Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Favorite Pinterest Recipes
I was in a serious recipe rut a couple months back. It was bad people. My poor family. Part of the problem is I don't like having to meal plan ahead of time... I just like to have a lot of great ingredients on hand and then magically whip them up into delicious, healthy and versatile meals. And about 80% of the time that method works for me. Even if I use a new recipe I often have what I need on hand, or can find ways to substitute certain ingredients.
But sometimes it doesn't work. At all. Adding to the problem was the fact that my energy was completely zapped, so by the end of the day dinner was the last thing on my mind and we were stuck in a pasta, quesadilla, PB&J loop with no end in sight. Luckily I've found my way back from the dark side and thanks to the never ending possibilities of Pinterest/Blogs and a craving for delicious fall fare (despite the 80 degree temps still hanging around) I've actually done some meal planning with tasty results. I thought I'd share a few of my recent fav's with you.
First up and pictured above is the Butternut Squash Skillet Shells from How Sweet It Is. So good. SOOOOO good. I also like that except for boiling the pasta it's a one-dish meal. Basically this is mac n' cheese, but there's an entire butternut squash in that baby, which makes it straight up health food in my book. Admittedly the kids didn't love this, but my husband and I did! Notes: This recipe, like many recipes, call for chopped up raw butternut squash. Since I hate peeling and cutting it raw (too hard) I always pre cook my squash--just cut the squash in half, remove seeds and bake at 350 for an hour or so. I actually did this a couple days prior to making the recipe which cut down on overall cooking time quite a bit.
photo: left via Rachel Ray, right via Martha Stewart
Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie. I love Shepherds Pie and usually make it with regular potatoes, so I really liked the idea of using the more nutrient rich sweet potato. While I was initially inspired by a Rachel Ray recipe, I actually used my old Shepherds Pie recipe from Martha and substituted the sweet potatoes in place of the regular ones, but still used the spices from Rachel. Confused? I think both recipes look great and either (or a combination of both!) would be delish! I don't know that my kids loved it, but they ate it--so I count it as a win. Note: For the record I used ground turkey and also made it all in a cast iron skillet. Regular Shepherds Pie via Martha Stewart Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie via Rachel Ray.
Photo via Our Best Bites
Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
This recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs Our Best Bites. I often skim this site when looking for something new and usually come up with a winner. Thanks to these ladies I pretty much never buy store bought salad dressing anymore. When perusing their site recently I almost skipped past this recipe because it seemed almost too simple... but it is so, so good. It's simplicity is what I love about it--healthy food served in a straight forward and flavorful combination. Plus I've always wanted to know how to make a good black bean recipe. The apple salsa is genius. I've also found I enjoy this recipe with other homemade salsa's as well--this one being my current favorite. This recipe is a crowd pleaser--my kids love this and I've made it for company who also raved and asked for the recipe. Note: For the chicken I usually do an entire chicken in our slow cooker, and use the left over bones to make homemade chicken stock. I'll have to do a post on this sometime...it's my favorite.
My last final recipe to share was a little adventurous and not very fall-ish at all. Although it was ultimately too spicy for my family, I'm glad I tried it. We had ourselves a good ol' southern Shrimp Boil via Bev Cooks. I don't remember when I first heard about a shrimp boil, but I remember hearing that it's served directly on the table and everyone just grabs and eats with their hands--sign me up! This is yet again a one pot meal--you literally just boil everything in one pot of seasoned water, then drain and serve. Super easy. If you're looking for something different I think it's not always what you eat, but how you eat. In this case dumping your meal in the middle of the table (on newsprint over a plastic tablecloth if you're me) was what made this meal feel more special. Note: OK seriously, way too spicy for my kids. I didn't realize creole seasoning would be so spicy on it's own since the recipe also called for cayenne pepper. I thought just omitting the cayenne would make it not spicy. Next time I'll just make my own creole seasoning and omit anything with heat.
You can find all these recipes on my Pinterest food board. A couple more recipes I have in the queue are Roasted Sage and Pancetta Mushrooms and Baked Gnocci with Bacon, Tomato and Mozzarella. Any fall recipes you've tried and loved lately? Post the link so I can Pin them!