tutorial on preparing quinoa in an inexpensive rice cooker or on your stove-top. If you decide you love it as much as I do, a rice cooker makes making batches of quinoa for recipes simple.

You will find quinoa over in the rice aisle right at the top. I took a picture in our aisle to help you locate it.

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

To make these extra special, I mixed up a batch of my favorite homemade enchilda sauce for these to swim in. I love to make my own sauce because it gives me control over the amount of salt and spice in my dish. You can certainly use a jarred gluten-free enchilda sauce though If you are wanting to keep this gluten-free, be sure to read the back of the tomato sauce label or enchilada sauce label’s ingredients thoroughly before purchasing or eating. 

Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t offer a lot of dairy-free cheese options (yet!), but you could definitely make these without cheese or head to a specialty market to pick up my favorite dairy-free shreds, Daiya Pepperjack Shreds, for an extra kick. I have been dairy-free for a year now and those happen to be my personal favorite. These peppers really don’t need the cheese though, thanks to the flavorful sauce on the bottom!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

These peppers get a double protein punch thanks to the quinoa and the black beans in this recipe.  Roma tomatoes add a little tomato flavor and the green chilies add a little kick to to the dish. Sprinkled with a little fresh cilantro and a saucy bottom, I promise you won’t miss the meat or cheese or gluten at all!

I prepared mine with red peppers because I love their sweetness, but you can do this same preparation with any variety of pepper you love!

I hope you love these as much as me and I hope you won’t judge that I made a 9×13″ dish just for myself.

Because it is HARD being dairy-free so I have to treat myself all the time…and I do all.the.time.

You know, to get through it.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
A gluten-free, dairy-free, & vegan Mexican-inspired quinoa stuffed pepper that is delicious, filling, and protein-packed.
Ingredients
  • 5 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
  • 1c quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles, undrained
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ½-1 cup dairy-free shreds (optional)
  • 28-ounce jar of enchilada sauce (or a double batch of my homemade version, linked above)
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa as instructed on the box or using the method linked above for cooking in your choice of vegetable broth or water.
  2. Prepare enchilada sauce recipe (linked to above) or omit this step if using prepared enchilada sauce.
  3. Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Microwave pepper halves 3-4 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Once quinoa is cooked, add it to a mixing bowl. Stir in the rinsed black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, salt and pepper (to taste).
  5. Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish.
  6. Fill the peppers with the filling and then rest them in the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  7. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes.. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. If cheese isn't melted still, turn broiler on high and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

Recipe Adapted from One Lovely Life.

 

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Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy Makeover

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy Makeover

When I attended college, I lived on junk & convenience food and I had the inevitable, “Freshman 15,” to prove from my bad eating habits throughout the year. I only wish I knew how great I would have felt and how much better I would have performed if I had stocked my dorm fridge with healthy options.

Today I wanted to share with you some healthy ideas for stocking your dorm mini-fridge for the school year along with an easy no-bake energy bite that you can mix up in a bowl for easy snacks on-the-go when heading to your classes.

Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy MakeoverHead on over to the Kenmore Blog today to read my ideas for smart back-to-school snacking and grab  my easy no-bake recipe for smart snacking on-the-go!

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Cooking With Kids: Rotini With Turkey Meatballs

Monday, June 17th, 2013

rotini_with_turkey_meatballs_header
As my kids get older, I am beginning to learn more the importance of cooking with them. Today I am sharing our family’s favorite summer pasta recipe of Rotini With Turkey Meatballs and I wanted to share with you a fun way to involve your kids in the cooking process.

Gourmet Garden HerbsGourmet Garden HerbsWalmart wanted to give us the chance to share about the Gourmet Garden herb line that you can find at your store. We are no strangers to the beauty of Gourmet Garden though and I guarantee if you open my fridge on any given day, you will find a tube of herbs in there.

There are several reason why I genuinely love these handy herbs in a tube. For us, it offers a little money-savings for seldom used herbs that need to be added to dishes. I hate throwing out herbs that go bad within a week where I simply need a pinch or so to create a dish. Garden Gourmet herbs last for up to three months, giving me the chance to make that dish many times over before I have to give my tube a toss. 

The second reason I really love these herbs is because it is an easy way to bring your kids into the kitchen with you and get them cooking and spicing dishes with you, without ever getting out that knife and cutting board. 

The bonus in all of this though is that these herbs are organically-grown and gluten-free; two things that we know are important to many of our readers!  

Basically, we love them and have been true Garden Gourmet enthusiasts for a long time!

Rotini With Turkey Meatballs

Throw on your mom’s apron, should you so choose, and let’s get cooking in the kitchen this summer with your favorite helpers. Both of my kids were very excited about getting to help make this dish since it just so happens to be our Dad’s favorite dish.

Rotini With Turkey MeatballsRotini With Turkey MeatballsRotini With Turkey MeatballsRotini With Turkey MeatballsRotini With Turkey Meatballs

Rotini With Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are fun to mix, to shape, and…of course, to eat! We made our meatballs with Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (we just remove the meat from the casing for preparation) and mix it up with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, a little squeeze of ketchup, lightly beaten eggs, and the Garlic and Italian Herbs from the Garden Gourmet herb line.

Roll out the meatballs into roughly the same size shape and place them gently on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake these at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. The size pictured above were ready in about 12 minutes.

Rotini With Turkey MeatballsRotini With Turkey Meatballs

Rinse four cups of cherry tomatoes and then (with mom or dad’s help) cut the tomatoes in half for the sauce.

