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Takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies & GIVEAWAY

Takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies are easily prepared at home and can be carry out wherever you go. They make a great comforting meal as well as a fun alternative to tacos.

Overhead view of a wood platter full of Southwestern Taco Hand Pies with a small bowl of guacamole and a knife on the side.

Lunch at the office? Back to school after Spring Break? We’ve got you covered!

These Takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies are easily prepared at home and can be carried wherever you go. They make a great comforting Latin meal, and a fun alternative to tacos.

They can be enjoyed by both children and adults. And you know what? They are prepared with staple ingredients such as store-bought refrigerated pie dough, ground beef, taco seasoning mix, cheese, canned black beans, and a few vegetables.

My family are already hooked on them!

How To Make Southwestern Taco Hand Pies

All we have to do is to roll out the pie crusts on a lightly floured surface, cut into rectangles, and fill with a mixture of cooked ground beef, cheese, and vegetables.

Two combined images of the making process of the hand pies -- one with crust rolled out and quartered and the other filled with the filling.

 

Then, brush on an egg wash for an appealing, lightly golden color, and bake them for about 12-15 minutes.

Then, our Southwestern taco hand pies are ready to be taken wherever you go and served either by themselves or accompanied by sour cream and guacamole.

In contrast to tacos, they are mess-free because the filling is enclosed in the pie dough.  You can handle and eat them easily, just as you might eat a good-sized empanada.

These pies are a fusion between tacos and hand pies, with a Southwestern touch. I mean, they are filled with ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning and a Southwestern salsa, all wrapped in pie dough.  You see?

The only problem that you may encounter is eating too many of them!  😉 I confess that I couldn’t resist… well, you have been warned! 🙂

Overhead view of Broccoli, Ham, and Cheese Pop Tarts

These follow the same concept as our Broccoli, Ham, and Cheese Pop Tarts.

 

Well, enjoy both the taste and convenience of our takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies. In addition, ENTER OUR AWESOME GIVEAWAY below!

 

PIN & ENJOY!

Close up image of Southwestern taco hand pies topped with sour cream and salsa.

 

GIVEAWAY RULES:

Would you to like to win a Customized Embroidered Chef Coat?
Giveaway-prize
 
How would you like the chance to win our Chef Coat with your own name on it, and impress all your friends at your next get-together?  Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below!  
Good luck! 
 
Giveaway Begins: March 20th 12:00 am CST
Giveaway Ends: March 27th 12:00 am CST
Prize: Customized Embroidered Chef Coat (Unisex)
(US only, 18+)

Disclaimer: This is an All Season Uniforms sponsored Giveaway, which begins 03/20/2018 at 12 am CST and ends 03/27/2018 at 12 am CST. All Season Uniforms is responsible for both chef coat name embroidery customization and prize delivery.  One winner will be chosen randomly. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the congratulatory email and send us his/her name to be embroidered on the Chef coat, size (X-Small to 6XL), and address shipment which will not be publicly published. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools.   If you have any questions, please email Denise Browning at  [email protected]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Print Recipe
Takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies
Takeout Southwestern Taco Hand Pies are easily prepared at home and can be carried wherever you go. They make a great comforting meal, as well as a fun alternative to tacos.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, and then cook the ground beef, stirring occasionally, for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the taco seasoning mix until combined. Let cook for 2 minutes and stir in the vinegar.
  4. Let cook for about 2 minutes or until vinegar has almost evaporated. Reserve.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, corn, black beans, tomatoes, and cilantro . Season with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Reserve.
  6. Unroll all pie crusts on a lightly floured surface according to the directions on the package. Equally divide each crust into fourths.
  7. Next, trim all edges to form rectangles. Use all the trimmings to make a ball of dough, roll out on a floured surface, and cut into 4 rectangles.
  8. You will end up with a total of 20 rectangles. Reserve.
  9. Using 1/4 cup as measure, fill the measuring cup a third of the way full each with the following three components: cooked ground beef, vegetable mixture, and cheese, respectively.
  10. Place contents of the filled 1/4 cup measure onto the center of one rectangle. Repeat the process for the other 9 rectangles.
  11. Make sure that there is at least a 1/2-inch margin from the edges of the rectangle. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the mixture if desired.
  12. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg wash, then fold the empty side of the crust over the top of the filling.
  13. Pinch your fingers along the edges to seal and then use a fork to make marks all the way around.
  14. Transfer the 10 hand pies to the lined baking sheet and brush the top of each tart with more egg wash. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on top if desired.
  15. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet 180˚.
  16. Bake another 2-3 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown.
  17. Let cool for 5-10 minutes on the baking pan, then remove hand pies with a large spatula and serve by themselves or with sour cream and guacamole.
Recipe Notes
  • If necessary, let baked hand pies cool completely and store them in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. Heat in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds right before eating.
  • Use any extra ground beef and Southwestern salsa left over to make enchiladas, tacos, rice, or other dish.
Continue Reading 8

Instant Pot Beef Short Rib Pot Roast (Cozido Pernambucano com Costela na Pressão)

This Beef Short Rib Pot Roast is a hearty Northeastern Brazilian style stew, made in an instant pot with different vegetables and spices. Perfect for an easy family meal, either served over rice or along with your favorite side dish.

