Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

This is a simple, delicious and colorful meal. The local Aldi had colored fingerling potatoes for $1/pound – what a deal! I added parsley I had dried from our CSA to make J’s favorite potatoes. I was listening to a segment on WPR about braising potatoes using a “reverse braising” method. Normally, when you braise meat, you sear each side and then add some water to the pan, cover, and simmer for an hour or so. This makes a deliciously tender meat. The chef on the radio show decided to venture down a similar path with potatoes. The problem with the normal braising method, you won’t get the crunchy finish you want with parsley potatoes, because the water would soften everything (including that deliciousness you seared on first). Read more below on the reverse braising method I used for these potatoes. We had some green beans in the freezer from our CSA and we severe them with steak from our grass fed cow.
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Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Sautéed Green Beans and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds multicolored fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
    (you could also just use red potatoes, but baking potatoes won’t work well)
  • water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1/4 cup silvered almonds
  • 1-2 tbsp Butter
  • Parsley (dry or fresh, amount to your personal liking)

Directions

  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and place all the potatoes cut-side down in the pan. Add 1″ of water. Cover the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water is all absorbed and the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. If the water is absorbed but the potatoes are still tough, add more water.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in another skillet. Add the almonds and green beans and saute for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Once the water is absorbed in the potatoes, add the butter to the pan. and let the cut sides sear. Be careful not the burn them. Add parsley and remove from heat.
  • Serve fresh, as refrigeration will remove the crunch you worked so hard for!

 

 

Walnut and Sage Potatoes Au Gratin

Walnut and Sage Potatoes Au Gratin by a Year of Slow Cooking
(
with some modifications)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices (leave the skins for extra nutrition!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup of butter (you could use a spreadable canola oil-butter product for a buttery taste with less saturated fat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 t dried sage
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded gruyere  or swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes in 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Melt butter in a microwavebale bowl, and slowly wisk in flour until there aren’t any lumps.
  3. Add the milk and spices; mix well.
  4. Spray the inside of your crockpot stoneware with a bit of cooking oil
  5. Begin layering the potatoes, onion, walnut pieces, and the milk mixture in the crockpot; continue until everything is used up.
  6. Shred all of the gruyere and dump on top of the potatoes, flattening if need-be with your hand.
  7. Sprinkle with a bit more sage
  8. Cook on high for 3-5 hours (you could try it on low for 7-8 hours)

Potato Bake


This recipe received a 10/10 from Jason. I don’t know if I have ever made something he liked so much before…ever. He usually hates scale ratings. I always asked him to rate things on a scale of 1 to 10 and it usually ends with him changing the subject so I forget he never rated what I asked. This time, however, he said “10” instantly. This recipe is super easy and delicious. It is too heavy for me for summer, so I plan to make it again once things cool down here in IL in a few months.

Ingredients
– 4 baked potatoes, cooked and NOT peeled
– 3 TBSP butter
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– salt
– pepper
– 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
– 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
– 6 oz. marble cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes. Add the butter and milk and whisk with an egg beater on high until highly whipped. Stir in the vegetables and seasonings.
3. Pour mixture into the sprayed dish. Smooth out with a rubber spatula. Top with bread crumbs and cheese.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown.

Potato-Greens Torta

This is Torta I made months ago and just got around to blogging about. Jason and I are very cheap and often shop at Aldi. One week a 10 pound bag of potatoes were on sale for $0.70. No, I didn’t put the decimal in the wrong spot – 70 cents for 10 pounds of potatoes! We couldn’t pass that deal up, so when I got home I got to cooking. I made over a gallon of potato soup (I will try to find the recipe and blog about it soon), some Pot Pie with potato added, and this recipe. I had never cooked lettuce before (the whole idea seemed odd but then I guess it is similar to cooking spinach), but I trusted that Cooking Light knew what they were talking about when they put together this recipe and I went for it. It turned out to be very good…even better with fresh Parmesan cheese on top 🙂

Potato and Green Totrta
Slightly modified from Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 pound potatoes, washed and cubed, but not peeled
– 3 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 TBSP canola oil
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 4 cups torn romaine
– 3 cups frozen spinach, thawed and drained
– 1 cup green onion, diced
– 1/2 cup skim milk
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
– 2 large eggs
– 3 TBSP bread crumbs
– cooking spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F and coat a 9″ square pan with cooking spray.
2. Cook potatoes over the stove using a steamer. Mash into a bowl.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 2 minutes. Add greens and cook until wilted.
4. Add cooked greens, milk, cheese, eggs, and salt to potatoes. Stir well. Press mixture into the greased pan and top with bread crumbs.
5. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Ingredients

Tomato Basil Steak and Roasted Potatoes

Jason is a big guy – not fat, by any means, but big. At 6’4″ and 210 pounds, he has quite an appetite. While I would love to only make the food that I like, it would mean Jason would be scavenging through the cupboards to find something more to eat. Keeping Jason well fed is definitely a priority, so I frequently make wholesome, nutritious meals that will last Jason a few days. This is the best for both of us – Jason doesn’t go hungry and I don’t come home to empty cupboards.

Steaks are a food that has gotten a bad rap over the past few years. Steak can actually be one of the healthiest entrees on a restaurant’s menu. The key is portion size (stick to 6 ounces – this is equivalent to 2 servings of meat) and choosing a lean cut. Fillet Mignon is obviously the best, and most expensive cut. If you are looking for something a little more affordable, a sirloin is good choice. This recipe used sirloin and it was perfectly tender and seasoned.

Tomato Basil Steaks and Roasted Potatoes
Serves 4

Tomato Basil Steak Ingredients
-4 5-oz sirloin steaks
Mrs. Dash’s Tomato Basil Seasoning

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Rub the steaks with Tomato Basil seasoning.
  3. Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray and place the steaks on the pan. Check steaks in 5 minutes. If not done, flip and check every 2 minutes. The steaks are done when the thermometer reads 155F.
Roasted Potatoes Ingredients
-Baby red potatoes
-Italian Herb Seasoned Olive Oil (basil, garlic, oregano)

Directions
  1. Cut the red potatoes in half.
  2. Pour 1-2 TBSP olive oil into a large skillet that can fit a lid. Heat the over medium heat.
  3. Place the potatoes in the pan with the cut side down, first placing the potato in the oil and then pushing the potato to the side. Be careful since the oil is hot. If you are worried about the oil splashing, pace the potatoes into the pan before heating the oil.
  4. Place the cover on the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. If the pan seems to be getting too hot, turn the heat down to prevent burning.
  5. Flip the potatoes over once the bottoms are crispy and put the lid back on until the potatoes have little resistance when a fork is inserted.

*You can add parsley before step 4 if you’d like – I plan to try this next time.

Creamy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

These are the creamiest, easiest, and tastiest mashed potatoes I think I have ever had! I was watching food network one day while I was at the gym (since we don’t have cable here) and the host was talking about how he loves creamy mashed potatoes and people often ask him if he lightens them ever. He said, “No, never. This is how I like my mashed potatoes and I would rather have them they way I like them and maybe have a little less instead of needing to eat three pound of ‘light’ potatoes just to feel satisfied.” I think this is so true! If you have troubles stopping with just a serving, try putting the serving of potatoes on your plate and then putting the rest in the refrigerator. This little trick could help a lot, because if you really aren’t hungry, you probably won’t go through the hassle of warming up more potatoes. For me, if the tasty food is sitting on the table in case someone wants seconds, I will pick at it even if I am full…if it is in the refrigerator, I usually never go for seconds. Just a thought 🙂

Ingredients
-2 pound of red potatoes, halved, NOT peeled
-1 cup of fat free sour cream
-1 tbsp Dijon mustard
-2 tsp garlic
-pinch of salt and pepper

Directions
Toss the potatoes in the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to a 3-4 serving crock pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash. Mash with a potato masher and enjoy!

Meatloaf and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

What could be better than meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Not much! Jason and I frequently make mashed potatoes because they are quick, easy, and tasty.

Mashed Potatoes
In a microwave-safe container, place 3-4 small red potatoes that have been poked with a fork to allow steam to escape. Place a lid on the container and microwave on high for 4 minutes. CAREFULLY open the lid and push on the potatoes to see their softness. Depending on your microwave and the size of the potatoes, they may have to go for 5-10 more minutes. If they need to cook longer, turn them over and rotate so they are in different positions. Continue to microwave on high in 4 minute increments. Once they are soft, let them sit for about 3 minutes in the microwave, so they can cool off a bit and finish cooking through. Once they are manageable, mash them up with a fork (if you need, use a knife as well). Season to taste. We usually use garlic and sometimes a little butter and an Italian seasoning blend.

Meatloaf

Ingredients
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic
1/2+ cup Light Italian Dressing
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup BBQ sauce

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix all the ingredients except the barbecue sauce together, then spread the meatloaf mixture into an ungreased loaf pan.
3. Spoon barbecue sauce and some Italian dressing on the top of the meatloaf and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.