Green beans and asparagus are coated in crispy bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and baked until tender for a healthy side dish with a satisfying crunch.
If you’re in the “a vegetable with a few added calories is better than no vegetable at all” camp, you’ve come to the right place. I make my home in that camp. I’m Head Counselor of that camp. I fly that camp flag with pride.
Today, I’m showing my camp spirit by sharing with you how to take ordinary asparagus or green beans, dust them with flour and soak them in egg, and then crust them with crispy panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. It’s a dish our whole camp can get behind.
When I made this dish, I used a combination of green beans and asparagus, because that’s what I had. The two work well together because they’re of similar thickness, but you could choose to use both or one or the other.
Fluffy baked potatoes are mixed with all the best fixings- sour cream, butter, cheese, bacon- and baked until bubbly in this twice-baked potato casserole.
I hate to use the word casserole. For me, it conjures up images of muddled flavors and indistinguishable ingredients. So while I’m calling this a twice-baked potato casserole, let’s get this out of the way from the start: this is not your grandma’s casserole (sorry, Granny!).
This dish combines all the classic baked potato flavors that we love. There’s the requisite butter, plus tangy sour cream, crunchy bacon, and shredded cheese that gets delightfully melted. For added smoothness, you toss in a brick of cream cheese, in addition to salt and pepper. The gang’s all there.
Twice-baked potato casserole is a perfect dish for summer barbecues or family potlucks. The steps are simple enough to keep you from sweating in the kitchen all day, but the flavors bring the wow. If you think regular baked potatoes are just as good, think again; this casserole will blow your mind.
Pan-fried lettuce…that sounds crazy, right? The idea that you’d take a vegetable traditionally served chilled, a vegetable that’s typically consumed along with an assortment of garnishments designed mostly to hide the flavor, and intentionally heat it, wilt it, and season it only with ingredients intended to enhance it’s natural flavor.
Well, call me crazy, because I love this stuff. It’s such a unique, quick, and inexpensive side dish. The romaine is seasoned only with the garlic-infused olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s pan-fried at high heat, so the romaine gets hot and wilted without losing it’s natural crunch.
You could throw in any spices you like, but I prefer to keep it simple. I tend to crave crunchy, salty foods and, while I won’t try to pretend this lettuce is a substitute for potato chips, it does fill a little of that void.
I try not to buy a lot of snack foods, specifically chips. When there’s a bag of tortilla chips in the house, I tend to make nachos. A lot of nachos.
When I want to satisfy my craving for something crunchy and salty, I whip up a batch of homemade tortilla chips.
One of my favorite things about these chips is how they can be customized to suit any mood or meal. You can switch out the savory spices for sweet ones to make dessert nachos. You can skip the spice and use Italian seasonings for a fun twist.
These baked garlic green beans are easy, healthy, and delicious. The best part? They only use a few ingredients and you don’t have to dirty any pans or bowls to make them.
Green beans are ranked right up with carrots and bell peppers as one of my favorite vegetables.
I love that they have a crisp crunch and fresh flavor of their own, but that they’re easily enhanced by whatever seasonings you add to them.
These no clean-up baked garlic green beans hit all the right notes. The prep and clean-up couldn’t be easier. The beans are tossed with seasonings right on a foil-covered baking sheet, so you have no bowls or pans to wash.
The beans are coated with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; just a few classic flavors to bring out the fresh snap of the green beans without taking over.
I think I went to one of the only high schools in the country that still has an off-campus lunch period.
Every day, my friends and I had 35 glorious minutes of freedom. No cafeteria food for us. Sometimes we’d head to someone’s house, or to McDonald’s (hello, dollar menu), or to DQ.
Or sometimes, if we were feeling particularly gastronomically-courageous, we would walk to the little cinder block convenience store on Main Street. They served everything from chimichangas and burritos to pizza sticks and sausage pockets. Their smorgasbord of fried food was the type only teenagers can eat and live to tell about; remembering the way the smell would cling to my clothes still makes me cringe.
