Tag Archives: vegetables

Loose Meat Philly Sandwiches

Philly sandwiches are delicious, plain and simple.  Trying to find an authentic Philly or even an unauthentic one for that matter can prove challenging.  Now my version here obviously falls into the “unauthentic” grouping, but it still carries that fantastic ooey-gooey, beefy, cheesy flavor throughout AND if you’re feeling old-school, than feel free to top with a dollop of Cheez-Whiz!  Now THAT up’s the legit’ness! 😉

*Plus, it’s much, much cheaper and easier than using rib-eye steak and can spread out for a family dinner or gathering!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • Pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8oz package of provolone cheese slices
  • 8 pack of hamburger buns/rolls
  • Cheez-Whiz (optional)

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In a large (cast-iron preferably) skillet, cook your ground beef until a deep brown crust occurs.  Next, you will carefully break apart, not too much to wear it crumbles, but is in rather larger chunks.  Again, cook these pieces to another deep brown crust.  Transfer the beef to a medium size bowl and set aside.

To the same skillet you cooked your beef in (you can leave most if not all of the grease), add in the butter along with the chopped, diced and sliced onions, bell peppers and mushrooms.  Let these veggies sit and brown for about 2 minutes, stir and let brown another 2 minutes.

Add your cooked ground beef back into the pan with the sautéed vegetables.

Meanwhile,  in the same bowl your cooked beef was in, pour in the beef broth and cornstarch and whisk together.  Pour this mixture into the skillet along with the Worcestershire, ketchup, and the salt & pepper.  Stir together and simmer for 5-7 minutes (liquids start to dissipate).

Next, cover the entire top of the beef mixture with the provolone slices.  Allow to sit for about 1-2 minutes, until cheese looks “melty” and the gently and thoroughly stir all together.  The cheese will help keep the loose beef and veggies together on your rolls…and be oh so gooey!!

Finally, I like to toast my rolls or buns just a bit and using a slotted spoon (please use a slotted spoon or else you’ll be eating your sandwich with a fork..which is ok too) and scoop a hefty amount onto the bottom bun.  Finish it off with the crusty top half and a napkin! 😉  ..maybe some seasoned French fries and dipping sauce as well.  Enjoy!

Loose Meat Philly Sandwiches

Guinness Irish Beef Stew

After a long summer, which seemed to extend into our Fall..dang it was unusually warm..we finally have that chilly, rainy day.  I’m sure sooner than later I’ll be far over having to get bundled up, but as of now bring on the fireplace, snuggly blankets and movies!

After a long day of said movies on the couch, I apparently get pretty hungry (hard work right?) and crave a big ol bowl of comfort to keep the day going.  Well, this does the trick!

This rich and flavorful stew will thicken as you cook (hence the quick flour step you’ll see below), so please take that extra minute to sear the meat and saute the vegetables for that added creaminess and flavor!  You can of course cook this all in a Dutch oven on your stove top, it will be done a bit quicker if so, but I just love my slowcooker and the ease of walking away ALL day..errr…laying on the couch.

The Starting Lineup 

  • 2lbs stew meat
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 1 bottle Guinness beer
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Garnish

  • Real deal mashed potatoes
  • Flat leaf parsely, chopped
  • Lots of Guiness!  


Begin by heating 2 Tbsps of canola oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pan, while spraying your slowcooker with non-stick spray.

The oil will take a few minutes to heat up, so meanwhile cut and chop up those veggies and herbs.  

Also, in a gallon size ziplock bag or large bowl, coat the beef stew meat with the flour and salt and pepper to taste.


Next, add the flour-coated meat to the hot pot and sear all sides.  You will need to do this in about 4 batches as you do not want to overcrowd the pot.  That will steam the meat instead of giving it that nice crusty sear.  *Please KEEP the remaining Tbsp or 2 of seasoned flour thats leftover from the meat/ziplock bag. Once each batch as finished searing, transfer to the slowcooker.  *You will likely need to add another Tbsp of canola oil in between batches.

