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Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere

This Mushroom and Leek Quiche with melty gruyere cheese is a lovely recipe for Easter or any spring brunch!

This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is loaded with cheesy gruyere for an indulgent spring brunch recipe!

Way back in November we had our first snow storm of the season. It a was a little early for a first snow storm in Ohio, but it was lovely. Thick, fat flurries dotted the sky and stacked up outside our house. Being the first time mom that I am, I decided we must immediately go and purchase little P a snow suit. I mean, just think of all the wintertime fun we had ahead of us. Likely months of snowballs and sledding, snow men and snow ice cream. My momma heart was exploding imagining the tiniest and cutest snow angel ever made.

So we went out and got it all–the boots, the snow pants, the hats, the gloves. We were ready.

Then it proceeded to not snow for another three months.

I can’t say we didn’t enjoy our warm winter. We had plenty of mid-January park visits that were positively glorious, but every time I saw the little snowsuit hanging in the back of P’s closet, I got a little heartsick.

When March rolled around, I decided it was time. I dragged the snowsuit out of the closet, tags still dangling from the side, and took it back to the store. The next week, it snowed. Of course. The last two weeks have been cold, dreary, and speckled with a mix of snow, sleet, and rain. Typical February in Ohio. Only it’s not February, IT’S MID MARCH. You can’t be 60 degrees in January and 20 in March. It’s a cruel joke, Ohio, and I don’t find it amusing.

Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere Cheese is the perfect recipe for all your spring brunches@

Feeling helpless, I decided to protest the dreariness by making quiche. The cheeriness of a quiche cannot be thwarted by a relentlessly gray week. It’s golden crust and fluffy, cheesy egg center warms the home, bringing to mind the lightness of spring and the glory of an Easter morning brunch.

This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is particularly adept at turning around a sour mood. Pale, delicate leeks sauteed in butter, earthy mushrooms, and gobs of shredded Gruyere cheese make a quiche that is hearty and filling enough to stand up to the most dismal of days. I am loving this combination for an Easter gathering, but it’s also an easy and delicious way to get dinner on the table any night of the week.

A few notes about this recipe. The filling ingredients are designed for a deep dish pie crust. Nothing wimpy about this quiche! It is thick, hearty, and luxurious. If you’re using a regular pie plate, you’ll likely want to halve the ingredients or just make two and freeze one.

Usually, I make my own pie crust using the all butter recipe in my Ultimate Homemade Pie Crust Recipe post. However, there are certainly occasions (like when the kids are sick or the hubby’s working long hours or pretty much any Monday), where I would absolutely use a store bought crust. There’s no shame in my game! Quiche is fantastic, whatever wrapping it comes in.

Finally, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of flour whisked into the egg and milk mixture. I picked up this tip from Saveur, and I do think it gives the custard an extra silkiness. However, if you’re looking for a gluten free option, feel free to leave the flour out. It will still work just fine.

This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is rich and filling, perfect for Easter or any spring brunch!

I hope wherever you are, it’s warm and sunny, but if it’s not, I hope there’s at least quiche. If you’re looking for more mood-lifting springtime recipes, you might want to check out my Lemon Blueberry Crumb BreadPineapple Coconut Cake, or Lemon Raspberry Poppyseed Muffins.

Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 deep dish 9 inch pie crust
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup flour (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes, or until the bottom side is golden. Flip and continue to cook until mushrooms are golden on both sides. Season with salt. Remove to plate.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Add the leeks and saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the leeks to a plate.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, and flour.
  5. Sprinkle some of the gruyere cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour half the egg mixture in followed by half of the gruyere cheese and half of the mushrooms and leeks. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top along with the rest of the mushrooms, leeks, cheese, and gruyere. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake the quiche in the preheated oven for 60-80 minutes or until very golden brown and set in the center. If the pie crust gets too brown, shield the outside crust with tin foil. The quiche can be served hot or at room temperature and should keep for several days in the refrigerator. If you'd like to make this ahead of time, allow the quiche to cool, then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the quiche and put the slices on a baking sheet. Heat for about 10 minutes or until hot throughout.

 

 

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito (For the Freezer)

Who knew leftovers could taste this good? These Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos loaded with chicken, cheese, and rice, are perfect for using up your leftovers, and they make a great freezer burrito! I’ve also included plenty of other ideas for turning your leftovers into quick and tasty freezer burritos.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are a great way to turn your leftovers into a protein packed freezer meal!

The other day one of my good friends made my Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins. She has two little ones (one born the exact same day as little P!), and like the brave and courageous woman she is, she made the muffins while both kiddos were fully awake and zero other adults were around. After accomplishing this admirable feat, she texted me a little suggestion. Perhaps I should include a separate prep time that would let parents know how long the recipe takes if you’re making it while children are clawing at your legs, begging for snacks, and/or coloring on the walls in another room. A “parent’s prep,” if you will. Does the recipe say 15 minutes prep? Go ahead and double it. Have more than one kid? Triple it.

