Stuffed Acorn Squash with Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage

Recently, we started to buy Aidell’s Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage at our local Costco. It is so very useful in many recipes and the fact that it is neither pork or beef makes it even better. Our local grocery store now carries acorn squash. These two items are a match made in heaven!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Chicken, Spinach and Feta Sausage

Ingredients

  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 1 package of Aidell’s chicken with feta and spinach squash cubed
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of spinach, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese (or sub your favorite cheese)
  • 2 T of pecorino Romano
  • sea or Himalayan salt

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional, but keeps the mess away).

Cut each acorn squash in half, top to bottom OR across the middle, and remove the seeds. Use the first 2 teaspoons of olive oil to brush each squash, then sprinkle with salt. Place squash halves in oven for 40 minutes, or until fork tender, but still retaining their shape.

2 While the squash is roasting, brown the cubed sausage in a skillet until cooked through. Next, add in remaining olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until veggies are soft. Mix in spinach and sprinkle mixture with a little salt. Cook until spinach wilts.

3 Once squash is finished cooking, use a fork to gently mash the inside. Then divide sausage and veggie mixture evenly among the squash halves. Top each with 2 T of feta cheese and a 1/2 T of pecorino Romano. Place squash back in the oven for a few minutes to melt and brown the cheese.

Hungarian Goulash

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!” LOL. Where did the week go? In actuality, we are still catching up after returning from a month’s vacation. Some of you know how that is after almost two years of no travelling. While in Europe years back, we had the opportunity of trying both Czech and Hungarian goulash. Our preference was the Hungarian, which we had in Budapest. This recipe is fairly straight forward once everything is prepped.

Hungarian Goulash

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 ½ pound stewing beef trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups beef broth or water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes canned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cup carrot diced
  • 3 cups potatoes, diced or less

1. In a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Cook till translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.

2. In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Slowly add about ¼ cup of the beef broth to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes (potatoes and carrots if using), salt and pepper.

4. Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 ½ -2 hours or until tender.

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Who does not love a baked potato, especially when it is LOADED??? I must admit that it is one of my favourite things. This recipe is straight forward and comes together in a matter of minutes. You could use frozen potato cubes, but fresh is so easy. I was able to use frozen chicken breast cubes to simplify the preparation. Your toppings are your choice!

Potato and Chicken Casserole (Loaded Baked)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cubed raw chicken breast, marinated* (if you can find frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1 or 2 potatoes, cubed with skins or cubed frozen potatoes
  • Spice Mix (See below)
  • Lawry’s Lemon Pepper Marinade

Spice Mix

  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Toppings

  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 3 green onions thinly chopped
  • Sour cream

Instructions

Grease an 8 x 10 Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.

Place cubed chicken into a bowl and drizzle with lemon pepper marinade (unless pre-marinated). Set aside.

Add cubed potatoes to the Pyrex dish. Sprinkle with spice mix and mix well.

Add the marinated cubed chicken.

Combine the potatoes and chicken.

 Bake at 400 F for 50 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking.

When the potatoes and chicken are done, remove from the oven and top with shredded cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately with the optional toppings.

Egg Roll Ramen Skillet

Just in case you are tired of holiday food…LOL. There are many variations for egg roll this and that. This one intrigued me because it uses ramen noodles, which certainly stretched the normal recipes. All you need to do is to buy a package of any Asian ramen soup and discard the packets of sauce! In lieu of cutting up cabbage, etc., just buy a package of coleslaw mix!

Egg Roll Ramen Skillet

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix with carrots
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

PREPARATION

1 In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into one tablespoon of the soy sauce until dissolved. Whisk in the remaining soy sauce, ginger, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

2 Discard the seasoning packages from the ramen and cook noodles 1 minute less than package directions call for. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

3 In a large skillet or work, heat the remaining oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook about 3 minutes.

4 Reduce heat to medium-high, add garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Push onions and garlic to the side of the pan and add pork to center. Let cook 30 seconds before stirring, then break apart meat with a wooden spoon and stir in onions and garlic. Cook until no longer pink.

5 Add bell pepper and coleslaw mix and cook until cabbage has reduced, 2-3 minutes.

6 Add noodles and sauce and toss thoroughly, cook 2-4 minutes.

7 Adjust seasoning as needed, top with green onions, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. [https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/egg-roll-noodles/]

Easy Keto Chili NO Beans

Unheard of, where we are in Mexico, is chili as we know it in our country. Some northern chili has beans and some do not. This is the latter.

Easy Keto Chili NO Beans!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (32 ounce) carton beef broth
  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

*If you enjoy spicy chili, I would increase this to 3 tablespoons of chili powder.

Instructions

1. Brown the meat over medium heat in a medium size sauce pot or Dutch oven. Drain off any grease.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.