A platter full of Instant Pot Beef Short Rib Pot Roast with Vegetables with a spoon and fork on the side.

If you are a fan of traditional American pot roast, you will go crazy for this Instant Pot Beef Short Rib Pot Roast — which, by the way, cooks much quicker than the classic pot roast.  Don’t believe me? Check it out!

Traditional American Pot Roast is a stew made using a roast-sized, tough cut of beef such as chuck roast, which is browned and then slow cooked in a dutch-oven pan or slow cooker until tender, along with various vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and onions).

Also known as Yankee pot roast, it is a variation of the French boeuf à la mode. 

In contrast, our Beef Short Rib Pot Roast is prepared with beef short ribs browned and then cooked in an instant pot with a larger assortment of vegetables such as corn on the cob, potatoes, carrots, onions, and okra.

 

Like its Portuguese cousin, cozido a Portuguesa,  the dish has numerous regional variations throughout Brazil — from the cut of meat used to the variety of vegetables, and in some instances even incorporation of plantains.

The version that I have for you today comes from my home state, Pernambuco, on the northeastern coast.

A platter of beef short rib pot roast between a glass of water and a side of vegetables.

Down there, it is common to also have maxixe (maroon cucumber or West Indian gherkin) in the mix of vegetables, which we omit because it is not easily available in Texas.

Some even add plantains, which we felt unnecessary for our recipe because American corn is typically quite sweet, in contrast to the most common type of corn consumed in Brazil.

The modification is minimal.  Back in Pernambuco the dish is served accompanied by white rice and pirão (a creamy-polenta like dish made from pot roast broth and coarse manioc flour).

But you can certainly serve it all by itself or along with your favorite side dish such as pasta, couscous, quinoa, mashed potatoes, etc.

 

The spices and herbs used in our Beef Short Rib Pot Roast also differs from the American version. Besides salt and pepper, we used ground cumin and annatto/achiote (both available in any local supermarket in the Latin aisle, since both are also commonly used in Mexican cuisine).

If you don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker, no worries. You can make this in a dutch-oven pan. which will probably take a little longer to cook compared to an instant pot.

I made this Beef Short Rib Pot Roast for the first time and my family fell in love with it. I practically transported myself back to Brazil, along with my family, who have never tried the dish before down there.

To make the experience more authentic, I served it with white rice and of course, pirão. The roast received unanimous approval, but I can’t say the same about pirão. 🙂

While I had to contain myself to leave enough pirão for the rest of the family, my husband and eldest child were not crazy about it– mostly on account of its gooey texture.  I guess this was somewhat to be expected, since they both are not really fans of creamy polenta or gravy.

Fortunately, my little one (I mean, my ten-year-old) saved me from disappointment. She ate it all — with a huge smile on her face. I was so proud of her adventurous palate —  just like her mom’s. 😉

If you would like to try pirão, bring about 2 cups of the pot roast broth to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to medium, and then add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of coarse manioc flour (farinha de mandioca) in a steady stream, stirring constantly until it has the consistency of cooked creamy polenta and no lumps are found.

You can adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) if necessary.

Well, enjoy a gastronomic trip to my beautiful and delicious state of Pernambuco through our hearty Beef Short Rib Pot Roast!

Até mais! (See you soon)

TO PIN & ENJOY!

Close up image of a platter full of beef short rib pot roast with a fork on the side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Instant Pot Beef Short Rib Pot Roast
This Beef Short Rib Pot Roast is a hearty Northeastern Brazilian style stew, made in an instant pot with vegetables. Perfect for an easy family meal, either served over rice or along with your favorite side dish.
Instant-pot-beef-short-rib-pot-roast , Instant-pot-short-ribs, Beef-short-rib-pot-roast
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 38-40 minutes
Servings
people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 38-40 minutes
Servings
people
Instant-pot-beef-short-rib-pot-roast , Instant-pot-short-ribs, Beef-short-rib-pot-roast
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Mix the annatto, salt, cumin, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture on the ribs on both sides, distributing uniformly with your hands.
  2. With mine, I put the instant pot on the saute function.
  3. Turn on your instant pot and follow the instructions for use. For this method, when pot has heated, add 2 Tablespoons of oil and brown the ribs in batches, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  4. Do not overcrowd the pan! Use a bit more oil if necessary. Transfer ribs to a plate.
  5. Add remaining oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes, stirring every now and then. Do not let them brown.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and water, scraping the pot down with an wooden spoon. Add the ribs back with their juices, cover, and set to cook for about 30 minutes.
  7. For this I used the meat function of my instant pot. If you would like to cook in a dutch-oven pot, please read NOTES at the bottom of the recipe.
  8. When the 30 minutes has elapsed, carefully turn valve to fast release, letting all the pressure out.
  9. Safely open the pot and add all the vegetables, making sure to submerge them into the liquids as much as possible, principally the corn and potatoes.
  10. Cover and set on the vegetable or poultry function for about 8 minutes.
  11. Again, carefully turn valve to fast release, letting all the pressure out. Safely open the pot, taste, and adjust salt and pepper if desired.
  12. Squeeze in the lemon, stirring carefully. Sprinkle chopped cilantro/parsley.
  13. Serve with white rice and pirão (a creamy-polenta like dish made from pot roast broth and coarse manioc flour) OR instead with mashed potatoes, creamy corn polenta, grits, pasta, couscous, quinoa, etc.
  14. TIP: pirão recipe is above (post text).
Recipe Notes

DUTCH-OVEN PAN: If cooking our beef short ribs pot roast in a dutch-oven pan, brown ribs over medium-high heat, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

When cooking onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium, letting them cook for 2 minutes and stirring occasionally to prevent from browning.

Once tomato paste and water are added, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low.

Cover pan, and let ribs cook for about 35-45 minutes or until almost tender.

Add the vegetables, making sure to submerge the corn and potatoes as much as possible into the liquids.  Cover the pan and let cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and ribs are very tender.

Continue Reading 4

Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets

Easy-to-prepare, healthy Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets that are perfect for a family-friendly weeknight meal and those busy days.

Overhead view of Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets over a plave with silverware on the side served with a glass of juice and garnishing

Have you heard about the ketogenic diet? If not, it is a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

The carbs in our Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets are by and large mostly obtained from vegetables.

This is a dish that is easy to put together, yet big on flavor!  And you know what? You won’t have to wash a single pot to prepare this dish!  How can that be?  Well, check it out.

Our Mediterranean chicken foil packets are like no other. They are easy to prepare yet healthy… and you won’t wind up with any pots to wash.   I call it “the magic meal!” 🙂

How to Make Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets

All you have to do is lay down slices of lemon, chicken breast, and a few vegetables such as canned artichoke hearts and Kalamata olives on to aluminum foil…

… and then top with lemon slices, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and place a sprig of rosemary on top.

Next, wrap and bake for about 25 minutes. Voilá… right there you have a healthy meal fit for a king!  Like I told you, it just can’t get any better than that, honey!!!

Image of a Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packet opened, showing the layering process (lemon slices and vegetables) right before baking in the oven.

Right before serving, sprinkle on a bit of crumbled feta cheese and enjoy!

These are great as a gluten-free weeknight meal, especially when you want to eat well after a busy and tiresome day of work.

This is my little way of enjoying a tasty meal while allowing for my busy-yet-health-conscious lifestyle. Life is all about balance; each of us has to find our own.

Healthy yet tasty food and moderate exercise are one way to find enjoyment without taking years off of one’s life… right?

 

I not only try to live by this principle, but also to pass it on to my children.

Speaking of children, this dish is so easy that even a child could prepare it. There is nothing complicated about layering, seasoning, drizzling, and wrapping.

As you see, it demands no special cooking skills. The same thing goes for cleaning up after preparing our Keto Mediterranean foil Packets.

Again, surely even a child can do that! Try also our 10-Minute, Healthy Fish Stew Foil Packets.

I hope you enjoy our Easy Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets, and have an amazing week!

PIN & ENJOY!

Close up image of a Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packet

Print Recipe
Easy Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets
Easy-to-prepare, healthy Keto Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets that is perfect for a family-friendly weeknight meal. 
Mediterranean-chicken-foil-packets, Keto-chicken-foil-packets
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Mediterranean-chicken-foil-packets, Keto-chicken-foil-packets
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tear off four double sheets of foil, about 12-inches long each.
  2. Place about 3 slices of lemon onto each foil. Fold up all 4 sides of each sheet of foil, forming each into a packet.
  3. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper (and also paprika if desired).
  4. Lay one breast onto each foil sheet (on top of the slices of lemon).
  5. Drizzle each with the juice of one half of a lemon and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Halve or quarter the artichoke hearts and distribute among the foil packets along with the whole olives, fitting them in on the sides.
  7. Top each chicken breast with remaining slices of lemon, and one sprig of rosemary for each.
  8. Fold the sides of each foil sheet over the chicken, covering completely, and then sealing the packets closed.
  9. Place foil packets in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 25-28 minutes.
  10. Right before serving, open the foil packets and sprinkle one tablespoon of feta cheese over each chicken breast.
Recipe Notes

Our Mediterranean Chicken Foil Packets can be enjoyed either by themselves or along with a fresh salad or hard-crusted bread.

