Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken

bbq beer chicken

Last week, I worked close to 12-hour days Monday-Thursday, so cooking was the last thing I wanted to do when I got home!  I needed some new Crock Pot recipes to try, and this recipe from Jessica over at How Sweet it Is blog looked so delicious, I couldn’t wait to try it! How nice to throw a bunch of stuff into the Crock Pot and walk through the door after work to a meal ready to eat!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 8-12 oz of beer
  • 32 oz of Barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

bbq beer chicken

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker…

bbq beer chicken

…then mix together remaining ingredients and poor the mixture over chicken.

bbq beer chicken

Cover and cook for 8 hours on low, and when it is finished, it shall look like this:

bbq beer chicken

You could certainly eat the chicken breasts whole, but I shredded most of it up and put it on a bun for a nice sandwich.

bbq beer chicken bbq beer chicken

Mister Spice and I ate this up for two nights.  It was moist and tasty, and earns 4 out of 5 herbs.

bbq beer chicken

Pinit
Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 8-12 oz of beer
  • 32 oz of Barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and pour mixture over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Balsamic Pulled Pork Sammy

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Pinit

I love barbeque.  Do you love barbeque?  I’ve never met a pulled pork bbq sammy I didn’t like.  In my freezer, I had a 2.5 lb pork shoulder to use up, so I thawed it out and decided to throw it in my Crock Pot before I left for work.

Instead of a typical barbeque sauce, I opted for something similar to the Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin I made last fall.  I loved the sweet, tangy flavor of that tenderloin, so I wanted to see how it would work in the Crock Pot.  However, I will say that I think this would have been much better with a regular chuck roast, so that is what I will include in the recipe ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • NOT PICTURED:  Buns  🙂

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Place roast in slow cooker, then combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Cover roast with sauce, then cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Balsamic Pulled Pork

After a long day’s work, I arrived home to a deliciously sweet aroma.  However, the pork that I shredded was pretty dry, and the sauce didn’t really seem to do its magic.  However, I tasted a bite and it was decently flavorful from the sauce.  I decided to add some barbeque sauce from a bottle we had in the refrigerator just to give it a little more flavor and moisture.

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Balsamic Pulled Pork

This recipe only earns 3/5 herbs for convenience and taste, but I honestly think if this were done with a chuck roast it would be a lot more moist.  I still enjoyed it alongside a spinach salad, and I even ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Any tips for cooking pork shoulders or pork roasts in the slow cooker and keeping them moist?

Balsamic Pulled Pork

Pinit

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Pinit

I am nearly thirty-years-old, and I had never truly even heard of such thing as “spaghetti squash” until the last year or so. I’ve never really liked other kinds of squash (summer squash, butternut, etc)., but after several friends insisted that spaghetti squash “noodles” were just as good as regular spaghetti noodles, I decided to give it a try. I was a little overwhelmed by all the different ways to fix spaghetti squash, but I decided to whip up a marinara sauce, make some turkey meatballs, and see how it all turned out.

Spaghetti Squash “Noodles” Recipe Ingredients

  • one large spaghetti squash

Marinara Sauce

  • three large cans of Hunts crushed tomatoes (I chose the cans with basil for extra flavor)
  • three cloves minced garlic (or three large tablespoons)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Basil
  • 2 tbsp Oregano
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Turkey Meatball Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey (I used 99% lean and it was a little too lean; 85% would be much better)
  • 1 raw egg white
  • 1/2 cup Italian Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp dried Parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground thyme, optional

Spaghetti Squash

Cut squash in half, length-wise.

Spaghetti Squash

Reminds you of a pumpkin, huh?  In pumpkin fashion, remove seeds and pulp.  I used my hands, but next time I do believe I will use the scraper I use on my pumpkins at Halloween because I didn’t feel like I scraped it enough.

