Vegetables

sausage-stuffed-peppers

I love these things for SO many reasons, but the #1 might be because they’re sausage! That means they’re not chicken, salmon, or beef, which take up about 99% of our diet around here. Sausage is such a fun change-up, and we keep it light by stuffing it in a pepper. No rice in these because you just don’t need it. These are inspired by my mother-in-law, who makes them on a regular basis. I’ve had them in the back of my mind for a long time, and now that I see how easy and delicious and different these are, we’ll be making them often.

Recipe

  • 4 yellow bell peppers
  • 1 lb mild italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (the regular size – ~10 oz I think)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1.5 cup homemade bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • Pepperidge Farm crispy breadcrumbs (or any store bought version)

First make the breadcrumbs. Cut about 2-3 slices of bread (any kind) into 3/4 in pieces. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 300 for about 15 minutes until they are dried out.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the sausage in a large skillet until cooked through. If necessary, drain the fat if there is a lot of excess. You need a little left in there to cook the onions and celery. Add in the garlic, onions and celery and cook for about 8 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, salt, basil and oregano. Stir to combine. Add in the homemade breadcrumbs and chicken broth to moisten and bring to a low boil until the broth is gone (you don’t want a liquid-y filling). Turn off the heat.

Cut the stems off the peppers, slice the peppers in half, and remove the seeds and veins. Place them in a bowl with a splash of water, cover and microwave for 2 minutes. Place the 8 pepper halves in a shallow baking dish and fill with the stuffing (do not add cheese or crispy crumbs yet).  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover, top peppers with the cheese then the bread crumbs (a pinch or two per pepper for an extra crunch) and bake for another 15 minutes.

Avocado Mango Cole Slaw

avocado-mango-cole-slaw

SUMMER, I AM READY FOR YOU.  Now that I made this avocado mango cole slaw that screams Summer BBQ, I am ready.  Just kidding! We live in Texas. I hate summer! Summer in Texas makes me want to crawl back to my beautiful lake-filled-cool-summer-nights Wisconsin roots. Texas has a lot to offer, but in my opinion Summer just isn’t one of them.

But, talk about a fun way to add color to cole slaw. Cole Slaw is sort of notoriously bland looking. We all love it, but it looks boring/borderline gross in the picnic setup. So, here’s mine with lots of fun color and flavor.  Tip – the cabbage blend at Trader Joe’s is a great base. Love the mix and pretty purple cabbage!

Recipe

  • 4 cups cabbage/cole slaw blend
  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 milk with a dash of lemon juice)
  • 1.5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher/coarse salt
  • poppyseeds (optional).

Make the dressing by combining the mayo, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, salt and poppy seeds.  Mix in the cabbage and mango.  Let marinate for at least 1 hour.  Prior to serving, add in the chopped avocado.

roasted-parmesan-cauliflower

It’s the weekend! And I’m off to Nashville with my sisters! Baby free! I actually can’t believe how good it feels like to have two functional arms again. Two functional arms that I can do whatever I want with. I can even read the news on my phone in one hand and drink a cup of coffee in the other at the same time!!  (just kidding no coffee this weekend – I’m only doing wine.)

I miss those little boys already, but the freedom feels nice. Shout out to my husband for taking on a weekend of mobile 8-month old twins in stride – and even being excited about it. (sorry for saying ‘shout out;’ I couldn’t think of a more appropriate term).

Anyway, it’s the weekend and if you’re cooking dinner, here is your side! So good! Obviously so easy. There is no reason I used purple cauliflower here other than the fact that I could. I was at the grocery store, and it was pretty. Use whatever you want!

Recipe

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon kosher/coarse salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • ~2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano (I used a combo)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Chop up the cauliflower into individual florets, and transfer to a baking sheet lightly coated with nonstick spray.  Include all the little tiny pieces of cauliflower that break off during the chopping process. They get really brown and delicious. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and toss to coat. Season with a little fresh cracked pepper.  Roast for 25 min, then toss on the cheese, and roast for a few minutes more until melted.

Hatch Chile Corn Fritters

hatch-chile-corn-fritters
Delightful, that’s what these are. Sweet corn with a little
bit of heat from the chiles…..big payoff for minimal effort.  It’s Hatch Chile season, which is a type of
chile from New Mexico that makes it’s way into every grocery store in Texas. Central Market goes nuts for hatch chiles this
time of year, incorporating it into everything. Literally everything:
tortillas, bread, chocolate, brownies, cheese, chips, etc.  So, I wanted to make Jalapeno corn fritters
but decided to get a little more festive with the hatch chiles.  Jalapenos would be delicious too!

 

Recipe

 

  • 2 1/3 cups fresh or canned corn, divided
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped green chiles
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Sour cream (for serving)

 

Using a food processor or blender, pulse 2 cups of the corn,
the corn flour, sour cream, egg and salt 2 or 3 times (you don’t want to turn
it into a paste).  Add the chiles and do
one more pulse. Mix in the cheese and remaining 1/3 cup corn, and do a mini
pulse (you want to leave some big chunks of corn).  Form the corn mixture into patties, coat with
breadcrumbs, and place on a plate. I would recommend putting the patties in the
freezer or fridge for 15-30 minutes to help solidify the shape, but I didn’t
have time to do this and they turned out fine.
Heat enough olive oil to coat the pan over medium-high heat, and cook
the patties until brown on each side (2-5 min per side).  Serve with sour cream, duh!
grilled-corn-with-jalapeno-butter

I’m cooking with jalapeno’s a lot lately. That must mean I’m
officially a Texan – things taste bland without them.  We love grilled corn at our house, and I’ve
been experimenting lately with different spices/butters. Loooooved this one –
it’s summery, a tad spicy, a tad sweet, and so so easy.

 

Recipe

 

  • Grilled corn on the cob
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

 

Start by grilling the jalapeno.  Straight on the grates, no oil, maybe 20-30
minutes or so until nice and charred.  When it’s cool enough to
handle, peel the skin off and discard. Dice into small pieces, removing the seeds along the
way.  Mix the jalapeno into the softened
butter, along with the honey and salt.
Brush onto freshly grilled corn.

Cheesy Avocado Toast

cheesy-avocado-toas

I am not in any way pretending I came up with this idea. But man, I wish I did. And while I also wish I invented chocolate cake and cinnamon roll muffins and this veal piccata, I don’t think I would have ever had the natural ability to do that. Avocado toast, though, I could have. It’s two ingredients! Oh wait, three. I added cheese because I’m from Wisconsin. I guess this is technically my recipe now.

Recipe (for one)

  • One slice thick-cut wheat or sourdough bread
  • One half large perfectly ripe avocado (soft not squishy)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt
  • Provolone

This recipe is for one because I have no one to eat this with. My husband doesn’t think it counts as a meal, and generally when I have dinner with my girlfriends we go out. And if I did cook for them (which I definitely do from time to time), I don’t think I would ask them to come over for avocado toast.

So, make this for yourself while sitting on the couch and watching Friends. It’s perfect for that.

Turn on the broiler.  Place the bread on a baking sheet, spray with Pam, toast for a few minutes and then flip to toast the other side. Add the cheese, then place back under the broiler until bubbly.  Meanwhile, mash the avocado and mix in several sprinkles of salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I like to keep it relatively chunky.  Remove the toast from the oven, top with smashed avocado and another sprinkling of coarse salt, and enjoy!!

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