Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili & Open-Faced Sandwiches for Two

Italian Sandwich

made from spinach-grilled hamburgers and organic herbs

herbs
Fennel

You’ll need the following four fresh herbs (a list I’ve described by their flavors) for this Italian-style open-faced sandwich.

  • basil – has a sweet peppery, minty flavor
  • cilantro – has a flavor similar to celery and mint mixed
  • fennel – tastes like black licorice
  • rosemary – a sweet minty flavor

Nutritional Values and Uses for Basil

Basil is a good source of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, and calcium. Did you know that basil can be used as a body deodorizer and in a bath as a calming effect along with Himalayan Pink or Epsom Salt? Of course, this herb tastes excellent in Mediterranean and Italian dishes.

Cilantro, Great for Salsa 

Cilantro can be grown just for the leaves or left to grow taller until it results in seeds, called coriander. Cilantro is best known for making salsa so flavorful. This herb is a good source in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and provides health benefits

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While on a farmers’ market shopping trip this spring, I was standing at a table (after I had already done my shopping and my) and kept smelling a wonderful aroma. I recognized it, but it took me a minute to figure out what it was. Glancing at the table of herbs, vegetables, and fruit in front of me, I saw it. Cilantro – $1. Unable to resist it, I picked one bunch of it up and dug in my handbag for the last cash I had with me – $1. I inhaled its aroma and couldn’t wait to get it home and put it in a salsa recipe. It’s a good thing cilantro doesn’t weight much because my shopping bag on rollers was already crammed full.

Is fennel an herb, or is it a vegetable?

What are the benefits to adding fennel to your recipes? Explore more about this green feathery perennial, and try out this recipe.

Fennel Benefits:

Fennel is from the carrot family and is somewhat like celery but with a licorice-like flavor. It is known as a root vegetable but also is

Fennel is from the carrot family and is somewhat like celery but with a licorice-like flavor. It is known as a root vegetable but also is an herb and is high in Vitamin C and fiber. It’s good for bone strength, can help skin health and can help lower blood pressure.

Rosemary, Amazing Bread-Dipping Ingredient

rosemary
Cooking with Herbs

Rosemary, like the other herbs used in Italian Grilled Hamburger Pasta, is a good source of vitamins and minerals and includes health benefits as well. It’s a wonderful culinary ingredient used in Mediterranean-flavored dishes, such as rosemary and balsamic oil for dipping bread in.

I love to go to farmers’ markets and shop for organic fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Something about those delicate looking feathery herbs, like fennel and cilantro, intrigue me.

First of all, it could be because I’ve grown my own kitchen garden and enjoy using the fresh herbs in my recipes.

Secondly, I’m fascinated with how nutritious herbs are, and I love the multiple uses for them. And to think that there are so many of them is mindboggling. For instance, look at this list (very small compared to the number of all the herbs there must be):

  1. fennel
  2. cilantro
  3. rosemary
  4. lavender
  5. lemon balm
  6. lovage
  7. mint
  8. stevia
  9. marjoram
  10. thyme
  11. basil
  12. yarrow

I’ll stop at those twelve herbs, most of which I’ve cooked or made hot tea with. I can’t say I’ve been successful growing all of these. One I haven’t planted before is yarrow. Yarrow is pretty, easy to care for, used in salves and teas to help with allergies and skin rashes and itching. Learn more on how to make herbal salves, teas, and more from the book The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies. You can purchase organic yarrow herb in bulk.

Yarrow grows in zones 3 through 9. My friend and avid gardener, Karen, grows it in her flower garden. Her yarrow comes back every year looking bright, huge, and gorgeous.

Have you ever used lovage? It tastes like celery. No need to use salt. Add lovage to your recipes instead.

I even tried growing stevia. It made it for awhile then gave up.

Try the Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili and sandwich for two, and enjoy the flavor of added organic fresh herbs. Use leftover spinach-grilled barbecued hamburgers flavored with applewood seasoning.