Continue Reading 5

One Pot Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Ensopado de Camarão)

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #40DaysOfFlavor

An One Pot Brazilian Shrimp Stew made from sauteed vegetables and shrimp cooked in coconut milk in less than 30 minutes. The perfect dish for Lent, Easter, or a weeknight meal any time of the year!

Image of Brazilian shrimp stew in a bowl with a spoon of the side. A bottle of Clamato juice, a glass of a drink, and a wedge of lime are displayed on the table near the bowl of stew.

Traditional seafood dishes such as this Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Ensopado de Camarão in Portuguese) are must-haves at any Latin table on Easter — as well as during the season of Lent.

This is a dish perfect for bringing family and friends together! Perhaps you may be asking: “Why so?”

Well, Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world, which observes Lent — the 40-day period when one abstains from eating meat and poultry…

… starting at noon on Ash Wednesday and extending until Easter Sunday.

Our Ensopado de Camarão (Brazilian Shrimp Stew) is perfect for this occasion.

It is an one-pot dish originally made from sauteed fresh vegetables and shrimp simmered in coconut milk, broth, and tomato paste.

The word ensopado is a derivative of soup in Portuguese –which in this case denotes a stew with lots of sauce.

The reason why the sauce is so abundant is because the dish is traditionally served over white rice — which of course absorbs part of the sauce.

The stew is also great accompanied by a hard-crusted bread to mop up the savory sauce with.

Image displaying ingredients of Brazilian shrimp stew over a cutting board.

We are putting our own little twist on the dish, making it even more flavorful.

Instead of the vegetable broth, we are substituting Clamato® Tomato Cocktail, which is available in Walmart’s juice aisle.

Combined images of Clamato juice bottles on Walmart shelves.

Clamato® is a tomato cocktail juice bursting with freshness, which comes in various sizes — including the 64 fl. oz. that comes in handy to serve more people or to use in multiple recipes.

So yes, it can be enjoyed all by itself or incorporated into scrumptious cocktails and dishes such as our Brazilian shrimp stew. It really spices up parties and get-togethers with family and friends…

… And so that is why we are using Clamato in our stew, and also for preparing a refreshing Tomato Basil Caipirinha to pair with it…

… which calls for lime wedges muddled with sugar and then mixed with Clamato, cachaça (vodka or white rum), crushed ice, and fresh basil leaves. Cheers!

How to Make One Pot Brazilian Shrimp Stew

To make our stew, heat vegetable oil in a large pot and add chopped onion and bell pepper.

Let cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Image showing process of sauteeing vegetables to prepare stew with a bottle of Clamato juice neat the pan.

Then, add diced fresh or canned tomatoes, letting cook for a couple of minutes, and transfer to the blender.

Add coconut milk, Clamato® Tomato Cocktail, tomato paste, and seasonings, and blend until smooth.

Image showing vegetables blended in a blender with additional vegetables and a bottle of Clamato juice near the blender.

Using the same pot, heat remaining vegetable oil and saute raw shrimp for about a couple of minutes and transfer to a plate.

Pour blended mixture into the pot and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Place shrimp into the pot and let cook for about 3 minutes.

Image of a pan containing sauteed shrimp -- with lime, vegetables, and Clamato juice near the pan.

Remove from the heat, adjust the seasonings, add lemon/lime juice, chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve while hot over white rice.

And there you have it– a dairy-free and gluten-free meal to please a crowd.

Overhead view of a bowl of Brazilian shrimp stew with silverware and 2 glasses of a drink near the bowl

See? Simple… yet so outrageously flavorful!!! I am telling ya, this dish will help you to make memories with your family and friends around the table.

For more info about Clamato and delicious recipes, please click here.

Now tell me, what are some of your favorite dishes and drinks to prepare during the Lent season?

TO PIN & ENJOY!