Now that the meat is done and in the slowcooker, toss the cut carrots and onion into the still hot pan with again, another tbsp of oil if needed.  Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes and then add in the garlic for 1 minute.  NOW, after you’ve swirled that garlic around a bit, pour in the leftover seasoned flour from the ziplock bag that the meat was in.  Toss to coat and pour all of this mixture into the slowcooker with the seared meat.



Along with the vegetables and meat, pour in the Guinness beer, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, chopped parsely and bay leaf(s).  Stir and cover, set to low for 8 hours.  About 30-60 minutes prior to time, add in the frozen peas.  Recover and allow to cook.


Now that it’s close to dinner time, prepare your yummy mashed potatoes (I was gluttaonous and used a stick of butter, half-in-half and a head of roasted garlic..yummmmm!!).  

Serve a large ladle of the rich stew over your creamy mashed taters, top with a pinch more of fresh parsely, salt and pepper and a nice cold Guinness!  Enjoy!!

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup (slowcooker)

It’s beginning to (finally) feel a lot more like Fall around these parts!  Goodness, the weather’s been in the 90’s, in November, in Texas!  Though the lone star state definitely has its fair share of warm weather..it usually doesn’t last THIS long.  So when we finally dropped temp and it was a cool 60 degree high, you know I just had to bust out my slowcooker for a warm soup dinner!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 package Italian sausage (if links, remove from casing)
  • 1 package gnocchi
  • 2 cans diced Italian style tomatoes
  • 1 80z block cream cheese, cubed
  • 32oz chicken broth (4 cups)
  • 1 bag spinach leaves
  • 1 zucchini, sliced & quartered
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 

Begin by simply spraying your crockpot with a bit of non-stick spray, followed by the rinsing and chopping of your vegetables and heating a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Once the pan is nice and hot, add in the Italian sausage.  After it is about halfway cooked through you can then add in the chopped red bell pepper, onion and garlic.  Allow the sausage to cook the all of the way through and the peppers and onion to soften.

Now you can either drain the grease from the sausage mixture or just use a slotted spoon (Like I did) and scoop the cooked sausage and vegetables straight into the crockpot.

Pour in the two cans of Italian-style diced tomatoes, chicken broth, the sliced zucchini, spinach leaves and cubed cream cheese.  *The spinach may seem like there’s no way it can fit, trust me…it will wilt pretty darn quick!    Cover and turn on low..you can now step away for 6-7 hours.  Yes!!

The hour before you’re planning on eating, add in the gnocchi.  That last hour will soften and cook it for you.  No need to boil it separately first!  Score!

See how simple all of that was?  It’s done!  Serve this creamy, flavorful, hearty soup alongside a piece of buttered crusty bread and you have yourself a meal!  Finish with a snuggly blanket on the couch ;).

Greek Tzatziki Chicken Pasta

Going “global” with this one guys!  Now as y’all know, I basically have two types of cuisines that I prefer to eat…constantly.  Mexican and southern comfort food!!  I do however branch out from time to time and THIS time it’s with my likely 3rd choice, Greek!

Now I used to live by this AMAZING restaurant called “Pita Jungle”, that without fail catered to my cravings of this ethnic fare..saltiness of feta cheese, brininess of kalamata olives, fresh vegetables and the Greek’s unique spices has me every(damn)time.  The only bad part of always getting my ‘fix’, was moving away and having nothing silimilar nearby.  It was time to create my 2nd masterful Greek dish and THIS one is silly easy!

This Greek inspired chicken pasta is full of flavor, yes, BUT it’s also healthy for you too!  Heck, get yourself another helping! 😉  Using non-fat greek yogurt and fresh produce brightens this dish and leaves you not feeling heavy in the least.  *I also used fantastic gluten-free noodles that really help with that after dinner bloated feeling.  Lastly..this dish is also so versatile that it is equally delicious served warm OR cold!  So it’s a fabulous choice for a leftover dinner or lunch at work too!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb chicken breasts/tenders
  • 1 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cucumber, seeded/cored and sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 package penne noodles

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 large cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tsp dill, fresh is best if you have it
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Greek Chicken Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 salt and pepper, each.  

