I’ve been on somewhat of a meal prep kick lately. In an effort to try and save some money we’ve been taking lunch to work for quite some time now. We started out just taking leftovers from dinner the night before. The problem with this is that I have to plan a dinner every night that is going to have enough for 2 meals. This proved to be a challenge week in and week out. Thus enter the idea of meal prep.
I’ve done different crockpot meals and those work out really well! I like the idea of making a lot of food with very little effort. So a one pot meal is right up my alley. This dish was quick to put together while I was cleaning the kitchen and starting my gardening chores. This turned out really yummy and you can really just throw in whatever veggies you feel like! This is just a nice comfort food, but the fresh veggies won’t make you feel guilty about it!
- 8 pieces Thick cut Bacon, chopped into 1 inch squares
- 6 Johnsonville Sausages…pick your favorite flavor (I like Italian), sliced
- 1 Green Pepper, finely diced
- 1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
- 2 Tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 24 oz Jar pasta sauce
- 24 oz Water
- 1 Tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 16 oz Bowtie Pasta
- 1 Bag Kraft Italian Blend Cheese
In a large skillet brown the bacon over medium heat. Once it starts to get crispy add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Add the green peppers, onions and tomatoes, saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add garlic, rosemary and oregano, saute for another minute.
Add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. If you’re eating it now then go ahead and add the cheese and cover for another minute until the cheese it nice and melted.
If you are prepping lunches then let it cool for 20 minutes. Place in tupperware and top with cheese. Store in the fridge. It will take about 2.5 minutes to heat up in a microwave.
I seriously sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what to call this recipe. There are tons of Parmesan crusted or Lemon and herb tilapia recipes. Levi got us these gorgeous filets from Smiths today and I just kept thinking of delicious things to put on top! So here is a lemon herb Parmesan crusted tilapia. It is simply amazing! It was so flaky and tender, and flavor has so many different notes that it keeps it interesting with each bite.
If you’ve been following the blog lately you know that I’ve been trying to get rid of these tubs of Parmesan and Romano cheese that we got a few weeks ago. And they are almost gone…….hooray! But I am really loving some of the recipes they have inspired.
A year or so ago Levi and I tried to be a little healthy. So we ate fish this one time. Lol. Now we are on a health kick again and we have literally doubled that effort! Last week we had a nice little Halibut. It was pretty good, but after I tasted this tilapia today I knew I HAD to share the recipe!
- 2 Tilpia filets
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan and Romano Cheese blend
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Parsley
- 1 Tbsp Basil
- Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400.
Spray your cookie with cookie spray. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the filets. In a small bowl mix together all the other ingredients. Sprinkle each side of the filets with the mix and gently press in.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
We’ve been enjoying some wild rice and asparagus with our fish.
Happy weekend everyone!
If you are looking for another super easy weeknight dinner this one is sure to satisfy! Add some french bread and a small salad on the side and it will taste like you spent an hour instead of just 5 minutes on prep!
I found this Barilla Rotini pasta that in enriched with extra protein and fiber…yummy and extra goodness to make your body happy! I used my own tomato sauce that I had frozen this summer so it was 100% veggies…..you can get the Garden Veggie Tomato Sauce recipe here! So this dish was cram jam full of goodness! I found out that I only have 1 package of tomato sauce left 😦 I don’t want to wait until August to make more!! My dad just started planting his seeds so I asked for 3 tomato plants this year. I can’t wait for my late summer afternoons in the kitchen whipping up huge batches of my new favorite spaghetti sauce.
I have a few upcoming Saturday’s off and I am so excited to finally get to Home Depot and get some upgrades for my photo staging! I haven’t 100% decided what I want to do but I look forward to even just walking around and daydreaming about all my options!
- 1 package Barilla Protein Plus Rotini
- 15 Frozen Meatballs, thawed- You can also make your own with 1 lb italian sausage, 1/4 cup parmesean cheese and 1 tbsp basil and oregano. Roll into balls and cook thouroughly.
- 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce,should be around 20 oz
- 3 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
- 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large baking dish add the rotini, meatballs, water and sauce. Stir together. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Test the pasta, it should be just a little too firm still. Top with the mozzarella and then parmesan. Bake an additional 7-10 minutes until the cheese is nice and browned.
Serve it up with your favorite sides and enjoy!!
We are always looking for yummy, quick and easy meals! Especially since this week we are both sick 😦 and mostly just been living off of grilled cheese and soup. But I wanted to make something that would feed us for a few days with very little effort. And this is definitely it! As far as I can figure Goulash is just a fancy name for Beefaroni…..lol. But if you love spaghetti in a meat sauce this is definitely in your wheel house.
I have been busy busy busy like a really busy bee all week and haven’t had time for an actual sick day. Hopefully I will have some relaxing evenings ahead. Lots of shows to catch up on. 2 weeks into winter season and I haven’t watched any Grey’s Anatomy. I have been remiss! Or that new show Riverdale that is supposed to be a dark version of Archie comics. Man, I sure did love those growing up! I would save up allowance and keep an eye out for new books every time we went to the grocery store. I am hoping this new show lives up to the hype.
But first let’s eat!
- 2 lb Coarse Ground Beef
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Rosemary
- 2 tsp Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Cans(15 oz) Tomato Sauce
- 2 Cans(15 oz) Diced Tomato
- 2 Tbsp Worsteshire Sauce
- 3 Cups Water
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 16 oz Macaroni
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot brown the Beef, drain the fat. Add the onions, Rosemary and Oregano. Cook until the onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, worsteshire sauce, water, bay leaves and macaroni. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 until the pasta is cooked.
Serve it up with a garnish and some crusty bread. Yum!
I really love country style ribs! No bone and they are very tender and will absorb flavors well. Most recipes you will find will take hours and hours to slow cook the ribs to perfection. We usually do them in a slow cooker with Dr. Pepper. Click here for that recipe.
But I was looking for a quicker way to cook them, and found a lot of recipes that braised them in wine, but that still took a few hours. So what better way to get a quick cook than in a cast iron pan! I used my cast iron to sear the ribs first and then covered and into the oven for a quick braise. I know that I posted this as a 30 minute recipe and it really is just a few minutes over 30! WOW! The sauce is wonderful and made from the left over braising liquid.
I was basically playing an episode of Chopped this evening. All I knew I had was wine, ribs and pierogies. Luckily the broccoli and carrots were already in the fridge and we were able to whip up this awesome dinner.
- 6 Country Style Ribs, rubbed with salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Cup White Wine
- 2 Tbsp Rosemary
- 2 tsp Onion Salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- For the sauce: 2 Tbsp flour, 1 chicken bullion cube and 1/2 cup Milk
Preheat oven to 325.
In your cast iron skillet heat up the oil, add the ribs that have been rubbed with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes on each side until browned. Set aside. Add the garlic to the pan, give it a stir and it will brown very quickly. Add the wine, there will probably be a lot of smoke so keep your fan on. Bring to a boil, add the rosemary, onion salt and bay leaves. Put the ribs back in the pan and cover with your cast iron lid.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Pork should be cooked to at least 165 degrees. Once it’s done place the pan back on the stove top. Remove the ribs to a covered plate to rest while you make the sauce. Whisk in the flour and bring to a simmer. Add the milk and continue to simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.
Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? I love mac and cheese, but once you reach a certain age and don’t have kids it just doesn’t seem right to make it out of a box (especially when you are trying to run your own food blog 🤗.) I have another mac and cheese recipe that is pretty good and it is made with some pesto. This one is similar. I had to have a recipe with peas in it though.
When I was growing up I absolutely love mac and cheese. And my mom always wanted to try and add something healthy when her kids were eating junk. I absolutely loved it! I always wanted peas in my mac and cheese. When I told Levi about this tonight he looked at me like I was crazy. But trust me. It’s delicious! I love how it adds a little bit of crunch and just a little bit of sweetness.
Let me know what you think!
