Roasted Sausage, Peppers, Onions and Potatoes

My sister and I like to exchange new recipes we try. In fact, over the years, I’ve gotten tons of good, simple, delicious recipes from her. This one is definitely a winner! She was telling me about it and when she got to the part about the banana peppers I have to admit I was a little thrown off. Banana peppers are…sorta sour. How on earth would that taste good with sausage and potatoes? But I trust my sister’s judgement, so I did it.

What a surprise! This was a GREAT meal- it took no time to throw together and there was SO much flavor! And only one pan to clean- bonus! If you make this, don’t skip the banana peppers; they add so much great flavor!

Roasted Sausage, Potatoes, Onions and Peppers

1 pound cooked sausage, such as Eckridge or Hillshire Farms (I use Turkey), cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
4 medium-sized red potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 jar banana peppers, drained (you can use the spicy kind if you like heat, but I used the mild)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the chopped bell pepper, potatoes, and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables and sausage on a large baking sheet in an even layer and top with the banana peppers. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes and sausage are crisp and browned. Serves 4-6.

Recipe source: I’m not sure on the original source of this one, but I searched and found one here

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Perfect Roasted Vegetables…

Perfect Roasted Vegetables

My all-time favorite, easy go-to side dish is roasted vegetables. Roasting just brings out all kinds of delicious flavor, and it’s just SO EASY! Toss your favorite veggie with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and pop in the oven. Done. My favorite vegetable to roast has got to be broccoli- something magical happens to broccoli when its roasted. Magical, I tell you.

However, when it comes to firmer vegetables like carrots and potatoes, I have a method for roasting that comes out perfect every single time. All it takes is one extra step- no biggie. Just boil them for about 5 minutes first, THEN pop them in the oven. It makes the vegetables almost creamy on the inside, with a nice brown crust on the outside. So perfect. I do it this way every time I roast potatoes or carrots, and every time Joel and I are like, “MAN. These potatoes (or carrots) are SO good!” Every time.

Perfect Roasted Vegetables

5-6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 small bag baby carrots (or 5-6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the potatoes and carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5-7 minutes, until they’re just beginning to soften. You don’t want to be able to poke a fork all the way through them; the centers should still be hard.

Drain and toss with olive oil (about 2 or 3 tablespoons). Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender and a nice crust has formed. Serves 4 as a side dish.

You could also use this method for rutabagas/turnips, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and any other really firm vegetable.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Cheesy Squash Casserole…

Squash Casserole

Mmmm, gooey, cheesy goodness. My mom always used to fix squash like this we when were growing up. It usually accompanied fried okra and potatoes, cornbread, and fresh, sliced tomatoes. One of my all-time favorite meals. I believe this recipe originally came from my dad’s grandmother. So simple and comforting…and only 5 ingredients! The BEST way to eat summer squash, in my opinion! :)

Cheesy Squash Casserole

5-6 summer squashes, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
half an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
5 or 6 saltine crackers, crushed
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash and onion in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender. Drain.
Stir in the butter, cracker crumbs, and 1/3 cup cheese. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with a little more cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melty and gooey. Serves 4-6.

Recipe source: my great-grandmother

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Crockpot Brown Sugar Baked Beans…

Crockpot Brown Sugar Baked Beans

Just in time for Labor Day weekend, here’s a knock-out recipe for baked beans! I have a feeling these will make yet another appearance at our get together this weekend! Enjoy the holiday!

Crockpot Brown Sugar Baked Beans

3 (28 ounce) cans pork and beans
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
5 slices bacon

Mix first 7 ingredients in a crockpot. Stir until combined and arrange the bacon strips on top. Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon strips before serving.

