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Monday, October 10, 2016

Recipe Review from 10/2/2016

Meal plan ended up with a bit of tweaking this week as the Husband found some pasture raised and finished ground beef to try.   I had everything on hand for tacos, which also used up some fresh veggies so a win-win meal.

Otherwise, pretty uneventful!

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) out  (S)  Cheesy Quinoa Bake
Mon (yoga)  leftovers
Tues - leftovers  tacos!
Wed(morning yoga) Sweet Potato and bacon veggie skillet  leftover tacos
Thurs (yoga) leftover quinoa
Fri (yoga) leftover quinoa

Lunches - Vegetable Soup (Husband made);  Bean and Bacon Soup

Cheesy Sausage, Broccoli and Quinoa Bake  (Ckng Lght, Sept 2016)  gluten free option**
Massive modifications here - IF you follow the link to the recipe, you will see it's to make 2 (TWO) casseroles.  One to eat now, one to freeze and eat later.  I only made ONE and the recipe below reflects that.

Please note, I also did not decrease the amount of carrots and onions and I used regular Italian sausage instead of chicken sausage.  This is a bit putsy, but there is time at the end to clean up dishes and counters and to set the table before eating.  Flavor-wise, this is pretty mellow and I thought it could have used something, but couldn't quite figure out what.   This made closer to six servings, especially if you serve it with a hearty green salad or some additional vegetables.    

1 1/4 cups water
1 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoons olive oil
Photo from
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 (4-oz.) links sweet chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
(I used regular Italian sausage
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk  (I used goat milk)
1 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1 tsp dried thyme, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) ** I skipped
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 14 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and sausage; cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

4. Add flour, butter, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk and stock; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; stir in broccoli, 2 teaspoons thyme, 3/8 teaspoon salt, 3/8 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in quinoa and sausage mixture.

5. Coat 1 (8-inch) square microwave-safe glass or ceramic baking dishes with cooking spray. Divide quinoa mixture between dishes. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and panko in a bowl; add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and cheddar. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over casserole, sprinkle remaining thyme over cheese. Bake at 400°F for 18 minutes or until browned, or follow freezing instructions.

RECIPE NOTES: This can be doubled and half of it frozen for later.  See original recipe at Cooking Light.    How To: FREEZE: Cool unbaked casseroles completely; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 2 months. THAW: Remove foil. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until thawed. REHEAT: Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes; then broil 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon-Powered Sweet Potato Veggie Skillet (Ckng Lght, Sept 2016)

I made this for lunch over the weekend.  I'm not so sure about the "bacon-powered" part - it was more of an added flavor than any "power" aspect. 

I will also note that if making for breakfast, best to save for the weekend or a day off.  This is not fast enough for a typical a work-day breakfast in my humble opinion.   

Overall, tasty enough - I used one medium sweet potato and substituted Swiss chard and kale for the spinach.  The feta is a nice touch, and goat cheese would be outstanding. 

3 center-cut bacon slices, diced
1/2 cup diced onions
Photo from
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup (1/2-in.) cubed sweet potato (I probably had two cups)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
4 ounces fresh spinach (I used chopped Swiss chard and kale)
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

1. Place bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; cook 5 minutes or until just starting to crisp. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bell peppers; sauté 4 minutes. Add potato, salt, crushed red pepper, and stock. Cover and cook 9 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add spinach; cook, uncovered, 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Divide mixture between 2 bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

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