For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Rebekah of Making Miracles. Rebekah is a surrogate mother (which is awesome!) and has two kids of her own. Unfortunately, her 17 year old son recently had a stroke and so I ask you to spare a moment to pray for his recovery! She focuses on making food that is “quick, easy and family friendly!”
Rebekah has tons of delicious recipes, many of which Mr. Bean asked me to make: BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons, Crockpot Shredded Beef, Party Beans, Gourmet Mushroom Risotto and Perfect Summer Sandwich.
She has a large selection of baked goods, but I was visiting Mr. Bean in Red Deer for the weekend, so I had no access to my usual baking and gluten free flour supplies. I chose her Mushroom Sausage Ragu and it did not disappoint! It was fairly simple and very delicious, making it a perfect dinner. We ended up making about double her original recipe, which made excellent left overs.
Mushroom Sausage Ragu
1 lb gluten free mild Italian sausages
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
4 c. Chopped fresh mushrooms
2 – 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 – 798 mL can of diced tomatoes, partially drained with juice reserved
3 tsp. Italian seasonings
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
16 oz. pasta (I used gluten free penne)
- Remove sausages from skins, break into pieces and fry up until browned in a large skillet.
- Remove from skillet into a paper towel lined bowl. Wipe out skillet.
- Add oil to skillet and sauté onions and mushrooms until onions are soft and mushrooms are cooked through. Add garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper. Simmer until most liquid starts thickening up. Add more liquid if desired.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to instructions.
- Serve Ragu over pasta and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes by clicking the link below!
This is a dish that I enjoy making and eating frequently as it’s easy, healthy and makes great leftovers! (Anyone cooking for one knows how awesome leftovers are!) I especially love making this meal in the summer on my BBQ. Unfortunately, my BBQ ran out of gas mid roast, so I ended up frying the sausages in a pan and roasting the veggies in the oven. How’s that for year round versatility?
There are a lot of veggies on this – perfect for veggie lovers like myself – but feel free to use whatever combination you want! I recommend using the tomatoes and the zucchini as they provide most of the moisture for the pasta. I usually end up making the tomatoes and zucchini in one pan and the rest of the veggies on another since there are so many. If you like spice, feel free to roast a chopped spicy pepper along with the veggies.
Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free Roasted Vegetable and Sausage Pasta
12 oz Pasta
6 Large Sausages (Or 12 if smaller)
1 lb grape, cherry or other small tomatoes
2 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 lb mushrooms, washed and quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, ends broken off and cut into pieces
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
Any other seasonings you desire
- Preheat BBQ or oven to 450F. Coat a non-stick pan with olive oil.
- Toss veggies in a few tbsps of olive oil until coated. Spread out on pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Roast veggies for ~30 minutes until the veggies are soft, the tomatoes have burst and there is liquid in the pan.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta and grill or fry the sausages, pronking them with a fork or knife to let the fat out.
- Once the sausages are cooked, paper towel the grease off and slice.
- You can either assemble the meal in your bowl/on your plate or put everything in the pasta pot and stir until the pasta is coated in the tomato juices. You can add a bit of oil if the pasta is too dry for your liking. Salt and pepper to taste.
What’s one of your favourite go to meals?
For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with of Kelsey and Kim of K&K Test Kitchen. They are a mother-daughter duo who started off testing recipes they had collected and come across and sharing them on their blog, which then opened the door to much more experimenting the kitchen. Despite claiming that they aren’t gourmet chefs, they cook meals for everyday, which focus on quality, using common ingredients and everything delicious.
Both of them have lots of wonderful recipes, including the tasty looking Raspberry and Apricot Crostata, Potato, Corn and Green Bean Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinagrette, Street Slaw (slaw made without mayo – my kind of thing!) and their family recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Ultimately, I ended up choosing their Warm Fingerling Potato and Green Bean Salad and it did not disappoint!
I did make a few changes.
- I didn’t have any shallots, so I sauteed up some white onion with garlic. I also added some green onions.
- We couldn’t find any fingerling potatoes, so I used baby yellow potatoes instead.
- I’m not a huge sauce person, so I only made half the sauce the recipe called for and didn’t use all of it and found it to be plenty saucy.
- It’s been quite hot, so I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I cooked the potatoes on the BBQ.
I made it for dinner and served it with grilled pepper and chicken bratwurst from a local European Delicatessen. It was definitely a wonderful summery dinner!
I imagine you could also make it a meal by itself by adding some bacon or prosciutto and/or Parmesan cheese for some protein.
Have you tried any good summery salads or meals lately? Please Share!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:
Happy Belated Canada Day to you Canadians and Happy Fourth of July for all of you Americans! I hope that you enjoyed/will enjoy your respective holiday with friends, family and food! I know I did!
Mr. Bean and I were lucky enough to spend most of our long weekend out at my family’s cabin. We enjoyed good company, great food and excellent weather. The only thing that was too bad that the river was too high and dirty to go swimming in.
Recently, my parents added a “social fire pit,” and Mr. Bean has definitely enjoyed it – his favourite things lately are chopping wood, making fire, cooking food on the fire and drinking beer by the fire. Lucky for us, he was able to do this practically the whole weekend!
We decided to make ourselves a fancier dinner over the fire for Canada Day. On the menu – steak (for Mr. Bean) and chicken (for me) cooked over the fire in Mr. Bean’s grilling basket, cornbread muffins (made in the oven), salad and asparagus. If you don’t have a fire or don’t feel like using your oven, you can easily make the meat and the cornbread in your BBQ.
For dessert, we finished it off with s’mores (complete with gluten-free graham-like crackers!), which I forgot to take photos of. Probably for the better as my camera would be a sticky mess!
I hope this shows that a beautiful and delicious meal doesn’t have to be difficult and provides some inspiration for you 4th of July procrastinators or anyone desirous of a wonderful, easy summer meal. Enjoy!
What did you do this year for Canada Day or for the 4th of July?
I know I haven’t had much presence on the interwebs in the last month or so because of my new job. It’s really only recently that I’ve felt inspired enough to actually do things other than eat, sleep, go to work, go to all the other extracurricular activities and commitments and occasionally go to the gym. It’s getting better as I slowly get into the rhythm of things and get used to getting up early. Today, I felt a bit more inspired to photograph this dinner that Mr. Bean made instead of just eating it and moving on, so I have a recipe to share.
Last Saturday, Mr. Bean and I went to a “locavore” restaurant in Calgary called The District. One of the items on the menu was a very delicious sounding “Venison, Mushroom, Tomato and Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese.” Mr. Bean ended up ordering something else (I couldn’t eat it regardless), but we decided that it sounded like something we would like to try making ourselves. Unfortunately, it sounded like something that wouldn’t really work as a weeknight meal (even though in the end, it took about 45 minutes to put it together), so we’d have to wait to try it on a weekend.
Fast forward to today: we went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market to get some tasty carrots (WAAAAAY better than the ones you get at the grocery store) and decided to also pick up some ground elk and some Alberta made Gruyère cheese in hopes of making it for dinner tonight. It did not disappoint as it was very delicious! Not really a low-calorie meal, but it’s definitely perfect for a splurge that still comes with vegetables!
Fancy Elk, Mushroom and Tomato Gruyère Mac N’ Cheese
1/2+ lb. Ground elk (or other ground meat)
1 1/2 – 2 c. Mushrooms, diced (we used a mixture of white, Portobello and oyster mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1/3 – 1/2 c. each Cream and/or Milk
Salt and Pepper
1+ c. finely grated Gruyère cheese
1/2+ lb. brown rice noodles
1/2 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half
- Heat up butter in a frying pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until reduced and cooked through. Remove from pan.
- In the same frying pan, cook up the ground meat until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, set a pot of salted water to boil and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- While browning the meat, heat up a few tbsp. of butter in a small saucepan. Mince the garlic and add to butter and cook until garlic starts to brown.
- Add cream and milk to butter and garlic and stir to combine. In a measuring cup, mix together 1 – 2 tbsp of cornstarch with cold water, then add to the milk mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness. Add more cornstarch if necessary.
- Stir in about 2/3 – 3/4 of the grated cheese until melted.
- Place the noodles, meat and mushroom mixture in the same pot that you cooked the noodles in. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir until evenly coated.
- Spoon onto plates and serve with cut tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
Have you ever tried to recreate something you saw in a restaurant? How did it turn out?