Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!

The post Cajun Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s another super easy meal prep for you! This super simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep follows the basic protein + veg formula and is super fast to make. I’ve got some additional suggestions for you below, if you’d like to bulk up the meal a bit or just make it a little fancier!

four glass containers full of Cajun sausage and vegetables

Vegetable Options

This recipe is super flexible, so if you don’t like the vegetables I chose, you can swap them out with other vegetables. Here are some options:

  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Brussels sprouts

For heartier vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts, you may want to pre-steam them for a few minutes just to make sure they get tender.

Protein Options

The Andouille sausage in this recipe is packed with herbs, spices, and a delicious smoky flavor, which ends up adding flavor to the entire dish. You can swap the sausage out with something like shrimp or chicken thighs, but if you do so, I suggest coating the chicken or shrimp well with plenty of Cajun seasoning since they don’t have seasonings built-in, like the sausage.

Bulk it Up!

If you need some carb action to keep you full and satisfied, you can serve these Cajun Sausage and Vegetables over a bed of rice. You can cook your rice in broth or add some herbs and spices for even more flavor.

Another option is to serve the sausage and vegetables over a bed of pasta. I think penne would be a great choice. If serving over penne, you can add a vinaigrette to help coat everything in flavor. I think the Smoky Vinaigrette that I used in my Smoky Roasted Sausage and Vegetables recipe would go nicely.

How Long Does it Last?

I generally keep meal preps like this for about four days, but the lifespan will vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, the freshness of the vegetables, and how long you cook the vegetables. Since I cooked this with the intention of reheating later, I purposely cooked the vegetables very lightly to prevent them from getting super soggy as they wait in the refrigerator. By nature, they will wilt a bit as the days go by, but undercooking them slightly can definitely help.

Close up of Cajun Sausage and Vegetables in the skillet
rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Cajun Sausage and Vegetables

This simple Cajun Sausage and Vegetables meal prep is a fast, easy, flavorful, and delicious way to get your daily dose of vegetables!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.94 recipe / $1.74 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 440kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (½ lb.) $0.72
  • 1 yellow squash (½ lb.) $0.70
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 red onion $0.28
  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.33
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice the red bell pepper and red onion into strips. Add all of the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Slice the sausage into rounds. Add the sausage and 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet. Cook the sausage over medium heat until well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper over top. Toss the vegetables to coat them in oil and spices.
  • Place the same skillet back over the heat and turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they are slightly tender. The vegetables will pick up the flavor left in the skillet from the sausage, so do not clean the skillet first. Be careful to not overcook the vegetables, as they will cook more when you reheat your meal preps.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cooked sausage and chopped parsley to the vegetables. Toss to combine with the vegetables. Give the sausage and vegetables a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille sausage in your area, you can substitute it with any smoked sausage, like kielbasa.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25recipe | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Sodium: 1043mg | Fiber: 3g
Close up of a forkful of Cajun sausage and Vegetables

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables in a bowl

Prep the vegetables first, so they’re ready to go. Slice one zucchini and one yellow squash into half-rounds. Slice one red bell pepper and one red onion into strips. Place the vegetables in a bowl.

sliced sausage on a cutting board

Slice 14oz. Andouille sausage into rounds.

Cooked sausage in a skillet

Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is well browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a clean bowl.

seasoning being added to the vegetables

Drizzle 1 Tbsp cooking oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle with ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Toss the vegetables until they’re coated in oil and spices.

Sautéed vegetables in the skillet

Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Once very hot, add the vegetables and sauté just until they begin to soften. The vegetables will pick up the flavor and browned bits left behind by the sausage. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Finished Cajun sausage and vegetables in the skillet

Return the cooked sausage back to the skillet along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley. Toss to combine. Give it a taste and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

rectangular glass containers with Cajun Sausage and Vegetables lined up

Serve immediately or divide into four portions and refrigerate until ready to eat.

The post Cajun Sausage and Vegetables appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread

Garlic bread lovers, we have a surprise for you: The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread is here! We took all our knowledge of garlic bread and gave it the vegan twist. It has all the addictive deliciousness you know and love but without the dairy! 
It’s…

The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread

Garlic bread lovers, we have a surprise for you: The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread is here! We took all our knowledge of garlic bread and gave it the vegan twist. It has all the addictive deliciousness you know and love but without the dairy

It’s buttery, savory, brimming with garlicky goodness, and can be made gluten-free, too! With just 7 ingredients and 25 minutes required, all your garlic bread dreams are about to come true.

The BEST Vegan Garlic Bread from Minimalist Baker →

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you’ll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible!

The post Cabbage Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Do you remember the cabbage soup diet? It was one of those crazy fad diets where you were supposed to eat as much as you want of just one thing (in this case cabbage soup) and you’d supposedly lose weight without trying. While I’m not a fan of that type of diet, I am a big fan of the cabbage soup that the diet was centered around. Why? For one simple reason—it’s absolutely DELICIOUSYeah, I was surprised too. The first time I had the famed diet cabbage soup I expected it to be boring and bland, but I was pleasantly surprised by how extremely flavorful and comforting the soup was. I actually ended up eating it over and over again just because I wanted to. And it became a winter comfort food staple for me ever since. 😅

Originally published 1/15/2018, updated 1/8/2022.

Overhead view of a pot of cabbage soup with a ladle

Is Cabbage Soup Healthy?

I’m not going to tell you this cabbage soup will “detox” you or make you lose weight, but this soup is chock-full of a lot of the one thing that almost all of us are guilty of not getting enough of—vegetables.

I’m nicknamed this soup All You Can Eat Cabbage Soup as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old fad diet, but seriously, eat as much as you want. The more the better, really. You’ll just be getting more of the good stuff. And guess what? This cabbage soup is insanely inexpensive, too! So even more reason to feel free to eat as much as you want!

What’s in Cabbage Soup?

The classic “cabbage soup diet” cabbage soup has taken many forms over the years, but they all have one thing in common—they’re stuffed full of non-starchy vegetables swimming in a flavorful herb-filled broth. I like my broth a bit more tomatoey, so I added some tomato sauce to thicken it up. Some people use V8 instead, but tomato sauce is much less expensive, especially when only a small amount is needed. I also added a bit of smoked paprika (because that’s my fav), and a splash of lemon juice at the end to brighten it up.

How to Store Leftovers

This recipe does make a really large batch, so it’s a good idea to freeze about half of it, just in case you can’t eat all of it within about five days. To freeze this soup, divide it into single-serving portions, chill it completely in the refrigerator first, then transfer to the freezer for longer storage. Keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Add More Protien

Soup recipes in general are very flexible, so you could always add a little extra protein to this soup to make it more filling. Here are some other great ingredients you can add:

  • Beans (cannellini, chickpeas, kidney beans)
  • Ground beef (or check out my Beef and Cabbage Soup)
  • Italian sausage
  • Cubed tofu (extra firm)
  • Shredded chicken

a bowl of cabbage soup with a spoon and garlic bread on the side

Shown with Homemade Garlic Bread.

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

Cabbage Soup

Forget the cabbage soup diet, you'll want to eat this super healthy vegetable-filled cabbage soup just because it tastes incredible! 
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Total Cost $7.13 recipe / $1.19 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 2 cups each
Calories 133kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 4 carrots $0.57
  • 4 ribs celery $0.50
  • 1 green bell pepper $0.69
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce $0.34
  • 1/2 lb. frozen green beans $0.67
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley $0.23
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika $0.15
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (½ head) $1.14
  • 6 cups vegetable broth $0.78
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
  • While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots, chop the celery, and dice the bell pepper. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté as you measure the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, frozen green beans, chopped parsley, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Continue to stir and cook while you chop the cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Add the cabbage to the pot along with the vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.
  • Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with ½ tsp and adding more to your liking. Finish the soup by adding the lemon juice and stirring to combine. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1783mg | Fiber: 7g

A ladle full of cabbage soup held over the pot

How to Make Cabbage Soup – Step by Step Photos

Onion and garlic in a soup pot

Start by mincing four cloves of garlic and dicing one large onion. Add them both to a large soup pot with one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Celery, carrot, and bell pepper added to the pot

While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice 4 carrots, slice 4 stalks of celery, and dice one green bell pepper. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper to the pot. Continue to sauté over medium.

