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I love gumbo. But it can be a major undertaking! This slow cook version makes it so easy. And it is SO good. I highly recommend adding the roux at the end. It makes the sauce just right.

slow cook chicken and sausage gumbo

Slow Cook Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
via back to her roots

1 large onion, diced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces frozen or fresh okra, sliced into discs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into half moons
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large slow cooker, add all ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 or until vegetables are mushy and stock is slightly thickened (it will still be thin; if you find it too thin, stir in a roux to thicken to preference). Serve with brown or white rice.

I was talking to my lovely friend the other day about how I just haven’t had it in me lately to do anything particularly interesting for dinner. She mentioned one of her favorite quick meals is Zataran’s Jambalaya, jazzed up with extra veggies. Thanks Rebecca! This was awesome and just what we needed after a long day.

rebeccas_jambalaya_recipe_raudette

Zataran’s Jambalaya Mix (family size)
1 lb chicken sausage
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small yellow onions, diced
3 bell peppers, diced — I used: 1 red, 1  yellow, 1 green
32oz of chicken broth
15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
15oz can of diced tomatoes
1 Tbl olive oil
1 bunch green onions, diced

Warm the oil in a large pot, add the chicken sausage, breaking it up a bit. Add the Jambalaya Mix and Chicken Broth. Bring to a boil and then bring temperature back down to low. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, saute the celery, onions and peppers, for about 10-15 minutes. Once the rice mix is done, add the tomatoes (with juice), beans and the sauteed vegetables. Stir in half the diced green onions, reserve the rest for garnish at the end. Serve hot!

It’s been so long! But stews have been calling me. And this is the perfect transitional stew. Fresh, bright ingredients that still feel right on a warm summer night, but warm and filling enough as the weather starts to turn. Plus, anything with fresh peas and ricotta is bound to be amazing.

fregola with green peas mint and ricotta

Fregola with Green Peas, Mint and Ricotta
via bon appetit

1 1/4 cups fregola (can substitue pearl couscous, if you’re having trouble!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
4 ounces ricotta

Cook fregola in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse), reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fregola and cook, stirring often, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Serve topped with ricotta, mint, and cracked pepper and drizzled with oil.

 

This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

When I’m in a restaurant ordering enchiladas, I almost always go for the cheese filled ones. Creamy and spicy might be my favorite mix. These burritos ended up hitting that craving right on the nose, but with a lot less cheese (!!!). Amazing, right? I’m trying to cut back a bit on the dairy, and this avocado and blended black bean mix went above and beyond.

black bean and avocado burritos

Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
via the kitchn

2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely minced
1 cup sour cream
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 medium avocados, cut in 1/2-inch dice
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray (or olive oil). Combine chipotle and sour cream in a bowl. Purée half the beans in a food processor; add to the sour cream mixture. Stir in the whole beans and corn until well combined. Gently stir in the avocado. Warm the tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave between damp paper towels to soften. Working one at a time, spoon the bean mixture down the center of each. Roll the tortillas closed and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the salsa over the tortillas and top with the shredded cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted and burritos are warmed through.

Green Goddess. I never really tasted something that captured that for me until this dish. Lemony green goodness. I’m so looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. I imagine this is just as delicious cold as warm! I’ll be adding it to the list of possible pasta salads, coming to a summer BBQ near you!
{update: this is AWESOME cold and I will definitely be using it as a sauce on at least 10 summer pasta salads this year. Yum!}

broccoli feta pasta_raudette

Broccoli & Feta Pasta
via the kitchn

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
1 pound pasta

Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam on the stove or in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. Start your pasta water and cook to al dente (I cooked mine in the broccoli water).
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the onion and garlic until it just begins to soften then add the broccoli. Cook for several minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add the parsley and cook until it’s well wilted. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for about two minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1/4 cup of the feta cheese and the 1/4 cup water. Puree until smooth, adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little more water if it sticks and turns to a lump. Puree until as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Taste and add any necessary additional salt and pepper. Serve over your pasta of choice with additional feta to taste.

I’m really really bad about making myself breakfast. Even when I’m home on the weekend. Suddenly it’s 1pm and I’m starving and… argh. I need to get better at this. One thing that’s really helped is overnight oats! It’s just one cup of oatmeal, one cup of your choice of milk, any mix-ins you want, time, and voilà!

raudette overnight oats

I’ve tried and seen a million great options. Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorites:

The first one I tried: Coconut with Coconut Milk (simple and perfect)
Peanut Butter & Banana

Peach Pie
Cinnamon Apple
Raspberry Almond

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla

And my own personal favorite:

Maple & Brown Sugar Overnight Oats
1 cup whole grain oats
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Mix well. Put into an airtight container (mason jars work well!). In the morning, stir and eat!
(sometimes if it’s a chilly morning, I’ll pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so).

Oh. My. I’ve always had a soft spot for sloppy joes, but mixing them up with taco flavor and toppings? Mind blown. And easily made vegetarian by swapping out the meat & chicken broth!

taco sloppy joes
Taco Sloppy Joes
via lemons for lulu

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup chicken broth
14 ounces pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Sour Cream (and any other toppings you’d like!)
4 hamburger buns

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until mostly brown. Add the diced onion and cook until the turkey has browned and the onion is translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Stir. Add broth and salsa. Stir. Add the beans and frozen corn. Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Split each hamburger bun. Top each with turkey mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc. Enjoy!

Finally! I’ve been meaning to try zucchini noodles for so long and after we finally picked up a spiralizer, I knew it was on. Love this for a meatless Monday! It’s rich and satisfying but not too heavy. Planned on making this with pork chops, but ended up just eating 2 giant bowls instead!

Creamy Red Pepper Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper & Chèvre Sauce
via GI365

2 roasted red peppers, about 8 ounces (fresh or jarred)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 pounds zucchini, ends cut off and spiralized or cut into ‘noodles’
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces of soft goat cheese, (usually labeled chèvre)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the 2 roasted bell peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, goat cheese and 1 teaspoon salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. For the zucchini noodles: heat a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic; sauté for a minute or two until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the sea salt and zucchini noodles to the skillet and sauté using a pair of non-stick tongs to toss the noodles. Just as the zucchini noodles begin to soften, but before they start shedding water, add the sauce and cook just until the sauce is heated. Adjust the salt to your taste, and serve immediately with the freshly chopped parsley, grated parmesan, extra goat cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

After a long week, I love to sit down with the husband and enjoy a pint of chocolate or coffee ice cream. And yes, I usually eat the whole pint in one sitting. Well, I stumbled across this little recipe recently and fell in love. It’s incredibly delicious on it’s own, and amazing with just a few mix-ins! I went for Nutella this time, just a spoonful added to my bowl, but any nut butter would be great, along with cocoa, sprinkles, fresh berries, honey, almonds… the options are endless! I have the feeling this will become a weekly ritual.

banana ice cream

And after two small bowls each (it’s so good and there’s no guilt!), we had just enough to fill up a little mason jar and toss it in the freezer for tomorrow night. It just needs a few moments to soften on the counter and voila!

banana ice cream

1 Ingredient Ice Cream
via the kitchn

4-6 ripe bananas

Start with ripe bananas: They should be sweet and soft. Peel the bananas and cut them into half inch slices. Put the bananas in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.
Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. The banana will look crumbly at first; scrape down the food processor and keep blending. As the last bits of banana smooth out, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins, like peanut butter or chocolate chips, this is the moment to do it). Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, it will be more like the texture of frozen yogurt. We ate most this way because we couldn’t wait!

Nutella, so far, is my favorite mix-in. What would yours be?