Close up image of Brazilian shrimp stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
One-Pot Brazilian Shrimp Stew
An One-Pot Brazilian Shrimp Stew made from sauteed vegetables and shrimp cooked in coconut milk in less than 30 minutes. The perfect dish for Lent, Easter, or a weeknight meal any time of the year!   
One-pot-Brazilian-shrimp-stew, Ensopado-de-camarao
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
One-pot-Brazilian-shrimp-stew, Ensopado-de-camarao
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Heat half of the oil in a large no stick pot over medium heat and then add chopped onion and bell pepper.
  2. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Do not let brown!
  3. Add diced tomatoes, letting cook for a couple of minutes, and transfer to a blender.
  4. Add the coconut milk, Clamato tomato cocktail, tomato paste, and seasonings. Blend until smooth.
  5. Using the same pot, heat remaining vegetable oil over medium-high heat and cook raw shrimp for about a couple of minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Pour blended mixture into the pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium and let simmer uncovered for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Place shrimp into the pot and let cook for about 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat, adjust the seasonings, stir in lemon/lime juice,and chopped cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

This Brazilian shrimp stew traditionally contains a lot of sauce -- this is why is recommended to serve it over white rice (which of course absorbs part of the sauce) or accompanied by hard-crusted bread to mop up the savory sauce with.

Continue Reading 12

Quick Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops

Less than 30-minute, easy to prepare, darn delicious Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops. A ‘one-pan’ dish that is perfect for any time of the year! 

Overhead view of pan fried barbecue pork chops on a serving platter with silverware on the side

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated a few days from now in the United States… and I will be serving one of my husband’s favorite dishes: these super flavorful Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops.

Yep, it works well as a “guy dish” — on account of the meat (although I am also a huge fan — and my daughters as well!)

How to Make Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops

These quick Pan Fried Pork Chops are easily prepared by seasoning both sides of the chops with salt and pepper.

Then, the pork chops are place into a hot pan with oil and browned for about 2-3 minutes per side.

Next, a mixture of barbecue sauce, ketchup, spices, vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard  is pour over the chops, brought to a boil, and left to simmer together for about 5 minutes.

Pan with cooked pan fried barbecue pork chops with lime and green onion near the pan.

There you have it, my friend!  A dish fit for a king, ready to be devoured down to the very last bite.

Simple, right? Oh… and quick, too, because the entire dish takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.  A real present for both the cook and eater!!! 😉

Serve our Barbecue Pork Chops with a side of steamed, baked or roasted baby potatoes or sweet potatoes, and a fresh salad or steamed vegetables… and just wait and see how your honey will look at you.

Our Barbecue Pork Chops also work great as a ‘one-pan’, no-fussy weeknight meal.

I kept the recipe easy and delish, hearty, and desirable to a man’s eyes. 😉  After all, my honey deserves this type of TLC and way more.

But that’s not all! We are serving a Nutella Tart for dessert… Yaasss!!!!!  Pure indulgence is the order of the day here.

Well, Happy V-Day to my hubby as well as to each one of you. Enjoy your day!!!

TO PIN & ENJOY!

Close up image of pan fried barbecue pork chops on a platter

Print Recipe
Quick Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops
Less than 30-minute, easy to prepare, darn delicious Pan Fried Barbecue Pork Chops. A 'one-pan' dish that is perfect for any time of the year! 
Pan-fried-barbecue-pork-chops
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Prep Time 17 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Servings
pork chops
Prep Time 17 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Servings
pork chops
Pan-fried-barbecue-pork-chops
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Season both sides of each pork chop with enough salt and pepper. 
  2. Then, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons of oil.
  3. Place 4 chops at a time into the hot pan and let brown without disturbing for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the 4 chops and place onto a plate. Pour in the remaining oil and brown the other 4 chops.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the spices, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, mustard, vinegar, sugar, barbecue sauce, and ketchup in a medium bowl, whisking well until homogeneous and free of lumps.
  6. Return all 8 chops to the pan, pour on the sauce mixture, and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately with chopped green onions on top. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Suggested sides: steamed, baked, or roasted baby potatoes or sweet potatoes, and a fresh salad (or cooked vegetables such as corn or green beans).

Continue Reading 6

Baked Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups

Low carb, naturally gluten-free, and meatless Baked Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups that make dinner a delicious yet easy task.

Overhead view of a baking dish containing baked Caprese zucchini roll ups with silverware on the side

Are you a fan of Caprese salad?  How about zucchini?

I love both, and since I have been on a low carb diet, I have been looking for better alternatives for rice, pastas, and other carbs.

This “one-baking dish” Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups replaces lasagna pasta with zucchini, making dinner easy to prepare. with less dishes to clean, yet still healthy, nutritious, and delicious.  😉

How To Make Baked Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups

Grab a medium baking dish. Spread a bit of tomato sauce, arrange zucchini roll ups filled with a cheese mixture, tomato sauce, and basil, and then top with more cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 400º F for about 20 minutes or so.

Image of baked caprese zucchini roll ups in a baking dish right before being baked.

Meanwhile, browse the internet or read your favorite book/magazine. That’s it! Dinner will be ready in the blink of an eye.

I know… This casserole has everything, including the taste of life made easier for busy moms/full-time workers like us.

