5 Year Blogiversary + The 2018 Reader Survey Results Are In!

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Happy February Friends! Before I share the 2018 Reader Survey results with you, I want to acknowledge the fact that this blog has reached a milestone. The Mountain Kitchen is celebrating it’s 5 Year Blogiversary! Also this month, David, His Royal Highness and I also celebrate the anniversary of our move into our new home here on the mountain 6 years ago. February is a special month for us and The Mountain Kitchen.

I did not bring in the month here on the blog with a bang like I intended to. February slipped up on me and I’m a little disappointed about that, but I have been taking a much-needed blogging break for the last few weeks. In many ways, it seems like yesterday, with the chills from smoker’s flu when I started this blog. I remember fumbling around WordPress trying to figure out how to do this blogging thing. That part hasn’t changed very much, but this blog helped me turn useless energy from smoking, into something fun and positive. I am still smoke-free and have not had a single cigarette since January 01, 2013 at 10:58 p.m. According to my handy little phone app, Cessation Nation, I have saved almost $6300!! I haven’t smoked over 29,800 cigarettes and I have saved almost 125 days not smoking cigarettes. Every now and then I will have a craving, but I have gone way past the point of no return to light up again. I am still glad I quit smoking and I still can’t believe I would ever say that.

I just couldn’t let our blogiversary go unmentioned. I really enjoy blogging and I want to thank you for stopping by to visit us at The Mountain Kitchen. Little did I know that this blog would be such a blessing. It is a pleasure to share our recipes and stories with you and we are grateful to you for reading. I never knew this blog would lead to so many friendships all around the world. I really appreciate your friendship. Your visits are what makes all of this so worthwhile. Thank you for taking 5 minutes out of your day just to see what kind of crazy meals David and I made, what His Royal Highness has been up to, our life here up on the Blue Ridge and to read the crazy stories like the one about goats and bears.

At this time, I would also like to thank those of you who participated in our 2018 Reader’s Survey. Since I haven’t been in the kitchen cooking I have had a chance to sit down and read what you had to say in The Mountain Kitchen survey results. Survey results always make me a little nervous, because I don’t like to disappoint people. This year’s survey results were uplifting and informative. I don’t hear from regular readers as often as I would like, so that makes it hard for me to gauge how everyone feels about the content I post. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. The good news I learned from these survey results is that for the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen. I am so happy to hear that! I also learned a few things about what you would like to see coming out of the kitchen. Most of your wishes are things I would have been thinking of doing anyway.

I have broken down the survey results for you below. It may seem like a lot, but I promise you may learn a few things about The Mountain Kitchen that you did not know before. So, let’s see what everyone had to say!

 

The Survey Results:

Ugh! What are your frustrations when it comes to cooking?  80 responses

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I was so happy to learn that most of you are trying to avoid processed ingredients. You have definitely come to the right kitchen. This is really important to me and I am so glad to know it is important to you too. I almost always put my own spin on the recipes I find. A majority of the time I usually take out any processed ingredients and have to recreate certain ingredients or make substitutions to make a dish as natural as possible. Believe me, once you cut out processed foods, there is no going back, bleh!

Healthy eating is not easy and that makes it frustrating. Many of you are trying to lose weight. David and I both could stand to shed off some pounds too. We both love food and that makes it hard to lose weight! I also think a big part of not eating healthy is TIME! It isn’t easy to come home and cook after a long day of work and it is tempting to grab takeout or heat up a frozen meal. Eating healthy requires a lot of time and energy. That’s why I am going to consider some healthy meal prep recipes to help you, David and I lose some weight. Preparing healthy food that tastes good just takes a little more effort when you have more free time, like on the weekends.

Almost half of you are in a rut. I totally get it and that’s where I am currently. For me, it is not that I make the same things over, it’s more of an energy and time situation. If you are currently in a rut, I wrote a blog post called: 7 Ways to Become Inspired to Cook. In this post, you will learn 7 ways that I bring myself out of a rut in the kitchen. I also share with you ways to become inspired by food and recipes and provide tips on where to look for recipes and how to stock your pantry.

I learned from the survey results that you like the same things we do but have some struggles that perhaps we can help you out with and THAT alone inspires me!

Which of these would you like to see MORE of on The Mountain Kitchen? Give us your top two or three! 
72 responses

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

You are here for the food and that’s primarily what we love to talk about the most. We love food and want to share our joy of cooking with you. You all seem pleased with the content that is being shared and the format. You also have interests in the same things I was steering towards. This is all great news!

What kind of RECIPES would you like to see most in the coming year? Choose one or two.
72 responses

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

What’s for dinner? Seems to be the common question for everyone and it looks like you want the dinner recipes quick and easy and healthy, either grilled or in the crock-pot. Also, I realize I need to harness my budget a little better to make the ingredients more affordable. That is important and will definitely keep it in mind going forward.

What you love most about The Mountain kitchen
51 Responses

I’ll be completely honest, I have never been a reader. I sucked at it and it took me a really long time to get good at reading. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with dyslexia, but I’m pretty sure that may be a lot of where my problems with reading stemmed growing up. Reading wasn’t something that came naturally to me. So I am shocked that I write well enough for anyone to understand how I want them to feel and understand where I am coming from. I had some really good training in college and some challenging teachers. Somehow I always seemed to excel when it came to writing papers for school. Some of that knowledge kind of sunk in, although I know I still make mistakes. The important thing is that you understand what I am trying to convey and I cannot thank you enough for the compliments that pertain to my writing. I enjoy writing and I am glad to know that people want to read what I have to say.

When you visit my blog, I really do want you to feel like you are sitting across the kitchen table talking to me, while enjoying something good to eat. After all, you are my friends and I am glad you feel that way.

You seem to like the recipes and say that they turn out delicious, but I really wish you’d share pictures with me!! It’s ok if you don’t. I completely understand your avoidance to share on social media. 

I am glad you love the mountain views. I am trying to share more photos of our backyard. It’s my favorite place on this earth and David, His Royal Highness and I love to share that with people.

Here are some quotes from what you love most about TMK:

“The recipes! The food looks and tastes good!”

“Your story! You make the blog so personable and your personality shines through.”

“I love feeling you and David’s love for cooking and sharing with us all.”

Your Favorite Recipes:

“Grilling recipes!”

“All the smoker ones!”

“I have tried so many and there truly isn’t a favorite”

Hmmm… Can’t pick just one!”

“Haven’t made any, but they inspire ideas of my own.”

“Too many to list just one.”

“I love the jalapeno pepper poppers! Spicy food in general.”

“The smoked beef roast – got us hooked!”

“All have been hits. But personally, I love the rolled lasagna/stuffed shells and homemade sauce!!”

Specific Recipes: Sheet Pan Cajun Dinner,  Mama Rosa’s Potato Salad,  Meatloaf,  The Sexier Pork Chops,  Classic Chicken Pot PieSpaghetti Squash Casserole,  Smoked Baby Back Ribs,  Easy Cherry Cream Cheese Danish,  Italian Sausage Soup

What you love LEAST about The Mountain Kitchen
30 Responses

You all seem to be pleased with the content and the format of my blog posts and said not to change a thing, but I think there were a few comments and suggestions worth talking about.

First of all, email frequency. Personally, I do not like it when you sign up for email subscriptions and get bombarded with emails, so I try not to bug the heck out of readers by bombarding them with emails. At one point, I agree, I was sending out way too many emails. As if you had nothing better to do other than to read my blog posts. Right?!?! A reader that took the survey acknowledged that they were getting too many emails, not only from this blog, but others as well. They are now pleased with the frequency of the emails. I hope everyone feels the same.

Second, some of you just come to get the recipes. One reader writes:

“Have the recipe readily available. All the other stuff may be needed for your other readers but I just want the recipes.”

I have solved this issue for you! For those of you who only visit The Mountain Kitchen for the recipes only, I have incorporated two buttons that are located at the top center of each recipe post. One button says “JUMP TO RECIPE” and the other says “PRINT RECIPE”. These buttons are designed to make it easy for you to skip all of my babbling and go straight to the recipe, to view it or to print it. However, I would like to point out that the written recipe within the blog post is a little more detailed and offers links to ingredients, etc., but don’t worry, the basics of the recipe are all there for you to cook up something good!

Third, someone mentioned there are too many prep pictures. This is something I have always wondered about. I know from this survey that a lot of you know your way around the kitchen pretty well and probably do not need a lot of prep photos. I always include them, because I have never really liked recipes that don’t have pictures. I always felt blind and didn’t know if the food was looking quite the way it should at certain points of the recipe. I will definitely take this into consideration and will eliminate pictures that aren’t really necessary. It actually will save me a lot of time putting together the recipes posts, which gives me more time in the kitchen creating more dishes. In fact, I have already started incorporated eliminations when editing my posts.

Someone wanted to move the sharing buttons from the left side of the screen. They found that these buttons made it hard for them to read the posts. David has also made this very same comment on more than one occasion, so I went in and removed the docked share buttons from the left side of the screen. I encourage you to share my posts and our recipes with everyone. The share buttons are always located at the end of each post.

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with some of the comments. The first comment comes all the way from a reader in Russia. I have no way of tracking the comments back to readers, but I knew this comment was from Russia because I had to use Google Translate to translate Russian into English. Wow, The Mountain Kitchen is known in Russia! How exciting! Thanks for reading!

“Мне нравятся рецепты, традиционные для Вашего места проживания”  ~ TRANSLATION: I like the recipes, traditional for your place of residence.

“Don’t change a thing.”

“Love your site.” 👍

“I just like the recipes.”

“I think it’s great!”

“Keep it coming”

“There are some recipes that just don’t appeal to me, but that’s probably because of the ingredients, but there are just things we don’t eat, either because we don’t care for them or can’t afford the ingredients. They aren’t bad; they just don’t suit our taste.”

“Would like to see more about your adventures and photos of the surrounding area.”

