Cajun-style Shrimp, Sausage, and Potatoes

I am often day dreaming about recipes. I know, it may seem weird, but I truly do think of a couple ingredients and just imagine what I can do with them. I start out pretty general and then play around with ingredients in my head until I think I may be on to something. It doesn’t always work out, but often it does and when that happens, I am quite pleased with myself.

This dish came out of a craving I was having for shrimp. Who doesn’t like shrimp, right? I also LOVE Louisiana-style cuisine. Unfortunately, it isn’t usally the healthiest, so I either avoid it, just give in and go for gold, or, like in this case, rely on simple seasoning to give a healthy dish some Cajun flair.

This meal came together in a flash and the hubby went back for seconds. That makes it a total winner in my book.  The potato/sausage mixture makes a lot, so you can have leftovers, which are super delish the next day with sunny-side up egg on top.

You can adjust the seasonings based on your preference/tolerance for spice.

Cajun-style Shrimp, Sausage, and Potatoes

 

Olive oil

½ yellow onion, diced

4-5 mini sweet peppers, diced (mix of red, yellow, and orange). You can also just use 1 red bell pepper, diced.

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 pound smoked turkey sausage (i.e. Hilshire Farms)

Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere brand)

Shrimp, factor in about 5 medium-sized shrimp per person

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add about a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Saute the sausage until it starts to brown. Remove from the skillet. Add a little more olive oil if you need it and saute the onions, peppers, and potatoes until the potatoes are almost softened. Add the garlic at this point so you don’t burn it. Add the sausage back in and sprinkle some Cajun seasoning. However much you want. Let this cook until the sausage and potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet over medium heat, add a little more olive oil. Sprinkle more seasoning on some peeled and deveined shrimp and cook until done, just a few minutes on each side is usually all you need.  I cook the shrimp separately because you will have leftovers of the potatoes and the shrimp doesn’t reheat well. You can always make more shrimp if you want later.

Once it’s all done, just serve up the potato/sausage mixture and top with about 5 shrimp per person.

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Breakfast Casserole 

I love breakfast. I could eat breakfast food anytime of day. I really love breakfast casseroles. Seriously, if I had the time, I’d make one every morning. They are so easy and so versatile, you can put whatever you want in one. They are great for feeding a crowd, perfect for brunch, and best of all, you can make them the day before.

Growing up,  we always had breakfast casseroles for Christmas morning breakfast. I’ve continued the tradition with my own family and will also make them other times throughout the year, like on football Sunday.

For this one all you need is:

Frozen potatoes 

Breakfast sausage 

Cheese 

6 eggs 

1 cup of milk

You can use whatever style potatoes you want, but I like to use these potatoes o’brien because it adds a good flavor without any extra work. You can use the regular homestyle or the shredded ones are good too.

  

Pour out a layer of the frozen potatoes into a baking dish. You don’t need to cook themselves. 

On top of the potatoes, add a layer of cheese, then a layer of cooked sausage, then another layer of cheese.

I used cheddar but you can switch this up if you want. For the sausage, I used regular country pork sausage, but you can use turkey or Italian or even bacon or ham if you want.
   

In a bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1 cup of milk, a sprinkle of pepper and some garlic salt. Pour over the potatoes, cheese, and sausage. I used a slightly smaller dish, but if you use a 9×13, increase your eggs by 2 and your milk by 1/2 cup.
 

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until done.     
 

This is a pretty basic casserole but it is really delicious and comforting. A great way to start the day. And it can be a lot of fun playing around with the mix ins!

Healthier Choice Breakfast Burritos (Freezer friendly!)

Who doesn’t love breakfast burritos, right? Eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage, potatoes all wrapped up in a convenient package. Such a great way to start the day. Or end it. Breakfast for dinner is the best.

There is this place in Long Beach (where I grew up) called John’s and they make these amazing breakfast burritos. Seriously, they are so good. When I worked the early morning shift at It’s A Grind back in college a whole bunch of years ago, we would sometimes send someone on their lunch break to pick up a to-go order for us.

And if you ever find yourself in Los Alamitos, stop by Nick’s Deli. They have GREAT breakfast burritos, too.

Anyway, back to business. I moved to Culver City right after I graduated CSULB in 2006. I know now that there are plenty of places to get a yummy breakfast here, but at the time, I just wanted a John’s burrito and not have to drive 25 miles to get it, so I made them at home. My husband started calling them my “world famous breakfast burritos” even though they weren’t. They were full of fluffy eggs, melted cheese, crispy bacon, hash browns, and sour cream. I promise, they were delicious.

We ate those burritos frequently on the weekends. But that was back when we were in our early-mid 20’s. We’ve gotten a bit older since then and our metabolism isn’t quite what it used to be, so I had to change things up a bit and try to make the burritos a bit healthier. We still splurge on the “world famous” burritos every so often, but they’ve moved from the “Saturday Breakfast” category to the “Cheat Meal, and only if you run a mile or two afterwards” category. But that’s OK, because these alternatives are still really tasty!

(And special bonus: if you make a bunch like I did, you can freeze them and then just reheat them as you go along your week!)

Heathier choice breakfast burritos
This makes 7 burritos for freezing. Adjust as needed for how many you are making.

9 eggs
½ cup milk (optional, but it does make the eggs much fluffier)
1 package apple chicken sausage, sliced into half moons
4 mini sweet peppers, diced very small
½ large zucchini, chopped small
½ large leek, chopped small
coconut oil for cooking
burrito size tortillas
shredded cheese of your choice (For these, I used cheddar, but I love using pepper jack. It adds so much flavor!!)
plain Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

In a bowl, beat your eggs and milk together. Set aside.

In a large skillet, add coconut oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan so your ingredients don’t stick). Add the peppers, zucchini, and leeks and cook until soft. Add the sausage and cook until heated through and you see the outsides starting to brown up.

Add the beaten eggs to the veggie/sausage mixture and cook over medium heat until the eggs are set. Some people like their scrambled eggs a bit softer, I like mine cooked pretty well. Your burrito, your preference.

Now, assemble:

Lay out your tortillas (I used spinach) and add the filling down the middle of the burritos. Enough that you get a satisfying burrito, but not too much that you can’t roll it up. Sprinkle some cheese on top and then roll it up.

You can eat it right away or wrap them in foil and put them in freezer bags. When you ready to reheat, put it in the microwave—frozen—for about 4ish minutes, turning over halfway. This depends on your microwave and how big you made your burritos, so you may need to go a little less or a little more. Mine were a bit soggy on the outside, so I put them in a skillet for a couple minutes to toast up the outside and they were perfect.

Serve them with some plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and you’ve got yourself a nice healthy breakfast!