Italian food, sandwiches
Grilled Hamburger Pasta Sandwiches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili & Open-Faced Sandwiches for Two

Enjoy this herb-vegetable rich Italian grilled hamburger open-faced sandwich recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 can Del Monte Four Cheese Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup natural steak liquid/gravy
  • 2 each fennel leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 large basil leaves
  • 1 red potato, diced
  • 3 each BBQ grilled hamburger patties
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach for the grilled hamburgers
  • barbecue sauce for basting the grilled hamburgers
  • 4 teaspoons applewood seasoning seasoning for the grilled hamburgers

Instructions

  1. Saute herbs and vegetables in Coconut oil and butter on an electric griddle.

  2. Crumble grilled hamburger patties into small to medium chunks, and heat up with herbs and vegetables on griddle.

  3. When hamburger, herbs, and vegetables are done, put them into a slow cooker.

  4. Add pasta sauce and leftover steak gravy to the mixture in the slow cooker, and stir well.

  5. If you do not have the steak gravy, add 1/2 cup water to the mixture.

  6. All the herbs, vegetables, and hamburger were heated up/cooked on the griddle and only have to be cooked a short time in the slow cooker.

  7. Cook it on low for two hours if you're not in a hurry for dinner, or cook it on high for 30 minutes to one hour if you want dinner sooner.

  8. If you're in a big hurry to eat, heat up a bowl of the Italian pasta in the microwave.

  9. Toast bread, and pour the Italian meat pasta over the bread, and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is two in one. The grilled hamburgers are first seasoned with the applewood seasoning. Chopped spinach is then mixed in with the seasoned hamburger. Baste the hamburgers with barbecue sauce when grilling. Use the leftover crumbled hamburgers in the Italian Spinach-Grilled Hamburger Chili.

Grilled hamburgers can be saved for delicious leftover recipes like the open-faced sandwiches (which tasted REALLY good!). How about using them, crumbled in chunks similar to meatballs, for pizza? Actually, this recipe reminded me of a pasta with meatballs. Or, have a grilled hamburger/meatball Po-Boy.

I’ve made grilled hamburger leftovers for breakfast recipes (YUM). Of course, leftover grilled hamburgers taste great heated up on a hamburger bun or with no bread at all. Great protein, by the way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and would love it if you come back for another visit soon!

Snacks and Lunches with Cheese for Two

Cheese and Meatless

Lunches & Snacks

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Want to save money on menu planning this spring and summer but prefer nutritious choices? As the days become warmer and the temperatures rise, light lunches seem more appetizing than heavier and meatier entrees. Start planning your summer recipes now. Try these summer cheese ideas for healthy snacks and small meals.

Read more

Easter Weekend Ham Meals for Two

Easy to Fix Meals for Two

on Easter Weekend

The best kind of cooking on Easter weekend is with a slow cooker because there is very little food preparation to do. A slow-cooked ham is so easy. Buying a ham works well for two people because it goes a long way. You can make many meals out of a large ham.

honey ham
Slow Cooker Lemon Honey Ham

On this Saturday before Easter, I am making breakfast with eggs, ham that I bought on sale at the grocery store this week, and Thomas Nooks and Crannies English muffins. These muffins are light, 100 calorie, multigrain, eight grams of fiber, less than 1 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, and 0 g saturated fat.

The ham I purchased is 7.72 pounds, a lot of ham for two people. However, some of this ham will be frozen for later. Part of it is being cooked in a slow cooker today with asparagus, lunch (and maybe dinner, too) for two, my husband and me. 

What I like about this particular ham, other than that I just love the taste, is the price. It was on sale for $.88 a pound. I only paid $6.79. A big ham for two. A humdinger of a ham. It’s enough to make several meals for us and saves a lot of money on meat. It comes in handy to purchase meat when on sale.

Farmers’ Market Eggs vs. Supermarket Eggs

I did splurge, however, on eggs. The farmers’ market had fresh organic eggs, not the least expensive for sure. Spending $6 or $7 (I saw eggs for sale at both of these prices there) on eggs definitely is expensive when you are trying to stick close to a budget. Nevertheless, I purchased the eggs because they are fresher than what is found at the grocery stores. Or are they?

Are farmers’ market eggs really that much better than what you find in the supermarkets? And are farmers’ market eggs worth paying $6 or $7 a dozen in 2017 when you can find them at a dollar store for less than two bucks? It was worth it to me, at least that day. Actually, I prefer organic food over chemically-sprayed farm and garden veggies and fruits. They are simply better for us.

Bloggers Team Up for Meal Plans in April 2017

Speaking of food prices, do you follow pattycakespantry.com? I just love the new feature Pattycakes has added to her blog. She now shows the cost of each recipe ingredient, a wonderful convenience for budget-conscious home chefs.

Pattycakes and I teamed up April 2016 for 30 days of slow cooker meals (kitchenhospitality.com) and 30 days of bean recipes (Pattycakespantry.com). We decided to do this again for this month, April 2017. Pattycakes is doing 30 days of canned meals, and I’m doing the meals for two.

The plan was to announce it by the first of the month. An unexpected dilemma, however, hindered me from accomplishing that task – technical computer and Internet difficulties. Finally, I figured out what the problem was and fixed it.

Kitchenhospitality.com is featuring meals for two during this month. If you have missed the previous fourteen days of recipes, be sure to look at what has already been posted this month. One day was skipped (due to that crazy WiFi/Internet/Computer problem) that I will make up by posting two recipes one day this month.

Posts on this blog sometimes include affiliate links to items or services that I like or recommend. If you decide to purchase any of those items or services, I will receive a small commission. Though at no additional cost to you, I sincerely appreciate your support by purchasing any of these items or services.

Meal Plan for Today

Today’s meals, as previously mentioned, include ham. Beginning with breakfast, here are the menu plans:

  • Breakfast – Two Thomas English muffins, 4 fried eggs cooked over medium well, and 4 slices of ham
  • Lunch – Honey lemon ham half sandwiches on rye bread, asparagus (see recipe for slow cooker ham and asparagus meal below)
  • Dinner – Honey lemon ham and asparagus leftovers plus my Easter weekend fresh veggie and fruit salad (see yesterday’s salad recipe)

Today’s Slow Cooker Ham and Asparagus Recipe

In the following recipe, I’ve used a particular seasoning that my trucker husband purchases occasionally on one of his routes. It’s called Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasonings, and I love it. This seasoning is a blend of various herbs and spices. You may use whichever herb and spice seasonings you have on hand. Santa Fe Seasons also carries amazing salsas.

Slow Cooker Lemon Honey Ham & Asparagus Meal for Two

Lemon honey ham and asparagus meal for two cooked in a slow cooker

Author Angie Horn

Ingredients

  • 16 Slices Ham
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Honey (or your favorite honey)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Santa Fe Seasons Six Seasoning herbs and spices Use your favorite herbs and spices to season if you don't have the Santa Fe Seasons brand.

Instructions

  1. Cut 16 slices of the ham and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.

    honey ham
  2. Dissolve/melt two tablespoons of lemon (or other flavor) honey in 1/2 cup hot water.

    honey glaze
  3. Pour honey water into the bottom of the slow cooker.

  4. Cut off the hard ends of the asparagus.

  5. Tear a sheet of foil (if it's thin, double it) big enough to shape into a bowl to place into the slow cooker.

    using foil inside slow cookers
  6. Put the foil into the slow cooker and form into the bowl shape, and place the asparagus into the foil, sealing the foil to keep the steam inside.
    asparagus cooked in a slow cooker
  7. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, plug it in, turn the dial to high, and cook four 3-1/2 hours.

    slow cooker ham

If you like asparagus and have never cooked it in a slow cooker, you have to try this. It is so tender. This ham and veggie slow cooker meal is one of the easiest ones to make and perfect for Easter weekend – not a lot of meal prep or cooking required.

Thank you for visiting kitchenhospitality.com. I’d love to have you come back again to enjoy my southern flair of recipes.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

lilies, purple flowers, Easter
Easter Lily

A Good Friday Vegetable & Fruit Salad Recipe for Two

green vegetables
Green Veggies

Good Friday Meal for Two

Good Friday is a special occasion, a holiday for some – or a simple meal for two. Easter weekend has become famous for deviled eggs, dyed Easter eggs, and Easter egg hunts – and if you grew up like I did from the South – vegetables and salads.

At this time of the year, fresh fruit stands fill up with the sweetest fruit and wonderful green herbs and veggies. Organic. Nutritious. Healthy. Fresh out of the garden.

Vegetables are filled with nutrients that you can easily combine into any meal. Green veggies may not tempt you the first thing when you wake up in the mornings. But they are so good for you and good with any meal.

Find a Farmers’ Market

Love vegetables? Go to your local farmers’ market. Stand near sweet strawberries and fresh cilantro. Take a deep breath, inhaling the aromatic scents. You can’t resist purchasing them.

Hmmm. Did you see what I saw in that last paragraph?

Read more

Slow Cooker Chuck Steak & Potatoes Meal for Two

Easy Steak & Potato Meal for Two

Inviting a friend over? Prepare a simple steak and potato slow cooker dinner.

One steak is all you need unless you and your friend are big eaters. My friend invited me over for a write-in.

We’re both writing books and working hard to meet deadlines. When I arrived, she surprised me with the announcement that she was cooking our dinner in the slow cooker.

I couldn’t resist peeking to see what was cooking. Four potatoes and a steak.

 

Steak in the slow cooker
Steak & Potatoes for Two

The nice thing about cooking four potatoes is that my friend has leftovers. We only ate one potato each. She saved half of her steak half (yep, that means I ate ALL of my half😉).

Steak leftovers can be made into sandwiches, chili, burritos – or just steak.

My friend seasoned the steak perfectly, and she has a great way to cook the potatoes. She cuts the end off and hits them hard three times with a sharp knife to break the skin. That way, the potatoes don’t explode. Pretty cool, huh?

  1. Ready for her recipe? Here you are:

    Slow Cooker Chuck Steak & Potatoes

    Chuck steak and baked potatoes in the Slow Cooker 

    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American

    Ingredients

    • 1 Each Chuck Steak
    • 4 Each Russet Potatoes

    Recipe Notes

    Seasonings used were:

  • Sweet Ginger Garlic
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chopped Onion
Steak seasoning
Chuck Steak Seasonings

Dinner was superb! My friend Barbara and I accomplished a good bit of work.

The day had started out for me with frustration due to Internet technicalities – not fun for a blogger.

In addition, I took photos with my phone camera. The pictures are sideways. That also adds more setbacks to a food blogger.

In spite of the technical Internet and phone problems, any stress was outweighed by the delicious steak dinner and team writing.

 

 

Slow Cooker Pork Riblets Dinner for Two

 Pork Ribs and Veggies in the Slow Cooker

Cook pork ribs in the slow cooker for an easy dinner. Add vegetables on top, and you have a complete meal. It’s a one-pot meal and dinner for two that is cooked while you’re busy all day and ready for eating when you walk in the door.

Pork ribs cooked in a crockpot
Slow Cooker Pork Riblets

Read more

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Hash & Leftover Corned Beef for Two

A Nutritious Corned Beef & Hash Meal

Slow Cooker Cauliflower
Cauliflower Hash

Try Cauliflower Hash the next time you have corned beef left over, healthy conscious folks. Serve it as a main brunch meal. Potatoes contain nutrition, but Cauliflower Hash can be used as a substitute if desired.

Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef Recipe

 

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Hash & Leftover Corned Beef

A nutritious corned beef & hash recipe

Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Angie Horn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Corned Beef, chopped in cubes
  • 2 cups Grated Cauliflower
  • 1 cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Blend of oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, saffron Or use your favorite seasonings.
  • 1 each Egg
  • 1/2 cup Organic 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated or cubed) Substitute Monterey Jack cheese if desired
  • 4 pieces Fried Bacon optional

Instructions

  1. Cut corned beef into cubes.

  2. Grate cauliflower.

  3. Dice onion.

  4. Beat egg.

  5. Mix corned beef, cauliflower, onion, and egg then stir in milk.

  6. Add salt and seasonings.

  7. Divide the two tablespoons of coconut oil into the bottom of slow cooker.

  8. Pour cauliflower mixture into slow cooker.

  9. Sprinkle with cheese.

  10. Cook on high for three hours.

  11. Fry four pieces of bacon, crumble into small pieces, then sprinkle them on top of cauliflower hash when done. 

Cauliflower Nutrition

There are about 25 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein in one cup of cauliflower. Of course, the amount of calories changes as you add the additional ingredients from the Cauliflower Hash recipe above. But compare the difference between cauliflower hash and potato hash. One cup of diced potato has 110 calories.

Use turkey bacon, or leave out the bacon option if you choose to eliminate those extra calories. Not worried about the calories? Go all out then, and enjoy the bacon.

This Cauliflower Hash can be baked instead of cooked in the slow cooker. If you’re home all day and want to bake it in the oven, try it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (less if your oven cooks fast).

Substitute these types of cheese instead of the cheddar:

  • Monterey Jack – I’ve made this recipe with the Monterey Jack which is also a favorite recipe of mine.
  • Kerrygold Dubliner aged cheese – This cheese has a sharp yet sweet flavor and is imported from Ireland (tastes SO good).
  • Swiss cheese – goes great together with corned beef. You could even make an open face sandwich on rye bread, add sauerkraut if you like, and top it with the Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef mixture.

Cauliflower Hash & Corned Beef cooked in the slow cooker is very easy and makes a wonderful meal for two. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Meals for Two Makes Life More Simple

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