These oven-fried chimichangas are everything you wish you could get from your local hole-in-the-wall, but without the lingering smell and the quadruple-digit calorie count.
They’re baked instead of fried, so they’re much healthier than the version you might be used to. Before baking, the tops are brushed with butter and sprinkled with salt to achieve a delightfully crisp and crunchy outer shell while maintaining a melty inside.
(Notice anything different about these photos? Like maybe that they’re a million times better than any that I’ve ever taken? That’s because they were taken by my oh-so-talented sister-in-law, Ashley.)
oven-fried chicken chimichangas
adapted from Big Oven
2/3 cup salsa (green or red both taste great; sometimes I use a combination of both)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on the heat of your salsa, or your personal preference, you might want to omit this)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 cup shredded cheese (I usually use cheddar because that’s what I have; use your favorite)
6 medium flour tortillas
1 tbs butter, melted
garnish(es) of choice: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, tomatoes, etc.
I try my best to create meals for my family that include more whole ingredients and fewer canned and processed foods. A lot of nights, I’m successful.
There are plenty of nights, though, that I’m mostly concerned with just getting something on the table. For the nights when I don’t have anything to pull from the freezer, I try to keep a tube of crescent roll dough in the fridge.
While crescent rolls may not be the most nutritious choice, they’re a super convenient way to pull a meal together quickly. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite crescent roll recipes.
I don’t pass up an opportunity to eat anything with the name “jalapeño popper”.
I also don’t say no to pizza. Ever.
So you can imagine my glee when, while scanning Pinterest, I saw a recipe for jalapeño popper pizza. I spent days drooling over the thought of this recipe. It took a couple weeks before I had the chance to make it.
And it was so worth the wait.
Jalapeño Popper Pizza
adapted from here
-1 ball of my never-need-delivery-again pizza dough
-4 ounces cream cheese, softened
-2 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
-1/4 to 1/2 onion, finely diced
-4 slices of bacon, cooked and diced (the first time I made the recipe, I didn’t use bacon and it was still unbelievable)
-1 to 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (pepperjack, cheddar, or any blend will work fine)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees with pizza stone inside and rack in second lowest position. Roll out the pizza dough to a 10 to 12 inch circle and transfer it to parchment paper. Use a fork to poke holes across the entire crust, leaving a one inch border. Bake crust on parchment paper for 5-7 minutes or until it loses its shine. Note: for full details on this pizza crust recipe, including baking instructions, see the original post.
Remove from the oven and brush olive oil over the outside rim. Spread with cream cheese. It’ll seem like you have too much cream cheese, but trust me, use it all. Next, add your shredded cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and onion. Return to oven and bake 6-8 minutes, until crust is a deep golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven again and brush olive oil over the outside crust. Sprinkle the whole thing with kosher salt, paying careful attention to the olive oiled rim.
I want to know: what flavor combinations are you powerless to resist?
Confession: I’ve never had a Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. Now that I make this fresh version at home, I’ll never need to.
The recipe calls for refried beans- I make mine using this recipe– and taco meat, but I often make mine with just beans and my husband’s with meat only.
Just as with regular tacos, this recipe can be adapted to fit the preferences or dietary needs of just about anybody; in fact, it practically begs for it.
adapted from here
(recipe makes 4 pizzas; quantities as needed)
8 6-inch tortillas
1 – 1 1/2 cups (1 can) refried beans (you may want more if you’re omitting the meat)
1/2 pound taco meat (prepare your ground beef or turkey as you normally do for tacos)
1/2 cup taco sauce (salsa works, too)
1 cup shredded cheese
cooking spray or 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Additional optional toppings:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown your tortillas on both sides in a saucepan, either in hot oil or by spraying both sides with cooking spray. Spray a cookie sheet lined with foil.
On the foil, layer beans and meat on top of a browned tortilla. Cover with a second tortilla and spread that one with taco sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat until you’ve built four pizzas.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes.
What fast food favorite do you make at home?