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Category Archives: Main Dish

Pot Roast

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Don’t you just love a good pot roast? The stick to your ribs, comforting, flavorful pot roast. When it’s done right, it’s so satisfying and delicious. It’s a great choice, also, because it’s naturally gluten-free! (Stay clear of pot roast seasoning packets unless you are 100% sure they do not contain gluten)

For the past few years, whenever we’ve wanted pot roast, I’ve done it the easy and convenient way – tossing everything into the crock pot to cook all day and calling it dinner. It’s not bad to do it that way, but can I suggest that making a pot roast the “old fashioned” way, in the oven, is sure to knock your socks off? It really wasn’t more time consuming to do it this way. Yes, I had to have the oven on for a few hours, and I had to be home to get it going, but once I stuck it in to cook, it just did it’s thing until the meat was fall apart tender and the veggies were cooked.

We had pot roast for dinner last night and we all “mmmm-d” and “yummm-d” our way through the meal. It just tasted of Fall and let’s not forget how delicious the entire house smelled. I used The Pioneer Woman’s Prefect Pot Roast recipe as a guide for putting mine together and again, she didn’t disappoint. I didn’t have the fresh herbs on hand, so we opted for the more simple, “country” flavors of letting the meat and veggies shine with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and gravy made from all the juices and drippings (and cornstarch – gluten-free!). I didn’t snap any photos of the process, so I highly suggest you use the link above to check out PW’s photos and explanation of the process. She is entertaining as always!

Don’t skip the step of browning the onions and carrots before searing the roast on all sides. FLAVOR! I couldn’t believe the difference in the flavor of the carrots from doing this step. They were fantastic. PW didn’t, but I tossed my potatoes in with everything else. The veggies are so delicious when they all get “happy” in the pot together. My roast did take a bit longer than she said (although I am not totally sure how much mine weighed) and I did turn the heat up to 325 a couple of hours in because it just didn’t seem hot enough and the meat was still really tough. Ok, so I was getting impatient because I wanted to eat right away so we could get on to the apple pie I had on the counter. I may or may not have had said pie for breakfast today.

Here is the recipe with instructions directly from The Pioneer Woman’s site. *I used broth, not red wine. Added 5-6 medium white potatoes peeled and quartered to the pot (on top of everything)

ENJOY!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste

Preparation Instructions

First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).

Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.

Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.

With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.

When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.

Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

 

Potato Soup with Smoked Sausage

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It’s that time of year again. Time to pull out all your favorite soup and chowder recipes and fill your family’s stomach’s with warm bowls of comfort food. We love soup at our house and when it’s chilly – or freezing in the winter – I make soup at least once a week.

Yes, my recipes have changed a bit to make them gluten free. Instead of chicken noodle all the time, I opt for chicken and rice and no one seems to mind. My creamier soups, like the potato soup I am sharing today, is no longer thickened with a rue of flour, butter and milk, but with cornstarch and milk and I’ve gotten no complaints. In fact, tonight’s soup was a total hit with everyone. My hubby walked in the door from work, looked at the pot on the stove and said, “YUM!”. At the table, both my girls were “yummy-ing” and “mmmm-ing” the entire time. We also sat and giggled as we watched them slurp the broth from the bowls to be sure to get the last drops. Compliment taken! 🙂

With you in mind, I did my best to measure what I tossed into the pot. The great thing about soups like this is that you can easily tailor it to your family’s needs. Increase/decrease the amount of veggies you add to the feed the size of your family. Don’t like onion? Leave it out and add more carrots and celery (but WHY would you do that? YUM! :)). The goal is to get flavor into the pot, to season it all well, get all the veggies cooked and ta-da – soup! This recipe is a bit more “chowder-y” since I do leave my potato pieces larger and it is thickened, but I don’t think the soup labeling police read this blog, so call it what you’d like.

I had some smoked turkey sausage in the refrigerator that needed to be used, so I thought we’d try it in the soup. The recipe without the sausage is how I always make our potato soup, so if you aren’t a fan of smoked sausage, just skip it and it will still be delish. I used Hillshire Farms Turkey Smoked Sausage which is gluten free. Echrich Smoked Sausage (Beef and Regular) is also gluten free. Be sure to check the label of your favorite brand to be sure that it’s safe!

On to the recipe – even with some pictures this time!