3. Allow chili to simmer over medium low heat uncovered for approximately 30 minutes until the tomato juice has reduced and thickened.

Serving size is 1.5 cups Calories 301

Carbs 11.1 gm. Net carbs 8.5 gm. Fiber 2.6 gm. Protein 24.3 gm. Sugar 7.6 gm.

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

You might recall a previous post for Egg Roll in a Bowl? It was a pretty simple recipe for a one pot meal. Just recently I found on Pinterest this recipe for one of my favourite sandwiches in a bowl and without the bread! Since I already had the coleslaw and corned beef (Costco) this was a snap… Go easy with the Russian dressing as it can be overpowering…

This will easily serve two people with one pound of corned beef.

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

Ingredients:

  • One bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1 pound of corned beef cut into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • Swiss cheese
  • Scallions

Russian Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup
  • 4 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in skillet.

Add corned beef and sauté covered for 5 minutes.

Now, add coleslaw, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir coleslaw and corned beef and top with cheese. You can cover skillet and allow the cheese to melt or put in the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly.

Drizzle with dressing and top with scallions.

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

With a package of frozen meatballs in the freezer, a jar of marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella and rotini pasta in the pantry, this recipe was so easy to throw together. Best part You dont need to precook the pasta!!!

Just make sure those meatballs are thawed before you start the recipe…

Hidden meatballs…

Dump and Bake Meatball Casserole

Total Time 55 minutes         Servings 6 – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 (24 or 25 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14 ounce) package fully-cooked miniature (cocktail-size) meatballs (if using frozen meatballs, make sure that they are completely thawed before using)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped herbs (such as basil, oregano, and parsley for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, stir together uncooked pasta, marinara sauce, water, and meatballs. Season with salt to taste; stir. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.

3. Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.

4. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).

Smorgasbord of Leftovers

Fast approaching the new year...FINALLY! With two holidays in such a short period of time there are bound to be leftovers. Am I right? Indeed we had leftovers from both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at this point. No turkey in this house this year, but we did have hamand roasted duck. I raced to Pinterest as usual and the results were both quick and easy – Classic Split Pea Soup and Duck, Duck Soup. Both were great for the cooler days this holiday season.

  1. Classic Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ribs of celery, diced

3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 to 1-1/2 cups diced ham

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 to 3 cups water

1 lb (about 2-1/4 cups) dried split peas (I used a jar of cooked white beans)

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, ham bone, diced ham, split peas, chicken broth, 2 cups of water and bay leaf to the pot.

Bring the soup mixture to a slow simmer and cover, leaving the lid slightly askew.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas have broken down completely and the soup has thickened, 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove and discard the ham bone and bay leaf.

Stir the soup to blend thoroughly and if necessary, add more water until the thickness of the soup is to your liking.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into bowls for serving.

2. Rachel Ray’s Duck Duck SouP

Ingredients

Bones from cooked duck

1-quart chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 slices ginger

3/4-pound bok choy, sliced OR spinach

1 1/4 cups shredded duck meat

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 scallion, sliced

Preparation

In medium pot, simmer bones, broth, 1 cup water; garlic and ginger for 25 minutes; strain. Remove any residual meat from the bones. Return to pot with remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes.

Creamy Kielbasa Pasta

Tis the season to be jolly and entertain! NOT! Normally at this time of year we host a “charcuterie” for our snowbird friends. Alas, in these times of COVID, many were not returning to Yucatan. Secondly, we are limited to 4 “guests”in our home at one time. The answer – Host 4 mini charcuteries with our close friends over each weekend with two other couples.

The unfortunate/fortunate part was that with the variety of cold meats and cheeses, etc. I had leftover sliced kielbasa! Pinterest (much better than that Amazon person) – What do I do with the leftover kielbasa which could not be refrozen? The prompt answer – Creamy Kielbasa Pasta IN ONE PAN!

Creamy Kielbasa Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Oil, (canola, olive, vegetable, etc.)
  • 13 Ounces Kielbasa Sausage, (one large link, sliced into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 Cup White Onion, (about 1 medium sized, thinly sliced)
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 8 Ounces Penne Pasta, (or any short pasta, dry)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth, (low-sodium)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, (cut into cubes)
  • Shredded Asiago cheese

Instructions

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil, sausage, red pepper and onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the sausage begins to brown and the onions soften.

Add the noodles, broth, and water. Stir to combine.

Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and continue to cook for 12 to 14 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the noodles don’t stick together. Don’t let all the liquid cook away. There needs to be a little residual liquid in the bottom of the pan to mix with the cream cheese. After the noodles are cooked to al dente or to your liking, add the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and thoroughly combined. Sprinkle on some of the Asiago cheese.

Serve hot. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.