“Naked” Egg Rolls

Do your kids ever try to tell you jokes? Mine LOVE to tell jokes. Most of them are pretty much the same thing in like 100 different versions. It starts to get hard to give a “realistic” sounding laugh! So, we’ve been looking up kids jokes online and have been telling each other jokes here and there. Just for fun, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorites:

Why did the boy throw the butter out the window? To see the butter-fly ……

My daughter’s personal favorite: How do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it!

Why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don’t work.

What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground Beef

What do you call a blind dinosaur? A Do-you-think-he-saur-us

Want to hear a pizza joke? Never mind… it’s too cheesy!

HAHAHA… my little girl just GIGGLES at these jokes, which, in turn, makes them quite funny to me!! 🙂

Anywho…. on to food blogging… 🙂

Ok, so, have you ever CRAVED Chinese food… like, eggs rolls, but didn’t want the deep fried fattiness of it, but you DID want the food and flavor? I made egg rolls… “Naked”..!!! No wrapper, no frying, but ALL OF THE FLAVA! Yeah! Seriously, this completely satisfied my craving for Chinese food the other night! DELISH! Give this one a try some night when you’re craving Chinese food, but not the deep fried aspects of it. There is a little bit of chopping vegetables involved… but it’s WORTH IT!

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Serves 3-4 people, depending on serving size

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage (NOT maple flavored, or anything crazy)
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped/shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup soy aminos (or coconut aminos) OR low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup UN-Cooked rice, rinsed and set aside

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Cooking Instructions

  1. Put the rinsed rice into a rice cooker and put the water suggested on packaging into the rice cooker and close lid and turn on. (OR follow cooking instructions for stove top on the rice packaging.)
  2. Start by shredding and chopping your cabbage into thin, bite size pieces.
  3. In a large skillet, cook and brown the breakfast sausage. (Do NOT use links, unless they are un-cooked and you remove them from the casing BEFORE you cook them.)
  4. Start julienning your carrots. You can either use a cheese shredder, knife or mandolin.
  5. Add the olive oil, carrots and onion to the skillet and toss to combine. Let onions start to brown. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, chicken broth (or water), garlic, and fresh ginger.
  6. Cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Toss in the cabbage during the last 3-5 minutes so it will soften, but not become mushy.
  7. Serve over the cooked rice, and garnish with green onion.

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ENJOY!

You’ll really like this one, I promise!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Quick Turkey Kielbasa and Pepper Skillet

When I was first married, I did a LOT of the quick skillet meals. The ones that are frozen, you dump in your skillet and a few minutes later it’s all done?! Well… look at the ingredients sometime. It’s not just whats on the front picture. It has a LOT of things that if you made something similar at home, you wouldn’t add. You won’t even understand what all of the ingredients are!

So, if you want a dinner that’s PARTIALLY homemade, that’s done in around 20 minutes… try this one!

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Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 whole turkey keilbasa sliced and halved
2 TB butter
4-5 sweet mini peppers sliced thin and seeded
1/4 sweet yellow onion sliced thin
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium, free range organic)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 large organic carrots sliced
1/4 tsp  dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper

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Directions:

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the diced potatoes and carrots. Add the chicken broth and all of the seasonings and cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until they are softening. Remove lid and add the onions, peppers and kielbasa and cook until heated through and the onions start to become translucent.

Serve and ENJOY!

See, Quick and easy!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

50 Inspirational Quotes to Live By in Daily Life | http://blog.piktureplanet.com/inspirational-quotes-to-live-by-in-daily-life/

Spanish Potato Hash and Egg Breakfast… For Dinner!

So, the other morning my mom stopped by on her way to work to see the kids, as she frequently does. And… if she does NOT, my daughter is SURE to call Grama and remind her… she needs to stop by! 🙂

Anyway, my mom had stopped by and my little girl wanted to tell her a very sad story that her oldest cousin had told her. She says to my mom… “Grama, P told me that when they were driving her to visit… they say something on the road… and it’s so sad… they saw a dead PIMPLE on the road!!!”. I had to leave the room. Oh my word! HAHAHAHA! My mom, who has had much practice in not bursting out in inappropriate laughter when children say the wrong word for things, very sweetly says to my daughter: “oh, you mean a Pit Bull?”. My daughter, not missing much of a beat says “oh, yes, a Pit Bull…”. Ha! Pimple…

And now… as I giggle and smile to myself, I am going to finish this blog post with one of my husbands latest favorite meals. He chose this recipe for me to make, and it has honestly been one of his absolute FAVORITES. He even rationed the leftovers so he could have it for as many meals as possible! HA!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth – fat free and low sodium organic and free range
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup salsa (of your choice)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1-2 sweet mini peppers diced (if desired)
  • 1/2 lb to 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • 1½ cups spinach
  • 1½ tsp lime juice
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 + eggs – depending on how many people are eating

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Start by cooking your sausage in a large skillet. While the meat is cooking, dice your potatoes, onions and veggies.
  3. Once the meat (sausage) is about cooked, add the potatoes, the diced onion, peppers and the cumin, paprika, garlic powder and chicken broth. Place the lid on top and let simmer (to cook the potatoes). Let simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are starting to soften.
  4. Add the spinach, salsa and the lime juice and toss until well incorporated. Create 3-4 wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes depending on how runny you prefer your eggs. OR… put a splash of water in the skillet, put the lid onto the pan, and let the eggs cook to your desired done-ness.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve with slices of guacamole. You can also top with a bit of shredded cheese and some hot sauce as my husband did. 🙂

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ENJOY!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes

This dish was definitely easy! You do have to have 30-45 minutes to bake/roast it… but it is completely worth it! Just a little chopping and peeling, a bit of stirring and you’ve got a filling and hearty meal that the whole family will LOVE! You could even use these same ingredients and put them in foil packets and toss them on the grill for a quick and easy meal as well! Either way it will turn out delicous!

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Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes
Serves 4

1 package of nitrite/nitrate free turkey kielbasa or smokes sausage
1/2 large yellow sweet onion, peeled and chopped
3 large yukon gold, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 TB butter
a handful of grated strong cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cooking spray on a large 9×13 baking pan (casserole dish) or thinly coat with a bit of butter. Set aside.

Put the sausage rounds, onions and potatoes into a large bowl. Drizzle with a couple turns of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, dill, oregano (and even a dash of cayenne powder for a bit of spice if you’d like!) and dried thyme. Toss together with until everything is evenly distributed. Pour this out into the baking dish, and spread it out as much as you can. Top with small pieces of the butter evenly across the top (optional) for nicely browned potatoes.

Place into the heated oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. Turn off the oven. Scatter the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes, Pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

NOTE:  I would not use any more than 1/2 tsp of the dried thyme, unless you really, really like the flavour of thyme.

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Quick and Easy Skillet Cabbage with Kielbasa

Sunday night and I need a quick dinner that’s filling, but won’t make me regret it the next morning. When you think Sunday dinner, what do you normally think? I usually think Chinese takeout, pizza, popcorn, oh… the list of easy options where I don’t cook could go on for quite a while! But tonight, I am remembering that I am in a fitness challenge group, and that I will be posting a picture of what I am eating. This, in turn, helps me to keep accountable to eating healthier! So… Cabbage and turkey kielbasa it is!

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Ingredients

2 TB butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced (I use all natural and nitrite/nitrate free turkey kilebasa)
4 TB olive oil for sauteing
Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup or so) plus zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dash (or more if you’d like!) Hot sauce

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Directions

Heat olive oil in the skillet on medium heat. Place chopped cabbage into the skillet. Add onion and garlic. Sautee until cabbage starts to get slightly more tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add lemon juice, zest and butter and sausage. Stir until cabbage is soft, bit still has a bit if crunch (unless you like it softer). Season with salt and pepper to taste  Serve with hot sauce or a bit of cheese if you’d like. It’s good as a main dish and also as a side dish! Quite filling too! Give this one a try if you want something to make with ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and have no clue what to make! Isn’t that how great recipe are made?!

