Roasted Italian Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are a thing of beauty! And roasting them brings the robust flavor out of these beauties. Today I’m sharing how to fix and serve my favorite roasted Italian vegetables.

Roasted Italian Vegetables

Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to prepare them. You can roast almost any veggie and it will be delicious!

I gave these roasted Italian vegetables their easy Italian spin by adding a clove of crushed garlic and dried basil, oregano and thyme.

Use these to top Instant Pot Risotto. Or add them to any pasta dish, top a pizza or eat as a side dish. No matter how you serve them, they’ll be great!

Roasted Italian Vegetables

Easy roasted vegetables flavored with garlic and Italian seasonings.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers, in a variety of colors
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop bell peppers in bite sized pieces.

  2. Combine in bowl with remaining ingredients, tossing to coat with olive oil and seasonings.

  3. Pour onto a sheet pan (lined with parchment paper, if you want simple clean up).

  4. Roast in oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Instant Pot Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that many of us have reserved for dining out because it requires a bit too much attention. But what if I told you that this Instant Pot Risotto makes the classic creamy Italian rice dish a weeknight dinner option? Read on for the recipe and a few details.

This Instant Pot Risotto is a game changer! Making risotto on the stovetop is not hard at all, but it is time-consuming. It requires stirring constantly, which can be its own kind of therapy, but one that’s not usually good for a weeknight.

But you can easily make Instant Pot Risotto!

The version I share here doesn’t use wine. I love adding wine when I have it, but it’s not something I keep on hand so I like having the option to not need it.

Instant Pot Risotto

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta if you’re trying to cut carbs. Even if you’re not concerned about counting carbs, this vegetable is so good. And I think you’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash cooks.

I like serving it with salt, pepper and grated Parmesan for an easy lunch. Or top it with a quick spaghetti sauce with Italian sausage for a heartier meal.

The Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is the easiest way to cook perfect spaghetti squash.

Cutting the squash in half horizontally will yield longer “noodles” because the fibers of the squash run horizontally. I find that cooking half the squash at once works best for me.

One squash is typically enough to feed four people if you’re topping it with a meat-based sauce. If the squash is small enough, you can do both halves, but often they’re a bit too big to fit in the pot at once.

Prep time is very short – just a minute or two to cut it in half, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. And once your pot comes to pressure, you’re only about 17 minutes to a cooked squash!

While your squash is cooking, you may want to check out my favorite Instant Pot Accessories to get even more use out of your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Easy and quick spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 19 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Cut squash in half horizontally.

  2. Scoop out seeds using a spoon.

  3. Place half of squash in Instant Pot, cut side up. If both halves will fit, place both in the pot.

  4. Pour water into the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle squash with salt.

  5. Seal lid and set cook time for 17 minutes.

  6. When cooking time is finished, do a quick pressure release.

  7. Open lid and carefully remove squash. Use tongs or a fork to pull the "noodles" from the squash and serve.

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14 Flavorful Fall Sides

I hope you are getting to enjoy a taste of fall in your part of the world. Between cooler temperatures and leaves on the brink of turning from the greens of summer to the vibrant brights of autumn, we’re ready to welcome all that is fall around here! Last week I shared 17 Autumn Desserts with you and today let’s talk sides. These 14 Flavorful Fall Sides to be exact …

14 Flavorful Fall Sides

Autumn Appetizers to whet your appetite

7-Layer Dip End Zone

7 Layer End Zone Dip can easily be made to look like a football (or soccer) field and suddenly [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Recipes from Around the World

I’ve spent several weeks rounding up the best recipes for your slow cooker in every category I could think of. We started with sandwiches and side dishes and moved on to Tex-Mex favorites and breakfast/brunch options. The variety of flavors you can achieve with slow cooking is absolutely amazing, moving way beyond soups, stews and chicken. Today, I’m adding some international flavor to our series with slow cooker recipes from around the world that I’m sure your family will enjoy.

 

Africa, India and the Middle East

  • This African Pulled Beef Sandwich is based on a sandwich served at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And while it may not be as authentic as the one you would find in Africa, it’s  so flavorful you just might think you’re there!

[Read more…]

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40 Perfect Side Dishes for Summer Picnics

A few weeks ago I shared a collection of Over 30 Delicious Recipes for Easy Picnic Food with you, just in time for National Picnic Day.

With summer warming up, we’re already in summer picnic mode and couldn’t be happier about that! Not only are picnics a great way to enjoy the outdoors, they are a fun way to enjoy family time most months out of the year. Which means the more picnic food options we have, the better! So today I figured you could use 40 Perfect Picnic Sides to add to your picnic menu options. Enjoy!

 Quick Dips and Spreads for Crackers and Fruits and Veggies, Oh my!

