Mom’s Three Bean Salad #CookoutWeek

Three bean salad… a simple, classic cookout dish. I can’t get enough of this make-ahead salad!

Three bean salad... a simple, classic cookout dish. I can't get enough of this make-ahead salad! #CookoutWeek2017

I’m not sure when I switched from being a three bean salad hater to a three bean salad lover, but I’m glad I gave this classic cookout dish another try! My mom always makes her three bean salad with green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans, so naturally, that’s what I do too. What I love the most about this simple side dish is that you can make it ahead. In fact, I highly recommend doing so, as the flavor gets better over time.

Three bean salad... a simple, classic cookout dish. I can't get enough of this make-ahead salad! #CookoutWeek2017

This recipe is one of the few things I ever make with canned vegetables. There’s something about the texture of canned veggies that just isn’t my favorite. But I think the softness of the canned green beans and wax beans really make this dish. If canned veggies aren’t your thing, try frozen… or even cook your own green and wax beans and use them here. I use frozen veggies in this dish frequently. Just make sure to thaw them first!

Three bean salad... a simple, classic cookout dish. I can't get enough of this make-ahead salad! #CookoutWeek2017

As I’ve made this three bean salad more often over the years, I’ve slowly adapted it *just a bit* from my mom’s recipe. I go heavier on the pepper than she does (but that’s true with about anything I make… I heart black pepper!), usually make a little less dressing and reduce the sugar, AND (game changer) add fresh herbs when I have them on hand! Fresh dill is my FAVE in this dish, but parsley and chives are also excellent. A little bit of chopped fresh herbs adds a little extra pop that we love. Totally optional, but highly recommended.

Three bean salad... a simple, classic cookout dish. I can't get enough of this make-ahead salad! #CookoutWeek2017

Speaking of totally optional but highly recommended… be sure to enter the #CookoutWeek 2017 giveaway, happening NOW! Lots of great prizes and an easy entry!

one year ago: No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
two years ago: Cherry Chipotle Chicken Salad with Cherry Lime Salsa
three years ago: Tabbouleh
four years ago: Pretzel Rolls
five years ago: Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal
six years ago: Strawberry Chocolate Coconut Pancakes

Check out other new and yummy cookout recipes here: An InLinkz Link-up

So tell me… are you a three bean salad hater or lover… and how do you make it??

Mom's Three Bean Salad

  • Servings: makes about 6 cups
  • Time: 10 minutes plus time to chill
  • Print

from my mom 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil (a light olive, canola, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (can also be cut down to 1/2 cup if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 – 15 ounce can green beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible) – frozen, thawed green beans are also great here too
  • 1 – 15 ounce can wax beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible) – frozen, thawed wax beans also work well too
  • 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added if possible)
  • 1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2-1 cup green pepper, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, optional – try dill, parsley, or chives

Directions:

Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar, and pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, onion, and green pepper. Stir in chopped fresh herbs, if desired.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

In my opinion, this salad tastes best the next day. There will be extra liquid so you could reduce the vinegar and oil down to 1/3 cup if desired, or add an extra can of beans. Or just leave as-is… that’s what I always do! Enjoy!

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Simple Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Simple sheet pan chicken fajitas – I think you are going to want these in your mouth, like, last night for dinner. They bake ALL BY THEMSELVES in the oven but still have a bit of that smoky flair you love. A great weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy!

Simple sheet pan chicken fajitas - I think you are going to want these in your mouth, like, last night for dinner. They bake ALL BY THEMSELVES in the oven but still have a bit of that smoky flair you love. A great weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy!

Yup, hopping on the sheet pan meal train. I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them. Because seriously… they are a #weeknightdinner savior.

My oven died a few weeks ago, and I was utterly devastated. Fortunately, it was just the heating element–a pretty inexpensive repair–but I did freak out quite just a bit, especially since this happened after I prepped English muffin bread dough AND lasagna so I couldn’t bake either. Bummer. But on the bright side (if there is a bright side to a non-functional oven), I salvaged the dough by making individual English muffins on the stovetop. Phew! But back to sheet pan dinners. They are the best cause they are eeeeeeeasy! I mean, seriously. Chop, cut, slice a few things, throw it on a pan with some seasonings… bake bake bake, and presto! Dinner. Kinda like a casserole, except without the weird cream ‘o soup sauce. And now I can make ALL THE sheet pan meals and casseroles I want ’cause my oven is back in action! Hooooray!

Simple sheet pan chicken fajitas - I think you are going to want these in your mouth, like, last night for dinner. They bake ALL BY THEMSELVES in the oven but still have a bit of that smoky flair you love. A great weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy!

My sister introduced me to this fabulous recipe over the summer, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made it. The fajita seasoning is absolutely mouthwatering and is full of simple seasonings you probably already have in your spice rack. The veggies come out perfectly crisp-tender, and the chicken is sizzling hot. I like to dress my fajitas with plenty of lime juice and cilantro, and not much else–maybe a little bit of sour cream or avocado if I’m feeling it. But like with most Tex-Mex recipes, everyone can customize their plate as desired. #WIN! This recipe makes great leftovers–enjoy it the first night in tortillas, the second day for lunch over Mexican rice or lettuce, and the third day in a quesadilla! Don’t be frightened by the one hour time mentioned in the recipe below. Most of it is cooking, promise! If I can make this after work with a baby in tow, so can you! 🙂

one year ago: White Bean Sriracha Dip
two years ago: Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties
three year ago: Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies
four years ago: Buffalo Pretzels
five year ago: Chicken Noodle Soup
six years ago: Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Sheet Pan Fajitas

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

slightly adapted from Budget Bytes

Ingredients:

fajita seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne powder – omit if you don’t want a lot of spice
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste – I’m pretty liberal with black pepper 🙂
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

fajitas

  • 1 large onion – I like sweet onions or red onions
  • 4 bell peppers – I like to use a combination of colors
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • tortillas, rice, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo, etc. – for serving, as desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients for the fajita seasoning and set aside.

Slice the onion and bell peppers into 1/4-1/2 inch wide strips. Place on a large sheet pan [or divide between 2 9×13 baking dishes]. Cut the chicken breast into thin strips and add to sheet pan with the vegetables.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken and vegetables, then drizzle the olive oil on top. Toss together [your hands are great for this!] and spread into an even layer.

Bake for 20 minutes, then stir everything and return to oven, baking for another 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle lime juice over fajitas, then serve in tortillas or over rice with sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and pico de gallo. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Make your life easier by making this ahead! Make the seasoning, then cut chicken and veggies and put everything in a ziptop bag. Then pour the olive oil into the bag and shake. Let it marinate in the fridge up to 24 hours before baking. 

 

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole

This hearty egg breakfast casserole is full of bacon, hashbrown potatoes, red bell peppers [my fave!], and cheese. It’s sure to please!

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole - a delicious, hearty breakfast that is sure to please!

Weekends call for a delicious breakfast, do they not? While I’m a pancake-girl through and through, sometimes I don’t want to stand at the stove flipping pancakes for 30 minutes. Okay, it’s not always 30 minutes but sometimes it sure feels like it, especially when your family or friends are eating pancake after pancake while all you’ve had are the scraps. Haha, you laugh, but it’s true! 🙂 So what do you do to avoid that situation? Make a casserole, of course!

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole - a delicious, hearty breakfast that is sure to please!

This breakfast casserole was part of my recent foray into eating up the food in my kitchen freezer so that I could move things out of the garage freezer in preparation for my freezer-cooking-before-baby extravaganza. Thank you, leftover half-pound of bacon! Thank YOU, half-bag of shredded hashbrowns! I know the bacon was recent, but those hashbrowns? Who knows! The freezer can be a sc-sc-sc-scaryyyy place. But the good news is, this casserole isn’t anything scary at all! It has all your favorite breakfast components packaged into one tasty treat. Since Ben and I can’t eat an entire pan of this goodness in one go, we parceled it out for breakfast all week long, making mornings a little easier. 🙂 I know this will become part of our regular rotation because it was mighty delicious and has endless substitution possibilities. Enjoy, and happy weekend!

one year ago: Curried Chicken Salad
two years ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
three years ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
four years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
five years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill [or 1/2 teaspoon dried]
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil [or 1 teaspoon dried]
  • 16 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook bacon on a skillet until crisp, then set aside on paper towels to cool. When cooled, chop into bite size pieces. Drain off most of the grease from the skillet, reserving about 2 tablespoons.

Add bell pepper and garlic to the skillet and cook until just beginning to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, pepper, dill, and basil. Add cooled bacon and peppers, stirring gently to combine. Fold in hash browns and cheese.

Pour into prepared pan, then bake for about 40-45 minutes or until set in the middle. Enjoy!

Casserole reheats well throughout the week, and individual servings freeze well too.

 

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet

In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components–rice, chicken, and veggies–then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce… and sit back and enjoy! 

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

If healthier skillet meals and casseroles are my favorite things ever now [minimal dishes, no real need for a side dish cause you have the protein + veggies + starch all in one happy mix], I can only imagine how valuable they’ll be once Baby Volde arrives in May! 🙂 I’m planning on doing some freezer cooking before his arrival, but those meals will eventually be depleted and when I go back to work having these sort of tasty yet healthy meals on hand will be key to my happiness. I’m sure of it! So I’m making certain I find some good recipes now so I’m ready then. If this Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet doesn’t fit the bill for easy, yummy, and delicious while still being healthy, then I don’t know what would!

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

This meal is SO good, you guys. If you’ve ever looked around my blog or know me in real life, you know that I’m a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex food addict. I could go for tacos, black bean and rice bowls, carnitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas just about any day. It’s not any one thing about that kind of cuisine–the spices, or the cheese, or the toppings, but all of that at once. And this dish, though it’s not “Mexican” at all, it reminds me of a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex-influenced meal thanks to the combo of chicken, black beans, rice, and tomatoes, plus all the yummy toppings! Cheese! Sour cream! Cilantro! Scallions! Yum!

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet: In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components--rice, chicken, and veggies--then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce... and sit back and enjoy!

Seriously, this stuff is ahhhmazingly good! Plus it has veggies, so that makes it good for you! Ha. 🙂 But it does, right?!? Don’t be put off by the “spicy” label on this recipe. It’s really only lightly spicy… the cheese and ranch combo cools things down, and if your family doesn’t do spice, then omit the crushed red pepper and cayenne and use regular diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted. No matter how you make it, everyone will certainly love it! Though I’m a fan of making this dish with leftover roasted chicken, you can certainly make it with other proteins like ground turkey, chorizo, or even leftover shredded pulled pork for a new flavor profile. Now I have a new dinner idea for later this week because I just so happen to have a bunch of leftover pulled pork in the freezer! Score! 🙂 Enjoy!

one year ago: Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake
two years ago: Strawberry Yogurt
three years ago: Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad
four years ago: Extraordinary Grilled Cheese
five years ago: The Best Egg Salad

Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

adapted from Well Plated

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups bell pepper, chopped [I used a mix of red, yellow, and orange]
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can no-salt fire-roasted tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes [depending on your preferred level of spice]
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 2-3 tablespoons homemade ranch seasoning [or one small package from the grocery store]
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water or additional chicken broth, if necessary
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  • chopped scallions, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragarent. Reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, tomatoes, and chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning. Stir to combine, then add red pepper, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. Add additional ranch seasoning to taste. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or until hot.

When rice is cooked, stir into veggie and chicken mixture. Add up to 1/2 cup additional chicken broth/water if it is too thick to stir. Serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro, and scallions. For a creamy treat, stir in a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash #FreshTastyValentines

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things… sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! 

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

I love recipes that work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hashes are one of those classic recipes that can work for any meal, especially when you throw a fried egg on top. I used to make these meals almost every week pre-pregnancy. If it wasn’t a sweet/regular potato hash, it was arugula salad with fried potatoes and a fried egg… or fried rice with a fried egg… or a fried egg sandwich… or… you get the picture, huh? These days, I eat fried eggs oh-so-rarely. I have really tried to not be paranoid about the dietary restrictions with pregnancy [I’ll admit to licking the bowl when baking, and over Thanksgiving I accidentally ate a cobb salad with cold deli meat on it without thinking] but I don’t want to take too many unnecessary risks. I’m too much of a rule follower for that! Not to mention how devastated I would be if something I chose to ate hurt the baby. I know you can’t prevent everything [listeria in peanut butter or salad, anyone?] but I can prevent eating too many fried eggs. I think. 🙂

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

So that being said, you know that if I chose to eat a fried egg [yes, singular… before baby it was two 😦 tear!] it’s gotta be for a good reason. And this sweet potato hash is a GREAT reason! It’s pretty much the best hash I’ve ever tried. [Umm, sorry if that sounds weird.] Sometimes hashes can get a little too mushy, but this one doesn’t because I had the *genius* idea to a) roast the sweet potatoes instead of cooking them in the pan, b) layer them with the black bean and red pepper mixture, and c) top it all with bacon and the said fried egg. #mmmm

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

If that’s not genius, then I don’t know what is! Oh wait, yes I do. 🙂 In the summertime, part of what makes a sweet potato hash so darn good is that you can put half of your herb garden in as seasonings. Well, we are dead in the middle of winter here so I used the next best thing: Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices! They’re one of our lovely sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, and to spice up [ha] this dish, I used cilantro, ginger, and chili. So good! I also added some fresh grapefruit zest [love that lately!] for some zing.

This sweet potato hash combines pretty much all my favorite things... sweet potatoes, black beans, red peppers, bacon, and fried eggs. Ginger and grapefruit zest give it an unforgettable special tangy flavor! #FreshTastyValentines

That zing was intensified with the special sauce that took this already great hash out of the park! Not Ketchup is ANOTHER one of our amazing sponsors for this fun blogging event, and I have to admit that I was a wee bit skeptical of the Tangerine Hatch Chile sauce they sent my way. Until I opened up the bottle and tried a wee bit with a roasted sweet potato. Then I was in tangerine spice heaven! Unlike how it sounds, this sauce is NOT spicy, but is the best blend of sweet and savory tang. I thought about stirring the sauce into the hash from the get go, but the aforementioned soggy, mushy sweet potato hash I was trying to avoid nixed that idea. Instead, I drizzled a hearty helping over the hash after the egg had been broken, and OH MAN was it good! Out of all of the Not Ketchup flavors I’ve tried, this one is by far my favorite… and I love that it has no added sugar; it’s only sweetened with real fruit [tangerine, apples, dates]. It is so delicious! Hope you give it a try–with or without my sweet potato hash. 🙂

one year ago: Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf
two years ago: Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas
three years ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
four years ago: Caramel S’more Cups
five years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Tangy Sweet Potato Hash

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, then roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Flip after 10 minutes for even cooking.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain almost all the grease from the skillet, then add diced onion and chopped red bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until tender. Stir in black beans, cilantro, ginger, chili, and grapefruit zest. Reduce heat to low, and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper.

At this time, prepare 2 eggs per person as desired–fried or poached would be best. Also, chop bacon into bite size pieces.

When ready to serve, place a layer of sweet potatoes on a large plate or shallow bowl. Top with a layer of black bean/veggie mixture, a piece of chopped bacon, and two eggs. Serve with Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup for dipping!

Be sure to enter our #giveaway here! And check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Not Ketchup

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Find Gourmet Garden

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary sauce from Not Ketchup and herbs & spices from Gourmet Gardens for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Not Ketchup and Gourmet Gardens for their sponsorship of this event!