I had to chuckle, because it’s so true. That’s just basic parenting math. What used to take minutes now takes a half hour. I want to weep when I think about my pre-kid grocery store runs. If I forgot a carton of sour cream, it was no big deal. I could run to the store and be back in 20 minutes. Now it takes us that long just to get out the door. Toddlers have many wonderful qualities, but efficiency is most certainly not one of them.

An easy, time saving meal is worth more to me now than ever, which is why freezer burritos have become a regular part of our line up. Before P was born, I made and froze these Mexican Breakfast Burritos. They were a lifesaver in the first few months when I could barely remember whether I was wearing pants, let alone decide what to eat for lunch. Even though the newborn craziness is long gone, I’ve come to appreciate the ease of pulling a burrito out of the freezer, microwaving it, and having a great meal on the table in minutes.

My burritos these days tend to be a little less planned and a little more a conglomeration of whatever leftovers we have in the fridge. In this post, I’ve included a recipe for my current favorite combination–Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos–but I also wanted to leave you with plenty of ideas for making the most of whatever leftovers you happen to have on hand.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are loaded with protein, melty cheese, spicy black beans, and smoky maple sweet potatoes. The perfect freezer meal!

These particular burritos are a combination of rotisserie chicken, cilantro rice, Chipotle Black Beans, Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes (with a little chili powder and smoked paprika added!), and a layer of monterey jack cheese that demonstrates my total lack of regard for skinny jeans. The combo is delicious, with great texture, and tons of protein to keep you full all day. At home, I like to serve them with a little salsa and sour cream. At work, my husband adds his desk stash of hot sauce.

Pretty much everything in these burrito was made for another meal, then repurposed to stock our freezer with ready-made lunches or dinners. I LOVE when recipes can pull double duty like this, and really, your fridge is a treasure trove of burrito fillings just waiting to be discovered. The picture below was from a burrito making extravaganza I had a few months ago.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are just one of the amazing meals you can make with my tips for turning leftovers into freezer burritos!

Here are a few more leftovers you could repurpose into burrito greatness:

The possibilities are endless. Use your creativity and your tastebuds to create your own favorite. My biggest tip? Make sure every aspect you’re putting into the burrito is well seasoned and tastes good on its own. Nothing makes for a bland burrito like plain white rice and a can of black beans with no seasonings. Also, save any wet fillings to be used as toppings. Salsa, sour cream, and guacamole are wonderful, but they can all make for a soggy burrito, and nobody likes a soggy burrito.

The recipes I’ve included below should be enough to make around 10 burritos. This is enough for us to eat them for dinner one night and for me to stash some away for emergency meals. For folding, layer the ingredients a little right of center of the burrito, fold the bottom up and the top down, then roll from right to left to create a good seal. I like to wrap these in saran wrap then store in a freezer zip lock bag. When you’re ready to eat, simply remove from the package, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for about a minute, flip, and heat an additional 30-60 seconds. If you have access to a toaster oven AND you don’t have hangry children whining in the background, you can send them through a toasted oven for a few minutes for a golden, crispy crust. Otherwise, grab some sour cream and salsa and dig right in!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are my go-to freezer burrito for quick lunches or easy dinners. The post also includes loads of tips for turning your leftovers into freezer burritos!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito (For the Freezer)
 
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Sweet potatoes, black beans, chicken, cheese, and rice come together to make a protein packed burrito that's perfect for freezing!
Recipe by:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
For the rice:
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fat pinch salt
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste
For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 very large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
For the black beans:
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fat pinch sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the burritos:
  • 2 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 10 large burrito tortillas (I used spinach tortillas)
Instructions
For the rice:
  1. Combine the rice, water, butter, bay leaf, and salt in in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer undisturbed for 18-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove to heat and keep the cover on for another 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl, fluffing with a fork. Stir in the cilantro and season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
For the sweet potatoes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and onions with the coconut oil, maple syrup, paprika, and chili powder. Season generously with Kosher salt and a few turns of pepper. Spread onto one or two baking sheets, depending on the size. Roast for 15 minutes and stir. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and starting to caramelize around the edges.
For the black beans:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
To make the burritos:
  1. Spread the burrito shell out. Layer the rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, and chicken a little right of center, leaving an inch on the bottom and the top. Cover with cheese. Fold the bottom part of the shell up and top part down, then roll the burrito from right to left. Repeat with remaining shells and fillings. Wrap in saran wrap then place in a zip lock freezer bag for storage. To reheat, remove from saran wrap, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave the burrito for 1 minute. Flip over, and microwave an additional minute, if needed. Place in the toaster oven for a few minutes, if desired. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or hot sauce.

 

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Breakfast Burger with Bourbon Bacon Jam

You know that song, “You were always on my mind”? That’s how I feel about these Breakfast Burgers with Bourbon Bacon Jam. 

These Breakfast Burgers are smothered with cheese, a fried egg, and bourbon bacon jam for the ultimate breakfast sandwich.

I’ve been wanting to make a breakfast burger for a looooong time. I first planned to make one last fall, but other recipes kept replacing it in the queue. Weeks turned into months, and the poor breakfast burger wallowed in my drafts folder as That Good Salad and Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, and Cottage Cheese Lasagna all received their time in the spotlight.

