Smashed Red Potatoes

This is one that I made some time back, but never shared. I actually made it as part of my daughter’s birthday meal. And, it is ridiculously easy to make – and so delicious.

I started with red potatoes – you’ll want enough for each person to have 2-3 potatoes. After washing the potatoes, I parboiled them to the point that they were soft enough to ‘smash’. I used the bottom of a glass to smash each potato (learn from my mistake – don’t use a potato masher, you’ll lose half of your potato, stuck to the potato masher) on a sheet pan.

After smashing the potatoes, I drizzled olive oil over top and then sprinkled with a little grated parmesan cheese. I topped with a little salt and fresh basil (feel free to use dried basil or Italian seasoning).

I finished the cooking in the oven, at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. You can even broil them for a minute or two to get them a little browned, if needed.

These potatoes make an easy and delicious side dish!

Hearty Beef Stew

When it starts to get cooler, it’s really hard to beat a good stew. And, beef stew is one of our favorites. It’s warm, filling and feeds a lot – what’s not to love about it?! OH, and it is super easy to make!

I started by chopping my vegetables. Since it was going in a stew, I just rough chopped everything.

The cooking started with, as so many things that I love do, a little bit of olive oil, the onions I chopped and garlic. I cooked the onions and garlic until they started to get soft.

Then I added in the stew meat and browned it – adding in the seasonings, when it started to get browned.

Finally, I added in 4 cups – or one carton – of beef stock, the can of crushed tomatoes and the vegetables.

I let it come to a boil and then reduced the heat and covered the stew.

** Side note, the recipe is written up to indicate that you should, after lowering the heat cook it for about an hour (which is what I would normally do) – however, tonight, my daughter had volleyball and I was getting the dinner ready prior to leaving for the match, so I deviated slightly. I brought it up to a boil and then simmered for about 30 minutes or so. I had preheated my oven to 450 degrees. When I had to leave, I put the dutch oven (lid on) in the oven, turned off the oven and let it continue to cook in the oven. While this isn’t necessary for this recipe, and isn’t even how I would normally do it, I do mention it in case it is helpful to someone! The Le Creuset dutch oven is so well insulated, that this works perfectly – and kept the beef stew nice and warm for the time that we were away from the house. It was nice to be able to come home, only needing to thicken the stew before eating!

When we got home, I removed the dutch oven from the oven and returned it to the stove, as I wanted to add a quick slurry (just a couple tablespoons of corn starch mixed with about 1/2 cup or so of cold water) to the stew to thicken it a bit. To help it thicken, I brought it back up to a boil prior to adding in the slurry. Point of note – even after being in the oven, which wasn’t on – but, had been preheated to 450 degrees, for a couple hours – the stew was still pretty hot and was up to a boil in a matter of about 2 minutes.

We were hungry and we were cold – we enjoyed our beef stew about 10 – 15 minutes after adding the slurry! Super easy – super filling – super delicious – super perfect for this busy evening.

Hearty Beef Stew

2.5 – 3 lbs stew meat
5 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6-8 red potatoes, diced
1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp Umami seasoning

  • Chop vegetables
  • In a large dutch oven, add olive oil and then onions and garlic, cook until soft
  • Add in stew meat and brown, add in seasonings
  • Add in tomatoes and beef stock, bring to a boil – then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour (timing may vary depending on the size you cut your veggies)
  • Just before serving, bring back up to a boil – and add in a slurry of cold water and corn starch to thicken

Football Saturday = Meals for 1! Salmon, potatoes and green beans = Delicious!!

During football season, I regularly find myself cooking for one, as everyone scatters into a million different directions. Today was no exception.

Luckily, yesterday, I cleaned out my freezer and found some still perfectly good salmon ‘burgers’ from Trader Joe’s. These things are delicious, easy to cook and individually wrapped so they last a while in the freezer. Then I just needed some veggies.

I decided to cook everything in a cast iron skillet (I do love using one pan / pot!) and I started with the vegetables (the salmon only takes a few minutes on each side, if you allow it to thaw prior to cooking). I sliced my red potatoes thin and trimmed my fresh green beans and cut to bit size. I added a little bit of avocado oil spray and a pat of butter in the pan and added garlic, potatoes and green beans. I cooked until they had nice color and were almost done – then added 1 tsp of soy sauce and tossed the veggies.

Then I made room in the center of the pan, added a small pat of butter – and add the salmon burger.

I just cooked the salmon for 2-3 minutes, turned it over and cooked for another 2-3 minutes. I squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon over top, tossed the veggies and removed from the pan and served. Delicious and easy!

Salmon and Veggies for 1

1 Trader Joe’s salmon burger (or salmon fillet of your choice)
2 red potatoes, sliced
1 handful fresh green beans, trimmed
1 tsp garlic, minced
avocado oil spray
1 pat of butter, divided
1 tsp soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

  • Trim veggies (slice potatoes and trip green beans).
  • Spray avocado oil in cast iron skillet and raise temp to med – high. Once pan is warm, add 1/2 of the butter.
  • Add garlic, potatoes and green beans to pan. Cook until vegetables have a nice color and are almost done.
  • Add soy sauce, salt and pepper and toss vegetables.
  • Push vegetables to the edges of the pan and make room for the salmon in the center.
  • Add remaining butter to center of pan
  • Add salmon over butter – cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes (this is assuming you’ve thawed your salmon – if cooking from frozen, cook 7-8 minutes per side).
  • Once done, add the lemon juice in pan – toss veggies, remove and serve!