Category Archives: Main Dish

Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa

Slow Cooker Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa...a super EASY meal your whole family will love! #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

Last week my youngest sister came to visit. She asked me what I was making for dinner one night and I said with total excitement “I am trying something new! I’m going to make some shredded beef for tostadas with mango salsa!” She looked at me and nodded her head…”oh, okay….yum” Bless her. She had no faith.

Later, Mr. Maebell asked me the same question and I gave him the same response. He stared for a moment considering how to answer and finally said “thats…great” Bless him. He had no faith either.

Whatever. I had faith.

Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa...so EASY your whole family will love it! #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

It all started with a little habanero mango sauce. I added lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, cilantro, habanero peppers and mango in a little sauce pan and brought it to a nice simmer. (If you have never cooked with habanero peppers before watch this video you never even have to touch them! No habanero hands!) I basically just picked a bunch of random ingredients that I thought might go well together, let it simmer and then threw it in the blender.

Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa...finally a good reason to bring out your slow cooker! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

I poured the habanero mango sauce in the crock pot with the roast and a bottle of beer and let it cook on low all day long. I came home, fried up some tortillas and made a quick mango salsa for a really delicious dinner.

Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa...so EASY your whole family will love it! #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

My sister and Mr. Maebell went back for seconds. They were both plesently surprised. The roast isn’t spicy at all, it just has this great smokey sweet flavor from the habanero mango sauce and the mango salsa has a nice zip from the cilantro and lime. They complimented the crunchy, salty tortillas perfectly!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa
Recipe type: Main Dish, Slow Cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • For the Habanero Beef
  • 1 roast (mine was 2.5 pounds)
  • 2 habanero peppers, sliced and seeds removed**
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped mango (I used frozen mango)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bottle beer (Red bridge is gluten free)
  • For the Mango Salsa
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • For the Tostadas
  • Corn tortillas
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. To make the meat:
  2. In a small sauce pan bring the chopped habanero peppers, lime juice, brown sugar, mango, garlic cilantro, and Worcestershire sauce to a slight simmer.
  3. Let it simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
  4. Carefully pour into a blender and blend until mixture is smooth.
  5. Spray the inside of a large crock pot with cooking spray. Place the roast fat side down, pour habanero mango sauce over the roast. Pour in the bottle of beer.
  6. Cover and let it cook on low for 8 hours.
  7. Shred the roast, and discard any fat and the liquid.
  8. To make the salsa:
  9. Combine all of the salsa ingredients with the lime juice and toss gently.
  10. To make the tostadas
  11. Pour just enough canola oil into a small skillet to cover the bottom. Heat the skillet to medium heat. Carefully place a corn tortilla in the oil and let cook 1-2 minutes until crisp and golden. Turn tostada and let it cook on the other side another 1-2 minutes. Remove from oil and pay on wire rack or paper towel. Sprinkle with salt if you wish.
  12. To assemble.
  13. Place shredded beef onto of tostada top with mango salsa!
  14. **BE CAREFUL! Do not touch your face or eyes. If you are not sure how to cut habanero peppers without touching them watch the video in the link above.

Slow Cooker Shredded Habanero Beef Tostadas with Mango Salsa www.maebells.com

 

 

Andouille Sausage and Red Beans over Rice

Andouille Sausage and Red Beans Over Rice. Total Comfort food! #glutenfree #easyrecipe www.maebells.com

Why didn’t I name this something obvious like Red Beans and Rice? Because I am not entirely sure this is authentic Red Beans and Rice. I once read comments on another blog where the readers got into a fierce debate about what is used in authentic cajun food, so in order to avoid that I will make no claims to know traditional cajun food! :) I just made it up and we really like it, and I happen to think you will like it too!

Andouille Sausage and Red Beans Over Rice. Total Comfort food! #glutenfree #easyrecipe www.maebells.com

While this may not be authentic, it is pretty darn good! Spicy Andouille sausage is cooked until slightly crisp, and paired with sauteed onions in a fiery tomato sauce. This is all served up over rice for an easy weeknight meal!

