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Tag Archives: meal prep

Sausage and Peppers

Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Donuts and coffee. Okay, the donuts and coffee doesn’t necessarily fit the analogy, but I can always go for a donut when I have coffee it sort of counts. Classic pairings are sometimes even more delicious than getting ultra creative and trying hard in the kitchen. During today’s current reality (I REFUSE to say new normal, because nothing about this is normal, it’s our current reality and if things shift afterwards – hopefully they do – it will be our new reality), it’s damn near impossible to order groceries on whatever site you use, grab a delivery slot, and get everything you hoped for. Sometimes, we have make do with what we have, and that’s what sausage and peppers was for me.

I’m a purist when it comes to certain foods, and sausage is one of them. I’m not a huuuge turkey or chicken sausage fan, I just feel like the flavor in pork sausage tastes better, and it’s higher fat for a reason! Trader Joe’s makes an awesome pork and beef uncured sausage link pack that I am dying to grab again, when I am brave enough to venture to stores. I had a pack in the freezer and decided “THIS is a good time to take these out and make lunch with them.” I had also ordered several bell peppers from the previous week’s grocery delivery, so AHA!… let’s make sausage and peppers. I’d like to take a moment to settle a debate here too: I despise green peppers. There is no room for them at the table: they smell and taste like dirt and are super bitter. I prefer orange and yellow bell peppers and usually have them on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need for this super simple and tasty dish:

  • 1 pkg sausage (I’ll allow turkey or chicken substitutes here), sliced into small rounds
  • 2 medium peppers, julienned (sliced thin)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Your favorite spicy seasoning – I use a fajita mix or cajun mix, I would also use New Bae seasoning from Primal Palate, found here!

Start by heating a large sauté pan with the olive oil. Throw in the peppers and let them cook down until they begin to sweat and slightly brown, this will be around 5-7 minutes. Throw in the sliced sausage and sprinkle in your seasoning. Cook until the sides of the sausage are browned and the peppers are soft.

This dish is perfect on its own, over orzo pasta, paired with rice, or can be tossed with other roasted veggies. I will also say this stays well in the fridge so it’s a perfect stay-at-home meal prep for lunches. Enjoy!

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Beef and Bean Chili

It’s March, and while it’s not necessarily Spring yet, it’s certainly starting to feel like it. I’ll also admit that I haven’t had my usual energy to do much cooking or prepping, so this week is about keeping things simple and delicious, and helping my husband not spend money on lunch everyday for the rest of the week. Nevertheless, chili is something that I have always loved making because you can virtually make anything into a chili. I have a traditional chili on the blog already, but decided to ramp this one up with black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and roasted corn, all ingredients easily found in Trader Joe’s. I must admit, I couldn’t stop “taste testing” this one as it simmered.

I’ll keep this blog post super simple and cut right to the ingredients and recipe directions, because mama’s tired and needs her sleep (after all, we only have 10 more days until bub is due and I’ll need as much sleep between now and then as possible!).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn
  • 2-3 tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A shake of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large pot (I love my Staub cocotte), add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Add in chopped onions and saute until fragrant.
  2. Add in ground beef and brown until done. Add in can of crushed tomatoes, and seasonings (you’ll more than likely need more seasonings as the chili builds).
  3. Rinse and drain black beans and garbanzo beans, add them to the chili and stir to combine. Add in the cup of frozen corn and add a second round of seasonings (as desired, taste the chili first – when I did this I noticed it needed more smokey flavor so I added more chili powder).
  4. Turn heat to low/simmer and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally as to not burn the bottom.
  5. Serve with rice, potatoes, or quinoa!

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Squares

I’ve been into baking a lot more than I have been into actual cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ratatouille, or throwing together a really delicious chicken dinner or skillet. As of late, it’s been about baking, re-testing muffins, and building myself up to making cupcakes and all sorts of decadent treats. I’m not really into sugar-laden foods, which is why this blog exists: to take everyday delicious meals and recreate on the healthier side. Having simple swaps for recipes is important to me which is where these squares came from.

I like a brownie or blondie – in fact, my family actually has a “secret” recipe (why it’s always been considered a secret is beyond me but it’s a DELICIOUS cookie/blondie/brownie hybrid – it could also have been a long-time joke that it’s a secret and I’ve been misled all these 32 years… oh well). The sugar, butter, and heavy ingredients in those recipes can be too heavy for me at times, so using rolled oats is a great binder for flour. Plus, this recipe doesn’t have any sugar. The only sugar comes naturally from the chocolate chips, bananas, and a drop of maple syrup. Whole foods, real foods, and quality.

I also know that oats/oatmeal is a good food for lactation/breastfeeding, and given that I am 37 weeks and hoping to nurse the little bub, I’m testing recipes now so that I can bake them and freeze for when the bub arrives. Pregnant or not, I love oatmeal and the combination of chocolate chips with the banana is a trifecta of awesome.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe bananas, smashes
  • 1 cup milk (can sub any kind of milk!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon

Products Used:

  • Organic Valley: egg and milk
  • Lily’s Sweets: chocolate chips
  • Thrive Market: baking soda, rolled oats.

Preheat the oven to 400*. Whisk everything in one bowl. Pour into a pre-greased 9×9 pan, adding a few more extra chocolate chips on top. Bake for 30m. THAT IS IT! Enjoy with some nut butter, whipped cream, or just as is. You’ll be making these weekly 😉

Kale with Sausage and Onion

I’m one of those people that has a love-hate relationship with kale.  Sometimes I’m craving it, but other times I want nothing to do with it.  Kale can be so versatile: sautéed, steamed, made into chips, tossed with some oil and lemon, or layered in a sandwich.  My personal favorite: sautéed for sure.IMG_3808

This recipe is so delicious and perfect for lunch and meal prepped.  I’m totally one of those ladies who will #mealprep on Instagram and be all proud I took care of my food for the week, and this one never fails me.  For the sausage, I never skimp out – I always use pork, but it has to be good quality.  I like Niman Ranch or Applegate (or even Vermont brand has quality nitrate-free uncured sausage).  The snap that the sausage has on it when it’s cooked is great and takes seasoning very well.  I cut the links into 1/4in thick circles and chop the onion into slices as well.  The onion goes in the pan first and will cook until translucent and fragrant (who doesn’t love the smell of cooking onions in a pan?).  Then I add the sausage and sauté until the sausage browns on the sides.

I like a traditional Old bay seasoning, but didn’t have any so I opted with a Mexican blend.  It acted as a nice little twist to the dish.   After the sausage is pretty much browned on both sides, add in the kale and stir it in by layering the onions and sausage on top to wilt the leaves.  Continue to do this and add as much kale as you’d like!  I also added a bit more oil to saturate the kale and get things nice and seasoned.  This could be done with a varietal of foods like spinach instead of kale, chicken sausage, peppers AND onions (mind.blown), or stick to the recipe!  The choice is yours 🙂 Happy cooking!

Kale with Sausage and Onion

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg sausage
  • 2 bunches organic kale - rinsed; just the leaves
  • 1 medium onion sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil I used avocado oil
  • Seasoning such as Old Bay or your choice!

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil on a medium heat.
  2. Slice onions into long strips and set aside. Chop the sausage links into 1/4in thick rounds and set aside.
  3. Add onions to the pan and sauté until fragrant and translucent
  4. Add in sausage to the onions and begin to sauté until browned.
  5. Season the onions and sausage with choice of seasoning and stir.
  6. Layer in the kale and stir in as needed. Add in a bit more oil as desired.
  7. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Swap out pork sausage for chicken as desired. Use spinach instead of kale if thats' what you prefer!