Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

The other night, I made a pork chop skillet, which I served with pan roasted brussel sprouts. We love brussel sprouts and this is a quick and easy way to make them!

We do occasionally buy fresh brussel sprouts, but more times than not I buy frozen ones. On the bag, it says to steam in the microwave (and we do cook them that way a lot), but in my opinion pan roasting them is even better!

Just let them thaw out a little bit, then slice them in half.

In a hot skillet, add the brussel sprouts and some avocado oil, salt and pepper. Let them sit for a bit, to get some browning and then toss them a bit, to allow for more browning. Cook until they are warmed through and have good color.

Easy Peasy!

Meatless Monday: Hearty Lentil Stew {vegetarian}

Yesterday, we decided to (mostly – not counting lunch, which was leftovers and had meat) do a Meatless Monday! A hearty lentil stew seemed appropriate. Loaded with lots of vegetables and bright flavors, this stew hits the spot.

I knew I was going to use celery, carrots and potatoes. When I found myself at Trader Joe’s today and saw that they had Delicata squash, I decided to add that in. Then when I got home, I remembered that I had a few baby bella mushrooms, so decided to use those too.

Once all of the veggies were chopped, I put them (all but the potatoes) in a medium-high heat dutch oven, with a bit of olive oil to saute. I cooked them for about 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables started to soften.

Then I added in the can of diced tomatoes, with the juice, vegetable stock, potatoes and seasonings and brought it up to a boil. I then, reduced the heat – covered the pot and simmered for 15 minutes.

I then added in the lentils and the quinoa and cooked for another 20 minutes.

Finally, I added in the spinach and the lemon juice and let it simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more.


Serve with finely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

Hearty Lentil Stew

Total Prep and Cook time: 1 hour 20 min

2 cups lentils
1/3 cup quinoa
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 oz fresh spinach
4 red potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 winter squash (I used delicata), chopped
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning

  • Chop all vegetables to similar size
  • In large dutch oven, or pot, put small amount of olive oil – heat over medium – high heat
  • Add chopped veggies (all except the potatoes) and saute until veggies start to get soft
  • Pour in canned tomatoes, vegetable stock and potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat
  • Add in seasonings, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add in lentils and quinoa and allow to cook for another 20 minutes
  • Add in the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for 5-10 more minutes
  • Serve with finely grated parmesan or asiago cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

When making Brunswick Stew, I bought and cooked a 4.5 pound Boston Butt roast, so – clearly, I had leftovers. And, I still had some of Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough from when I made my Blueberry Pizza. Having both of those things, I decided to make a pulled pork BBQ pizza.

I decided to keep the ingredients pretty simple: Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough, pulled pork, Alouette Garlic and Herb spreadable cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s Mustard BBQ sauce.

I rolled the dough out into something, loosely, resembling a circle. Then added the Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese as the base.

Then I added some of the pulled pork. It was cold, fresh from the fridge – no need to heat it up, since it is going into a very hot oven! Next, the pizza was topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. And, lastly, drizzled on some of the BBQ sauce.

I cooked it on parchment paper (on top of a pizza stone) in my oven, for 20 minutes, at 500 degrees.

Biz’s dough crisps up so well and really can hold a topping!

The savory flavor of the Alouette garlic and herb cheese, coupled with the tangy sweetness of the BBQ sauce was AMAZING!! So good!!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough
Pulled Pork
Alouette Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese

  • Roll out the dough (doing it on parchment paper makes it easier to put it in and take it out of the oven)
  • Add Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese to the top of the dough
  • Top with pulled pork and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Drizzle on the BBQ sauce
  • Cook for 20 minutes in 500 degree oven

** Note I didn’t measure anything when I was making this, so just kind of eyeball it, depending on how much dough you use.

Banana Pancakes

I’m not a huge pancake person, but my family loves them. We had some bananas that needed to be used, so I thought ‘banana pancakes’ (well, actually, I thought ‘banana pancakes or banana waffles?’ and decided on pancakes.).

Only a handful of ingredients are needed for these pancakes: a banana, 2 eggs, flour, sugar, milk, butter and cinnamon.

Prep started by whisking the eggs and adding in the other wet ingredients and mixing with everything but the flour and bananas.

I, then, mixed in the flour. After the mixture is well incorporated, I whisked in the bananas, making sure to not over mix.

