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Smoked Sausage, Peppers & Onions Hash

I’m not in love with this new <temporary> dairy free lifestyle.

Emphasis on “temporary”, along with the love of my little man and I’m sticking with it.

I don’t feel better as a result of eliminating dairy from my diet though many people said I would. Maybe it’s because exhaustion simply cancels out any opportunity to “feel better” otherwise.

So, the week it was determined that I go “dairy free”, I’d already done all my meal planning, grocery shopping and food prep for the week ahead. Additionally, I’d spent the weekend prior killing myself in the kitchen re-stocking our freezer meal supply.

As you might have guessed – nearly everything on the menu (and tucked in the freezer) contained dairy of some variety.

Cheese. Sour Cream. Milk. Butter.

Our budget (and my time) didn’t allow to simply start all over so the family ate what was prepped (including what might have been the most glorious lasagna I’d ever put together). I ate an abundance of salads and sandwiches.

BORING!

Toward the end of that week I simply couldn’t stomach another sandwich or salad so I rooted around the fridge and freezer to see what else was on hand that I could throw together, sans dairy.

A ring of smoked sausage, some frozen hash browns and a couple peppers and onion did just the trick!

Because this is a throw together recipe, it’s versatile. And the addition of some scrambled or fried eggs on top make for a delicious next day breakfast.

Smoked Sausage, Peppers & Onions Hash

  • 1 lb ring smoked sausage, cubed
  • 2 cups frozen hash browns
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Warm cooking oil in frying pan and add peppers and onion.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add frozen hash browns to the pan
Cook until hash browns are nearly done, then add smoked sausage to warm though
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Top with a scrambled or fried egg

Hope you enjoyed your weekend and if the weather wherever you are was as beautiful as it was here you got some much needed sunshine and fresh air.

We took advantage and grilled a couple of nights.

It felt like summer.

It was amazing.

Hugs and Love-
H

Beef with Broccoli Lo Mein: Stir Fry Recipe

Stir fry dishes are my favorite way to incorporate a ton of veggies in to a meal. With prep work done on the front end, stir fry dishes also come together really quickly. Just a handful of ingredients and a touch of planning will make this delicious  beef with broccoli lo mein one of your favorite week-night meals!

Confession: I have a special place in my heart for Ramen noodles. Not because of their salty-deliciousness (confession #2: I secretly love ’em, even though it’s been a decade or more since I’ve actually eaten any made per package instructions). Ramen noodles come wrapped in nostalgia for me so I couldn’t resist incorporating them into this dish to accomplish the “lo mein”.

My grandmother (who lived out of state) invited my cousins and I to her home for a week each summer during our elementary school years. I think back on this time and laugh because I can only conclude she did so to give our parents a break. My cousins and I were in charge of entertaining ourselves and one another, aside from a few group activities that included the grandparents. Grandma didn’t really hang out with us all that much. In fact, we weren’t allowed upstairs (where she was) at all during the day. We could play in the basement or exit to the outside through the garage. None of us minded one bit as there were adventures to be had that <I imagine we thought> adults would only spoil.

I recall specifically that grandma served us a big pot of ramen (that we ate outside on the deck, of course) every day for lunch.  One bite of these tender and skinny noodles, even minus the salty seasoning pack, takes me right back to summer adventures with cousins at grandma’s.

So…let’s get to it!

I’ve found the key to a stir fry dish that includes beef is to marinade the beef for at least 1 hour (though, over night is preferable). The right marinade will make the beef tender and more like the take-out variety you typically enjoy.

Beef with Broccoli Lo Mein Marinade Ingredients & Instructions:

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lbs sirloin (or other cut of beef)

Combine above ingredients. Pour into zip top bag and add 1.5 pounds of sirloin, sliced thinly.
Marinating overnight is ideal, but if you can only squeeze out an hour, that will work also.

Beef with Broccoli Lo Mein Main Dish Ingredients

2 packages Ramen (doesn’t matter which kind, you won’t be using the seasoning packet)
2 packages frozen broccoli, steam cooked in the microwave
1.5 pounds sirloin in marinade
2 T extra virgin olive oil

Beef with Broccoli Lo Mein Main Dish Instructions

Cook ramen noodles according to package directions
Begin steam cooking the broccoli in microwave
Heat oil in large wok (or skillet), add sirloin and all marinade (this is your sauce and it will thicken as it cooks thanks to the cornstarch); cook thoroughly
Add steamed broccoli and cooked ramen noodles
Toss to combine and serve with additional soy sauce (as desired)

I’d like to report that the leftovers were as wonderful as the night this dish was featured but there weren’t any leftovers to speak of.

Because I opted for frozen/steamed broccoli and quick cooking ramen noodles, this dish went stove to table in literally 15 minutes.

Quicker and, dare I say, better than take-out!

Add these delicious cheese wontons for the perfect side dish!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Chicken Noodle Casserole

In anticipation of J leaving town for a week on business a couple weeks ago, I got to work food prepping so I could more easily manage the single mom scene during his absence. I’ve mentioned that I’m crazy about casseroles right now. Mostly because of the simplicity, but also because cold weather just lends itself to these ‘stick to your ribs’ recipes. Another of my favorites, and part of my food prep prior to J’s departure, was this simple chicken noodle casserole.

A short list of ingredients come together to create this creamy and delicious dish. The cheesy/crunchy topping give it that little something extra that will have you reaching for seconds!

Chicken Noodle Casserole Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
    Note: I used shredded chicken from my freezer, but you could shred up a rotisserie chicken for simplicity sake if you don’t have time to cook and shred a couple chicken breasts at the time of making this recipe.
  • 2 cups homemade cream of mushroom soup
    Note: canned cream of mushroom soup is also an option (about 2 cans) and you’ll want to thin with a splash of milk.
  • 12 oz whole grain egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Chicken Noodle Casserole Directions:

  1. Combine the chicken, egg noodles and cream of mushroom soup until the cream of mushroom soup evenly coats the chicken and noodles.
  2. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish
  3. Mix the seasoned bread crumbs with the melted butter
  4. Fold the shredded cheese in to the bread crumbs
  5. Sprinkle bread crumb and cheese mixture on top off casserole
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until warmed through and bread crumbs/cheese are slightly browned on top, about 30 min

Veggies could most definitely be added to this dish. I’m not a fan of canned peas so those are an absolute no-go for me, but a possible option for those who like that sort of thing. The addition of some lightly steamed broccoli would definitely be complimented by these ingredients.

I prefer to skip the veggies inside and instead serve this simple chicken noodle casserole with a side salad or green beans canned from the 2017 garden. Sweet heaven, there just isn’t anything quite like home-canned green beans.

It’s so rewarding to get a good homemade meal on the table AND to get to spend quality time with the kids all in the same half hour.  A good casserole brings the best of all worlds together with a little planning and prep time on the front end. There’s no mommy-guilt when I can spend these extra 30 minutes playing, rather than slaving away in the kitchen.

Want to minimize clean-up? Food prep your casserole in these disposable casserole tins. Added bonus? These disposable tins also come with aluminum lids! A pack of 40 for just $15.99 (seriously, less than 50 cents each) – PLUS free shipping if you’re a Prime member – can’t be beat!

 

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