7 Favorite Go-To Recipes

There are usually two criteria for recipes that make it into a family’s ‘Recipe Hall of Fame.’ (1) There are recipes that, as busy people in a hurry, we go back to over and over again for the sake of their ease. And (2) there are recipes that are just plain tasty. If a recipe meets those two criteria, I typically find myself going back to it every couple of months to give myself a break from trying new things. Or sometimes my brain just needs to go on auto-pilot for one meal. Here are seven of my favorite go-to meals when I want something familiar, delicious, and easy.

1. Easy Grilled Pork Chops

My favorite way to serve these simple (yet amazing) pork chops is on top of a pile of creamy cheese grits with a spinach salad on the side. YUM.

1/4 c. honey
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 bone-in pork chops (I usually only cook 4)

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, vinegar, cumin and red pepper flakes.
Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper and place in a re-sealable plastic bag with the marinade. Let rest on the counter for 1 hour. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Remove the pork chops from the bag and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the pork chop releases from the grill, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes.
Source: Sunny Anderson

2. Gnocchi with Peas & Prosciutto

This is a really homey dish and so quick to just throw together.

2 Tbs. butter
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed & chopped into 1″ pieces
1 c. frozen peas
3 oz. prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
1 c. low-sodium chicken stock
12 oz. packaged gnocchi
Shredded parmesan cheese

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus & sauce 2-3 minutes, then stir in the peas, prosciutto & stock. Cook 3-4 minutes until asparagus is tender. Season with salt & pepper. Keep warm. Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water until they float to the top, no more than 5 minutes. Drain & add to skillet with vegetables. Serve topped with parmesan cheese. 
Source: Cook This, Not That

3. Mustard-glazed Chicken Thighs

This goes great along side a baked sweet potato and a pile of freshly steam green beans with a dipping sauce. 
1/4 c. melted butter
2 Tbs. mustard (I used honey mustard)
1/2 tsp. dried sage
12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I usually only cook 4-6)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, mustard, sage, some salt & pepper. Place the chicken thighs in a large baking dish, & brush the mustard glazed evenly over each one. Bake for 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the center of one of the thighs. 
Source: The 21-Day Sugar Detox

4. Mushroom Veggie Sloppy Joes

This one looks complicated, but that’s just because of all the chopped veggies. It is unbelievably tasty!

4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2 limes
4 Tbs. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 med. onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
1 sm. zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 c. vegetable broth
3 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
15 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
14 oz. canned dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 c. refried beans
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
4 English muffins
1 avocado
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the over to 450 degrees. Place the mushrooms on a rimmed cookie sheet and season with the juice of 1 lime, salt, pepper, 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1/2 of the garlic, & 1 Tbs. of chili powder. Toss to coat & arrange gill side up. Roast for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, peppers, zucchini & remaining garlic. Season with cumin, 2 Tbs. chili powder, & 1 tsp. salt. Salute 5 minutes then deglaze the pot with vegetable broth. Add tomatoes & beans & stir. Thicken with refried beans. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Toast the English muffins. Chop the mushrooms and place them on top of the English muffins followed by the vegetable chili, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and fresh cilantro. 
Source: Rachael Ray

5. Quinoa Taco Bowls

Probably my all-time favorite quick and easy meal!
1½ c. dried quinoa
3 c. water
1 (1.3 oz.) package taco seasoning
1 (14 oz.) can black beans
8 oz. shredded cheese
3 c. chopped lettuce
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 sm. can sliced black olives, drained
sour cream

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Stir in taco seasoning.
Spoon flavored quinoa into bowls; add toppings as desired.
Source: Lemon Tree Dwelling

6. Slow Cooker Refried Beans

I like to make these beans ahead of time and then roll them up with different toppings into large burritos! They make a great leftover snack with tortilla chips the next day.
2 c. dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 onion, peeled & halved
1/2 jalapeno, cored, seeded, & diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cumin

Combine all the ingredients plus 6 cups water in a slow cooker and cook on high for 8-10 hours. Remove the onion chunks from the cooked beans & discard, drain out most (but not all) of the liquid, and smash the beans with a potato masher until smooth. Serve warm topped with cheese, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro. (Or roll them up into burritos like I do!)
Source: 100 Days of Real Food

7. Vegan Black Bean Burgers

These are the most delicious black bean burgers–and vegan! (I leave out all of the optional ingredients to keep it simple.) I love to serve them with fresh avocado slices and melted cheddar on top with a side of sweet potato fries.

15 oz. canned black beans
1/3 c. chopped sweet onion
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. corn starch
1 Tbs. warm water
3 Tbs. chile-garlic sauce (I leave this out)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. seafood seasoning (I used Lawry’s instead)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into crumbs
3/4 c. unbleached flour (or as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Mash black beans in a bowl; add onion & garlic. Mix. Whisk cornstarch, water, chile-garlic sauce, chili powder, cumin, seafood seasoning, salt, and black pepper together in a separate small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into black bean mixture. Mix whole-wheat bread into bean mixture. Stir flour, 1/4 cup at a time, into bean mixture until a sticky batter forms.
Spoon ‘burger-sized’ mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about a 3/4-inch thickness per mound. Shape into burgers. Bake in the preheated oven until cooked in the center and crisp in the outside, about 10 minutes on each side.
Source: All Recipes


2 thoughts on “7 Favorite Go-To Recipes

  1. Kelly says:

    Some of these are my favorites too. The gnocchi with peas and prosciutto came from Cook This, Not That and the mushroom veggie sloppy sandwiches came from Rachel Ray. Keep on cooking!!!! Nothing better than a home-cooked meal.

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