“If I made you feel second best
Girl, I’m sorry I was blind
But you were always on my mind
You were always on my mind”

Oh, sweet, patient breakfast burger. It may have taken longer than expected, but I never stopped dreaming of you. And luckily, all that dreaming and waiting led to a marvelous breakfast discovery: Bourbon Bacon Jam. I knew when I started planning a breakfast burger that bacon had to be involved, but I didn’t quite know how I wanted to incorporate it. No one’s going to complain about two plain slices of bacon on a burger, but I was looking for something that would add a little more flavor and interest to the burger. Something that would complement and enhance the savory elements of the burger without overpowering it.

This is no ordinary Breakfast Burger! Piled high with melty cheese, a fried egg, and BOURBON BACON JAM (AH!), these will elevate your breakfast to the next level.

Enter: honey. Honey is one of the most used ingredients in my cabinets. It’s versatile, has an extended shelf life, and makes a great substitute for other sweeteners in baking, dressing and marinades. I use it in savory and sweet recipes, for breakfast, dinner, or dessert. I love Honey Green Beans, and this Asian Honey Sesame Beef is a testament to the wonderful things that can happen when meat and honey get together. It’s a wonder I never thought to combine honey and bacon before. I mean, what could be better than bringing the bold, smoky flavor of bacon and the sweet, sultry flavor of honey together?

Well, I guess one thing could be better, and that’s adding bourbon to the mix. Guys, this jam is something else. Crisp cooked bacon and caramelized onions are reduced with bourbon, honey, and balsamic until a rich, thick, jam forms. I like to add a pinch of cayenne so all the flavors are covered–sweet, salty, tangy, and a tad spicy, all in one perfectly spreadable condiment. I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.

The first time my husband tried the jam, he promptly informed me I’d grossly underestimated the amount we needed. This stuff was going to be put on all.the.things. Grilled chicken. Toast. Crackers and cheese. Salmon. And most importantly, this epic breakfast burger.

These Breakfast Burgers piled high with Bourbon Bacon Jam, melty cheese, and a fried egg are a breakfast game changer!

Once the jam is made this burger comes together in a jiffy. I keep my burger patties simple, with just a hint of salt and worcestershire. I like to fry them up in a cast iron skillet if it’s too cold to grill. The patties are topped with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese (melted of course), a generous spoonful of bourbon bacon jam, and a fried egg sandwiched between a buttery toasted English muffin.

I could take some time to describe to you just how amazing this burger tastes, but I’m pretty sure you’re already doing a great job imagining it. Instead, I’ll give you some sage advice, gleaned through experience. Don’t waste another minute not having this Breakfast Burger in your life. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to write a sad song about it someday.

To learn more about the many benefits of honey and find more recipes, visit the National Honey Board’s on honey.comFacebook, Pinterest, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the jam:
  • 1½ pounds applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • Salt
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
For the burgers:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire
To assemble:
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 English muffins, toasted and buttered if desired
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat, until the fat starts to foam and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate and then drain the fat through a colander into a bowl.
  2. Add 1 Tablespoon of the fat back into the pan along with the butter. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelize.
  3. Add the bourbon and honey to the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the vinegar and boil for another minute. Add the bacon back into the pot, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for another 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thick and dark. Season with additional salt and cayenne pepper, if desired. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Microwave briefly before serving.
For the burgers:
  1. Using your fingers, gently mix the salt and worcestershire into the ground beef. Form into four patties and place a small thumbprint in the center of each one. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and melt a little oil or butter of your choice in the pan. Add the patties to the pan and cook until seared on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook until patties are cooked through, adding a slice of cheese and covering the pan for the last two minutes. Remove to a plate.
  2. Fry each of the eggs in a teaspoon of butter to your liking. (We prefer to cook over medium heat until the whites are almost set, then flip and cook for one additional minute for a nice, yolky over easy egg).
  3. To assemble, place the burgers on the English muffins and top with a generous amount of bacon jam. Place an egg on each burger and top with the other half of the muffin. Enjoy this meaty breakfast feast!

This post is sponsored by the National Honey Board. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and products that help keep NeighborFood afloat!

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Reuben Pull Apart Bread

While feeding a toddler isn’t always the most rewarding job, it can lead to some pleasant surprises. One of those happy surprises involved this giant loaf of Reuben Pull Apart Bread.

Make this Pull Apart Reuben Bread as an appetizer or dinner. Either way it will disappear fast!

I made this bread on Valentine’s Day, because 1) We’re parents now so Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse to buy the little guy a shiny red balloon. Here’s hoping he’s always super excited about a $2 gift.

2) Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, and babysitters are scarce, and restaurants are crowded, so going out was a non-option.

and 3) The Mr. loves reuben sandwiches, and making a big loaf of reuben-y goodness seemed like the easiest way to let him know I’m still crazy about him even if I didn’t manage to get a shower all day.

This Pull Apart Reuben bread is an easy appetizer everyone will love!

If you’ve never made pull apart bread before, it’s almost embarrassingly simple to put together. I start with a nice round crusty loaf of bread (I managed to find rye bread at a local Jewish deli, but Sourdough can also work). The bread is scored in parallel and perpendicular lines, then stuffed with handfuls of cheese, meat, seasonings, or whatever else suits your fancy. Because this was a Reuben-inspired bread, I used gobs of shredded Swiss, thick slices of chopped corned beef, and a sprinkling of sauerkraut for good measure.

The whole thing gets popped in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melty and the bread is hot and golden. While it’s baking, I whip up a quick homemade Russian dressing that has just the right balance of sweetness, tang, and heat. In no time at all, you have a lovely loaf bursting with stringy cheese and crisp corned beef.

Get all the great flavors of a reuben sandwich in this easy to make Pull Apart Reuben Bread!

I fully expected our sweet child would snub his nose at this concoction (I mean, who ever heard of a kid eating sauerkraut?), but the moment this came out of the oven, he was signing the word for “please” and not-so-patiently pointing and whining at the fragrant bread. I reached, down pulled a hunk off and handed it to him. He shoved the whole thing in his mouth, chomped away happily, and was begging for another piece less than 30 seconds later.

At dinner, we all dove in. Even the little guy got in on the dipping action. The Mr. loved it and told me he’d prefer this over a $50 steak and a wife in heels any day (Ok, ok, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but he did really love this bread!)  The winning flavors of a classic reuben are irresistible, even for a sometimes picky child. Unless you plan on eating the entire loaf, you might want to slice and plate the bread in appropriate serving sizes. Otherwise, you may keep going back for nibble after nibble until suddenly your tiny family has eaten almost an entire loaf of bread in one sitting. Not that I know anything about that. Ahem.

This Pull Apart Reuben Bread is a cinch to make and always a hit at parties!

Reuben Pull Apart Bread
 
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Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
For the bread:
  • 2 cups thick sliced corned beef, chopped into strips
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 can sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 round rye loaf (or sourdough in a pinch)
For the sauce:
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the bread, slice it in parallel and perpendicular lines, about an inch apart, being careful not to slice all the way through the bread. Place the loaf on a baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cheese, meat, and sauerkraut. Using your fingers, stuff the cheese mixture into each of the rows on the loaf of bread. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melty and bread is golden.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Serve the bread warm with a side of sauce for dipping.

 

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Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

Whether you’re looking for an easy sheet pan dinner or a healthy breakfast idea, this Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash fits the bill. 

This Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash is a great healthy breakfast or easy sheet pan dinner.

Many people have horror stories about their college roommates. My story is completely the opposite. Christina and I were placed together randomly our freshman year, and despite our awkwardness (or maybe because of it), we hit it off almost immediately. We lived together all four years of college, and she remains one of my greatest friends and biggest supporters. I’m pretty sure in the early days the only people who read my blog were my mom, my husband, and Christina. God bless her, she wasn’t daunted by camera phone pictures taken under florescent lighting. Truth be told I didn’t realize what a faithful blog evangelist Christina was until I went to her 30th birthday party this past weekend. Several people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoy the blog, and they all specifically mentioned one recipe–this One Pot Kale, Sausage, and Sweet Potato Soup. Christina told me she’s made and shared it several times, and apparently the recipe has continued to spread from there. I always appreciate getting feedback on recipes, but what I loved most about these particular conversations is that several people told me they loved the recipe even though it sounded really weird at first. 

That’s pretty much my entire goal in life, folks. Surprising you with weird stuff that tastes darn good. On that note, let’s talk about another sweet and savory recipe I’ve fallen in love with: Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Hash.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash is perfect for a healthy breakfast or easy sheet pan dinner.

Here, the combination of sweet potatoes and sausage gets a little refresher with apple chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, and a fried egg. I’ll admit, this recipe really started as glorified leftovers. We have Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes about once a week. They’re quick, healthy, delicious, and the whole family loves them. I usually make enough so I can have the leftovers in the morning with a runny egg. Yes, I am in the camp that believes nearly everything can be improved with a fried egg. REALLY.

Well, one thing led to another, and soon I was taking my breakfast leftovers, tossing in some chicken sausage and bell peppers, and calling it dinner. This is a really easy and good-for-you sheet pan recipe. Loaded with protein and satisfying sweet potatoes, this is a dish you can make for any meal of the day. When I’m making it for dinner, I like to amp up the savory aspects of the sweet potatoes by subbing smoked paprika for the usual cinnamon and adding Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract for an extra depth of flavor. I find focusing on quality of ingredients makes a big difference in healthy recipes like this one. A touch of paprika or hint of vanilla can really elevate a simple meal like this one, without adding any calories or fat.

The potatoes, bell pepper, and sausage are all bathed in the same sweet and smoky maple glaze before roasting. You will likely pull this pan o’goodness out of the oven and think “Welp, dinner is served.” That certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea, but the real icing on top of this proverbial cake is a runny egg yolk dripping over the sweet potatoes and coating the sausages in its rich, silky sauce. This is what pulls it all together, bringing all these strange, wonderful ingredients together into one heck of a meal.

A fried egg completes this Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash--an easy weeknight dinner or breakfast idea!

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Breakfast Bowls
 
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This simple Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash topped with a fried egg is perfect for any meal of the day.
Recipe by:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 package apple chicken sausages, cut into thick slices
  • 1½ Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with all but ½ Tablespoon of the oil mixture. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, then add the bell peppers, chicken sausage, and remaining oil mixture. Sprinkle everything with the smoked paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Stir together well. Return to the oven and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes. or until sausages are browned and sweet potatoes are soft and a bit crisp on the edges.
  3. For the fried eggs, add enough olive oil to a small non stick pan to coat the surface. Heat over medium high heat. Crack the eggs, one or two at a time, into the oil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the bottom is cooked and edges are a bit browned. Flip, cook for an additional 20-30 seconds for an over easy egg or more for medium or hard cooked egg. Serve the eggs with the sweet potato mixture.

This post is sponsored by Nielsen Massey. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who help keep NeighborFood afloat!

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50 Ways to Use Canned Coconut Milk

If you often find yourself with leftover canned coconut milk, this post is for you! From breakfast to dinner to decadent desserts, here are 50 Ways to Use Canned Coconut Milk!Got a few cans of coconut milk hanging out in the cupboard? From breakfast to dessert, you can find a recipe to use it up in this collection of 50 ways to use canned coconut milk!

Canned coconut milk is one of those ingredients I always assume I’m out of. Nearly every week at the grocery store I pick up another can, only to arrive home and realize I have five cans in the pantry already. Recently, I decided I needed to start making a dent in my coconut milk stash, so I’ve been making Turkey and Butternut Squash Curry and Tropical Mint Smoothies like they’re going out of style. In need of some other ideas (and a way to use the leftover coconut milk once I’ve opened the can), I assembled 50 more recipes to use as inspiration. I hope these keep you from being a coconut milk hoarder and help you avoid the dreaded leftover conundrum!

Breakfast

Coconut Waffles from Belly Full

Pina Colada Pancakes from Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Banana Coconut Milk Pancakes from Chocolate Moosey

3-Ingredient Non-Dairy Coconut Coffee Creamer from Kitchen Treaty

Belgian Waffles with Banana and Coconut Caramel Sauce from Taste Love and Nourish

Banana Berry Crunch Baked Oatmeal from Spoonful of Flavor

Strawberry Coconut Polenta Breakfast Bowls from Running to the Kitchen

Strawberry Jam Breakfast Quinoa from NeighborFood

Coconut Milk Crepes with Lemon-Streaked Strawberries from ¡Hola! Jalapeño

These Spicy Coconut Milk Clams are just one of 50 ways to use canned coconut milk in this roundup!

Spicy Coconut Milk Clams from Nutmeg Nanny

Main Dishes

Turkey and Butternut Squash Curry from NeighborFood

Coconut Lime Chicken Drumsticks from Will Cook for Smiles

Coconut Mango Baked Chicken from Cooking on the Weekends

Pulled Tandoori Chicken from The Big Man’s World

30 Minute Dairy-Free Creamy Tuscan Chicken from Allergy Awesomeness

Honey Sriracha Coconut Grilled Chicken Fingers from Iowa Girl Eats

Coconut-Rum Grilled Shrimp from Home Cooking Memories

Coconut Pale Ale Curry Cod from The Beeroness

Easy Coconut Curry Shrimp from Eating Bird Food

This Vegan Butternut Squash is one of 50 recipes included in this collection of Ways to use Canned Coconut Milk.

Vegan Butternut Squash Bisque from The Roasted Root

Soups

Creamy Chipotle, Chicken & Tomato Soup from The Creative Bite

Creamy Thai Coconut, Chicken, and Veggie Soup from NeighborFood

Creamy Red Lentil Carrot Soup from Nutmeg Nanny

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup from From Valerie’s Kitchen

Tom Kha Gai Soup from The Hungry Goddess

Thai Coconut Zoodle Soup from A Cedar Spoon

Salmon Coconut Chowder from Foolproof Living

Jerk Shrimp Stew with Cauliflower Rice from Food Faith Fitness

With over 50 Ways to Use Canned Coconut Milk, you're sure to find a recipe you love in this collection!

Chocolate Coconut Sheet Cake from I Heart Eating

Desserts

Dad’s Coconut Cream Pie from Mom on Timeout

Banana Cream Parfaits from Wine Lady Cooks

Vegan Cranberry Cheesecake Bars from Natural Girl Modern World

Coconut Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce from The View from Great Island

5-Minute Chocolate Coconut Mousse from Meaningful Eats

Cookie Butter from Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt

Vegan Coconut Pudding from Texanerin Baking

Crock Pot Rice Pudding from The Roasted Root

From breakfast to dessert this roundup has over 50 Ways to Use Canned Coconut MIlk!

Cookies and Coconut Cream Popsicles from The View from Great Island

Ice Cream and Popsicles

Coconut Coffee Cream Pops from Running to the Kitchen

Strawberry Chia Coconut Popsicles from Cooking LSL

Coconut Ice Cream from Noshing with the Nolands

Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Ice Cream from Peas and Peonies (pictured in collage)

Coconut and Peach Creamy Ice Pops from Will Cook for Smiles

Coconut Coffee Ice Cream from Baked by Rachel

These Tropical Mint Smoothies are just one of 50 different ways to use canned coconut milk in this roundup!