- 1 pound Macaroni elbows, prepared according to package instructions
- 6 slices Bacon, fully cooked, cooled and chopped or crumbled.
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Tbsp Flour
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt and Ground pepper
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 cup Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Peas, cooked
In a medium saucepan add the garlic and butter over low heat. Slowly melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Increase heat to medium and whisk for about 2 minutes until it starts to thicken and bubble. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk. Keep whisking until it also starts to thicken and simmer. This could take 5-10 minutes.
Add both cheeses. Whisk until melted. Remove from heat. Your sauce should be thick enough to coat the spoon, but still easily stirs. If you need to make it a little thinner then add a little milk. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles. Add the bacon and peas and mix until combined.
I hope you enjoy this cheesy masterpiece!
What do you like to add to your mac and cheese? Comment below!
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Have a Happy New Year friends!
This super easy dish has a sister that is by far our most popular dish! The One Pan Garden Rotini Alfredo is hands down our most viewed recipe with over 400 views! Wow! It truly is a super yummy and easy dish. I wanted to make something similar tonight, but wanted to use some of my gorgeous Garden Tomato Sauce because it is chock full of veggies!
I’m coming off some downtime from a back injury and we haven’t really been eating all that healthy through the last few weeks so some veggie goodness was in store to keep us healthy and fight off all the icky winter sicknesses!
This dish is actually lower in fat as well since we used Chicken Sausage instead of beef or pork. Does it get much better than this? Can’t wait for these leftovers tomorrow!
- 4 Johnsonville Chicken Sausage, Italian style, sliced
- 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
- 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 Cups Spaghetti sauce
- 3 Cups Water
- 8 oz Garden Rotini pasta
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Optional- diced green pepper and sliced mushroom
In a 9 inch skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the Sausage and sauté until slightly browned. Add the onion and garlic and any other veggies. Sauté until slightly soft.
Add the water, tomato sauce, and pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.
Sometimes it is really fun to look through an older cookbook that is just chock full of classics and think about how people ate 30 or 40 or 60 years ago! You either had to get recipes from your mom, go buy tons of cookbooks or tear pages out of magazines. I mean only 15 years ago when I was just out of high school all I had was a little binder of recipes from my mom and a baking cookbook. And I didn’t actually make an meal that wasn’t mostly pre-made in one way or another. And man, I thought I was so slick putting together a Spagetti dinner with pre-made meatballs.
And look at me now. I wouldn’t think of buying store pasta and meatballs! And as soon as my first tomato crop comes in then I will dabble in the world of homemade pasta sauce!
But back to the post of the day. I found a recipe for Beef Stroganoff in an old James Beard recipe book and decided to update it a little and give it a shot. This dish is super easy to make and pretty quick. It’s a little tangy and very filling! It’s also pretty fun to make especially if your roommate has seen the movie Anastasia and dances around the kitchen singing “never slurp the stroganoff. I never cared for stroganoff. She said that like Romanov.” Good times.
- 1 1/2- 2 pounds Stir Fry Beef Strips
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Green or Red Onions
- 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 2 Cups Rice, cooked with onion salt, garlic salt and basil to taste.
Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a hot pan. Sauté the beef slices in the butter. Once the beef is lightly browned on both sides set them aside.
Lower the heat to medium and melt the rest of the butter and add the onions. Cook for 2 minutes until tender. Add the white wine and Worcestershire sauce. Mix together well and bring to a simmer. Add sour cream and mix until it’s heated through. Don’t let it boil. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on top of the rice and garnish with fresh parsley.
I am not a fan of leftovers. I have accepted them into my life as a permanent lunch staple for purely economical reasons. But it is very rare that leftovers make it into the dinner lineup. We’ve been having some lunch parties at work lately which is really cool because I love celebrating success and it’s always nice to take a break from the everyday and have a little party. Of course when you are ordering food for tons of people it’s best to err on the side of caution. So we’ve had some leftovers that have been distributed among some of the staff. I have taken home some fried chicken and some of THE BEST gravy ever.
