Provencal stuffed peppers

Provencal stuffed peppers

A couple months ago, Michael and I stopped by a Barnes and Nobles bookstore on our way home from the mall. In the entrance-way, we found several cookbooks with enticing recipes pictured on their covers. I selected the vegetarian cookbook, which boasted over 300 recipes, and proudly brought it home.

Today I finally made the first recipe out of it — which was, in fact, the recipe pictured on the cover. These stuffed peppers are filled with delicious vegetables, and make a simple, light summer meal. If you have a garden, this would be a perfect way to use some of its bounty. Michael and I served the peppers with a grilled bratwurst, rice, and homemade applesauce.

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Beef stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

When Michael returned from a conference in Spain this past weekend, he mentioned that he had eaten stroganoff while he was there. While stroganoff is by no means a Spanish dish (it’s actually Russian), it did remind him of how much he liked it. My knowledge of stroganoff, on the other hand, was limited to the Hamburger Helper variety. So Michael decided that we had better make the real thing.

Just as he promised, the beef stroganoff we made was delicious. Not only that, but it’s a simple recipe made with common ingredients. The hardest part is patiently waiting for it to simmer on the stove while you’re smelling its delicious aroma. Next time, we think that julienned red and green peppers would make a tasty addition.

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Plantain-stuffed chicken and ham roulades with plantain fries

Plantain-stuffed chicken and ham roulades with plantain fries

After being out of town visiting family and soon-to-be family for a couple weeks, I was ready to get back in the kitchen and cook up something delicious. So I told Michael that I’d make him anything he wanted for dinner last night, and when we met after work to go grocery shopping at Whole Foods, he had the recipe for these tropically-flavored roulades from My Gourmet Connection in hand.

The recipe itself is simple but delicious–it looks far more complicated than it is to make. I did halve it, as I was just cooking for the two of us, but I other than that I followed the recipe. While frying up the chicken, I breaded and fried the leftover plantain, along with a sliced tomato, in the remaining egg and bread crumbs to create a quick vegetable side dish.

The verdict? These simple roulades are delicious — Michael told me it was the best homemade meal he’d had in a long time. The crispy plantain fries provide a wonderful contrast to the tender plantain filling in the chicken roulades. Served with a leafy side salad, it’s a perfect weekend meal that I will surely be making again.

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Delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili

Delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili

This BBQ turkey chili recipe is one of my most famous discoveries, and it is an honor to be able to share it on this blog. Jane and I really love this delicious turkey chili dish on rice, and are thrilled to “gobble” down the leftovers each time we make it.

This legendary recipe was discovered in the dead of a Minnesota winter when it was too cold to brave the outdoors and risk our lives to buy fresh groceries at the store. We scoured the freezer and pantry in our famished state for any sort of items we could use to make a hearty dish of satisfying sustenance. Ever since that fateful moment, this dish has been a legend, and has been enjoyed by us many a time in both times of few and times of plenty.

In order to make this mouth-watering, savory, and delicious BBQ turkey chickpea chili on rice, you will need the following list of ingredients, a large frying pan, and a crockpot (optional).

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Savory turkey burgers on flatbread topped with onions, mushrooms, and Dubliner cheese

Savory turkey burgers on flatbread

After reading this turkey burger recipe on Crepes of Wrath several months ago, I bookmarked it and then promptly forgot about it — until last Friday, when I was searching for some dinner inspiration online.

These turkey burgers were absolutely delicious. I modified several of the ingredients to the what I had on hand, and since we didn’t have buns or bread, I used our pizza dough recipe to make flatbread instead.

The pita-like breads were the perfect complement to the juicy, savory turkey burgers, which we topped with Dubliner cheese and caramelized onions and mushrooms. Served alongside a simple spinach salad of carrots, cheese, pistachios, and raisins, it’s a meal that we will definitely be repeating in the future.

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Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

Sausage and rice stuffed red peppers

I’ve always been intrigued by recipes for stuffed peppers, though I’ve never made them. So, last weekend I decided enough was enough — and planned to make stuffed green peppers.

Last Sunday, Michael and I ended up spending a leisurely afternoon with friends at an antique show at the HarMar Mall in Roseville. While there, Michael went to Cub Foods for me to buy a couple green peppers to stuff. He came back with 3 red peppers instead — they were on sale for $1 each! So naturally, we then returned to the store together and bought even more of them, and my plans were changed to stuffed red peppers.

Well, it turns out that my first attempt at stuffed peppers was quite the successful attempt, despite my approach of using as many leftovers as I could find in the fridge. By using leftover rice in the recipe, total prep + cooking time is an easy 45 minutes. The filling in this recipe makes enough to fill 3 peppers, halved lengthwise, though I only stuffed 2 peppers and saved the rest of the filling to use later.

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Tomato sausage polenta

Tomato sausage polenta

My mom found this recipe in one of her Taste of Home cooking magazines several years ago, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. It combines a cornbread-like polenta with a simple tomato-sausage sauce, which is topped with cheese and baked to perfection.

As my mom could tell you, I often request this dish when I’m visiting my parents’ house. Last week, I decided to try my own hand at making this delicious polenta. And, believe me, it was DELICIOUS. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list — it does take around an hour to make, but it’s still an easy weeknight recipe.

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Vodka sauce and meatballs on rice

Vodka sauce and meatballs on rice

Oh, boy. This is one FANTASTIC meal. It is, and we’re not even kidding. When I first moved to the Twin Cities, I began shopping at my local Cub and Rainbow for groceries. Every time I passed through the aisle with spaghetti sauces, I somehow managed to notice a jar from Classico labeled “Vodka Sauce”. I began to wonder what such a sauce would taste like, so I went home and threw a shot of vodka into some marinara sauce. It was horrifying. After that point, I began to wonder who in their right mind would even like such a crazy sauce.

Then, one day, I was brave and thought, “Well, you know, I must have just screwed that one up, and I bet Classico could do a better job.” At this point, I searched online for what vodka sauce really was to discover that it was a tomato sauce mixed with cream and vodka. I forgot to add the cream (and probably other things too) when I foolishly tried to create such an amazing sauce. So I ran to the store and picked up a jar of the wonderful bliss called vodka sauce.

The recipe described here is amazing, yet also very simple. It was discovered as a result of thinking “what if we were to mix…” etc. We created a recipe for a sauce that can be served with meatballs and rice. In fact, it’s not a necessity to use meatballs, as this recipe goes quite well with stir-fried pork meat on rice or even pierogies.

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Pumpkin and sausage lasagna (recipe review)

Pumpkin and sausage lasagna
Pumpkin and sausage lasagna

This is an item from last November, when it was much warmer and more pleasant in the Twin Cities than it is now. Jane and I came across a fall-inspired lasagna over at Pithy and Cleaver, which we laughed at and ridiculed to nearly no end due to the strange sounding recipe and “odd” ingredients. Well, we eventually stopped laughing and decided to try our hand at the recipe, and we were shocked at the result.

This pumpkin lasagna was amazing. It was very delicious with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, accompanied by a sprig of thyme and a sage leaf on the side. A nice glass of wine increased the intensity of the flavors, leading to something akin of a perfect meal.

As is the case with any lasagna, the flavors of this one became more intense and improved as it aged a day or two. It made for several great meals of leftovers without any sort of regret or angst. Overall, it was an excellent dish, which we highly recommend and will probably make sometime again in the future.