“As someone who knows nothing about wine – I would love to see more posts about your trips to wineries, and what you’re tasting that you like and what you’re learning! Also what pairs with what meals!”

“There is a lot of grilling recipes, which I love over the spring and summer, but I would love to see more variety. For example; Holiday themed dinners, camping meals, crock-pots, canning recipes, etc.”

“Gardening in that soil. It’s similar to ours.”

Is there something you would like to share? Do you have suggestions or is there something you want to know more about?
13 responses

“Always remembering the posts about your Melanoma and hoping that you are doing well still.”

“I don’t know if you already do this or not, but sometimes others have good recipes or ideas they could pass on to you and you could maybe pass those ideas on to others. Maybe even gardening ideas. Raising good food is next to preparing it. Like herbs for instance. I grow several.”

“I really enjoy most everything about your site. You share a lot with us and that’s nice. Hope you and your family have good health. Thanks for all the time you take to share your life and recipes with us. Love those mountain pictures. I was raised in Boone County, West Virginia. I now live in Florida, and although I’m sure I couldn’t take the weather anymore, sometimes I sure miss those mountains.”

“Mountain Kitchen really is one of my favorite blogs!”

“BBQ and smoking.”

“Make ahead dinners. I have no time after work to bring a recipe. Need something I can just make in the weekend and heat during the week”

“Love the interesting recipes!”

“Вам здоровья и любви, а остальное можно купить”  ~ TRANSLATION: “You health and love, and the rest can be purchased.”  ~ I love this quote, so very true!!”

“I share the emails and Instagram posts with friends and family. Love the pictures and stories! I enjoy following and making your recipes.”

“Smoking and outdoor cooking.”

Survey results and quick facts:

 

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

YEAR-TO-DATE TOTAL PAGEVIEWS: 1,457,298
All information was taken the at time of survey results and tracks back only to January 2015.

 

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

The 2018 Survey Results are in! The survey results were uplifting and informative. These surveys help me to understand what you want to see and how to make this blog enjoyable and helpful to you. For the most part, you all like what’s been happening in The Mountain Kitchen and that makes me happy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

I couldn’t be more pleased with the survey results. I’m not sure why I got so nervous about this survey. The survey results were summarized, but not altered in any way. I didn’t conveniently leave anything out because there was nothing to leave out. For the most part, you like what The Mountain Kitchen is serving up.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much for reading this blog. I am grateful to each of you who took time to send your feedback and help me improve The Mountain Kitchen. Thank you for being a reader! I love sharing a bit about myself, our cooking, and our life here on the mountain with each of you, but I love getting to know you, even more! Please do not be a stranger! I always welcome comments and emails, so please feel free to email me anytime at debbiespivey@themountainkitchen.com. You can reach me via my Contact Page, or leave a comment on any of my posts. 

I love getting to know you all. It’s important for me to share the survey results with you, so you can voice your opinion. If you didn’t get a chance to take the survey and you have anything that you would like to add in regards to these subjects, please feel free to let me know. I’d love to hear your comments regarding the survey results!

Thanks for reading all this and thanks again for your help!

p.s. Don’t miss another recipe, SUBSCRIBE HERE!

 


Lebanese Maghmour – Moussaka of Lebanon {A Meatless Monday Recipe

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

For this Meatless Monday, I would like to introduce you to Lebanese Maghmour!

What the heck is magmour, you ask?

Good question! I wondered the same thing when I first came across this recipe.

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. Dating back to the end of the 19th century, maghmour is sometimes called Lebanese Moussaka, which is quite different from the Greek moussaka, a casserole made with layers of eggplant, béchamel and meat. Moussaka is an Arabic word which means literally chilled. Traditionally, Maghmour can be served at room temperature or chilled.

Many people don’t like eggplant because of its texture. Eggplant can become mushy if not handled properly and normally, I salt eggplant whenever a recipe calls for eggplant. Salting eggplant can draw out the bitter juices of larger and older eggplants. The salt also tightens and firms up the flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil and of course, salt adds flavor. With this recipe, I discovered that salting the eggplant prior to cooking was unnecessary. Roasting the eggplant in the oven tends to do the exact same thing as the salt, by drawing the moisture out and making the flesh firmer. This was a pleasant surprise and I may choose to roast eggplants for dishes in the future. Sometimes salting the eggplants can make the eggplant too salty if not rinsed enough. (Read more about salting eggplant HERE)

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

For this recipe, I cannot stress enough the importance that smoked paprika has on this dish. Smoked paprika is a bright red spice made from dried pimiento peppers that have been smoked over a fire, and ground into a fine powder. Smoked paprika brings a deep, smoky aroma and flavor to everything it touches. (Read more about smoked paprika HERE.)

To really boost up the smoke flavor, I chose to use fire-roasted tomatoes. I love adding fire-roasted tomatoes to dishes whenever possible. They add a richness to dishes that anyone will love. If you don’t add fire-roasted tomatoes to your dishes, consider it for extra flavor.

Another change I made to the original recipes was that I substituted basil for the mint. Mint is not something I have readily available and I didn’t want to purchase from the grocery store since you can find a variety of spices cheaper online. I chose dried basil for its slightly sweet, and fresh aromatic flavor.

Additionally, I decided to make the broth richer, by using a vegetable broth instead of water. To me, dishes are all about layers of flavor and I felt that the vegetable broth was another way to add flavor.

Regardless of what you call it, this comforting vegan eggplant and chickpea stew is delicious and it is easy to see why Maghmour has been around for centuries.

Here’s the recipe for maghmour, the moussaka of Lebanon:

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Lebanese Maghmour | Servings: 8 | Time: 75 Minutes

Recipe adapted from SlowBurningPassion.com

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with juices
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 to 2 cups vegetable stock

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the eggplant into two-inch cubes. Toss the cubes onto the baking sheet with half of the olive oil. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large heavy pot with lid, over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent; about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne, and basil; cook for 3 more minutes.

Add tomato paste, and allow it to brown slightly. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and roasted eggplant; bring to a simmer.

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Add in ½ cup vegetable stock as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency. I only used one cup, however, the stock may not be necessary at all. Cook 20 to 30 minutes, until flavors combine well.

Serve warm with a little extra basil sprinkled over.

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon! | TheMountainKitchen.com

If you don’t try new cuisines often I highly encourage you to do so. Trying cuisines from other cultures is a great way to get you out of a rut in the kitchen and can inspire you to create your own dishes using different techniques and flavors.

What are your thoughts about this dish? Comment below!

p.s. Are you participating in Meatless Monday as part of a new year challenge to eat healthier in 2018?
Learn more about Meatless Monday HERE!

Lebanese Maghmour
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 
Maghmour is a thick, velvety Lebanese vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. The Moussaka of Lebanon!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian / Meatless Monday
Servings: 8
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant about 1 ½ pounds
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes with juices
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  2. Cut the eggplant into two-inch cubes. Toss the cubes onto the baking sheet with half of the olive oil. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and browned.

  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large heavy pot with lid, over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until translucent; about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne, and basil; cook for 3 more minutes.

  4. Add tomato paste, and allow it to brown slightly. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and roasted eggplant; bring to a simmer. Add in ½ cup vegetable stock as necessary to maintain a stew-like consistency. I only used one cup, however, the stock may not be necessary at all. Cook 20 to 30 minutes, until flavors combine well.

  5. Serve warm with a little extra basil sprinkled over.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from SlowBurningPassion.com

 

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Spicy Chicken Poblano Stew with Polenta {or not so spicy…

Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce spiced up with adobo sauce, served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce with adobo sauce served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta.

Polenta is traditional to Italy and in many ways similar to the grits a staple here in the south. The main difference between the polenta and grits is that polenta is ground from yellow corn, while grits are ground from white corn. The most noticeable difference is the texture: polenta is much coarser, whereas grits are finer.

This is the very first time I have ever cooked polenta (gasp!). I’ve had it served to me in a couple of local restaurants and fell in love with it. I really like the sweet, creaminess of polenta. It pairs beautifully with spicy food, especially this spicy chicken poblano stew. I am only just beginning to love polenta, but from what I understand, it pays to buy the good stuff, so for this recipe I purchase a bag of Bob’s Red Mill, Organic Corn Polenta Grits. I was a little nervous about not following the recipe on the bag, which called for water and not milk, but the adapted version for this recipe worked very well.

Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce spiced up with adobo sauce, served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Do not be alarmed by the chiles used in this dish if you shy away from spicy foods. The poblano chiles become smoky and lose most of their intensity when roasted and tender. The majority of the heat and spice is removed with the seeds and veins after they are roasted. Most all of the heat in the dish comes from the adobo sauce. The adobo sauce adds some additional smokiness and spice to the tomato mixture, so if you don’t like too much spice, leave out the adobo sauce and the stew won’t be so fiery. If you really like fiery spice, then you may want to add a finely chopped chipotle to the mix of this Spicy Chicken Poblano Stew with Polenta, so you can really appreciate the sweetness of the polenta.

It is also worth mentioning that while preparing the poblanos isn’t labor intensive, it does take some time. Most of the time is idle time while waiting for the roasting and the cooling/sweating process. I usually prepare my poblanos ahead of time. I like to prepare them on the weekend when I have more time. Then they are ready to pop into my dishes during the week. To make the prep work go faster, consider preparing the poblanos a day or two ahead of when you plan on making this spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta. The roasted poblanos refrigerate well and they are ready to use on demand.

I also roasted the chicken at the same time as I roasted the poblanos and had it ready to go into the dish also. I’ve been doing a lot of my recipes lately using prepared ahead ingredients for weeknight meals. It’s all about time savings if you know what I mean!

To me, this fusion recipe has the perfect balance of bold spicy Mexican flavors, chipotle and poblano peppers with creamy sweet polenta, so I did very little variation from the original recipe.

