dinner in 30 minutes · Main entree

Transform Any Meat With This Sauce!

My husband LOVES sauces on his entrees’! However, because we’re trying to cut back on calories and watch our diets, adding a sauce seemed out of the question.

But I was Wrong!!

I found the easiest, tastiest sauce that was delicious on our pork chops (which can be dry without something!).
This sauce would also be fantastic on chicken or salmon! Instead of heavy cream, it is made with chicken broth and reduced-fat sour cream, making it much lighter!

Here’s the simple list of ingredients and recipe:

Mustard Sauce

1/4 stp salt
1/4 tsp eppper,
1 tsp oil
1/3 Cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tbl water
1 Tbl, coarse grain mustard
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbl. chives, chopped, optional

  1. Sprinkle meat with salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to plate to keep warm.
  2. Add broth and shallots to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often and scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet, until shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; stir in water, mustard, sour cream and remaining 1/8 tsp pepper. Spoon mustard sauce over meat; garnish with chives, if desired.

You need to add this recipe to your files when you want to dress up a plain piece of meat into something really special!

What extra something do you wish you could enjoy more frequently with your dinner?

With love from my country kitchen,

dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Sandwich

Bumping Up the Hot Dog to a Whole New Level!

“What are some of your favorite things to purchase at Sam’s Club?” I asked a friend.

“I love their chicken sausages! They make such a great supper meal!”

So upon her recommendation, I purchased some and they were good, but just “meh.” But then I realized that they would be fantastic on a bun in the place of a regular hot dog. After searching, I found this recipe for adding a sweet and savory pineapple relish on top of that sausage, and it bumped it up to be the tastiest “Hot Dog” ever!

One great thing about these sausages (you can get them at any grocery store, not just Sam’s) is that most are already cooked, so you’re basically warming them up. We chose to throw them on the grill to add that smokey flavor. Good idea! Then, I also sprayed the buns with cooking spray and warmed them on the grill before placing that hot chicken sausage inside and topping it with the delicious relish. Oh my! What a yummy meal and also so much healthier than the pork version.

Chicken Sausages with Pineapple Salsa
Keep in mind you can leave out any ingredient you don’t love!

  • 4 chicken sausages (or vegetarian sausage)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/8 cup onion, diced
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lime, juice

Instructions:

Stir together the pineapple, red pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice.2

Grill the sausages according to package directions, about 6-8 minutes for pre-cooked chicken sausages.

Spray buns with cooking spray and place sprayed side down on grill. Cook until lightly browned and warm.

Place sausage in buns and top with Pineapple relish.

If you’re hungry for a delicious summer meal, I encourage you to jump on the Chicken sausage bandwagon and give them a try inside a toasty bun and smothered with this relish! You’ll be saying,

Move over, hot dog, you’ve got some stiff competition!!

Two questions:
Have you ever tried chicken sausages?

What’s your favorite thing to buy at Sam’s or Costco?

With love from my country kitchen,

dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Fish

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

It amazes me how cheaply, yet how well we can eat at home. A dinner of a pound of shrimp would be pretty high at a restaurant. Last week I made Tandoori Grilled Shrimp Skewers for under $10. We got four FULL skewers and two meals out of it, and was it ever scrumptious!! Also, as I always say, fish is a super fast meal. Because these were grilled, my kitchen didn’t even get heated up. Is that enough positives to make you want to try them for yourself?

This marinade is a lighter version and only needs 15 minutes to coat the shrimp and make it so flavorful. Grilling the shrimp only takes 2-3 minutes in each side. Dinner is ready in under 30 minutes!

Tandoori Grilled Shrimp Skewers

  • 1/3 cup(s) , or plain non fat Greek yogurt
  • kosher salt, 1 1/2 tsp
  • fresh lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp
  • olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp
  • curry powder, 1 tsp
  • ground cumin, 1 tsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • granulated garlic,1 tsp
  • ground ginger, 1/2 tsp
  • uncooked shrimp, 1 pound(s) , large, peeled and deveined
  • cooking spray, 1 spray(s)
  • cilantro, 2 Tbsp , fresh, chopped 
  1. Combine yogurt, salt, lemon juice, oil, curry powder, cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger in a large bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or covered, up to 2 hours in refrigerator.
  2. Divide shrimp among 4 metal or wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for 20 minutes before use).
  3. Off heat, coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill skewers until shrimp are cooked through (opaque) and slightly firm, flipping once, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. Serve garnished with cilantro.
Tandoori Grilled Shrimp

The next time you think you should just go out for dinner, think about something this fast, this delicious, and this cost-effective instead. You get choice seating, a view of HOME and a satisfied appetite! I can’t wait to make these again!!

