One-Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggie Roast

Oh hey there St. Paddy’s Day.  While everyone is out and about celebrating with green beers, Guinness, and Bailey’s, I decided to make a cozy twist on an Irish dinner.  I was not thinking about the holiday when I went grocery shopping this weekend so I decided to create a pseudo-Irish meal by throwing together a one-pan roast.

One-Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggie Roast

Okay so I might not be fooling anyone.  My thoughts were chicken sausage could represent the bangers from “bangers and mash” and brussels sprouts would be comparable to the cabbage component of “corned beef and cabbage”.  I threw in some broccoli for a little more green and carrots for a bit more color.  This meal is great for many reasons: minimal ingredients, one pan, quick cook time, awesome flavors.  You can easily add or substitute the veggies you have on hand and use any flavor of sausage links.

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March has snuck up on me out of nowhere.  I have no idea where the days have gone, but I am so happy that we now enjoy more hours of sunlight after a long day of work.  Now if the rain could settle then life would be perfect.  Until then roasts like this dish are the perfect dinner-fix for a weeknight or weekend.

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As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 

1 T extra virgin olive oil
8 oz brussel sprouts, rinsed
6 oz broccoli florets, rinsed
4 large carrots, peeled and rinsed (I used various colors)
1 t garlic powder
12 oz fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced (I used jalapeno-flavored)
salt and pepper

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and grease 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. While the oven is preheating prepare your veggies: remove stem from brussels sprouts and halve and slice carrots in half length-wise then cut into 2-inch pieces.  Place broccoli, brussels sprouts, and carrots in baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the veggies for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and add the chicken sausage.  Continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes.  Serve warm with optional freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

Let’s talk warm “fall is in the air” meals.

Pasta and roasted vegetables, how much more comfy, cozy can I get in the kitchen without making a stew?  I love to make hearty, vegetarian-friendly meals and this dish fits that mold perfectly.  You don’t even miss the meat due to the complex flavors from the roasted vegetables, the pasta, and the buttery, cheesy, herby, truffle-icious sauce.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

Truffle oil and truffle salt have this wonderful earthy quality, yet they jazz up any dish and make it pretty darn extraordinary.  I couldn’t stop at the truffle oil infused, brown butter sauce I HAD TO sprinkle a pinch of truffle salt on top of each personal bowl.  Oh yeah I was feeling generous ;)

Another perk of making this dish…the entire apartment smells like yummy, roasted veggies.  It is one of my favorite cooking aromas–roasted vegetables and garlic sautéing, it’s a close contest as to which smell wins my heart, taste buds, and stomach.  This dish provided both aromas–I was a happy little, amateur chef.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

I decided to brown the butter since I was going with such a simple sauce, adding the walnuts to the warm butter really awakened their flavor and adds a great firm texture to the pasta dish.  Of course, since I have a never-ending love affair with cheese I had to hit it with a lil fresh parmesan.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

Yes, this is a close-up.  Look at that colorful, rich, cheesy goodness. 

Seriously, you will not be able to enjoy just one serving of this pasta.  I served up seconds and even snuck a few bites in as I was putting the leftovers in tupperware.  Hello new, favorite roasted vegetable pasta dish.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables and Brown Butter Truffled Pasta

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Recipe inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod’s Brown Butter Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

The Players: 

For the roasted vegetables: 
2 C brussels sprouts
1 large sweet potato
1/2 red onion
1 green bell pepper
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T vegeta (alternatively substitute 1-2 t sea salt)
1 t red pepper flakes
cracked pepper to taste

For the pasta:
3 C whole wheat fusilli pasta
5 T unsalted butter
1 stalk fresh rosemary, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t truffle oil
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan, plus additional as a garnish
truffle salt for sprinkling

The Rules:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a large baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Prepare your veggies: rinse and half the brussels sprouts, peel the sweet potato and chop into 1/2-inch cubes, chop the red onion into 1/2-inch pieces, remove the stem from the bell pepper and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Transfer the veggies into a large mixing bowl add olive oil, vegeta (or salt), red pepper flakes, pepper and toss to evenly coat veggies.  Spread the vegetable evenly on baking dish and roast in oven for 40 minutes, turning the vegetables at the half-way point.
  4. When there are 20 minutes left for the veggies to roast, bring water to a boil in a large stock-pot.  Add the fusilli and a pinch of table salt to the boiling water, cook according to package (~10 minutes for al dente), stirring occasionally.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and rinse pasta with cold water.
  6. Place the stockpot back on the burner and add butter to the pot.  The oven burner should still be on medium-high heat.  Stir the butter so that it melts and foams, but does not burn.  Add the rosemary, garlic, truffle oil, and walnuts to the butter.  Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.  There should be brown bits in the butter.  Turn the oven burner off.
  7. Add the fusilli, roasted vegetables, and parmesan cheese to the stock pot.  Stir until well combined.  Serve immediately, garnished with additional freshly grated parmesan and a pinch of truffle salt sprinkled on top.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Oh cauliflower.  You versatile vegetable you.  I cannot get enough of you.

The moment I decided to substitute a lot of my starchy sides with cauliflower was a glorious one.  You cannot go wrong with this veggie and since it has a bland flavor, cauliflower will take on the taste of whatever seasonings you throw on it.  Although cauliflower can be boiled, steamed, mashed, made into a pizza crust, and many other uses, my favorite way to prepare it is ROASTING.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting veggies is great for anyone that needs a little help with time management.  I can throw the produce in the oven, run some errands, do a load of never-ending laundry, take a shower, walk Teek, research recipes online…you name it!  I love when cooking does not interrupt the ten million other activities on life’s perpetual to-do list.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

You could honestly eat the cauliflower without the added “zhuzh” (thank you Jenna for adding this word to my vocabulary) of balsamic and parmesan.  It tastes amazing when it is roasted and seasoned with just a little garlic.  But as you know by now I LOVE CHEESE.  And cheesy cauliflower is a classic–why mess with a classic? ;)

Adding balsamic vinegar is something I typically do when I roast veggies.  The balsamic vinegar provides a nice acidity to contrast the creaminess of the cauliflower and cheese.  The balsamic glaze finishes off the dish with a little syrupy sweetness.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

This balsamic and parmesan roasted cauliflower is a simple, nutritious, and quick side dish that will turn any main dish into a gourmet entree.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 
1 cauliflower head
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t garlic powder
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/3 C parmesan, freshly grated (additional tbsp to garnish)
1 T balsamic glaze (optional garnish)

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Remove the stem and leaves from the head of cauliflower by using a sharp knife to core the stem.  Then break down and cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.  Rinse the florets.
  3. Place cauliflower in a gallon-size, resealable plastic bag.  Add oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake until florets are evenly coated.
  4. Spread florets on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and place florets in a medium-size mixing bowl, add balsamic vinegar and parmesan, then toss with spatula to coat cauliflower with cheese and vinegar.  Transfer cauliflower back to baking sheet and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove florets from oven and transfer to serving bowl, garnish with drizzle of balsamic glaze and freshly grated parmesan.  Serve warm.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

Meze. This word translates to small bites in my Bosnian upbringing. I grew up with my deda (grandfather) enjoying a more “tapas” or “charcuterie” version of dinner. His ideal meze, consisted of various white cheeses, olives, pickles, crusty bread, fresh tomatoes in a vinegary marinade, and of course cured and smoked meats. We even went as far as purchasing a smoker to smoke our own meat at one point. Dedication people. That is true dedication.

Eating a smorgasbord of Mediterranean-influenced bites is still MY FAVORITE way to enjoy dinner. I am my deda’s granddaughter. You can guarantee I will ask to try a bite of whatever someone else has ordered, even if a meal was not meant to be shared.

When I host a girl’s night it is pretty much assumed that dinner will be in the form of dips, veggies, meats, cheeses, olives, breads—you know “family style”, sharing food, and eating a little bit of everything. I had invited one of my girlfriends over for one of these “meze” nights this past week, I had an eggplant that needed to be used, and I decided to man up and get over my fear of recreating one of my favorite Mediterranean dips—Baba ghanoush.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush is a food I looked forward to on Mediterranean menus because I was always too intimidated to make this dip at home. Mainly because I have never cooked with nor do I have tahini paste on hand.   Upon exploring the pantry, I discovered toasted sesame seeds – why hello main ingredient in tahini pastes, why not improvise? I decided to add some sesame seeds to the food processor and keep adding oil until a thick paste formed. I knew that the eggplant and lemon juice would add more moisture to the dip so I played around with the amount of oil needed to form the thick paste. Food is art and science after all—you can always find a work-around if you are determined enough. My tahini paste substitution worked! The sesame flavor was a perfect complement to the eggplant :)

Roasting the eggplant did take longer than expected. I ended up baking it whole, and then cutting it to see if the inside was cooked through. After 30 minutes of roasting, I decided to cut the eggplant into eighths and finish baking until tender. I did not want to cut it into slices or cubes initially because I did not want the eggplant to caramelize. I will continue playing around with the best way to roast this veggie for the baba ghanoush and will keep you all posted—for now the method below works (even if it is not the timeliest)!

