Poor potatoes. They've gotten such a bad wrap. It's a shame really that anti-carb fanatics have turned the potato into a forbidden vegetable. I for one am not buying into all of the bad potato press.
Potatoes are inexpensive, they're available year round, they're full of vitamins and potassium and let's face it, few things are as delicious as a potato. As if those weren't enough reasons to fall in love with potatoes, they're also super simple to prepare and they're incredibly satisfying. After all what would Thanksgiving be without a giant bowl of buttery mashed potatoes? What's a burger without fries or a sandwich without chips?
I'm bringing potatoes back to our table. White, red, sweet, roasted, baked or fried - bring em on. I can't even think of a way to prepare a potato that I DON'T like but my favorite is probably baked or roasted potatoes. It just doesn't get much better than a batch of roasted potatoes smothered in cheddar cheese and served with a ranch dipping sauce.
Roasted Ranch Potatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh dill
Sprinkle with cheddar and bake another 3 minutes.
Transfer to platter and serve with sauce.
Roasted Ranch Potatoes are a great side dish for almost any meal. The next time that I make them I think I'll slice them into wedges though to make them even easier to dip into the ranch sauce. Cubes or wedges, I think you're going to like these.
Can we just start a club for people who really want to make and eat healthy dinners for themselves and their families but who fall massively short of their high expectations? A club where we encourage each other even when we have to pick up fast food for dinner. A support group for busy, stressed out parents who need to know that they're not a failure if they run out of time to fix a healthy meal and they order pizza instead.
Since this sort of club may never exist, I'll take it upon myself to tell all of the stressed out parents that you're not alone. You are not a disappointment, you're not inadequate and you should not feel guilty. Believe me when I tell you that everyone shares in the struggle to provide healthy meals.
Leave your guilt at the door and whether you cooked a healthy dinner last night or if it's been a month since you fixed a healthy meal - it's never too late to start preparing nutritious meals. It's a daily struggle - trust me - I get it.
It's easy to get discouraged when I try and fix healthy meals, especially when I spend an hour preparing a meal and my family really doesn't even enjoy it. It happens to everyone. Don't get frustrated, just get back on the healthy meal bandwagon and try again.
If you're looking for a healthy meal that your family will actually enjoy - give this Grilled Rainbow Trout with Chimichurri a try.
Grilled Rainbow Trout with Chimichurri
4 skin on trout filets
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 garlic clove
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped jalepeno
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 Tablespoons olive oil
Grill 3-5 minutes until opaque.
Serve with chimichurri.
Monday is always fish night in our house and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. The fresh and bright chimichurri sauce was such a nice compliment to this light and flaky fish. If you can't find fresh trout - I'm sure that this chimichurri would be great on any type of flaky, white fish.
Anyone still have a Christmas tree displayed in their house on January 15th? No shame in that - right?
We're traditionalist when it comes to Christmas trees. We like to go to the Christmas tree farm and cut one down or choose it from the stock of already cut trees. We bring our fresh tree home, place it in the stand and water it faithfully for the first week. After the first week, all bets are off. As Christmas gets closer and life gets busier, the likelihood of us remembering to check the water in the tree stand gets slimmer and slimmer. This year was no different. By the time we got around to taking the tree down this year, it was so dry that even the slightest breeze could have stripped it of all its needles.
We hauled our tree off to the local hardware store for recycling but I just heard about a brewery in The Netherlands that is turning old Christmas trees into beer! BEER! For those of you who live close to Lowlanders Beer, you need to check out this brewery to find out how founder Frederik Kampman is turning these old Christmas trees into a winter IPA. You can check out all of the details on their website. You have to admit - this is a pretty cool idea. I feel like I need to travel to this brewery just to check it out - and I don't drink beer!
Turning old things into new things is a concept that seems to be catching on all over this country as well. Which explains the fascination of the popularity right now of tv shows featuring old house being restored. The same concept applies to recipes. I have seen a recent influx of recipes that feature old recipes that have been redone in new and creative ways. It's always good to look at something that I've been doing the same way for years and years in a new way.
Biscuits are the perfect example of an old recipe that recently got an overhaul compliments of Cook's Illustrated. Warming the cream and melting the butter is a different approach to biscuits than the way that I have traditionally made them. I was anxious to try this brand new technique.
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons melted butter
Bake 10-12 minutes at 450.
Brush hot biscuits with butter and serve.
I made a huge mistake when I made this recipe --- I only made half a batch!!! What was I thinking? Seriously. A half batch made exactly 5 1/2 perfect biscuits and that was the perfect amount to accompany our chicken noodle casserole lunch. The problem was that there weren't any leftover biscuits for chicken biscuit sandwiches or biscuits and gravy or other biscuit delicacies. Next time - double batch.
I've seen a lot of "sheet pan recipes" lately and I've got to say - I'm a fan of the pan. Putting all of my ingredients on one pan and having a single pan to clean up at the end of a meal - win, win. So feel free to send me all of your sheet pan recipes - I want to try them all.
Roasted shrimp and broccolini is one of my favorite go-to meals and this homemade lemon pepper oil really took my recipe to the next level. I pulled my shrimp directly out of my freezer and we were sitting down at the table and enjoying this meal in under 20 minutes - AND I only had 1 pan to clean!
Roasted Shrimp and Broccolini
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh peppercorns, crushed
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bunches fresh broccolini
2 pounds peeled shrimp
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 chopped walnuts
Drizzle sauce over broccolini and sprinkle with walnuts.
I roasted more shrimp that I thought we would eat for dinner because I wanted to save some to put on a salad for my lunch the next day. Oh well - I had good intentions. Unfortunately, I also had a giant appetite for shrimp that night.
I had some leftover couscous in my refrigerator and that was the perfect compliment to this yummy meal.
I'm going through some serious sugar detox after our Valentine's Day extravaganza so this recipe is right up my alley today. This meal was so easy to make, easy to clean up and it was DELICIOUS.
I know that you don't really need a recipe to make a great BLT but in my defense, I had to put this yummy BLT/Grilled Cheese sandwich in my recipe index because that is my go-to reference when I do my menu planning and I definitely don't want to forget about this delectable sandwich. If you're interested in the specifics of how I plan my meals - you can check out that blog post here.
Now that we're in the middle of soccer season, I'm relying on hearty sandwiches more than ever. These BLT's make concession stand hot dogs look even more unappetizing. I'm not here to bad mouth the concession stand but these hearty sandwiches are soooo much better. (AND when you pull this sandwich out of your bag, you'll be the envy of everyone sitting around you in the stands.)
The perfect combination of a melty, gooey grilled cheese and the crispy, protein packed BLT. Add a slice of cool and creamy avocado and voila - the perfect grilled sandwich.
Turkey Bacon and Avocado Grilled Cheese
4 slices hearty artisan bread
4-6 slices turkey bacon, cooked
4 slices mozzarella
1 avocado, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
1-2 tablespoons of butter
Grill each sandwich over medium heat until cheese is melted and bread is browned.
I know what you're thinking - only I could take a perfectly good BLT and try and make it healthy(er).
I actually like turkey bacon better than regular bacon so that swap was kind of a no brainer. Oh and I LOVE avocado on almost everything so of course I added it to my BLT. I also like the brightness that the fresh basil adds to this yummy sandwich on hearty artisan wheat bread. I wouldn't go so far as to call this a "healthy" sandwich but I do love this variation on the classic BLT. I think that you will too.
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