Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Last Little Bit of Winter March 15, 2016

Looking over my list of recipes that I’ve recently made there are a couple that seem especially wintry, and I thought I should share them before spring starts next week.  This first one combines the wintry flavors of sausage, bacon, apples, mustard, and sharp cheddar cheese.  It’s a delicious burger that we’ve been making for years, but somehow I never put it up here.  It’s pretty easy to make, and has great flavor.

Apple Bacon Burger (from Better Homes & Gardens)

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

1/2 lb. ground beef (To make it easy on yourself, you could use all beef; it’s still really tasty.)

2 cored green apples (1 finely chopped or shredded and 1 sliced)

2 tbsp. mayo

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. honey (Maple syrup is an awesome flavor swap here.)

4 hamburger buns

8 slices crispy bacon

4 slices extra sharp cheddar

  1. Mix together the meats and the finely chopped apple.  Shape into 4 burgers and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or til no pink remains.  (Obviously, if you’re using all beef, you could leave it a bit pink.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, and honey.  Slather this on each bun and top with a burger.
  3. Top the burger with a slice of apple, 2 slices of bacon, and 1 slice of cheese.

Apple Bacon BurgersApple Bacon Burgers 2

This next recipe is a new favorite of mine.  (Because of the veggies used, the husband was pretty lackluster about it.)  This is a veggie and sausage bake that’s topped with a delicious cheese sauce.  BUT, it’s actually a pretty healthy dish (and I found it really filling).  Yes, there’s sausage in it, but it’s only about 4 oz. per serving (and, of course, you could use a chicken sausage to make it even healthier); mainly there’s a lot of roasted sweet potato, slightly toasted kale, and a secretly healthy cheese sauce.  Honestly, the cheese sauce is my new favorite trick.  A regular cheese sauce, like for mac and cheese, starts with equal parts flour and butter; then you add milk, let it thicken, and toss in loads of cheese.  Delicious, but not exactly healthy.  The cheese sauce in this recipe is mostly broth with a little milk, thickened with a touch of flour, then flavored with just a little bit of cheese (1/4 c. for 4 servings).  So you can top your kid’s veggies with this sauce; they’ll be happy because it’s cheese sauce, and you can be happy knowing that it’s pretty healthy.  This recipe is also pretty quick to make (especially if you prepped the veggies on the weekend), so it’s great for when you’re in a hurry.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with Cheese Sauce (from Pinch of Yum)

2 tsp. olive oil

2 peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 3-4 c.)

16 oz. sliced Italian sausage (I actually went with some of our favorite kielbasa.)

2 c. chicken broth

3/4 c. milk

1/4 c. flour

3/4 c. shredded gruyere (Since gruyere’s so expensive, I went with parmesan.)

2 c. finely chopped kale

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the sweet potatoes and sausage, shake to coat, and let brown on all sides.  Once browned all over, toss in the kale, and transfer to a greased 9 in. pan.  (I used a 9 in. pan for half the recipe at a time.  If I was making the whole thing, I’d use a 9×13 pan.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and 1/2 c. milk to a low boil; turn down the heat to a low simmer.  In a measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/4 c. milk into a thick paste.  Add to the broth mix, whisking til thickened.  Add 1/4 c. gruyere, season to taste with salt, and stir til melted.
  3. Pour the sauce into the pan, top with 1/2 c. cheese, and bake 10 min. or til the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.  (My favorite part was the parts of kale that stuck out of the cheese sauce; they got super crisp and tasty!  That’s why I would use a 9×13 if I was making the whole thing.)

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage BakeSweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake 2  Seriously, that’s half the recipe right there.  There’s so much veggie that it’s really filling, but there’s enough sausage and cheese sauce that husbands and kids should still eat it.

Personally, I don’t want to trick my family into eating vegetables, but I love making veggies taste good so that they want to eat more of them.  Do you have a favorite recipe for making veggies taste incredible (and maybe still a bit healthy)?


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