Archive for November, 2011

November 27, 2011

Sloppy Joe’s Loaded Baked Potato

My Dad’s version of Sloppy Joe’s is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I grew up eating Sloppy Joe’s on everything, rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes. I love this Sloppy Joe’s recipe for it’s savory heartiness. Warning, this is NOT your traditional Sloppy Joe’s!! It has so much more flavor and depth than the Manwich you’re thinking of. In this recipe I used Sloppy Joes as a topping for a baked potato. Sloppy Joe’s are great on any starch or as a stand alone, and make great leftovers and freezer items. In this recipe I used ground beef but ground turkey, chicken, or bison will all work wonderfully.

What you’ll need:

  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1 Sweet Pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 jar chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 container of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Baking potato
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese

 

Method:  Bake potato in tinfoil with kosher salt at 350 for 45 minutes.

Heat a large pot to medium temperature. Add olive oil, onions and peppers. Saute. Once Sauteed, add ground beef and brown meat. Once browned, drain any excess fat. Return to heat and add 3/4 jar chili sauce. Stir. Add tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire, and vinegar. Stir thoroughly and bring to simmer. Add mushrooms. Allow to stew for 30 minutes, or so, on low heat.

Remove potato from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove from foil and cut open. Spread small amount of sour cream and sprinkled cheese on potato. Spoon over Sloppy Joe’s and serve. If the potatoes are large, only use half of a potato as your starch base.

Enjoy this hearty dinner!

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November 17, 2011

Some Easy & Balanced Lunch Ideas

When approaching any meal I first like to think of the protein I’m going to use. Whether meat, fish, beans, etc, I like to have that part of the meal planned out before I explore my other options in the fridge. Below are two great options for making a quick lunch or even dinner. You could even pre-make these meals and bring them to work with you. For lunch I usually like to get a big helping of my daily vegetables to give me fuel for the rest of the afternoon. Whether your watching what you’re eating or maintaing a balanced lifestyle, both of these are great options.

Tuna Salad with Veggies:

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can low-sodium tuna, drained
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • Dill, Onion Powder, Sea Salt, and pepper to taste.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Sweet Pepper sliced
  • A handful of grape tomatoes
  • A few crackers of your choice (I like pita chips the best)

Method:   In a large bowl combine drained tuna, mustard, mayo, lemon juice and spices. Mix thoroughly. Arrange sliced veggies and tomatoes around tuna and serve. (Yes, It’s THAT easy)

 

 

Salmon Burger with Melted Goat Cheese, and Spinach salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette:

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1 Salmon Burger (a nice quality frozen kind works just fine)
  • 1 Slice Goat Cheese Slices (I use goat cheese, as it digests a little better in your system)
  • 2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • 1 dash cayenne

Method:  In a small bowl combine Cider Vinegar, Orange Juice, Honey, Canola Oil, Dijon, Onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Wisk thoroughly and set aside. Heat a small non-stick pan to medium heat, once pan is warm, place salmon burger in pan. Brown on each side for about 3 minutes, place Goat cheese on top and cover to melt. Plate spinach and arugula and add dressing. Toss salad and put any leftover dressing in fridge (for up to a week, the dressing also makes a great marinade). Remove salmon burger from heat and plate. Sit back, relax and enjoy every bite of this energy-filled lunch!

November 16, 2011

Chorizo Pasta Bake

As a Chicagoan, I am naturally a sausage connoisseur. Of course I love having sausage on the bun, but in my cooking I like to take the sausage out of it’s casing to make it a little more versatile for dinner ideas. I originally saw a family friend use chorizo with pasta a few years ago and was hooked. It’s spicy, savory and adds a variety of non-traditional flavors to pasta. This recipe uses lasagna noodles BUT feel free to use any kind of pasta (be sure to pre-cook any other varieties of pasta prior to putting in the oven). This meal is fairly inexpensive and super simple, making it a great week-day meal!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1lb Chorizo Sausage
  • 3-4 Small sweet peppers. roughly chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (I like arrabiata to add more heat)
  • 1 Zuchini, sliced
  • 1/2 bag Fresh Spinach
  • 8 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
  • 3/4-1 cup Taco shredded cheese (you can substitute with any variety of shredded cheese)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Method: 
        In a pan, saute onions and peppers till soft. Add chorizo, stir occasionally and brown. Drain any excess fat out of the pan. Return to heat and add canned tomatoes and 1/2 jar pasta sauce. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat. Pre-heat oven to 350. In a large baking dish, spoon chorizo/sauce mixture in bottom of pan, creating a thin layer of sauce. Layer lasagna noodles. Spoon another thin layer of sauce on top of noodles. On top of sauce, layer zuchini, then cilantro, and spinach.

Layer zuchini, cilantro, and then spinach for the veg layer of the bake.

Sprinkle a about 1/4 cup of the cheese on top of veg. Spoon some more sauce over veg layer and top with another layer of noodles. On top of noodles, spoon a moderate amount of sauce, covering the lasagna noodles. Top the dish off with cheese, making sure it covers top.

Yummy bubbly Chorizo Pasta Bake.

  Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes or so. Cut into squares and serve.

Enjoy!