Basil Pesto Stuffed Pork Loin

I love a stuffed pork loin so I am always coming up and trying new ways to stuff them so that my whole family will enjoy them.  This one might have been one of the easiest and simplest I’ve ever made.


3-4 lb.  Pork Tenderloin (you want a round one not a long one)

6 oz. Pesto Sauce

1/4 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 1/2 T Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Dash Garlic Salt (can use regular)


-In small bowl combine olive oil, Italian seasoning and garlic salt.  Set aside.

-Cut open pork loin down middle until about 1 inch from bottom, slowly slice sides, pulling toward you as you cut.  Your goal is to cut open so roast is flat.

-Spread pesto sauce on inside of roast (leave space along edges to prevent sauce from pushing out when rolled), sprinkle with cheese, roll up and tie with baking twine.

-Rub oil and Italian seasoning over all sides of roast, place is lightly greased baking pan (I use a 13X9 inch), bake 450 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160-163 degrees.  Remove roast from baking dish and cover with foil for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting.



Classic Basil Pesto Sauce

I realized the other day that I call often for basil pesto but had failed to share my recipe for how to make it.  This is the same recipe I have used for years and usually make double and freeze the remainder in ice cube trays and then store cubes in a freezer bag (just letting you know that you can make this ahead of time if needed).  This is the perfect recipe for everything from pasta to fish.


3 C Fresh Basil, packed

1/3 C Olive Oil

2-3 Cloves Garlic ( I use 3 large but I like mine spicy)

1/4 C Pine Nuts

1/2 C Grated Parmesan (can use the powdered)

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 Lemon Juiced

Dash Fresh Black Pepper


-Place all ingredients in food processor, process until smooth.  Store in airtight container in fridge for a week or you can freeze.  Enjoy!

Ranch Chicken Taco Lasagna

I make taco lasagna often for my family, but this time I decided to stray from the normal beef and used chicken.  My tiny humans love ranch, so why not add that as well?  I will admit that this isn’t a pretty meal but please don’t let the lack of stellar photography keep you from trying out this amazing meal.



8-10 Corn Tortillas

2 1/2 C Colby Jack

1/2 C Salsa Verde

Optional Toppings: salsa, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream


2 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

2 T Water

1 1/2 T Olive Oil

2 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Granulated Garlic

1 tsp. Granulated Onion

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Ground Coriander

3/4 tsp. Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika

8 oz. Block Cream Cheese, softened

1 oz. Package Ranch Dressing Mix

Refried Bean Sauce:

1 Can Refried Beans (I prefer black bean)

1/3 C Sour Cream

1/4 C Salsa Verde


-Spray crockpot with cooking spray, pour in water.  Mix olive oil with spices, rub down chicken with rub, pour any remaining rub on top of chicken.  Cook low 4-6 hours or until chicken is done (don’t over cook or marinade will burn and chicken will become tough), remove chicken and allow to cool until you can shred (simply use 2 forks or hand mixer to shred if you don’t want to do by hand).

-Mix cream cheese and ranch dressing together.  Mix well into shredded chicken, set aside.

-Mix sauce ingredients together, set aside.

-Pour 1/2 C Salsa Verde into bottom of 13X9 inch baking pan, top with tortillas (you will want to cut some to fit, you want them to overlap but not too much).  Top tortillas with 1/2 sauce mix, 1/2 of chicken mix and 1/2 of cheese.  Do this again for second layer.

-Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and lasagna is heated through.  Remove from oven and allow to cool some before cutting and serving.  Top with your favorite items.  Enjoy!


Lentil and Vegetable Stew

I decided that I needed to do more meatless meals, and since my tiny humans love soup I figured why not make a meatless soup.  This is a great way to use up vegetables in the fridge without worry about taste. This meal is gluten free and vegan.


3 Large Carrots, sliced or diced

3 Stalks Celery, diced

1/2 Red Onion, cut in half, sliced thin

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 1/2 C Finely Diced Cabbage

14.5 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes

3 T Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

2 tsp. Dried Parsley

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

1 tsp. Dried Tarragon

1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 C Vegetable Broth

3 C Water

1 1/4 C Lentils

1 C Green Peas


-Add all ingredients to crockpot except lentils and peas.  Cook low 4 hours, add in lentils and peas and cook an additional 2 hours or until lentils are done.




Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

This is a great pizza recipe, especially if you love bacon as much as my family does.  The ranch isn’t over powering in the least, so the flavors meld together beautifully.

This Recipe is for 2 pizzas:


Pizza Dough (homemade or store bought)

1 C Pizza Sauce (any will work)

1 oz. Package Ranch Dressing

1 T Ranch Dressing

1 C Diced Cooked Chicken

8 Slices Bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled

1/2 Red Onion, pickled (optional)

1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 C Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

1 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


-Combine pizza sauce, ranch dressing packet and ranch dressing.  Set aside.

-Mix all three cheeses together, set aside.

-Roll or does dough, lightly brush with olive oil.  Top each dough with half of sauce, then chicken, onion and bacon.  Sprinkle the cheese evenly between the 2 pizzas.

-Follow directions for dough (if using link 425 degrees for 18 minutes).  Remove pizza from oven and allow to cool 5-7 minutes prior to cutting.  Enjoy!

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

This is an easy and flavorful way to roast chicken.  There are veggies used in this recipe that can easily be used in veggies broth later (though my dogs love the carrots and celery out of this recipe, please don’t feed them onion).


3-5 lb. Whole Chicken

2 Stalks of Celery, rough diced

2 Large Carrots, rough diced

1 Small Red Onion, sliced thin

1/3 C White Wine

1 C Water


1/4 C Olive Oil

1/2 Lemon Juiced

1 tsp. Lemon Zest

4 Fresh Sage Leaves

3-4 Sprigs Thyme

2-3T Fresh Basil

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled

2 tsp. Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Granulated Onion

Black Pepper to taste


-Place all sauce ingredients in food processor, process until smooth, set aside.

-In bottom of large casserole dish with lid (if you don’t have one, aluminum foil can be used), place celery, carrot and onion in bottom of pan.  Pour in wine and water.

-Tie chicken legs together toward butt of chicken and tuck wing (if you can).  Spread all over chicken and place some in cavity of bird.

-Bake covered at 375 degrees for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reached 170-175 degrees.  Remove from oven and remove chicken from pan (I place mine on a wooden cutting board), cover in foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting.  Enjoy!




Vodka Pasta Sauce

I needed to switch up my red sauce from the classic to something extra amazing.  I must admit I had never made vodka sauce, but love it so much that I had to try it out myself.  This was good enough that my children asked for seconds on dinner (this is a miracle, lol).


3 T Olive Oil

1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

28 oz. Can Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1/3 C Vodka

1 T Tomato Paste

1 T Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 T Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

Black Pepper to taste

1/4 C Fresh Basil

1/2 C Heavy Cream

2 T Grated Parmesan Cheese


-In large pot over medium low heat, heat oil.  Add in onion and garlic.  Sweat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and cook 2 more minutes.

-Increase temperature to medium, add in juice from tomatoes, then squeeze tomatoes to crush before adding to pot, pour in vodka and cook for 7 minutes.

-Add in remaining ingredients except basil, cream and cheese.  Bring to low boil, reduce temperature to simmer and cook for 1 hour with lid partially open, stirring on occasion to prevent scorching.

-Pour cooked sauce into food processor, add in basil and pulse or blend until smooth.  Pour back into pot over medium low heat stir in cream and cheese, stir well, serve hot over your favorite pasta.  Enjoy!