Alright friends!  In a large gallon size ziplock bag, add in all of the marinade ingredients followed by the chicken.  Seal and place in a dish (to avoid spillage) and into the fridge.  Allow to marinate for about 3 hours.  Do not go too much longer as the citrus in the marinade will change the texture of the chicken.  *You can make the marinade without the lemon juice if you’d like it overnight and add it in later.

Assuming the chicken has been marinating away and it’s time to finish the meal, you’ll next prepare the Tzaziki sauce and again, it’s just as easy as the marinade!  After you dice up the cucumber, simply whisk together all of the above mentioned ingredients, cover and set aside.  *If preparing this in advance, please keep refridgerated until ready to use.  

Onto the vegetables!  Rinse, cut, chop, dice, seed etc. etc. etc. your yummy veggies while also bringing a large stockpot of salted water to a boil.  *I sprinkled a bit of salt and pepper over the vegetables for added flavor.

In a skillet over medium/medium-high heat with 1Tbsp of oil and 1Tbsp of butter, add the marinaded chicken.  Cook through and set aside.  Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook to package directions.  

Once the chicken has cooled slightly, roughly chop into bite size pieces.

Drain the al dente noodles and pour into a 2-qt casserole dish or large serving bowl.

The finish line has arrived…Now it’s just time to cross it!

Simply add the vegetables and olives to the penne pasta, pour on your finished tzatziki sauce and gently toss together with the crumbled feta cheese.  

Serve with extra lemon slices and perhaps a bit more feta cheese and a pinch of fresh dill, enjoy!!  

LIPTON Crockpot Pot Roast

I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for this chilly, rainy, drizzly weather that has gotten me in the mood for a good ol’ fashioned pot roast!  Now there are ‘fancier’ recipes out there, ones that braise away in the oven, in their expensive, heavy, ceramic cast-iron pans, deglazed with red wine…but this is not one of those.  It is, however, one that tastes the same and smells up the home the same.  Win!  Plus the soup mix you prepare makes for the fabulous onion’y mushroom gravy!!

Now, there are a few tricks of the trade I like to do if time permits, but if not…it’s still delicious!

*Again, IF time allows, have pan on med-high to high heat and sear each side of the roast for a couple of minutes before placeing into the crockpot.  Even better, scrape up any brown bits and juices and scoop those into the pot as well!
If you have beef broth, use that instead of water.  You also can add a 1/4 of dry red wine to this if available.
Feel free to add the veggies of your choosing, but you can easily ‘fancy them up’!  I.e pearl onions, parsnips, sweet potatoes for a savory & sweet flavor, etc.

Also, NO NEED for salt!  The combination of soup mix and the soup itself works just fine without it.  Promise!!

The Starting Lineup

  • 5-7lb beef roast
  • 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup (i.e Campbells)
  • 1 packet Liptons Onion soup mix packet
  • 1 cup water (or Beef Broth if handy)
  • Pepper (to taste – or patted on roast if searing)

Garnish

  • Carrots, chopped
  • Onion, quartered
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes, quarterd in pot or make mashed later
  • Parsely 

The EASIEST way to prepare this meal is to coat your crockpot with non-stick and place the cut-up carrots and onions (potatoes as well if not ‘mashing) in the bottom.


 In a small bowl, mix together the cream of mushroom soup, Lipton onion mix and water (broth).  Give a good stir and set aside.

 Next, place the roast (seasoned with pepper to taste) on top of those vegetables.  *Here is where you can give the roast a sear.  Once browned on all sides place onto veggies.  Then lay in the mushrooms (if using) around the roast.  *These are more fragile vegetables to me, and they’d be squished under a heavy roast.

   Now is when you can pour that soup mix over top of the entire roast, cover, set to low for 8 hours (high for 6) and WALK RIGHT AWAY!