So fried chicken in pretty high on my list of foods that I cannot deal with as leftovers, until now. As I stared at this huge bag of cold chicken I was desperate to find a way to re purpose it so that it’s appetizing. And then it came to me…….quesadillas!! I usually just use some shredded chicken, cheese, onion and salsa for my quesadillas so this leftover chicken would just fit right in! Except…….we are taking this one to the next level!! Oh yes, adding bacon and ranch makes a super awesome dinner that is guaranteed to satisfy.
One of the best things about quesadilla’s is that they are a totally blank canvas that you can make it exactly what you want! I like mine just a little bit different than Levi and it’s no big deal, which makes life so easy. And it is so easy make dinner for just one….or two! Back in my “single” days this was one of my go to dinners at least 2 times a week because it is so easy and very little prep or clean up.
Ingredients for 1 quesadilla:
- 1 Cup Chicken (I used leftover fried chicken and pulled it off the bones and cut into bite sizes and kept some of the skin too. But you can also use shredded or thick sliced chicken breast)
- 1 Tbsp Ranch
- 2 Pieces of Bacon
- 4 oz Colby Jack cheese (I prefer to get 8 thick slices off of a brick of cheese, but you could use shredded or pre-sliced cheese.) Use more or less depending on your preference, but this amount will make it very cheesy!
- 1 Large Tortilla
- Optional: Thin onion slices, green pepper, jalapeno or whatever other veggies you may want. It’s best to slice these thin so that your quesdilla isn’t too big. I like to add them fresh but you can grill them up a bit first if you want. Just be careful about adding anything that is too juicy because you don’t want a soggy quesadilla.
Heat your griddle or pan to a medium heat. Fry up bacon, once done remove bacon and add chicken and skins and heat up and get the skin nice and crispy. Remove from heat and mix in with ranch.
Reduce heat to low. Butter one side of tortilla, place in pan butter side down.
Add 1/2 cheese, optional toppings, bacon, ranch chicken and then other 1/2 cheese. Arrange on half of the tortilla leaving a little room around the edge. Fold tortilla over so the round edges are even. Turn up heat just a little bit. Cook on each side about 2 minutes until the tortilla is evenly browned.
Serve with a side of salsa, or ranch or both!
***So I made this the first time at the end of the summer and apparently never got around to typing the actual recipe! Oops! Made it again this week and it’s so yummy! I am definitely looking forward to all the leftover snacks 🙂
I know that the season of picnics and BBQ’s is almost over, but I just wanted to share one more summer gem! We made this salad for our side with a beautiful steak. We also took it on our only picnic to the beach this year. It was a pretty windy day so it wasn’t the best outing ever. But after chasing puppy Sven around the beach this was such a refreshing snack!
I will admit that the first time I made this I made the mistake of buying Zesty Italian Dressing, that stuff is too damn spicy! Damn near burned off my taste buds 😦 So as you value your sense of taste, please, for the love of god, do not buy Zesty Italian dressing!!
Ok here is the recipe for this gorgeous tangy bright salad!
- 1 box Tri-color Pasta
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 1 cup Frozen Corn
- 1 Cucumber, diced
- 2 Carrots, diced
- 1/2 Pound Colby Jack Cheese, diced (or a full pound if you really love cheese!)
- 1 bag Mini Pepperonis
- 1 Cup Italian Dressing
- Optional: Diced green pepper, celery, black olives or finely chopped red onion
Cook the pasta according to directions. I prefer al dents pasta, but if you prefer well done I will not tell you how to live your life 😉
3 minutes before the pasta is done cooking add the frozen peas and corn. Once it’s cooked to your liking then drain the water. Let the pasta sit at room temp for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally to let the heat out. Move to the fridge for about 10 more minutes.
Prep your other veggies and cheese and toss together in a large bowl. Add pepperoni and Italian dressing. Toss to coat.
Remove the pasta mix from the fridge and add about 1 cup at a time to the large bowl, tossing to coat.
And there you have it!
May your summer be filled with sun, fun, family and friends, and great food!