The other night, we had a dorm event centered around soup. That is my kind of event! I love soup passionately, and have shared many soups here across the years.
I started to ask my husband which soup he wanted me to bring, then amended my statement to, “Do you want me to make lasagna soup?”
He shook his head vigorously. This is probably his favorite soup that I make, and it’s a great crowd-pleaser for events. It’s hearty and satisfying and really much easier to make than a lasagna. With just a touch of cheese, you get the same lasagna feeling, too, without being weighed down with tons of carbs and dairy products.
Make some soup to survive these last weeks of winter. You won’t be sad to have a bowl of this on your table. And if you need more carbs, it’s a great dipping vessel for crusty bread.
This is one of my favorite summer side dishes. It comes together quickly, and makes a nice alternative to a rice side for Mexican dishes. It would probably be more purely Mexican if you use cotija cheese, but I have feta on hand a lot of the time, so I just throw it in there.
I could pretty much just eat this for dinner. How about you?
This quick side dish goes well with tacos or enchiladas.
2 T butter
2 T minced yellow or sweet onion
kernels from two ears of corn
1 clove garlic, minced
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
juice of one lime (1-2 T)
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (or so) crumbled feta cheese
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add corn kernels and garlic; stir and cook for a few minutes, until the corn starts to brown a little. Add in beans and stir to mix.
When beans are warmed through, add lime juice and cilantro. Remove from heat. Stir in feta. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed. (The feta is pretty salty by itself.)
Well, y’all, I have some kind-of-sad news. After five years, this is going to be my last Secret Recipe Club post. I have loved being part of this fun every month, being exposed to new bloggers and recipes, and hunting down a recipe. But since my blogging has kind of died down, I didn’t feel like it was fair to those assigned to my blog. (Even though I do think I have a great backlog of recipes!)
Thanks to all those who have made this experience so wonderful! I started doing the Secret Recipe Club in June 2011 and have only missed a couple months the whole time. Can you believe it?
Anyway, enough about me! This month, my assigned blogger was I’m Hungry: Words of Growing Boys. Do I get that! My boys (and girl) are still small but I feel like every time they see me, their first words are, “I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?” Traci is a mom to two sons and an educator by day, supermom and cook by night. I love that Traci shares things like her family’s favorite meals and meal plans each week.
I was sold on this recipe for Pressure Cooker Sausage, Peppers, and Onions as soon as I saw it; first, because it’s something my family loves, and second, because I got an Instant Pot recently and have been trying to use it a lot! We loved the recipe, and our only regret was not throwing in twice as much sausage so we’d have leftovers for sausage sandwiches.
Serving Size: 4 to 8 servings, depending on amount of sausage
1 to 2 lbs. sweet sausage or bratwurst links
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
1 sweet onion, like Vidalia, cut into rings
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 T Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
cooked pasta (I used egg noodles)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning to the pressure cooker. Cut sausages into thirds and place on top of sauce. Top with onions and peppers, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Seal pressure cooker lid and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Use quick or natural release to release pressure, then safely uncover and serve over pasta, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
(If you want to cook your pasta in the sauce and you have an Instant Pot: After pressure is released, change setting to slow cooker on high. Add uncooked pasta and cook covered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, until pasta is cooked through. This works especially well for egg noodles.)
This can also be made in a slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 hours, until sausage is cooked through.
Good morning! I have one more #CookoutWeek recipe for you this week, and a reminder to go enter the great grilling giveaway! You can find it on my #CookoutWeek post here.
This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for a simple broccoli salad. I like broccoli salad with dried fruit and sunflower seeds and all that jazz, but I really love this one just for its simplicity. Plus, all the bacon.
I took this to a potluck the other night. I had my salad in a stainless steel bowl, and I put it inside another stainless bowl filled with ice. Worked well at keeping it cool in the heat, so I was less worried about having the mayonnaise sit out.
Cut broccoli florets into bite-size pieces. You should have at least 2 cups of pieces. Dice onion very finely (I use a food chopper for this, because I don't like big pieces of raw onion). Crumble or chop bacon. In a large bowl, mix together broccoli, onion, bacon, and diced cheese. In another measuring cup or bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before tossing again and serving.
Many, many years ago, I shared a favorite recipe from Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods Bible study, which I worked on when I was at LifeWay. It was high time to update this recipe with my own proportions and instructions!
We decided this summer to eat beans and rice once a week. My kids are so spoiled when it comes to food, given that we eat in the dining hall nine months of the year. They can pick and choose whatever they want, and definitely have never considered we or other people might not be able to afford meat or fresh ingredients. So this “beans and rice plan” has been a way to talk to them about people in other countries and how they eat. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt for us to eat meatless and save a few dollars, too. Mr. V and I love beans and rice and hope our kids can learn to love them.
(Verdict from week 1: David ate rice. Joshua ate one bite of avocado. Libbie found she could eat beans with a lot of rice and cheese, although she thought the texture was strange. I am proud of her for trying something new.)
Kelly’s original recipe calls for 4 whole cups of cheese on top of the beans. I used about 2 1/2 cups and our beans were swimming in cheese, so I think that’s plenty!
I realize the cheese increases the price on a beans-and-rice meal, but it’s a good place to start if you have kids who are scared of beans. I like these with avocado and sour cream, too, but they’re just as good as written (or with a runny egg for breakfast).
You can cook the brown rice however you like; I use Alton Brown’s method of oven-baked rice often, but the oven temps on this won’t match up. For this recipe, I used my brand-new Instant Pot to make the rice, and I was really happy with the texture and outcome! For brown rice, you use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup water or liquid and cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. It’s like magic!
I haven’t added most of these meals to my recipe archive, because I didn’t try them out or picture them. I found them at other places. But the Chile Sweet Potato Hash from Rachael Ray was one that I have made, often. Back when Mr. V and I were kidless, we ate this regularly for dinner, because it’s inexpensive and satisfying, and a nice mix-up for breakfast for dinner. I think I saw Rachael make it on “30-Minute Meals” once.
The only issue I have with this dish is the sweet potatoes. It’s difficult to get them to cook through unless you slice them very thin. I suggest slicing as thinly as you can. If they still aren’t cooking through, after your initial 10-15 minute cook time, change the heat to low, put a baking sheet or lid on your skillet, and steam them for a few minutes. Alternately, you could partially cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time in some boiling water. I may try that next time!
If you like heat, use hot breakfast sausage and throw in some cayenne or chipotle chili powder. If you don’t, this isn’t too spicy, but you can cut down on the chili powder if you want.
2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes - peeled, then cut in half lengthwise, then into half-moon thin slices
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 T chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried cilantro or coriander
1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (optional)
salt and pepper
eggs, cooked over easy
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it's hot, add sausage to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, onions, spices, and some salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the sausage, for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.