Here’s how I made this Spicy Chicken Poblano Stew with Polenta:

Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce spiced up with adobo sauce, served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Spicy Chicken Poblano Stew with Polenta | Servings: 4 | Time: 45 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 poblano chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for oiling peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 to 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 15-ounce can diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 to 6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, grilled or roasted and shredded
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • cilantro, for serving (optional)

Directions:

ROAST OR CHAR POBLANO PEPPERS: The poblanos can be prepared a day or two ahead of when you plan on making this dish. They refrigerate well!

There are three methods for charing a poblano, you can either place the poblano chili pepper on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on an open flame. Roasting poblanos over an open flame is the traditional way to cook and char poblanos, in Mexico. I prefer this method. The charring really brings out the sweetness of the pepper. (If you don’t have a gas stove, a charcoal grill works great!)

Roasting them under a broiler is a significantly more convenient way to prepare multiple poblanos simultaneously.

Whatever method you choose for roasting the poblanos, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 10 to 15 minutes. They must be charred and blistered on the outside but the flesh inside should remain soft. Remember the pepper is to be cooked but not burnt, think of it as roasting marshmallows in a fire.

Once charred and hot place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or you can place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Unwrap; remove skins and seeds. Coarsely chop peppers.

Learn more about how to prepare poblanos HERE or HERE.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, oregano, garlic and a pinch of salt; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.

Add the diced tomatoes, adobo sauce, and season with salt, to taste; simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peppers, cooked shredded chicken and squeeze in the lime juice; cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until slightly thickened.

Pour the milk into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add polenta and season with salt, to taste. Whisk constantly, cooking for 2 minutes, until thickened.

To serve, divide the polenta equally into 4 shallow bowls; top each bowl of polenta with a ¼ of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro (optional).

Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce spiced up with adobo sauce, served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Do you like polenta? How about spicy food? I’d love to hear from you. Comment below!

 

Spicy Chicken Poblano Stew with Polenta
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Spicy chicken poblano stew with polenta puts a Mexican spin on Italian food. With only 389 calories per serving, this hearty weeknight dish is made of shredded chicken, stewed with smoky poblanos, and onions in a garlicky tomato sauce spiced up with adobo sauce, served over creamy sweet porridge of polenta.
Course: lunch, Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 poblano chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for oiling peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 to 6 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 15 ounce can diced tomato
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 to 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled or roasted and shredded
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • cilantro for serving (optional)
Instructions
ROAST OR CHAR POBLANO PEPPERS: The poblanos can be prepared a day or two ahead of when you plan on making this dish. They refrigerate well!
  1. Roast the poblanos under a broiler, turning every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 10-15 minutes, or until charred and tender. Once charred and hot place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or you can place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Unwrap; remove skins and seeds. Coarsely chop peppers.

  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, oregano, garlic and a pinch of salt; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, adobo sauce, and season with salt, to taste; simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in peppers, cooked chicken and squeeze in the lime juice; cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until slightly thickened.

  4. Pour the milk into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; add polenta and season with salt, to taste. Whisk constantly, cooking for 2 minutes, until thickened.
  5. To serve, divide the polenta equally into 4 shallow bowls; top each bowl of polenta with a ¼ of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro (optional).
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Roasting Poblanos: The poblanos can be prepared a day or two ahead of when you plan on making this dish. They refrigerate well! There are three methods for charing a poblano, you can either place the poblano chili pepper on a tray under the broiler, directly on the grill or directly on an open flame. Roasting poblanos over an open flame is the traditional way to cook and char poblanos, in Mexico. I prefer this method. The charring really brings out the sweetness of the pepper. (If you don’t have a gas stove, a charcoal grill works great!) Roasting them under a broiler is a significantly more convenient way to prepare multiple poblanos simultaneously. Whatever method you choose for roasting the poblanos, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 10 to 15 minutes. They must be charred and blistered on the outside but the flesh inside should remain soft. Remember the pepper is to be cooked but not burnt, think of it as roasting marshmallows in a fire.

 

The Mountain Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

There is no extra cost to you for clicking! It just helps us afford to do what we do here at TheMountainKitchen.com. Thanks for your support!


Pecan Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving! This pecan applewood smoked turkey breast will change the way you think about turkey forever.

I ate this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast for 5 days and never once did not get tired of eating it.

It’s true… just ask David.

My favorite way to eat this turkey breast was cold, wrapped in a habanero tortilla, with lettuce and diced tomatoes. It’s was a simple wrap sandwich, but that wrap was loaded with smoked turkey flavor.

I LOVED THIS TURKEY!

In fact, if we hadn’t of eaten it all, I would still be eating this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast right now. This pecan applewood smoked turkey breast was that good!

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year for Thanksgiving my mama actually roasted an oven-stuffer chicken instead of turkey and no one even cared. Mama always roasts a really good turkey, but roasting a chicken was easier for her to make. My family devoured the chicken and no one missed the turkey.

Since we didn’t have turkey at Thanksgiving, it was the perfect time to smoke one. I have been begging David to smoke another turkey breast since the last one turned out so well. It’s not that he minds smoking meat. David loves any opportunity to fire up his grill or smoker but for some reason, he thinks that he’s supposed to smoke pork or ribs every time he fires one of them up. I finally convinced him to smoke a turkey breast and took advantage of the sales at the grocery stores during Thanksgiving weekend. 

We decided to use both pecan and applewood to smoke this turkey breast. Ideal for poultry, pecan has a stronger flavor than most fruitwood, but it is milder than hickory and mesquite. David added a large dry chunk of pecan wood to the coals for a nice rich smoke. Additionally, he added a hand full of wet applewood chips that had been soaked in water to amp up the flavor. Applewood has a mild subtle sweet, fruity flavor. The combination of the two worked really well together to enhance the flavor of this smoked turkey breast.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

For the rub, we didn’t go all out with dry rub spice blends like we have in the past. We actually were a little lazy and used McCormick’s Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning (Is it a “fowl” to use chicken seasoning on a turkey? Pun intended!) And since turkey and cranberries go so well together, we decided to add some pure cranberry juice that we had leftover from when we made sangria for our party. In case you didn’t know, pure cranberry juice tastes like dammit by itself, but provides great flavor when used with other ingredients. The applewood smoked turkey we did before was good and moist, but this time we wanted to experiment with a drip pan that would infuse flavor.

And boy did it ever have flavor?!?!

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

With this pecan applewood smoked turkey, you can forget about brines and the time wasted cooking parts of the turkey nobody even wants. With very little effort required, this smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other!

Here’s how we did it:

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Pecan Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast | Servings: 6-7 | Time: 5 ½ hours

 What’s Needed:

Prepare the turkey for the smoker:

Rinse the (thawed) turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels.

Season the meat on all sides with the rotisserie seasoning and rub it into the skin. I rubbed the turkey the morning before the turkey went on the grill, then placed it back into the refrigerator until it was needed. You can rub the turkey up to 24-hours prior to going on the smoker. Allowing the meat to sit in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat even more.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Prepare the Grill or Smoker:

Soak a few handfuls applewood chips for about 30 minutes in warm water before placing on the coals.

Set it up a charcoal grill indirect heat, using charcoal baskets to help retain the charcoal. 

Preheat the grill to 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.) 

Knowing the temp in your grill is crucial, you may want to purchase a dual probe digital BBQ thermometer that reads the temperature of the grate as well as the meat. David has one with a remote and loves it!

Smoke the turkey:

When the grill is within the ideal temperature range, you are ready to smoke! Place the turkey breast on the hot grate over the drip pan, toss a hand full of the soaked applewood chips and a dry chunk of pecan wood onto the coals; cover the grill.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Fill an aluminum drip pan with a 50/50 mixture of pure cranberry juice and water and place it directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature. Unless you fill the pan pretty well, this water is likely to evaporate during the smoking process, so be prepared to refill the pan as necessary.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chips, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique.

Smoke the Turkey Breast Low and slow:

Check the temperature of the grill every hour or so, staying as close to 250 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid, unless there is little to no smoke coming out of the top. Only open the lid to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Check for Doneness:

After at least 4-hours, check the temperature of the meat to see where it is and get an idea of how much more time it will need to smoke.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Smoke the turkey breast until a dark “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 170 to 180 degrees F, about 5 hours. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. A lot of turkey breast come with a pop-up timer. Use it as a guide, but it is wise to double-check the temperature to make sure it is at least 165 to 170 degrees F before removing from the smoker. Remember, a long low smoke allows this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast to become tender, juicy and full of so much flavor, but don’t overcook it or it will become dry.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Rest the Turkey:

After the smoked turkey breast is completely done, remove it from the grill. Place it on a carving plate or board to allow it to rest as you would with grilled or roasted meats. Allowing the turkey breast to rest lets the meat fibers relax, moisture that was driven out is redistributed and reabsorbed by some of the dissolved proteins. Rested meat holds on to more of its natural juices. A good 15 to 20 minutes rest should do under loosely tented foil.

Slice and Serve:

To carve the smoked turkey breast, remove the pop-up indicator (if applicable). Slice the breast against the grain into ½-inch slices. Perfectly cooked meat should be moist and juicy.

With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other! | TheMountainKitchen.com

David claims that this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast wasn’t as good as I make it out to be, but that’s because it wasn’t pork smothered in bbq sauce… I have already told him that I want him to smoke another turkey breast soon, or I will do it myself!! We shall see…

I hope you will enjoy this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast as much as I did!

