Spicy Lemon Ricotta Pappardelle & Zucchini

The first warmth of spring is a beautiful thing. It brings everyone out of their wintry cocoons, peaks of first farm vegetables, bustling parks and farmers markets, drunk underaged loud spring breakers….ah yes, spring is definitely my favorite season. But let’s focus … Continue reading

Hearty Sausage and Potato Skillet

The worst is over. During our 3rd year of school, we have our biggest proficiency called 5 stations. 12 skills. 2 hrs. 1 optometry student sweating bullets. And now I can put it all past me!!! No retakes and no worries (until boards). Whew! I can get back to a healthy eating, sleep and gym schedule again, as well as getting back to doing some real hobbies like baking and sewing. Now it’s a steady schedule of 1 exam/week and clinic. So excited to have a life again!

And now for my return, a recipe for an easy and very fast weekday dinner! I found fingerling potatoes at the dollar store so I had to grab a few of those. They make for a good dinner side dish or breakfast side with eggs. For this recipe, though, you can really use any potato and any type of sausage you want technically. It’s the herbs that give it the flavor. I love using the fresh herbs I grow in pots, and they’re so easy to grow, too! You really just needed some good soil at Home Depot which is $8 for a huge bag (dirt is cheap…big surprise), a pot that can drain and remember to water it everyday. And even if you’re a forgetful person, you can at least grow rosemary which can live for a 1-2 days without water! Fresh herbs turn any simple dish into a hearty spectacular dish. Great way to add flavor when you’re in a rush! My boyfriend is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so this recipe is also a sneaky way to add veggies and still make it yummy! Enjoy!

italian sausage
Hearty Sausage and Potato Skillet

Servings: 4

Prep time: 20 min, Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cut potatoes, skin on – I used fingerling, but you can use any kind. Red potatoes would work really well
  • 1 lb mix of sweet and spicy Italian sausage (or any sausage of your choice)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • Salt/Fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 stems of Fresh basil (optional)

Directions

1. Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat on med-high. Add your sausage and cook until they start to brown on all side.

2. Remove sausage and set aside.

3. Drizzle your skillet with olive oil and add in potatoes, carrots and onion. Cover and stir occasionally for 10 min.

4. When your sausage cools, slice your sausage into 1/2″ pieces.

5.  Return sausage to pan. Add in garlic, tomatoes, garlic and rosemary.

6. Cook for another 5 min or until tomatoes are cooked. Salt/pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each).

7. Serve with torn pieces of fresh basil on top. Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones

I have clinic on Saturday mornings now, and it’s as bad as it sounds. However, having a delicious breakfast to munch on while works makes it infinitely times more tolerable for me and everyone else. These scones are so quick and easy….quick enough for me to whip up right before work! I usually prepare the dry ingredients the night before and mix in the wet ingredients the next day, then just throw them in the oven! Sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar on top and they make delicious, not overly sweet breakfast treats that go great with coffee and tea! Perfect to impress friends and give their morning a kickstart!

photo

Cranberry Orange Scones

Servings: 16 scones (or 18 mini scones)

Prep time: 10-15 minutes, Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries – you can virtually use any dried fruit (raisins, currents, ect) and make any kind of scone you want
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered sugar (optional for garnish)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Sift the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).

2. Mix in the dried cranberries and orange zest. If you are doing this the night before, save the orange zest for the next day so it doesn’t dry up.

3. Mix the wet ingredients together. Make sure the buttermilk is room temperature so it doesn’t cool and clump up the melted butter.

4. Stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients JUST UNTIL everything is wet. If a little of it remains dry, that is Ok. Do NOT overmix!!

5. Make 16 plots on a baking sheet, preferably covered with parchment. I like to use an ice cream scoop and round out the base.

6. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until you see some golden brown edges.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top for decoration and enjoy!

Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Here’s another favorite of mine for a quick dinner. Not only is it healthy, but definitely some wonderful colors working in there. It’s surprising how one bell pepper can be so filling! Enjoy!

Bell peppers
Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Servings: 3 servings

Prep Time: 10-15 min, Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 handfuls of Spinach
  • 1/2-3/4 cup corn – frozen or canned corn will work
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans – drain and rinse
  • 1 1/2 roma tomatoes – diced
  • Any kind of shredded/crumbled cheese – feta, shredded mexican, cheddar, ect. Omit if you would like to make it vegan
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Bell peppers – washed, tops cut off and seeded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cook your quinoa as instructed. If you cook it with a chicken or vegetable, it adds a lot of flavor to the quinoa.

2. After the quinoa is done, take it off the heat and slowly mix in 1-2 handfuls of spinach.

3. Dump the quinoa into a large bowl. Add in the corn, beans, tomatoes and cheese. The amounts listed are pretty relative. You can really add as much of each as you want.

4. Mix in the cumin and salt/pepper to taste. Add the chili powder if you want a kick to it.

5. Place your bell peppers into a pan. I like to use an oiled loaf pan so they stand up well.

6. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the each bell pepper. Sprinkle some cheese on top.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the filling is hot. The bell pepper will still have some bite to it.

Enjoy!