Our Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups don’t require any special skill from the cook. It’s also a complete meal all by itself… and leaves your kitchen free from a load of dishes and kitchen utensils.

Horizontal image of baked caprese zucchini roll ups after being baked with silverware and vegetables over the table.

It may not have “one-pot” or “one-skillet” in its name, but it is definitely part of that same family.  It also makes the list of recipes that are naturally gluten-free, as I mentioned  earlier.

If you would like to add a GF starch, white rice would be a good option to serve along with it. If you are taking this dish to a potluck, garnish its top beautifully with grape tomatoes, basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

As you can see, simplicity here is a real plus!

I will leave you now with the formula for one hero of a dish that you can enjoy without stretching your waistline, and which is easy enough to prepare that you can get some much-deserved rest.

For more low carb weeknight meals, try our delicious Cauliflower Curry Soup.

Well, take care and stay healthy!

PIN & ENJOY

Cobined close up image of baked caprese zucchini roll ups

 

Print Recipe
Baked Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups
Low carb, naturally gluten-free, and meatless Baked Caprese Zucchini Roll Ups that make dinner a delicious yet easy task.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread marinara sauce onto a bottom of a medium baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cut-off and discard zucchini ends and then slice each zucchini 1/8" thick lengthwise.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 1/4 cups mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan, and salt.
  4. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Stir in the egg well. If you would like to, add a pinch of pepper.
  5. On each slice of zucchini, spoon a thin layer of sauce, top with a thicker layer of the cheese mixture, and sprinkle a little bit of chopped basil.
  6. Roll up and place in the prepared baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/4 cups mozzarella and then 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted.
  9. If desired, garnish top with halved grape tomatoes, basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This casserole can be served by itself or with a side of white rice. Enjoy!
Continue Reading 10

Low Carb Cauliflower Curry Soup

A Low Carb Cauliflower Curry Soup that can be prepared in 30 minutes and makes for a perfect, healthy weeknight dinner.  It’s also vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

I have been eating healthier lately. How about you? No matter your diet approach is, I bet this low carb cauliflower curry soup is for you! It’s our latest weeknight meal creation which is wholesome, full of flavor, and can be prepared in 30 minutes. And more… yes, it’s vegan, paleo, vegetarian, gluten-and-dairy-free, and even Whole30.

A miracle in a pot! 😉 Don’t believe me? Well, check it out!

It all started with a visit from my sister during the holidays.  She shed more than 70 pounds and got into the habit of eating healthy all year long. She really made me rethink my eating habits, I’ve gotta say. Since then, I have been continuing to exercise but I have also introduced more healthy foods into my daily diet — hoping to lose some weight and feel energized without starving myself.

Good news! I’ve shed 2 pounds in the past week.  I am just grinning from ear to ear and I’ve got a plan to continue losing those extra pounds that I put on over the years.

When I cooked this cauliflower curry soup  I knew that tastiness  was not something to compromise on — otherwise it would be hard to continue eating healthy and satisfying my family’s demanding taste buds.

To my children and husband’s surprise, the soup was not only good but plate-licking delicious.  A real victory for this cook!

And you know what? The recipe is freaking simple.  All I had to do is stir-fry fresh cauliflower…

…carrots, and a slice of jalapeno. Then, sweat an onion and garlic in vegetable oil, stir in spices, tomato sauce, broth, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, covered.

Next, blend with coconut milk in a blender until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and serve with chopped cilantro or parsley while it is still hot.

Folks, it just can’t get any easier than that!

Although our Cauliflower Curry Soup was accompanied by toasted baguette slices, you can serve yours by itself or, depending on your dietary needs/wants/restrictions, you can garnish with cooked seafood, tofu or shaved Parmesan, cooked rice noodles, eggs, etc.  It’s up to you!

This means you can come home from a tiresome day at work and still fix yourself or your family a healthy meal without all the stress and the time usually required.

You are making magic in the kitchen, hon! Your body will thank you… and the scale will be your new friend! 🙂

Making your life (and mine) simple is my mission. 😉 And that is so true that we have many more quick and easy weeknight dinner ideas awaiting for you here. Don’t be shy to sub ingredients and adapt our recipes to make them lighter.

If you enjoy quick and healthy curries, please also try our vegetarian Lentil Coconut Curry.

I hope you get some well-deserved rest and enjoy this comforting and warm Cauliflower Curry Soup –a real treasure for those who work hard on a daily basis, but are determined not to neglect healthy eating.

See ya soon!

TO PIN & ENJOY!


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Low-Carb Cauliflower Curry Soup
A Low Carb Cauliflower Curry Soup that can be prepared in 30 minutes and makes for a perfect, healthy weeknight dinner. It's vegan, vegetarian, paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Cauliflower-curry-soup, Vegetable-soup, Cauliflower-soup, Cauliflower-curry, Curry-soup
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
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Instructions
  1. Heat a medium non stick saucepan or wok over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and stir-fry the cauliflower, half of the onion, and jalapeno until florets start to lightly brown. Stir or swirl the pan occasionally.
  2. Add the remaining oil, reduce heat to medium, and sweat onion for about 3 minutes and then cook garlic for about 1 minute, stirring now and then. Do not let brown!
  3. Stir in the curry, cumin, ginger for about 10 seconds. Then, stir in the tomato sauce and broth, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Next, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Carefully transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour soup back into the pan, add the other half of the sliced carrot, stir in coconut milk, and let cook for about 3 minutes or so. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. Serve with chopped parsley/cilantro while hot.
Recipe Notes

Suggested accompaniments (depending on your diet restrictions/needs): naan, hard-crusted bread, tofu, shaved Parmesan, cooked shrimp or other protein, eggs, rice noodles, etc.

Continue Reading 7

One Bowl Microwave Mac and Cheese

Microwave Mac and Cheese is a mess-free, quick and easy dish prepared in one bowl with staple ingredients. It is comfort food that can be enjoyed all year round!

We are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving… and one of the most requested side dishes for my holiday table is Mac & Cheese. With a turkey to roast and many other course dishes to prepare, I decided to put my traditional recipe to a test. Yes, I made a One Bowl Microwave Mac and Cheese. And you know what? This thing is darn good and only takes about 15 minutes to prep and cook. It’s magic in the kitchen!

Microwave-mac-and-cheese, One-bowl-mac-and-cheese

Forget about boxed mac and cheese! Prepare our quick and super delish Microwave Mac and Cheese — which by the way is a comfort food that can be enjoyed all year round. Yep, it makes a no-fuss, mess-free, quick weeknight meal with the power to please a crowd.

All we have to do is to combine macaroni pasta, water, and salt in a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 8 minutes in 2-minute intervals until the pasta is cooked. Then stir in unsalted butter, heavy cream or half-and-half, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and ground black pepper. Microwave again for about 1 minute or until cheese melts. Stir and enjoy right away!

You can garnish with a touch of red pepper flakes and fresh herbs such as basil or oregano… and serve either by itself or as an accompaniment for turkey or any other meat.

Microwave-mac-and-cheese, One-bowl-mac-and-cheese

See? Easy peasy!

In fact, it is so simple to prepare that even a child can make it. Mixing and microwaving are the only “skills” required here.

As you can see, this is way easier and less messier than the stove-top and oven-baked versions made from scratch.  But if you would like to explore either of these two baked versions– Mac and Cheese Carbonara or Brazilian Mac and Cheese — go for it, too!

Mac and cheese, also known as macaroni and cheese in America and Canada, macaroni cheese in the UK, and macaroni pie in Caribbean English, is traditionally made from macaroni pasta and cheese sauce (Mornay sauce) and baked in the oven. But our Microwave Mac and Cheese abbreviates the process, requiring no roux (a mixture of butter and flour) to prepare the dish, yet achieving the desired creaminess so characteristic of the classic version.

Got it?

So enjoy– not only for the holidays, but why not the whole year round?!

 

TO PIN AND ENJOY!

Microwave-mac-and-cheese, One-bowl-mac-and-cheese

 

 

 

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One Bowl Microwave Mac and Cheese
Microwave Mac and Cheese is a mess-free, quick and easy dish prepared in one bowl with staple ingredients. It is comfort food that can be enjoyed all year round! 
Microwave-mac-and-cheese, One-bowl-mac-and-cheese
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Servings
people
Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Servings
people
Microwave-mac-and-cheese, One-bowl-mac-and-cheese
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the pasta, water, and salt together. Microwave on high power for about 8 minutes in 2-minute intervals until the pasta is al dente or cooked. Stir mixture between intervals. Note: Cooking time can vary according to the potency of your microwave. If water is absorbed before pasta is cooked, add a bit more water.
  2. Once pasta is cooked, stir in the butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, cheddar, and pepper. Return bowl to the microwave and let cook for about 1 additional minute or until cheese melts. Stir and enjoy immediately! If desired, you can garnish the top with red pepper flakes and fresh herbs such as basil or oregano.
Continue Reading 3

Quick and Easy Kale Pesto Pasta

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Kale Pesto Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight meal that also has Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, olives, and shrimp (or any other protein of your choice).

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Skinner® Pasta. Thank you, friends, for supporting all the brands that I work with and love.

It’s the early part of the school year… and we’ve got you covered! This Kale Pesto Pasta makes the most delicious and comforting meal for both kids and parents. And you know what? It can be prepared in 30 minutes. It is already in the list of family faves!

