Tag Archives: italian sausage and peppers

Super Summer Side Dish: Black Bean Salad

I am always on the lookout for new side dishes to try, particularly in the summertime. I want to try to make as many things I can without having to use the stove very much or even at all if I can avoid it when it is really hot. I came across this recipe on the Food Network website and saw that it would be good to go along with just about anything from burgers and hot dogs to pork or fish. I actually made it yesterday as a side dish for some Italian sausage and peppers.

Black Bean Salad

1 small garlic clove
Pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons
1 1/2 lines, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears)
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small avocado, halved, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

To make the dressing, smash the garlic clove, sprinkle it with a pinch of the salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to create a coarse paste. Whisk the garlic paste, lime juice, salt and chili powder together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream.

For the salad, cook the corn, bell pepper and onions in the olive oil until beginning to brown over medium-high heat in a large skillet, about 5 minutes. Toss in the black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold in the tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I did change the recipe around just slightly and added a little bit more corn. I did not have any cherry tomatoes on hand but I did have other tomatoes so I just seeded and sliced one up and used that.I also had some black beans on hand that were not in a can but had been originally dried. They had already been soaked so I didn’t have to do that process however, I did add a little bit of water to the skillet once I added the beans and covered the skillet for about 10 minutes to soften up the beans more. I think it tasted just fine using the dried beans, but it will add a little more time to the recipe. I love the flavor of the lime and the garlic in the dressing and what it adds to the flavor of the vegetables and I think this would be a great side dish to use throughout the summer. As I said, I served this with the baked Italian sausage, peppers and onions recipe that I had posted on here recently.

That’s all I have for today. Check back again in over the next few days to see what other recipes I use. I do have some things in mind that I hope to get to over the next few days and when I do my shopping this weekend I’ll see what I get and picked up to make for the coming week. Keep checking back and see what comes along. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day, and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Cooking, Side Dishes


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Mother’s Day Dinner, Part 3- Baked Sausage and Peppers

For the third part of the dinner I made on Mother’s Day, we decided to make something for those who may not be into pasta and tomato sauce as much. I had bought some Italian sausage and was intending just to make plain sausage and peppers and have some rice to serve with it on the side. There’s not much different you can really do with sausage and peppers, but I thought it would be much better, cleaner and maybe even healthier if possible if I did the whole thing in the oven. It’s quick, it’s easy and if you use a disposable foil pan, fast clean-up too.

Baked Italian Sausage and Peppers

1 1/2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage links (about 6 links)

2 large onions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 orange bell pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the onions and peppers, seeding the peppers along the way.Place the onions and peppers in the bottom of a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Toss the peppers and onions with the two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top the vegetables with the Italian sausage links. Prick each sausage several times with a sharp knife or the tines of a fork on the bottom and the top of each link. This will help to release some of their juices to flavor the peppers and onions.

Cover the pan with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil so that the sausages can brown and bake for another 20 minutes. Turn the sausages over to brown on the opposite side and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

That’s all there is to it. I actually added some extra pepper and onions on top of the sausages when I first put them in the pan to get even more flavor. You could certainly serve these on hoagie rolls as a traditional sandwich if you wanted to go that route. You could even do the same recipe on your grill if you wanted, perhaps getting some grill marks on the sausage before you put them in the pan to cover them. Steaming them for that 20 minutes really helps to release some flavor and then browning them for 40 minutes makes them perfect and crisp, just the way I like it. Everyone loved them and there were no leftovers at all and they were taken so fast I never got a picture of them!

I still have a couple of recipes leftover from the Mother’s Day meal that I will post tomorrow. Work kind of slowed me down this week so I didn’t get to post as often as I would like,  but tomorrow we will have the wilted spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette and the tomato and mozzarella. Very simple and easy recipes for both of them. I am also working on the meals for next week so I hope to get to them as well. Keep checking back and see what we come up with. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Pork, Sandwiches, Sausage


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Nothing Like a Home Cooked Meal

It’s Saturday and we had several inches of snow here, so there’s not much going on today. It is a good day for some home cooking, and a really good day for some home cooking classic comfort food. Today was Michelle’s choice on the menu, so we are having Chicken Parmesan with Pasta and steamed mixed vegetables. I am also going to make some Italian Sausage and Peppers with rice, well, because I have the ingredients and I really like it :).

I am pretty sure everyone has made Chicken Parmesan at some point. It’s relatively easy to make and doesn’t really take much time to cook. I use a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network. Hey, if anyone knows how to cook Italian, it’s Giada, right? I’ll be using the leftover tomato sauce from the spaghetti meatballs earlier in the week (and I used some for the pizza last night too, that’s great!) so there’s really not much to this meal. This is a good recipe to get the assembly going if you have some helpers in the kitchen.

Chicken Parmesan

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs ( I am using my own, but you could use panko or other store-bought if you like)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

3 large egg whites

1 tablespoon water

Cooking spray

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and sliced into cutlets

2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (see Monday’s blog for this recipe, or click here

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 teaspoon minced fresh basil

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees F. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.

On a rimmed baking sheet with a rack (or casserole or baking pan), spray with cooking spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs. Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack (or in the pan). Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon the sauce over and around each cutlet and top the sauce with the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.

We’ll be serving the chicken with pasta tonight. Nothing special, just basic spaghetti. As I said earlier in the week when we made just spaghetti and meatballs, I think just about everyone can make spaghetti or has the own way of making it, so I will leave that to you (if you’re using boxed spaghetti and feel really lost, follow the directions on the box).

I am also making simple steamed vegetables tonight. I have a scattering of different vegetables available right now, so we are having, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. As I wrote earlier in the week, I do use a steaming basket in my dutch oven to do this, Placing the basket in with water just to the bottom of it, bringing the water to a boil and then adding the vegetables. Steam the vegetables for about 5 to 7 minutes until you get the bright colors you want and the vegetables are tender. Add some more water if you find that the water is boiling away before the vegetables are done.

Lastly today, I have decided today to add in some sausage and peppers to make. I have some extra Italian sausage in the freezer, so why not?

Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions

1 pound fresh Italian sausage links, sweet or hot

2 cups sliced onions

2-3 bell peppers of any color, cored, seeded and cut into strips

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Prick the sausage in a few places with a fork to allow excess fat to escape and turn the sausage frequently (if you want to slice the sausage into chunks before cooking, which I often do, it’s much easier to do while the sausage is a little frozen still.) Cook until nicely browned all over. Total cooking time will depend on the thickness of the sausages; the best way to see this (if you haven’t cut them into chunks) is to cut into one- when barest trace of pink remains, they are done. Drain the sausages on a paper towel and cover.

Place the onions in the same skillet you used for the sausage over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until softening. Add the peppers and salt and pepper to taste.Cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers have softened, about 8 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan and mix with the vegetables, about 1 minute. Serve on a roll or bun or with pasta (it’s also good over white rice, too).

Wow, we actually did a whole week’s worth of meals and not a lot of work had to be put into it. Not too shabby at all. Tomorrow is Sunday, the one day of the week I usually try to do an elaborate meal, but we are going out tomorrow to my in-laws to celebrate a birthday (Happy Birthday Cathy!) so there’s no cooking this week. Instead, tomorrow I will write about the meal plan for next week (Here’s the planner if you want to use it:family_meal_planner) and I may throw in some lunchbox ideas for the kids (or adults) to use. Stay warm and enjoy your Saturday night; make some popcorn and watch a movie. That reminds me, that will be a good thing to write about, snacks to make for movie watching, I’ll have to remember that! Do you have any suggestions for good movie snacks? Pass them along!

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Pasta, Pork, Poultry, Sauce, Vegetables


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