 Once the time is up, all you have to do is spoon the tender roast, vegetables and gravy onto a large plate (trust me…you’ll need a big one with as much as you’re about to consume) and serve with the tried & true bread and butter!!  Enjoy and bundle up!

 

Breakfast Enchiladas

With the weekend fastly approaching, I thought I’d share an easy family favorite brunch that I’ve been making for years!  What’s fun (and economical) about this breakfast is that you can use up what’s already in your refridgerator!  

Below, I gave the ingredients that I recently used, but sometimes I may only have bacon or asparagus or red bell peppers…and sometimes I don’t even have any breakfast meats at all and just make the enchiladas with eggs & veggies.  The options are truly endless with this great meal!

*Another tip..you can make this the night before (pouring the egg over even) and then bake the next morning!! 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb breakfast sausage (or diced ham, bacon, or vegetarian)
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded (i.e. cheddar, jack)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • A pinch each of salt, pepper & cumin

Garnish

  • Jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • Green onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Salsa/Hot sauce  

Here we go…preheat the oven to 350degrees and prepare a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.

While the oven is preheating, we’ll rinse, chop and dice up the veggies (of your choice), grate the cheese and start cooking the breakfast sausage in a pan heated to medium. 

     After the sausage is about halfway cooked through, add in the seasonings and the vegetables and cook together till sausage is done and the veggies are translucent.  Set aside, off of heat. 

   Now one by one, prepare each tortilla by spooning a healthy amount of the cooked sausage and veggie filling down the center and topping with a Tbsp of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Continue until the tortillas and filling are gone.  *Keep the ends ‘open’ so that the egg mixture can seep its way into the rolled tortillas. 

     In a medium size bowl, crack in the 6 eggs and whisk in the 1/2 cup of milk with a bit of salt and pepper.  Next, fold in the slightly drained can of Rotel diced tomatoes and pour the entire mixture over the filled tortillas.  *Give the baking dish a jiggle to make sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. 

         Cover the entire dish with foil and pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  After the half-hour is up, remove the foil and top with the remaining shredded cheese.  Continue to bake (uncovered) for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. 

 Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes to set.  Serve each enchilada with the garnish of your choice and enjoy!! 

 

One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta

Here is a hit for all ages!  Whether you’re a sophisticated grown up or a crazy toddler, who doesn’t love a juicy bacon cheeseburger?!  …However, those fat burgers can be a bit hard for little hands to handle and the meal doesn’t spread quite as far for a large family.   So here’s the trick, put it into a casserole form and you have a winner!

As odd as it many seem to some, this really does replicate the exact taste of one of them delux burgers!  Plus, like I said, this recipe makes PLENTY.  So if you’re feeding a hungry crowd or trying to stretch your dollar, this is a fantastic family-friendly meal!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 15oz cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp mustard (classic yellow or dijon)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
  •  1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • EVOO 

We’ll start this pasta dish by first prepping our veggies!  The red onion & pickles will be incorporated into the pasta, where the green onion & tomatoes will be used for garnish.

 In a large skillet (remember this will ALL fit into one pot) add in your bacon slices and cook till crisp.  Set aside on a paper towel lined plate and drain almost all the bacon grease out.

Next add in a tbsp of EVOO along with the red onion & hamburger meat, cook all the way through while adding salt & pepper to taste and the Worcestershire sauce.  Drain the grease from the beef.

    Once the excess grease has been removed from the beef, add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, chicken broth & pasta noodles.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes (stir once or twice).

  
  

After the 20’ish minutes have passed, your pasta will be perfectly tender.  Here is when you’ll fold in the chopped dill pickles and your cooked (crumbled) bacon *assuming you didn’t eat it all by now. 

Top this with all of the shredded cheddar and recover the skillet for about 5 more minutes, till the cheese has melted. 

Once the cheddar cheese is nice and gooey, top with the diced tomato and green onion because it is done!!  Enjoy! 

  

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