Our Kale Pesto Pasta is nutritious, yet prepared with simple ingredients: budget-friendly Skinner® Pasta, kale pesto, shaved Parmesan cheese, grape tomatoes, black olives, and any protein of your choice, such as shrimp.

All we have to do is to cook the Skinner pasta (in this case, linguine) according to the instructions on the package. Then, drain and mix with a homemade kale pesto. Right before serving, add shaved Parmesan cheese, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives and, if desired, cooked shrimp or another protein of your choice.

Voila! — before you know it, a complete dish is ready for your lunch or dinner, helping make those busy early-school-year schedules manageable enough that you can enjoy more family moments together.

The homemade kale pesto can be prepared in the blink of an eye and requires no cooking. Thawed chopped kale, fresh basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese are blended together in a blender or processed in a food processor until mixture is smooth. See? Easy peasy!

I am telling you, this pasta dish will put a smile on your face. It tastes amazing! Also, it is accessible, friendly and uncomplicated… just like the people of Texas, my home state.

Skinner pasta is the #1 pasta in Texas. In addition, it is enriched, easy to cook, and features a variety of pastas such as linguine, spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, elbows, and even a fun Texas shape. This makes Skinner perfect for both weeknight meals and dishes for special occasions.

For more information about Skinner products and other easy delicious recipe ideas like this Kale Pesto Pasta, please visit skinnerpasta.com .

Quick and easy meals are an effective tool often used for saving time at my household. And how about yours? I would love to hear how your family manages a busy school-year schedule!

In addition, what other dish(es) would you like to prepare with Skinner pasta? I am looking forward to hearing your ideas.

For now, enjoy your family and a great meal together!

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Skinner® pasta.

 

 

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Quick Kale Pesto Pasta
Kale Pesto Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight meal that also features Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, olives, and shrimp (or any other protein of your choice).
Kale-pesto-pasta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8-10 minutes
Servings
people
Kale-pesto-pasta
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the kale pesto. In a blender or food processor, combine the kale, basil, salt and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Then, turn it off to scrape down the sides of the blender or processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese and blend/process well until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Once pasta is cooked, drain and add the cooked shrimp or other protein of your choice. Toss with kale pesto and top with Parmesan cheese shavings, grape tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges if desired. Serve while it is hot, and enjoy!
Continue Reading 17

Quick Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice

A quick and easy Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice casserole made with pantry staples within about 30 minutes.  It has all the comforting flavors of the classic dish but without the pie crust.

Raise your hand if you are a fan of chicken pot pies… well, me too — and I’ve got both of my hands lifted high!  What if I told you that the filling from that classic dish is great for more than just filling a pie crust? Yep… you have it here, in a Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice casserole.  It is dinner made easy, and quite comforting. How come? Check it out, hon!

Pantry staples were used to make this gluten-free one-baking dish.   We simply mixed cooked long-grain rice with shredded roasted chicken, frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, and carrots), canned condensed chicken soup, egg yolks, seasonings, and cheese.

Then, we placed the mixture into a greased and floured baking dish… and baked for about 25-30 minutes.  In the meantime, you can feel free to spend some time on Facebook or reading your favorite magazine.  And voilá!  Dinner will be ready before you know it.

I know, I know… Our Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice has it all, including the taste of life made easier for busy moms like us.

This dish has all the comforting flavors of the beloved classic — but without the pie crust.  It is perfect not only for busy weeknight meals but also for those lazy weekends. First of all, it doesn’t require any special skill from the cook. Second, it is a complete meal all by itself.  It may not have “one-pot” or “one-skillet” in its name, but it is definitely part of that same family.  And you know what that means… mess-free! 😉

I confess my husband was a bit skeptical how good this dish would turn out… until he had a spoonful. Boy, no need to tell ya that the man came for seconds and thirds.  It made my day!  Even my eldest kid — who can be picky (grrrr!!!) approved.

If you double or triple some of the ingredients, you will have enough to also make the classic pot pie itself, or this Brazilian version .

brazilian-chicken-pot-pie

I will leave you now with the formula to one hero of a dish, and to your much-deserved rest.

TO PIN TILL YOU DROP:

 

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Quick Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice
A quick and easy Chicken Pot Pie Baked Rice casserole made with pantry staples within about 30 minutes.  It has all the comforting flavors of the classic dish but without the pie crust.
Chicken-Pot-Pie-Baked-Rice
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.33
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Chicken-Pot-Pie-Baked-Rice
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.33
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour (it can be GF) in a medium baking dish; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir in well the condensed chicken soup with the egg yolks. Add the cooked rice, chicken, vegetables, seasonings, and cheddar cheese/mozzarella. Mix well until obtaining a homogeneous mixture. Place mixture into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top, and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with chopped parsley on top. Enjoy!
Continue Reading 8
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