Sausage Vegetable Bake (EASY!)

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I am not even joking about how easy this recipe is, and how yummy it is…and its good FOR YOU. Well, its not fried, or cooked in oil, or a pan on the stove…its all roasted and 1/2 of the meal is veggies. 🙂 The only hassle at all with this recipe is chopping vegetables, but if you hate that part – buy them pre-chopped at your grocery store and you’ll fly through this. I only took like 3 pictures because this is such a fast/easy recipe. My son even ate it and he never eats veggies OR meat! #WINNING mom move. I hope you like it as much as my family did.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package rope sausage (or you can use a package of links). I used Johnsonville – love that brand. Slice the sausage, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • 1.5 cups small new potatoes or other small potato variety – cut into halves or quarters (want them to be the size of a quarter or smaller)
  • 1.5 cups asparagus chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli chopped small
  • 1 cup canned corn – drain liquid
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In large mixing bowl, add sausage, broccoli, red pepper, asparagus, oregano, thyme, sage, garlic powder 1 tsp pepper, 2 pinches salt and 2 tbsp EVOO. Mix well and place onto foil-lined baking sheet
  3. In same bowl, add 1 tbsp EVOO, potatoes, pinch of salt and pinch of black pepper. Mix well to coat and place on separate foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Place both baking sheets into the oven. Turn timer on for 10 minutes.
  5. At 10 min flip over the veggie/sausage mix – turning all vegetables & sausage over
  6. At the same 10 min mark, flip the potatoes as well…and then sprinkle the cup of corn onto the potatoes
  7. Turn on timer for 3 more minutes. Then remove veggies/sausage. (total cooking time about 13 min)
  8. Check potatoes for tenderness, if not easy to pierce with fork – return to oven for 3 more minutes at a time until done.
  9. Mix both trays into large serving bowl – potatoes/corn and sausage/veggie mix
  10. Serve!
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the little potatoes I use

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potatoes tossed in oil, salt, pepper ready for oven

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veggie and sausage mixed with herbs & olive oil – ready for oven

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final product!

Butternut Squash Gratin

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FullSizeRender_4I make a mean potato gratin, but I will tilt my hat to the ingredients more than I will my cooking skill. Its not hard to make a delicious dish when you have cheese, cream, potatoes and then some more cheese. This summer we had a backyard full of butternut squash. Beware if you choose to grow it – as it will take OVER your lawn. It is a blessing for me though since it kept the grass from growing meaning less yard work and lots of yummy yummy squash. Butternut squash is one of my favorite veggies and this gratin was born from the question I posed while staring at the buckets of it in my basement: “if gratin is good w/ potatoes – is it just as yummy with squash’? The answer – IT IS. Its actually BETTER in my opinion.

I used the exact same process as I did with my potato gratin, but instead I used squash and added sage to balance the sweetness of the roasted squash. It added a sweetness and depth to the dish that you can’t get with just potatoes. Plus the bright orange is just so beautiful. Its a perfect dish for any parties or hosting you do this winter.

I made this for Thanksgiving at my in-laws house in Omaha. It was a HIT! I also made one for e close friend who injured her shoulder and couldn’t cook this holiday, apparently they loved it as well – so you’ve got a winning dish here. Enjoy!

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me and my husband getting ready to feast!

 

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The table is ready!

 

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our spread for Thanksgiving!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two medium sized butternut squash – peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 fennel bulbs – thinly sliced and core removed
  • 1 yellow onion – thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp dried rubbed sage
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a larger baking dish. 9×13 should work and you can always use two smaller pans if needed
  3. Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the core and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise. Keep a few of the fennel fronts, the pretty green feathery leaves – for garnish.
  4. Melt butter and oil in large saute pan on medium heat
  5. Add in fennel, onion garlic, salt & pepper. Cook for 15 minutes stirring often until all items are very soft and starting to caramelize. Turn off heat and remove from burner.
  6. Put squash into a large bowl
  7. To the squash in the bowl, add cream, milk, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup of gruyere and 3/4 cup of gouda cheese. Stir well to combine.
  8. Next add in the fennel, onion, garlic mixture to the bowl and mix all again. Sprinkle again with a pinch more salt and pepper.
  9. Pour mixture into the baking pan(s).
  10. Press squash mix down into the pan, don’t be forceful, the point is really to smoosh down/arrange so they are in level rows as much as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means.
  11. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup gruyere and 1/4 cup gouda on top
  12. Place in oven for 45 minutes. At the 45 minute mark check squash with a knife – if you can insert easily w/ no ‘crunch’ or stiffness. The knife should insert easily into the squash but it shouldn’t be mushy. If still crunchy, let cook another 10 minutes and check again. Repeat until the dish is cooked through.
  13. The top of the squash should be a crispy golden brown cheese layer, if its not crispy enough – turn the broiler on low and set timer for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye so it doesn’t burn!
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Sliced butternut squash

