Fast meal · Side dish

The Fastest Way to Make Oven-Roasted Potatoes

See those crispy brown potatoes at the top of the picture? Read on!

I love discovering helpful tricks in the kitchen. I don’t mean like putting a rubber band around the spray nozzle and soaking the next user, I mean tricks that help me get a delicious homemade meal on the table in record time! When potatoes are on the supper menu, it can be tricky to get them cooked if you are pressed for time.

My husband and I love oven-roasted potatoes, but they can take 25-30 minutes to get done. I recently discovered a super-fast way to make them. We all know the microwave cooks things faster, but I don’t always love the texture of foods cooked that way. The technique I’m going to share starts off with the microwave, but ends in the oven.

Here’s how to make these crispy, golden potatoes in record time ~

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Cut your potatoes to whatever shape you’re wanting – diced, wedges or into fries.
  3. Place the potatoes into a dish that allows you to steam. I have a pot from Pampered Chef that works perfectly. Don’t over-crowd the potatoes. Using a dish big enough to let them cook. The more potatoes, obviously the longer they’ll take to cook.
  4. I don’t add any liquid at all!
  5. I place my 1 quart size container in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Potatoes should be soft, but not mushy.
  6. Put potatoes on the baking sheet, Season potatoes as desired. Place in oven and roast for about 10 minutes, or until golden and tender. Or you can cook them on the stovetop in a skillet coated with cooking spray and/or a little olive oil.
This is the updated version of the pot I have and love.

Crispy, delicious potatoes can be on the table much faster with this 2-step method of microwaving and browning. I hope this trick is as helpful to you as it has been for me!

If you need mashed potatoes done easily here’s my best tip for those!

Fast meal · Mexican Food

Sheet Pan Fish Tacos

New recipes are found everywhere…even in the Kroger Magazine! I love Kroger for lots of reasons, but this magazine they send out is a new reason to love shopping with them! The recent edition had tons of great recipes, as well as some craft ideas! I found some super good spring recipes that I tried this week. As a matter of fact, I tried FOUR recipes from in one week! But this recipe I’m sharing today was our favorite!

A lovely spice mixture is sprinkled on both the veggies and the fish, giving a normally plain piece of fish great flavor! The Crema that is added to the taco will make you want seconds or thirds! Wow. It’s just so good.

There are a couple changes I’ll be making in their method, and I’ll note them in the recipe below.

Directions

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1⁄2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound tilapia, cut into 1” strips – I used Mahi Mahi and it was super good!
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Warm corn or flour tortillas
  • Avocado slices
  • Step 1 Place rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Step 2 In small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and salt.
  • Step 3 On sheet pan, drizzle peppers and onion with 1 tablespoon oil. Toss with half the spice mixture. Bake until lightly browned, 15 minutes. (I like my veggies a little crisp, so I’m going to add the fish and veggies on the pan at the same time. These were too cooked for my preference.
  • Step 4 Meanwhile, in medium bowl, toss fish, remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining spice mixture. Set aside.
  • Step 5 Push roasted vegetables to one half of pan; lay fish on other half. Return to oven; bake until fish is opaque and reaches a safe internal temperature of 145°F, 10 minutes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon lime juice over pan. Again, I’m going to add the fish and vegetables at the same time and cook them for the 10 minutes.
  • Step 6 In medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and cayenne. Season with salt, to taste.
  • Step 7 Serve fish on warm tortillas with sauce and avocado slices. Refrigerate any leftovers.

I served this with a homemade creamy coleslaw and it was the perfect side dish.

If you have a love for tacos like we do, and you enjoy fish, I hope you’ll try this recipe and be sure to make the Crema, too; it makes it extra special!

Also, like this recipe I shared a couple weeks ago, this is a one pan meal! Gotta love that!

Happy Taco Tuesday one day early! Thanks, Kroger!
Here’s another take on fish tacos that we love as well as this recipe for my homemade tortillas.

Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 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
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

Fast meal · Healthy Eating

Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough

I love eating a healthy diet, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to deprive myself of good food! Last Friday I decided we were having pizza for supper. One slice of a Thin and Crispy pizza from Pizza Hut is 6 points on the Weight Watchers plan. However, a recipe I found on WW is only 7 points for a whole personal pizza.

