BRUSSELS SPROUT CASSEROLE

Fortunately I was watching a Molly Yeh episode of Girl Meets Farm recently and it just happened to be on sides for Thanksgiving. She made the most amazing Brussels Sprouts Casserole, an absolutely wonderful alternative to the tired old Green Bean Casserole and better yet it is ALL from scratch, well except the French’s Crispy Fried Onions 😀 – no canned goods involved!

I only made a couple changes – like trading shallots for the leeks and adding in some crunchy bacon, but nothing that really affected the outcome. I altered her directions to my liking also.

BRUSSELS SPROUT CASSEROLE
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 shallots, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 pounds Brussels Sprouts, trimmed, halved or quartered as necessary
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons FRESH thyme leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup QUALITY Parmesan cheese
ZEST from 1 Meyer lemon
2 cups crispy onions

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cook bacon pieces crisp in large saute pan.
  • Remove bacon to drain on paper toweling with a slotted spoon.
  • Add avocado oil to saute pan.
  • Add shallots, sauteing 2-3 minutes until beginning to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and Brussels sprouts, sauteing 6-7 minutes until edges of Brussels sprouts are brown.
  • Season generously with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add thyme, and saute a bit longer until fragrant.
  • In a separate sauce pan melt butter.
  • Whisk in flour, cooking until golden.
  • Alternately add chicken broth and cream, stirring constantly until begins to thicken.
  • Add cheese and lemon zest.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Fold together the sauce and Brussels sprouts.
  • Top with crispy onions.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

CANDIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

CANDIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
2 medium acorn squash
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

  • Cut squash lengthwise into quarters.
  • Remove and discard seeds.
  • Cut each quarter into 1/2 inch slices
  • Arrange squash on shallow baking pan lined with foil.
  • Cover pan with foil and bake 35-40 minutes until tender.
  • Combine brown sugar and butter.
  • Spread over squash pieces.
  • Return pan to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, basting occasionally.

CARAMELIZED CABBAGE

CARAMELIZED CABBAGE
1 small head green cabbage
1/4 cup butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
4 + 1 tablespoons Italian tomato paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the yogurt, 4 tablespoons tomato paste, red pepper flakes and garlic. Set aside.
  • Cut cabbage in half through the core. Cut each half into 4 quarters.
  • Melt butter in cast iron pan.
  • Place cabbage quarters in hot butter and season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Sear well on each cut side.
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/2 cup water.
  • Add tomato water mixture to pan.
  • Place pan in oven and bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove pan and spread a layer of tomato mixture over cabbage pieces.
  • Return pan to oven for 10-15 minutes more until cabbage is tender.

GREEN BEANS IN BACON CHEESE SAUCE

GREEN BEANS IN BACON CHEESE SAUCE
16 ounce frozen green beans
1 can Campbell’s condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/3 cup chopped red onion
6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounce jar diced pimientos
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a 3 quart slow cooker whisk together the soup, cheese, pimientos, bacon pieces, salt and pepper.
  • Fold in green beans. It will be thick, but don’t worry, it will be perfect when they’re done! 😀
  • Cook on low 2-3 hours or until beans are tender.

LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & RICE

LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & RICE
4 LARGE boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 LARGE lemon, sliced thin
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 cups chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Oregano
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
14 ounces artichokes, drained and chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Season chicken breasts with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Heat butter and oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add lemon slices, cooking 2-3 minutes, turning frequently until browned.  Remove from pan.
  • Add chicken and quickly sear each side 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Add onion to skillet and saute 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in rice, garlic and Oregano, blending well.
  • Add broth, lemon juice and generously season with FRESH ground salt and pepper, sauteing for 5 minutes over low heat.
  • Remove from heat and fold in artichokes.
  • Nestle chicken breasts in rice mixture.
  • Bake, covered, 35-40 minutes until rice is tender.
  • Remove from oven and let stand covered for 10 minutes before serving.

NOTES:  Chicken and rice can be made separately without baking time if you are in a hurry!

BACON ROASTED POTATOES ~ AIR FRIED

BACON ROASTED POTATOES
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon avocado oil
5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from one sprig and reserved
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 slices bacon, diced and cooked crumbly
3 shallots, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a large bowl toss the potatoes and thyme with the oil.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add to fryer basket on top of baking sheet.
  • Bake 30 minutes until potatoes are JUST tender.
  • Add shallot wedges and crumbled bacon pieces, tossing to combine.
  • Bake another 15 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, reserved thyme leaves and any juices from the baking sheet.
  • Toss vinegar mixture with potatoes and shallots.