 

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Sautéing the butter, fennel, garlic and onion

 

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Sautéing the vegetables until they caramelize

 

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CHEESE!

 

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Mixing squash, fennel/onion mix, cream and cheese

 

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Mixing all ingredients before putting in the oven

 

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Final product!

 

 

 

 

Grilled Vegetable Salad

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I often make burgers in the spring and summer – after the mayo, cheese, and red meat – I feel I need something healthy. There aren’t many veggies I don’t love, and mixing them together after coming off the grill makes a delicious, nutrients packed side-dish, that is beautiful and looks really impressive when it takes little time at all.

Cooking veggies on the grill is easy, but you need to be mindful and keep track of the different cooking temperatures of the various veggies. Its usually best to cook them in separate grill pans or foil packets to ensure they are cooked perfectly and don’t end up mushy. If they are grilled separately, you can pull them off as they are done and then combine once all are cooked. Veggies should be soft so they can be pierced easily with a fork, but still have a slight give/crispness to them on the outside.

I served this salad with my recent restaurant redo of In-N-Out burger. Very yummy dinner that I plan to do a few more times this season! Enjoy!

Ingredients (for 5-6 people):

  • 2 small sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed into small 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus – white stalks trimmed
  • 1 zucchini – cubed into small 1 inch pieces
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob
  • 1 cup green beans – ends trimmed
  • 2.5 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper grinder
  • 1 tbsp balsamic reduction. I used store bought (yay Costco!) Or you can make your own with 2 cups of balsamic vinegar – reduce over medium heat until its down to 1/4 cup – about 40 minutes. Should be consistency of syrup.
  • 5 sheets of aluminum foil – each about 1.5 to 2 feet long

Directions:

  1. Before getting started – you’ll be prepping each vegetable and then placing it into a foil packet to cook. As you get done with one vegetable – continue process with others. Fold the foil it in half so you’ve got a double layer. Place your ingredients in the center, then pull over one side, folding the edges to seal. Then fold the remaining two edges. Don’t seal the packet too tightly (except for corn): leave some room for the steam to expand. If your grill isn’t large enough, do some of the vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees.
  2. Light grill.
  3. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with two pinches of salt and about 3 twists of a pepper grinder. Mix well and place in foil packet.
  4. Repeat step 2 for asparagus.
  5. Repeat step 2 for green beans – but only use one pinch of salt.
  6. Repeat step 2 for zucchini – but only use one pinch of salt.
  7. For the ears of corn, rub with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, rub each ear with one pinch of salt and one pinch of ground pepper. Before closing pouch, pour in 2 tbsp of water and seal this packet tightly. The steam keeps the corn from drying out.
  8. Place all sweet potatoes on grill first. These will cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until done.
  9. After about 5 minutes place corn on the grill. These will cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until done.
  10. After another 5 minutes, place the green beans, zucchini and asparagus on the grill – these cooking times will vary from 8-12 minutes.
  11. Check on each vegetable a couple of times to see if they are done (after cooking times referenced above). Its smart to keep a fork handy so you can test the softness of each. When they are done – pull and place aside until all are done.
  12. When corn is finished cooking, using a hot pad holder or a heat glove – hold the cob on its end (vertically) and using a sharp knife cut the kernels from the cob.
  13. In large bowl place all vegetables. Add balsamic reduction and mix thoroughly.
  14. Serve while hot or warm.
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Packets of veggies ready for the grill! (Before I fold them over to enclose them)

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Items on grill

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Items on grill

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Cutting corn kernels from cob (thanks Rebecca!)

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Served salad with In-N-Out burger recipe (see the post – its delish!)