 

Pecan Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 30 mins
 
With very little effort required, this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a simple poultry seasoning, smoked over a pan of cranberry infused water for a moist smoking environment, with smoky coals, pecan wood chunks, and wet applewood chips. Tender, juicy turkey like no other!
Course: lunch, Main Course
Author: Debbie & David Spivey
Ingredients
  • 6-7 pound boneless turkey breast thawed if frozen (adjust cooking time depending on weight)
  • Water Smoker or Charcoal Grill
  • Apple Wood Chips soaked in water
  • Pecan Wood Chunks dry
  • Charcoal Royal Oak is our brand of choice
  • Aluminum Pan
  • 50/50 Water / Cranberry Juice
  • Tongs
  • Meat Thermometer
  • MCCORMICK® PERFECT PINCH® ROTISSERIE CHICKEN SEASONING
Instructions
Prepare the turkey for the smoker:
  1. Rinse the (thawed) turkey breast and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Season the meat on all sides with the rotisserie seasoning and rub it into the skin. I rubbed the turkey the morning before the turkey went on the grill, then placed it back into the refrigerator until it was needed. You can rub the turkey up to 24-hours prior to going on the smoker. Allowing the meat to sit in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat even more.
Prepare the Grill or Smoker:
  1. Soak a few handfuls applewood chips for about 30 minutes in warm water before placing on the coals.
  2. Set it up a charcoal grill indirect heat, using charcoal baskets to help retain the charcoal. Fill an aluminum drip pan with a 50/50 mixture of pure cranberry juice and water and place it directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature. Unless you fill the pan pretty well, this water is likely to evaporate during the smoking process, so be prepared to refill the pan as necessary.
  3. Preheat the grill to 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.)
  4. Knowing the temp in your grill is crucial, you may want to purchase a dual probe digital BBQ thermometer that reads the temperature of the grate as well as the meat. David has one with a remote and loves it!
Smoke the turkey:
  1. When the grill is within the ideal temperature range, you are ready to smoke! Place the turkey breast on the hot grate over the drip pan, toss a hand full of the soaked applewood chips and a dry chunk of pecan wood onto the coals; cover the grill.
  2. David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chips, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique.
Smoke the Turkey Breast Low and slow:
  1. Check the temperature of the grill every hour or so, staying as close to 250 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid, unless there is little to no smoke coming out of the top. Only open the lid to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.
Check for Doneness:
  1. After at least 4-hours, check the temperature of the meat to see where it is and get an idea of how much more time it will need to smoke.
  2. Smoke the turkey breast until a dark “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 170 to 180 degrees F, about 5 hours. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. A lot of turkey breast come with a pop-up timer. Use it as a guide, but it is wise to double-check the temperature to make sure it is at least 165 to 170 degrees F before removing from the smoker. Remember, a long low smoke allows this pecan applewood smoked turkey breast to become tender, juicy and full of so much flavor, but don't overcook it or it will become dry.
Rest the Turkey:
  1. After the smoked turkey breast is completely done, remove it from the grill. Place it on a carving plate or board to allow it to rest as you would with grilled or roasted meats. Allowing the turkey breast to rest lets the meat fibers relax, moisture that was driven out is redistributed and reabsorbed by some of the dissolved proteins. Rested meat holds on to more of its natural juices. A good 15 to 20 minutes rest should do under loosely tented foil.
Slice and Serve:
  1. To carve the smoked turkey breast, remove the pop-up indicator (if applicable). Slice the breast against the grain into ½-inch slices. Perfectly cooked meat should be moist and juicy.

 

The Mountain Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

There is no extra cost to you for clicking! It just helps us afford to do what we do here at TheMountainKitchen.com. Thanks for your support!


Healthy Mushroom Pot Pies With Cauliflower Sauce {A Meatless Monday Recipe

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

There’s just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a creamy, velvety smooth cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust.

I wanted to create a mushroom pot pie without all the calories of a traditional pot pie that has butter, flour, and cream. David and I think about and discuss food all the time. One day we were on the road going somewhere, and I told him my idea of the mushroom pot pies and how I wanted a way to thicken up the mushrooms in a thick creamy sauce, without all the calories of butter, flour, and cream. That’s when David suggested a cauliflower cream sauce…

BRILLIANT IDEA!!

There's just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I used my classic chicken pot pie recipe as my guide for making these healthy mushroom pot pies with cauliflower sauce, and as good as this vegetarian dish looks and sounds, I have to admit I didn’t know if this recipe was going to turn out or not. That’s because I did not have a recipe to guide me and came up with this one on my own. I couldn’t find a recipe for a pot pie that used cauliflower sauce. I could only find recipes in which cauliflower was an ingredient or used to make the crust gluten-free.

I was a little skeptical about using cauliflower as the base of the sauce in these mushroom pot pies. I was afraid they would turn out too moist and watery, making the crust soggy, but that could not be further from the way they turned out. The mushroom pot pies could not have turned out any better!

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Except for the crust, these healthy mushroom pot pies are made completely of vegetables, without any flour, cream or butter and best of all, the beautiful Portobello mushrooms are the perfect stand-in for meat, making these pot pies even healthier and perfect for Meatless Monday!

Here’s how I made them:

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Healthy Mushroom Pot Pies With Cauliflower Sauce | Servings: 8 | Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups sweet onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup celery, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup russet potato chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 16-ounces Portobello mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 sheets of store-bought pie crust or sheets of puff pastry

Helpful Items to Have:

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside until needed.

There's just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and thyme; saute over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the sprigs of thyme.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

While the cauliflower and onions cook, parboil the potatoes, carrots, and celery by adding them to In a medium saucepan with cold water to barely cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; cook, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Drain the potatoes carrots and celery in a colander.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Using the same saucepan used to parboil the vegetables, heat the vegetable stock, but do not boil. Add the roasted cauliflower and half of the cooked onions to a food processor or blender. Pulse several times, then gradually add about ½ cup of the vegetable broth at a time to the cauliflower, scraping the sides as needed, until the cauliflower becomes a smooth puree.

Remember, you don’t want to make it too watery, so it is better to add small amounts of the vegetable broth at a time. The longer you blend, the more silky and smooth the sauce becomes. Add more liquid if your sauce is too thick. When you reach the desired consistency, taste and season with salt, pepper, to taste.

There's just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Add the mushrooms to the remaining onions in the heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are tender. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and carefully pour the cauliflower sauce into the pot with the vegetables. Sir in the peas and heat through; about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Roll out the pie crust or puff pastry, place the ramekins on the sheet of pastry dough, so that there is about a 1-inch parameter around each ramekin. Using a knife, cut circles or squares large enough to fit over the ramekins.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Spoon the mushroom filling into each of the ramekins, cover the top of the ramekin completely folding the dough over the edges pressing it against the ramekin for each. 

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Using a fork, pierce the top of each pot pie, so that the steam will escape without making the crust rise.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

For a prettier crust, I like to brush the dough with egg wash, (1 egg + 2 tablespoons water, beaten) on top of the crust to make them golden brown, when baked, but this step is completely optional.

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and into a 400 degree F oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, and/or puffy if using puff pastry.

Cool 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!

These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!

Recipe Notes:

Turn these healthy mushroom pot pies into a make-ahead vegetarian meal!

I only made four pot pies for this post. I added the remaining filling to a freezer-proof zip-top bag to use at another time. To use frozen filling, thaw, and heat in a sauce pot. If the sauce is to watery heat until bubbling and it begins to thicken. If the sauce is too thick, add just a touch of vegetable broth at a time until it gets to the desired consistency. Add to ramekins, top with pastry and bake following the instructions above.

You could also freeze fully prepared pot pies inside the ramekins before adding the egg wash. Cover with foil and freeze for up to two months. To bake from frozen, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and bake for 30 minutes with the foil on top. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown.

There's just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

There's just something comforting about warm, flaky pot pie fresh out of the oven and this meatless version is sure to please the biggest of appetites. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

David loved the way these healthy mushroom pot pies with cauliflower sauce turned out. He is still talking about them, but I have to give him all the credit for such a great idea!

If you are craving warm and cozy comfort food, but don’t want all the calories, you have to try these healthy mushroom pot pies with cauliflower sauce. Comfort food made healthy!

 

Healthy Mushroom Pot Pies With Cauliflower Sauce
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
These healthy mushroom pot pies have the comforts of traditional pot pies without all the calories. Mushrooms are the star of the show in these savory healthy mushroom pot pies, with vegetable filling smothered in a cauliflower sauce, with a tender flaky crust. Comfort food made healthy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian / Meatless Monday
Servings: 8
Author: David & Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 cups sweet onions
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup carrots chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup celery chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup russet potato chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 16 ounces Portobello mushrooms quartered
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 sheets of store-bought pie crust or sheets of puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and thyme; saute over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for about 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the sprigs of thyme.
  4. While the cauliflower and onions cook, parboil the potatoes, carrots, and celery by adding them to In a medium saucepan with cold water to barely cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; cook, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Drain the potatoes carrots and celery in a colander.
  5. Using the same saucepan used to parboil the vegetables, heat the vegetable stock, but do not boil. Add the roasted cauliflower and half of the cooked onions to a food processor or blender. Pulse several times, then gradually add about ½ cup of the vegetable broth at a time to the cauliflower, scraping the sides as needed, until the cauliflower becomes a smooth puree.
  6. Remember, you don't want to make it too watery, so it is better to add small amounts of the vegetable broth at a time. The longer you blend, the more silky and smooth the sauce becomes. Add more liquid if your sauce is too thick. When you reach the desired consistency, taste and season with salt, pepper, to taste.
  7. Add the mushrooms to the remaining onions in the heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are tender. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and carefully pour the cauliflower sauce into the pot with the vegetables. Sir in the peas and heat through; about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off heat.
  8. Roll out the pie crust or puff pastry, place the ramekins on the sheet of pastry dough, so that there is about a 1-inch parameter around each ramekin. Using a knife, cut circles or squares large enough to fit over the ramekins.
  9. Spoon the mushroom filling into each of the ramekins, cover the top of the ramekin completely folding the dough over the edges pressing it against the ramekin for each.
  10. Using a fork, pierce the top of each pot pie, so that the steam will escape without making the crust rise.
  11. For a prettier crust, I like to brush the dough with egg wash, (1 egg + 2 tablespoons water, beaten) on top of the crust to make them golden brown, when baked, but this step is completely optional.
  12. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and into a 400 degree F oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, and/or puffy if using puff pastry.
  13. Cool 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Turn these healthy mushroom pot pies into a make-ahead vegetarian meal.