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Hot and Spicy Jambalaya

It was soooo nice out today! We spent a good portion of our day outside and it was glorious! The nice thing about it is that the bees and wasps haven’t rely made an apearance yet, the pollen is not yet out of control, and it’s not sweltering… so we’ve gotta QUICK get in our “outside enjoyment” in! 🙂
Personally I have a lot of requirements to enjoy being outside. I am kind of high maintenance in that area. The awesome thing was that while I was making this dinner, I put a large bucket of water on the back patio that is right by the kitchen window I had open, turned the hose on, and let the kids play till dinner was done! It was awesome not having them whine at my feet while I was cooking!
Now, let’s be honest… if you know me, you know neither me nor my kids ate this. It was waaayyyy too spicy for the kids, and definitely too spicy for me to have more than a taste. I love my husband though, and was so extremely excited to make this for him! It was worth it too, he LOVED it!
So here’s the recipe:

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Ingredients

1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
2 cups chicken broth/vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
4-6 sweet mini peppers, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tablespoon Emeril’s Bayou Blast seasoning
2 (10 oz. Each) cans diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup long grained white jasmine rice
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Juice of 1 lemon plus 2 tsp lemon zest
4 green onions, sliced
hot sauce to taste
Parsley to garnish if desired

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Directions

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the sausage and cook until browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the onion and peppers and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and Bayou Blast (or similar) seasoning and cook until fragrant, about a minute or so.
Add the broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest and rice to the sausage and vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, place lid on pot and simmer until the rice is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened to the desired thickness, about 20-40 minutes.
Add the shrimp and fold in. If your shrimp was thawed, remove pot from heat, place lid on and let sit for 10 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. If shrimp are still frozen, simmer in pot woth rest of jambalaya for 10 minutes on low heat until no longer translucent.
Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste and served topped with the green onions and hot sauce on the side.

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This is a spicy one! If you like it to hit ya and clear your sinuses out, this is one for you!
Enjoy!
And now… a quote that speaks to the fact that my husband prefers that I do  not go to Target without him… 🙂

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Note: This recipe benefits from more simmer time so if you have the time simmer it for 40 minutes.

Sausage and Potato Soup (OR Copy-Cat Zuppa Toscana!)

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So, we really like soup during the winter. One of my husbands favorites is to go to Olive Garden and have the “Soup, Salad, and breadsticks” for lunches or dinners. The problem is, you can’t do it too often because of 1-calories, 2-cost… you gotta tip too! So, I’ve been looking up recipes for some of the dishes… and soups were my first stop! Soups seem to be pretty easy for me to try and recreate. And… so far, are turning out AWESOME!

This is my take on the Copy-Cat Zuppa Toscana. The only change I could recommend, is to possibly use kale instead of spinach, especially if you are going to freeze and reheat, it will hold up MUCH better than baby spinach!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices cooked nitrite/nitrate free bacon, diced
  • 1/2 lb. all natural (no nitrites/nitrates!) Italian Sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach (roughly chopped w/out stems)
  • 1 cup half&half
  • shaved parmesan as a garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. (I cook my bacon in the microwave… if you don’t, cook it in this skillet first)
  • Add Italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Bring to a LOW simmer and add the spices (cayenne, oregano, sage, salt and pepper to taste)
  • Stir in sausage and spinach until spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half&half until heated through, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parmesan.

ENJOY!!! It’s a good one! This one had the saltiness and spice of the bacon and sausage combined with the creaminess of the half&half and the crunch of that baby spinach… mmmm!!!! If you put kale in as a substitute, that would add such a good texture as well! AMAZING! Saving this one for sure!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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