Andouille Sausage and Red Beans Over Rice. Total Comfort food! #glutenfree #easyrecipe www.maebells.com

While some of you may not be as ready for fall as I am I think this is a nice dish to slowly transition to the warm, comforting flavors of Autumn. As you can imagine this is pretty easy to throw together, it just uses some basic pantry staples you may already have lying around. I paired this with these Cheddar and Summer Squash Cornmeal Muffins that I shared earlier this week. It was awesome. A really really great flavor combonation!

Andouille Sausage and Red Beans Over Rice. Total Comfort food! #glutenfree #easyrecipe www.maebells.com

5.0 from 1 reviews
Andouille Sausage and Red Beans over Rice
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 link Andouille Sausage, sliced (Johnsonville Andouille Sausage is gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of rotel
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven with a lid to medium heat. Lightly spray pot with cooking spray and place sliced sausage in skillet.
  2. Cook sausage for 2-3 minutes until browned.
  3. Add olive oil, chopped onion, peppers and garlic and let cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Add drained and rinsed beans, undrained rotel and tomatoes.
  5. Add spices, broth and bay leaves (if using)
  6. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  7. In a small sauce pan bring broth or water to boil, add rice, reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  8. Serve the red bean mixture over rice
  9. (Alternatively, you can put this in the crock pot and let simmer on low all day)

 

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

Last week we had something Asian inspired almost every single day. I have no idea what has gotten into us, but we are on a major kick. We had Lo Mein, Kung Pao Chicken, Fried Rice and these insanely delicious Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls.

I cannot stress how easy this meal was. From beginning to end this was done in about 15 minutes. It actually took longer for the rice to be ready than the main course. It all starts with a quick easy sauce made from chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Chop some fresh Broccoli into small bite sized pieces and your halfway done!

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

I used fresh salmon fillets that had the skin on, which used to major gross me out but I have kind of learned to deal with at this point. The easiest way to remove the skin is to cook the salmon with the skin on. Here is how I do it. Heat a skillet to medium heat and pour about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add lemon slices to your skillet. This is your nice little citrus buffer that prevents the salmon from sticking. Lay the salmon skin side down right on top of the lemon slices and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

Flip the salmon and using tongs, carefully peel the skin off. Gross gross gross. Throw it away as soon as you can. Let the other side cook for 5 more minutes. At this point I usually carefully remove the lemon slices with tongs because I like the outside of the fish to get a little crisp (you don’t have to remove the lemons, it is totally up to you)

So now you have some lovely, half cooked, unseasoned salmon fillets in your pan. :) Time to add the sauce! Pour the chili garlic sauce right over the top and add the broccoli. Cover and let cook for 3 minutes.

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

I served this over jasmine rice and I found the best way to do it is to lay the salmon right on tip of the rice, add some broccoli and then pour the additional sauce from the pan over your fish so you can control exactly how flavorful you want it to be. I wanted mine super saucy, but Mr. Maebell liked his without extra sauce.

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

There you have it! An easy, healthy, quick meal that doesn’t require a boat load of ingredients or leaves you with a kitchen full of dishes. Don’t you wish all recipes were that easy?!

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce (La choy is gluten free)
  • 1½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan with a lid bring the 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add the rice, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium heat.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and carefully add two rows of lemon slices. Lay the salmon skin side down and let cook covered for five minutes.
  5. Remove lid and carefully flip salmon, cover and let cook another five minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. At this point you can remove the lemon slices from the pan if you wish. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the sauce and the broccoli, cover and let cook for 3 minutes.
  8. To assemble bowls add rice, salmon, broccoli, and spoon out additional sauce from the pan if you wish.

Chili Garlic Salmon and Broccoli Bowls

 

 

Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Don’t you let that fancy name scare you away! You won’t believe how simple this recipe is! This recipe caused me to frantically rearrange my whole blogging schedule for the week. It is so darn good, I had to tell you about it right away!

I bought some big beautiful tomatoes and a giant bunch of basil from the farmers market this weekend so for an easy, light lunch yesterday I decided to do something Caprese inspired. I had been kicking the idea of a galette around for a few weeks but hadn’t got around to make it yet. I knew this would be the perfect opportunity.

Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

This is so easy to throw together. A simple pie crust is rolled out, topped with thick slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. Fold your edges over and bake for 20 minutes. Top with an easy Balsamic Vinegar reduction and chopped basil. That is it!

Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

This is, hands down, my favorite way that I have had tomatoes all summer. I could seriously eat the whole thing. I do think the Balsamic Reduction adds a very nice touch, but I don’t think it is totally necessary if you want to skip that step. Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella make an incredible combo on their own, so either way works great.

Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Just a couple tips: I made a homemade pie crust for this, but store bought pie crust or puff pastry would work beautifully if you don’t have to worry about making it gluten free.

There will likely be some moisture when you remove this from the oven. That is okay, just carefully drain it off. If you use low moisture mozzarella that will help with this.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Caprese Galette with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup flour (I used gluten free Bisquick)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup solid coconut oil
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice cold water*
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 ball low moisture fresh mozzarella
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Topping:
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful freshly chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. In a mixing bowl or using a stand mixer combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut oil until the mixture is course. Add in water one tablespoon at a time while mixer is running until you get a nice soft, moldable consistency.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and spread out the pie crust with your hands. Just form a large circle, it doesn't have to be perfect.
  4. Top with sliced mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Carefully fold over the edges of the dough.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. To make the balsamic reduction:
  8. Heat a small skillet to medium high heat. Add balsamic vinegar and bring it to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and let mixture simmer approximately 20 minutes or until the vinegar has reduced by half. Remove vinegar from heat and let cool.
  9. To assemble: After the Galette has cooked 20 minutes remove from oven. If there is any moisture in your pan carefully drain it off. Let cool on a wire rack. When ready to serve top with balsamic reduction and freshly chopped basil.
  10. *I needed 6 tablespoons, but I was using gluten free flour. If you are using a different kind of flour you may not need as much liquid.

 

Greek Salad Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers

Greek Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers

My lunch is painfully plain. It is the same every single day. I have a Greek salad, or at least what I call a Greek salad. Baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta, olives and dressing. I like it, I really do. Those are some of my favorite flavors, but lets face it, everyone needs a little variety every now and then!

Since those basic salad ingredients are staples in my house I decided to change it up a bit. Instead of a boring old salad in a bowl I threw it in a wrap, added some goat cheese and roasted red peppers. Turns out, it was just the mix up I needed. It was healthy, refreshing, and full of flavor! It was also very filling! I ate this for dinner one night and almost couldn’t finish the whole thing, almost. ;)

Greek Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers, healthy and delicious!

You can totally adjust this based on your personal preferences or what you have on hand. But I warmed an Udi’s tortilla (they are gluten free) but you can use whatever brand you prefer. I threw in some nice chunks of goat cheese, sliced baby bella mushrooms, roasted red pepper and let it all get nice and warm. Then I slid the wrap out of the skillet and added the spinach, olives, feta and cucumbers. You can add the ingredients all at once, but I didn’t want my spinach to wilt while I was warming the tortilla. Again, personal preference is key here! :)

Greek Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers

I didn’t add any dressing or spreads since all of the vegetables were so fresh and juicy and the two cheeses provide the perfect balance of creamy, melted goodness!

Just in case you’re in a salad rut like me, keep this one in mind! Salads magically become more fun when you put them in a wrap!

Greek Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers #healthy #easy

5.0 from 2 reviews
Greek Salad Wraps with Roasted Red Peppers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large tortilla shell (I used Udi's gluten free)
  • ¼ cup sliced roasted red pepper (about ¼ a pepper)
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • ¼ cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • ¼ cup sliced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons feta
  • 2 tablespoons sliced olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Lightly spray skillet. Place wrap in skillet.
  3. Lay the goat cheese, feta, sliced mushrooms, green onions, and roasted red peppers on the wrap. Let wrap cook 30 seconds - 1 minute or until wrap is lightly brown and the cheese has started to melt.
  4. Remove wrap from skillet and add spinach, cucumber, and olives.
  5. Wrap tightly and slice.
  6. This is excellent with a little hummus on the side!

Looking for other healthy quick dinner ideas? Try this Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap or this Spicy Avocado Spinach Quesadilla!

Grilled Zucchini Wrap

Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap

Spinach and Avocado Quesadilla

Spicy Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas

 

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers

If that title doesn’t thrill you, I just don’t know what will.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, an easy, cheap, weeknight meal your whole family will love! This is SO good!

Shredded chicken mixed with creamy ranch flavored cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese and zesty buffalo sauce stuffed into sliced mini sweet peppers.

Hello, dinnertime!

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, an easy, cheap, weeknight meal your whole family will love! This is SO good!

I shared these Pesto Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers a few weeks back and showed you just how easy it is to make a meal out of these little sweet peppers. I am totally in love with these things! They are making weeknight meals so easy!

The prep for these Buffalo Sweet Peppers is very similar to the prep for the Pesto version. You simply mix the shredded chicken with cream cheese, ranch, buffalo sauce, stuff it in the peppers and top with cheese!

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, an easy, cheap, weeknight meal your whole family will love! This is SO good!Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, an easy, cheap, weeknight meal your whole family will love! This is SO good!

This is also really easy to adjust based on you personal preferences. I would recommend just using my measurement for buffalo sauce as a guideline, since everyone has different tastes. As written, this is just enough for a nice bit of spice, but it won’t set your mouth on fire.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, an easy, cheap, weeknight meal your whole family will love! This is SO good!

Try them! I bet you won’t be able to eat just one!

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound mini sweet peppers, tops removed and sliced
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • ¼ cup of Frank's original Buffalo sauce
  • 1½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Green onions for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Place sliced sweet peppers in a single layer
  4. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the chicken, cream cheese, ranch dressing, and buffalo sauce.
  5. Place a spoonful of the buffalo chicken mixture in each pepper.
  6. Top with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Garnish with additional buffalo sauce and green onions if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

I haven’t really talked much about menu planning on the blog. Which is kind of crazy because I am so all about it. I have shared my love of lists with you before, so you can only imagine how detailed I get with the menu planning. I am curious, do you do it? Do you plan everything out to a T? Do you prep meals before or do you just wing it?

Italian Meatballs

This is a photo I shared on Facebook a few months ago. The caption read, “This, plus everything in my oven is what it takes to feed us for one week. That sweet man will eat me out of house and home.” That still holds true. The amount of food that it takes to feed us three meals+snacks for 7 days is astounding.

For a long time, most of the way through college and after we graduated I had most of our meals prepped ahead of time. During the week I went to class, then straight to work at a retail position, closed the store, came home for dinner then homework, then did it all again. There was no time for cooking. But If I had something like a casserole ready to go I could get Mr. Maebell to pop it in the oven and we were good to go. So, while our meals may not have been that creative it kept us fed.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

One of my favorite things to make ahead of time was Italian Meatballs. They were fairly inexpensive, quick to make, they froze well and on recipe made about 60 smallish meatballs. I would just pull a handful out of the freezer and set them in my smallest crock pot with some marinara and come home to a big pot of perfect piping hot meatballs and marinara. These are of course perfect with pasta, but we also love them on pizza, or as a meatball sub.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

I was actually hesitant to even share this with you because it is so darn easy. I don’t add breadcrumbs or anything like that. These are just pure and simple meatballs. Meat, spices, herbs, and ricotta to keep them nice and moist. It is something you can throw together in a matter of minutes and it makes busy nights so much easier.

Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil,  super easy freezer meal!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Meatballs with Ricotta and Basil
Recipe type: Dinner, Freezer Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground italian sausage
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mix all of the ingredients well. This is easiest with a stand mixer, but will also work well if you use your hands.
  3. Roll mixture into small tablespoon sized balls and place on a large greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.
  5. This makes approximately 60 small meatballs. They can be stored in the freezer.