Saturday, December 30, 2017

Pressure Cooker Red Beans & Rice

Adapted from frommyimpossiblytinykitchen.

PREP: 20 min
COOK TIME: 2 hours

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 - 2 tsp creole seasoning, according to taste (use less if serving kids)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 lb dried red beans (use long red kidney beans)
1 ham hock (ask for it at the butcher counter, or use smoked turkey leg/neck)
6 cups chicken stock**
green onion, for garnish


  1. In a pressure cooker (at least 6 quarts) over medium heat, add in olive oil. Once hot, add in onion and celery. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes--vegetables should be soft and cooked through.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and creole seasoning to the vegetables and stir to combine. 
  3. Stir in garlic, thyme, and sausage. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the sausage has browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the red beans and the ham hock to the pot, followed by the chicken stock. Be sure to follow your pressure cooker's manufacturer's instructions for limits on the amount of liquid that can be added to your pressure cooker. The beans should be completely covered by chicken stock, but take care not to go over your pressure cooker's "max fill line."
  5. Bring the cooker up to full pressure. Once pressure has been reached, reduce the heat just enough to maintain full pressure, then start timing for 1 hour 45 minutes*. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  6. Remove the lid and taste--adjust the seasonings and, if necessary, cook a bit longer.
*Original recipe called for 1 hour, but even at 1.5 hours, the beans were not cooked all the way through.
**Original recipe called for 5 cups, but the beans need more liquid to fully absorb.

Serve with steamed rice & top with sour cream. Also good with cornbread.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Denise's Banana Bread

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups white whole wheat flour

Mix ingredients in order. Pour into greased bread mold(s) or greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.

Approximate baking times:
1 large bread mold - 1 hour
3 small loaves - 40 minutes
muffins - 25 minutes

Friday, November 6, 2015

Spice Cake Mix Pancakes with Applesauce

*Adapted from Domestic Diva on a Dime.

PREP: 30 minutes
SERVES: 30 - 4" pancakes

1 box spice cake mix
3 cups Bisquick or other pancake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or two snack-size cups)
4 eggs
2 cups water
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients until most of the lumps are smooth. If consistency is too thin, add Bisquick mix until preferred thickness is reached.
2. Heat griddle and cook pancakes. Tip: keep the prepared pancakes warm in an oven preheated to 200 degrees until ready to serve.
3. Serve with butter & maple syrup. (These are more flavorful than traditional pancakes, so less syrup is required than normal.)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mexican Quinoa

Serves: 4 (side dish portions)
Prep: 5 minutes

1 (8.8 oz) pkg HEB Central Market Brand White & Red Quinoa - in "quick heat grains" pouch
1/2 can corn (drained except for 2 Tbsp liquid)
dash of: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and fajita seasoning
dash of cayenne pepper, optional - I didn't use this
cilantro, optional - I didn't have this the first time I made it
1 can Goya black bean soup

Prepare bag of quinoa according to package directions. In a medium bowl, heat corn in its liquid for approximately 1 minute in the microwave. Add quinoa and seasonings. Stir together and serve topped with black beans.

Notes: I served this with fish tacos and it was a great alternative to rice and beans. It would also be delicious served as a chopped salad with the additions of tomato, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and chicken.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paleo Breakfast Casserole Bites

*Adapted from Gal on a Mission.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 12 mini-casseroles

9 large eggs
8 oz ground breakfast sausage
1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper
1 cup frozen kale (slightly thawed and chopped)
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or coat with coconut oil. Set aside.
2. Brown the ground sausage over medium heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the sausage, peppers, kale, and pepper. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, filling 3/4 of the way to the top.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then use a knife to loosen the sides.

Note: These freeze well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sausage Fruit Kabobs

*Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp honey
12 oz cooked smoked sausage, bias cut in 3/4" slices (I used turkey sausage)
1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2" wedges
1 zucchini, halved and cut in 1/2" slices (sprinkle with salt to enhance flavor)
6 oz crusty bread, cut into 1" pieces

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together mustard and honey in a small bowl.
2. Alternately thread sausage, apples, and zucchini on skewers, leaving 1/4" between pieces. Brush with some of the honey-mustard; reserve remaining honey-mustard. Place on rack of unheated broiler pan. Change oven setting to broil and broil kabobs 4-5 inches from heat for 4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, thread bread skewers; lightly brush with olive oil.
4. Turn sausage skewers, brush with more honey-mustard, and add bread skewers to the pan. Broil 3 minutes more or until sausage is heated through and bread is toasted, turning bread once.
5. Serve with honey-mustard.

Note: Try with other veggies--sweet potato, red onion, bell peppers, corn, yellow squash, broccoli, or carrots.

Lasagna Soup

*Adapted from Bobby's Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup.

Prep: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 tsp olive oil.
1 lb Italian mild turkey (or pork) sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz) can petite diced tomato
1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
5 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage and cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, minced onion, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the noodles, basil, zucchini, and squash; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Serve with salad and breadsticks.