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

Slow Cooker Sunday: Scalloped Potatoes

In my last Slow Cooker Sunday recipe you may recall that I mentioned purchasing a new booking filled with recipes tailored for 2 people. Well, I was beginning to lose hope that the recipes in the book were good. I had two fails, well, they weren’t really fails, I just didn’t like the way they tasted in the end so that’s sort of a fail, but, more so due to my taste buds than the recipe itself I should say. But then I tried another recipe and my faith was restored. Sounds kind of funny to say about a cookbook, but, I am sure some of you will understand. No one likes buying a cookbook only to discover that a majority of the recipes you try aren’t appealing. So, what was this recipe…? Scalloped Potatoes. You might be scratching your heads wondering what could be so special about them since you could easily make them in the oven – which I have. But, the few times I have made them I ended up with overcooked and undercooked potatoes in the same dish. No Bueno! Following this slow cooker recipe I ended up with perfectly cooked potatoes that held their shape and didn’t fall apart easily… YAY!

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture to share with you. The one picture I did take didn’t make the dish look all that appetizing. I was planning on baking a cake and wanted to move my slow cooker out of the way to pull out my stand mixer so I transferred the potatoes to a dish without taking a picture of them in the slow cooker and when I transferred them, even with my best effort, I wasn’t able to transfer them as one dish and then ended up breaking apart a little. Oops!

I began by slicing three russet potatoes into thin slices. They were roughly 1/8-inch thick. In a medium bowl I combined a chopped yellow onion, minced garlic, grated Havarti & white Cheddar cheese, dried basil, salt and pepper. After spraying the insert of my slow cooker with cooking spray I placed a layer of potatoes and then sprinkled the cheese mixture over it. I did this a few more times ending with a layer of potatoes.

In a small saucepan I heated heavy cream and butter over high heat until the butter melted. I then poured this mixture over the potatoes and sprinkled the top with grated parmesan cheese.

After covering and cooking it on low for 7 hours I had the best scalloped potatoes I have ever made.

 

Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup grated Havarti cheese

1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Spray the insert of the slow cooker with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine the onion, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and Havarti & Cheddar cheeses. Stir to combine.

Begin by placing a layer of potatoes in the bottom the slow cooker, top with the cheese mixture. Continue this layering pattern finishing with the potatoes.

In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream and butter on high heat until the butter melts. Pour this over the potatoes and then top with the Parmesan cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Complete Slow Cooking for Two Cookbook

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

Slow Cooker Sunday: Corn & Bean Enchilada Bake

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many Slow Cooker Sunday recipes. It’s for a few reasons, one of them, I am running low on recipes. Quite a few of the recipes I have shared have been from this cookbook. While I haven’t tried them all, there are some dessert recipes I would like to try, I have tried those that sounded most appealing to me. Another reason, a lot of the recipes I come across are usually for 6- 10 servings, great if you are cooking for 2 or more people, but, since I cook for just myself that’s way too many leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love leftovers (especially since it means I don’t have to cook everyday),but, after eating the same thing for lunch & dinner after two or three days it just doesn’t taste the same by the 5th or 6th time eating it. And yes, I could start working on creating my own recipes, but, I am more comfortable creating recipes for stovetop and oven cooking. So, I did some research and came across the answer, a slow cooker cookbook with recipes geared towards 2 people. No more leftovers for days and days and days.

There’s a little bit of everything in this cookbook. A section on poultry, beef, breakfast, desserts and even seafood. Although, I always avoid making seafood in my slow cooker. I feel like since seafood cooks fast enough there’s no reason to slow cook it. Also, seafood odors can linger and cooking it in a slow cooker for hours on end may not be that delightful. So, I am geared with a new cookbook and ready to start using my smaller slow cooker to whip up some delicious meals that won’t be lasting me days on end.

First up, I made a Corn and Bean Enchilada Bake.

In a medium bowl I combined a chopped tomato, chopped onion, minced garlic, a minced jalapeno pepper, a can of black beans and corn.

After spraying the insert of my slow cooker with cooking spray I layered the ingredients for the enchilada.

I poured salsa verde in the bottom of the slow cooker. While the cookbook does include a recipe for homemade salsa verde I decided to go the easier route and used store bought. I then topped the salsa with 3 corn tortillas, overlapping them. I poured half of the bean mixture over the tortillas and topped it with more salsa verde and finally shredded cheese. I repeated the layers once more and then covered the slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 6 hours.

After the six hours the cheese had melted and the tortillas were soft. And I had the perfect sized meal for 2 lunches and 1 dinner.

Corn and Bean Enchilada Bake

Ingredients:

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 large tomato, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 14oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 8.5oz. can yellow sweet corn

1 1/4 cups salsa verde

6 corn tortillas, taco style

2/3 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the first 6 ingredients.

Spray the insert of a slow cooker with cooking spray.

Pour 1/3 cup of salsa verde in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Place three of the tortillas in the slow cooker overlapping them. Pour half of the bean mixture over the tortillas and the top with half of the remaining salsa and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Recipe from The Complete Slow Cooking for Two Cookbook

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Cream of Vegetable Soup

When I set out to make this soup I intended it to be a creamy potato soup, but, thanks to the addition of one too many carrots (and some other vegetables) and switching up the recipe I was following a bit this ultimately became a delicious Cream of Vegetable Soup.

In my slow cooker I combined cubed red potatoes, a chopped onion, sliced carrots, sliced celery with chicken broth. I set it to cook on low for 8 hours, until the vegetables were tender.

And then, using my immersion blender I blended all of the ingredients together to create a creamy vegetable soup and then stirred in about 1/4 cup of heavy cream and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Cream of Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

6 red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt& Pepper

 

Directions:

Combine all the vegetables and chicken broth in the slow cooker. Cover and set to cook on low for 8 hours, until the vegetables are tender.

Using an immersion blender, blend all of the ingredients to your desired consistency. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup a little at a time in a food processor or regular blender.

Slow Cooker Sunday: Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

I’ve made quite a few pasta dishes in my slow cooker, but, I think this Spinach Lasagna Roll-Up dish is the best pasta dish I have made in my slow cooker.

To begin, I boiled a 1lb. box of lasagna noodles until they were barely al dente, about 10 minutes. I rinsed them under cool water and set them aside. I then made the filling by combining ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, Italian seasoning, eggs, and chopped spinach. For the spinach I used a 10oz. package of frozen chopped spinach that I thawed overnight and then squeezed the excess water out of.

Next, I poured about 12oz. (1 1/2 cups) of marinara sauce in the bottom of my slow cooker, reserving the remaining marinara sauce. I then laid out a few of the lasagna noodles and cut them in half crosswise and spread a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture across each half. I then rolled them and placed them seam-side down in my slow cooker. I continued this process until I was out of ricotta mixture. I only had about 2 or 3 lasagna noodles remaining. Once the bottom of my slow cooker was filled with the roll-ups, I spread a little sauce on the noodles before placing the remaining roll-ups on top to prevent them from sticking together while cooking.

Finally, I poured an entire jar of marinara sauce over all of the roll-ups and set my slow cooker to cook on high for 3 hours.

After the 3 hours, I poured the remaining 12 oz. of sauce over the roll-ups and left it on high for a few more minutes so the sauce could warm up.

I then carefully removed the roll-ups using a large spoon and transferred them to a dish. Unfortunately this picture doesn’t make them look all that appetizing (I was losing the sunlight), but trust me it was good. Next time I might add some mushrooms to the mixture as well and also, plan on serving this when I am having people over. This made a fair amount and I was eating left-overs for a week (lunch & dinner). Definitely got tired of it by Wednesday… LOL!

Slow Cooker Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

1 pound lasagna noodles (not no-boil)

1 16oz. container ricotta cheese*

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 large eggs

1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out

2 24oz. jars marinara sauce

*I used whole milk ricotta

 

Directions:

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the lasagna noodles per the package directions until barely al dente, drain and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning, eggs and spinach. Stir until well combined.

Pour half a jar of marinara sauce into the bottom of a slow cooker, spreading the sauce evenly. Set the remaining sauce aside.

Cut each of the lasagna noodles in half crosswise and spread a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture across each half. Roll the noodle up and place seam-side down in the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spread a little sauce over the noodles when layering them on top of one another.

Pour 1 jar of sauce over the roll-ups and cover the slow cooker and set to cook on high for 3 hours. Pour the reserved half jar of sauce into the slow cooker and allow to hear through before serving.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Mushroom Quiche

I’ve had two frozen deep dish pie crusts in my freezer since a little before Thanksgiving. I purchased an extra pack just in case of a mishap while baking my pies for the holiday. Thankfully I didn’t need them. And then they sort of got buried in my freezer to make room for the frozen cookie dough I had stored in there for my Christmas baking. Once all the cookies had been baked though the crusts reemerged and I decided it was time to make something with them, something other than pie. And then I remembered I had photocopied a Mushroom & Sausage Quiche recipe from a cookbook I ultimately got rid of (I had one too many and needed to purge them). Which I then I decided to omit the sausage from and increase the amount of mushrooms and ended up with the Mushroom Quiche recipe below. Which I am happy to say will be made again and possibly with some baby spinach next time.

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Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

1 frozen deep dish 9-inch pie crust

1 tablespoon butter

8 oz. sliced white mushrooms

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cottage cheese, 2% or 4% milkfat

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the pie crust on a baking a sheet.

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until both are tender.

Place the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, flour, parmesan cheese and hot sauce in a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth. Scraping the bowl as necessary.

Transfer the mushrooms and onions to a large bowl and add in the egg mixture and cheddar cheese, stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the pie crust (you may have some leftover). Cover the edges of the pie crust with strips of aluminum foil to prevent the crust from burning.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is set. A toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle should come out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from a Mushroom & Sausage Quiche recipe found in the cookbook Paula Deen & Friends