Recipe source: a mixture of my mom’s recipe and a recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff

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Roasted Veggie Pizzas…

Roasted Veggie Pizzas

Let’s say hypothetically, you’ve had a day from you-know-where; maybe hypothetically, your sweet, precious little angel had somehow transformed into a squealing, screaming, whining, hitting little devil. [hypothetically] Perhaps the little tike dropped her toy espresso maker on your foot at just the right angle, so as to make each step you take after that excruciatingly painful. And then, perhaps, upon trying to give her a hug, the little sweetheart tried to slap your face away and ended up cutting your gums with her adorable little fingernail. HYPOTHETICALLY. 12 screaming tantrums, 4 thrown sippy cups, and 1 disappointingly short nap later, it’s dinner time. Joy. And since your precious cherub is teething, getting her to eat anything is darn near impossible. And don’t forget the fact that you let her eat Chick-fil-a nuggets for lunch, so whatever you cook needs to be healthy. Go ahead, supermom. Get in that kitchen and make some magic! And don’t forget to whistle a happy tune while you do it! ;)

Luckily, I have recipes like this one on standby. Quick, easy, and good for you. My 3 requirements. And when I’ve had the (ahem, hypothetical) day from you-know-where (by the way, my freaking foot is still throbbing…), I can pull this dinner off in less than 30 minutes. Remember that awesome roasted broccoli I just shared with you? Well guess what- it’s GREAT on pizza! And Cassidy loves it! Mommy: 1; Rotten day: 0!

Roasted Veggie Pizzas 2

Roasted Veggie Pizza

4 personal-sized thin pizza crusts (I use store-bought, but feel free to make your own)
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 heaping cup button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
olive oil
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the broccoli, red pepper, and mushrooms in a little olive oil and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Make your pizzas: spread each pizza crust with a thin layer of pizza sauce. Top with roasted veggies, then cheese. Bake in the preheated oven (still at 400) for about 8 minutes, until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Roasted Broccoli…

Roasted Broccoli 2

Moms: do you have trouble getting your little ones to eat their veggies? Well don’t give up! Green vegetables like peas, spinach, green beans, broccoli, kale, etc are so, so good for our growing kiddos! I understand the struggle – up until I started cooking it like this, I could never get Cassidy to eat her broccoli. She loves peas and green beans, but it seemed like no matter what I did, she wouldn’t touch broccoli. Probably because it tastes like flavorless mush by the time I finish steaming it. But broccoli fixed this way? She can’t get enough and I’m thrilled!

It’s SO simple- toss your broccoli florets with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it at 400 for about 15-20 minutes. That’s it and it’s WONDERFUL! The broccoli gets nice and soft, but it’s still bursting with flavor. I’m a huge fan of roasting any vegetables since it brings out the flavor so beautifully, and I have to say, I think roasted broccoli is my new favorite.

…just make sure you burn a candle or open a window since we all know how stinky it is to cook broccoli. A small price to pay for a delicious, healthy side dish, right? ;)

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

1 head fresh broccoli, cut up into bite-size pieces
olive oil
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil, then spread onto a baking sheet lined with foil (this makes cleanup a snap!) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning the broccoli over halfway through cooking. Edges should be slightly dark and broccoli will be tender when done. Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original, although, this is not a new concept ;)

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Sauteed Kale…

Sauteed Kale

Are you scared of greens? Does kale or spinach send you running in the opposite direction? Well, fear, be gone, because I have news for you- there’s nothing easier or tastier if you know how to prepare them! I know a plate of soggy kale might seem unappealing to those of you who aren’t big into greens, but I promise it’s just the opposite! Joel and I both love kale (even Cassidy loves it!); in fact, it’s just about our favorite green. I keep a giant bag of frozen, chopped kale in the freezer and put it in soups, casseroles, smoothies, and much more. But my favorite way to prepare it is simply sauteed. It’s amazing how much flavor is packed in these amazingly healthy greens.

A church friend and neighbor of ours is going through some health issues and he and his wife have decided to completely change their lifestyle. They’re exercising and eating healthy- no processed or refined foods. I recently talked with them about their new diets and found out they’re trying to eat as many healthy vegetables as possible. So of course, I asked them if they’d tried kale yet. Since they hadn’t, and seemed a little hesitant, I decided to post this recipe for them. Getting healthy is serious business and I want to help them find some recipes that are super good for you, yet delicious as well.

