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

 

 

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes

Parmesan-Lemon Flounder

I’ve been trying to incorporate more fish into our diet – and cook it without frying it.  The recipe I tried for flounder fillets was so good that my husband said, “You can make that again any time you want!  You can make it tomorrow, if you want to!”  The Parmesan and Panko give a crunch and the lemon flavor brightens the flavor of the plain fish.
This is outstanding!  It also comes together so quickly, making it an “Under 30 minute entree’!  I’m so glad to have this recipe in my file of fast and delicious recipes!

Continue reading “Parmesan-Lemon Flounder”

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal

Turkey Kielbasa & Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner

 

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I love sheet pan dinners for four reasons:

  1. The roasted vegetables get crispy and sweet in the oven!
  2. They’re so easy!
  3. They’re fast!
  4. They’re  sooo good!

I made this new Sheet pan meal last week and we loved it!  It was ready in under 30 minutes!  The Paprika Vinaigrette adds a really nice flavor to the sausage and vegetables. Wow, this is just a great recipe!! It’s great for a week night, but would also be good for company!

I tweaked the recipe to my liking and it is as follows.  You could change up the vegetables, or choose to use beef or chicken sausage, if you desire.  It’s super-easy to make it just the way you or your family would prefer.

I added a tossed salad and toasted bread to complete the meal.

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Turkey Kielbasa & Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 15 fresh Brussels sprouts, stem trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 12 oz Fully cooked Turkey Kielbasa, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

 Paprika Vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Prep all the vegetables and place in a large bowl. sheet pan.  Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.Place in the oven for 15 minutes

  • Meanwhile slice the sausage
  • Toss the vegetables with a spatula. Then place the sausage pieces over the cooked vegetables.  Place back in the oven for an additional 12 minutes
To make the Paprika Vinaigrette, put all the ingredients into a mason jar then screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Remove the pan out of the oven and drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables and sausage. Toss to coat.

    Serve immediately.

To prep ahead:
I cut up all the vegetables and drizzled them with olive oil early in the afternoon.  It made the preparation so easy when it was time to get supper in the oven!

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Have you tried a sheet pan dinner yet?  If not, this would be a great one to get your started!

Refresh dinner with something so fast and delicious!

denise a

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes

Five Tips To Help Prepare Supper In A Hurry

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No matter if you love to cook or if you dread it, there are times  when we all would rather not have to mess in the kitchen to prepare supper.  Busy schedules, sickness, or a change in plans can all make it hard to pull a meal together.  At those kinds of times, it’s always good to have a plan you can fall back on.  Here are 5 favorite tips for a meal in a hurry ~

  1. Have breakfast for supper. Make omelets, pancakes or waffles.  Add some bacon and some fruit and you have a filling and fast dinner!
  2. Keep Canned Salmon in your pantry.  Sam’s Club has a really delicious canned salmon that is perfect for these Salmon Croquettes.
  3. Make small corn cakes in a skillet.  Make up a cream gravy to pour on top.  If you have cooked chicken in the freezer, you can add that to the gravy. 
  4. Add meat (cooked chicken breast or browned beef or ground turkey) to a green salad for a healthy and fast supper!
  5. Don’t throw those one helping leftovers away! Put them in freezer safe containers and label them well.  When you have several options, thaw them and let your family “order supper: from the leftover menu!  Everyone will have something different and you didn’t have to cook a thing!

As you can see from my suggestions, I believe having an extra freezer is such a time and money saver!  If you don’t have one, I’d strongly encourage you to consider it, if you have space for one in a garage or basement.  My suggestions concerning a freezer:

  • Buy an upright, rather than a chest style.  They’re easier to get into and easier to keep organized.
  • Buy the more expensive frost free one!  You’ll be really glad you did!!

Aside from carry out, what’s your best tip for getting a meal on the table on busy days?

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

dinner in 30 minutes

Quesadillas – Fast, Filling & Fantastic

We absolutely love Mexican food at our house!  Recently when I needed a quick supper, I whipped up a Chicken Quesadilla that was fast, filling and fantastic!   

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As I’ve said many times, one little trick to fixing a quick meal is having cooked chicken, beef or turkey in your freezer. There are so many options for fast meals if the protein  Continue reading “Quesadillas – Fast, Filling & Fantastic”