CAMPFIRE FOILS ~ BEEF, CHICKEN & ROOT VEGGIES

CAMPFIRE FOILS ~ BEEF, CHICKEN & ROOT VEGGIES
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH, FINELY chopped tarragon
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 LARGE sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
3-4 beets, peeled and chopped
3-4 red potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 lemon, THINLY sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 pound grilled medium rare flank steak, rested and cut into bite sized chunks
1/4 pound salt pork, diced (or substitute 4 slices thick bacon)

  • Preheat oven to 375° or grill to medium heat.
  • In a small skillet rendered salt pork or bacon until ALMOST crisp.
  • Add butter, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper in a small saucepan and simmer until melted and well blended.
  • Toss veggies and lemon slices with the melted butter mixture. Drain veggies, reserving butter mixture.**see note
  • Arrange 4 large (12×16 or so) pieces of foil on the counter top.
  • Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Divide veggies evenly among the foil pieces.
  • Toss chicken tenders with the drained butter and arrange evenly on top of veggies.
  • Drizzle any remaining butter on top of each packet.
  • Bring the edges of the foil up, folding a couple times to seal, but leaving air space.
  • Bake or grill 50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.

NOTE: If you would like to prepare this in advance as I have many times, cut the chicken tenders into thirds.  Then toss to coat well all the meats and veggies with the butter mixture in a large mixing bowl.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to prepare foil packets.

CHEESE STEAK STUFFED PEPPERS

CHEESE STEAK STUFFED PEPPERS serves 4 PHILLY CHEESE STEAKS with a TWIST!
4 bell peppers, halved and seeded, your color of choice
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
16 ounces sliced mushrooms
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pound flank steak, grilled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
8-16 slices provolone
FRESH chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Generously season flank steak with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Grill steak 2-3 minutes over a greased medium grill.
  • Remove from grill and rest on cutting board covered with foil.
  • Preheat oven to 325º.
  • Place peppers in a large baking dish and bake until tender, 30 minutes.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
  • Add onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, cooking until soft, 6 minutes.
  • Add steak, tossing to coat well and blend.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.
  • Stir in Italian seasoning.
  • Add provolone to bottom of baked peppers and top with steak mixture.
  • Top with another piece of provolone and broil until golden, 3 minutes.

SPICY GREEN BEANS

SPICY GREEN BEANS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
6 cloves garlic, peeled and FINELY minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup banana pepper rings, drained of juice
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add shallots cooking 1-2 minutes
  • Add green beans and garlic.
  • Generously sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cook, stirring often 6-7 minutes until green beans turn dark.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of chicken broth or water, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 1-2 minutes until green beans are crisp tender.
  • Turn off heat, add banana rings, stirring to combine and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve immediately.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN with PINEAPPLE SALSA and RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS

TERIYAKI CHICKEN
1/3 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon FRESH grated ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders

  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, sugar, mirin, ginger and cornstarch together in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Marinate chicken pieces for 1 hour.
  • Grill chicken 2-3 minutes per side on a medium hot grill.
  • Brush chicken with remaining sauce as grilling.

JALAPENO PINEAPPLE SALSA
1 pineapple, diced
4 cups watermelon cubes
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 cup cherries, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • Toss all together.
  • Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds FRESH green beans, trimmed
1 LARGE shallot or SMALL red onion, diced
4 cloves or chicken in garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup FRESH orange juice
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons butter

  • Heat butter until melted over medium heat.
  • Add shallots or red onions and saute 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add green beans and orange juice, stirring to coat.
  • Add jelly to top of beans, cover and cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes until beans are tender.
  • Stir in cilantro to blend flavor and serve immediately.

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS serves 6
6 medium zucchini or 3 LARGE, depending on type
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 3/4 pounds QUALITY ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Green onions, chopped for garnish
Chopped Cilantro, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cover baking sheet with foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Wash zucchini and cut off ends.
  • Cut zucchini in half and remove seeds to hollow out centers.
  • Spread oil on zucchini and sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place zucchini on baking sheet. Set aside while you prepare chili.

 

  • Heat oil in large cast iron skillet.
  • Add ground beef to brown. Drain off excess grease.
  • Add onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 4-5 minutes until onions soften.
  • Whisk together tomato paste, chicken stock and tomato sauce.
  • Add tomato mixture to meat, stirring to combine and cooking 8-10 minutes until VERY thick.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Fill zucchini boats with chili and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more until cheese is golden.
  • Top with sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

CREAMED CORN

CREAMED CORN
3-4 cups FRESH corn kernels
2+2 tablespoons butter
1 Vidalia onion or LARGE bunch green onions, chopped small
2-3 cloves garlic FINELY minced
1-2 red or orange mini peppers, chopped small
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1/4-1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions, sauteing until soft, 5-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, sauteing 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add corn kernels and pepper pieces, stirring to combine.
  • Sprinkle generously with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Lower heat and cook 30-35 minutes or so until tender.
  • Stir in cream, 2 tablespoons butter, thyme and red pepper flakes.