Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Chili

Notes: So easy. Makes a lot so I should probably freeze it.

Servings: 8-10 | Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1-15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-15 oz can chili beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-15 oz can corn (can omit) rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • toppings (cheese, sour cream, avocados, etc)

Directions:

  1. Make sure you rinse quinoa and the add everything to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high.
  3. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks, Return to slow cooker.
  4. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocados and tortilla strips.

 

THM Menu #2

Monday:

  • Breakfast: (FP) Fat Stripping Frappa (THM book, page 240)
  • Lunch: (S) Crispy Salmon (THM book, pg. 283) with steamed broccoli and a pat of butter
  • Snack: (E) 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt with 1 mandarin or berries
  • Dinner: (S) Egg Roll in a Bowl

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Fried Eggs with Bacon (THM pg. 215)
  • Lunch: (E) Deli Meat Rollups (THM pg. 299) with Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (THM pg. 301)
  • Snack: (E) Apple Spice Muffins – 2
  • Dinner: (S) Crockpot Creamy Chicken Tacos (Add lettuce wraps for adults and taco shells for kids)

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: (FP) Fat Stripping Frappa (THM book, page 240)
  • Lunch: (S) Crispy Salmon (THM book, pg. 283) with steamed broccoli and a pat of butter
  • Snack: (E) 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt with 1 mandarin or berries
  • Dinner: (E) Chana Dahl Soup (THM book, pg 311) w toast, shredded mozzarella

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Fried Eggs with Bacon (THM pg. 215)
  • Lunch: (E) Deli Meat Rollups (THM pg. 299) with Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (THM pg. 301)
  • Snack: (E) Apple Spice Muffins – 2
  • Dinner: (S) Leftovers Crockpot Creamy Chicken Tacos (Add lettuce wraps for adults and taco shells for kids)

Friday:

  • Breakfast: (FP) Fat Stripping Frappa (THM book, page 240)
  • Lunch: (S) Lettuce Wraps (THM pg. 297)
  • Snack: (E) 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt with 1 mandarin or berries
  • Dinner: (E) Leftovers Chana Dahl Soup (THM book, pg 311) w toast, shredded mozzarella

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Fried Eggs with Bacon (THM pg. 215)
  • Lunch: ???
  • Snack: Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt
  • Dinner: (S) Artichoke Chicken Thighs

Notes:

 

 

 

 

 

THM Menu #1

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Protein Pancakes, Whipped Cream and Berry Sauce (handful frozen strawberries, blueberries and some water blended with 1/2 packet Truvia. Heat it up) *Review- so good. My kids never even realized they weren’t normal pancakes. This will be our go-to pancake recipe now. 
  • Lunch: Leftover Cheeseburger Pie (THM book), Salad
  • Snack: Fage greek yogurt, berry sauce, 1/2 packet Stevia *Review- as good or better as blended fruit yogurt from the store, with no chemicals and sugar.
  • Dinner: Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma. *Review- Insanely good.

Monday:

  • Breakfast: (E) Cottage Blueberry Porridge (THM book, page 230) *Review- Surprisingly tolerable. I’d eat this a few times a week. I made it with leftover oatmeal that I warmed up and it was fine.
  • Lunch: (S) Crispy Salmon (THM book, pg. 282) and salad with avocado, walnuts and ranch dressing. (THM Book pg. 283)
  • Snack: 1 mandarin, 8 almonds
  • Dinner: (S) Frittata with side salad

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Fried Eggs (THM pg. 215)
  • Lunch: (E) Warm Chicken Sandwich on Ezekiel bread (THM pg. 298)
  • Snack: Cottage cheese and berries or greek yogurt
  • Dinner: (E) Chicken and Brown Rice– Cook a whole chicken with the Crispy Chicken Recipe, then shred white meat. Add rice, and whatever you want. She suggests cucumbers, tomatoes, S&P, oregano, balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Cheesy Omelet (THM pg. 219)
  • Lunch: (E) Broiled Salmon & Salad w 3/4 cup cooked quinoa  (THM pg. 284)
  • Snack: 1 mandarin, 8 almonds
  • Dinner: (S) Chicken Taco Pizza

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: (S) Protein Muffins (THM pg. 221)
  • Lunch: (E) Deli Meat Rollups (THM pg. 299) with Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad (THM pg. 301)
  • Snack: Greek Yogurt & Berries
  • Dinner: (S) Pearl’s Chili

