Crash Hot Potatoes

crash hot potatoes
We were planning on having ham last night, since I had a coupon that expired this week, and I had a vague memory of seeing these potatoes somewhere. It took a little bit of searching, but I should have known something so delicious would be found from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I L-O-V-E potatoes, especially crispy potatoes and these were awesome! Since you boil them first, you don't have to worry about them not being all the way done and they get deliciously crispy. YUM!

* 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes) (I used red)
* 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* Kosher Salt To Taste
* Black Pepper To Taste
* Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste (I made these last minute, so just used salt and pepper)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

chicken and black bean enchilada
I made these into an enchilada casserole since I was using corn tortillas (they are small and I figured they would just fall apart anyway), but I really loved that everything was in one dish...including the beans and rice. The original "recipe" is below and came from Jamie's Cookbook. Preston had THREE helpings of it...they were small, but still, that is success in my book!

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I used 1 can chicken)
8 oz pepper-jack cheese, shredded (I used 2% cheese)
2 cups COOKED white or brown rice (I had leftover onion rice and used that)
10 flour tortillas (I used about 15 corn tortillas)
1 red onion, chopped
(I also added chopped cilantro!)
28 oz medium green chile enchilada sauce (I didn't use the entire can)

Note from Jamie: this is more of an ingredient list with approximations of amount than an exact recipe; how much you need will vary by how much of each ingredient you use in each tortilla. You can sprinkle any extra cheese and onions on top. Or if I use too much cheese in each, I add some cheddar cheese or a jack cheese blend on top.

Preheat oven to 350. Layer rice, beans, chicken, onions and cheese in each tortilla and roll. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas. Bake at least 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. In my opinion, the longer the better because the onions get tastier the longer they cook.
(I put a little sauce in the bottom of 9x13 dish and then tore up corn tortillas to cover the bottom. Then layered rice, beans, chicken, onions, cilantro, cheese and a little sauce. Tore up more tortillas and repeated. One last layer of tortillas and then poured sauce to cover and baked for 45 minutes.)

San Francisco Chops

san fran chops 
We love any meal that is served on top of rice, so I was excited to try this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. The meat was so tender and I loved the subtle flavor. It was a hit with the whole family!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

Hot Cooked Rice, for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. (Mel says this is a MUST!) Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.
Serve the tender chops over rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

veggie lasagna 
This recipe comes from the blog Raise Healthy Eaters. It was simple to make, had great flavors, AND is good for you! It makes TONS so we had a lot of leftovers, but the kids all liked it and I even thought it tasted like it had meat in it. I know the picture doesn't look very pretty, but take my word for it, it was a winner!

-8-ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
-15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
-2 large eggs
-¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
-1 teaspoon salt, divided
-1 cup carrots, shredded
-3 cups zucchini, shredded and firmly packed
(I used my food processor for the carrots and zucchini)
-26-ounce jar roasted garlic marinara sauce
-8-10 regular lasagna noodles *not no-boil* (I used gluten-free rice ones)

Remove ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine remaining mozzarella, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan and ½ teaspoon salt.
Cook carrots in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir into cheese mixture and set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir remaining ½ teaspoon salt into zucchini.
Spray Crock Pot with cooking spray.
Spread 1/3 sauce on bottom. Gently break 2 noodles to fill and cover bottom.
Spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with 1 cup shredded zucchini. Top with 2/3 cup marinara sauce.
Repeat with a second layer (2 noodles, 1 cup cheese mixture, 1 cup shredded zucchini and 2/3 cup marinara sauce).
Add a third layer of noodles and top with remaining cheese mixture and zucchini only.
Top with noodles and remaining marinara sauce, then sprinkle with the reserved ½ cup mozzarella.
Cook on High for 3 hours. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato Foil Pack Taco

sweet potato taco foil packet
I saw this recipe from Perrys' Plate on the menu over at Cassie Craves this week and thought it sounded delicious and nutritious! You could make them meatless too and they would be just as tasty. I love savory sweet potatoes and was surprised at how good the combination of their flavor with the taco meat and beans was. These are the healthiest "tacos" around :-)!

1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
2-3 T taco seasoning
1/2 cup tomato sauce (4 ounces)
1 can black, kidney, or pinto beans, drained (I used black)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups total)
2 T butter
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole for garnish
6 12-inch long pieces of aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and beans. Set aside.
To assemble packets, spray the foil with non-stick spray. Place 1 cup sweet potato cubes in the center of each piece. Top with a small piece of butter (about 1 tsp) and a pinch or two of salt. Sprinkle some chopped spinach over the sweet potatoes, followed by about 1/3 cup of taco meat and sprinkle of cheese. Fold the sides in, then bring the top and bottom ends of the foil together in the center and fold, sealing the packet.
Repeat with remaining ingredients, placing the packets on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.
Makes 6 servings.

Stewed White Beans with Spinach and Bacon

stewed beans and spinach 
This is a Rachael Ray recipe and I really liked it! The rest of the family had mixed feeling about it...Mike wanted less beans, the kids liked the beans the best, but everyone liked the bacon :-). I think it could use even more spinach! It was super filling and pretty good for you if you use turkey bacon and add the extra spinach!