I only made four pot pies for this post. I added the remaining filling to a freezer-proof zip-top bag to use at another time. To use frozen filling, thaw, and heat in a sauce pot. If the sauce is to watery heat until bubbling and it begins to thicken. If the sauce is too thick, add just a touch of vegetable broth at a time until it gets to the desired consistency. Add to ramekins, top with pastry and bake following the instructions above.

You could also freeze fully prepared pot pies inside the ramekins before adding the egg wash. Cover with foil and freeze for up to two months. To bake from frozen, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and bake for 30 minutes with the foil on top. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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The Mountain Kitchen’s 2018 Reader Survey

Dear Mountain Kitchen Readers, I want to make this blog better and more relevant to your interests, a place that you love to visit and where you come to celebrate life and food with us. May I ask a favor of you? Will you please take our brief 2018 Reader Survey?  | TheMountainKitchen.com

Dear Mountain Kitchen Readers,

I want to make this blog better and more relevant to your interests, a place that you love to visit and where you come to celebrate life and food with us. In order to make this blog better, I need to know more about YOU!

May I ask a favor of you? Will you please take our brief 2018 Reader Survey?

I would like to know what you love or don’t love about The Mountain Kitchen.

This survey benefits YOU the most! By taking the survey, you will help us make the content here on this blog more interesting and relevant to you.

The survey is easy to fill out and you are not required to share your name or email address. All of your responses are completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to you in any way. Your feedback is very important to us and we thank you in advance for your complete honesty.

I plan to share a summary of the results after I close the survey on January 27th.

I am eager to see what you have to say. Give me the good, the bad and even the ugly. I’m a big girl. I can take it. If you want more beef recipes or desserts, all you have to do is ask!

To take the survey, please click this link: The Mountain Kitchen 2018 Reader Survey or scroll to the dialog box at the bottom of this post.

Thank you for your time and helping us continue to provide stuff worth reading, and recipes worth trying!

Sincerely,

 

 


Immunity Soup {Soup For What Ails Ya

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Raise your hand if you or someone you have been around, has been sick… If you are raising your hand, THIS IMMUNITY SOUP IS EVERYTHING!

Ahh, January, the month of new beginnings, hope, promise, freezing cold weather and sick folks! Let’s face it, cold and flu season is in full swing with germy people walking around everywhere. All this cold weather with germs floating around leaves us craving warm comfort foods, which is hard to do when you have resolved to eat healthier at the chime of the clock on New Year’s Eve.

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Allow me to introduce a bowl of soup that will do just that. This Immunity Soup is a simple easy-to-make soup for what ails ya. I first made this immunity soup a couple of months ago when I had a head cold. I was flipping through some recipes I had torn out of some magazines and came across this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter.

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Ok, let’s break the ingredients down:

    • KALE: Promotes a healthy digestive tract, contains B vitamins, and vitamin C, which promotes iron absorption among other vital vitamins and nutrients.
    • MUSHROOMS: High in vitamin D. They also contain B vitamins and a powerful antioxidant called selenium, supports your immune system and prevents damage to cells and tissues.
    • CHICKPEAS: Minerals including manganese, magnesium, zinc, and copper, as well some other B-vitamins, including thiamine and vitamin B-6.
    • GARLIC: Anti-oxidant rich. An excellent source of manganese and vitamin B6. A good source of vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B1.
    • CHICKEN: High in zinc, B vitamins, and other immunity-boosting nutrients.

On top of all those vitamin enriched ingredients, the hot peppery broth flushes out your sinuses of infection by making your nose run, staving infection. So make a large pot of this immunity soup to enjoy for a few days, it just gets better and better sitting in the fridge.

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Oh, and don’t worry about all that garlic. Believe me, garlic is not always my friend, but in this soup, the flavor is very mellow.

The original recipe called for bone-in chicken, but I swapped it for roasted chicken breasts because I feel like the roasted chicken has more flavor. Feel free to use shredded rotisserie chicken as the original recipe also suggested. Using chicken that has already been cooked makes this soup even easier to make, so you to start boosting that immune system from all those germs.

Also, you can control the amount of sodium, by using unsalted chicken stock and by rinsing your chickpeas.

Here’s the recipe for this delicious immunity soup:

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Immunity Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter.

Course: lunch, Main Course, Soup
Servings: 8
Author: Debbie Spivey
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 10 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 4 cups original chicken stock
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 ounce canned chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces curly kale washed, stems removed, leaves torn
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy oven over medium. Add the onions, celery, carrots, thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt; cook, until onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, and add the chicken, chickpeas, the bay leaves, and red pepper. Season with salt, to taste; cover and simmer, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale; cover and simmer until kale is just tender about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves, before serving.
Recipe Notes

Cooking Light Magazine

 

Immunity soup is brimming to the top of the bowl with nutrients and antioxidants that will help boost your immune system while keeping you healthy and warm this winter. | TheMountainKitchen.com

 

Fend off cooties, staying healthy and on track with your new year’s diet!


Farewell 2017: A Look Back

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year has been good but kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! 2017 went by so fast, I actually had to pull up my photo archive from this year to help jog my memory and remind me exactly what happened this year. Luckily I was able to catch you up back in July, but a lot has happened since then.

I apologize in advance for such a long post, but I wanted to take a look back at the year and reflect on what happened, to prepare for the exciting things 2018 could hold. I have broken it down into sections for things that may interest you the most.

Let’s take a look back at 2017:

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

The Biggest “Thing” of 2017

I mentioned earlier in the year that we were planning to build a new deck with a covered screened porch this summer. The deck project was completed this fall and we are very excited about our new outdoor space. This deck project took a lot longer to get done than we expected, but we love it and cannot wait to spend more time outside now that we have some protection from that evil fireball called the sun.

Having the extra space triggered us to celebrate by hosting our very first party for our friends and neighbors of the mountain. You may have seen the video I posted on Instagram.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Normally I would have written about it here, but since it was our very first party, I didn’t want to be distracted with taking pictures and focused all my time and attention on our guest and taking care of them. We had a great time and we look forward to hosting more parties in the future.

In case you missed it, you can see the deck project reveal and even take a video tour here: The Spivey Deck Project 2017 {The Reveal and Video Tour!

 

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Virginia Wine

One of the reasons why David and I decided to settle in the mountains where we did is because of all of the Virginia Wineries that surround us.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

The year always begins with lasagna lunches on the weekends just ten minutes from our house at Naked Mountain Winery and Vineyards, in Markham, Virginia. Naked Mountain is the first Virginia winery we ever tasted at, and yes, the name had a lot to do with it.

Each year from January until the end of March, you can enjoy lasagna lunches paired with wine. It’s a very popular event and many look forward to it.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

We are members of Fox Meadow Vineyards, also only ten minutes from our house. Fox Meadow was the second stop that day we went out wine tasting for the first time all those years ago. It just so happened it was Fox Meadow’s opening weekend and we have been visiting ever since. We attend many of their events, which include live music, special pairings, such as Fudgeapalooza (Fox Meadow wines paired with Nibblins fudge) and even attend a blending session in the early part of the year in which we are able to blend and bottle our own wine. We have a lot of fun!

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year we attended a Vertical Tannat Tasting at Chateau O’Brien at Northpoint Winery and Vineyard and a Ridel Wine Glass Tasting.

The vertical tasting was interesting because we were able to taste in order of year of several different vintages of Howard’s Tannat. Virginia weather is challenging for wine makers and it is so interesting to experience how the wine changes from year to year.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

From the Ridel Wine Glass tasting, we learned just how much the shape of a glass can change the experience of wine tasting. We each received a set of Ridel Wine Glass Set to enjoy at home. If you think you can pour wine into any old glass and it will taste the same as any other, you really need to attend one of these tastings!

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

In April we visited a new winery that our friends Jim and Beth are members of called Doukenie Winery. After participating in a Heritage Room tasting with our very good friends, we joined the wine club on the spot. I signed up so fast, David’s head spun around. There was not a wine poured that I could not drink. That just doesn’t happen often.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I could talk for hours about our local winery outings. If you would like to read more about the local wineries we visit, please email me here: debbiespivey@themountainkitchen.com

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Local Restaurants

David and I love to eat out almost as much as we like cooking a home-cooked meal. We are so fortunate to have so many good local restaurants. The restaurants we frequent all inspire us with new dishes and there isn’t a single restaurant we visit that we don’t try something new.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year David and I attended our first opera, well sort of…

One of our favorite local restaurants Osteria 510, hosted an opera night in which some wonderful singers came out and performed La Bohème while we enjoyed a farm to table four-course meal prepared by Chef Vincenzo Belvito. This restaurant is a taste of Italy on the steps of the northern entrance of Skyline Drive. Vincenzo, greets us with a smile and quickly goes to the bar for our favorite beverages. We almost always order the special, but sometimes enjoy specialties from the menu. It is important to mention that I always save room for Lemoncello Cake, which is in my opinion like biting into a lemon cloud.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Among our favorite local restaurants is Element, where we indulge in their delicious dishes inside a comfortable and modern atmosphere. Element also includes a full bar, with beer on tap, and an extensive wine list. They always have great specials to try and my favorite menu item is a salmon dish, while David’s is the fillet.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Besides their offering of delicious entrees and spirits, Element offers the most decadent pillowy soft and luxurious chocolate mousse pavlova paired with a glass of Tawny Port. Once you have taken a bite of this dessert you will crave it forever!