Tomatoes, spices, parsley, and green beans added to the pot

Add one 28oz. can diced tomatoes (I used petite diced), one 8oz. can tomato sauce, ½ lb. frozen green beans, ¼ cup chopped parsley, ½ Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp thyme, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir to combine.

cabbage in soup pot, broth being poured in

Chop 1/2 head of cabbage into one-inch pieces (about 5-6 cups once chopped). Add the chopped cabbage to the pot along with 6 cups of vegetable broth.

Cabbage soup before simmering

Stir everything together, place a lid on the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the soup simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is to your desired tenderness.

Salt being added to the soup

Once the cabbage is tender, season the soup with salt, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, then adding more to taste (I used 1 tsp total). Next, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, which really helps brighten the flavors. 

close up of the pot of cabbage soup

And then slurp down all that vegetable-y goodness! I garnished with a little more fresh parsley, but it’s not needed for extra flavor.

close up of a bowl of cabbage soup

This soup goes great with some crusty bread (garlic or not) to soak up that delicious broth!

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Spiced Lentils with Carrots

These warm, sweet, and savory spiced lentils hold up well as leftovers and make the perfect cozy vegetarian meal prep.

The post Spiced Lentils with Carrots appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, then you know how much I love lentils. They’re cheap, easy to cook, and are a blank slate for flavor. This week I decided to take one of my favorite spice combos and add it to some lentils. Warm cumin, garlic, and ginger pair with the subtle sweetness of ginger, cinnamon, and carrots to create a complex flavor that is simply out of this world. Spoon these saucy spiced lentils over something starchy like polenta, rice, or mashed sweet potatoes and you’ll be in lentil heaven.

Overhead view of spiced lentils with carrots in a skillet

Spiced but not Spicy

These lentils are seasoned with a slew of warm, sweet, and savory spices, but they are not hot or spicy. I did add a ¼ tsp crushed red pepper to the mix which gives the back end just a slight kick, but I still wouldn’t consider it spicy by any means. If you do happen to be sensitive to spicy flavors, you can reduce or eliminate the crushed red pepper.

What Kind of Lentils to Use

This recipe is designed for brown or green lentils (not French green lentils, which take much longer to cook). This type of lentil cooks in about 20-30 minutes of simmering, does not require soaking, and they hold their shape when softened. I do not recommend red, orange, or yellow lentils for this recipe because they break down quickly when cooked and will leave you with something more like a mush or porridge.

How to Serve Spiced Lentils

You can serve these lentils in a bowl on their own with some crusty bread for dipping, or spoon them over just about any type of starch. I served mine over a cornmeal mush (like polenta or grits), but you could also serve them over rice, mashed white potatoes or sweet potatoes, farro, or any other grain that you might like.

Meal Prep It!

I think these spiced lentils would make a fabulous vegetarian or vegan meal prep. They’ll keep well in the fridge for four to five days and should reheat quickly in the microwave. They’ll also freeze well, so you can stock a few extra portions in your freezer!

Overhead view of spiced lentils over a bed of polenta
side view of spiced lentils on a bed of polenta

Spiced Lentils with Carrots

These warm, sweet, and savory spiced lentils hold up well as leftovers and make the perfect cozy vegetarian meal prep.
Total Cost $3.91 recipe / $0.98 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 about 1.25 cups each
Calories 314kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger $0.10
  • 4 carrots (about 2 cups chopped) $0.56
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp allspice $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup brown lentils $0.67
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste $0.15
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots or raisins* $0.75
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and peel and dice the carrots.
  • Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and olive oil to a deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about five minutes).
  • Add the diced carrots, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Continue to sauté for about two minutes more.
  • Next, add the uncooked lentils, tomato paste, and broth to the skillet. Stir until the tomato paste has dissolved into the broth. Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to high.
  • Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils simmer in the broth with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring only occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes the lentils and carrots should be very tender. Give the lentils a taste and add salt or pepper if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth, I did not add any).
  • Serve the spiced lentils with crusty bread for dipping, or over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

