Sausage Cacciatore

I make this dish often and especially when I have guests over. Very easy and versatile. I often use different types of sausages with this dish to create a diversity. The prep time is simple. This is excellent with a simple green salad. Sometimes I use purple potatoes mixed with baby red potatoes. When using fresh ingredients, the flavors are incredible. 

Sausage Cacciatore
First made in October 2016

sausagecacciatore
Ingredients
1-pound sweet Italian sausage links, bulk or patties. If use fresh sausage, remove the meat from casing and break up into bite-size pieces. If using pre-cooked flavored sausages from brands like Applegate or Al Fresca already cooked, just cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces.
2-3 lbs. baby red potatoes cut into cubes. If small potatoes, just half them.
1/2-pound mushrooms, quartered or halved, depends on the size big or small. Can use either button or crimini, or both.
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 28-ounce can crush tomatoes with Italian herbs, or 1 pint of halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 bunch, flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet or 9 x 13 baking dish and cook, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add the raw sausage and cook for another 10 minutes. (see notes). Toss the 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the tomatoes and/or pre-cooked sausage (see notes) to the vegetables and stir to coat.

Arrange the mixture in an even layer and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
Take out of oven and sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley (optional).

Notes
If using raw sausage from links, patties or bulk, break up meat and the cook time is 10 minutes (no olive oil, then add the tomatoes with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook for another 15 minutes.

If using pre-cooked sausages from brands like Applegate or Al Fresca, add the sausage with the halved tomatoes and 1 tablespoon olive oil and the cook time is not as long as the raw sausage time.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Advertisements

**REPOST*** Superbowl Sunday Healthy Appetizer – Potato Skins

I saw this recipe on the food channel one Saturday morning. The show was about eating healthy with Ellie Krieger and the recipe looked amazing. I thought it would be a good Football or card party kind-of-an-appetizer since most appetizers served at events tend to lean very heavy on the calories. I tested the recipe, it was perfect! Loved it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

Recipe created December 31, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme
Ingredients:
8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons of olive oil
8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
6 pieces of Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 6 ounces) (can be omitted) or use Turkey Bacon
¾ to 1 cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Crème:
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced and greens reserved
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream or 2% Greek Fage Greek Yogurt
Two tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves (or use another herb if do not like cilantro like parsley, thyme)
1 clove garlic
¼-teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and rub lightly with olive oil (not the 4 teaspoons in the recipe above – extra). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked potatoes are cooked thoroughly and tender. Remove from oven and cool completely enough so they are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8” of the potato flesh, leave the skin in place. Save the scooped potato flesh for another use (possibly fresh corn and potato chowder).Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down and baking sheet until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While potato skins are cooking, prepare the filling. Steam the chopped broccoli until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a non-stick sauté skillet, add the chopped Canadian bacon or turkey bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes, put cooked bacon on paper towel to remove excess fat. To make avocado crème, combine scallion (green onions) whites, avocado, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, lime juice, cilantro (or other preferred herb), garlic and salt in a small bowl of a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among cooked halved potato skins. Return potatoes to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes, Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of the broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Calories: 180, Total Fat: 10g, Protein 8g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 20 mg

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Vegan Potato and Corn Chowder

It’s a new year. Simply Healthy Cooking with Pam has been going strong since December 30, 2009. I cannot believe that I passed the 4 year mark. Lots of changes and learned so much about food. I have been slowly changing my food diet to reflect more vegetarian / vegan recipes. I am experimenting with different kinds of soups this month. I have a cookbook I use frequently called “The Big Book of Vegetarian” by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley. This book has lots of good recipes that are very filling and hearty. I highly recommend it. This soup is really creamy without any dairy use at all. Everything in this soup is vegetable. This soup is amazing when all ingredients are summer fresh straight from the garden or farmer’s market. I tweaked the original recipe to the ingredients I had on hand. Enjoy.

Vegan Potato and Corn Chowder, created on January 6, 2013

Click on image to see a larger photo

Click on image to see a larger photo


2 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 large organic carrots (peeled and diced)
2 large stalks of organic celery (diced)
1 medium Vidalia onion (chopped)
4 green onions (minced green and white parts) (Original recipe calls for 1 leek (white part only)
2 cups of organic corn, or 4 medium corn on the cob – kernels cut from the cob
5 cups of organic vegetable broth
2 teaspoons of dried basil or 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, warm the oil or vegetable broth and add the carrots, celery, onion, green onions and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir often.