I used a hot griddle and poured the pancake batter out in 1/4 cup portions. I flipped them, once the batter started to bubble and once the bottoms are golden brown, your pancakes are done.

** Note: the extra sugar from the bananas will result in a more golden pancake.

Banana Pancakes

1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Oil for griddle

  • Mash banana in small bowl
  • In large bowl, whisk eggs
  • Add milk, butter cinnamon, sugar and cinnamon to bowl and mix well
  • Add in the bananas and mix well
  • On a hot griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake
  • Flip pancake when the batter starts to bubble
  • Remove pancake, when bottom is golden brown.

Brunswick Stew

One of my favorite things growing up in South Georgia was Brunswick Stew. Despite that – until this week, I’d never made it. As I normally do when I develop a recipe that is inspired by something I’ve had before, I thought about all the things that I like about the dishes I’ve had. For Brunswick stew – I like corn, potatoes and lima beans. I like both shredded chicken and pork. And, I like a little bit of a ‘bite’ or acidity. These are some of the items I included (in addition to the meat, potatoes and onion).

This recipe started with cooking the meats. I did the chicken thighs in the instant pot. I used the same method as I mentioned, when I made Chicken Noodle Soup/Stew the other day. Both in cooking and in shredding the chicken. Again – I will never do it another way again, ever!

The pork was a whole other thing. I started by trying to cook the boston butt roast in the crock pot, but despite the fact that I cooked it on low for 8 hours – and then turned it up to high for another 2 hours, I simply could not get it up to 190 degrees, internally, which is needed to get it to shred. Ultimately, I moved it to the instant pot and finished it off there. For the most part, I shredded it the same as the chicken – using a hand held mixer.

I kind of made this dish in stages: I did the pork the day before, I did the chicken in the AM, I prepped the onions and potatoes in the afternoon (Then I went to see Downton Abbey!) and, finally, made the Brunswick stew in the evening. I mention that to say that you have the option to do all the prep work ahead of time – and then ‘throw it together’ for a pretty amazing (and relatively quick) dinner!

Once I was home from seeing Downton Abbey (If you haven’t seen it, and you’re a fan of the show, you should!!), I started putting it all together. Starting with browning the onion and garlic in my dutch oven. The rest was pretty much dumping things in and letting it all come together in the pot – so not a lot of pictures.

Despite this being the first time that I’ve made Brunswick stew – it will definitely not be my last. I’m not even sure what has kept me from making it! The flavors that I pulled together in this one are EXACTLY all the things that I love about Brunswick stew!

** Note: you can add more chicken stock if it is too thick, but remember that Brunswick Stew should be thick.

Brunswick Stew

Total cook time: 20 min prep, 90 min cook

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic
5 cups chicken stock
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2-3 chicken thighs, shredded
3 cups pulled pork
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Regular BBQ sauce
3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Mustard BBQ sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
12 oz package of frozen lima beans
12 oz package of frozen whole kernel corn
6 potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Avocado oil spray

  • In large dutch oven, brown onions and garlic in avocado oil
  • Add worchestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, tomatoes and chicken stock to dutch oven and bring to a boil
  • Add in the vegetables, BBQ sauces, chicken, pork, salt and pepper – reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, for best blending of flavors – you can actually eat it anytime after your vegetables are done – it just gets more depth of flavor the longer it simmers.

*** If needed to thicken, create a slurry with a small amount of cold water and cornstarch and add to pot, allowing it to thicken.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Please don’t judge my janky muffin tin – I need new ones – one day!

My youngest, in the infinite wisdom that only a 16 year old possesses, told me one morning this week that I need to get up every morning and cook her a meal. No, the granola bar was not sufficient. No, a piece of toast would not do. She needed a meal with eggs and meat! As a mother that, also, works full time – there is no way I’m getting up Monday – Friday and making a full on breakfast – nope, nada, not going to happen.

What I will do, though, is make something that would ‘keep’ in the fridge or in the freezer that my little 16 year old princess can easily pop in the microwave on her way out the door – Breakfast Egg Muffins it is!

I decided to do eggs, sausage, cheese, onions and tomatoes – all things that my family loves.

Originally, I was going to make them in silicon muffin cups (spoiler alert – I still wish I had! More on that later), but decided to use paper cups instead (what – with my loathing of doing dishes, I felt sure that this was the right decision – see spoiler alert above, one of the few times – HA! – that I was wrong). At the end, I’ll give some ‘lessons learned’ and ‘what I’ll do next time’ commentary!

As I chose to use Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, I cooked up half the chub on the stove and set it aside to cool a bit.

I just whisked my eggs and poured into the muffin cups and I was ready to complete building the muffins! I suppose you could just whisk it all together and pour it in, but I chose to add the other ingredients into the egg muffins, one at a time (who knows why – don’t try to figure me out, I’ve lived with me for 46 years and even I don’t understand me) – just do it how you want to.

After all ingredients were added, I sprinkled on some pepper and they were ready for the oven!

45 minutes later – and I have breakfast for the next several days! I just portioned them out into sandwich baggies (after they had cooled) and threw them into the fridge for when they are needed.

Lessons Learned:

  • Paper muffin cups don’t work great with egg muffins (they stick), so either use the silicon muffin cups or well greased muffin pan – will definitely do this differently next time
  • It might be quicker to just mix everything together and add it into the muffin cups (rather than doing each ingredient individually) – but you do have more control over the amount of ingredients in each muffin – will probably still do it individually next time

Breakfast Egg Muffins

8 eggs
3/4 cups cheese (I used mozarrella)
1/2 chub of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, cooked
Cherry tomatoes (I used 3 halves per muffin)
salt / pepper

  • Cook sausage in pan and set aside to cool
  • Whisk eggs in bow (add salt to taste)
  • Add eggs to each muffin cup (filling about 1/2-3/4 way – this will depend on how much of the other stuff you add to each muffin, you just don’t want it to overflow)
  • Add ingredients into each muffin cup
  • Cook in preheated 375 degree oven for approx 45 minutes (my oven tends to take a little longer, so give them a check around 35 minutes to be sure not to overcook them)

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

It is no secret that the girls and I love pasta! We, generally, eat it at least once a week and we like to try different combinations of flavors. But, one that we always love is alfredo sauce – with shrimp or chicken or alone, we love alfredo sauce!

This time it was chicken alfredo. You, truly, can’t get much simpler than alfredo sauce. Unless you’re getting fancy, there are only 4 ingredients in it – not counting seasonings – milk or cream (we like it with heavy cream – I know it isn’t the healthiest, but it’s what we like!), butter, garlic and parmesan cheese.

I started this recipe by cooking my chicken. I tossed it, lightly, in a mixture of flour and Umami seasoning. I added it to the pan, along with some garlic, and browned it (cooking it 3/4 of the way through) in a pan with some avocado oil and removed it from the pan.

While the chicken was cooking, I chopped up some fresh broccoli for the sauce. I steamed this in a steamer basked in my pasta pot.

Back to the sauce – after removing the chicken from the pan I turned down the heat to medium-low and melted the butter. Once the butter was melted, I lowered the heat to low and added in the cream and allowed it to heat through.

Once the cream was warmed through, I started adding in the cheese, 1/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly. I find that adding the cheese a little bit at a time helps with ensuring that all of the cheese melts – and you don’t have globs of cheese in your sauce.

Once all of the cheese had been incorporated and melted, I added the chicken back into the pan and stirred.

Then I added in the broccoli from the steamer basket.

And, finally, I added in the pasta. I mixed everything together and it was ready to go.

When serving it, we add a little more parmesan (have I mentioned that we love cheese?) and we’re ready to eat!

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pasta

1 box pasta (I used penne)
2-3 chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
2 tbsp garlic
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (don’t judge!)
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
2 tbsp butter
2-3 cups broccoli
1-2 tbsp Umami seasoning
2-4 tbsp Flour
Avocado oil spray

  • In a gallon bag, toss chicken with umami seasoning and flour to lighty coat the chicken (adjust amounts depending on how much chicken you are cooking)
  • In hot pan, add avocado oil, garlic and chicken – cook until chicken is 3/4 way done. Remove from pan.
  • Add butter to pan and melt
  • Reduce heat and add cream to pan
  • Once cream is warmed through, add in cheese 1/2 cup at a time – until all cheese has been added and is melted.
  • Return chicken to pan and stir with sauce.
  • Add broccoli and pasta to sauce, mix well.
  • Top with more parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy!