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Roasted Chickpeas

These roasted chickpeas are so addictive!!

Drain a can of chickpeas (or garbanzo). Toss in olive oil, salt, and any other seasonings you want. Then roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

They’re crunchy, satiating, and healthy for you!

Seasonings that would be good to try:

Old Bay

Cayenne

Ranch Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

I haven’t tried it, but if you want something a little sweet, maybe toss them in cinnamon sugar.

Sloppy Joes

Let me start by saying… these ain’t your mama’s manwiches and you’ll never use jarred, canned, or packaged sloppy joe mix again. These are hearty, rich, and full of flavor.

Since my husband and I became pescetarians I haven’t even thought about making sloppy joes, but when I saw Beyond Meat crumbles in the grocery store, I thought I’d make a vegetarian version of one of my favorite sandwiches.

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Now, all you meat eaters, don’t roll your eyes. This product tastes great and has spot-on, meat-like texture; I wouldn’t have posted this recipe if it had been anything less than great. I’ve used crumbles before that disintegrated in my spaghetti sauce, but these didn’t.

If you want to use ground beef or turkey, just brown the meat, and add it to the recipe at the time I add the crumbles.

Okay, let’s get these Joes going.

First, dice one medium/large onion and one bell pepper.

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Sauté them in a large pan on medium heat for 10 minutes.

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Now, add  3 cloves of chopped garlic and one 12 oz. can of tomato paste. Stir it in with the onions and peppers and let cook for a few minutes.

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Now, time to add lots of stuff:

Tomato Purée

Worcestershire 

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

Montreal Steak Seasoning

Paprika

Brown Sugar

Ketchup

Mustard

Apple Cider Vinegar

Stir it all together and let simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat.

When you read the amounts in the ingredient list, know they are an approximate amount. After letting it simmer, be sure to taste and add more of any ingredient you want. Everyone’s tastebuds are different, so play around with what works for you.

Time to add the crumbles (or browned meat).

I put it in frozen, so it took about 15 minutes to get it warmed through. If you’re using browned ground beef, it won’t take that long at all.

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While it simmers, toast your buns. This is a must! Toasted buns hold the sloppy joes better than non-toasted bun. Plus, the butter on the buns add another flavor level.

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After letting the sauce cook down, taste it again, and do any last minute seasoning you may like.

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Once you have it where you want it, put it on the toasted buns, and dig in!

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Oh my goodness! It’s so messy, but so delicious!

What you’ll need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion

1 green bell pepper

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 – 12 ounce can tomato paste

1 – 20 ounce tomato puree

3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

1 bag Beyond Meat (or any brand) meat crumbles or 1 pound browned meat

Toasted Buns

Directions:

Dice the onion and one bell pepper and sauté them in olive oil in a large pan on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add  3 cloves of chopped garlic and one 12 oz. can of tomato paste. Stir it in with the onions and peppers and let cook for a few minutes.

Add: Tomato Purée, Worcestershire, Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Paprika, Brown Sugar, Ketchup, Mustard, and Apple Cider Vinegar. Stir it all together and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then add the crumbles 0r browned meat. Let it all warm through.

While it simmers, toast your buns. This is a must! Toasted buns hold the sloppy joes better than non-toasted bun. Plus, the butter on the buns add another flavor level.

After letting the sauce cook down, taste it again, and do any last minute seasoning you may like.

Once you have it where you want it, put it on the toasted buns.

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Whatchyagot Pasta

Yesterday was a frigid day– we had snow and wind chills of -35!! It was the perfect day to snuggle up in a blanket and drink hot toddies by the fire, which I happily did.

Here are a few pictures of our winter wonderland:

Usually on cold days I’d make a soup or chili with cornbread, but for some reason, I was in the mood for a bowl of pasta. With the cold temps and wind, I didn’t want to go out to get ingredients, so I made my Whatchyagot Pasta. I used whatever I had on hand, which ended up being pepperoncinis, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and tomatoes.

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I threw it all in a pan with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and olive oil and cooked it  for 10-15 minutes.

