Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

“Mom, what’s for dinner?  Honey, what’s for dinner?  Self, what are we going to have for dinner?!?!”  On some days, this question can feel like a 50 lbs bag of stress.  Hopefully by now, you know I get you.  Although I love cooking (mostly eating), somedays I’m too tired and just don’t want to cook.  Take a deep breath with me and get ready for this ridiculously gorgeous, this-is-2015 healthy Shepard’s Pie casserole.  Pst… you can even double the batch and freeze one to eat on another crazy, busy, hectic day.     I have a problem.  I’m seriously addicted.  I love LOVE the bright, beautiful colors and flavors of vegetables.   Especially organic vegetables.  I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it before but I can totally taste the difference.  I was instantly converted when I had a horrible, chemical aftertaste when eating a carrot one day.  I only buy organic carrots from now on.   Costco makes it pretty easy to have large bags of frozen organic vegetables on hand.  Next trip, just stock up on organic frozen peas, frozen sweet corn, and a large bag of organic carrots.  I have plenty of go-to recipes that call for these tasty veggies.  Stick with me and I promise they won’t go to waste.       Just to make it even easier for you, here are ingredients I use.  My kitchen would feel naked without my large container of spices.  They last a long time (and store great) even though I’m using them constantly.  Spices punch out the natural flavors of the vegetables.  And it’s a much healthier option than to throw...
Simple Turkey Chili

Simple Turkey Chili

We all need some quick, under 30 minute dinner recipes.  Not only quick, but healthy and loved by the family.  This simple turkey chili in addition to my Baked Burritos have become one of my favorite go-to meals.  It’s the perfect comfort food full of flavor.  Definitely a hit each time.     I’m getting ready for baby #2… which means I have many sleep deprived days in my near future.  One goal I have before the baby gets here in 6 weeks (AHHH!) is to have 30 days of freezer meals prepared.  This turkey chili is on the top of that list.  It’s easy to make a double batch and throw it into some freezer containers.  I’ve been eyeing this 24 pack of freezable food containers.  I’ve also heard that using gallon freezer bags makes storing several freezer meals easier.  Any suggestions?       I have officially kissed traditional tortilla chips goodbye.  Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips are completely addicting.  I may have bought 8 large bags recently from Costco while they were on sale.  You know I can’t resist tasty things that sneak in health and nutrition.  Don’t miss out on crumbling a few FSTG chips on top of this turkey chili.  You’re welcome. Print Simple Turkey Chili Ingredients 2 lbs ground turkey browned and drained 1 small onion diced 2 bell peppers diced 1 Tbs minced garlic 2 15 oz cans of organic tomato sauce 2 15 oz cans of organic diced tomatoes, drained 2 15 oz cans of organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well 1 jalapeño finely chopped (optional for additional spiciness) 2 Tbs...
Classic Spaghetti

Classic Spaghetti

My family is hooked on this chunky, full of flavor healthy spaghetti sauce.  Whether it’s for my small family of 3 or for large family gatherings of 40, this spaghetti sauce is loved by all and quickly devoured.  Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to eat like a soup instead of spaghetti sauce.     Since this sauce is overloaded with lots of fresh vegetables, it’s essential to take a couple extra seconds and wash them.  No, I don’t mean rinse with water… I mean scrub those babies.  My most beloved wash is Fit: Fruit and Vegetable Wash.  Skeptical of veggie washes?  Check out this post where you can see the difference before and after washing.  You’ll never look back.         You’ll need at least a 6-quart slow cooker to comfortably fit all these delicious ingredients.  Also, I enjoy substituting pasta with spaghetti squash.  I know it sounds a little bizarre if you’ve never tried it.  However, it’s adds a pop of flavor which compliments this pasta sauce and also a healthy, gluten-free option.  You can either roast or steam the spaghetti squash in the oven.  It takes about an hour to prepare and bake and you can time it perfectly to be done with your sauce.     If you’re preparing this for smaller numbers, don’t worry about having leftovers!  It’s great for next day’s lunch or refrigerate and use for dinner next week or freeze it up to 3 months.  You’ll be grateful there are seconds.  Enjoy, my friends! Print Classic Spaghetti Ingredients 3 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey browned and excess liquid drained 1 large...
Ground Turkey Lasagna

Ground Turkey Lasagna

My man loves this lasagna.  He loves the small chunks of chicken sausage in the rich sauce topped with a variety of cheeses.  Although I like to make it for him on those rainy days, he also usually requests this for special occasions like his birthday.  Whether you need some comfort food or a recipe to feed many, this ground turkey lasagna recipe will be the hit of the night!     This recipe makes a very full lasagna.  You’ll need a lasagna pan instead of a casserole dish or it will overflow.  I bought my deep lasagna dish with some wedding money long ago and have not regretted it once.  Love it!  I wish I could find a link to my exact lasagna pan, but I found this reasonably priced with high reviews lasagna pan for you instead.  Once you taste this flavorful turkey lasagna, you’ll be using your lasagna pan frequently.  Promise.       This recipe can feed up to 12 to 15 people although my husband gets a little sad if I offer to share any.  Remember… we’re only a family of 3 right now so that leaves plenty of leftovers.  He loves it so much that he eats it for lunch the following few days until it exists no more.  Enjoy my friends!   Print Ground Turkey Lasagna Ingredients 1 lb ground turkey browned and drained 12 oz chicken or turkey linked sausage diced (I love the brand Al fresco) 3 15 oz cans of organic tomato sauce 1 15 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, drained 2 6 oz cans organic tomato paste...
Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

I was pretty nervous starting this recipe.  My mom always tackles the Thanksgiving turkey, and I was anxious about creating an epic recipe fail (turkeys aren’t cheap, right?).  I researched and researched how to brine a turkey and the best ways to bake a turkey.   Since a frozen turkey can take up to 3 ~ 4 days to thaw, why not brine your turkey while it’s thawing with something fabulous?  I discovered these turkey sized Reynolds oven bags and created a brine recipe.  These bags made my job so easy!  The bags slowly steamed the turkey keeping it juicy and moist.   My food critic (the handsome hubby) was unable to communicate just how much he loved it because his mouth was stuffed the minute it came out of the oven!  Not to pat myself on the back, but I should pat myself on the back.  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can make this Thanksgiving turkey again! Print Thanksgiving Turkey Ingredients Large frozen organic turkey make sure the turkey is NOT already brine 12 cups water divided 1/2 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup honey 1 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons sage 2 tablespoons thyme 2 tablespoons rosemary 1 tablespoon pepper 4 cups ice Olive oil cooking spray 2 Tbs poultry seasoning Instructions Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and honey. Stir until the salt has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready to be used. Place frozen turkey in oven bag and pour brine...
Apple Sausage Stuffing

Apple Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without stuffing.  However, traditional stuffing seemed a little boring to me this year.  I always think of  YOU before creating a new recipe because I want you to be healthy AND enjoy the food you eat.   Well, you’re probably tired of me professing my love for fresh fruits and vegetables.  I can’t help myself!  If juicy, crisp apples are perfect in my Creamy Apple Oatmeal, why wouldn’t they be fabulous in stuffing?  Throw in some crunchy celery, herbs and savory breakfast sausage… and WALLAH!  Fluffy stuffing with apple sausage that might steal the spotlight of your main dish this Thanksgiving.   Print Apple Sausage Stuffing Ingredients 1 Tbs coconut or olive oil 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup chopped onions 2 1/2 cups unsalted organic chicken stock 1/4 cup dried parsley 1 tsp thyme 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 12 ounces toasted whole wheat bread cubes 1 lb chicken or turkey breakfast sausage browned 3 cups finely chopped apple Olive oil cooking spray Instructions In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add celery and onion. Cook until onion is translucent about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Meanwhile, brown sausage and chop apple. Once stock mixture is boiling, add bread crumbs and stir well. Add browned sausage and apples and mix well. Lightly spray 11 x 7 baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Scoop stuffing in baking dish and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake stuffing at 350° for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown....

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