Sheet Pan Cauliflower Gnocchi & Roasted Vegetables

It’s safe to say that I may be hooked on sheet pan dinners after successfully making three of them. I finally made the gnocchi one I mentioned in the teriyaki chicken post from a few months ago and it was just as good as that one and as the rice and beans one. While the other two I made on a Sunday afternoon for lunch/dinner for the week, this one I made in under an hour after getting home from work one day. Being able to make dinner during the week that quick is always a good thing!

On a large sheet pan covered with aluminum foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray I combined a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi (I broke apart any large clumps and removed any ice and/or freezer burn from the gnocchi), a chopped red and orange pepper, chopped onion, and a pint of grape tomatoes. I then drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper, salt and fresh pepper. While the recipe had specific amounts of each spice I opted to sprinkle everything evenly with each and then gave it a good toss and placed the pan it in a 425 F preheated oven.

And after about 30 minutes dinner was ready.

I am not going to lie, I was shocked by how good this tasted. I had my doubts about the frozen gnocchi but all of that faded after the first bite. And the caramelized peppers added just the right amount of sweetness to the dish as well. All of the spices and ingredients worked so well together. This is one recipe that will be on repeat.

 

Sheet Pan Cauliflower Gnocchi & Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

1 12oz. bag of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi*

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder**

1/2 teaspoon salt**

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper**

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano**

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 pinch crushed red pepper

 

*Instead of frozen cauliflower gnocchi you could also use a 16oz. package of uncooked potato gnocchi. If using unfrozen gnocchi, roasting time is reduced to 20 to 25 minutes. If using frozen gnocchi, there is no need to thaw it before using. Just make sure the gnocchi is not clumped together and remove any large pieces of ice and/or freezer burn.

**As I mentioned, I didn’t measure out my spices, I sprinkled the gnocchi and vegetables evenly with each.

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.

Spread the gnocchi, tomatoes, peppers and onions on the sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the seasonings over everything and toss together.

Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bursting and the peppers are soft and caramelized.

Serve immediately.

Recipe slightly modified from How Sweet Eats

Sheet Pan Cuban Rice and Beans

I just might be on a sheet pan cooking kick. I recently shared a recipe for a Teriyaki Barbecue Pineapple Chicken dish and today I am sharing with you a rice and beans dish. I would have never thought I would make rice and beans in the oven on a sheet pan, but, after coming across the recipe and figuring it was worth trying I may try making some other rice dishes this way. I usually make rice the “normal” way, in a pot with water. And while it’s always edible there are times that I miss the moment when I should lower the heat and cover the pot and my rice comes out a little crispy on the bottom, or vice versa, I cover and lower it too soon and I end up with rice that has one too many clumps. I wouldn’t say it’s mushy by any means though. But, my first time using this method turn out rice that was pretty perfect.

I began by combining two sliced bell peppers (red and green), a sliced yellow onion, and 3 sliced garlic cloves with olive oil and salt in medium bowl. After tossing everything together I transferred the vegetables to a sheet pan I sprayed with cooking spray. I roasted the vegetables in a 400 F preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes.

While the vegetables were in the oven I combined rice, 2 cans of rinsed black beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt and 2 1/2 cups of water in a medium bowl. Don’t worry, it’s not a lot of water and if you use a large enough sheet pan it will not spill over.

After removing the pan from the oven, I stirred the vegetables and then carefully poured the rice mixture to the pan. I gave everything a few good stirs using a spoon and tongs. I covered the pan with aluminum foil and returned it to the oven for 30 minutes.

I let the pan stand for five minutes after removing it from the oven and then removed the aluminum foil and fluffed the rice with a fork. This was definitely one of the easiest and foolproof ways that I have made rice and beans. The end result was flavorful and the rice was the perfect texture and consistency.

Sheet Pan Cuban Rice and Beans

Ingredients:

2 bell peppers, any colors cut into thin strips

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the peppers, onion and garlic in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 13 – 15 minutes, until softened. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the vegetables.

In another medium bowl combine the rice, beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, remaining salt and 2 1/2 cups of water. Pour the mixture onto the pan with the vegetables and stir to combine. Cover with foil and return the pan to the oven for 28-30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before removing the aluminum foil.

Remove the foil and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Recipe slightly modified from Epicurious

Teriyaki Barbecue Pineapple Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Sheet Pan Dinners… They are pretty ingenious. You combine all of your ingredients on a pan, cook it in the oven and dinner is ready. It switches the idea of one pot cooking to a pan and lends itself to an easy and quick clean-up. You can’t beat that. Recently during a lull at work I clicked on a link for 50 sheet pan dinner recipes and came across a few that caught my eye. One is for gnocchi that included a variation to use Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi which I currently have a bag of in my freezer. It took me a few trips to Trader Joe’s to finally find it since it’s apparently so popular. On a side note, I normally shy away from making frozen meals or snacks, but I am coming to love some of the frozen food in Trader Joe’s. Some of my faves, their mozzarella sticks, chicken and cilantro wontons, and Mandarin Orange Chicken. Back to the recipe for today though… a Teriyaki Barbecue Pineapple Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner. That’s a mouthful of a recipe title for sure, but, one that turns out a delicious end product.

I began by chopping some of my ingredients into bite-sized pieces: chicken breasts, a green and yellow bell pepper, and a sweet onion. I combined them with broccoli florets – I purchased a bag of these in the produce section – and a can of drained pineapple chunks in a large zip-top bag. In a medium bowl I whisked together the ingredients for the marinade: soy sauce, barbecue sauce, minced garlic, pineapple juice (from the can of pineapple chunks), honey and pepper. I poured some of the marinade into the bag, reserving a cup, and then sealed it and shook and massaged the bag to make sure the marinade was evenly distributed throughout it. I then placed it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. You could leave it in longer if you have the time.

After the 30 minutes I preheated my oven to 400 F and using a slotted spoon I transferred the chicken and vegetables to a large baking sheet. You want to transfer as little as the marinade from the bag to the pan as possible as the chicken and vegetables will create more liquid as they cook. I then placed it in the oven and cooked it for 20 minutes. The recipe stated 10 minutes but when I checked the chicken at that point it looked way to underdone for my taste so I left it in for another 10 minutes. While the chicken and vegetables were in the oven, I poured the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and simmered it over medium-low heat until it was thickened.

Once chicken was done I removed the pan from the oven and switched it to the broiler setting. Using paper towels I soaked up some of the excess liquid on the pan and then poured the thickened marinade over the chicken and vegetables and stirred it all together. I placed the pan back in the oven and broiled it for about 6 minutes. To go along with this I made rice and had the perfect dinner (and leftovers.)

And there you have it… My first sheet pan dinner that I am sure I will be making again.

 

Teriyaki Barbecue Pineapple Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Ingredients:

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 orange bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 sweet onion, cut into bite-sized pieces

20 oz. can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice, drained and the juice reserved

 

For the marinade:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions:

Combine the chicken, peppers, onion and pineapple in a large zip top bag.

In a medium bowl combine the ingredients for the marinade and whisk them together. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade and pour the rest into the zip top bag.

Seal the bag and shake and massage the marinade into the meat until it’s evenly distributed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Using a slotted spoon (or tongs) transfer the contents from the zip top bag to a sheet pan in a single layer. You don’t want to transfer too much of the marinade since the chicken and vegetables will let off their own liquid as it cooks. Discard the leftover marinade.

Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Until the chicken is just about done.

Meanwhile, pour the reserved cup of marinade in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the sauce is thickened and has reduced by half.

Remove the pan from the oven and switch the oven to the broiler setting.

Use paper towels to remove any liquid from the pan. Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken and vegetables and lightly toss to coat.

Return the pan to the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the chicken and vegetables are browned.

Serve with rice or noodles.

Recipe from Yellow Bliss Road

Pink Hot Chocolate

An all-natural Pink Hot Chocolate just in time for Valentine’s Day! How you may ask, well, instead of using red or pink food coloring to get the pink hue, you use a few tablespoons of beet juice. And before you cringe your face because beets are not your favorite vegetable or something you are willing to try once or again, just know that you will not be able to taste the beet flavor whatsoever. But, if you are still intrigued by the idea of making Pink Hot Chocolate for your Valentine this week (or for yourself) but are completely against the beet juice, I will give you a few options to get the pink color that might sound more appealing.

The base of this hot chocolate is white hot chocolate. You start off by bringing milk (I used whole milk) and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Then remove it from the heat and add in grated white chocolate and vanilla extract. Grating the chocolate allows it to melt easier and quicker. Once the chocolate has melted then stir in a few tablespoons of beet juice. But, if you are not inclined to use beet juice, you could substitute it with cherry juice or the juice from maraschino cherries. Just be aware that either of those options could make your hot chocolate a tad bit sweeter. Now, if none of those options work for you, you could tint the hot chocolate with a few drops of either pink or red food coloring. And finally, top the hot chocolate with a healthy topping of whipped cream and then sprinkle with cinnamon. YUM!

Pink Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces white chocolate, grated*

2 tablespoons beet juice**

Whipped cream, for topping

Cinnamon, for topping

 

*I used Baker’s White Chocolate

**substitute with cherry juice, maraschino cherry juice, food coloring

 

Directions:

In a small saucepan combine the milk and a pinch of the kosher salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add in the vanilla extract and grated chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in the beet juice.

Diving among mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

 

Recipe from Real Simple

 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower has become the rage in recent years. People have been using it to make pizza crust, rice, and it’s a great substitute for pasta, especially in Mac and Cheese. Hence the recipe I am sharing with you today.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that I actually enjoyed this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese more so than the traditional Mac and Cheese I normally make. Using cauliflower as opposed to pasta makes the dish a lot lighter and the cheese sauce was much lighter as well since the base is heavy cream and cream cheese as opposed to milk and flour.

I began by cutting a large head of cauliflower into small florets. I then boiled them in salted boiling water for 5 minutes until the cauliflower was crisp tender. You don’t want to boil them too long as you don’t want your Mac and Cheese to become mushy. After draining the cauliflower I patted it dry with a few paper towels and then transferred it to a greased 8 x 8 baking dish. You could use frozen cauliflower and steam it in your microwave oven. Once again, don’t overcook it.

Next, I made the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan I simmered heavy cream and then added in cream cheese and mustard, whisking it until it was smooth. I then stirred in cup of cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder until the cheese melted. Not a fan of cheddar, try mozzarella, Monterey jack cheese for a little kick, or a combination of your favorite cheeses. I then poured the cheese sauce over the cauliflower, stirred it together and then topped it with more shredded cheddar cheese. I baked it in a preheated 375 oven for about 15 minutes and it was ready to enjoy.

This recipe would also be delicious with broccoli!

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter, or spray with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt.

Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and then pat dry between paper towels. Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking dish.

In a small saucepan bring the heavy cream to a simmer and then whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder and continue whisking until the cheese melts. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Recipe from Food Network

Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas

I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but, I’m always on the search for quick and easy meals that flavorful, don’t require a slew of ingredients and gives me enough leftovers for a few days. This pasta dish checks all of those boxes.

I started by cooking the pasta. Then, I sautéed garlic, browned the sausage, added frozen peas and finally heavy cream and butter. After bringing it to a boil I added in the pasta and that was it. You can’t top something as simple as that.

Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas

Ingredients:

1 pound rigatoni

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat or sausages with casings removed

12 ounces frozen green peas

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons butter

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente and then drain.

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat and sauté garlic. Add the sausage and brown. Then add the green peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Slowly add the heave cream and butter and bring to a slight boil. Cook for 5 minutes and then toss with cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

Recipe from allrecipes

Homemade Gnocchi In A Mushroom Sauce

I’ve been wanting to make Gnocchi for quite some time. Not really sure why though because I’ve only had it once or twice. I think it’s the challenge of it all… Can I really make it? One thing that was holding me back is that most recipes call for a potato ricer. Something I don’t own and was reluctant to purchase. I went to a couple of stores and couldn’t find one and truthfully didn’t want order one online. I did find a few recipes that said you could mash the potatoes but then I found some recipe reviews that said mashing the potatoes wouldn’t turn out good gnocchi. And then, I found a recipe that used a large hole grater and I was ready to go.

To make the dough I baked 3 medium Russet potatoes at 400 F for about 45 minutes. I let them cool for a few minutes, then peeled them and grated them using the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. I added in a lightly beaten egg and salt and then added in flour, a little at a time, until the dough wasn’t sticky. I then dumped it out on a lightly floured surface and kneaded it.

Next, I divided the dough into 6 smaller balls and rolled out each ball into a rope about 3/4-inch thick.

I then cut the dough into 1-inch pieces.

Once I had rolled out all of the dough and cut it. I boiled them in a pot of well-salted water. I knew the gnocchi was ready once it floated to the surface of the water.

Next, I finished off the gnocchi in a mushroom sauce. And here’s the funny thing about this… the first day it tasted good, the 2nd day it was delicious, but, on the 3rd day not so much. I think by then the gnocchi had absorbed a lot of the sauce and it just turned an odd color and the flavor was off. So, apparently homemade gnocchi is good for 2 days and that’s it.

 

Homemade Gnocchi In A Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

3 medium Russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Mushroom Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup shallots

1 14.5 ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

5 ounces baby spinach

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

For the Gnocchi:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Flip the potatoes halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.

Peel the potatoes and then grate them over the large holes of a box grated over a large bowl. Add the egg and the salt and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the flour to the potatoes, a little at a time, using only as much as you need so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated dump it and any remaining floury bits onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hands, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn and repeat. Knead for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and then divide into 6 smaller balls. Using your fingertips roll each ball into a rope about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 1-inch pieces.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the gnocchi in batches. Once it rises to the surface remove from the water and set aside on a baking sheet.

For the Mushroom Sauce:

Cook the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and shallots and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and parsley; simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the gnocchi and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.

Divide among bowls and drizzle with parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Mushroom Sauce adapted from Epicurious