Tropical Mint Smoothies from NeighborFood

Beverages

Strawberry Coconut Smoothie from Mom on Timeout

Strawberry Vanilla Coolers from NeighborFood

Peppermint Mocha from A Girl Worth Saving

Toasted Coconut Frozen Hot Chocolate from Chocolate Moosey

 

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Challah French Toast Sticks with Caramelized Bananas

These Challah French Toast Sticks with Caramelized Bananas are my favorite breakfast for a lazy weekend morning. They feel special, but are easy enough to whip up while you’re still bleary eyed and pj-clad.

Dress up your French toast routine with these Challah French Toast Sticks with Caramelized Bananas. It's the perfect weekend breakfast!

We’ve never been huge Valentine’s Day celebrators around here. That’s putting it nicely, actually. In truth, I’ve been a bit of a curmudgeon about the holiday. While everyone else is buying up bundles of red roses and heart shaped boxes of mystery chocolates (am I the only one who can’t stand not knowing what goopy filling awaits me??), I’m the one grumbling about commercialism and overpriced menus, and how Hallmark is making a fortune off their overly sentimental stock cards.

Maybe it’s motherhood or the wisdom of old age (haha), but I’ve found my heart softening to Valentine’s Day recently. It started with celebrating Galentine’s Day, the “fake” holiday made famous by Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation. Leslie knows how to do holidays right. She leaves the commercialism behind in favor of brunch with her lady friends, sincere compliments, and thoughtful gifts. She’s the queen of making other people feel special and appreciated.

It’s that kind of heart that’s helped me warm up to not only Galentine’s Day, but Valentine’s Day as well. Why not devote a day to showing the people in our lives how much they mean to us? Why not take some extra time to say “I love you” and “you matter” and “you make my life better.” We don’t need to do it with shiny red balloons or obnoxiously large teddy bears, but some heartfelt words and a little homemade breakfast food sure doesn’t hurt.

This Challah French Toast was one of the first recipes I made for the blog, and it’s still one of my favorites. Challah bread’s egginess and slight sweetness makes it a perfect candidate for French toast. It’s sturdy enough to hold up to the custard, but doesn’t have the chewy crust that can turn a delightful breakfast into a jaw workout. I’ve made this French toast in both slices and fingers, but I’ve come to prefer the fingers since it maxes out the ratio of crispy edges to eggy centers. Feel free to do slices instead, but I recommend popping them in the oven for a bit after frying to ensure the centers aren’t soggy.

Now let’s talk about toppings. First off, whether you’re making pancakes or French toast, I must insist yo heat up your maple syrup. I mean, we’re not animals, after all.

Second–make yourself some caramelized bananas, perhaps the easiest way to feel like a kitchen genius. Sliced bananas are fried with butter and brown sugar and tossed with a bit of bourbon, just because. It seems almost wrong that something so simple could be so good. If you want to show someone just how much you care, these bananas are probably enough, but serve them up with the French toast, a dollop of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and your undying love will be made abundantly clear. I hope you all have a lovely week celebrating the loves of your life. Make sure they know how thankful you are to have them on your team.

These Challah French Toast Sticks served with caramelized bananas are my favorite breakfast for lazy weekend mornings.

Challah French Toast Sticks with Caramelized Bananas
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the french toast:
  • 8 slices stale challah bread, cut in 1 inch thick fingers (About 1 loaf)
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
For the bananas:
  • 2 bananas, in 1 inch slices
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Scant ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and place a wire rack on a sheet pan.
  2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the milk.
  3. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, soak the fingers in the egg mixture for at least 1 minute per side. Transfer the fingers to the skillet (you'll probably have to do two batches) and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the other side is golden, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooked fingers to the wire rack and place them in the oven to keep warm while the second batch is cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, make the bananas. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place banana slices in skillet in a single layer. Cover with brown sugar.
  6. Brown bananas on one side, then flip, allowing sugar to cook and the other side to brown.
  7. Remove the skillet from heat then pour in bourbon. Let sizzle for a minute, then use the bourbon to slide banana slices out of skillet and onto a plate.
  8. Serve the French toast warm with real maple syrup and the caramelized bananas.

 

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Cast Iron Ribeye with Garlic Mushrooms

Once you make steak in a cast iron skillet you’ll never go back! This Cast Iron Ribeye with Garlic Mushrooms takes about 20 minutes to make but is worthy of any special occasion.

Cast Iron Ribeye with Garlic Mushrooms is an easy dish that's perfect for special occasions. The flavor is incredible! Growing up, I was never much of a steak girl. In my mind, steak was chewy, tough, and dry. Why would anyone choose that over, say, a basket of fried chicken fingers and French fries? Let’s just say I wouldn’t have called my childhood palate “advanced.”

It wasn’t until I was newly married and on one of my first vacations with the Mr. that I began to appreciate steak. I don’t know if it was the elegant atmosphere or the salty sea air, but on a whim I ordered the filet mignon. And everything changed. This steak was juicy and so tender it almost melted in my mouth.

