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Category Archives: Main Course

Taco Tot Casserole

Does that sound Minnesota to you? It should. Yes I realize it is July and the heat index is at, oh maybe 110. But tuck this away, and six months from now you will want this.

Growing up Momma loved her casseroles, after all we grew up in Minnesota where it is cold 9 months of the year.

Big bro and I had loved her original tater tot casserole. But as we grew older and she got a little crazy and threw in some changes. What was she thinking? Revamping our beloved tater tot casserole? Instead of green beans, we did frozen corn. Instead of cream of mushroom soup, it calls for nacho cheese soup. It was a success. It quickly became a household hit.

Good Job Momma. Hubs gives it two thumbs up.

Taco Tot Casserole

4 cups Tater Tots
1 pound hamburger (we used Morningstar veggie crumbles or lean turkey)
1 package taco mix
1 can corn (I used frozen corn)
To top salsa, sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Brown hamburger and mix with taco mix, per directions. And place in 2qt casserole pan
3. Spread corn over hamburger
4. Spread soup over corn
5. Top with Tater Tots
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes

Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Source: My Mom!


Peach Glazed Salmon With Raspberries

One of my favorite things about cooking, well and eating for that matter, is to try different flavors together.

I used to be a bit reluctant to mix fruit into a meal. I love fruit, but I like to eat an apple, nibble on blueberries, or toss some raspberries for a snack. Apparently I was missing some of the most incredible flavors together. To mix cheese with a fruit?  But I can’t knock it until I try it. I tried it and I do not want to knock it.

I saw this recipe and thought this is a perfect meal. It was like, these flavors all met each other, and fell in love and got married. Yes, you did read that right. I am talking about food getting married.

Peach Glazed Salmon with Raspberries

1/2 cup peach spread (I used some that a former student gave me)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 crushed red pepper
1 cup fresh raspberries
4 salmon fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1. Prepare grill
2. Combine peach spread and next 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reserve 2 tablespoons sauce. Add raspberries to pan; cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Stirring gently.
S3. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt. Place fish, skin sides up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes. Turn fish over; grill  4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting with reserved 2 tablespoons sauce. Spoon raspberry sauce evenly over salmon.
Forgive me for this picture, it is not a picture I am especially proud of. This was the hubs plate, note the lack of greenery on his?
Source:  Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast

Mac and Cheese with Polish Sausage

I love cheese. L.O.V.E it. I love Mac and cheese. Growing up I am pretty sure I followed a strict cheese diet which included Grilled Cheese and Mac and Cheese maybe with the occasional chicken thrown in.

My relationship (yes relationship) with Mac and Cheese has gone in phases, starting with the blue box, moving to the orange box, then to the Blue Box but in the microwave, to the box with the bunny and now from scratch. This is my definition of comfort food.

As I have entered adulthood I came to the realization, mac and cheese is not waist friendly. Not to worry, I have a fabulous cookbook The Most Decadent Diet Ever! And I found this recipe. This was my first time (gasp) making Mac and Cheese from scratch, it was easy and tasty.

Mac and Cheese with Polish Sausage
4 ounces of extra lean kielbasa or smoked turkey sausage. (we used chicken sausage).
1 cup dried elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fat free milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 ounces (1 3/4 cups) finely shredded Cabot’s 75% Light Cheddar Cheese, or your favorite low-fat Cheddar.

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a full boil. Cut the sausage into 1/4 inch-thick slices.
Add the macaroni and the sausage to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the macaroni is cooked al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain
Meanwhile, mix the flour with just enough milk to form a paste in a small bowl. Slowly add the remaining milk, stirring as you do, making sure to remove any lumps. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour the milk mixture into the saucepan. Stir in the salt. Add the cheese and continue to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture starts to thicken. When the mixture is almost smooth, stir in the cooked macaroni and sausage until is is well incorporated. Serve immediately.

Kalamata Balsamic Chicken with Feta

The Mediterranean. From all the pictures I’ve seen, I am pretty certain that I belong there. Not only the scenery but the food! I suppose the pristine water and the beauty doesn’t hurt either.
I cannot wait to go there. When you ask? Not sure, must start saving now to make that dream a reality.
Feta cheese, kalamata olives, and tomatoes should fall in love. Or they already have, in my mouth. They are so good together.  And I have to be hones, it just looks so pretty. The picture does not do any justice.  Now I want a new camera and a trip to Greece. (Aaron, are you listening? Or Mom, Dad?)
On a sidenote, when I was little, my cousin Amber used to put olives on her fingers and eat them. (the olives).  I thought it was utterly hilarious and gross. She was older cooler than me, (I was the youngest of our cousins) and obviously my tastebuds hadn’t matured to olives just yet. Now I completely understand why she gobbled them off of her fingers.
Kalamata-Balsamic Chicken with Feta

What you need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
16 pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons small basil leaves
What to do:
1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with pepper.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken 6-7 minutes on each side, or until done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, keep warm.
3. While chicken cooks, combine tomatoes, olives, and vinaigrette in a medium bowl.
4. Add tomato mixture to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until tomatoes soften. Spoon over chicken. Top evenly with cheese and basil.
Source: Cooking Light: Fresh Food Fast
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