Tag Archives: chicken sausage

3 Ingredient Fix

What’s better than a 5 Ingredient Dinner?!?!

I’ll tell you… a 3 Ingredient Fix! 😛

I took the easy route last night and made one of my go-to favorites…

The simple combination of mac n’ cheese + chicken sausages + frozen veg is one that I’ve been throwing together for years now, and it never fails to dissapoint!

Plus these Lou’s Chicken Sausages really impressed last time around so I was excited to try the Aged Provolone version… which I must say are pretty awesome!

Simply cook these over medium-high in a bit of cooking spray until browned on the outside, then slice thin.

Then prep your macaroni according to directions.

Cook the broccoli in the microwave while the pasta cooks, then give a quick chop.

Add the broccoli and sliced chicken sausages to the finished mac n’ cheese and give a good stir.

Sea salt and black pepper also necessary in my opinion 🙂

Plus an unseen hot sauce topping… hot sauce on mac n’ cheese is just tooooooo good!

To go with this easy meal I prepped up a simple n’ spicy side salad (say that 5 times?! haha)

Fanatic Mom was nice enough to share some of her homemade salsa with us today and I thought it would make such a fun salad topper!

Boy was I right.

Let me tell you, this salsa is no joke.  Spicyyyyyyyy and wonderful 🙂

Overall such a fast n’ easy meal to throw together which was awesome for last night since I had some yoga to tend to and some American Idol to watch.

Priorities people.

But before I go, how about those new Chobani flavors?!?! 

Today I tried the Black Cherry and must say that I really liked it!

It was no where near as sweet as I had anticipated it to be (not sure why I thought that, guess because cherry flavored food is usually really sweet?) and had almost a tangy flavor.  I really really really liked this one 🙂

Doesn’t beat my #1 pineapple love, however I’m pretty confident that it’s tied up at #2 along with raspberry…

Now onto the lemon and mango which I’m so curious about!

Have a great Thursday everyone 🙂  Can you believe this week is almost over already? Wow did it fly by!!!!

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Italian Chicken Sausage & Cannellini Bean Stew

For some reason on Friday’s I never have a clue what we are having for dinner ahead of time?

I usually only focus on planning Mon-Thurs and just leave the weekend’s food up in the air, I guess I like it better that way! 

Maybe we go out, maybe not?  Maybe it’s a fast dinner, maybe not?

It’s always an adventure either way 😀

As of around 4pm yesterday I was still clueless as to what dinner was going to be… But after a walk through Whole Foods and a random craving for a warm thick stew, I decided on a veggie and chicken sausage medley.

Want to know an easy way to get a certain someone to eat lotsa veggies and even rave about it? 

Make this stew.  Promises.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Cannellini Bean Stew

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 package Italian chicken sausages, chopped
  • 2 red potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup orecchiette
  • 4 cups water
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • dried oregano (about 1 tblsp)
  • dried basil (about 1 tblsp)
  • red pepper flakes (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil

My ears almost fell off my head when The Man said this was “the best soup (stew) he’s ever had” without me even asking.  A dish full of beans AND veggies, really?  I think someone is finally learning or else I’ve mastered the art of this “hide the beans” & veggies thang 😉

And as if I didn’t believe him, he then proceeded to have 3 bowls.  Who am I to talk though, I had 2.  And a half.

Then immediately fell into a soup coma…

Start by cooking the onion, carrot and zucchini in 1 tblsp olive oil for about 7 minutes until the veggies start to get tender.  Season with salt & pepper.

Add beans, tomatoes, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.

Then in go the chopped chicken sausages, check out all that flavor in these Lou’s Famous Mild Italian Chicken Sausages!

Not to mention they are all natural (free of nitrates, preservatives and antibiotics) and currently buy one get one free at Whole Foods, score 🙂

In fact, this whole pot of soup came it at under $7 (not counting spices & cheese topping).  Using mainly organic, natural ingredients.  And made about 5 servings!  Who says healthy good food can’t be economical 😀

Let this simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender (stir occasionally).  I think this was about 45 minutes but I lost track of time while hanging out with The Man over some Friday night cocktails?!  <— see, minimal attention required to this dish 😉

Once the veggies are tender add in the diced potatoes, turn up to a boil and cook until close to tender.  This felt like it took forever (I was so hungry!) but in reality I’m thinking about 20-25 minutes.

Then in goes the pasta, cooking according to direction.

Check out the finished product!

What you end up with is a super thick n’ creamy stew without using any fat – who doesn’t love that?!?!

By adding the beans early on, they break down and become super creamy over the cooking time, who knew?!

And you guys all know how The Man “hates beans” right… uh huh.  Favorite stew ever, he didn’t even know they were there 😛

The flavor of the chicken sausages blended into the stew and all the veggie goodness over the longer cooking time –  and oh it was so good! 

Add the melted Monteray Jack on top and it’s just sets things over the edge, oh please don’t skip that step!

Warm, luscious, creamy, comforting, healthy vegetable stew.  What more could you ask for?

This may take a little time to cook (probably an hour and a half total) but I promise you that the end result is so totally worth it.  Plus during that hour and a half all you really  have to do is add food and stir and drink wine… not too much to ask right 😛

Well I’m off to find more of the leftover soup clean up the house and run some errands.  Tonight is celebration night and we have some friends coming into town to join the party – hooray!  Plus I get to see this fabulous lady 😀

Good thing I started my yoga with a relaxing yoga session with The Traveling Yoga Sisters, since I have a feeling tonight’s gonna get a bit crazy 😉

How do you get creative to get a non-veggie-lover in your life to eat their veg?  Any new ideas much welcomed!

HAPPY SATURDAY FRIENDS 🙂

Can You Really Go Wrong?

HAPPY SATURDAY!!!

Ahh it was glorious to wake up this morning without a fever à la last Saturday 😛

Plus I’m really looking forward to today since I’m going shopping and to lunch with Fanatic Mom! 

Girls day.  Gotta love it.

But let’s back track for a minute to last night shall we?

Dinner was a pretty phenomenal throw together meal I must say.

Have you ever seen the fresh, homemade sausages at Whole Foods?

How about the Buffalo chicken sausages stuffed w/ bleu cheese?

If you are like The Man and will devour anything referred to as “Buffalo ____” then I highly suggest you go buy these.  Now.

They were so good!!!!!  The bleu cheese flavor really shined through and since they were made from chicken, they weren’t greasy in the least.

Now what goes better with Buffalo chicken sausages than homemade pierogi?!

That lil’ Christmas-time pierogi making adventure left me with a freezer full of these leftover treats.

Time to start working on depleting that stash!

A lil’ butter for the pierogi.

A lil’ butter for the chopped onion.

3 tablespoons of butter later… 😉

But I mean seriously, can you really go wrong here? 

Cheesy potatoes, golden dough, buttery onions… *sigh*

Served up with some steamed broccoli on the side, this was a fabulous Friday night meal.

Times 2. 

Haha. 

And I may or may not have been witness to a certain someone dipping the Buffalo sausages into the buttery onion bowl.  Really?

Oh men 😉

After dinner The Man and I watched the movie The Fourth Kind, which is based on actual events about alien abduction in a small town in Alaska.

Go to fullsize image

The movie contained actual video footage which made it super creepy!  Let’s just say I was definitely spooked by this one, but would recommend checking it out if you’re looking for something different.

Alright, I’m off! 

A quick yoga session is in my future before I meet up with mom 🙂

Enjoy your Saturday!

Decadent + Figure Friendly?!

Tonight’s dinner was decadent.  Wow. 

It tasted like comforting love in a bowl, with delicious rich flavors that were pulled together while still being figure friendly. 

Just wait, you’ll see! 😉

Butternut Squash & Chicken Sausage Parmesan Pasta

The starters:

Onion, garlic, chicken sausage, ziti and Parmesan cheese.

Plus some pre-roasted butternut squash. 

Pre-roasted?

Yep.  Want to hear a great trick?  Remember last night when I was roasted up those sweet potatoes…

Well I snuck these squash into the oven too since I knew I’d be using them today and saved myself about an hour of roasting time tonight!  Made my life soooooo easy after work 😉

To roast butternut squash I follow this method:  cut in half, remove seeds and place into baking dish at 350F for about an hour or until soft & tender.

First up, the onions and chicken sausage.

Followed by the garlic and butternut squash, plus some salt and pepper.

Then the chicken stock, cream (only 1/4 cup, stayin’ healthy here remember!), Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme.

Another great trick.  Anytime I buy something like heavy whipping cream which we don’t use up, I put into ice cube trays and freeze for later use.  Works great in cooked dishes and keeps me from having to let anything go to waste!

Freshly cooked ziti and a quick stir…

And you’re done 😀

Serve with more cheese if you like, or in my case more freshly cracked black pepper.

Flavors = spot on.  Creamy, rich and comforting.

Yet only a small amount of fat needed to achieve such flavor.  I couldn’t believe how buttery and creamy this was.

The chicken stock does a great job of adding flavor while also creating a luscious sauce out of a minimal amount of cream and cheese.  So good!

The dinner table (i.e. The Man and myself) raved.

Here’s the recipe, which took about 30-40 minutes start to finish.  Not too shabby huh? 😛

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, cooked, peeled and chopped
  • chicken sausages, sliced on the diagonal (I used Trader Joe’s Italian)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I had homemade on hand, but use any kind you like)
  • 2 tblsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated preferred!)
  • fresh thyme, about 1 tsp
  • salt (we like sea salt) 
  • black pepper
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 box ziti (or any pasta you like)

1.  Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add in sliced sausages and cook for a few until browned a bit, about 5-7 minutes.  If the onions start to brown too add a splash of water – it’ll help them to steam vs. get too brown.

While this is cooking, go ahead and cook your pasta in another pot according to directions.  That way it’ll be done right when the sauce is ready!

2.  Add garlic and squash to onion/sausage mixture plus salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

3.  Add in the fresh thyme, chicken stock, cream and Parm cheese.  Stir gently as to not break up squash.

4.  In goes the cooked pasta (which has been drained).  Add more salt and pepper if you like, then stir to combine.

5.  SERVE IT UP!  Top with extra black pepper and Parm cheese as desired.

And trust me, you’ll have some happy diners!  A comforting meal to feel good about serving too 🙂

I hope you’ll give this one a try!

Dinner w/ the Parents!

Happy Monday everyone!

My favorite oxymoron or whatever you want to call it 😉

I can’t wait to fill you friends in on the dinner that I fixed for Fanatic Mom & Dad last night!

As I hinted at yesterday, this meal was based on a dish that Mom & I had just tasted at last week’s Whole Foods Five After Five event

Remember how much we really liked this dish?!  And bought the fresh chicken sausage right then, right there 😛

Well it was time to put that delicious-ness to good use!

WARNING:  This recipe is definitely not on the bikini-ready diet plan.  But I promise that it is so worth the splurge!

First up were the fresh garlic, basil & sun-dried tomato chicken sausages,which were NOTHING like their pre-packaged counterparts, no match!

Cooked in a pan on the stove top until done, then sliced into 1/2 pieces on the diagonal.

Check out the big chunks of sun-dried tomatoes!  Not to mention a flavor like you wouldn’t even believe.  These were truly fabulous 🙂

The rest of the dish consisted of:

  • 1/2 quart half & half
  • 1 container (1 cup) basil pesto
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat penne
  • fresh basil

So easy, just add the first 2 ingredients to the sliced chicken sausages and let cook over medium heat until reduced by about half.  At this point add in your cheese and let melt through.  Finish off with some fresh basil and voila!

So decadent!  The smell… oh the smell…

Once the pasta finishes cooking, stir everyone together and serve!

Not even gonna try to explain how good…!

And what pasta dinner would be complete without a fresh salad?

This was Fanatic parents first time experience “the dressing” 😉

They LOVED it!  Like us, they couldn’t believe that such a simple combo of flavors could turn out so well.  White balsamic vinegar… life changing?

For dessert, the theme of indulgence went on!

Lemon pound cake.  Peaches & sugar.  Cool Whip.

Fabulous end to a wonderful dinner 🙂

It was such a great way to close out the weekend, I love having Fanatic Fam over anytime and a great meal just makes it even better!

Well enough of my rambles, how about we announce the winner of the Candy Valley Cake Pop giveaway?!?!

Note: I originally posted the winner without realizing there was many entries in my wordpress spam inbox that needed approval, so I felt like the right thing to do would be to generate the winner including these entries so everyone that entered had a fair chance. Sorry for the confusion!

Congrats Roadhouse, please email me your shipping info along with the 2 flavors of cake pops you want to try and I’ll get them on their way!

And for those of you that didn’t win, if you are in the Richmond area I highly advise checking out Candy Valley at theWest End Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings 🙂

And if you aren’t in the Richmond are, no worries, you can check them out online!

Alright, well I’m off to enjoy the rest of The Bachelorette and rest up in hopes of healing this sore throat (?? what the heck, I have no tonsils !!)

I can’t wait to share the make-ahead Italian dinner that we had tonight with you friends too… to which The Man claimed was “better than anything you could order at a restaurant” (*squeal!* he’s a toughie on Italian foods!)

Look for it tomorrow!

Lata gatas 😛

Ready. Set. Go!

Good morning everyone!

First of all, I loved hearing all the different ways you friends use the word “barbecue“… which I think is based alot of where you live!  Don’t ask, but I find it so interesting when food terminology differs based on region (soda vs. pop anyone?)

So thanks for all that great feedback! 😀

Also, did you catch the recap of our Memorial Day poolside festivities, including this delicious fruit pizza?! 😉

Do it!  Haha, jk, well I mean… do it if ya want 😉

I know it’s early and all, but I’m stopping in to say a quick hello before heading off to my first day at the “new” job…

I must say that this week will most likely be a bit crazy busy, so apologies up front if blogging takes the back seat for a few days and is more sporadic than the norm 😦

Name that movie?!

Hey, sometimes these  things happen and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do… I know ya’ll will understand 🙂

How about I let ya’ll in on yesterday’s events & eats in the meantime, sound good?

Monday’s’s agenda included some good, some not so good 😉

  • laying by the pool = good!
  • grocery shopping & fresh veggie stock up = good!
  • working for 3 hours on my day off = ehhh not so good 😦
  • delicious dinner = good!

As much as the workin’ part wasn’t on the “fun agenda” it will definitely pay off in the end for me and I feel much more prepared having spent that time getting through some things!

So back to dinner, we had round 2 of what I like to think was a totally summer-fied dinner 😀

Local summer squash & zucchini sauteed with onion, seasoned with fresh basil, dried oregano, S&P and topped with tomato basil feta cheese.

“Grilled” chicken sausages topped with yellow mustard.

Did I mention how great the cast iron grill really is?!

Baked sweet potato topped with salsa & sour cream, my favorite!

A refreshing way to relax on a Monday night and get ready for the busy work week ahead 😛

Okay okay, with a side of The Bachelorette too of course!  I have some favorites already and some definite “dislikes,” really liking this season so far!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to what is anticipated to be quite the busy day at work…

Ready. Set. Go!!!!

Hope to see you back tonight for a quick dinner recap (we have a mini-fiesta dinner on the menu if all goes as planned!) and enjoy your day 😀

Italian take 2!

Well guess what ended up on our menu tonight?!

None other than another Italian inspired meal using some of the fresh vegetables that I purchased at the Farmer’s Market!

Veggie Pasta w/ Chicken Sausage

  • 1 can TJs tomatoes w/ basil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 small summer squash/zucchini, sliced
  • 3 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tblsp EVOO
  • fresh basil & Italian parsley
  • dried oregano, S&P
  • 2 TJ’s Italian chicken sausages, sliced
  • pasta
  • black pepper Parmesan cheese, grated to serve

So here’s what I did —> got the sauce started before my planned workout so it had time to simmer away and let all the flavors blend.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about a tomato sauce, it’s that it really gets better with time.  At least in my opinion 😀

Begin with a saute of the onion in some EVOO while you continue slicing the other veggies.

Then add in the summer squash and cover for just a few minutes until it softens up.

Throw in the garlic towards the end too, yummmm 😛

While this is cooking up, give the sliced chicken sausage a quick saute in cooking spray until browned on the outside.

This will add an additional layer of flavor to the sauce.

Now comes the messy part, tomato squishin’!!!!

Since the tomatoes in this can were whole, I just stuck my clean hands right into the can and squished the ‘maters right up until they were “sauce worthy.”  Then added to the sauce pot…

Something about this was just wayyyyy too fun haha, call me weird 😉

In go the browned chicken sausages, fresh basil and Italian parsley, sprinking of dried oregano, salt and pepper and on goes the lid… let it simmer on low while you go get your workout on!

A quick Yoga Meltdown session later, walk into a fabulous smelling kitchen and uncover your surprise!

Oh yes, what could be easier? 

Perhaps boiling up some pasta to serve then shredding some TJs black pepper parmesan on top?!?!

Easy peasy, no?

And prepping a quick side salad w/ roasted red peppers, black olives, feta, fresh herbs and homemade white balsamic vinaigrette to go with…

This isn’t rocket science here 😉

Reasons why I loved this meal:

  1. It was delicious, tasted fresh & homemade which always ends a work day nicely.
  2. It was not labor intensive, preparing it before my workout meant that I was basically ready to eat once I was done.
  3. It wasn’t heavy on the meat, adding veggies to sauces like this is an easy way to really bulk them up in a healthful manner.

So there you have it!

Time for a pretty awesome line up of shows tonight, Monday night tv is probably my favorite tv night overall!

Now if only I could choose between The Bachelorette and 2.5 Men/Big Bang Theory… life decisions, right? 😉

See you tomorrow friends!

P.S. Thanks for all your wonderful comments on my dress last night, glad everyone liked it and was so kind to tell me so! 😀