Skillet Dinner with Turkey Sausage

It only took me approximately twenty years of cooking for myself to figure out that the most flavorful foods often have the most color.  Honestly, I think it helped once I had my own children, and realized that if anyone was going to introduce them to healthy foods, it was going to have to be me.  We certainly eat our fair share of pizza, burgers, and desserts (we have a great dessert category here on the blog), but I also began, when my boys were very young, to introduce them to things that added flavor and nutrition, without making the food “worse” for you.  Sometimes those added flavors and colors are obvious and simple, like green peppers and carrots in their salad.  Sometimes they’re more subtle, like finely chopped fresh spinach in their spaghetti sauce.  Now that they’re older, I don’t have to be as sneaky.  In fact, they love dishes like this one with bold flavors, a bit of spiciness.  I love the flavors, too – and I particularly love that this is quick and easy to throw together.  ~Tracy



  • 12 oz. baby yellow potatoes, halved
  • ½ of a medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ of a medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • ½ lb. frozen green beans, thawed
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen broccoli florets (if frozen, allow to thaw)
  • 13 oz. smoked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
  • ¾ c. shredded Parmesan


Boil the potatoes in salted water until they just begin to become fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

Spray large, deep skillet with cooking spray.  Sauté the turkey sausage with jalapeno until sausage just begins to brown.  Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic.

Continue to sauté on low heat until peppers and onions begin to soften.

Add green beans, broccoli, and potatoes to the skillet.

Cover and continue cooking on low to heat until broccoli and green beans are tender.  Hint – I like to use a glass lid during this process so that I can keep an eye on the broccoli and green beans as they steam cook.

Remove skillet from heat and allow to begin to cool for two to three minutes.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the mixture and toss together.

Makes 5 servings at 6 WW Freestyle points each.

Spicy Asian Chicken Meatballs with Broccoli

Confession…I did not grow up an adventurous eater. I was sort of a poster child for, “I won’t eat this, or I’m going to pick that out.” I’m pretty sure I never ate in an Asian restaurant until after I was married. As an adult though, I realized that if I was going to have anything remotely close to a healthy diet, I was going to have to branch out beyond my favorite comfort foods. Confession number two….I’m still not all that adventurous, but I’ve learned to introduce myself, and my kids, to different flavors and foods. I’ve learned that there are better sauces than barbecue or ranch, and that fruits and vegetables can add beautiful flavor and color to our plates. Don’t get me wrong – I still load up my plate with macaroni and cheese on occasion (try ours here), but more often than not, we’re eating something like these Spicy Asian Chicken Meatballs with Broccoli. I think you’ll like it just as much as that take-out comfort food! ~Tracy


Ingredients for meatballs

  • 1 ¼ lb. ground white meat chicken
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c. bread crumbs.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. fresh peeled ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Ingredients for sauce

  • ¼ c. teriyaki sauce
  • ½ c. water
  • 1 T. fresh peeled ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ c. lightly packed brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 c. steamed broccoli (reserved until adding sauce to meatballs)

Mix all meatball ingredients until well combined. Use a small ice cream scoop to form 24 meatballs.

Place meatballs on large baking sheet, lined with parchment.

Bake at 350, for approximately 25 minutes, or until each meatball begins to turn golden and all juices are clear.

While meatballs are cooking, combine all sauce ingredients (except broccoli) in a small saucepan and whisk together. Heat to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for two minutes.

Place cooked meatballs and steamed broccoli in a large metal or glass bowl. Cover with sauce and toss together.

This recipe makes 6 servings (4 meatballs per serving). Each serving is 3 WW Freestyle Points.

Serve over rice, but remember to figure WW points on rice separately if desired.

Simple Crockpot Pot Roast


Some of my favorite things to cook are the things that I know I can use for more than one meal.  If you’re as busy as we all are (And really, who isn’t these days?), then you know the value of things that are easy, delicious, and can have multiple uses.  This Simple Crockpot Pot Roast has so many tasty uses, it’s one of my favorite things to cook. In fact, we had this tonight as barbeque sandwiches. Tomorrow we’ll be eating it as tasty beef enchiladas, and if I’m really lucky, I’ll get shredded beef nachos the next day!  ~Tracy

    • 1 rump roast – I try to buy in the 3 to 4 pound range


    • 5 beef bouillon cubes


    • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered


    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed


    • 1 generous tablespoon kosher salt


    • 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns


  • Enough water to cover roast approximately 2/3 up the side


    1. Picking out your cut of meat may be the hardest part of making this recipe. When searching for a roast, choose one that has some fat. You can always trim a little of the fat off, but let’s be real: fat = flavor. Look for a roast on which all or most of the grain of the meat is going in the same direction. Just as a nice piece of wood should have grain going all in one direction, so should a nice piece of meat. I find that rump roasts usually come out very flavorful and tender, but most any roast can be used.


    1. I highly recommend using a crockpot liner for easy cleanup (I have had good look with the ones from Reynolds). You can put everything right in the lined crockpot and once cooled, remove the liner and throw it away.


    1. Place the quartered onion and smashed garlic in the bottom of your crockpot.


    1. Place roast into crockpot.


    1. Add salt and peppercorns.


    1. Place bouillon cubes into crockpot along the sides of the roast.


    1. Add water to about 2/3 up the sides of the roast. Don’t completely cover the meat.


    1. Cook on high for 7 hours or on low for 12.


    1. Carefully remove meat from crockpot with tongs or forks.


  1. Shred meat and serve as traditional pot roast or any way you like!

WW Freestyle Info.:  Rump roast is 3 points per serving.

Hometown Dry Rub

HometownDryRub logo

Posted by Tracy

Growing up, our mother always shopped at a small neighborhood grocery store called Bay’s Grocery.  It was a great little place where everyone knew you by name, you could still say “charge this to my bill,” and on occasion, Tom Bay would give you a little piece of candy from behind the counter.  At the old-fashioned butcher counter in the back of the store, you could buy the best thick-cut pork chops with a house dry rub that was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  Those pork chops were the first meal I cooked for my husband when we’d just started dating.  After almost 50 years in business, Bay’s Grocery closed in 1993, and I’ve been trying to duplicate that dry rub ever since.  This recipe is a great substitute…I’ll bet it would taste even better if it were made by the folks at Bay’s.


  • 2 T. garlic powder
  • 2 T. onion powder
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 T. ground cumin
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)


Add all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with fork or wire whisk.

Use on chicken, pork, or beef.   Use paper towels to remove all moisture from cuts of meat or the dry rub will not stick.   Apply liberally.  Grill or bake your meat to tasty perfection!


Smokehouse Pork Chops

This flavor-packed recipe will make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a gem of a local restaurant where they really know how to treat food.  It’s the perfect switch up from your standard pork chop!  ~Kathy


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less based on preference)
  • 1 generous T. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh)
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Black pepper
  • 6 – 8 boneless pork chops, about 1” thick


Preheat oven to 425˚F.

In a small skillet heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add remaining ingredients except pork chops; heat for a few minutes until fragrant.  Do not let garlic brown.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.   Place pork chops in dish.  Pour part of the heated mixture over chops.  Turn to coat.   Top pork chops with remaining oil mixture, making sure that some of the garlic and spices are on top of each pork chop.  Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper.

Place in preheated oven.  Bake for 10 minutes.   Baste with oil mixture from pan using a spoon.   Reduce heat to 400˚F and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, basting one more time during the remaining cooking time, until cooked through (depending on thickness/size of your pork chops).

Whole cuts of pork should be heated to an internal temp of 145 plus a 3 minutes rest period before cutting.  You always want to let whole cuts of meet rest anyway to seal in the moisture.