Add the corn, potatoes, broth, and basil. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the vegetable broth has reduced to just barely covering the cooked vegetables. Add the chopped fresh dill.

Ladle the soup to a blender or food processor in batches, be careful when process because the soup is very hot and can spurt up from top of blender or food processor. Process the soup until desired consistency but has some chunks of vegetables. Return to the soup pot and season with salt and pepper.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Peasant Soup

The weather has changed to cool fall weather. I have been doing a lot of research on different kinds of soups. I am slowly changing my diet to reflect more of a vegetarian way of eating because I am noticing that I am not as tired and do not have heartburn or digestive problems when I eat vegetarian. I still do love meat and cheese I hope that as I change more to a much healthier diet I will not crave meat, eggs and cheese so much. I think this will be a work in progress. I did some research on Peasant Soup and found meat, vegetarian, and vegan ways appealing so I combined many resources and created my own. I think with the research I did, I discovered that everyone has their own version of vegetables, meats and spices. I would like to say I have adapted a really good vegan recipe. Next time I will add carrots to the soup. The smells in the apartment were heavenly and the soup came out really hearty, loaded with flavor, and very filling. Enjoy!

Pam’s Peasant Soup
Created on November 2, 2011

Click on image for a large picture

1 small bag 12 oz of Lentils rinsed and picked over well check for stones, twigs, etc.

2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (can omit for those that do not use oil)

(2) 15 oz cans Muir Glenn diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon Caraway seed (I like the flavor – you can omit, decrease or increase)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil (I imagine fresh would be more potent and flavorful)

2 bay leaves

8 cups of water

3 teaspoons of “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable based, or if you have homemade vegetable stock use that

1 medium onion, chopped

1-1/2 cup of chopped celery (about 4 stalks)

4 garlic cloves, chopped fine

(10) Oz package of organic baby spinach

5 small Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped

2 cups of finely sliced cabbage

Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

 In a stockpot, heat up the olive oil on medium high heat and add the chopped onions and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes till onions become soft and somewhat brown. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute or so. Do not let the garlic burn as it will make the recipe taste funny. Add the caraway seed, thyme, and basil to the onion/celery/garlic mixture.

Click on image for larger picture

Cook for about another minute stirring often. Add the water, bouillon, bay leaves, tomatoes, lentils, and potatoes to the stockpot. Stir and let come to a boil. Then turn down to heat to simmer and cook for about an hour or until the potatoes are soft.  Add the cabbage the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat and add the baby spinach. Cover and the steam will wilt the spinach after about a couple of minutes. Stir again and season with salt and pepper. 

Click on image to see a larger picture

Serve with whole grain or rye crusty bread.

 Note: For the meat lovers, need to remove the Caraway Seed (optional) and add a type of sausage or cubed chicken breasts to the soup. Just remember if using linked sausage of any kind, remove the casing. I am sure the flavors will change when adding a protein to the soup. The results will probably be the same – delicious, filling and hearty.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Mock Fried Zucchini Mushrooms Potatoes Concept

I am always trying out new flavors with some of my favorite foods that I grew up on. One thing I absolutely love is fried potatoes and the one thing I can remember about this dish was my aunt making fried potatoes on the farm with hamburgers for dinner. Talk about fried comfort food, this was mine. I know it is not healthy for me now because I have diabetes. I thought I could try and make my love of fried potatoes a little bit healthier for me such as sautéing the vegetables in olive oil instead of frying with vegetable oil and margarine and adding other vegetables like zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, so the serving is not all potatoes. I seasoned the sautéed vegetables with fresh herbs that I had left over from this week’s meals which left an enormous flavor to the dish. I think that dill, thyme and zucchini go so well together I actually enjoyed this vegetarian breakfast today. I will make this more often and will test other vegetables with the “mock fried potato concept”.

Mock Fried Zucchini, Mushroom Potatoes Concept
Created on 08/12/11

Click on picture to enlarge photo

2 lbs of baby Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1” bite size pieces leave skins on

Note: Try and cut the potatoes all the same size so they cook evenly

1 medium onion chopped

1medium zucchini cut in half lengthwise and then half-mooned sliced

6 large button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced “click here to see mushroom tip on how to clean mushrooms”

6 large baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 large garlic clove chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh dill

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

 In a large pan, heat up 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Try and keep the heat on the high side so the potatoes form a brown crust. Add the chopped onions and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Season the potatoes and onions with salt and pepper to taste. Stir often so the onions and potatoes do not burn while cooking. Remove the pan from heat. In another sauté pan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are semi-soft. Add the zucchini and garlic to the mushrooms and sauté for about another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms and zucchini mixture to the potatoes and onions. Stir well. Add the herbs and mix well. Serve hot with sliced tomatoes and/or poached eggs. This recipe is good by itself too! Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Red Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin

I bought too many tomatoes last weekend the farmers market and after a very busy week of not cooking I knew I needed to use up the tomatoes or I would have to throw them in the trash. I went to a local restaurant close to my apartment and had their potato, onion, and tomato dish. It was good but extremely greasy for me. Sunday mornings are my favorite to create something interesting. Instead of the traditional egg, bacon and potato breakfast, I created a similar dish with all the farmer’s market vegetables I bought and the results were fresh, simple and healthy.

Red Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin, created on 7/3/2011

3 lbs of baby red potatoes, scrubbed well and sliced 1/8” thick

1 large Vidalia onion or red onion – cut in half-moon slices

3 large tomatoes, seeded and sliced in half-moon slices, lightly salted

1 cup of grated tomato basil pine nut cheese – I bought this cheese from the cheese vendor at the market – they specialize in this type of cheese but you can use any cheese you like, a nice sharp white cheddar cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are excellent choices

Fresh Thyme

Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

I used the steamer because it is extremely healthy, low fat and it helps cut down on the cooking time in the oven for the potatoes. I find that steaming the potatoes brings more flavor than par-boiling the potatoes for 10 minutes.

In a steamer, add the sliced red potatoes and steamed for about 5 to 7 minutes until semi-soft. Remove from the heat – set aside uncovered. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the half moon onion slices. Sprinkle salt on the onions as it will help make the onions sweat.  Cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until caramelized.

In a casserole dish, single layer the steamed potato, half the onions and half the tomatoes.

Sprinkle with half the grated cheese.

Season lightly with salt and pepper and repeat the 2nd layer with steamed potato, onion, tomato and grated cheese.

Sprinkle the top very lightly with olive oil and with fresh thyme.

 Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40 minutes – the cheese should be melted and brown. The tomatoes have that roasted look.

Enjoy!!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

I saw this recipe on the food channel one Saturday morning. The show was about eating healthy with Ellie Krieger and the recipe looked amazing. I thought it would be a good Football or card party kind-of-an-appetizer since most appetizers served at events tend to lean very heavy on the calories. I tested the recipe, it was perfect! Loved it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

Recipe created December 31, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme
Ingredients:
8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons of olive oil
8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
6 pieces of Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 6 ounces) (can be omitted) or use Turkey Bacon
¾ to 1 cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Crème:
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced and greens reserved
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream or 2% Greek Fage Greek Yogurt
Two tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves (or use another herb if do not like cilantro like parsley, thyme)
1 clove garlic
¼-teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and rub lightly with olive oil (not the 4 teaspoons in the recipe above – extra). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked potatoes are cooked thoroughly and tender. Remove from oven and cool completely enough so they are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8” of the potato flesh, leave the skin in place. Save the scooped potato flesh for another use (possibly fresh corn and potato chowder).Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down and baking sheet until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While potato skins are cooking, prepare the filling. Steam the chopped broccoli until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a non-stick sauté skillet, add the chopped Canadian bacon or turkey bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes, put cooked bacon on paper towel to remove excess fat. To make avocado crème, combine scallion (green onions) whites, avocado, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, lime juice, cilantro (or other preferred herb), garlic and salt in a small bowl of a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among cooked halved potato skins. Return potatoes to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes, Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of the broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Calories: 180, Total Fat: 10g, Protein 8g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 20 mg

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

%d bloggers like this: