One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paella

One Skillet Cod and Sausage

I’m not a big fan of boxed rice mixes because of the sodium and preservatives. But like most families I am always looking for shortcuts, but I try to find healthier versions which are lower in sodium and fat. But when I find a product that makes my life easier I will incorporate my own ingredients into the recipe to make a quicker healthier dish.

I found this McCormick Paella Rice Mix at our local Jungle Jim’s food market. It had been in my pantry since October. Jungle Jim’s is a Cincinnati specialty grocery and a regional favorite. If you are ever in the Cincinnati area it is must see for foodies.

I had taken cod loins out of the freezer earlier in the day and wasn’t sure how I was going to fix them. The kids love cod made into homemade fish nuggets. I need to post the recipe for cod nuggets but it is usually a last-minute dinner idea and not on my food blog agenda. So the rice mix in the pantry and voila, Paella.

Paella (Valencian: [paˈeʎa] or [pəˈeʎə], Spanish: [paˈeʎa], is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-nineteenth century near Albufera lagoon, a coastal lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.[1] The dish is widely regarded as Spain’s national dish

The three best known types of paella are Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe[citation needed] and consists of white rice, large white beans, flat green beans, tomato, meat (chicken and rabbit), salt, oil, water and seasoning such as saffron, rosemary and occasionally lemon. Optional ingredients include artichoke, pepper and chicken liver. Seafood paella replaces meats with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans.  All types of paellas use olive oil.

Courtsey of

To make this a more substantial meal for my family of five, I added a bag of Uncle Ben’s Ready long and brown rice, 90 seconds in the microwave and it is ready to go. I also had mixed sausages in the freezer, so I added them. You can substitute any type of proteins in this dish, as it is very versatile, such as shrimp, chicken, white fish or sausages. If chorizo is to spicy for your taste, substitute Italian sausage.

One pot, 40 minute dish, start to finish. This dish would make a great Lenten meal just leave out the chorizo and add shrimp with the cod.

Check out my Cheap Meal Guide at the bottom of the post.

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Continue reading One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paella

Orecchette Pasta with Chicken Meatballs in a Mushroom Marsala Sauce

mushrooms and chicken with orchettie

When I want to decompress, or relax; I cook. Sometimes I drink and cook, but might do my best cooking with this combination. A couple of days ago I picked a box of DeCecco brand orecchiette (little ears) pasta from Jungle Jim’s. Jungle Jim’s is our local foodie market and is one of the best around. I highly recommend looking it up or stopping by for some great food and ideas.

I decided to use the orecchiette with a mushroom sauce using what I had at the house with a quick stop at Kroger’s.

Here is what I came up with and the family loved it! I think you will also.

This dish sounds more difficult than it really is. This dish is fancy enough for a dinner party but also easy enough for a weeknight meal or Sunday dinner.

Continue reading Orecchette Pasta with Chicken Meatballs in a Mushroom Marsala Sauce