  1. Pesto Bruschetta Spread
  2. Sun Dried Tomato Artichoke Hummus
  3. White Bean and Garlic Hummus
  4. Roasted Garlic Hummus
  5. 7 Layer Dip (In little jars)
  6. Guacamole for Chips
  7. Homemade Salsa
  8. Fusion Dip for Veggies
  9. Tomato Basil Dip for Crackers
  10. Honey Peanut Butter dip
  11. Cream Cheese Trio Appetizers for crackers

Appetizers & Snacks & Tasty Little Treats

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs
  2. Huli Huli Bacon Chicken Bites
  3. Almost Homemade Pickles
  4. Kale Chips
  5. Sweet Heat Slow Cooker Chex Mix
  6. Country Bob’s Tangy Chex Mix

A few More Traditional Picnic Favorites

  1. Chicken Salad
  2. Potato Salad
  3. Baked Beans

Pasta & Grain Salads for Light Summer Dining

  1. Perfect Pasta Salad + Tips and Tricks
  2. Another version of Pasta Salad
  3. Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad
  4. Bacon Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad
  5. Wild Rice Salad

Veggies Salads for those who prefer Healthy Picnicking

  1. Asian Broccoli Salad
  2. Ranch Veggie Salad
  3. Tomato Artichoke Heart Salad
  4. Summer Corn Salad
  5. Orange Red Onion Salad
  6. Cucumbers and Onions
  7. Cucumber Tomato Salad
  8. Green bean and Tomato Salad
  9. Creamy Italian Herb Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Slaws for Days

  1. Hawaiian Coleslaw
  2. Quick Coleslaw
  3. Tomato Jalapeno Slaw

Fruit Salads as sweet as dessert

  1. Easy Apple Salad
  2. Easy Fruit Salad
  3. Sliced Apples (with a no-browning trick!)
  4. Wild Watermelon

So how about you? Do you have a favorite side dish that you always have to make for picnics? I would love to hear what it is in the comments below. And in the meantime … Happy Picnicking!

More Picnicking Resources

 

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Over 30 Easy Recipes for Delicious Picnic Food

Did you know that April 23 happens to be National Picnic Day? It seems fitting that it would fall just about the time when we’re all quite ready to get outside and enjoy a bit of warm sunshine and a slower pace. And, let’s be honest, pretty much any day without rain or freezing temperatures ia a good day for some al fresco dining! I’m not sure what your picnic traditions include, or if you even have any but, there’s just something special about a picnic. It’s not that the food is fancier than most days, it’s the change of scenery and being in the middle of the budding and blooming color all around us. Just to make it easier for you to celebrate, I’ve gathered up over 30 recipes for delicious (and easy!) picnic food for you to try with your family.

To get you started, you’ll find 6 Tips and Menu Ideas for a Day at the Zoo or Park that may include several picnic opportunities. If you are traveling and need some ideas for picnicking on the road, this post could help, too!  Some of these sandwiches are often served hot, but I think they’d be fine cold, or the meat could be put in a thermal container to keep it warm. Others could be made at home and wrapped up to take with you, like the Hawaiian BBQ or Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches.

Pita Pockets Make Perfect Picnic Food

One of the best perks of these recipes is that the meats can be cooked in the crock pot and they all freeze well, which means if you make up an extra large batch now, you’ll be ready for weeks of impromptu picnics. And let’s face it, there are literally endless ways to fill pita pockets

  • Greek Chicken Pitas from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
  • These Greek Pita Sandwiches start with meatballs and just get better and better from there.
  • Chicken Gyros from Kate’s Recipe Box.
  • Beef Gyros are a great way to serve steak on a picnic.
  • We enjoy serving our Beef Shwarma with a cucumber-yogurt sauce instead of the traditional tahini sauce.
  • You can prep and freeze the meat for these Chicken Broccoli Picnic Pitas and add all the veggies to be served in the pita as a chicken salad. A perfectly tasty and tidy picnic option.

Shredded Meat Sandwiches are easy to make ahead and so filling

Chicken Salads & Sandwiches are always a hit

  • My Peach Chutney Chicken Salad Sandwich uses cooked chicken and a delightful combination of ingredients that taste great and come together quickly.

Summer Picnic Classics never fail to impress

  • Slow Cooker Beer Brats are a classic summer grill idea with only 2 ingredients that can actually be made in the slow cooker.
  • 70s Fried Baloney Sandwich and other such sandwiches are sure to make the kids happy with their classic simplicity.
  • Gina’s Club Sandwiches were named for my sister, and as you would imagine, it’s a tasty club sandwich for any day of the week, especially if a picnic is involved.
  • Tomato Sandwiches are perfect when those fresh tomatoes start showing up in the garden or your local farmer’s market. Nothing says summer like a thick sliced juicy fresh tomato.
  • The secret to these PBJ on Depression Era Bread is the tasty Depression Era Bread. It just takes the classic PBJ up a notch or two.
  • These Egg Salad Sandwiches are a classic recipe that includes how to boil the eggs, and a great little item to have the kids help whip up.

  • Loaded Hot Dogs can be made with 3-ingredient “Cheater Chili” and a little slaw.

Classics with a Twist keep things fun and interesting

Roulades, Frittata Bites & Chicken Legs are too good to pass up

  • These Ham & Swiss Roulades from Carmella at Assortment Blog are made using handmade or store-bought pizza dough and can be filled with a variety of meats and cheeses based on what sort of mood you’re in.
  • This Bacon Spinach Frittata Bites recipe from Jessica at Life as a Mom would be perfect for a breakfast picnic with some fresh fruit because picnics aren’t just for lunch and dinner!
  • Chili Sauce Chicken Legs are a tasty warm option that is easy to eat and slightly messy in a good way, making them perfect picnic food.

And there you have it, over 30 recipes for celebrating National Picnic Day on April 23 or any day you like!

Do you have a favorite picnic food? What about a favorite picnic spot, whether it’s one you go to now or one you enjoyed as a child?

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Everything you need for an amazing and easy Easter Dinner!

I’m not sure about you, but we’re really looking forward to Easter this weekend! As you’re considering your final menu and shopping list for Easter, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes. Some have been shared here at Eat at Home Cooks and others are from other blogs. You’ll find a mixture of traditional dishes as well as a few twists on your usual Easter Dinner fare. Whatever your final menu and shopping list includes, I hope your Easter includes a celebration of this holiday and all that it means with your family and friends. And in the meantime, here is pretty much everything you need for an amazing and easy Easter Dinner!

Everything you need for an amazing and easy Easter Dinner!

Main Course Recipes

Honey Glazed Ham is always a favorite, and with this recipe, you don’t have to buy the prepackaged glaze mix.

This Mustard Orange Glazed Ham is from Laura at Real Mom Kitchen, who adapted an existing recipe to complement the tanginess of mustard with the sweetness of a fresh squeezed orange.

Herb and Olive Oil Roasted Chicken makes a great option for those who prefer a meat other than ham.

Salad Recipes

Shaina at Food for My Family created this Spring Orzo Pasta Salad with asparagus and artichokes that can be prepared up and chilled for several hours while you tend to your other dishes.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad  Tara at Unsophisticook shared her recipe for this refreshing cucumber salad that can also be prepared ahead of time and chilled until the rest of your dinner is ready to be served.

This Spring Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette if perfect for spring with the flavorful mix of berries, nuts and strong cheese. And the dressing recipe mixes up quickly and would be a nice addition to lots of different salads.

Side Dish Recipes

I found this recipe for Black Angus Au Gratin Potatoes years ago while preparing one of our first Easter dinners as newlyweds. It was a big hit then with it’s potatoes and loads of cheeses, and it has continued to be a family favorite ever since.

Aimee of Simple Bites has a recipe for Rosemary Potato Strudel with an ingredient list that includes potatoes, rosemary, sour cream and puff pastry. How can it not be tasty with that list of ingredients?

I know the Balsamic Strawberries recipe sounds a bit crazy, but trust me, you really should try this one.

Honey Glazed Carrots are always a favorite with a touch of butter and honey and they free up some oven space since it’s a slow cooker recipe.

Bread Recipes

Hot Cross Buns have been a long-standing Easter tradition that started centuries ago with the Saxons, and it’s always fun to bake a recipe that has stood the test of time.

This  Sunny Blueberry Orange Bread would make a great sweet appetizer to munch on if you’re serving dinner a little later than usual, or even a dessert for those who want some sweetness without an overload of sugar.

This Goat Cheese Biscuit recipe is an adaptation of a biscuit served at Table Fifty Two restaurant in Chicago and Oh my! That’s all I can say about these yummy little things!

Dessert Recipes

There were so many yummy dessert recipes to choose from that they had their very own post earlier this week. You’ll want to check those out before you make that last trip shopping trip. But be warned, you don’t want to check out these recipes if you’re the least bit hungry! Your mouth will definitely be watering.  And if you need even more inspiration, check out this post with 22 more ways to expand your Easter Menu.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Easter weekends!

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Instant Pot Applesauce

Instant Pot Applesauce in the making

Instant Pot Applesauce

Of all the delicious things there are to eat in the world, I’m pretty sure that warm, homemade applesauce is near the top of the list.  Which is why you simply must give this Instant Pot Applesauce recipe a try soon!

This is the Instant Pot Applesauce version of my slow cooker recipe.  The slow cooker makes great applesauce, but it does take a while.  That’s fine if it works for your day, but if you decide at dinner time that you’d like homemade applesauce, you’ll want to use the Instant Pot Applesauce recipe instead.

The total time for this recipe to cook is about 20 minutes.  You’ll program the pressure cooker for just 5 minutes, but it will take some time for the pot to come to full pressure.  Still, this is totally doable for a weeknight meal, especially if you have help peeling and slicing apples.  Once you’ve got everything in the pot, it’s all hands-off, leaving you free for other things.

[Read more…]

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Honey Crisp Kale Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Dressing

honey-crisp-kale-chopped-salad-with-apple-cider-dressing

Do you ever do something that just makes you so pleased with yourself?  That’s how I feel about creating this salad!  

To me, this Honey Crisp Kale Chopped Salad couldn’t get any better.  I hope you feel the same way.  I do hope you’ll go to your kitchen and give it a try!

This idea came to me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep.  It’s a simple salad, with just a few healthy ingredients – kale, honey crisp apples, and a few dressing ingredients.  The dressing doesn’t even have to be mixed separately.  I just drizzled each ingredient over the salad and tossed.  So easy!

This is the type of salad I could eat forever!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

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