Baba Ghanoush

Oh well, I used my veggie roasting time to shower, get ready, enjoy another cocktail…you know all those girly things that need to happen ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players:

1/3 C toasted sesame seeds (Substitute 1/3 C tahini paste for sesame seeds and 2 T EVOO)
3 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic
½ lemon, juiced
2 T fresh parsley
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

The Rules:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Remove stem from the eggplant and rinse. Pierce eggplant with fork in numerous areas then place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake eggplant for 30 minutes, rotating eggplant after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into eighths. (Note: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then quarter each half of the eggplant)
  3. Roast the eggplant an additional 15-20 minutes –until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then peel the skin off the eggplant.
  4. While the eggplant is roasting, add sesame seeds and 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until a paste forms. (Note: you will need to stop intermittently and use a spatula to remove the sesame seeds from the sides of the food processor)
  5. Add the eggplant, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and remaining olive oil to food processor. Pulse all ingredients until a hummus-like consistency forms. Taste and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  6. Serve with sliced veggies, warm naan or pita bread, or on top of salads and sandwiches. (Note: you can store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator)

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

If you haven’t caught on by now I enjoy cooking with bacon, balsamic, and sweet potatoes.  A co-worker of mine once told me that the trick to making the best potato salad is adding bacon grease.  FYI adding bacon grease to anything, pretty much makes it the best “fill-in-the-blank” ever.  My college town of Madison, WI even had an infamous bacon night at a local bar.  Yes, we were served free, fried bacon with the purchase of a PBR tall boy.  How Wisconsin can you get?

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

The fact that it is fall in the PNW means even more yummy veggies that I can roast.  Brussels sprouts are a great vegetable that you can roast, steam, or pan fry.  I prefer to roast my produce because a) the apartment smells fantastic b) I love when the vegetables get caramelized.  Something I have never understood is why there is such a stigma for brussels sprouts?  Pretty much every movie or tv show growing up always had kids begging not to eat brussels sprouts.  I bet if the brussels sprouts had been smothered in bacon grease, roasted, and drizzled with a balsamic glaze, those child actors from my youth would be BEGGING for a bite.

ADDED BONUS: This is an easy recipe because the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts roast for the same duration.  It’s a one pan dish essentially and since I always line my baking pans with aluminum foil…clean up is a breeze.  Oh yeah the deal just got sweeter.

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

After we devoured dinner, I had the idea that the next time I make this side it might be fun to add a burst of fresh, fruity flavor and sprinkle some pomegranate seeds into the mix.  Perfect for the holiday season and can you imagine how pretty those pictures would be???  I will keep you all posted if I try this variation and what the outcome is!

Balsamic, Bacon, Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Hash

P.s. This dish was so delicious that I did not do it justice with the pictures.  I just wanted to enjoy it–I will try and post some better photos soon, but at least you know that it was just that good I could not even pause to get artsy with the camera ;)

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players:

1 large sweet potato
15-20 brussels sprouts
3 pieces of bacon
1 T coconut oil, melted
1 sprig of rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
2 T balsamic glaze

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line large baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Pan-fry bacon according to package.  Set bacon aside on paper towel to absorb extra grease and reserve bacon grease that is in the pan.
  3. Prepare the veggies: rinse the brussels sprouts, remove the stem and cut in half lengthwise; rinse the  sweet potato and cube into pieces similar in size to the brussels sprouts. Place veggies in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bacon grease, coconut oil, rosemary, salt and pepper to the bowl.  Mix until veggies are coated evenly.
  4. Transfer veggies to baking pan and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven flip brussels sprouts and potatoes over, sprinkle was garlic and continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer roasted veggies to a serving bowl.  Chop bacon and sprinkle on top, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Serve warm.