Let the kids shape those meatballs while you prepare the sauce for the dish. I used the Garden Gourmet Chunky Garlic paste, the fresh tomatoes, and a little chicken broth to make a light summer sauce. If your kids aren’t a fan of the big tomatoes in the sauce, utilize an immersion blender or carefully pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sauce back to the pan and slide your meatballs into the sauce until they are warm.

Prepare the pasta as directed on the packaging and drain.

Rotini With Turkey MeatballsFinish by tossing all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and add fresh Garden Gourmet basil in the dish and lightly toss until everything is incorporated.

Rotini With Turkey Meatballs

Sometimes I forget how much fun it really is to cook with my kids in the kitchen and just how proud they are when they contribute to the dish. They couldn’t wait to show their Dad their meatballs they made and we all agreed that they were far more delicious than the ones I make by myself.

I hope you can get in the kitchen and mix up something delicious with your family and that our recipe offers some inspiration for your family cooking time together! 

Rotini With Turkey Meatballs

Rotini With Turkey Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
An easy summer pasta dish made with fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage meatballs. This one is a crowd-pleaser!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound Sweet Italian Turkey Sausages (remove the casings)
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden chunky garlic
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden Basil
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs,salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine.
  2. Make your meatballs the standard size and put them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes.
  4. In a large pot, heat your olive oil and then add your chunky garlic paste for about thirty seconds. Next, heat chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and then add the meatball mixture and two tablespoons of basil to the dish. Toss lightly to incorporate.

What’s your favorite dish to cook with your kids?

 

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Chicken Gyros

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Homemade Chicken Gyros

I think there are few things in the world as yummy as a gyro. I have been making homemade gyros for years now, but was so excited to try a healthier spin with a chicken gyro this time. And what could be yummier than a chicken gyro? I say, nothing.

This chicken meat is so tender thanks to the acidic blend of lemon and red wine vinegar that helps to tenderize the meat in just one hour. With the addition of a little Greek yogurt to the marinade and a shake of dried oregano, the meat is moist and flavorful with just a few sweetly simple ingredients.

If you are looking to save money and control the quality of ingredients in this dish, you can make everything from the pitas to the tzatziki (recipe below).

If you are looking to save time, you can buy everything from the pitas to the tzatziki.

I will not judge you either way!

Serve these delicious chicken gyros with some fresh veggies and hummus for an easy summer side dish that everyone will love. I also recommend double or triple batching this meat because these gyros magically disappear pretty quickly. At least they did in our house!

If you are looking for another fun spin on gyros, be sure to check out these Grilled Ground Beef Gyros for the summer, or visit my Get Grilling Pinterest board for many more great ideas for outdoor grilling. I also highly recommend this easy tutorial for getting your grill clean while you sleep!

Happy grilling, friends!

Homemade Chicken Gyros

Chicken Gyros
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Give these easy chicken gyros a spin for a fun weeknight meal that your whole family will love.
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the chicken: 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1¼ lbs. chicken tenderloins
  • Toppings: Pita bread
  • Fresh tomato slices
  • Red onion slices (optional)
Instructions
  1. To make the tzatziki sauce,shred the cucumber. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together your Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. You want to avoid marinating longer than this due to the acidic nature of this marinade.
  3. Grill your chicken strips on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked completely through. Set aside for five minutes.
  4. Heat pitas for 15-20 seconds in the microwave to warm.
  5. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

 

 

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10 Minute Fish Tacos

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner which means it is time to break out those favorite Mexican dishes to celebrate the holiday. This recipe for 10 minute fish tacos is a new favorite in our house and fits right into my time and budget constraints. Walmart asked me to share one way we celebrate the season and these easy 10 minute fish tacos are the perfect way for a busy family to celebrate this fun holiday with minimal effort.

These tacos can be created from any white fish, depending on your family’s preference. We are a big fan of tilapia that can be found over in the frozen foods aisle because of the mild fish flavor and the inexpensive price tag. You can select any variety of fish though that is in your family’s list of favorites or budget.

To prepare the fish quickly and easily, dice up the fish and put it in a mixing bowl. Toss the fish with your favorite spice blend with olive oil. Spread the fish on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and then cook it at the suggested temperature for 4-6 minutes. While the filling is cooking, you can prepare a variety of fun toppings.

Fun Taco Toppings To Try

Traditional toppings for tacos are fun, but sometimes the taco night needs a little switch up. Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook offers some fun ideas to try in your house to make taco nights more fun!

Salsa- Add a combination of black beans, tomato, corn, chopped jalapeno chile peppers, and cilantro.

Asian-  Add broccoli slaw, toasted sliced almonds, and bottled Asian vinaigrette.

Fruity- Add fresh fruit salsa made with kiwi, red onion, strawberries, and mango.

BLT- Add shredded lettuce, bacon, tomato, and mayo.

Caprese- Add basil, cubed tomato, cubed mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

If you are looking for other fun dishes to try, can I recommend my roasted corn salsa, our chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, or the world’s most perfect margarita? These would all make fun additions to any Cinco de Mayo celebration!

10 Minute Fish Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
An oh-so-easy fish taco ready in under ten minutes!
Ingredients
  • 1- 16 ounce bag of frozen tilapia (or your favorite white fish), thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (found over by the seafood counter)
  • 1½ cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Taco shells or tortillas, warmed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse fish, pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Cut fish crosswise into ¾ inch slices and place them in a mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the fish with the olive oil and seasonings, giving it a gentle toss until all of the fish has been thoroughly coated in the spice mixture.
  5. Dump the prepared fish on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, adjusting the pieces of fish so that none are overlapping.
  6. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork.
  7. To serve, spoon lettuce and tomato into each taco shell, add fish slices, and top with salsa.

 

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