From then on, I was a steak girl, or, rather, I was a filet mignon girl. I decided that was the steak I liked and I was loyal to it like a kid is loyal to their favorite ice cream flavor. I eventually began branching out, trying new cuts of steak and even making them at home. I discovered leaner cuts make fabulous sandwiches and tacos, like these Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions or these Flank Steak Tacos. When we purchased a side of beef a few years ago, I tried all the different cuts–sirloins and T-bones, my beloved filet and skirt steaks.

If you're looking for a special occasion meal that's super easy to make, try this Cast Iron Ribeye smothered with garlic butter mushrooms. The flavor is incredible!

Out of everything we tried over those months, the ribeye’s marbly slab of intense flavor was what finally won my heart. The ribeye  has become my favorite steak to cook at home. I like to keep things really simple since this cut of steak already has such great flavor. A hefty sprinkling of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper is all it needs before it’s placed into a sizzling hot cast iron skillet and finished off in the oven. I discovered the cast iron sear/oven bake method for steak a few years ago, and it’s the only way I cook it now. The steaks are always perfectly browned with a tender, juicy center. I use a Thermapen to check the temperature and make sure I get just the right amount of pink. I aim for medium, no more, which is right about 145 degrees.

Of course, steak this good really doesn’t need much dressing up, but because Valentine’s Day is coming up, I decided to smother it in buttery garlic mushrooms, which are a weakness for both me and the Mr. This combo is, unsurprisingly, phenomenal. I’ll admit, I was pulling off some of the crispy edges of the steak and sneaking mushrooms before I even took pictures. I have no will power when it comes to salty crispy meat niblins. What can I say? I’m a carnivore for life.

This Cast Iron Ribeye is smothered in garlic butter mushrooms. It'll knock the socks off whoever you make it for!

There’s more than one reason to include beef in your Valentine’s Day plans. Aside from it’s tantalizing taste, a 3 ounce portion of beef also provides 25 grams of protein and 10 essential nutrients, including iron. Of course, every great steak dinner also deserves a great wine to go with it. If you’re unsure where to start, I recommend reaching for a Cabernet Savignon, which is bold and full enough to stand up to the rich flavor of the steak. If you’re looking to branch out and try something new, check out the infographic below to learn how to pair your favorite beef dishes with wine.

Learn how to pair beef dishes with the best wines.

If you happen to have leftover ribeye (and that’s a BIG if!), I highly recommend using it for this Ribeye Steak Salad. It is incredible!

For more beef recipes and ideas, check out Ohio Beef on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for more cozy winter meal ideas.

Cast Iron Ribeye with Garlic Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless ribeye steaks, 1-1.5 inches thick
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh parsley (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove the steak from the packaging and allow it to rest at room temperature while the oven preheats. Brush both sides of the steak with vegetable oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and coat with about a Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat the pan until the oil is shimmering and droplets of water sizzle in the pan. Add the steaks to the pan and allow them to cook until seared on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip the steaks over and then place in the oven to continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for medium, or about another 4-6 minutes. Remove the steaks from the oven, transfer to a plate (preferably a warm plate!) and place a Tablespoon of butter on each steak. Tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the mushrooms. Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and allow them to cook undisturbed until well browned on one side. Flip them over and continue to saute until the mushrooms are soft and browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant. Serve the steaks with the mushrooms on top.

This post was developed in partnership with Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses who keep NeighborFood afloat. There are also Amazon affiliate links in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase, a small percentage will come back to NeighborFood. 

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Skillet Sausage and Rice

Need a healthy one pot meal to get you through the winter months? This Skillet Sausage and Rice with butternut squash and cranberries fits the bill!

This recipe is sponsored by UNCLE BEN’S® Flavored Grains Long Grain & Wild Rice, Original Recipe. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.This Skillet Sausage and Rice with butternut squash and cranberries is a simple, comforting one pot meal for busy weeknights.

This morning I pulled a muscle in my back, because apparently I’m 29 going on 60. I wish I could tell you I was doing something super awesome when it happened, like climbing a sheer rock face or lifting a burning car off of a trapped child. Unfortunately, the real story is much sadder. I was sitting up in bed first thing in the morning, when my just-woken tiny child came toddling in. I greeted him with a smile, reached my arms out, scooped him up, and then felt a tightening in my back so fierce it stole my breath, causing me to drop my sweet boy back to the floor. Mother of the year, right here.

Due to this turn of events, I’ll be limiting all future activity to getting the mail, brisk walks around the living room, and reaching between the couch cushions to pick up the piece of popcorn I dropped.

Make this Skillet Sausage and Rice with butternut squash for an easy and healthy one pot meal!

Luckily there’s nothing strenuous about making this stove top Skillet Sausage and Rice. This simple meal comes together in a single skillet and is positively loaded with good for you veggies. I like to start the party (don’t worry, nothing too rowdy–I have my back to think of, after all) with some good Italian sausage sizzling with onions, celery, garlic, and butternut squash. I am all aboard the butternut squash train this year, as evidenced by the Butternut Squash Curry.

Sweet and savory come together in this comforting, one pot Skillet Sausage and Rice recipe.