*Raisins are the more economical choice here (golden or purple raisins), but I happened to have dried apricots on hand so I used those instead of buying raisins specifically for this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 851mg | Fiber: 18g
close up side view of spiced lentils in the skillet

How to Make Spiced Lentils with Carrots – Step by Step Photos

onion, garlic, and ginger in a skillet

Dice one yellow onion, mince four cloves of garlic, grate about one teaspoon fresh ginger, and peel and dice four carrots. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a deep skillet along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Carrots and spices added to the skillet

Add the chopped carrots to the skillet along with 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp allspice, and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper. Continue to sauté for about two minutes more.

lentils, tomato paste, and broth being added to the skillet

Add one cup uncooked brown lentils, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, and 3 cups vegetable broth to the skillet.

chopped apricots

Also, add ¼ cup chopped dried apricots or raisins to the skillet. If using dried apricots, chop them to about the same size as raisins.

Lid being placed on the skillet

Stir everything together until the tomato paste is mixed into the broth. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the lentils continue to simmer, with the lid in place, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Finished spiced lentils in the skillet

After 30 minutes the lentils and carrots should be tender. Give them a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any, but depending on the salt content of your broth, you may need a bit to make the flavors pop.

Overhead view of spiced lentils over a bed of polenta

Serve the spiced lentils with crusty bread for dipping or over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes. Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

spiced lentils in the skillet with a wooden spoon

Try These Other Delicious Lentil Recipes:

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Mushroom Rice

This simple mushroom rice combines earthy mushrooms, savory garlic, rich butter, and flavorful vegetable broth for a simple yet flavorful side dish.

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I’m all about keeping side dishes really easy, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to plain white rice. Adding a ton of flavor to rice is really simple and can take your meal to the next level. This simple mushroom rice combines earthy mushrooms, savory garlic, rich butter, and flavorful vegetable broth for a simple yet flavorful side dish. So if you find yourself buying boxed flavored rice mixes, you’ve got to try it from scratch at least once. I promise it’s just as easy! :)

Mushroom rice in a white serving bowl

What Kind of Mushrooms to Use

You can use just about any type of mushrooms for this rice, which means you can be flexible based on your budget. I used baby Bella mushrooms today because I was able to get them for a good price and they produce a nice deep brown color when sautéed.

What Type of Rice to Use

You can use any type of long-grain white rice. Plain white rice is great, but if you happen to have something a little more aromatic like basmati or jasmine rice, that would be even more next level. You could even turn this into a risotto by using short-grain rice, like arborio rice, but you might need more broth and you’ll need to add it incrementally while stirring.

What Type of Broth to Use

This mushroom rice will only be as flavorful as the broth you use, so make sure to use a quality broth with vibrant flavors. I used vegetable broth, but you could double down on the mushroom flavor and use a mushroom broth, if you prefer. You can use chicken broth or beef broth, if that’s what you have, just keeping in mind that it will change the flavor and potentially the color of the finished dish.

What Else Can I Add?

I like to keep recipes super simple and basic, then offer more add-in ideas for those who want a little more. Here are some other ingredients that you could add to this mushroom rice to make it a little extra special:

  • Peas
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Spinach
  • Top with crispy fried onions
  • Green onions

What to Serve with Mushroom Rice

Mushroom rice would make a great side to something classic like Homemade Meatloaf, Baked Chicken Drumsticks, or Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Add some Roasted Broccoli or a Simple Side Salad as a second side dish and you have an easy, well-rounded meal!

