Saturday, July 6, 2013

Roasted Potato, Brussels Sprout, Sweet Bell Pepper, Diced Tomato & Italian Sausage Skillet

My apologies for the infrequency of recipe posts lately. As you can safely assume, I've eaten my fair share of meals, but they haven't been properly documented via camera so I can't share them with y'all. Have you noticed I use y'all more frequently? Yes, I'm a Kansas girl, but I've lived in Texas long enough now that I think it's acceptable to use.

And thanks to this past season of The Voice and living in Texas where 70% of the radio stations are tuned into Nashville, I've re-ignited my childhood interest for country music. Slightly. I'm blaming it on Blake Shelton for urging his artists to perform numerous country tunes that I listened to in the early to mid 90s.

Don't worry--I'm still picky as hell. I expect lyrics that are fairly non repetitive, which is harder to find in current country songs these days, in my opinion. Good country music tells a story and doesn't repeat the same boring lyric a thousand times. Ahem.

Anyway...back to FOOD!

This roasted veggie and Italian sausage dish was a spur of the moment throw-together meal I made from foods hanging around my fridge. I let the oven do most of the work (roasting makes all veggies taste amazing), cooked the hot Italian sausage with some diced onions and tomatoes in my cast-iron skillet, combined it all together with plenty of seasoning and a bit of shredded cheese and voila--dinner!

Feel free to swap out whatever roast-able veggies you have available. Although, I do recommend my particular combo. I love sweet red peppers, onion and potatoes together and sneaking brussels sprouts in there with Italian sausage is a perfect way get picky omnivores to nosh away. Oh, and bacon. That usually does the trick. :)

Roasted Potato, Brussels Sprout, Sweet Bell Pepper, Tomato and Hot Italian Sausage Skillet
A quick skillet dish combining roasted vegetables such as yukon gold potatoes, brussels sprouts and sweet bell pepper with pan-fried hot Italian sausage, onion, tomato, bacon and seasonings. 
Serves: 3-4


For the roasted veggies: 
4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes, washed and chopped
6-7 brussels sprouts, quartered
1 1/2 sweet red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
2-3 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
Seasoning to taste: granulated garlic, sea salt, cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper 

Skillet component:
2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1/2 lb of hot Italian ground sausage
1/2 a can (7.5 ounces) of organic, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained or fresh diced tomatoes
Seasoning to taste: granulated garlic, sea salt, cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper, chopped fresh oregano and basil leaves
1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I used a 3 cheese Italian blend)

Pre-heat an oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut the potatoes, brussels sprouts and sweet bell peppers. Dice the bacon. Spread them all out on a large baking or roasting sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season to taste with the spices listed above. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. (The larger you cut the potatoes the longer it will take to cook.) Turn on the broiler in the last five minutes to crisp all the veggies.

While those are in the oven, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium and add the olive oil or coconut oil. Peel and dice the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the ground Italian sausage and saute, stirring occasionally until all the pink is gone and it's cooked through. When the sausage is cooked about halfway, add in the diced tomatoes. Season to taste with the spices listed above. I you don't have fresh oregano or basil, dried or an Italian seasoning blend works well.

If the skillet finishes before the roasted veggies, set it aside off the heat until they are done. Toss the veggies into the skillet and if it seems a tad too dry, drizzle with a few teaspoons more of extra-virgin olive oil. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Top with shredded cheese.

Notes & Tips
Don't have a cast iron skillet yet? Hurry and get one here. They're non-toxic, affordable and literally last a lifetime or two if cared for properly. They also have a neat rooster cast-iron skillet if you like hanging your pans for display.
Real Food Resources

Real Food Survival Guide For Busy Moms

"This e-book is perfect for busy folks who need help maximizing their time in the kitchen so they can fix nutritious, real food snacks and meals to eat at home and on the go. In addition to realistic advice, this book provides recipes for real food staples you can make in bulk ahead of time, which ensures you always have nutrient dense foods at hand. And it’s especially helpful if you’re interested in implementing homemade fermented foods into your diet."

From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes 

"If you're looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured."

Question for Discussion: What are your favorite go-to skillet or oven meal for quick dinners?

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