Simply Hash Browns

Who says hash browns have to be for breakfast only? This recipe can accompany several big hitter entrees, as well as any breakfast egg.

You can certainly make this recipe with fresh potatoes and a food box grater or you can use Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns that are very good. For this recipe, you want to get the potatoes that are not flavored.

The best way to have them ready and thawed is to place them in the refrigerator overnight.

Since I am using the Lipton onion soup mix I am not adding fresh onions or any other veggies to keep it simple. You can certainly add whatever you like to the hash browns if you want to change up the texture.

I recommend you cook the potatoes before the rest of the meal and then let them stay warm in the pan while you finish the meal. This will ensure that the potatoes cook all the way through and have the texture you want.

I served these with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce or avocado hollandaise sauce.

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Arugula and Parmesan Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Super simple salad that you can make to accompany any meal. The lemon vinaigrette is bright and tasty and meshes well with many other main dishes. I paired it with a burger and potatoes to put a little green on the plate.  I used pre-shredded Parmesan cheese but you can certainly take a block of the cheese and carve thin slices off for a bolder flavor.

This salad is such a simple flavor that you can actually use as a topping on a sandwich or burger as well. A great trick when serving a salad is to make sure that the lettuce portion is chilled in the refrigerator right before you toss all together.

Salads are great way to add a little layer to your meal and a great way to experiment on flavors. Take a cobb salad, who would think of adding all those flavors together and yet they work. Hove fun with salads, you might surprise yourself.

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MEAL PLAN

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Baked Potato Wedges

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French fries  are the quintessential pairing for a burger, but try changing it up by making baked potato wedges instead.  This was not only a quick recipe it was delicious. The shape of the potatoes and baking them at 425 degrees allowed the thicker parts to be soft and the thinner parts to be crispy, making them perfectly delicious.

Another plus with the cut of these potatoes is that you do not need to serve many of them and you only need 4 potatoes for 8 people.  This recipe is also a great idea to serve with breakfast, especially if there are left overs.

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MEAL PLAN

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Buttered Potatoes

Butter potatoes

Having a hard time deciding what side dish to serve, look not further, this potato recipe will not only be a new family favorite, it won’t make you a slave in the kitchen.

I always love to experiment with potato recipes as there are so many different ways to give a new flavor. This recipe however, is a very classic flavor, butter and I added a little Italian flare to it with Oregano. No matter the ages of your family members, adults and children alike, they will all enjoy this flavor.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can actually change it up tomorrow and turn it into a potato salad.  This is a win-win recipe!

As you can see from the photo, I served it with Grilled Salmon and Roasted Brussel Sprouts. See links to recipes below.

Meal Plan

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts glazed with White Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

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Brussel sprouts are not everyone’s favorites, but I can promise you that this recipe may make you a lover after all. My actual favorite part of this recipe are the loose leaves that end up really crispy and salty and oh so fun to eat.

This is an easy side dish and compliments many meals. Now that the holiday season is coming , there are many ways to experiment with this lovely vegetable and I plan to.  Until then, try this recipe and see what you think.

Meal Plan:

 

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Apple Fennel Cole Slaw Salad

Apple Fennel Salad
Apple Fennel Salad

I have never really made anything with fennel but I was reading through a few recipes and the flavor profile and it sounded very interesting. I am a fan of making all sorts of sides and feel that a salad is usually a very welcoming side for many dishes. Cole slaw is a very refreshing salad and usually has some sort of sweetness in the recipe.  That is where the apple comes into this recipe.

This recipe is quite tasty and I am looking forward to experimenting with it and possibly adding a few additional ingredients to play around with the flavor. This recipe was the first run and it was very good, but I want to make it a little tastier.

If any of you do make the recipe, please give me some feedback and also some ideas on possible additions or changes to the recipe would be very appreciated.

Ideas: I would like to add some actual celery to slaw as well as I enjoy that flavor. Cucumbers are also delicious and may be a great addition to the salad as they are light in flavor but would blend well. Thinly sliced radishes would add a nice tang.

 

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Clementine Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad is that one dish that most restaurants will have on the menu since there are so many ways that you can make it. I was experimenting and happened to have clementines in my fruit bowl and thought that it would be a great addition to my chicken salad. As the seasonal fruits and vegetables change, it’s fun to incorporate the different flavors into dishes that you usually make to give it new flavor profiles. I am sure that I will be making several different flavored chicken salads on my blog in the very near future.

Also with chicken salad, you can serve it as a salad and place it on top of some mixed greens with typical salad toppings (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and a light lemon vinaigrette; or you can serve it on some whole wheat Texas style toast with some home made potato chips (I will make these and blog the recipe at a different time) or you can serve with some tomato slices or a separate side salad.  You can even serve it as an appetizer with some crackers and veggies. No matter how you serve it, it is delicious and quite healthy for you.


INGREDIENTS – Serves 4-6
Per Serving (1 cup)  Calories 316 Fat 10g  Carbs 13g Protein 34g 

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (white and dark meat)
  • 1 cup celery (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup scallions (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 clementine (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a juicy lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I like orange blossom)
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Chop chicken into bite size pieces and throw into a large bowl
  2. Add to the bowl celery, scallions, raisins, pecans and clementine and mix all together
  3. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper and mix very well so that the entire salad is covered
  4. Add the flat leaf parsley at the end and toss all together

Ideas: You can replace the clementines with apples or you can add cranberries instead of raisins or walnuts instead of pecans.  You can also remove the dark meat and only make it with white meat if you prefer.

Roasted Garlic Green Beans

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Green beans don’t look like the most appealing veggies but they can actually be quite tasty with right ingredients and seasonings. Green beans don’t look like the most appealing veggies but they can actually be quite tasty if you make them right. They are also very good for you…they are low in calories and fat and have NO cholesterol. Check out this article for additional health benefits of green beans.

If you follow me, you have heard me say that I love to cook with foods that are versatile…green beans are one of those ingredients that adapt well to the flavors of it’s surroundings. Its an amazing side dish that you can impress with and also ensure healthy eating. Another way that I love to eat them is French style because the bean is thinner, but not as crunchy. In this recipe, I cut the beans diagonally to create the illusion of having more beans to eat.

Another great thing about green beans is eating them as left overs. You can re-heat them or even eat them cold. It’s important not to over cook them to make sure they are still left crunchy.

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Tips
  • Use the roasted garlic by spreading on warm bread
  • Spread on Steak, Chicken or Seafood to top off the meal

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Cheesy Creamed Spinach

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Spinach is absolutely one of the most versatile ingredients and it may be due to the lack of flavor that it has when eaten alone and it will adjust to the flavors that are added. I use spinach in shakes, desserts, salads, breakfast, etc. It also is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. I remember when I was pregnant with my son (1997 – long time ago) and there was no Google, so I relied on a little book my doctor provided me with and it had every month of pregnancy, along with the important foods to eat during those months. Guess which food was repeated most of the time, if not all? Yup, SPINACH! If you have been pregnant, you’ll now that folic acid is very important, especially the last trimester when the baby’s brain is developing the most. I ate so much spinach during both my pregnancies that I think some part of me turned green (LOL). If you go on this site, you will see all the nutritional value in spinach.

Anyway, since spinach is quite boring alone, this recipe makes it taste better than you could have ever imagined. I made the recipe with frozen spinach, because it is easier to always have some handy that way, but you can definitely make this recipe with fresh spinach. Just note that you will have to at least double the fresh amount since the frozen kind already comes wilted. This is also a great dish to make ahead of time and then warm it up or have for left overs. Don’t forget to look at my tips for some other ideas.

 


INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6

*Spinach – 2 bags of frozen spinach (15 ounces – defrosted and drained)
*Vidalia onion – 2 cups, small dice
*Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
*Butter – 2 tablespoons
*Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
*Heavy cream – 1 cup
*Kosher salt – 3 teaspoons
*Pepper – 2 teaspoons
*Onion powder – 1 teaspoon
*Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
*Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon
*Parmesan cheese – 5 ounces, grated (I used Sargento)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  • In a large non-stick saute pan on medium high heat, add the butter, oil and onion and let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the onion is translucent
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • Add the spinach and mix well with the onion and garlic mixture
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and nutmeg and mix well
  • Let the mixture reduced for about 3-4 minutes then add the Parmesan cheese; the cheese will melt while you stir it in
  • ENJOY! 

Tips: You can add this mixture to an empanada dough and baked them; you can add some shiitake mushrooms and completely up the taste profile