The kale is blanched, then simply sauteed with a little pancetta (which could absolutely be left out), garlic, and a little red pepper for some heat. Ready in 7 or 8 minutes, full of flavor, and packed with nutrition! Say yes to kale!

Sauteed Kale 2

Sauteed Kale

1 pound fresh kale, washed, ribs removed, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon diced pancetta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the kale in and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until it starts to wilt. Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the olive oil. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or so.

Using a large slotted spoon, remove the kale from the boiling water and place directly in the skillet with the pancetta and garlic. Sautee for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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[Short Cut] Oven Roasted Corn…

roasted corn

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh corn on the cob. Our grocery store will usually have them for around 5 for a dollar, so I stock up! We grill them, roast them, make salads, casseroles and all kinds of awesome dishes. But right now, fresh corn on the cob isn’t in season, so I’m stuck with frozen. Luckily, I found this tip about how to make oven roasted corn using frozen kernels. I was so intrigued I just had to try it.

I’m not going to say it’s as sweet and awesome as fresh-off-the-cob, but hey, in a bind, it works great! I added in some red and green peppers and my family gobbled it up!

[Short Cut] Oven Roasted Corn

1 bag frozen corn kernels
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the frozen corn with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for about 10 minutes until corn begins to blister slightly. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: adapted from Bev Cooks

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Crunchy Baked Okra…

Being a Southerner, fried okra is a big deal to me. I love it. I grew up eating it every summer when okra was in season (my great-grandmother, both grandmothers, and my mom all made/make a MEAN plate of fried okra). When we eat at Chicken Express (Mmmm….), I always, always order fried okra as my side. Obviously, I like fried okra a little. So, then you’re probably wondering why I’m posting a recipe for BAKED okra, huh?

Because I’m a weenie. I’m too scared to fry okra. It’s intimidating. I just know I’d screw it up. So, I just don’t attempt it. And why should I have to, when all I have to do to get a rockin’ plate of fried okra is walk down the street to my mom’s house?! I’ll learn when I’m older…. ;) (I have no doubt my mother is reading this post while shaking her head disapprovingly.)

Besides being a whooooole lot less messy, this is so much healthier for you! And the good news- while this doesn’t quite hit the bullseye (nothing but old fashioned fried okra will), it’s VERY close to the real thing. Still crunchy, crisp, and delicious! We absolutely love it.

Crunchy Baked Okra

1 bag frozen, cut okra (or fresh, if it’s in season)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (if you don’t have panko, regular will work just fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the cornmeal, panko, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese in a large plate or pie dish.

In a separate plate or pie dish, beat the two eggs.
Toss the okra in the eggs until evenly coated. Then dredge the okra in the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture.

Place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the okra halfway through baking. Serves 2-4.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original, inspired by The Spotted Fox.

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Mushroom Fajitas…

Happy May, y’all! It’s going to be a good month, I can just feel it! It started off especially awesome since Cassidy slept until 9:30 this morning! Hallelujah! AND, Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, so you know what that means- Mexican food and margaritas all around! Yee haw! Speaking of Mexican food- Joel and I made these amazing mushroom fajitas Saturday and BOY, were they good! I’m kind of obsessed with mushrooms, so the idea of a fajita centered entirely around garlicky grilled portobello mushrooms is fantastic in my book! I marinated the mushrooms in a garlic/lime juice/oil mixture and Joel grilled them; then we topped it with pepper jack cheese and grilled onions and peppers. Served alongside my grilled corn salad (always a favorite!), this was one amazing meal!

Mushroom Fajitas

2 portobello mushrooms; stems removed and sliced into thick slices
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
salt
cilantro
shredded pepper jack cheese
4 corn tortillas

Combine the garlic, oil and lime juice in a small bowl and toss with the mushrooms to coat. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and grill mushrooms over medium-high heat until soft, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Grill onions and peppers about 10 minutes until soft. Top the corn tortillas with the mushrooms, vegetables, cheese and cilantro. Squeeze over additional lime juice if desired. Serves 2.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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