 

 

 

 

 

 
Start by heating up a nice big pot with about 1 tablespoon of butter and a dash of olive oil. Toss in your carrots, celery and onion and let them soften a bit – about 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 
If you’re going to add the smoked sausage, toss that in now. Let it cook a bit with the veggies. This smelled so good, I could have just started eating it as is. If you don’t want sausage, skip it and go on.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Once the veggies and sausage have cooked about 4 minutes, toss in the potatoes. Now, when I don’t add sausage, I typically sprinkle in a heaping tablespoon of chicken bouillon for flavor. I skipped it because of the sausage. Next, you will want to cover the veggies and sausage with water; I needed 4 cups. If you’re making this sans sausage and you don’t have bouillon, you could add half chicken broth and half water. It took about 20 minutes of cooking to get all the potatoes and veggies nice and tender. I started with the lid on and then took it off near the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once everything was tender, I made a thickener with cornstarch and milk. Remember, cornstarch likes to be dissolved in cold liquids, so don’t just sprinkle it into the pot – lump city! I used 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Let it simmer to thicken. Be sure to taste for seasoning. I would have normally added salt when I added the potatoes, but decided to wait because I wasn’t sure how much salt would come from the sausage. Surprisingly, not much. It for sure needed salt and I added tons of black pepper to my bowl – I love me some freshly ground black pepper!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a satisfying meal after a long week on a chilly night. I paired it with a spinach salad and it hit the spot! Here’s the recipe – enjoy! Let me know if you make it!

Potato Soup with Smoked Sausage

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3-4 medium stalks celery, diced
4 cups potatoes, large diced (about 5 medium potatoes)
1 package smoked sausage, cut into pieces
4 cups water (or 2 cups water, 2 cups chicken broth if not adding sausage)
1 heaping tablespoon chicken bouillon (if not adding sausage or broth)
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  1. Heat butter and olive oil in dutch oven or large pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  2. Add sausage and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes for sausage to slightly brown and to release some flavor.
  3. Stir potatoes into mixture. Cover with water (or water/broth mix) and add bouillon if necessary. Cook for approximately 20 minutes until veggies are tender.
  4. Combine milk and cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Add to pot and allow soup to continue to cook over low-medium heat until it thickens. If you prefer a thicker consistency, continue to dissolve cornstarch into small amounts of milk or water and add to soup.
  5. Season as needed with salt and pepper.

Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Shredded Pork

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I am making this for dinner tonight.

I think we’ve been friends long enough for me to tell you a secret.

I love The Pioneer Woman.

There, I said it. I feel better.

I really do. Do you read her website? I didn’t call it a blog because it’s so much more than that. Entertaining stories, photography, COOKING, home and garden, even a homeschool section. She cracks me up, makes me drool over food and has made me look like a rock star in the kitchen on more than one occasion. Her recipes are fantastic. I have her cookbook. Oh, and I have her novel. See….I like her. She’s a city girl turned rancher’s wife in NE Oklahoma and I find her ranching life fascinating. Really, check out her site.

I highly recommend you take a look at her cooking section as well as her other food site, Tasty Kitchen. She is not a gluten free cook, but I have found plenty of recipes to easily convert to gluten free or that are gluten free naturally. Like, the spicy shredded pork I am making tonight.

I decided to not take pictures of the recipe to share with you because why would I when you can take a look at P-dub (that’s what I like to call her -she doesn’t mind) making it herself. The lady knows how to take some photos…

A word of warning if you click on over today. She’s featuring a pie workshop at their Lodge that is coming up soon – Don’t let that tear you up and long for Grandma’s family pie crust recipe. Take a deep breath and make a delicious pie with this crust and you’ll be just fine. 🙂

Speaking of pie…I’ll be posting later about another pie recipe. A dear lady needs us to make pie today.

Quick and Easy Caprese Chicken

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I love quick and easy suppers. I love them even more when they turn out and taste like I spent a lot of time on it!

Last night’s supper tasted like summer on a plate and was healthy and satisfying. It’s was pretty too, see?

 

 

 

 

 

 
Not much of a recipe to share with you, but I can tell you what we ate and what I did.

The boneless, skinless chicken breasts I marinated in Kraft’s Zesty Italian dressing for a couple of hours. I know, not the most natural or high quality choice here, but this was supposed to be quick and easy. I typically would have had hubs put the chicken on the grill, but to get a little practice with my new pan, we skipped the grill. Once the chicken was cooked through, I topped each piece with Italian blend shredded cheese. A true caprese salad or dish would have fresh mozzarella, but I had the Italian blend on hand, so that’s what I used. I put the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese nicely melted (could just cover your pan with a lid for a minute or two) and when it was melted, topped with a chiffonade of basil and sliced cherry tomatoes. The basil and tomatoes came fresh from our garden – yum! So, that’s the chicken – pretty easy.

I served the chicken with mashed potatoes. Just use your favorite mashed potatoes, but for ours, I cooked the potatoes in milk and added a smashed clove of garlic and a good pinch of kosher salt. I used the cooking milk for the liquid and added some butter and a handful of the italian cheese. Lots of black pepper and you have some tasty mashed potatoes!

Serve with a green salad topped with your favorite toppings. We love spinach salad with red pepper, red onion, cucumbers and feta cheese. I dressed the salad with the same Zesty Italian dressing I used on the chicken (again, not my favorite, but what I had) and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

Fresh, tasty and overall pretty low in calories I think, which was good because we had these for dessert.

Give it a try!

Make the Pork Chops

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Yesterday, I shared two recipes that caught my eye and that I am planning to fix this week for supper. You can check it out here if you missed it.

I was particularly excited about the pork chop recipe because 1. we love mushrooms and I start salivating when I see recipes that have things covered in mushrooms and 2. I was interested to try a meat dish that is cooked on the stove. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty addicted to meat being cooked on the grill. If it’s a steak, pork chop, or chicken that we’re going to eat as the main dish, I like it grilled. (I would really like to get a grill pan for indoors. Anyone have one and love it?)

Yesterday was truly a weird day. My girls have been in swimming lessons this week, which has been a total blast. They are outdoors, so the weather needs to cooperate for them to happen. Yesterday, it rained cats and dogs, so the lessons got moved inside at the athletic club where the instructor works. The club happens to be right next to my hubby’s office, so after a bit of trading lesson times, my hubby was going to be able to stop by and watch the girls swim. Fun! (I realize this has nothing to do with pork chops, but stick with me – I have a point)

The girls and I were heading to the lessons, stopped at one of the busiest intersections on our side of town when a large passenger bus decided to BACK UP into us. Wha? This is a loooong story that I will keep short – No one was hurt, minor damage to our vehicle, 45 minutes of waiting for the Sheriffs department that was never called like I was told they had been, 10 minutes of waiting once I officially called the sheriffs department, man who hit me got a ticket, everything took so long – missed swimming lessons. Even though we missed the lessons, we still went to the club to let the girls swim. After all the drama and adventures in swimming, it was after 6 when I finally got home and started cooking.

My point in sharing all that? By the time the food was ready and we could eat – we did and I didn’t get a picture to share with you! How many of you are just wishing I said, “I don’t have a picture of the food.”? 🙂

What I WILL say short and simple is – they are delicious! I’m now a fan of pan cooked pork chops. So yummy and you need to make the pork chops.

Breaking Out of A Rut

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I’m in a rut with food. I’ve somehow lost the excitement and creativity I usually have when it comes to meal planning and choosing recipes. We’ve been really busy, which makes spending a lot of time in the kitchen tricky, but I also haven’t been feeling that great. Like I shared in an earlier post, I’ve accidentally glutened myself a couple of times which triggered a few days of feeling crummy. But, this crummy feeling has been hanging around, so I need to do a good review of what I have been eating to see if I’ve snuck something with gluten into my diet without realizing it.

I sat down this morning and searched through the gluten free recipes on Gina’s Skinny Recipes and came up with a few that I think we’ll be trying this week. Here are a couple of links to two I am excited to try:

Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Shallots

Western Omelet Potato Skins

I’m trying to focus on well-rounded meals with a lot of fresh and healthy produce, in hopes that feeding my body really good food will help me feel better. I’m planning a lot of in season veggie side dishes and fruit to go with our meals. I also need to do a much better job planning out my lunches and snacks. I’ve been short on good choices for me to snack on and I am sure that is contributing to my less than stellar energy level and yucky feeling.

So – eat well this week! Take the time to plan some delicious, good for you meals and nourish your body! I’ll let you know how the pork chops and potato skins turn out!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

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I’ve really been enjoying lunchtime this summer. I am blessed to be home each day with my kids and it gives me the flexibility to have fun with my lunch. I haven’t baked bread in over a month, so sandwiches haven’t been on the menu. I have enjoyed a few wraps made with gluten free corn tortillas which are always tasty. Once day last week I decided shrimp sounded really yummy, so I put together a lunch dish with a Mexican twist that totally hit the spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sorry, I quickly snapped this picture with my phone before digging in. Not the prettiest plate I have put together, but it sure did taste good! I enjoyed the shrimp with a ripe avocado, fresh salsa and the thin, Cantina chips by On The Border. (LOVE, that these chips are gluten free – they have always been my favorite!) The shrimp took longer to defrost and clean than it did to marinate and cook them. I love keeping shrimp in the freezer. It’s so easy to toss them in pasta or rice dishes and bring a whole new level of flavor!

I am going to share the shrimp recipe with you, but this is another occasion where I just threw the ingredients together without measuring, so I am going to do my best to break it down for you. Use your judgement for your tastebuds – less heat, more lime, etc – and have fun with it. The shrimp I used were 51-60 count per pound.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

8-10 uncooked shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined

Marinade:
2-3 Tbls Olive Oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 Tbls fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Kosher salt

Marinade prepared shrimp for approximately 15 minutes. Sautee shrimp until pink and no longer translucent.