Schmorgurken is a traditional German dish made from a combination of cucumbers, bacon, potatoes, black pepper and cream. Give it a try and you’ll be hooked!
Schmorgurken (German Stewed Cucumbers)
(Courtesy: Jacqueline Letourneau)
Course Main Course
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 European (seedless) cucumber
- 2 cups light cream
- 2-3 tsp black pepper
- 3 lb white potatoes
Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut bacon into small pieces. Place bacon into a heavy saute pan and cook over medium heat until almost crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, peel cucumber and slice into ½" slices. Cut the slices into quarters and sprinkle generously with black pepper.
Peel potatoes, if desired, and cut into 2" cubes. Place potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender but not falling apart, 7-10 minutes. Drain and return to pot and cover to keep the potatoes warm.
Add cucumbers to the saute pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low and add cream. Allow the cream to heat through.
Put one serving of potatoes onto a plate and fork mash. Cover with bacon/cucumber mixture and serve immediately.
Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword cooked cucumbers, European cucumbers, German cuisine, German food, Schmorgurken, stewed cucumber
Did you know? Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin K and are high in water content to promote hydration and make you feel full longer! Check out the facts here!
Suggestion: Love cucumbers? Buy an extra one to make this fresh cucumber sandwich spread.
Spicy Spanish chorizo teams up with hearty lentils and the sweetness of orange to create a unique and tasty sausage lentil stew with oranges!
Sausage Lentil Stew with Oranges
Calories 350 kcal
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz Spanish chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic (2 tsp)
- 2¼ cups brown lentils, washed and drained
- 1 cup dry red wine such as Pinot Noir
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 5 small oranges
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp dried dill
Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
Saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Turn heat to high. Add lentils and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft, 40 - 45 minutes. Add more broth if necessary to maintain a stew-like consistancy.
Squeeze juice from two of the oranges and set aside. Remove peel and pith from the remaining oranges and slice fruit into ¼” rounds.
Add chorizo to lentils and stir in orange juice. Season with salt, pepper and dill. Remove from heat and gently stir in orange rounds.
Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigeragtor for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized sealable freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months.
Keyword chorizo sausage, lentil, low calorie, oranges, spanish sausage, stew
Did you know? Lentils are a member of the legume family. Legumes come in many options, are inexpensive and packed with nutrition!!
Suggestion: Italian herb focaccia bread goes nicely with this recipe!
Pork chops with apples and onions is a one-skillet meal that’s quick, easy and bursting with flavor! This all-in-one meal is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Pork Chops With Apples and Onions
Calories 436 kcal
- 3 pork chops, 4 oz each
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3 apples, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat then add the pork chops. Cook until browned (3-5 minutes on each side) and remove to plate.
Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the same pan then add apples and onion. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine.
Whisk together broth and mustard and add to the pan.
Slide pork chops back in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until pork chops are finished cooking and liquid is reduced by half.
Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Keyword apples and onions, cooked apples, easy meal, fast and easy, fried pork chop, one pan meal, one skillet meal, pan seared, pork chop, quick and easy
While an apple a day (all by itself) will not keep the doctor away, it IS a beneficial part of a healthy diet!
Suggestion: This dish will pair nicely with baked rice pilaf!
Chinese Sausage with Brussels Sprouts is a quick and easy one-skillet meal that is nutritious and delicious. It’s also low-calorie and keto-friendly!
Chinese Sausage with Brussels Sprouts
Calories 260 kcal
- 6 oz Chinese sausage (2 links)
- 1½ lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 2½ tbsp water
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Remove casings from sausages and discard. Place sausage in a cold pan and turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently to break up sausage, until cooked through. Remove sausage from pan.
Turn heat up to medium-high and add Brussels sprouts. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan to keep oil from burning.
Add water and continue to cook for another 2 minutes until Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender. Add soy sauce, vinegar and sausage bits and toss to coat. Serve warm.
Keyword Brussels sprouts, Chinese sausage, easy dinner, fast and easy, keto, low calorie, low carb, one pan meal, one skillet meal, quick and easy, quick meal preparation
The Chinese sausage I use in this recipe differs from a traditional Lap Cheong, which is a dried sausage. The one I use is a fresh sausage seasoned with a Chinese-style sauce. It can be found in the meat department of your local grocery store by the Italian pork sausages.
If you’re a fan of Chinese-style sausage and one-skillet meals, check out this sausage and butternut squash skillet!
Roasted sausage, peppers and onions are not just for subs! Jazz this recipe by serving it with rice, polenta, cornbread or potato salad!
Roasted Sausage, Peppers and Onions
Calories 349 kcal
- 4 sweet onions
- 6 sweet bell peppers in a variety of colors (green, red, yellow and orange)
- 6 Italian sausage links, hot or sweet (1 Pound)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350͒℉
Cut onions and peppers in 1" chunks and place in a baking pan. Add ¼ cup of vegetable broth and the sausages.
Oven roast for 45 - 60 minutes until sausages reach an internal temperature of 160℉ Add vegetable broth ¼ cup at a time as necessary to avoid having the pan from going dry.
Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
Keyword fair food, oven roasted vegetables, Roasted sausages, sausage subs, sausages with peppers and onion
Did you know? The biggest sausage ever made was an amazing 38.99 miles long? Check out some other fun sausages facts here!
Mini Tourtiere Pork Pie is a simple and wonderful French-Canadian dish that’s a Christmas staple in many parts of New England but I enjoy it year-round!
Mini Tourtiere Pork Pie
Calories 300 kcal
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2½ cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes (2 medium)
- ½ sweet onion
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground sage
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 premade pie crusts (see note* below)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Spicy brown mustard
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
Combine the next 10 ingredients (pork through pepper) in a skillet. Cook, covered, on medium-low for 4 hours until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. As the mixture thickens, turn down the heat in increments so it will continue to simmer. As the liquid absorbs, begin to stir more frequently, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking.
Remove the pan from the heat and mash with a hand-held potato masher until all large lumps are gone. Allow to cool for easier handling.
Generously grease a 12 ct. standard-sized muffin tin. Using glass or biscuit cutter, cut 12-5” pastry circles and line muffin cups, pressing to the sides and bottom.
Fill with ¼ cup pie filling and cover with 2½" pastry circle. Run a finger dipped in the water around the seam and crimp edges to seal. Cut a slit in the top of each pie.
Bake at 400͒ for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cooling for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cup and gently remove the pies to a cooling rack.
Serve warm with spicy brown mustard and pickles.
*I do not make pie crust. I’ve tried to make it in the past (lots of times) and it’s been a dismal failure. Maybe I don’t have the patience or maybe I didn’t inherit the “pie crust gene” from my grandmother….I don’t know. But I must concede defeat. If anyone has a great pie crust recipe that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below!
Hack: Place cooled pork pies on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Store in a tightly covered freezer container. I don’t recommend using a freezer bag as the crust might break up as they are moved around the freezer.
To reheat: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake in 350͒ for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160͒. If desired (and for moister filling) pop off top crust and place pickle slice directly on meat filling. Replace the top and reheat.
Keyword buffet, French Canadian recipe, ground pork, holiday pie, holiday recipe, meat pie, mini pork pie, Mini Tourtiere, pork pie, single serving pork pie, single serving Tourtiere, Tourtiere
If you like this single-serving recipe, try my recipe for mini chicken pot pie!
Sausage and butternut squash skillet is a hearty one-skillet recipe that’s low in carbs and calories. It comes together quickly for an easy weekday dinner and is great paired with easy vegetable rice!
Sausage and Butternut Squash Skillet
- 8 oz Chinese sausage, casings removed
- 2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp crushed rosemary leaves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (2 tbsp)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, cook sausage and over medium-high until browned, while breaking into large pieces (about 6-7 minutes).
Add all remaining ingredients (except for cheese) and stir gently to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until squash is tender. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Hack: Freeze leftovers in portion-sized freezer containers for quick "grab and go" meals.
Hack: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store. Frozen butternut squash can also be used (one 16 oz bag equals 4 cups).
Hack: Uncooked winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark environment (less than 50℉) for up to 2 months so stock up when it’s on sale! Cook, mash and freeze unseasoned winter squash for up to 12 months as a quick and easy addition to many recipes.
Keyword butternut squash, Chinese sausage, easy dinner, easy meal, keto, low calorie, low carb, one skillet meal, quick and easy
Did you know? Winter quash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases!