Almost Homemade Turkey Italian Sausage with Chunky Sauce

To me almost homemade means taking pre-made items from the store and making a delicious home cooked meal. Many times over I have gotten items free with my coupons and will use them to make delicious meals. 

Ingredients for 2 Italian Sausages

1/2 package Bird’s Eye peppers and onions (I picked out the onions since I hate them)

2 Jennie O I Turkey Italian Sausage 

1 cup pasta sauce

1/2 package fresh sliced mushrooms

If you want to make the whole package of sausages then simply double the recipe! 

I thawed out the peppers and onions before hand to speed up the cooking time. I browned the sausages in a pan before placing them in a glass baking dish. I put the mushrooms, peppers and onions, and pasta sauce on top of the sausages.

Sausage, vegetables, and sauce.

Sausage, vegetables, and sauce.

I baked at 350 degrees until the sausages were cooked through, making sure to check occasionally to stir the veggies and sauce so the veggies didn’t get dried out. Add more sauce if needed to keep everything juicy and tender. 

Finished and ready to eat!

Finished and ready to eat!

After they were done I simply put them on a plate to eat as and entree. However you can cut them put and pour over noodles, spaghetti squash, zucchini “noodles” etc.

Tips:

#1 You can use fresh peppers if you wish or any vegetables you want/have on hand. I like to use things already in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to decrease costs. 

#2 You can use any Italian sausage you want if you do not like turkey. 

#3 I am sorry that I don’t have appropriate cook times but the 3 times I have made this it has taken different amounts of time. I simply check and stir everything up until it is fully cooked.

 

Almost Homemade Roast Beef Sandwiches

My sister once brought up almost homemade when I was using a frozen meal and jazzing it up to serve at a family reunion. One night I was wanting some hot roast beef sandwiches like these: Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. However I didn’t have any roast cooking in the crock pot but then I came up with an idea.

Ingredients

1 package Oscar Mayer sliced roast beef lunch meat

1 package fresh mushrooms

1 sliced onion, I used about half an onion

1 package onion soup mix

sliced provolone cheese

hoagie rolls

Onion soup mix

Onion soup mix

Fix the envelope of onion soup mix as directed then add half of that to a skillet then add the roast beef.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

This allows the roast beef to heat up without drying it out and it gives it some flavor. While the beef heats up place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet with butter and place the onions in another skillet with butter.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

Once the onions were perfectly caramelized and the mushrooms sauteed I mixed them together.

mushrooms and onions.

mushrooms and onions.

I used the skillet that held the onions and heated it back up adding a bit more butter. I the laid the sliced rolls face down and slightly toasted them once at a time till all were crispy and hot.

After that it was simply a matter of arranging the sandwiches with juicy layers of meat, onions and mushrooms, and cheese on top of those crispy rolls. I split the remaining onion soup mix into small bowls to use as a dip.

Almost Homemade Roast Beef

ready to eat!

I call this almost homemade since I bought the meat instead of cooking my own. They turned out delicious, not as good as with homemade roast beef, but still tasty and they satisfied my cravings! These cooked in less then thirty minutes

Tips:

#1 you can add anything you want to those sandwiches like sauteed green bell peppers or anything else your mind can come up with.

#2 You can use any lunch meat you want from ham to turkey to chicken breast…the possibilities are endless! I may try ham with sharp cheddar cheese next time I bet it will be just as delicious!

I also like this because it lets me use up the odds and ends in the fridge. All I had to buy was the bread since I had gotten the meat on sale and the mushrooms and onions were starting to get old….I love using up things on hand instead of tossing money in the trash by wasting food.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Oh how I missed blogging! I have had multiple health issues in the past month which have left me feeling drained and listless after work. But I have several recipes in the hold waiting for posts!

My boyfriend loves meat, potatoes, white bread, miracle whip, processed cheese…well any process foods! We differ in our eating since I have dietary restrictions (limited red meat, no caffeine, limited sodas, no artificial sweeteners, limited processed foods…etc.) so I started looking up easy meals we could both eat. I was pleased to find a recipe for homemade hamburger helper of the cheeseburger variety that was sure to please us both!

Ingredients:
1lb lean ground beef (I used 97/3 since I have to have limited fatty red meats)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

I started by cooking the hamburger and as it was cooking I mixed up the seasonings and corn starch in a small bowl and set it aside; while this was all going on I also boiled the hot water. Once the meat was cooked I rinsed it off in hot water to get rid of any leftover fat. Then I placed the meat back into the pot and added the seasonings, water, corn starch, hot water, skim  milk, and pasta then bring to a boil.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Cooking.

Cooking.

Once the pasta is to the desired cooked amount turn off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese. Let stand 5 minutes (or more) to thicken the sauce before serving.

Add cheese

Add cheese

Finished product

Finished product

This was just as quick and easy as making the disgusting boxed mix but way more healthy! There were no weird ingredients or preservatives and bonus my boyfriend (and daughter) loved it just as much, if not more, then the boxed stuff!

Tips

#1 I added 2 cups cheese because after one cup I tasted it and wanted a cheesier flavor but then again I love cheese lol.

#2 You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or pork in place of the beef depending on your preferences.

Enjoy!

Happy Pinning!

 

Crock Pot Salisbury Steak

My boyfriend loves the frozen Salisbury steaks and I find them disgusting. I read the ingredients and all I saw was water, salt, salt, MSG, preservatives, and salt lol. So I found a tasty recipe for my trusty crock pot and they looked so good (I couldn’t sample since I am not allowed to have ground beef).

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 milk

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablesppons vegetable oil

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 packet dry au jus mix

3/4 water

Salisbury Steak Ingredients.

Salisbury Steak Ingredients.

In a large bowl mix the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, and milk then form into patties, should make 8. Heat oil in a large pan then dredge the patties in the flour to lightly coat them then place them into the pan to brown both sides.

Patties frying.

Patties frying.

Place patties in a crock pot and stack them like a pyramid.

Patties in the crock pot.

Patties in the crock pot.

Mix cream of chicken soup, au jus mix, and water then pour over the patties in the crock pot.

ready to cook!

ready to cook!

Cook low for four or five hours until ground beef is well done! They cooked up very nicely and my boyfriend said they were so tasty, flavorful and said he liked them better then the frozen ones!

 

Tips:

#1 The store I went to didn’t have au jus mix so I used the slow cooker french dip mix and it worked out well.

#2 I would recommend using 93% or higher ground beef if you don’t like a lot of fat. I used 85/15% and the sauce had quite a bit of fat so I had to keep mixing it or the fat would separate.

#3 You can use any ground meat you want. I cant have red meat (doesn’t agree with my system) so I made myself a ground turkey patty (it’s the pale patty in the photo). It tasted wonderful!

I love this recipe and can’t wait to make it again!

 

Happy Pinning!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have said it before and I will say it again….I hate wasting things and will reuse anything if it is possible. So once again I had a rotisserie chicken for dinner (this was made awhile back) and I saved the leftovers for soup!

Ingredients

Chicken still on the bone (could be leftover chicken or bone in split chicken breast or a whole chicken)

1 bag frozen egg noodles

1 bag frozen peas and carrots

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

First I boiled the chicken all day until I had the meat slipping off the bones and a flavorful stock.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

 

I then carefully poured the stock back into the pan and put it on to boil while I de-boned the chicken; putting aside the meat and tossing the bones.

 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Once the stock was boiling I added the frozen egg noodles and the bay leaf along with seasoning it to taste.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Once the egg noodles were partly done I added the frozen peas and carrots to the broth and let it simmer. Finally I added the chicken and let it simmer a bit longer to heat up the chicken pieces.

Finished soup

Finished soup

Once the soup was done I turned off the burner and covered it up to keep warm while I baked some bread for dinner! I made these yummy garlic knots I found at the grocery store but next time I will make the 1 hour dinner rolls with a recipe I found!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Hope you like it! Happy Pinning!!

Smothered Chicken Breasts

I wrote a post for a crock pot recipe for round steak and gravy, which I thought was amazingly delicious, and one day I wanted some but didn’t have any steak. So I decided to try chicken breasts in the same homemade gravy and wow was I amazed!

Ingredients

3-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 package onion soup mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup water (the old one called for 1/4 but I upped it for more gravy to cover the thicker chicken breasts)

 

I mixed the water and onion soup mix in the bottom of the crock pot before stirring in the cream of mushroom soup.

Gravy all mixed up and ready!

Gravy all mixed up and ready!

Then I added the chicken breasts and rolled them over a few times to make sure they were well covered.

Chicken cooking in the gravy.

Chicken cooking in the gravy.

I then set the crock pot to cook for 8 hours but you can set it for what works best for your time limit. After they were done I served them with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Dinner!!

Dinner!!

These were the most tender, moist, and delicious chicken I have had in a long time! They were so tender you could cut them with a fork! I love how easy the crock pot is and this “homemade” gravy is so easy and soooo delicious!!

 

Happy Pinning!

Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

Now the title of this post is rather misleading because I am not talking about eating enchiladas or reheating them the day after. I am talking about how to make chicken enchiladas from leftovers. By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you should know I love to reuse everything because it saves me time and money. One night I was very tired and didn’t feel like cooking nor did I want takeout so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken from a local grocery store. I made sides for it that night (instant potatoes and steamed veggies) and after dinner my boyfriend wanted to toss the chicken remains and I refused to let him.

I used:

Enchilada ingriedients

Enchilada ingriedients

The next day I put the chicken carcass into a pot of water and boiled it until the meat was falling off the bones.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

 After the chicken was done I carefully separated the cooked chicken from the stock, I placed the strainer over a pot and drained the liquid into the pot. 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

Before I started making the enchiladas I took the stock and froze it for later use….I hate wasting anything including homemade stock! I then took the tortillas and made them like any other enchiladas I added a bit of chicken, a bit of cheese, and some enchilada sauce (I used the red sauce). I then lined them all up in a pan and topped with more enchilada sauce and more cheese before baking them at 350 degrees until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

Finished product

Finished product

 

They turned out so wonderful! Tender meaty chicken rolled up with bubbly cheese and tasty sauce….I love them so much!

Tips from me:

#1 You can use any leftover chicken or you can use fresh chicken breasts/whole chicken…whatever you like. A few days ago (I made these months ago) I made salsa chicken (just a jar of salsa in a crockpot with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts) for chicken tacos/taco salad. The next day I took those leftovers and made enchiladas with them I just put sauce on the outside since the inside chicken already had salsa. They turned out sooo good too…so any chicken will do!

#2 You don’t have to use flour tortillas. You can use whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas, or gluten free…whatever you want!

Later I used the homemade stock to make chicken noodle soup. So a $5 rotisserie chicken made 3 meals for me and two of them were just out the remains that most people toss! The only think I tossed from that chicken was the bones! So whenever you have remains of any meal instead of tossing them think about how you could possibly reuse it to stretch your budget further!

Happy Pinning!!

 

Hot Roast Beef Dip Sandwiches

Last night my boyfriend and I finished up moving his things to either my home or the storage shed we rented. I knew at the end I would be to tired to cook so I put a roast in the crock pot for dinner that night. However I was really tired and didn’t even want to make the proper sides for the roast…you know potatoes and veggies. So I put the roast in the fridge and made some quick (i.e. frozen meals) for dinner. So tonight I pulled the roast out and proceeded to make some hot roast beef sandwiches with onion dip.

The inspiration pin: http://bakingbites.com/2008/02/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwich/

Now since the roast was already cooked and since I didn’t have condensed french onion soup I used the pin for inspiration only.

Ingredients:

Roast, onions, mushrooms, French rolls, and powdered onion soup mix.

Roast, onions, mushrooms, French rolls, and powdered onion soup mix.

I sliced the onions and combined them with butter in a sauce pan to caramelize them nicely. I did the same thing with the sliced mushrooms so they would sautee nicely in their own pan.

Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and Onions

While these were cooking I put some water in the bowl containing the roast and heated it up in the microwave. Once it was heated up I shredded it and put it aside for later. All the while I was stirring the contents of both pans so nothing would burn then I cooked the onion soup up according to the package directions.

Bread ready to cook

Bread ready to cook (finished onion soup mix in the back.)

I sliced up several french steak rolls and put them in the oven set to 250 degrees and cooked them for 10 minutes, or until crisp. You could heat them up for 20 seconds in the microwave but they turn out soft and chewy…so it’s all about your preferences…I prefer crisp, crusty bread for my dip sandwiches. After everything is cooked and ready to go you can either assemble the sandwiches or serve them smorgasbord style and let everyone make theirs how they like it. I put the cooked ingredients on the table and let my family pile them up how they like it.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

These were some of the most tasty, tender, and delicious roast beef sandwiches I have ever made. I used to use the drippings of the roast as my dip and I never considered using onion soup mix before. The pin I found used condensed onion soup but I didn’t have that, and as you know I am a fan of using or reusing what you have on hand, but I had powdered onion soup mix. I thought it tasted really, really delicious! I will definitely be using this dip from now on instead of using the roast drippings…or maybe one day I will tinker with using both to get some really flavorful dip!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Happy Pinning!

Crock Pot Round Steak and Gravy

I am sure I have said this before but I LOVE my crock pot. I just love putting ingredients in, turning it on, and leaving for work so when I get home dinner is ready to be served! So I am always looking for new recipes to use so I can expand my crock pot horizons! I bought some eye of round steaks at a local store sale ($1.90 for 2 steaks! Amazing!!) and wanted to do more then just pan frying them up. So off to Pinterest search I went and I came up with this:

The Pin:

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/beef/crock-pot-round-steak-gravy.html#.UE3G0Kia0FA.pinterest

Ingredients:

Round steak (or eye of round like I used)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 packet Lipton onion soup mix

1/4 cup water

All you do it place the steak in the crock pot and add the soup, water, and onion soup mix on top of it and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

After this is done cooking you can put these steaks on top of pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes….or you can eat them as is! I cooked tri-color rotini pasta and placed a steak on top of the noodles and poured some of the gravy on top. Yummy!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Tips from me:

#1 Before I added the onion soup mix I blended it with the water before pouring it over the steaks and mushroom soup.

#2 Right when they were done cooking, while I was baking the biscuits for dinner, I sliced up some mushrooms and onions (I left them in rings). I heated up a frying pan and added a small bit of butter and when ready I added the onions and let them slowly caramelize. When the onions were half cooked I added a little more butter and added the mushrooms and cooked until done! When I plated dinner I put the rotini on bottom, added the steak, poured a bit of gravy on top, and then top it all with a healthy dollop of the onions and mushrooms.

Onions and mushrooms added.

Onions and mushrooms added.

It turned out beautifully and tasted so yummy! Even my picky daughter said she loved them! She never liked mushrooms before so while cooking I had her help me caramelize the onions and mushrooms so when plating the food she said she wanted some. She has never cleaned her plate up so fast! She said she wants it more often so after I post this I am off to the store to get some more! I loved how quick and easy this dinner was (sometimes crock pot meals require more work once the entree is done) and the flavors….just amazing! Enjoy!!

Happy Pinning!!!

Healthy Crock Pot Meatballs

I love my crock pot because there is nothing better then coming home at the end of the day and dinner is done! You just add ingredients, set the time, and it takes care of the rest! Love it! So I am ALWAYS on the hunt for new recipes for my crock pot. I used to just use it to cook roast. stews, and cream of mushroom chicken but other then that I had no idea what to do. Now thanks to Pinterest I can find TONS of recipes and I can use my much loved crock pot more! I found this yummy sounding meatball recipe and I just had to make it! Meatballs are so versatile! You can make sandwiches with the, put them on noodles for spaghetti, eat alone, or put on spaghetti squash!

The Pin:

http://glow.beautygala.com/healthy-crock-pot-meatball-recipe/

Ingredients:

1lb ground turkey (you can use any ground meat chicken, pork, or cow)

1 egg

1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 Parmesan cheese

4 garlic cloves

2 28oz crushed tomatoes

Italian seasoning

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

Ingredients

Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, and 2 cloves chopped garlic in a bowl. Mix the ingredients with your hands (do not over mix because it will  make the meatballs tough). Then create (with your hands) meatballs the size of a tablespoon, you can vary the size depending on your taste.

Meat mixture ready to form.

Meat mixture ready to form.

In the crock pot place the two cans of crushed tomatoes and the 2 bay leaves then add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Add the meatballs on top of the tomato mixture then add the other 2 garlic cloves, you can mince them if you want.

Tomatoes, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning.

Tomatoes, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning.

Cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Ready to cook.

Ready to cook.

All done and looking so yummy!

All done and looking so yummy!

 

 

Tips from me:

#1 I cooked these on high for 4 and half hours and it was delicious but next time I will cook on low for the 8-10 hours. By letting it simmer longer it will give the flavors longer to mingle and should taste amazing.

You can serve these on spaghetti noodles, on a sandwich, brown rice, or over vegetables like spaghetti squash or zucchini. I love spaghetti squash so I had mine this way and it was so yummy! I love how these turned out they were so light, tender, and flavorful these will become a staple in my family from now on! Plus the ingredients are so cheap and made of things I already have in my pantry and freezer. You should know by now I am all about using what you have on hand and things you can get on sale like the ground turkey! Since I bought the bread crumbs for this recipe alone so I know for a fact I will be making it again, and again until these are gone lol!

Enjoy and Happy Pinning!