While it sautéed, I cooked spaghetti until al dente, and then put it in the pan with all the other ingredients. I added more olive oil and tossed it all together.

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Voilà!! Easy peasy pasta! And, oh my goodness, it was so good!

To top it off, I added grated parmesan, and then ate two bowls!

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So, use whatchyagot and enjoy!

Here are some other things that would work:

Sun-dried tomatoes

Olives

Chicken

Shrimp

Asparagus

Spinach

Broccoli

Herbs

Bubs’ Pasta Pie

This past weekend I made Bubs’ Sauce and I wanted to think of a creative way to use the leftover sauce. I came up with a pasta pie and it was one of the best things I’ve ever made– EVER!! In my opinion, and my husband’s, it’s better than lasagna, and it’ll be a go-to recipe from now on.

Here’s what I came up with:

You can use my sauce recipe, which is linked above, and if you want a meat sauce, just add the meat of your choice to the recipe.

Cook spaghetti and then let it drain.

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While it’s draining, chop some sun-dried tomatoes.

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Now, put the drained spaghetti, sun-dried tomatoes, grated parmesan, two eggs, and olive oil in a bowl.

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Time to get your hands to work. Mix it all together really well.

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Melt some butter in a large cast iron pan and then press the pasta into the pan.  If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a deep dish pie plate or a cake pan. Just skip the step of melting the butter and just smear it in your pie plate or cake pan.

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Now, bake it in a preheated 400 degree oven until the pasta is browned and crispy around the edges– about 10-15 minutes.

While the pasta crust is baking, grate some cheese. Whatever cheese you have on hand– I used Cabot cheddar. Also, slice some low-moisture mozzarella.

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Once the pasta crust is ready, put down a layer of cheddar (or whatever cheese you use) and then put the spaghetti sauce on top. If you’d like, put some sliced onion on top of the sauce. We like the added flavor and crunch.

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Then, put the mozzarella on top and sprinkle Italian seasoning all over. I forgot to take a picture of this. Sorry… I was too excited to get it in the oven.

Now, bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and browned– about 25-30 minutes.

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Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it.

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Y’all!! This is so darn good!! Make it! You will thank me later!

What you’ll need:

1 box of spaghetti

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 tablespoon butter

Approx. 3-4 cups (or however much you want) Spaghetti Sauce , warmed

Grated Cheese– whatever kind you want and as much as you want

LOW-MOISTURE, sliced mozzarella– as much as you want

Sliced onion (optional)

Italian seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cook spaghetti and then let it drain. While it’s draining, chop some sundried tomatoes.

Put the drained spaghetti, sundried tomatoes, grated parmesan, two eggs, and olive oil in a bowl. With your hands, mix it all together really well.

Melt some butter in a large cast iron pan and then press the pasta into the pan.  If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a deep dish pie plate or a cake pan. Just skip the step of melting the butter and just smear it in your pie plate or cake pan.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until the pasta is browned and crispy around the edges– about 10-15 minutes.

While the pasta crust is baking, grate some cheese. Whatever cheese you have on hand– I used Cabot cheddar. Also, slice some low-moisture mozzarella.

Once the pasta crust is ready, put down a layer of cheddar (or whatever cheese you use) and then put the spaghetti sauce on top. If you’d like, put some sliced onion on top of the sauce.

Then, put the mozzarella on top and sprinkle Italian seasoning all over.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and browned– about 25-30 minutes.

Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it.

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(Healthier) Broccoli Salad

Most broccoli salad recipes are full of mayo, cheese, and bacon. There’s definitely a time and place for such a dish, but sometimes, you want something lighter. Yesterday, I threw together my healthier recipe, and after all the heavy Thanksgiving food, it was perfect. It’s good for a snack, meal, or side dish.

With this kind of recipe, you can play around with ingredients and the amounts. My recipe can be a guideline, but do whatever you wish. You like pecans or sunflower seeds instead of almonds? Do those instead. Don’t like grapes or don’t like fruit in your savory dishes? Don’t add them. Want more acid? Add it. Want a little cheese? Grate some in.

So, here’s my recipe:

Start by cutting broccoli in small pieces– about five or six cups. Then, chop half a red onion, and halve 20 green or red grapes.

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Put it all in a bowl and then add one cup of slivered almonds.

In a separate bowl, put in one cup of greek yogurt, two tablespoons red wine vinegar, two teaspoons garlic powder, two teaspoons onion powder, two teaspoons salt, two teaspoons pepper, and two teaspoons sugar. Whisk it all together.

Now, add the dressing to the broccoli salad and mix together until everything is incorporated.

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There ya have it! You can eat it immediately or let it chill in the fridge.

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What you’ll need:

5-6 cups (approx.) broccoli, cut into small pieces

1/2 red onion, chopped

20 (approx.) red or green grapes

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup greek yogurt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

Directions:

Cut broccoli in small pieces. Then, chop red onion, and halve grapes. Put it all in a bowl and then add the slivered almonds. In a separate bowl, put in the greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and sugar. Whisk and then add to the broccoli salad. Mix it all together until everything is incorporated. Eat immediately or chill in the fridge.

I have a dear friend who needs fried chicken tips.

Since I don’t eat meat anymore, I won’t have step-by-step pictures, but I can at least give some tips from when I used to cook it.

First, soak your chicken in buttermilk overnight. This helps the chicken stay tender and juicy even after frying.

An hour before cooking, take the chicken out of the fridge, and dredge in seasoned flour– salt, pepper, and cayenne (if you want a little heat). Pat the flour into the chicken and then place on a cookie sheet. Put the floured chicken into the fridge for about an hour (or more). This is an important step, so don’t skip it. It will set the first layer of flour, which helps the crust stick to the chicken.

When you’re ready to fry, take the chicken out of the fridge, dip in buttermilk, and then dredge in seasoned flour again. If you want extra crust, do that one more time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Have a wire rack on top of cookie sheet near by to place your fried chicken on after frying.

I always pan fried my chicken in a large cast iron skillet. Fill the skillet halfway with  vegetable oil and heat on med-high. Once the oil is hot (you can check by sprinkling a little flour into the pan. If it bubbles and sizzles, the oil is ready), place your chicken in the oil and let it fry slowly. If you feel it’s frying too fast, just adjust the heat. Patience is key here. Also, don’t put too many pieces in the skillet at once. Have space between each piece.

Once the chicken is brown and crispy, flip. Do the same to the other side. Don’t worry about getting it cooked all the way through, just get it somewhat done, and brown and crispy all over. Once you have that, place the chicken on the wire rack, and put into the oven to cook it all the way through. This will allow the chicken to finish cooking without burning the crust.

I hope this helps! If there are any specific questions, just ask.

 

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Picture from Google Images

Up until a few years ago, I never liked cranberry sauce, and I think it’s because I only tried the kind in the can.

I finally decided to make my own and it was a game changer. I use apple cider in place of water, which adds a nice zing. The tarty-sweetness offsets the rich, heavy flavors of a holiday meal.

The recipe is easy. It needs to set up overnight in the fridge, so be sure to make it ahead. Depending on how many people you’re making it for, you may need to double the recipe. This makes enough for four.

Put a cup of apple cider, juice of one orange, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan on med-high heat. Once the sugar is melted, add the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, orange zest, and cranberries. Stir.

Uncovered, let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Don’t be surprised when the cranberries pop and crackle.

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One the sauce is thickened, pour in a container, and let it completely cool before putting it in the fridge to set up overnight.

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This is a cranberry sauce I think everyone will enjoy!

What you’ll need:

1 lb. cranberries

1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 orange, zested and juiced

Directions:

Put a cup of apple cider, juice of one orange, and 1/2 cup of sugar, in a saucepan on med-high heat. Once the sugar is melted, add the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, orange zest, and cranberries. Stir.

Uncovered, let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Don’t be surprised when the cranberries pop and crackle.

One the sauce is thickened, pour in a container, and let it completely cool before putting it in the fridge to set up overnight.