Friday:

  • Breakfast: (E) Oatmeal with frozen berries (THM pg. 228)
  • Lunch: (S) Crispy Salmon and Salad with avocado, walnuts and ranch dressing (THM pg. 283)
  • Snack: 1 mandarin, 8 almonds
  • Dinner: (S) Velvet Scrambled Eggs with Green Salad

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: (E) Oatmeal with frozen berries (THM pg. 228)
  • Lunch: (S) Chicken Salad w/ Mayo, Celery & Walnuts on Ezekiel Bread (THM pg. 299)
  • Snack: Cottage Cheese and Berries
  • Dinner: (E) Turkey Tacos- Using the leftover 1 1/2 lbs cooked turkey, season it with taco seasoning and reheat it. For me, wrap it in lettuce. For DH and kids, use taco shells.
    • E: Brown rice, greek yogurt, tomato
    • S:Cheese, olives, sour cream, lettuce

Notes: For the dinners, I got inspired by this post. Since I’m just starting on the THM program, it is overwhelming and I feel like I need some guidance on the menu planning side of things. So I’ve added the dinners she suggested into the menu above. For the rest I’ve used recipes from the THM book.

I’ve never kept this website for anyone but myself and my husband, so we will know what we are eating every night for dinner. I don’t expect that anyone will visit it, but if you have somehow happened upon it, please feel free to tell me anything about the THM diet that you feel I need to know.

 

 

 

 

 

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Servings: 4-6 | Prep Time: 45 minutes cook time, 12-14 hours marinating time

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • big pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 large red onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. MARINADE: Combine lemon juice, 1 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in large bowl. Whisk to combine and pour into gallon Ziploc bag. Add chicken and toss. Zip up Ziplock and place inside a bowl in your fridge. I like to marinate it 18-24 hours.
  2. COOK: Preheat oven to 425F. Pour 2 TBSP olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan. Add onions to chicken and mix well. Remove chicken and onion from marinade and place on pan, spreading evenly.
  3. Roast until brown and crisp at edges, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 2 minutes. Slice into strips. Place a clean rimmed sheet pan on top of oven, set burners to high and add 1 TBSP olive oil. Add strips and saute until crispy.
  4. Scatter parsley on top. Serve with pita bread, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, olives, feta, rice, white sauce, hot sauce or anything else you want.
  5. White sauce recipe: mix mayonnaise, plain yogurt, minced garlic and lemon juice until smooth.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: New York Times with our modifications

Brunch Bacon

Prep Time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves: A Ton of Folks

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 pound bacon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix flour, sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over bacon. Place on broiler pan.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes.

Notes: We’ve made this since 2007. It is fast and delicious. Why anyone would make that bland instant oatmeal from a packet when you could make this in a jiffy is beyond me.

Turkey Chorizo Tacos

Servings: 4 | Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped (I used 1 Chorizo sausage from Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (I used organic ground turkey)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • sour cream
  • sliced avocado
  • salsa
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook the onion and chorizo until the chorizo is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the turkey to the skillet, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, breaking the meat up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the turkey-chorizo mixture among the tortillas and top with sour cream, avocado, salsa, and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

Notes: This was very good- and both kids and adults liked it!

Recipe Origin:

Ravioli with Pea Puree

Servings: 4 | Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups frozen green peas
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I make my own)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1 or 2 (8-ounce) packages Ravioli, prepared according to package instructions. If you only use 1 package, you may need to add some additional cooked pasta.
  • 4 packed cups baby arugula or baby arugula salad mix
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat about 2 minutes.
  2. Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, cook for 2 minutes more and then carefully transfer to blender.
  4. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper and purée until very smooth.
  5. Toss in a bowl with hot ravioli and pasta (if you are adding pasta to the mix)
  6. Arrange arugula in four wide, shallow bowls. Top with a squeeze of lemon, the sauced ravioli and mint. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: Whole Foods. I added pasta.