Here is a 2-Ingredient Pizza Dough with ground turkey, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. It was so delicious! You may remember that I made 2-Ingredient Bagels with this same dough..

bagel 7

Those bagels were good, but I think the pizza dough is the best use of that recipe! The pizza dough was crispy and really tasty! This recipe came together so fast, too. Usually a homemade crust takes lots of early prep, but not so with this recipe! About 30 minutes is all it took to mix up the dough, roll it out and top it with my toppings. They only baked for about 15 minutes! Don’t let the fact of the dough containing Greek yogurt scare you – you won’t even taste it!

Turkey Pizzas with 2-Ingredient Dough
1 Cup fat free Greek yogurts
1 Cup self-rising flour (or add 1 1/2 tsp. baking power & 1/4 tsp salt to all-purpose flour)
1 Cup Canned tomato sauce
3/4 Cup Shredded part-skim Mozzarella Cheese
Turkey Pepperoni or Browned Ground turkey
4 Tbsp Grate Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbl. slivered Basil
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place yogurt and flour in a large bowl; stir well with a wooden spoon until just combined, and then keep mixing dough in bowl with your hands until smooth (about 2 minutes of kneading). If dough is too sticky to knead, add more flour, 1 Tbl at a time until no longer sticky.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle with flour; place dough on paper. Use a knife to cut dough into 4 equal pieces.
Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into 6-7 inch oval. Place on prepared baking sheet, bake until dough is beginning to turn lightly golden, about 18 minutes.


Remove from oven and top each with 1/4 C sauce, 3 Tbl Mozzarella cheese and turkey. Return to oven and bake a few more minutes until dough is cooked through and cheese is melted.

Serve each sprinkled with Parmesan and basil.

Of course you can add other toppings as you wish. I added red onion and sun-dried tomatoes.

We each had one the first night I made it, and then the next night we ate the other two that were left over. I popped them back into the oven and they reheated beautifully.

If you’re hungry for pizza but don’t want all the calories, I urge you to try this recipe. I think you’ll be genuinely surprised how delicious it is!!

Refresh your healthy diet with PIZZA!!!

Appetizer · Easy recipe · Fast meal · Fish

Mock Sushi Appetizer

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It’s crazy how our taste buds “grow up” as we do, isn’t it? I feel like I’ve ventured out a whole lot more in recent years, enjoying more spice than I ever would have tolerated. My husband has definitely branched out in his food choices. He grew up on the basic meat and potatoes diet, and then he married a girl who loves to try new recipes each week! He’s been so accommodating and has willingly tried everything I put on the table.

One area we’ve both grown to appreciate is sushi – him even more so than me. I love the fish – I don’t always love the additions. Knowing his love for sushi, I decided to venture out and try an easy “sushi” kind of appetizer for our Valentine’s dinner. Wow! We both LOVED it!

This recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs – Skinny Taste. She calls this a Spicy California Shrimp Stack. It’s not wrapped in the sushi paper – instead, you pile each ingredient into a measuring cup, pack it in, then flip it over onto the plate. It’s then topped with a drizzle of soy sauce and Sriracha Mayo. If you don’t have Sriracha, don’t worry – I used hot sauce in its place and it was delicious!

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My stacks aren’t quite as pretty as hers, but my measuring cups aren’t straight sides – they’re sloped, so my are more like “domes” than stacks! It didn’t change the taste, and that’s all that matters!! Here’s the simple recipe and instructions I found on her site:

Spicy California Shrimp Stack – From Skinny Taste

  • 1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice – I usually always make extra and keep it in the freezer. So handy!
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, about 1 small
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado, about 1 medium
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise – I used light mayo
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce – I used hot sauce

Directions:

  • Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and oil.  When rice is done, add rice vinegar and stir.  Evenly spread rice on a sheet pan to cool.
  • Cut shrimp into 1-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
  • Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoon of avocado, then ¼ of the shrimp, and 1/3 cup rice.
  •  Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  Sprinkle with Furikake and drizzle with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and sriracha mayonnaise.
  •  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

This was a great appetizer, but would be a wonderful lunch, too! I’m still dreaming about the way it tasted with that spicy mayo on top. Mmmm. I can’t wait to make it again!

Are you a sushi eater? If you like shrimp cocktail, I think you’ll love this recipe!

What food do you eat today that you wouldn’t have eaten in years past?