Once the veggies are starting to soften, I add Uncle Ben’s ® Long Grain Wild Rice to the mix. This is one of my favorite shortcuts for busy weeknights. This rice is quick cooking, filling, and has the ideal blend of seasonings for a wintery bowl like this one. Once the rice and seasonings are stirred in, I add some broth and dried cranberries (yes, cranberries!), cover the pot, and walk away. Now’s my chance to have a little me time, which these days looks like folding laundry, checking my Instagram, and rubbing some Icy Hot on my back. Ya know, normal 29 year old stuff.

In about 20 minutes, the rice and squash is tender, the cranberries plump and juicy. We’re just about ready to dive in, but the dish still needs a few final touches. I like to sneak in some kale for extra nutrition and top everything off with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.

If you need a quick, healthy one pot meal, try this Skillet Sausage and Rice with butternut squash!

I realize some of you may look at this and think it sounds a wee bit strange. Sausage and cranberries? Rice and almonds? Do all of these things really work together in one dish? The short answer is: YES. The long answer is: Seriously, they do! This sweet and savory thing is, in fact, all its cracked up to be. In fact, sometimes I like to add even more cranberries because that pop of sweetness is just so good! All the crunchy, creamy, sweet and savory goodness you need for a healthy weeknight meal is right here in one skillet.

If you're looking for a quick, healthy one pot meal, try this Skillet Sausage and Rice with butternut squash, cranberries, and almonds!

You can purchase Uncle Ben’s® Flavored Grains at Kroger or any of the other Kroger family of stores, and right now when you buy 2 Uncle Ben’s® Flavored Grains products, you get $1 off (redeemed at the register). Now is a great time to stock up for a winter’s worth of quick and nourishing meals like this one. For more weeknight recipe ideas, visit Uncle Ben’s® on Facebook and Pinterest.

Skillet Sausage and Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 box Uncle Ben’s® Flavored Grains Long Grain & Wild Rice, Original Recipe
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup baby kale
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and break it up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the onion as well, and saute until the sausage is no longer pink and the onion is softened. Stir in the butternut squash and the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the wild rice, seasoning packet, chicken broth and cranberries.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and squash is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the baby kale until wilted. Season with black pepper, if desired.
  3. The mixture will likely look a little soupy at first, but as it sits it will thicken up. Top the rice mixture with slivered almonds and serve.

 

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Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

This Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup is creamy and loaded with flavor from roasted red peppers, garlic, and onions. 

This Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup is loaded with roasted red peppers, garlic, carrots, and chard in a creamy base.A few nights ago, the Mr. and I got sucked into an episode of Hoarders. I’m not even sure how we landed on the channel, but before we knew it we were knee deep in someone else’s unidentifiable piles of irreplaceable junk. There really is nothing like an episode of Hoarders to make you say, “Ya know, the house actually doesn’t look too bad. I think I can hold off on vacuuming for a few more days years.”

We don’t watch much reality TV around here, but when we do we go all out. The Mr. popped some popcorn, I slipped on my comfiest sweatpants, and we planted ourselves on the couch, soaking up the drama unfolding before us. My hubby is my favorite TV watching copilot. He can imitate almost any accent and picks up on the most obscure details–Wait, is that a signed picture of David Hasselhoff on that stack of coolers?? Why yes, yes it is.

Looking for an easy healthy one pot meal? This creamy Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi soup has all you need!

If my husband’s mission in life is to throw me into fits of laughter during an episode of Hoarders, mine is to convince him that he actually likes gnocchi. Before this soup, the Mr.’s exposure to gnocchi was mainly in dishes where it’s used as a substitute for pasta and covered in sauce. He is not a fan of this, or pretty much any other substitute for pasta. Don’t even get him started on zoodles.

I felt my guy wasn’t giving gnocchi a fair shot, so I decided to try it in a soup and see if I could change his mind. I wanted to stack all the cards in my favor so I went all out with a creamy chicken soup loaded with flavor. I mean, if I’m going to do some persuading, I better bring my A game. Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic form the base for the chicken soup we all know and love. Roasted red peppers add sweetness and depth, and evaporated milk provides that comforting creaminess I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. The gnocchi in this soup add just the right amount of carbs–a pleasing chewiness that makes this soup hearty and filling enough to eat as a main dish.

This creamy Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup has everything you need for a healthy weeknight meal all made in a slow cooker!@

One bite in, and the Mr. exclaimed, “Oh, this is good.” I just smiled sweetly to myself while inwardly shouting “VICTORY IS MINE!” It’s the small things.

We’ve got another batch of wonderful Soup-er Bowl recipes for you today. Check out my friend Melanie and Emily’s recipes below and be sure to enter to win a gorgeous Le Creuset Dutch Oven!

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup

Lemon Dill Chicken Noodle Soup

Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup with Roasted Red Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1¼ pounds chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 lb. gnocchi
  • 2 stalks Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves torn
Instructions
  1. In a crock pot, combine the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, chicken breast, both, and roasted red peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8. Shred the chicken breast in the slow cooker, stir in the evaporated milk, gnocchi, and Swiss chard. Cook on high for another 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the gnocchi is tender.

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

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