Pork Loin with Sweet Potato and Spinach

Serves: 4-6 | Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork loin or pork tenderloin (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated in food processor
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 small package baby spinach, chopped
  • hot sauce or Heinz 57 sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat broiler on high. Place pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 tsp of the olive oil, chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
  2. Broil, turning occasionally and basting with maple syrup twice, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. In a food processor with the grating disk, grate sweet potatoes.
  4. Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, until beginning to brown, about 2 -3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and cook, tossing occasionally until tender, 7-9 minutes more.
  5. Add spinach and cook, tossing until wilted, about 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Serve pork and sweet potatoes with Heinz 57 sauce.

Notes: This was crazy good and a surprising hit with the whole family. Made great leftovers.

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple– I added some time to the potatoes because mine weren’t crispy with their timing.

Voula’s Chicken Pita with Tzatziki

Servings: 4 | Time: 20 minutes, even quicker if your chicken is already cooked

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  •  salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and grated (about 1 1/4 cups) (use food processor if you want)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 flat breads or pitas, warmed
  • 1 small romaine heart, leaves torn
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Season chicken with cayenne, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook 6-7 minutes on each side. Cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Mix together yogurt, cucumber, mint, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper in medium bowl.
  4. Top flat breads/ pitas with romaine, chicken, tomatoes and tzatziki.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: Real Simple recipe originally but modified by our Greek friend Voula.

Beef Fried Rice

Servings: 4 | Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white rice
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • canola oil
  • 2 sliced green onions
  • 1 TBSP garlic, chopped
  • 1 TBSP ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cook 3/4 cup rice according to directions. 
  2. Brown 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey in canola oil with 2 sliced green onions and 1 TBSP each of garlic and ginger.
  3. Add rice, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup snow peas, 4 sliced carrots, and 2 TBSP hoisin sauce and rice vinegar.
  4. Cook until heated through and top with sliced green onions.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:

Pasta with Broccoli and Turkey

Servings: 4 | Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb orecchiete
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • slat
  • parmesan

Directions:

  1. Cook 3/4 lb pasta. Set your timer for 1 minute LESS than the recommended cooking time. 
  2. When timer goes off, add 2 cups broccoli florets to the pasta and water. Cook for 1 minute and drain this in a colander.
  3. In a separate skillet, brown turkey in olive oil with 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tsp fennel seed, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.
  4. Combine pasta, turkey, 2 TBSP olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:

Pork Tenderloin with Herbs, Asparagus and Crispy Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, quartered
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 2 TBSP fresh thyme leaves (only the leaves, not the stems)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Trim tenderloins of any silver skin.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub all over with parsley, thyme, and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
  4. Put potatoes in oven and let cook for 10 minutes. Shake them and put them in another 10 minutes.
  5. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add asparagus and lemon and drizzle with another 1 TBSP oil.
  7. Move pan with potatoes one level down in oven. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until pork is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  9. Serve with potatoes, asparagus and lemon.

Notes: This was good and made good leftovers.

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple– I added some time to the potatoes because mine weren’t crispy with their timing.

Chicken Cacciatore

Notes: Toughest part of this is browning the chicken. After that it’s easy.

Servings: 6-8 | Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 lbs chicken pieces (I used thighs and drumsticks). Skinned, but the drumsticks I used had a little skin on them and I left them that way.
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I use Muir Glen because they are BPA free)
  • 1-1/4 cups chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 TBSP fresh basil, cut in ribbons
  • 2 TBSP fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

  1. Put flour in a large Ziploc bag. Add 3-4 chicken pieces at a time, shaking. In an extra-large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in hot oil about 12 minutes or until browned, turning a few times. Transfer chicken to 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Add mushrooms to skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in slow cooker.
  3. Add drained tomatoes, pepper, onion, carrots, wine, salt and pepper to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 3- 1/2 hours. Right before serving, stir in basil, parsley and thyme.

Recipe Origin: Adapted from this recipe.

Marinated Meat and Veggie Packs

Notes: Prep work chopping veggies will take up most of your time. After that it’s super easy. Food for days!

Servings: 4-6 | Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt + extra for sprinkling
  • 1½ pounds meat (chicken, beef, or combination), cut into 1½” to 2″ dice
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1″ dice
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1″ dice
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into 1″ dice
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ¼” to ½” dice
  • 8 oz baby bella or white button mushrooms, left whole if they are small. Sliced in half if not.
  • pepper, to taste
  • note: requires aluminum foil
  • Seasoning: Sprouts seasoning, Breakfast Klub, Tony Cachere’s, or whatever you like.

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices. Set aside.
  2. Cut 8 large pieces (about 12-14″ long each) of foil and lay them out double stacked to start 4 grill packets.
  3. Evenly distribute the diced meat and veggies onto each stack of foil and somewhat “flatten” out the contents for even cooking.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then finish off each packet with equal amounts of marinade drizzled right on top.
  5. Carefully bring up the long sides of the foil so the edges meet at the center. Fold the two edges over together at least three times. Fold up the edges on the open sides at least two to three times and crimp those together with your fingers as well. 
  6. Let the food marinate for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Directions for Grill: Grill the packets flipping them once until the meat is cooked to desired doneness, about 20 to 25 minutes total.
  8. Directions for Oven: Cook on 375F for 25 minutes.
  9. Carefully open each foil packet to let steam release before eating. Serve with pasta or rice.

Recipe Origin:

Oven Chicken Fajitas

Notes: Super Easy. I also make Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas, which come out with a shredded texture. These are not shredded. Delicious flavor!

Servings: 4-6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I use half a yellow and half a red)
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.
  3. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
  4. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the casserole dish and stir to combine.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with whatever toppings you like.

Recipe Origin:

Slow Cooker Chicken with Biscuits

Notes: Easy and delicious. The biscuits are very easy to make.

Servings: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 2:45

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (you can skip this and increase chicken broth by 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 recipe, Drop Biscuits

Directions:

  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and season with the poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the wine and broth.
  2. Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetables are tender, on high for 2 1⁄2 hours  (my preference) or on low for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, prepare the Drop Biscuits.
  4. Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, cream, and ½ teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.
  5. To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining biscuit halves.

Recipe Origin: Adapted from Real Simple recipe. Increased broth from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup, increased flour from 1/4 to 1/2 cup, increased celery and carrots, decreased salt.

Bucatini all’amatriciana

Prep Time: ? minutes | Total Time: ? minutes | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bucatini pasta
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp minced garlic in jar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 14oz can crushed tomatoes (I like the fire roasted kind)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or Parm if you don’t have Pecorino

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add pancetta/bacon and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside on paper towel.
  2. Add onion to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and cooked pancetta/bacon.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook pasta. Drain and combine with sauce.

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  Back of the pasta box recipe. I was surprised at how good it is.

Baked Italian Penne

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 ox penne
  • 1 lb ground mild italian sausage
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted kind)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. Boil salted water. Cook penne and cook 11 minutes. Drain. 
  3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic. Saute while breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms, and sauté 3 minutes. Add pepper, Italian seasoning and tomatoes to the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. 
  5. Combine sausage mixture with pasta, spinach, mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Pour into 9×13″ baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on top. 
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. 

Notes: 

Recipe Origin:  Back of the pasta box recipe. I was surprised at how good it is.

Bratwurst and Kraut in Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4 1/2 – 8/12 hours | Yield: Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs red new potatoes (about 18), halved if large
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use my own, not store-bought, and I put it frozen into the slow cooker)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or whatever kind of white wine you have!)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 bratwurst links
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Toasted dark bread (like pumpernickel)
  • Whole-grain mustard or German Senf for serving

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker, mix together potatoes, kraut, onion, frozen broth (do not need to thaw), wine, caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Nestle the bratwursts in the vegetables. 
  2. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (*Note: I like it on high for 4.5 hours)
  3. Sprinkle everything with parsley and serve with toast, butter and mustard.

Notes: I’m pretty sure all the Germans I know would be appalled by this, but that’s ok with me.

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple, modified.

Lamb Tagine in Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4 1/2 – 8/12 hours | Yield: Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
  • 1/2 cup cup pitted green olives
  • 2 cloves garlic, or 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour (I like White Lily)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Chopped pistachios
  • lemon wedges
  • fresh cilantro if you have it

Directions:

  1. Mix together the lamb, carrots, onion, apricots, olives, garlic, flour, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 cup water together in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook until lamb and vegetables are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (*Note: I like it on high for 4.5 hours)
  3. 10 minutes before you serve it, cook couscous according to package directions.
  4. Serve the lamb on the couscous with the pistachios, cilantro and lemon wedges

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple, added more carrots, modified spices and changed timing around a little.