Spaghetti Squash

See?  Still a little too pulpy.  Anyway, lay cut side down on greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash

In the meantime, prepare marinara by heating olive oil in a medium sauce pan.  Place garlic and herbs in hot oil and stir for about a minute.

marinara sauce

Add crushed tomatoes, pepper, and sugar, stirring well.

marinara sauce

Cover and simmer on low for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  After two hours, add grated Parmesan.  At this point, I gave the sauce a taste, and felt it needed something.  I added some of my trusty Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning until I was satisfied, but you could add some salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well and let rest while you prepare meatballs.

marinara sauce marinara sauce

For meatballs, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

turkey meatballs

turkey meatballs

Mix well with your hands until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.  Roll into golf-sized balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes OR at 375 for 30 minutes as I did since I was kind of in a hurry at this point.

turkey meatballs

While meatballs are baking, turn spaghetti squash over and begin to scrape with a fork.  I was amazed at how easily the “noodles” came out!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

It took a while to scrape both halves out into a large bowl, but I was able to get about 6-8 cups of noodles out.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

When I first tasted the squash alone, I was a little leery of pretending it was actual spaghetti.  But with some sauce and a dusting of Parmesan, I really didn’t notice much difference!  I happily ate a large plateful.  The turkey meatballs were flavorful but a little dry due to the extreme leanness of the meat.  However, overall, Mister Spice and I give this 3.5 out of 5 herbs.  It was a lot of work, but it was nice knowing we were eating a very healthy, flavorful meal.

Spaghetti Squash

Pinit

Tasty Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties

Pinit

In my house growing up, we NEVER ate salmon patties like some of my friends did, mainly because it just didn’t appeal to us.  We never really ate fish, period.  Only in my adulthood did I begin to appreciate seafood, and while Mister Spice eats tuna nearly everyday for lunch, I’ve yet to prepare anything but a tuna steak (which we loved, by the way).  But tuna is one of the few fish I can tolerate, and it’s just so good for you, so I’ve been trying to find ways to fix it.  These tuna patties are simple, fast, and tasty, and could even be put on a bun and served as a tuna burger.

Recipe Ingredients

  • about 15 oz of tuna packed in water
  • 1 cup white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 raw egg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Tuna Patties

Mix all ingredients except for butter, olive oil, and egg in a bowl.  Give the mixture a taste and add more seasonings if necessary before adding egg.  Mix thoroughly.

Tuna Patties

In a non-stick skillet, heat oil and butter on medium heat.

Tuna Patties

Form mixture into patties; I chose to make four pretty thick patties (actually, I made five but the fifth didn’t make it to the photo).  Place on skillet and cook, on medium to medium-high, for about 3-4 minutes per side.

Tuna Patties

These patties were really wanting to fall apart, so in the future I might add some more egg and/or bread.  I squirted some ketchup on mine and loved every bite!  Perfect balance of flavors, and I loved the crisp on the outside with the soft inside.  I will definitely be making these again!  I give these 5/5 herbs.

Tuna Patties

Pinit

Meaty Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

Pinit

If you’re familiar with our blog, you can probably tell that we like our spaghetti around here.  In fact, I believe Mrs. Herb is working on a Spaghetti Recipe Comparison post, so I won’t point out all of our other spaghetti posts.  I will say, though, that I’ve only posted one baked spaghetti recipe, Creamy Baked Spaghetti, and this recipe is pretty similar.  However, this one leaves out the cream cheese and is much meatier and, in my opinion, more flavorful.

Mr. and Mrs. Herb and some more friends of mine were over for a game night, and I doubled the typical recipe to make sure I had enough to feed three hungry men!  That said, keep in mind the recipe ingredients are double the regular portion; you could probably cut everything in half and comfortably feed 4 people.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans Hunts tomato sauce
  • around 24 oz spaghetti noodles (I used whole wheat here)
  • about 4 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasonings (or seasonings of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
  • diced onion, optional (I didn’t use onion because Mrs. Herb doesn’t like it)

Baked Spaghetti Ingredients

In a large sauce pan, brown beef; drain, and add all seasonings, garlic, sauce, and tomatoes.

Baked Spaghetti Baked Spaghetti Baked Spaghetti

Let sauce simmer on low.  In the meantime, cook noodles and rinse well in cold water.

Baked Spaghetti

Spoon some of the sauce mixture into a large lasagna pan (a regular 9×13 will handle a regular portion, but not the double portion of this recipe)!

Baked Spaghetti

Next, either add the noodles to the saucepan, or transfer noodles and sauce into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Baked Spaghetti

Spread evenly into pan.

Baked Spaghetti

Top with all of the mozzarella cheese, and ignore the pleading gaze of the cat sitting on the bar stool.

Baked Spaghetti

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.  You’ll find it is very easy to cut into pieces, and extremely tasty!  That’s why I give this recipe 4/5 herbs.  Happy eating!

