Turkey Kielbasa Skillet

I am so excited to be partnering with Jennie-O to bring you this post for a healthy  school year.  Jennie-O creates quality, affordable products and I hope you will join me in supporting the brands that help Blonde Girl Cravings operate!

It’s almost that time again. Back to school time. I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. I love the lazy days of summer, the lack of schedules. I work outside the home, so I am not home all day with the kids like some parents are, so I can see why some are chomping at the bit for their little bundles of joy to go back to school!

Regardless if you are a work outside the home parent or not, we can all use an easy dinner idea now and again.  Some nights we don’t have time for a from scratch meal, we need a few ingredients and dinner on the table in a flash. Jennie-O has us covered! Their Turkey Kielbasa and Smoked Sausage are two of my favorite products. They are so versatile! I have been making this recipe from Taste of Home for years. It’s a way to get veggies into those kids, they will eat anything covered in cheese!

Turkey Kielbasa

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, halved and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 package (4.9 ounces) au gratin potatoes
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) frozen California-blend vegetables
  • 1 to 2 cups (4 to 8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, cook sausage in oil until lightly browned; drain. Add potatoes with contents of sauce mix and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 18-20 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vegetables; cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.
  • Editor's Note: The milk and butter listed on the potato package are not used in this recipe.
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    Recipe source: Taste of Home

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    Low-Carb Bacon Onion Balsamic Turkey Burger

    I am so excited to be partnering with Jennie-O to bring you this post for a healthy new year.  Jennie-O creates quality, affordable products and I hope you will join me in supporting the brands that help Blonde Girl Cravings operate!

    It’s summertime, and that means burgers! If you are like me though, you are trying to watch what you eat and are giving this low-carb thing a try. Jenni-O Seasoned Turkey Burgers are perfect for a low-carb diet! Individually wrapped so you can grab as many as you need, and done cooking in just a few minutes, they are the perfect solution for a quick dinner or lunch.

    I chose to go bun-less for this burger and serve on a bed of lettuce, but I know it would be delicious on a toasted sesame seed bun!

    This recipe sounds complicated, but the ingredient list is small and everything comes together in just minutes.

    A delicously flavorful mayo, topped with caramelized onions and bacon with balsamic makes for a burger nice enough for company, but simple enough for a weeknight. Happy eating!

     

    Low-Carb Bacon Onion Balsamic Turkey Burger

    Yield: 2 burgers

    Ingredients

    • 2 Jenni-O Turkey Burgers
    • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons bacon grease
    • 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
    • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon steak seasoning
      Mayo
    • 1/4 cup mayo
    • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
    • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    Instructions

  • In a medium skillet, heat bacon grease over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft. Add steak seasoning, bacon sliced and balsamic. Cook until reduced.
  • For the mayo, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well to combine.
  • Fry turkey burger in a greased skillet until cooked through, or grill.
  • To assemble, top the turkey burger with half of mayo, then half of the onion mixture. Recipe serves two, but can easily be doubled.
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    Homemade Hamburger Helper

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    Once a year when I was little my dad would leave my mom, brother and I home for a week and go on a hunting trip. While I’m sure we missed him, we looked forward to eating some of the meals that Dad wasn’t fond of. One of those meals was Hamburger Helper, particularly the “cheeseburger macaroni” kind. For me, that was my favorite and I could eat it by the bowl-ful.

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    I still love cheeseburger macaroni just as much now that I am an adult, but as a food blogger I love finding homemade versions of store-bought favorites that taste better and are a little better for you.

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    This recipe doesn’t disappoint. It’s about as easy as dinner can get, and comes together quickly. One pan meals are my favorite, and a meal that the kids and I love without having to do lots of dishes is a win-win for me!

    Homemade Hamburger Helper

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 3/4 cup dry macaroni
    • 1 cup hot water
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 tablespoon corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

    Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef, season with paprika, onion powder, salt, sugar and mustard powder. Drain meat if needed.
  • Stir in the milk, water and macaroni. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
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    Recipe Source: Buns In My Oven

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    White Chicken Enchiladas

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    Raise your hand if you love to eat, and love to cook, but some nights you just don’t want to be in the kitchen. Just me? No? I do love to cook, that much is clear, but there are some nights after work that the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. Yet I want a yummy, hot meal on the table. Picky much?

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    These enchiladas are perfect for nights like those, Use a rotisserie chicken if you are too lazy to cook the chicken, and I just layer the filling and tortillas in the pan rather than rolling them. I actually used leftover turkey this time and they were equally delicious.

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    I have been making these for years and have frozen them many times. Its a great casserole to take to new parents or someone ill, and can easily be doubled.

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    White Chicken Enchiladas

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey
    • 4 oz can diced green chiles
    • 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
    • 1 cup sour cream (low fat or regular)
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 10 flour tortillas
    • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • Sliced olives for garnish

    Instructions

  • Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Mix sour cream, can of soup, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine well. Add the shredded chicken. Slice tortillas into 3 strips.
  • Spread a thin layer of soup mixture onto bottom of greased casserole dish.
  • Layer half of the tortillas over that, followed by half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, top with shredded cheese and olives.
  • Cover tightly with foil.
  • Bake at 350F for 40 min, or just until cheese is melted, Remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes until cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.
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    Homemade Chicken Fingers with “Comeback” Sauce

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    There are some foods that I know I can order from pretty much any restaurant and I will be happy with what I receive. Chicken strips if one  of those meals. Although chicken strips, nuggets, and fingers are all shaped different,  they are basically the same thing.

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    Another thing that is always the same for me? It’s all about the sauce in which I dip my chicken! Plain old ketchup is fine, but I definitely love ranch and fry sauce, or “comeback sauce.” Fry sauce is essentially just mayo and ketchup mixed together, but this sauce has a few spices which make it that much more tantalizing. Its called comeback sauce for a reason- you can’t help but keep coming back for more!

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    The chicken fingers are baked and not fried, so they are a much healthier option to feed your family. My kids gobbled them right up! I prefer to make them into “fingers” so I have less dredging to do, but they can just as easily be made into nuggets, although you will probably need to adjust your cooking time.

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    Homemade Chicken Fingers with “Comeback” Sauce

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 2 tablespoon hot sauce (like Texas Pete)
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 cups corn flakes
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • pinch of pepper
    • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 large eggs, beaten

    Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Cover and store refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • -Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
  • -Put flakes in large plastic bag and crush to fine texture. Pour into medium-sized bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to corn flakes.
  • -Place eggs in separate small bowl.
  • -Place flour in separate small bowl.
  • -To bread chicken, coat chicken piece in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, coat in corn flake mixture.
  • -Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet til golden brown (about 12-15 minutes).
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    Mexican Pizza

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    I think for most of us its safe to say that during our college years we ate…well.. like crap. New found freedom, late nights and a lack of a regular schedule can lead to eating a lot of fast food.

    I was no different then the typical early twenty-something staying up too late and eating bad food. Those were the days before I learned that the food I can make in my own kitchen tastes better, is better for me, and is cheaper!

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    Taco Bell Mexican pizza was a go-to of mine.  I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I ate it anyway because it just tasted so darn good!

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    I haven’t eaten at Taco Bell in years, so I was super excited when I say this recipe remake. It tastes as good as I remember and I don’t feel so much guilt eating it!

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    Mexican Pizza

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 6 medium-size flour tortillas
    • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
    • 1 (16 ounce) can red enchilada sauce*
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • 1 green onion, diced

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take 2 baking sheets and spray them with non-stick spray. Place 3 tortillas on each baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, carefully flip tortillas over while they’re still in the oven and then bake another 5 minutes to crisp on the other side. You want tortillas a slight golden color and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain grease. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the refried beans until warmed through. Spread a thin layer of beans on one tortilla. Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture. Place another tortilla on top of the meat. Spread 3 Tablespoons of enchilada sauce on top of the top tortilla. Sprinkle with some cheddar cheese. Add a few dices of tomato and green onion.
  • Repeat process with the remaining tortillas. You will have 3 Mexican pizzas total.
  • Place pizzas on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • *store bought enchilada sauce tends to be thin. If you have time, I recommend homemade enchilada sauce, as it is usually thicker.
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    Recipe Source: Life in the lofthouse

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    Turkey Bacon Swiss Sandwich

    Re-post from November 2014:

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    Happy National Sandwich Day! I love sandwiches, so it seems only fitting that there is a day devoted to them. These sandwiches are served open face, a “knife and fork sandwich” if you will. I like mine with lots of extra ranch dressing on the side because, givemeallthecondiments!

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    I am not including measurements or amounts in the recipe because I think sandwiches should always be customizable to your preferences. Love tomatoes? Pile them high! Bacon makes your heart sing? The more the merrier!! Enjoy!

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    Turkey Bacon Swiss Sandwich

    Ingredients

    • Hoagie rolls
    • Sliced turkey breast
    • Cooked bacon slices
    • Sliced tomato
    • Sliced Swiss cheese
    • Ranch dressing

    Instructions

  • Turn oven to broil. Toast rolls slightly to keep bread from getting soggy. Spread ranch dressing on rolls, reserving some for dipping. Layer on turkey, tomato, bacon and Swiss cheese. Place under the broiler again to melt cheese. Serve open faced with additional ranch dressing.
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    Tamale Pie

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    I am already starting to miss summer. Winter and I aren’t friends. I hate waking up when it’s dark and getting off work when it’s dark. I hate the hair I spent 20 minutes trying to tame in the morning being destroyed by the rain/snow/wind.

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    I have wood heat in my house, which is wonderful and cost-effective but MESSY. As if cleaning up after two children wasn’t enough work!

    I know I am doing a lot of complaining, but there is one positive part of the colder weather and that is comfort food. While casseroles may not be the most attractive food, they are what I want to come home to after a long cold day. I love salad, but no salad has ever warmed me up after a cold day!

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    This tamale pie comes together quickly and freezes well. I love the addition of creamed corn to the filling, and the cheese baked into the topping gives it wonderful flavor!

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    Tamale Pie

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 can creamed corn
    • 1 small can sliced black olives
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • black pepper to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup corn meal
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Instructions

  • In a large skillet brown ground beef and onion until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add tomato sauce, creamed corn, olives, salt, pepper, chili and garlic powders and stir well to combine. Pour into baking dish.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cornmeal and salt. Stir until thickened. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in eggs. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. Pour cornmeal mixture over filling and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until topping is set.
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    Stuffed Pizza Bites

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    Feeding kids is funny. One day, they want six square meals plus snack, the next they think ketchup is a fitting main dish. It seems likes it’s always hit and miss if they are going to eat the meal that you prepare them.

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    The one food I can always count on my kids cleaning their plates is pizza. And really, who could blame them? Pizza rocks! Sometimes I like a little bit of variety though, and that’s why these stuffed pizza bites are so fun.

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    I used my favorite fast and easy pizza dough recipe to start. It is a never fail recipe that comes together in just  minutes. However, store-bought dough will work in a pinch.

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    I chose to go simple here with pepperoni, but any of your favorite pizza toppings would work. Sausage, Canadian bacon,  pineapple, maybe even a Philly cheese steak or buffalo chicken filling? Oh yea, I am giving myself more ideas as I speak!

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    Stuffed Pizza Bites

    Ingredients

    • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (1 packet)
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    • 4-6 ounces mozzerella cheese, diced
    • sliced pepperoni, or other desired pizza toppings
    • pizza sauce

    Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the water and yeast, stirring until the yeast is dissolved.
  • Add in the flour, honey, salt and oil, stirring to combine. On a well floured surface, knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth. Form into a ball and cover. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes before shaping into pizza bites.
  • Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, remove the pan from the heat and add the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Brush a bundt or tube pan with some of the garlic butter and set aside.
  • Divide the pizza dough in half and continue to half each piece until you have balls about 1.5 inch in size. Flatten a dough ball into a round. Place a slice of pepperoni and a piece of the mozzarella in the center of the dough. Wrap the dough around the filling, pinching the ends together to seal the ball. Roll the ball in the garlic butter and place it in the bundt pan. Repeat for all of the balls of dough, distributing the balls evenly in the pan. Cover the pan and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F about 10 minutes before the rise is done. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top begins to lightly brown.. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Invert the bread onto a plate. Serve with heated pizza sauce for dipping.
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    One-Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

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    Ok, who out there is a busy parent? Work full time? Stay at home? Doesn’t like doing dishes, but love a fast and tasty meal? I am going to assume that you are at least of of those types of people.

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    For me, weeknights are not the time for elaborate dinners that require lots of dishes and long cook times.

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    What weeknights do require though are easy and tasty meals that you can have on the table in under a hour. That’s where one pot meals come into play. I have already posted a one-pot recipe for BBQ Chicken Pasta, and I was overdue to post another.

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    This meal is a twist on traditional chicken cordon blue, which requires lots of steps and isn’t weeknight friendly. I took the basic elements of the dish and created a pasta that is creamy and comforting while only dirtying one pan. Score!

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    One-Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
    • 1 cup of diced cooked ham
    • 2½ cups small, dry pasta
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 8 ounces Swiss Cheese, sliced or shredded
    • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

    Instructions

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 12" skillet. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown. Chicken does not need to be cooked through.
  • Add diced ham, pasta, broth, salt and pepper, and garlic powder, onion powder and mustard. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat (there will still be liquid in the pan) and add half the Swiss cheese and heavy cream, stirring until completely melted.
  • Top pasta with remaining cheese and place under the broiler for about five minutes or until golden brown, careful not to let it burn. Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve immediately.
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