Meet the Contestants -- Lindsey Evenson
Hey there fellow Rachael Ray fans! I'm Lindsey Evenson, a 26-year-old mother of three from Salem, Oregon, via North Dakota and Alaska. I've been married for 7 years to my hunky husband Ryan. My oldest daughter Josephine is 4, Georgia is 2 and my baby Bjorn is 5 months old. As a stay-at-home mom, it is a challenge to feed my family nutritious food while sticking to our very tight budget. So I get the kids in the garden and we grow a lot of our own fruits and veggies. We also catch a lot of salmon and crab to fill our freezer.
My kids seem to love eating food that they produce or catch themselves, so eating healthfully becomes less of a challenge. My philosophy of food, passed down from Grandma Erma to my mom, and now to me, is to stay true to the natural flavors of healthy ingredients and cook quickly and simply. By the way, I have to say thank you to my good friend Laura who twisted my arm to enter this competition. I am having a blast!
- 2 pounds (8 links) sweet Italian sausage links
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 bell peppers (2 red and 1 green), seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 15-ounce jar chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, divided
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 15-ounce can creamed corn
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
Sausage and Peppers with Cornmeal, Tomatoes, and Corn Fritters
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons, and half an inch of water. Prick the sausages and place them into the pan. Cover and bring the liquid to a bubble, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sausages in the water until cooked through, 8-9 minutes.
When the sausages have finished braising, remove the lid from the pan. Let the water cook away and cook an additional 4-5 minutes to crisp and caramelize the skins of the sausages. Once the sausages are cooked through, slice on a diagonal and reserve.
To the same skillet, add garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes, until tender. Add peppers and tomatoes, mash with a fork or potato masher, and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high, add tomato paste, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup cornmeal as a thickener, and reserved sausages. Let mixture simmer for 10-12 minutes.
While the sausage and veggies are simmering, place a second large skillet over medium-high heat and heat 2 cups vegetable oil. Insert a wooden spoon into skillet to test oil heat: Once small bubbles form around the wooden spoon, the oil is hot enough to be used for frying.
While oil is heating, in a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, corn, sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, eggs, Parmesan cheese, oregano and a splash of water. Drop spoonfuls of batter into oil. Once corn fritters are golden brown, remove them from oil with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
To serve, place sausage and peppers on a plate with corn fritters and sour cream alongside.
- 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 pound pork sausage, your favorite variety, removed from casing
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 bundle of celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, 1 can mashed or pureed in a food processor to a paste
- 3 to 4 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you like your soup)
- 4 whole wheat bagels, sliced in half and quartered, toasted
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, your kid's favorite variety
- 2 Three Musketeer bars, cut lengthwise and chopped, divided
- 4 apples (any variety you like), cored and sliced
White Bean and Sausage Soup
Place a large pot over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the sausage to the pan and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon, until golden brown, 6-7 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, celery, cayenne, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan, and cook until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes.
Add the whole and mashed cannellini beans to the pot along with the stock and bring up to a bubble. Simmer until thickened, 4-5 minutes. Serve soup with toasted buttered bagel quarters alongside.
Momma Lindsey's Apples and Dipper
Mix together the peanut butter and half of the chopped candy bar in a small serving bowl.
Sprinkle the remaining chopped candy bar over the top of the bowl as a garnish. Serve with apple slices for dipping.
- 1 bunch of leafy cabbage, such as savoy or napa, shredded
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 1/2 seedless cucumbers, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 orange, peeled and segmented
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon filets, skin off
- 3 soft corn tortillas
- 2 limes, sliced into half moons
- 1 small bunch chives – 6 chopped, 3 left whole, for garnish
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
Honey of a Salmon Taco with Sweet Slaw and Beans
In a medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, cucumbers, strawberries and oranges to form a slaw. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, Worcestershire, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Place a small skillet over medium heat without any oil.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard and honey. Whisking continuously, stream in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Pour about half of the dressing over the salmon filets and reserve the rest for garnish.
Add the salmon to the pan with the oil and sauté until golden brown and cooked to your liking, 3 minutes per side for medium.
While the fish is cooking, toast tortillas in the dry skillet for 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Set aside.
Once the salmon filets are finished cooking, place each on a tortilla and dress with slaw. Drizzle each with reserved dressing and garnish with lime slices, chives and cheese. Serve with beans on the side.
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