One Pot Breakfast Skillet: Italian Chicken Sausage, Peppers and More

This One Pot Italian Chicken Sausage & Peppers (& Parsnips & Fennel) Skillet is both protein AND veggie packed. What a start to your day!

One Pot Chicken Sausage Breakfast Skillet #Paleo #Whole30 #Dairyfree #Glutenfree

One Pot Chicken Sausage & Peppers (& more) Breakfast Skillet

I love any recipe that incorporates a hearty helping veggies into my morning along with the usual breakfast proteins; eggs and sausages, etc. A recipe for an awesome Southwestern skillet in The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook (that’s an affiliate link) inspired this variation. It is, of course, ideal fresh out of the oven, but if you don’t happen to have a crowd of 6 joining you for breakfast or brunch, don’t worry – it actually reheats quite well.

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One Sheet Spicy Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

One Pot Wonders with an oven-baked, sheet pan twist. This Cashew Chicken takes about 15 minutes to bake and will become a favorite new weeknight dinner.

One Sheet Spicy Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

One Sheet Spicy Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

We all love a good One Pot Wonder, right? It’s a favorite category on many a Pinterest board, and we have quite a few variations on that theme ourselves. One of my latest cookbook acquisitions is a whole new spin on the concept: the ingenious Sheet Pan Suppers, which is the brainchild of Dunk & Crumble’s Molly Gilbert. I’ve already made several recipes, have enjoyed every one, and have at least 7 or 8 others dog-eared for the near future.

My favorite so far, not just for flavor but speed and simplicity, is the Quick Chicken and Baby Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce.  I adapted it here to be paleo, and I think the cashew butter works perfectly. If you omit the coconut palm sugar it’s also low-carb. See what you think! You might consider doubling the sauce to have extra on hand for an encore performance later in the week.

(This is not a sponsored post, by the way. I’m just fangirling.)

One Sheet Spicy Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

Spicy Cashew Chicken with Broccoli – the Before shot

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Weeknight Quinoa Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Apron Strings goes creole this week – literally. Anne and I will be in New Orleans this week in celebration of my impending 60th birthday. What better place to say Let the Good Times Roll! than in NOLA. I ask you?

There comes a time in every girl’s life when the inevitability of the finite-ness of life becomes real. And the 60th anniversary of my birth has done this for me.  And that’s a good thing. Life is short! Seize the day! Eat good food!

This spin on the classic Creole dish is so packed with flavor that you won’t miss the rice. Quinoa is perfect here – and adds a texture that rice can’t. And quinoa is packed with nutrients, so that’s a bonus. This dish comes together in about 20 minutes – so it is doable even for a weeknight, even if you have to cook the quinoa!

I love creole style dishes – and even once made a Vegetarian Shrimp-less Creole for a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras dish.

— posted by Donna


4 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces clam juice
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce
8 ounces cooked peeled shrimp
2 cups cooked quinoa

Melt the butter over medium high heat and add in the celery, bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook another minute or two. Add in tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, clam juice, cayenne pepper sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in shrimp at end and serve in bowls with a scoop of the quinoa.

Other fun spins on shrimp creole:

Shrimp Creole, Closet Cooking
King Creole, Acadiana Table
Shrimp Creole Arepas, My Columbian Recipes
Shrimp Creole Pizza, Always Order Dessert

Smoked Paprika Chicken Recipe

Smoked Paprika Chicken - Before

The first time I watched food geek Alton Brown on television, I didn’t know what to make of him. Was he a lunatic or a genius?  I have since watched every single episode of Good Eats, and I came to the correct and only conclusion: GENIUS.

I laugh out loud every single time I watch. I laugh and more importantly, I learn. I think my favorite episode is his grilling episode, where he dresses up in an aluminum foil suit and walks across a giant bed of simulated coals while talking about grilling. Again, pure GENIUS.


Tomorrow is Mr Brown’s 51st birthday, and so in his honor I am posting my version of his Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs. This dish is pure Alton Brown genius – a little cooking science and a whole lot of classic homey goodness.

His dish is designed to allow the chicken juices to drip down on the vegetables, yet allow the chicken to crisp on top. Like I said, sheer GENIUS. MY version is done in a pot and collects more of the juices, which I made into a sauce right before serving. Also, I deleted the green olives, one of the few foods I just don’t like. At all.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Brown, and may you live and cook forever!

Smoked Paprika Chicken

— posted by Donna


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 of a small fennel bulb
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
3 tablespoons unsalted  clarified butter, softened
1 large shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons smoked paprika, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed into 1/2 cup of water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush oil on a large heavy Dutch oven, such as cast iron. Slice potatoes, fennel and onion into half moon slices that are a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Toss slices with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the slices in the Dutch oven.

Mix together the clarified butter, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of the paprika. Using your fingers, spread a scant 1 tablespoon of butter mixture under the skin of each chicken thigh. Place thighs on top of vegetables in Dutch oven, skin side up. Mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and the olive oil. Brush mixture on the skins of the chicken thighs.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes.

Remove chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Place Dutch oven on stove top and turn on medium high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch liquid and simmer until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Serve immediately.

Some fabulous blogger’s spins on Alton Brown dishes:

Cranberry Sauce, Mountain Mama Cooks
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Eyed Baker
Carrot Cake, Judy’s Kitchen

And the best encounter between a food blogger and Mr Brown is here.