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Three Things…in a Skillet

Since this Thursday is day 11 of my January Whole30 reset, today’s three things are tied to that. One of my keys to success with Whole30 is to spend some time each week prepping an assortment of meal components that can easily be added together through the week for quick and tasty meals.

This month, my skillet is getting quite a workout – both during food prep and also with many simple skillet suppers. Here, 3 quick meals that have hit the spot.

Skillet Sizzled Salad – In my largest skillet, a bit of avocado oil to get started. Then the chicken sausage went into a section of the skillet. After a few minutes sliced pears were added to another section. Then a large handful of spinach and baby kale added to the remaining section of the skillet. Once greens are wilted, transfer all to the bowl. Topped with a few pecans, blueberries & Tessemae’s Caesar dressing.

Lazy Saturday Skillet– aka, clearing out some bits before another round of food prep. The last of the baby kale from one container + some roasted veggies (carrots, Brussels, butternut) + chocolate chili.

Chili Greens Skillet – Pan fried some frozen okra (avocado oil, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper) + chocolate chili + spinach. Just a touch of Tessemae’s Caesar dressing to finish the bowl.

Do you have any “quick skillet recipes” that are in your rotation?

I have some posts planned to share some of the food prep activity that is helping me with this Whole30.

Linking up with Carole & Kat for Three on Thursday.

 

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

In canning season, tomato jam is always one of my favorite things to make (& share). Since I’m currently doing a January Whole30 reset, the tangy sweet goodness of tomato jam is a no-go for the time being. Last week, I picked up a bowl of small tomatoes in a rainbow of colors on an impromptu Costco run. This weekend, I turned them into jammy tomato “chips” to use in my meals for the upcoming week.

Tomato Evolution

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil).
  3. Wash & slice tomatoes in half.
  4. Toss with olive oil & pink Himalayan salt.
  5. Place tomatoes on baking sheet – cut side up.
  6. Roast for about 2 hours. I checked at 55 minutes & kept going. At 01:50, I turned the oven off and kept the tomatoes in the oven for another 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven – flip all tomatoes over to cool.
  8. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

These will be put to tasty uses during the week – obviously, any salads will include them; maybe an omelette or egg scramble; a twist on the classic wedge salad.

This is a great way to incorporate tomatoes in the off season! How would you use these tasty morsels? 

Baked Oatmeal: The Savory Edition

Apples & Bacon & Cheddar & Oatmeal…Oh, My!

When the family was here for Thanksgiving 2013, I made my first foray into Baked Oatmeal and have been hooked ever since. I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and since I had fresh cranberries from the farm I had visited, it seemed like a great one to try. The recipe isn’t too fussy & since that first pan of it, I have made it numerous times – the fruit would vary based on what I had on hand – cranberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears…all have been folded into the mixture.

Recently I have been thinking about savory oatmeal and even looked at recipes online – but nothing jumped out as “must try this.” I kept thinking of my go to baked oatmeal & wondered how to make it savory. Last weekend I mentioned my initial thoughts to Mom & we talked through some recipe modifications.

Last night, I gave it a go. I stirred up a pan of the oatmeal & popped it in the fridge for the overnight. This morning, I pulled the pan out of the fridge and popped it in the oven. I could hardly wait for the timer to ding and see if my “experiment” had worked. In a word, Yes! As I shared with others: Apples + Bacon + Cheddar = Delicious!

Savory Baked Oatmeal
1 1/2 c applesauce (unsweetened)
2 eggs
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1 c milk (I used coconut)
2 c rolled oats (old fashioned)
1 apple (cored, peeled, chopped)
3/4 c bacon (chopped/crumbled crispy cooked)
1/2 c shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 & grease 8×8 baking dish
  2. Whisk together applesauce, eggs, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon
  3. Whisk milk into wet mixture
  4. Fold oats, bacon, apple & cheese into mixture
  5. Pour into baking dish & bake 40-45 minutes (until golden brown)

(Note: can be mixed assembled the night before, pull from refrigerator while preheating the oven in the morning)

With the “full on” winter weather this weekend looking ahead into this coming week, this warm and hearty breakfast is a good thing to get my day going and the “stick to your ribs” staying power to keep me going through my mornings of back-to-back-to-back conference calls.

When I was little, a favorite oatmeal was a packet of the instant brown sugar flavored oatmeal at Grandmas house on the weekend while watching Transformers cartoons. While I still like that flavor (& a packet today takes me back decades), since then I have enjoyed so many different iterations of oatmeal – from the stovetop…to the crockpot…to the baked versions. What are your favorite ways to eat oatmeal?

Simply Soup: The Carrot Edition

Earlier this month, as I was cleaning out my fridge I found a bag of carrots hiding out in the back and decided that they needed to be used up. My first thought was soup – followed quickly by the thought of using coconut milk in it. So, I searched for a recipe and found one that included ingredients in my kitchen: Carrot-Coconut Soup from Bon Appetit.

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

I pretty much followed the recipe as written. My main differences were using coconut oil instead of butter and the types of salt & pepper I used. In the soup, I used a lemon sea salt flake and my favorite Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper grinder. As I “plated” the soup & drizzled a bit of the Thai sweet chili sauce in it, I also sprinkled flakes of a homemade chili lime salt on top.

That first bag of carrots included three colors: orange, yellow & purple. As the soup was simmering on the stove, I thought for sure I was going to end up with a purple soup. Thankfully, the whirl of the immersion blender balanced out the colors to something closer to refried beans.

This soup…wow! A tasty and tangy combination of flavors that is so, so good. That hint of the Thai sweet chili sauce is the perfect “extra” in this recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed this and have decided that this will be a “always on hand” recipe. In addition to being a great soup “as is” I also see opportunities to use it in different ways – ladle over brown rice & some cooked shrimp for a heartier meal; throw some veggies in the bowl to bulk it up and more. With business travel back in the schedule, it’s nice to know that I can count on having a simple and tasty homemade meal in short order after eating out ALL the time while on the road.

What soups are simmering in your kitchen these days?

Simply Supper – Artisan Favorites

Ah, the question of what to fix for supper? I have a small bookcase filled with cookbooks. I use Pinterest to capture “Someday Recipes” and also keep track of what actually works. The options really are endless. However, in the craziness that is life most days, I find that I appreciate having a “standard” set of recipes that are sure fire wins for simple and satisfying suppers (& leftovers for future meals).

Favorite simple suppers

Favorite simple suppers

  •  Brussels Sprout Hash – One of my most frequent “meals” is a Brussels Sprout Hash. I first started making this on my first Whole30 experience. It’s less of a recipe & more of a framework – the specifics vary basically every time I make it. Start with melting a bit of coconut oil in a large skillet. Add a chopped onion & soften it. Add in chopped chicken sausage (or ham or bacon). Add in 1-2 peeled & diced sweet potatoes. Add a splash or 2 of liquid if pan is dry. Stir & cover for a couple of minutes until the sweet potatoes have softened. Add in shredded Brussels sprouts. Add in 1-2 peeled & diced apples. Shake in a seasoning. Stir it all together – add a splash of liquid if need be. Cover & cook for a couple of minutes. The sprouts should still be green. Serve in bowls – I like to top it with a bit of a brown or spicy mustard. The flavors get better as leftovers – makes a great reheat for lunch, too. (For Whole30, I just use water – otherwise, I’ll use beer or hard cider as the liquid which adds an extra layer of flavor)
  • Lemon Chicken Florentine – A favorite dish from childhood…a simple combination of chicken, onions, spinach & turmeric; I think it’s even better cold the 2nd day.
  • Italian Squash Soup – Another Artisan Mom “recipe.” Brown & drain a pound of Italian sausage. Add in 24 oz tomato sauce, a couple of zucchini & yellow squash diced, some chopped mushrooms, & Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, pepper, garlic, etc) to taste. Bring to a boil & simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Chocolate Chili – Another Whole30 discovery is my new favorite chili recipe is from the great Well Fed cookbook. I frequently double the recipe & will throw it all in the crockpot once I’ve browned the meat.
  • Roasted Shrimp & Veggies with Curry Aioli – A bag of frozen shrimp & whatever veggies I have on hand. Thaw the shrimp in water. Spread all on a baking sheet & drizzle with a bit of olive oil (flavored if you have it) & roast at 425 for about 12 minutes (until the shrimp are pink). Depending on the veggies, sometimes I start them about 10-15 minutes before adding the shrimp. For the Curry Aioli – mayo (homemade, if possible) with a bit of a citrus juice, some crushed garlic, a bit of curry powder – mix together & adjust to taste.
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – My “recipe” is to put a pork roast in the crock pot with some salt, pepper, maybe some garlic & a bottle of whatever beer or hard cider I have in the house. Low and slow for at least 8 hours. I frequently pair it with a Sriracha Coleslaw I discovered. Wrap a tortilla around the pair for a simple taco.

This post is inspired by recent posts from Kelli & Sarah about their “in rotation” & “back pocket” meals. Thanks ladies for the nudge to share these recipes!

What are some of your favorite “Go To” recipes for a simple supper?

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