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Another local favorite restaurant very much worth mentioning is Field & Main. Located in Marshall, Virginia, this unique restaurant is run inside of a building which is still standing after two centuries, just 20 minutes from our home. The Wavra’s restored this unique building and Field & Main Restaurant was born. This restaurant provides a relaxed gathering place for community and while offering patrons unique bounty of the region sourced from local sustainable farms using seasonal ingredients. Fueled by oak, hickory and cherry wood, many of the entrees are prepared in cast iron or directly from the coals of a 10-foot wide wood-fired hearth designed by Chef Anthony Nelson. David and I reserve seats at the kitchen bar, where we dine from the delicious menu while watching the inner workings of the kitchen. It’s really awesome to watch the kitchen prepare your food right before your eyes. It’s like dinner and a show and I am sure the kitchen staff is glad when we leave because we ask so many questions, which is mostly, “What is that?!” Some will pose for the camera if you ask!

We frequent many local restaurants and there are just too many to mention here. If you would like to hear more about the fantastic local restaurants you can email me here: debbiespivey@themountainkitchen.com

 

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

2017 Concerts

Recently I sat down and took the time to compose a list of all the concerts that David and I have attended since we became a couple in 2001. We like a wide variety of music from George Jones to Metallica and many genres in between. There are 170 bands on our list. Some bands we have seen more than once.

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Below is a list of the concerts we have attended this in 2017. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings, which already include Avatar for the second time and P¡nk.

  1. Stevie Nicks ~ 24 Karat Gold Tour at John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
  2. Metallica ~ Worldwired Tour at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, MD
  3. An Evening With Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds at The Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia MD
  4. Black Stone Cherry at Phase2 in Lynchburg, VA
  5. Hellyeah at Shiley Acres in Inwood, WV
  6. Matchbox 20 / Counting Crows ~ A Brief History of Everything Tour at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
  7. In This Moment ~ Half God – Half Devil Tour at The Fillmore in Silver Springs, MD
  8. Seether ~ Poison the Parish World Tour at The Fillmore in Silver Springs, MD

 

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

2017 As A Melanoma Survivor: I Am Now A Contributor To The Mighty!

Back in July, I kept the scheduled dermatologist follow-up appointment for the spot I had frozen under my eye. It had disappeared but I kept the appointment because I noticed a small pink spot on my arm. My dermatologist examined the suspicious pink spot and said it was nothing to be concerned about because it didn’t have the typical melanotic macules that would be present if it were something that needed a biopsy. I walked out relieved that there was nothing to be concerned about.

Another month or two went by and I had my usual Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) test done when I went to my primary care doctor to have other bloodwork done. The test came back normal!

2017 was a great year for skin checks! I did not have to have a single biopsy the entire year and by my last skin check appointment in October. I have become comfortable enough to where my blood pressure was not through the roof when entering the dermatologist office now. I am staying out of the sun and protecting my skin if I am out in the sun. I hope and pray that 2018 will be just as good if not better.

Raising awareness about skin cancer is very important to me. I write updated blog posts about what’s been going on since I was diagnosed. My hope in sharing this journey with you is that you can keep your brother, your aunt, your daughter, your neighbor or your friend from having to go through this. Most importantly don’t let the fear of melanoma keep you from getting checked out.

Recently I have been given an opportunity to reach more people and raise awareness about skin cancer. I am excited to join forces with The Mighty! The Mighty is the largest digital health community geared towards people with disease, mental illness, and disabilities. The community empowers and connects people facing health challenges and disabilities. After reading my melanoma story, the Cancer Editor of The Mighty, Trish Broome, reached out to me and asked me to join as a contributor and asked to share my story with the online community. As a contributor to The Mighty, I can share my cancer story with others to help raise awareness about skin cancer. TheMighty.com is a great community and I highly encourage everyone to check it out. The stories about the diseases, mental illness, and disabilities there affects every one of you or someone you love in some way.

Remember skin checks are so very important. Your skin is your largest living organ; it houses all your most vital parts.

Have you called a dermatologist to schedule a skin check?

Before you come up with an excuse not too, I want you to know I didn’t think I would get Melanoma either, but I did. My story has turned out well. So many others aren’t so lucky.

Go get checked. It could save your life!

If you would like to read more about my Melanoma Story, click HERE.

 

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

His Royal Highness

This summer, David decided to make a trip to Ohio to see Mama Rosa. Since His Royal Highness cannot go for more than 24-hours without his medications, I either had to stay home with him or find a pet sitter. His Royal Highness has NEVER liked a stranger, but over the years has mellowed out a lot. Considering that and the fact that fact that he is blind, I thought it would be easier for a stranger to come in and take care of him. I phoned a neighbor to ask him what he did with his cats when they want to go out of town. He very kindly offered but realized he would not be in town either, so he recommended a pet sitter he had used in the past. I decided to give the pet sitter a call. I really wanted to take the trip to Ohio with David to see my mother-in-law. After an interview with the pet sitter and filling out 1000 forms for her, she agreed to watch after His Royal Highness while David and I took the trip to Ohio for a long weekend.

The visits from the pet sitter did not go well at all. The sitter took lots of notes of her visits each day (twice a day, each with meds). Being blind did not handicap His Royal Highness at all, he still managed to hide from her at each visit. He hid in places I would have never thought he could. Places like under the recliner in the living room, the chest of drawers in a spare bedroom, under our master bedroom bed and even behind a shower curtain. How on earth does a blind cat know he is hiding? I don’t know, but His Royal Highness is still as sly as a fox! What made matters worse is that not only did he hide, but he also hissed, spit and growled at her. She was lucky to give him his liquid meds for blood pressure, but he missed some does of his pill for thyroid. The pet sitter said he is still very feisty and has a whole lot of life and fire still in him for such an old cat.

Even though he was just awful to the pet sitter, she agreed to come back again two weeks later when we went to the family reunion in North Carolina. Once again, he was a terrible pet and acted very defensive and mean to the pet sitter, hiding, spitting, hissing at her while missing does of his medication because she feared he would bite her and she did not want to stress him out too much. Needless to say, I haven’t left him in the care of someone else since, and I probably won’t unless there is some kind of emergency.

In November, we were forced to cage up His Royal Highness when we are not able to keep an eye on him. It really hurts my heart to have to do this to him, but he gave us no choice. Due to his age, blindness, declining health and just not giving a shit, he wasn’t using his litter box anymore. We bought a dog style outdoor pin. I set it up on top of a tarp with doggie pee pads for comfort and something absorbent for accidents. I put a box with a towel inside for comfort and security, along with his food and water tray and litter box. I called it the “kitty condo”!

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

According to His Royal Highness, it’s a JAIL!

He HATES being trapped anywhere and he considers it a “kitty jail”! But this jail keeps him safe and makes life in our home a lot less stressful for all of us. Like always he has adjusted well. He gets some time out when we are home. Funny, since he has been put into a cage, he goes to the litter box religiously, go figure! But don’t ask me why he sleeps on top of the box like Snoopy, instead of inside like I intended. I guess it’s because he realizes that there is no top on the cage and knows it’s closer to living room floor above. He’s constantly looking up at the ceiling when he’s inside the cage. He knows when we are home and wants to be out of the cage when we are home.

I also believe if he could see for just a few minutes, he would figure out the latch pins on the cage and he would escape. I know this because I forgot to latch the pins one night. David and I were sitting in the living room after I thought I put him to bed for the night. David and I looked at each other with disbelief at the exact same moment when we heard a loud splashing noise coming from his water bowl in the kitchen. Sure enough, it was His Royal Highness, drinking water from his bowl! I could not believe it! He had pushed the gate open, navigated his way to the stairs, came up through the pet door, I had no idea he even could find anymore and found his way to the kitchen for a drink. All that because the water upstairs is way better than the water downstairs outside of the cage, which is even better than the water inside his cage! He’s a ham!

His Royal Highness has not been doing well recently, the past few weeks his legs began to retain fluid and an x-ray at the vet revealed he had fluid in his abdomen. I realize that he will not live forever and will not torture this very old feline with expensive medical tests to find out what is causing it. The underlying medical issues are more than likely untreatable conditions, such as heart and/or kidney disease. His veterinarian has been wonderful and has worked with me to figure out anything that will help him out. She put him on a diuretic, which seems to have worked! She is truly amazed by this cat, especially when I told her the fluid retention has now subsided. She feels he may be suffering from an underlying heart issue.

Despite it all, he is still acting like his old demanding self and refuses to let his health slow him down. He still makes us laugh daily, even though I spend a lot of time worrying about him, his resilience is something to behold. He’s quite an amazing creature and we are thankful for each day we have with him on this side of the rainbow bridge.

 

This year has been kind of strange. The weather started out really cold and by the time it warmed up all we seemed to do was wait for our new deck to be built and before we knew it Christmas was here! Let's take a look back at 2017. | TheMountainKitchen.com

A Trip To See Mama Rosa in Ohio

As I mentioned, David and I rented a car a drove over 400 miles to see his mother, sister, and brother in Dayton, Ohio at the end of the summer. It had been a long time since he last saw her. We visited a couple of days and had a nice picnic in the yard where David grilled some chicken and pork with some prepared sides from the deli. His sister prepared a few goodies also. The weather and the company were perfect. We really enjoyed our visit with family.

Since our visit, Mama Rosa has been going through a rough time. On Halloween, she fell at home and broke her hip, which led to surgery and a long road to recovery. She has fought through a lot of pain and although it is taking her longer to recover from this injury than expected, each day rehab moves her a little closer to going home. She has had a lot of people pulling for her and we really appreciate the thoughts and prayers!

 

Other Moments Worth Mentioning

I guess this pretty much sums up what happened this year, but more than anything today, I want to thank you for another year together. I cannot tell you what it means to have your encouragement and support. Your faithful readership, your willingness to try our recipes and emails and comments mean so very much to me. Thank you for allowing us into your homes and supporting me to do what I love to do.

Really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

As we say goodbye to another year gone by, we are excited to see what lies ahead in 2018. I have tons of recipes to share with you in the coming year. Thanks for reading this blog and trying our recipes. May 2018 be filled with health and happiness!

From all of us at The Mountain Kitchen, Happy New Year!

Love you all!

What was your favorite moment of 2017? Comment below or send me an email. I’d love to hear what’s going on with you too!

 


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10 Vegetarian Recipes to Make for Meatless Monday In 2018

Are you are thinking about starting off 2018 by eating a little healthier? I am hoping with the help of these 10 vegetarian recipes I can convince you to go Meatless on Monday in 2018. Here are 10 vegetarian recipes to make for Meatless Monday in 2018! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to eat a little healthier in 2018? If so, with the help of 10 vegetarian recipes, I am hoping I can convince you to go Meatless on Monday in 2018.

Ok, let me ask you a few more questions…

What if I told you that if you cut out meat one day a week, it may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity?

What if I told you that you could save money by adding vegetarian meals to your weekly menu?

What if I also told you that you could help save the environment?

It’s all true.

Here’s a quick video that sums it all up for you:

 

David and I are celebrating our 5th year as participants in Meatless Monday in 2018. That’s 260 Meatless Mondays! We started going meatless on Monday as a challenge for me to be more creative with meal ideas during the week in the kitchen. But it became more than that. What I didn’t realize at the time was that Meatless Monday aims to reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet. So not only was I getting the challenge to get out of the rut of the same old meals every week, but I was also doing something that would be healthy for David and me while helping the planet.

I would like to encourage you to start participating in Meatless Monday with us. Even if you don’t skip meat on Monday, at least try it ONE DAY a week for the month of January 2018. Technically, that’s only 4 days out of 31 with no meat.

I mean really, if I convinced my very carnivorous husband David Spivey, the pork-loving, brisket smoking, Mr. BBQ man he is to go meatless ONE DAY A WEEK, can I encourage you to go meatless one day a week too?

Ok, you are probably wondering… “What in the world do I cook for Meatless Monday?”. Let me help you… I am going to share the 10 most popular vegetarian recipes of 2017 from The Mountain Kitchen. These are our reader’s favorite vegetarian recipes in 2017 and these recipes will help you get started going meatless on Monday in 2018.

Sound good?

Ok, let’s see the 10 vegetarian recipes readers liked the most this year…

Here are 10 Vegetarian Recipes to Make for Meatless Monday In 2018:

The Meatless Monday Top 10 Recipe Countdown of 2016! | This recipe is a spin-off the classic Beef Wellington recipe, this vegetarian version uses Portobello mushroom caps, spinach and cheese stuffed inside of a flaky pastry crust. | TheMountainKitchen.com

# 10 Mushroom Wellingtons

This recipe is a spin-off the classic Beef Wellington recipe, this vegetarian version uses Portobello mushroom caps, spinach and cheese stuffed inside of a flaky pastry crust. I actually have these on my To-Do List. Delicious!

 

Mushroom-Spinach Alfredo Flatbread Pizza | This Mushroom-Spinach Alfredo Flatbread Pizza is topped with a creamy Alfredo sauce, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and spinach, mozzarella cheese. They are delicious and easy to make! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#9 Mushroom-Spinach Alfredo Flatbread

This Mushroom-Spinach Alfredo Flatbread Pizza is topped with a creamy Alfredo sauce, sautéed shiitake mushrooms, and spinach, mozzarella cheese. They are delicious and easy to make! The flavors here are absolutely amazing. You’ll love them!

 

This recipe for sriracha roasted cauliflower uses delicious cauliflower, with a kick, kind of like a "meatless buffalo wing" for Meatless Monday. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#8 Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe for sriracha roasted cauliflower uses delicious cauliflower, with a kick, kind of like a “meatless buffalo wing” for Meatless Monday. This recipe has been popular since day one. A great way to enjoy cauliflower!

 

Meatless Mexican Zucchini Boats: zucchini stuffed with refried beans mixed with onions, Mexican seasonings, salsa, and cheese. A yummy Meatless Monday meal! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#7 Meatless Mexican Zucchini Boats

One of my all-time favorites, these Mexican zucchini boats are stuffed with refried beans with onions, Mexican seasonings, salsa, and cheese. A yummy Meatless Monday meal! I think these may be better than a regular taco without the carbs!

 

Veggie wontons are filled with fresh veggies, seasoned with warm ginger, soy sauce and duck sauce, cooked in rich vegetable broth and steeped until tender. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#6 Veggie Wontons

These veggie wontons are filled with fresh veggies, seasoned with warm ginger, soy sauce, and duck sauce, cooked in rich vegetable broth and steeped until tender. They may take a while to prepare, but the recipe makes a huge box and they are freezer friendly!! So make a large batch and freeze half for another Meatless Monday!

 

This Summer Vegetable Couscous Salad is a quick, hearty and versatile way to prepare couscous with summer vegetables to make as a meal or side dish to accompany any summer meal. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#5 Summer Vegetable Couscous

This Summer Vegetable Couscous Salad is a quick, hearty and versatile way to prepare couscous with summer vegetables to make a meal or side dish to accompany any summer meal. This recipe may have the word “summer” in it, but these wonderful summer vegetables are available all year long in your grocery store. This salad is fresh and amazing!

 

Adult macaroni and cheese has bold flavor with a rich creamy sauce made with Gruyère, cheddar and blue cheeses, topped with breadcrumbs and fresh basil. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#4 Adult Mac and Cheese

I admit, this Mac and Cheese recipe is a little indulgent and not all that healthy with the pasta, milk, and cheese, but you really should try it just once! Adult macaroni and cheese has bold flavor with a rich creamy sauce made with Gruyère, cheddar and blue cheeses, topped with breadcrumbs and fresh basil.

 

Satisfying hearty beans and healthy greens add flavorful texture to this Tuscan White Bean Soup. This rustic soup delivers flavorful, goodness to each bowl. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#3 Tuscan White Bean Soup

Satisfying hearty beans and healthy greens add flavorful texture to this Tuscan White Bean Soup. This rustic soup delivers flavorful, goodness to each bowl. I adore this soup. It’s so flavorful, hearty and filling. Simply wonderful!

 

Crock-pot Potato Leek Soup | This crock-pot potato leek soup has lots of flavor for very little work. Potatoes, and leeks slow cooked in a creamy rich wine infused vegetable broth with cheddar cheese. It’s velvety smooth and perfect after a long day away from home. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#2 Crock-Pot Potato Leek Soup

This crock-pot potato leek soup has lots of flavor for very little work. Potatoes and leeks slow cooked in a creamy rich wine-infused vegetable broth with cheddar cheese. It’s velvety smooth and perfect after a long day away from home. The crock-pot takes most of the work out of this recipe. Come home to this elegant soup. It’ll make your whole week better!

 

This Napa cabbage and bean soup is vegetarian comfort food! Ready in just 30 minutes, this delicious and very simple soup is so flavorful you'll want more! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#1 Napa Cabbage and Bean Soup

This Napa cabbage and bean soup is vegetarian comfort food! Ready in just 30 minutes, this delicious and very simple soup is so flavorful you’ll want more! I agree with our readers, THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. One bite of this soup and you will wish you were vegetarian. Not even joking!

 

Ok, there you go!

That’s 10 vegetarian recipes to try for Meatless Monday in 2018.

Get healthier, save money and save the planet. You cannot lose! I promise you will be surprised that meat doesn’t have to be part of a recipe for it to be good and you will enjoy it so much you’ll want to keep participating. I will continue to share vegetarian recipes for Meatless Monday in 2018, so don’t worry about running out of recipes to try.

Have I convinced you with these delicious Meatless Monday recipes?

Good!

Which recipe will you make for the first? Have you already tried one of these vegetarian recipes? Comment below, I love hearing from you!

For more information about going Meatless go to MeatlessMonday.com

These are our most popular 10 vegetarian recipes, but we have, even more, click HERE!


Our 30 Most Popular Recipes of 2017

We've rounded up our 30 most popular recipes of 2017. Whether you are looking for recipes to jump start 2018 or a great way to finish out 2017, these delicious recipes are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. | TheMountainKitchen.com

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Now the year is coming to an end and it’s time to reflect on 2017. Here at The Mountain Kitchen, I like to take a moment to reflect on the most popular recipes that made the biggest impact on your taste buds this year. It always excites me to see what everyone has enjoyed the most during the year. Compared to last year, some of the recipes are still favorites, while new recipes have entered the scene. Don’t worry, I have made a special note that there are a lot of grilling and smoked meat favorites that have made the list this year.

David Spivey, FIRE UP THE SMOKER AND THE GRILL! We’ve got more grilling and smoking recipes to try to share for 2018!

From smoky meat to slow cooking cabbage rolls, we’ve rounded up our 30 most popular recipes of 2017.  Whether you are looking for recipes to jump-start 2018 or a great way to finish out 2017, these delicious and most popular recipes are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face and empty dirty plates to your dishwasher!