With love from my country kitchen,

dinner in 30 minutes · Fish · Mexican Food · Side dish · Tacos

A New Twist On Taco Tuesday

If you grimace at the thought of Fish Tacos, it’s probably because you’ve never had a really tasty one! We are HUGE taco fans in any shape or fashion, so I am always willing to try a new recipe for our favorite fare because they come together in under 30 minutes, they’re healthy when broiled, and they’re so yummy!

Smoky Tilapia Tacos

I recently came across a new recipe for Fish Tacos in my favorite source – a Cooking Light Magazine. If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know I adore their recipes. They did not disappoint! This has become my new favorite Fish taco recipe! Their recipe has a little kick added, which I have found the fish really needs in order to be exceptional. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the seasonings, just wing it and enjoy! I’ll share my substitutions and omissions in the following recipe.

Smoky Tilapia Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika –I used regular paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander – I left this out
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 pounds tilapia fillets – I used frozen Polluck
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro – I’m not a huge fan, so I omitted this
  • 2 teaspoons canned chopped green chilies
  • 1 diced peeled avocado
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas – I used my homemade flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 lime wedges

How to Make It

Preheat broiler to high.

Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brush fillets with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture. Place fillets on a baking sheet. Broil 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cilantro, chilies, and avocado in a bowl; lightly mash with a fork.

Heat tortillas on a grill pan coated with cooking spray 20 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Divide avocado mixture and fish among tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.

To accompany the tacos, Cooking Light suggested a recipe for Pinto beans which are canned, and are cooked very similarly to the way I share here. Then they are topped with the best cream! I added this cream to the tacos, too, which gave them such a full flavor! These take only Minutes to put together!

My husband declared he’d rather I never fix refried Beans again, and only serve these with Mexican food. I heartily agree! I bet you will, too!

Simmered Pinto Beans with Chipotle Sour Cream

Simmered Pinto Beans with Chipotle Sour Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce

How to Make It

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, bell pepper, cumin, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, salt, black pepper, and beans; simmer 7 minutes. Stir in juice and parsley.

Combine remaining ingredients; serve with beans.

Pure heaven!

Refresh your Taco Tuesday by fixing a fishy version with a side of the BEST beans you’ve ever eaten!

Budget friendly meal · dinner in 30 minutes · vegetarian

Pinto Beans Like Cracker Barrel’s!

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Have you ever eaten Pinto Beans at Cracker Barrel?  Yum!  They are delicious!  But what do you do when you can’t go to Cracker Barrel?  You use this shortcut method to get the same tasty results!! (I might also add, at a fraction of the cost!)

Even though we may have more time to cook these days, it’s always nice to have a recipe in our arsenal that packs heartiness, comfort, and is budget friendly.  As Cracker Barrel knows, Pinto beans and cornbread are synonymous in the south!  But if you use dry beans (which is the cheapest way), it takes hours to prepare.

I’ve recently found a way to take Bush’s canned Pinto Beans and cook them so that they taste just like the slower method!  I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to the long way of doing this favorite meal of ours! The added ingredients are staple items I always keep on hand, so I know that I can have dinner of Soup Beans and Cornbread on the table in under 30 minutes!

I only use Bush beans. Why?  They are gentle on your stomach!  I stock up when they’re on sale for $1!  Add a box of Jiffy Mix and you have a really inexpensive meal!

One can of beans feeds two people, so you can adjust the ingredients for your family.  Here’s the simple method I use:

 Pinto Beans Like Cracker Barrel’s

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs Olive oil
  • ½ inch slice of yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 slice of bacon – cut into 1 inch pieces – You could leave this out to make it vegetarian!
  • 1 can Bush pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup water – Or for more flavor you can use chicken  broth
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp hot sauce, optional
  • ½ tsp salt – Taste to see if it’s needed; the bacon will add salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until soft and nearly transparent (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the bacon and cook together until the bacon is soft and nearly done.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of pinto beans.  Rinse.
  • Add the pinto beans to the sauce pan and continue to heat over medium heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup fresh water or (chicken broth) to the pinto beans
  • Put the butter, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper in and heat till bubbly.
  • Taste before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.

I like to serve the beans with a piece of cornbread crumbled over it.  Chopped onions on top are a nice addition, too. 

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My menu:

Pinto Beans
Oven roasted potatoes
Cooked apples
Corn bread

If you’re curious about the cooked apples, simply peel , core and cube the apples and place them into a skillet.  Add enough water to just cover them.  Sprinkle with a little sugar and also cinnamon.  Cook on medium heat until they cook down and some of the liquid evaporates.  Adjust sugar as needed.  This is a great way to use up apples that are too soft to eat, or that you’re afraid will go bad. 

This is one meal that is on repeat at my house about once a month.  We love it.  I hope you’ll try it and enjoy the taste of Cracker Barrel at home!!

Are you a lover of Pinto beans and cornbread like we are?

denise a