Baked Spaghetti

Pinit

 

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Pizza

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Pizza

Pinit

 

Yesterday, Mister Spice and I were out of school (work) due to snow. Snow days are lovely, but it kind of threw off my plans to have leftovers for dinner. Why, you ask? Well, it just seemed like with a whole snow day ahead of me, I could come up with something better than the leftovers we had been working on since Monday.

I decided to use up some stuff in the fridge and freezer that were about to go bad, and I only made a quick trip to the store to get one thing: a rotisserie chicken. I removed the skin and shredded it, saving some for recipes later this week. We had been talking about pizza, but we’ve also tried to eat light this week, so I came up with a healthy, tasty concoction I am deeming “Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Pizza”.  It is quite different than our Caribbean Jerk Chicken Pizza, and it goes a little something like this:

Recipe Ingredients

  • one pre-made pizza crust
  • 2 cups spinach, raw
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup Feta cheese
  • 1 cup bacon bits (this is totally optional, but I had some cooked bacon leftover from breakfast)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (or one garlic clove, minced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Italian seasoning of your choice (sadly, I was out of oregano and basil, but I chopped up some fresh parsley from my mother-in-law’s garden)
  • Shredded mozzarella is pictured, but I didn’t use any

ingredients

I love Boboli pre-made pizza crusts.  Not too thick or thin.  I followed the package instructions and heated the oven to 450.  In the meantime, wilt your spinach in a non-stick skillet, tossing the garlic in towards the end.  Remember, the spinach will cook down quickly.  I wish I had more to add, but this was all I had left!

spinach and garlic

spinach and garlic

Then, slice or chop the grape tomatoes and begin topping your pizza!  Start by brushing crust with olive oil, then add toppings.  Be sure to admire how pretty it is along the way.

step 1

step 2

step 4

step 5

step 6

Place in oven directly on rack for about 10 minutes.  If you don’t want your chicken to crisp up, cover with foil for the first 5 minutes.  After 10 minutes, the crust was crisp, and the toppings were nice and melty.

step 7

Slice up that pie and enjoy!  Mister Spice and I give this recipe 4/5 herbs.  I missed the sauciness of the Caribbean Jerk Pizza, but this was light, fresh, and flavorful.

Spinach, Feta, and Tomato Pizza

IMG_0155 (640x480)

Pinit

 

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Pinit

Grab your slow cooker and prepare for some delicious, cheesy comfort food!

So here it is, March 5th, and we are potentially getting ready to see the most snow we’ve seen all winter here via Winter Storm Saturn! I must say, I’m ready for spring and warm weather, but I do loooooove me some snow, so I’m actually quite excited!

We’ve been wanting to make this crock pot macaroni for a while now, and we thought that the yucky weather today presented the perfect opportunity for one of America’s favorite comfort foods. We weren’t planning on photographing this recipe, but it was SO good that we knew we had to share it with you! Good thing we were able to snap a picture before we ate it all!

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni (can use shells/whatever pasta you want)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter

Recipe directions

Put all ingredients together in the crock pot, cover, and heat on high for 45 minutes. Stir everything well, and let it cook on low for about 2-3 hours.

This. Is. Delicious.

Herb and I may or may not have eaten the entire crock pot full of macaroni…. in one evening….

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Pinit

We give this recipe 4.5/5 herbs! Cheesy, gooey, goodness!

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni (can use shells/whatever pasta you want)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients together in the crock pot, cover, and heat on high for 45 minutes. Stir everything well, and let it cook on low for about 2-3 hours.

 

Maple Glazed Salmon

Maple Glazed Baked Salmon Recipe

Pinit

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to surprise Mr. Herb with a home-cooked candlelit dinner at home. We actually celebrated a couple of days before Valentine’s Day, because we left immediately after work on February 14th to spend the weekend in Charleston, stopping along the way to visit Mr. Herb’s wonderful sister and brother-in-law!

Anyway, I told Mr. Herb that I had something planned one night, but didn’t reveal what it was. His instructions were to call me as soon as he got off work and I would tell him where to go! My plan was to fix a meal of some of his favorite foods. We both love salmon, but we don’t cook it very often because it’s so much more expensive per pound than our friend, the chicken! So this was a perfect chance to mix things up and cook some salmon!

I also knew that I wanted to make cornbread, even though I ended up cheating due to time constraints and making it from the packet. See, Herb absolutely loves cornbread. As a child, he even asked for cornbread one year for his birthday instead of a cake! Now that’s love!

I guess I’ll be breaking the Southern girl stereotype with this confession: I’ve never made cornbread before. Not even from a packet! I like cornbread okay, but it’s just never something that I would choose over rolls, biscuits, breadsticks, etc. Now that we’re married, I feel like it’s only fair for me to learn to make cornbread since it’s one of Herb’s favorite things! Prepare for future posts on experimenting with cornbread! 🙂

But this post isn’t about cornbread. It’s about salmon! And a very sweet and savory salmon at that!

Maple Glazed Salmon

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I didn’t have any, so I used salt + garlic powder)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon (I used 2 salmon filets)

Ingredients for maple glazed baked salmon recipe

Recipe Directions:

Mix together all ingredients but the salmon in a small bowl.

Maple Glazed Baked Salmon Recipe

Place salmon in a shallow baking dish and pour the maple mixture over top. Cover the dish and let salmon marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes, turning once about halfway through.

Maple Glazed Baked Salmon Recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Maple Glazed Baked Salmon Recipe

I wanted to get a picture of the salmon on a plate with the other yummy surprise dishes, but Herb came home a few minutes earlier than expected! I had literally just taken the salmon out of the oven and snapped a picture when I heard the door!

Anyway, Herb enjoyed our surprise candlelight dinner and really liked the salmon, and of course, the cornbread!

We give this recipe 4/5 herbs! The recipe was simple, and the salmon was full of sweet and savory flavor!

Maple Glazed Salmon
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • •1/4 cup maple syrup
  • •2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • •1 clove garlic, minced
  • •1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I didn’t have any, so I used salt + garlic powder)
  • •1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • •1 pound salmon (I used 2 salmon filets)
Instructions
  1. Mix together all ingredients but the salmon in a small bowl.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow baking dish and pour the maple mixture over top. Cover the dish and let salmon marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes, turning once about halfway through.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

 

Baked “Fried” Chicken

Baked Fried Chicken

Pinit

Sometimes, I just crave a big piece of fried chicken.  I rarely fried chicken, but I think it’s a wonderful (albeit fattening) creation.  Amy, over at Our Life Uncommon blog, posted this recipe for baked chicken breasts that mimic the “fried” effect, so I decided to give it a try!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts (tenderloins would be great to use)
  • half a stick of butter
  • enough milk to cover chicken in a bowl to soak (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp Season All
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika

baked fried chicken ingredients

Soak chicken in milk for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix seasonings together in a shallow dish and pre-heat oven to 400.  While oven warms, melt butter in 9×13 baking dish.  Then, take chicken pieces out of milk and coat in seasonings.

baked fried chicken baked fried chicken

Place chicken in buttered 9×13.

baked fried chicken

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn breasts over and bake for 20 more minutes.

baked fried chicken

Baked Fried Chicken

Pinit

 
I was pretty excited about this chicken, but it didn’t quite have the crisp that I thought it would. It had great flavor, though, and was very moist. I drizzled mine with honey and served it with some quinoa and steamed broccoli. Overall, I give this recipe 3/5 herbs.

Baked Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

Pinit

Last week I did a massive freezer clean-out, and realized that I had enough pork chops to feed an army. Pork chops aren’t my favorite thing to fix, and I get tired of doing the same thing with them. So, I found a recipe posted by Miriam on grouprecipes.com that looked super easy and fairly healthy.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless pork chops
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vinegar (apple cider or white)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits and some of the juice
  • salt and pepper

pork chops ingredients

First, sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Then heat in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.  They should be just browned.  Transfer them into a 9×9 baking dish.

pork chops

pork chops

pork chops

pork chops

Mix together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and vinegar, then pour over chops.

sweet and sour pork

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, take foil off, and add pineapple tidbits and juice.

sweet and sour pork chops

Cook, uncovered, for about 15 more minutes.

sweet and sour pork chops

Serve over rice or, in my case, quinoa.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

These were so simple to fix.  They were moist and tasty, though the sauce didn’t thicken up like I thought it would.  Overall, though, I give this recipe 4/5 herbs!

 

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