Without further ado, here are our 30 Most Popular Recipes of 2017:

These homemade cheese and bean enchiladas are filled with beans and cheese then smothered in a robust enchilada sauce made from scratch. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#30 Cheese and Bean Enchiladas

These homemade cheese and bean enchiladas are filled with beans and cheese then smothered in a robust enchilada sauce made from scratch. (April 2014)

 

This quick and easy creamy basil vinaigrette can be used as a salad dressing, sauce for fish, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, or BLTs! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#29 Creamy Basil Vinaigrette

This quick and easy creamy basil vinaigrette can be used as a salad dressing, sauce for fish, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, or BLTs! (September 2015)

 

Mama's Christmas Cheese Ball is made with Velveeta, cream cheese and extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and coated in chopped pecans. It’s simplicity is delicious. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#28 Mama’s Christmas Cheese Ball

Mama’s Christmas Cheese Ball is made with Velveeta, cream cheese, and extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and coated in chopped pecans. Its simplicity is delicious. (December 2016)

 

This stuffed pineapple is a tropical paradise,. Juicy pineapple baked and caramelized with a coconut, ginger snap topping. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#27 Stuffed Pineapple

This stuffed pineapple is a tropical paradise. Juicy pineapple baked and caramelized with a coconut, gingersnap topping. (June 2015)

 

Carrot Cake Cheesecake is a great recipe mash-up. Cream cheese frosting is the best part carrot cake, so why not bake a cheesecake on top of a carrot cake? | TheMountainKitchen.com

#26 Carrot Cake Cheesecake

Carrot Cake Cheesecake is a great recipe mash-up. Cream cheese frosting is the best part carrot cake, so why not bake a cheesecake on top of a carrot cake? (November 2016)

 

Pan seared lemon pepper tuna steaks seasoned with homemade lemon pepper seasoning, seared in garlic and butter cooked medium rare to enhance the flavor. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#25 Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Tuna Steaks

Pan seared lemon pepper tuna steaks seasoned with homemade lemon pepper seasoning, seared in garlic and butter cooked medium rare to enhance the flavor. (February 2014)

 

This Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad is loaded with with cheese tortellini pasta, Italian salami, tangy sun-dried tomatoes and fresh spinach, topped with extra parmesan cheese and a savory homemade balsamic dressing. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#24 Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad

This Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad is loaded with pasta, salami, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach topped with parmesan cheese and balsamic dressing. (August 2016)

 

Loaded with big flavor, the smoked beef brisket skillet mac and cheese made with horseradish cheddar and decadently smothered bits of smoked beef brisket. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#23 Smoked Beef Brisket Skillet Mac and Cheese

Loaded with big flavor, the smoked beef brisket skillet mac and cheese made with horseradish cheddar and decadent smothered bits of smoked beef brisket. (March 2017)

 

Inspired by Julia child, this Chicken À L’Orange uses a sweet and savory chicken roasted with shallots and basted with a rosemary, orange marmalade glaze. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#22 Chicken À L’Orange

Inspired by Julia Child, this Chicken À L’Orange uses a sweet and savory chicken roasted with shallots and basted with a rosemary, orange marmalade glaze. (February 2015)

 

Curry Chicken broccoli casserole topped with a curry flavored sauce with lemon juice, topped with cheddar cheese and crunchy garlic flavored croutons. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#21 Curry Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Curry Chicken broccoli casserole topped with a curry-flavored sauce with lemon juice, topped with cheddar cheese and crunchy garlic flavored croutons. (November 2015)

 

Grilled cabbage browns and caramelizes with a nutty sweetness, with salty, crisp bacon, a combination of flavors that is nothing short of grill magic! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#20 Grilled Cabbage

Grilled cabbage browns and caramelizes with a nutty sweetness, with salty, crisp bacon, a combination of flavors that is nothing short of grill magic! (June 2015)

 

Sizzle burgers are fried ground beef patties seasoned with salt & pepper, in a pan with Worcestershire sauce and butter. Place them on a bun and enjoy! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#19 Sizzle Burgers

Sizzle burgers are fried ground beef patties seasoned with salt and pepper, in a pan with Worcestershire sauce and butter. Place them on a bun and enjoy! (November 2014)

 

You will love this crock-pot pork chop casserole. Delicious pork chops slow-cooked in a creamy sauce with potatoes, onion and cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#18 Crock-Pot Pork Chop Casserole

You will love this crock-pot pork chop casserole. Delicious pork chops slow-cooked in a creamy sauce with potatoes, onion, and cheese. (October 2015)

 

Bagels and lox is a simple sandwich made with chewy bagels smeared with a layer of cream cheese, capers, tomatoes and onion. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#17 Bagels and Lox

Bagels and lox is a simple sandwich made with chewy bagels smeared with a layer of cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and onion. (July 2015)

 

Baked spaghetti turns leftovers a brand new identity that perhaps even your pickiest eater will love! It's quick, simple and perfect for a weeknight! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#16 Baked Spaghetti

Baked spaghetti turns leftovers a brand new identity that perhaps even your pickiest eater will love! It’s quick, simple and perfect for a weeknight! (June 2015)

 

This easy to make one-pot vegetarian jambalaya is vegetable heavy with a flavorful mixture of Cajun seasonings, fire-roasted tomatoes, rice and beans.

#15 One-Pot Vegetarian Jambalaya

This easy to make one-pot vegetarian jambalaya is vegetable heavy with a flavorful mixture of Cajun seasonings, fire-roasted tomatoes, rice, and beans. (January 2017)

 

Mustard-Maple Pork Ribeye Roast is a tender, oven-baked pork roast finished with a sweet and sour mustard-maple sauce poured over top. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#14 Mustard-Maple Pork Ribeye Roast

Mustard-Maple Pork Ribeye Roast is a tender, oven-baked pork roast finished with a sweet and sour mustard-maple sauce poured over top. (April 2014)

 

A helpful step-by-step guide on how to make and can jalapeno jelly using water bath canning. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#13 Jalapeno Jelly

A helpful step-by-step guide on how to make and can jalapeno jelly using water bath canning.  (August 2016)

 

Applewood Smoked Pork Carnitas with Spicy Cabbage Slaw, shredded smoky bits of incredibly flavorful pork on top of a warm tortilla with spicy cabbage slaw. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#12 Applewood Smoked Pork Carnitas with Spicy Cabbage Slaw

Applewood Smoked Pork Carnitas with Spicy Cabbage Slaw, shredded smoky bits of incredibly flavorful pork on top of a warm tortilla with spicy cabbage slaw. (September 2016)

 

This Easy Cajun Rice is the perfect side dish to any of your Cajun dishes. Turn this side into an entrée by adding Cajun seasoned shrimp to the rice. Yum! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#11 Easy Cajun Rice

This Easy Cajun Rice is the perfect side dish to any of your Cajun dishes. Turn this side into an entrée by adding Cajun seasoned shrimp to the rice. Yum! (July 2016)

 

These freezer to crock-pot stuffed cabbage rolls can be turned into a quick and easy weeknight meal inside your crock-pot straight from the freezer. TheMountainKitchen.com

#10 Freezer to Crock-Pot Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

These freezer to crock-pot stuffed cabbage rolls can be turned into a quick and easy weeknight meal inside your crock-pot straight from the freezer. (June 2015)

 

David's 6 Steps To Smoked Baby Back Ribs - Smoking ribs is a true labor of love, but with some common knowlege and easy-to-follow steps you too can create mouthwatering, succulent and flavorful baby back ribs. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#9 Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Smoking ribs is a true labor of love, but with some common knowledge and David’s 6 Steps To Smoked Baby Back Ribs and easy-to-follow instructions you too can create mouthwatering, succulent and flavorful baby back ribs. (May 2016)

 

Learn how to make sweet pickles for canning to enjoy all year long with this wonderful pickling recipe for water bath canning. They're crispy and delicious! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#8 Sweet Pickles

Learn how to make sweet pickles for canning to enjoy all year-long with this wonderful pickling recipe for water bath canning. They’re crispy and delicious! (August 2016)

 

Fresh homemade saltine crackers simple to make, only take 30 minutes and require 4 ingredients and are so much better than store bought! Try this recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

#7 Homemade Saltine Crackers

Fresh homemade saltine crackers simple to make, only take 30 minutes and require 4 ingredients and are so much better than store-bought! Try this recipe! (November 2013)

 

Sexy Pork Chops are smothered in a wonderful zesty sauce made of white wine, chicken broth, and garlic then finished off with lemon and fresh herbs. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#6 Sexy Pork Chops

Sexy Pork Chops are smothered in a wonderful zesty sauce made of white wine, chicken broth, and garlic then finished off with lemon and fresh herbs. (June 2013)

 

 

David's 10 steps to succulent smoked BBQ pork picnic shoulder. By following these steps, you will have perfectly cooked meat that's tender, moist and juicy. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#5 Smoked Pork Picnic Shoulder

David’s 10 steps to succulent smoked BBQ pork picnic shoulder. By following these steps, you will have perfectly cooked meat that’s tender, moist and juicy. (September 215) 

 

Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast | This applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a blend of warm spices and smoked over a bed of coals and applewood. It is moist, tender and delicious. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#4 Applewood Smoked Turkey

This applewood smoked turkey breast is rubbed with a blend of warm spices and smoked over a bed of coals and applewood. It is moist, tender and delicious. (March 2016)

 

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#3 Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Lean, moist, and incredibly succulent, Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Tenderloin is seasoned with a blend of sweet, warm, savory spices, and smothered in BBQ sauce. (April 2016)

 

This smoked chuck roast is cheaper than prime rib, easier to get along with than brisket and it is a whole lot easier to come by in the grocery store. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#2 Smoked Chuck Roast

This smoked chuck roast is cheaper than prime rib, easier to get along with than brisket and it is a whole lot easier to come by in the grocery store. (December 2016)

 

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

AND AGAIN FOR ANOTHER YEAR, OUR #1 MOST POPULAR RECIPE FOR 2017 IS…….

The Mountain Kitchen Beef Brisket | The goal to a well cooked beef brisket is a thick moist slab of meat, with a crusty “bark”, a vivid smoke ring, and meat so smoky, you nearly gorge yourself into a food comma. | TheMountainKitchen.com

#1 The Mountain Kitchen Beef Brisket

The goal to a well-cooked beef brisket is a thick moist slab of meat, with a crusty “bark”, a vivid smoke ring, and meat so smoky, you nearly gorge yourself into a food coma. (July 2015)

 

These were the 30 most popular recipes made by the majority. I don’t think I could choose just one recipe from these most popular recipes to be my favorite. What is your favorite recipe from The Mountain Kitchen? Did your favorite recipe make the list? Comment below!