Close side view of mushroom rice in a pan
Close side view of mushroom rice in a pan

Mushroom Rice

This simple mushroom rice combines earthy mushrooms, savory garlic, rich butter, and flavorful vegetable broth for a simple yet flavorful side dish.
Total Cost $2.93 recipe / $0.73 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Calories 264kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.49
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided $0.30
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp salt $0.01
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (uncooked) $0.62
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, pepper, salt, and 1 Tbsp butter to a deep skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all of their water and the water has evaporated off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the rice and 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet and continue to sauté for about two minutes more.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. When it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so the broth remains simmering.
  • Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes without stirring or removing the lid. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let the rice rest for another 5 minutes, without removing the lid.
  • Finally, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and add salt or pepper, if desired. Top with chopped fresh parsley as a garnish.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 506mg | Fiber: 1g
Side view of mushroom rice in a serving bowl

How to Make Mushroom Rice – Step by Step Photos

Sliced mushrooms on a cutting board

Slice 8oz. of mushrooms and mince two cloves of garlic.

Mushrooms, garlic, and butter in a pan

Add the mushrooms and garlic to a deep skillet along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, ⅛ tsp salt, and one tablespoon of butter.

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet

Sauté the mushrooms and garlic over medium heat until the mushrooms have released all their water and the water has evaporated off the bottom of the pan.

Butter and rice added to the skillet

Add one cup long-grain white rice and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Sauté the rice in the butter for about two minutes more.

Broth being poured into the pan

Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth to the pan. Stir to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

Lid being added to the pan

Place a lid on the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth come up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so the rice remains simmering. Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes, with the lid in place and without stirring. After 15 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest (again without stirring and without removing the lid) for an additional 5 minutes.

Mushroom rice being fluffed with a fork

Once the rice is cooked and has rested off the heat for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork. Taste and add salt or pepper if desired.

Side view of mushroom rice in a pan

Top with chopped fresh parsley to garnish, if desired!

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Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs

Friends, prepare yourselves for the ultimate flavor-packed, comfort-filled, fall-infused side: wild rice salad! This dish is our favorite kind: low effort, BIG reward! It’s simple to prepare but doesn’t skimp on flavor (hello mushrooms, hazelnuts, cran…

Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs

Friends, prepare yourselves for the ultimate flavor-packed, comfort-filled, fall-infused side: wild rice salad! This dish is our favorite kind: low effort, BIG reward! It’s simple to prepare but doesn’t skimp on flavor (hello mushrooms, hazelnuts, cranberries, and fresh herbs!)

Not only that, but it can be served warm or at room temperature — perfect for when those other holiday dishes are running a bit behind (please tell us we’re not the only ones)!

Wild Rice Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs from Minimalist Baker →

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This vegan split pea soup is fast, easy, and comforting. It’s the perfect cozy meal for chilly fall and winter days.

The post Vegan Split Pea Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

You know how I love my legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). They’re shelf-stable, versatile, filling, and always inexpensive. And split peas are definitely an underrated legume, IMHO. They cook super fast, they make deliciously rich and comforting soups, and they’re just packed with both fiber and protein. While I’ve made multiple versions of split pea soup in the past, this vegan split pea soup is probably the easiest one yet. It’s a simple, basic recipe that is easy enough to make even on those days when you feel overloaded, mentally or physically. Just the smell of it simmering away on your stove top is in itself restorative. :)

Overhead view of a bowl of split pea soup with saltine crackers

What are Split Peas?

Split peas are just what they sound like, green peas that have been dried and split in half. You’ll find them in the dry bean aisle, right next to bags of other types of dry beans. You may find both green split peas and yellow split peas, either of which will work fine for this recipe.

Split peas are great to cook with because they cook quickly with no soaking, and because they’re already split open, they break down and thicken soups really quickly. They’re probably the easiest way to get your daily dose of legumes!

No Ham??

As mentioned above, this isn’t my first go at split pea soup. There are a lot of different ways you can make a delicious split pea soup and most contain some sort of pork for flavor. To keep a lot of flavor in this vegan split pea soup, I made sure to use a good dose of herbs and spices, including smoked paprika, which gives a similar smoky flavor to bacon or ham. If you want your soup to be extra rich, you can also add a dollop of coconut oil.

This soup creates its own flavorful broth with a medley of vegetables and a handful of herbs and spices, but if you want to ramp it up even more you can replace the water in the recipe below with vegetable broth. Just keep in mind that broth usually contains salt, so you’ll want to add less salt at the end. Vegetable broth is often pretty dark as well, so your soup will likely not be as vibrant in color.