* 8 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
* 1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/3 -inch cubes
* 1/2 onion, chopped
* Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups packed baby spinach (I used 3 cups)
* 2 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used reduced fat)

1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, turning halfway through, until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; drain on a paper towel- lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.
2. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, chicken broth and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 7 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Crumble the bacon on top and sprinkle with the scallions and parmesan.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

image and recipe from Homesick Texan
I LOOOOOVED these enchiladas! I didn't have my camera though, so I didn't get a picture of my own, but I will definitely be making them again...and soon! The sauce is creamy and tangy and delicious! Yum! I wish I had more left to eat tonight :-(!

For the filling:
Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 cans chicken)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium-sized onion, diced (about 3/4 of a cup)
For the sour cream sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Serrano chiles, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour (I used cornstarch)
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of sour cream (I used light)
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 fresh tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half or one 10 oz. can of tomatillos
Dash of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
For the enchiladas
12 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon of canola oil
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
(skip next step if using canned chicken)
Sprinkle the chicken breasts on each side with the salt and black pepper. In a large cast-iron set on medium heat, and cook the chicken breasts on each side for three minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When the chicken is done, take the chicken out of the oven and let cool. Then shred with two forks. Keep the oven on as you’ll be using it again.
While the chicken is baking, in a pot melt the butter. Throw in the diced Serrano chiles and cook until soft, about three or four minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook for one more minute. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and whisking constantly cook until chicken broth has thickened. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, cayenne and cilantro. Remove from heat.
If using fresh tomatillos, place them under the broiler on a foil-lined sheet and cook on each side until blackened, about four minutes per side. Place in a blender along with the sour cream sauce and puree into smooth. If using canned tomatillos, skip the broiler step and just place them in the blender with the sour cream sauce and proceed.
(I just heated my tortillas in microwave)
Heat the canola oil in a skillet and cook the corn tortillas on each side a couple of minutes until soft. Wrap in a cloth to keep warm as you continue to cook all 12.
To assemble the enchiladas, pour one cup of the sour cream sauce in the bottom of a casserole pan. Take each corn tortilla and place in the middle 1/3 cup of shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon of diced onions and 1 tablespoon of cheese (approx).
Roll the tortillas around the filling and place the rolled tortillas seam side down in the casserole dish. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top is brown and bubbling.
Serve topped with chopped cilantro. Makes 12 enchiladas.

Poor Man's Stroganoff

beef stroganoff
I was intrigued by this stroganoff recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. We have our own version of a poor man's stroganoff from when we were first married, but I thought the addition of tomato and bacon seemed weird, but possibly delicious :-). We all thought it was good and I would definitely make it again. I don't know if I'd really consider it stroganoff, but it is still good!

1-2 teaspoons olive oil
6 ounces turkey bacon, diced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey (I used 1 lb)
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon paprika
1 cup sour cream, light
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
Cooked egg noodles or rice, for serving

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and saute diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside, leaving any grease/oil in the pan. Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about one minute (if the pan is too dry, add a teaspoon of oil as needed). Add salt. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are softened and have given up most of their juices. Transfer them to the same plate as the bacon.

In the same skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the grease.

Stir in the flour and tomato paste to the meat mixture and mix to combine well. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking to combine all the ingredients. Simmer vigorously for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Cook until flavors blend, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add sautéed mushrooms and bacon back to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream, mixing well to avoid lumps. Stir in the parsley. Serve over egg noodles or hot, cooked rice.

Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls aka: Pao de Queijo

brazilian rolls
When I went to Our Best Bites looking for dinner recipes this week, these little rolls were at the top of their site, screaming out at me "Gluten-Free"! I had to try them and I have HAD to make them every night this week...seriously. They are simple, tasty, and like I said, Gluten-Free. YUM!

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (I have used whole and 1% and both worked great)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour, no substitutions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese*, preferably medium or sharp (I have used regular and 2% cheese and both worked!)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
*you can play around with the cheese. I've used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar. All great!
Optional: extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you'd like to add. Try rosemary and or garlic powder.
(I have been sprinkling some garlic powder on top and love it!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth. Add cheeses and pulse 2 times. Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn't non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less. If desired, sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan. Serve warm. These actually don't re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.
(they say they get 16-18 muffins, but I only got about 10...maybe my muffin tin is bigger?)

Stuffed Chicken

stuffed chicken
This is basically a gluten-free version of chicken cordon bleu that I found on Kill the Gluten. It was easy, pretty healthy, and really tasty...loved by every single member of the family!!! We ate the chicken with wild rice, salad and Brazilian Cheese Rolls (gluten-free too, and sooo good!!!).

4 chicken breasts, sliced open on the side
3 eggs, beaten (I just used 2)
deli ham slices
swiss cheese slices (I used 2% Kraft slices)
Italian seasoning
GF bread crumbs, optional (I did not use)

Slice the chicken lengthways to make a pocket for stuffing. Fill with deli ham and cheese. Dip stuffed breasts into beaten eggs, then dip in GF bread crumbs if available and place in baking pan (I put a little water at the bottom to avoid sticking). Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. During the last 10 minutes I like to put more swiss cheese on top