This post is sponsored in conjunction with #AppleWeek . I received complimentary product from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
We are really enjoying the beautiful fall weather lately. It’s made for a lot of dinners on the deck. And while we’re full into fall flavors – like apples! – we’re still using our preferred summer method of cooking – the grill.
These pork and apple burgers are an awesome fall dinner for this cusp season – it feels like a summer meal, but is full of fall flavors.
My friends have been raving about this recipe and now that I’ve tried it I totally understand why. This is super simple – but super good.
The idea here is that you make egg roll filling, but don’t go through actually wrapping it up – which is kind of brilliant. I’ve made egg rolls before, but they’re time consuming and deep fried, so they’re not something I make on the regular. This version is lighter and perfect for a weeknight!
This meal was so easy! Are you sensing a theme around here? If it’s not quick and easy, I pretty much can’t handle it these days. Going forward, let’s just assume everything I post is quick and easy unless I say otherwise.
On top of being easy, this is freezer friendly. I prepped and popped it in the freezer – and then thawed the day before cooking. If you’re someone who likes to prep ahead, this is a fantastic option.
I love sweet potatoes. And I love that making them in the IP is so damn quick.
This is a great, basic method for cooking them. I served them mashed with cinnamon honey butter (yum!) but if you were baking them to top with pulled pork or cooking them to use for another recipe, this is the way to go!
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter (method from Add a Pinch) Serves 4
4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
Place a steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add sweet potatoes. Pour 1 cup of water over. Cook on manual for 10 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, mix together the butter, honey and cinnamon.
Serve the potatoes topped with cinnamon honey butter.
Jake’s new favorite phrase? “I no like it!” It doesn’t matter if he ate it yesterday or he’s already halfway through the plate, once he throws out the “I no like it!” the meal is officially over.
All things considered, I really can’t complain about his eating habits. He really just seems like a normal toddler, but he’s definitively starting to voice his preferences more. And he has a strong preference for anything in the sausage family. This dinner was made with him in mind.
As expected, he happily gobbled the smoked sausage. The peppers and onions were largely avoided. The farro was his “I no like it!” trigger. All of the grown ups in the house really enjoyed this, though!
Sausage, Pepper and Farro Skillet (slightly adapted from Budget Bytes) Serves 4
1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. smoked sausage
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. oregano
Pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked farro
Slice the onions and peppers. Coin slice the sausage.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Brown the sausage, then drain the excess fait.
Add the onions and peppers to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in the diced tomatoes, oregano, faro, and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for weeks because I wanted to save it for #CookoutWeek – I’m so sorry I’ve been holding out on you guys. But, I’ve officially found my favorite way to grill up sausage.
In the past, I’ve always sort of failed at sausages on the grill. It would sound like such a good idea and then they’d end up undercooked on the inside or overcooked on the outside – or both. Braising them on the grill and then just transferring them to direct heat at the end eliminates all of that – and it’s absolutely delicious.
I had picked up these sausages on a whim at the farmer’s market and they were hands down the best impulse purchase I’ve made in a long time. I already can’t wait to make these again!
Grilled Italian Sausages with Sweet and Sour Peppers and Onions
(from Serious Eats)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 sweet Italian sausage links
Rolls, for serving
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the sliced peppers and onions and toss to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes – until softened and browning. Stir in vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Light one side of a grill and allow to preheat for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the peppers and onions to a 10″ disposable aluminum pan. Push the sausages into the pepper mixture.
Place the tray on the heated side of the grill until simmering. Move to the non-heated side and close grill. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes, flipping the sausages halfway through.
Use tongs to remove the sausages from the peppers and onto the hot side of the grill. Cook, turning often, until browned – about three more minutes.
Serve sausages in rolls, topped with peppers and onions.
There was a running joke in college that I would only do the dishes if I had been drinking. I hate washing the dishes and apparently that was the only way it was tolerable. Now, I don’t have to do the dishes often because Mark and I have a deal worked out – if I cook, he’ll clean up.
The problem is that he’s been working late a lot lately so I’ve been having to do both. Solution? One pan (or pot) meals. And lots of them. This was one of the best I tried – super easy and super flavorful. Tiny and I loved them!
One-Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Vegetables (adapted from Damn Delicious) Serves 2
2 pork chops
2 large white potatoes, dices
8 oz. green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Add the pork chops, potatoes and green beans to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Ranch Seasoning and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss then shake into a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until pork is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Serve immediately.
I’ve got these filed under “easy enough to throw together with a super fussy baby in tow”. Because that’s totally a file in our house right now. Teething, man.
As simple as these are, they took all day to make. I caramelized the onions during the first (30 minute) nap. Fried up the bacon during the second (20 minute) nap. Assembled and wrapped them in foil while I wore him on my back and then threw them in the fridge until ready to bake. It was just one of those days.
On another note, every time I make caramelized onions I have an oh-goodness-I love-these-so-much moment. I’m thinking I need to start just keeping caramelized onions in the fridge so I can put them on, like, everything.
Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Bacon (slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum) Serves 3
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings
4 Tbsp. butter, divided
6 slices of bacon
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 package of King’s Hawaiian sub rolls (6 rolls)
1 lb. deli-sliced ham
6 slices Swiss cheese
In a frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter and then add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. When done, transfer to a bowl and wipe out the pan. Cook the bacon in the same pan, removing to a paper-towel lined plate when done.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the mustard and Worcestershire.
To assemble the sandwiches, brush some of the mustard mixture on the cut side of each roll. Divide ham between rolls and top with caramelized onions, a slice of bacon and a slice of cheese.
Wrap assembled sandwiches in foil. Bake at 350F degrees for 10 minutes or until warm and melty.
You know what I currently have a lot of? Cell phone videos of my kid gagging on green vegetables. Peas and green beans were both an epic fail, so when we got around to trying asparagus with him, I only made a few spears – I knew there would be lots of disgusted faces and spitting it out. To be fair, I don’t know if I’d be a huge fan of plain, steamed asparagus either.
The asparagus in this dish, though, was awesome. My husband said it was his new favorite way to eat it. And a one pot dish = less to clean up, so this was a win all around.
Another win this past week? Getting Jake to eat broccoli without gagging. I mixed it with sweet potatoes and he happily gobbled it up. Why didn’t I think of that before?!
2 boneless pork chops
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
12 oz. red potatoes, cut into chunks
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. herbs de Provence
1 small red onion, chopped
8 oz. asparagus spears
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Preheat your oven to 425F degrees.
On the stovetop over high heat, heat a heavy, oven-safe skillet. Add 2 Tbsp. of the oil and heat until shimmering. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. .Add pork to pan and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and cover with foil. Reduce heat to medium-high and add the potatoes to pan and cook for 2 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove pan from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, tomato paste and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Take 2 tbsp. of this mixture and toss with herbs de Provence, onion, and asparagus in a bowl. Add this mixture to the potatoes and stir to combine.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring about halfway. Place the pork chops over vegetables and bake until the pork is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Top pork chops with additional balsamic mixture and Gorgonzola cheese before serving.
Seven months into motherhood and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything. It been a lesson in “OR” lately.
You can spend time making dinner OR go visit the adorable new twins across the street OR get another load of laundry done.
You can make that nice stew that simmers all day OR go to the baby play date OR run errands at the mall.
It seems that more and more, I’m pushing dinner to the back burner so I’ve been trying to plan easier, more hands-off meals. This slow cooker meal was a huge win – healthy, flavorful and quickly prepped before my busy day got out of hand. It was so nice to plop on the couch for baby cuddles instead of starting dinner after running around!
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup pineapple juice
2 lbs. pork sirloin roast
6 cups of cooked rice
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
Pineapple, sliced into rings
In the slow cooker, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (tomato sauce to pineapple juice). Add the pork and turn to coat. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove pork, shred and return to slow cooker, stirring to combine with the juices.
When the pork is just about done, heat a grill pan. Grill peppers and pineapple until peppers have char marks and the pineapple is starting to caramelize.
Serve pork in bowls with rice, peppers, pineapple and avocado.