What to Serve with Split Pea Soup

This thick and flavorful soup is so cozy, you’ll definitely want some crackers or crusty bread to scoop up all that goodness! Saltines or oyster crackers are great, but so are homemade croutons or some homemade bread for dunking, like Homemade Focaccia.

Other Split Pea Soup Variations

Here are some other variations on delicious split pea soup:

Thick split pea soup on a spoon in the soup bowl
Thick split pea soup on a spoon in the soup bowl

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This vegan split pea soup is easy and comforting. It's the perfect cozy meal for chilly fall and winter days.
Total Cost $3.16 recipe / $0.63 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 390kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.36
  • 3 carrots $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 lb. split peas (dry) $1.49
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
  • 6 cups water $0.00
  • 1.5 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.07

Instructions

  • Mince two cloves of garlic. Dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots to a large pot with olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the dry split peas, smoked paprika, parsley, oregano, thyme, pepper, and water to the pot. Stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the water up to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the peas have completely broken down and the soup is thick.
  • Add salt to the soup by taste, starting with ½ teaspoon. I added about 1.5 tsp. Serve hot with crackers or crusty bread for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 25g
Close up of a ladle full of split pea soup held over the pot

How to Make Vegan Split Pea Soup – Step by Step Photos

chopped vegetables in the soup pot

Start by dicing one yellow onion, three ribs of celery, and three carrots, and mincing two cloves of garlic. Add them to a large soup pot along with 2 Tbsp olive oil.

sautéed vegetables in the pot

Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until the onions are soft.

peas, herbs, and water added to the pot

Add one pound of split peas to the pot along with ¼ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and six cups of water.

stirred soup ingredients in the pot

Stir everything to combine, place a lid on top, then turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the soup up to a boil.

Thickened split pea soup being stirred

Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the peas have completely broken down and the soup has thickened.

Finished split pea soup in the pot with a ladle

Finish the soup by salting to taste. Start with ½ tsp salt and continue to taste and add more until the soup taste bright and vibrant. I added 1.5 tsp and then it was just right! You can garnish with fresh parsley, if desired, but it’s not needed for flavor.

A bowl full of split pea soup with saltine crackers, a spoon in the side

Serve hot with crackers, croutons, or crusty bread for dipping!

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Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It’s the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.

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Last Thanksgiving I made the most amazing Wild Rice Pilaf that I then stuffed inside roasted acorn squash as a sort of vegetarian main dish recipe idea. It was beautiful and delicious, but I can’t lie, I kind of just wanted to devour that wild rice pilaf by itself! It was so tasty on its own, had so much color, so much texture, that I knew I had to post it as a stand-alone recipe. This pilaf is really delicious and I know I’m going to be making it on repeat every fall and winter from here on out!

Overhead view of wild rice pilaf in a bowl

What’s in Wild Rice Pilaf

This delicious pilaf starts with rice cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor. While the rice cooks, aromatics like onion, celery, and apples are sautéed in butter until tender. Next comes the cozy mix of seasonings including sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Once the cooked rice is combined with the aromatics and herbs, it’s finished off with a little extra flavor and texture from walnuts, dried cranberries, and parsley. So much fall flavor in every bite!

What is “Wild Rice Blend”?

I used a bagged “wild rice blend” as the base for this recipe. It’s a colorful blend of different varieties of rice, including wild rice. I used Lundberg brand, which you can find in many major grocery stores, but I was also pleasantly surprised to see ALDI had its own version this year (check the step by step photos below the recipe to see a photo). You can use any brand rice blend for this recipe, just follow the cooking instructions on the package and replace the water with vegetable broth.

What to Serve with Wild Rice Pilaf

This pilaf is the perfect side dish to any roasted meat. I especially like this in the fall and winter months, since it highlights flavors of the season like apples, walnuts, and cranberries. Try serving it alongside Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Cider Roasted Turkey Breast, Apple Spice Pork Chops, or Herb Roasted Chicken Breast. Or, of course, you could serve it as I originally did inside a roasted acorn squash!

Close up side view of wild rice pilaf in the skillet
Overhead view of a bowl of wild rice pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf

This wild rice pilaf is full of color, texture, and fall flavors. It's the perfect side dish for dinner during the cooler months.
Total Cost $2.73 recipe / $0.68 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 245kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend* $0.07
  • 1 cup vegetable broth $0.13
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.22
  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 1 apple $0.41
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries $0.44
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Add the wild rice blend and vegetable broth to a saucepot. Place a lid on top and turn the heat on to medium-high. Allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, or for the amount of time directed on the package.*
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice the onion, celery, and apple.
  • Add the onion to a large skillet with the butter and sauté over medium heat until softened.
  • Add the apples, celery, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté for about five minutes more, or just until the apples and celery begin to soften (they should still have some bite).
  • When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the apples, celery, and onion. Also add the chopped walnuts, cranberries, and chopped parsley. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Taste the pilaf and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking. Serve hot.

Notes

* You can use any brand wild rice blend. Cook according to the package directions, substituting vegetable broth for the water recommended in the instructions. Cooking time may vary depending on the brand.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Sodium: 457mg | Fiber: 5g
Wild rice pilaf in a skillet with a spoon

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf – Step by Step Photos

two packages of wild rice blend

I used the Lundberg wild rice blend on the left since I actually still had some leftover from last year, but I bought some of the ALDI wild rice blend on the right just to show you another option. Whatever brand you use, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the back but substitute vegetable broth for the water it recommends. Cooking time can vary depending on the brand.

wild rice in the pot next to a measuring cup with vegetable broth

Add ½ cup of the wild rice blend to a small sauce pot with 1 cup vegetable broth. Place a lid on the pot and heat over medium-high. Allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Chopped apple and celery on a cutting board

While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the pilaf. Dice one yellow onion, 3 ribs of celery, and one apple.

onion and butter in a skillet

Add the diced onion to a large skillet with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onion has softened.

apples, celery, and seasoning added to the skillet

Add the chopped apples and celery to the skillet along with ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Continue to sauté over medium until the apples and celery just begin to soften.

Cooked rice, walnuts, cranberries, and parsley added to the skillet

When the rice has finished cooking, add it to the skillet along with ¼ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup dried cranberries, and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

finished wild rice pilaf in the skillet

Fold the ingredients together until everything is combined. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

side view of a serving bowl full of wild rice pilaf

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Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.

The post Chicken Stew appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Okay guys, this chicken stew is definitely at the top of my list for my favorite recipe of 2021! It’s thicker and heartier than chicken soup, but lighter than a beef stew. The flavor is absolutely on point and it’s just one of those things that I could happily eat for three meals per day and still love it. In other words, you have to try this chicken stew!

Close up overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

What is Chicken Stew?

Chicken stew is like chicken soup‘s older cousin that is a little rough around the edges. It’s a little more rustic with a rich, thickened broth that has an almost gravy-like consistency. It’s packed full of vegetables and is a true meal in a bowl. Oh, and you’ll definitely want some crusty bread for sopping up all that delicious gravy!

For Best Results, Use Chicken Thighs

Look, I know some people really don’t like dark meat, but that those tender chicken thighs really take this dish to the next level. I strongly advise against using chicken breast, but if you must, opt for a bone-in chicken breast for a little more flavor, then just shred and remove the bones after the stew simmers.

Broth Matters

You really want to use a good quality, flavorful broth for this chicken stew. I used Better Than Bouillon because it’s my favorite and it tends to be very flavorful. I also used a combination of two types of broth, chicken and vegetable, which I really think adds to the complexity of the flavor and helps deepen the color of the broth.

Potato Options

I used small baby potatoes for my chicken stew, but if those aren’t available you can substitute red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes in their place. Just cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes so they cook in about the same amount of time as my baby potatoes.

Close up of a pot full of chicken stew
Close up of a pot full of chicken stew

Chicken Stew

This chicken stew is a rich and hearty mix of tender chicken thighs, vegetables, and a light but flavorful herb-infused gravy.
Total Cost $12.22 recipe / $2.04 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 1.5 cups each
Calories 512kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.28
  • 3 ribs celery $0.64
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • 1/2 lb. carrots $0.32
  • 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs $6.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.18
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 1.5 lbs. baby potatoes $2.89
  • 1 tsp dried parsley $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.26
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional) $0.10

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and celery, mince the garlic, slice the carrots, and cut the baby potatoes in half before you begin.
  • Cut the chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the flour over the chicken and toss until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling.
  • Add the flour-coated chicken to the pot with the butter and oil and allow the chicken to brown on all sides (avoid stirring until browned on the bottom). When the chicken is browned and there is a nice brown layer of flour on the bottom of the pot, remove the chicken to a clean bowl with a slotted spoon. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just browned on the outside.
  • Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft. Use the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the remaining 2 Tbsp flour to the pot and continue to sauté over medium for about two minutes more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pot again.
  • Return the browned chicken to the pot. Also add the potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper, chicken broth, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.
  • Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, without a lid and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
  • Taste the stew and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 919mg | Fiber: 4g
A ladle full of chicken stew held over the pot

How to Make Chicken Stew – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Dice one yellow onion, slice ½ lb. carrots (3-4 carrots) and 3 ribs celery, and mince 4 cloves garlic.

cut baby potatoes on a cutting board

Chop about 1.5 lbs. potatoes into 1-inch pieces. I used baby potatoes, so they only needed to be cut in half.

Flour coated chicken thigh pieces on a cutting board

Chop about 3.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour over the chicken pieces and toss until they’re coated.

Browned chicken thighs in the pot

Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot. Heat the butter and oil over medium until they are hot and sizzling. Add the chicken thigh pieces and let them cook until browned on all sides (the chicken does not need to be cooked through, just browned on the outside). Avoid stirring too often, as that will prevent browning. You want the flour to brown a bit on the bottom of the pot. Remove the browned chicken to a clean plate or bowl.

Vegetables added to the pot

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot after removing the chicken. Continue to sauté over medium for about 5 minutes, allowing the moisture released by the vegetables to dissolve some of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

More flour being added to the pot

Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add 2 more tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more. The flour will again begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Chicken, potatoes, herbs, broth added to the pot

Return the browned chicken to the pot along with the potatoes, 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried sage, about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Chicken stew before simmering

Stir everything to combine and dissolve any flour off the bottom of the pot.

Simmered chicken stew in the pot

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the stew to simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.

Close up side view of chicken stew in the pot

Give the stew a taste and add salt, if needed (I did not add any, but this will largely depend on the salt content of the broth you used). Add some freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken stew

Don’t forget to make some crusty homemade bread to dip in that amazing stew!

Overhead view of finished chicken stew in the pot

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Favorite Chickpea Salad

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from…

The post Favorite Chickpea Salad appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best chickpea salad recipe

Have you met my all-time favorite chickpea salad recipe? Sure, I have many beloved chickpea salads on the blog already, but this is my tried-and-true favorite from my cookbook, Love Real Food. In the book, I called it the “Outrageous Herbaceous Chickpea Salad,” which is exactly right!

“Here’s a simple chickpea salad that I could eat every single day. It’s bursting with fresh Mediterranean flavors, thanks to chopped bell pepper, parsley, red onion, and celery. Lemon and garlic take it from tasty to transcendent. This salad packs well, so it’s perfect for potlucks and picnics. It’s also a great lunch option, so long as your serving is large enough…”

chickpea salad ingredients

I love this recipe as much today as I did when I created the recipe several years ago. In fact, I stand behind all of the cookbook recipes, and it makes me so happy to hear that you’re cooking from the book!

I’m truly a healthier eater when I have this salad in the fridge. It’s the perfect hearty side salad or mid-afternoon snack. Pile it onto a bed of greens, or cooked whole grains like farro or quinoa, or even onto your scrambled eggs or cheese nachos. You can’t go wrong with this one.

Continue to the recipe...

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