I love to cook, but sometimes I get into bad routines where I will cook the same things over and over again. And no matter how much you like something, if you eat it every week, every time you baked chicken or prepare a traditional mexican meal, it will get old eventually.

So with that in mind, here are some of my favorite recipes with a twist.

Red Beans and Rice with Veggies

7 Great Recipes for Homemade Classics
Credit: Opensource
  • 2 cans of red beans or half 1 lb bag
  • ½ lb. of smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped and diced
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Thyme and Parsley
  • Coconut Oil
  • Uncooked rice

Rinse the red beans in a colander and fill the cans with water and set everything to the side.

Pour the coconut oil into a large skillet so that the entire bottom is covered. Place the sausage in the skillet and fry. After a couple of minutes, season with salt and pepper.  After another couple of minutes, add the onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook everything until the sausage is cooked.

Pour the beans and the water into the skillet and cover the contents on the stove. Leave the heat so that the mixture is frying inside.

Next, add the garlic, tobacco, thyme and parsley as the mixture starts to boil.

Begin boiling the rice on another burner.

Keep the red beans mixture on high until it has been boiling for a minute or two, then lower to a simmer, stirring often. The rice and the beans should finish at around the same time if you timed everything right in these directions.

After 10 minutes of simmering, taste a few of the red beans to make sure they are the way you prefer them, then remove from heat.  Serve the bean mixture over the rice and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Roast Chicken with Lemon

Roasted Chicken
Credit: Michael J. Bennett via Wikimedia Commons
  • 2 ½ lb. of chicken
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 2 pieces of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper

First, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash all of the chicken thoroughly in cold water, inside and out. Cut away all fat and skin from the chicken. Place the chicken in a colander and allow all of the water to drain.

Afterward, dry the chicken with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper, rubbing it inside as well.

Rinse off the lemons, dry them, then punch holes in them with a fork. Place the rosemary sprigs in the chicken cavity, then place the lemons in the cavity. The lemons will keep the chicken very moist. Close up the openings with toothpicks.

Place the chicken on a roasting rack with the chicken breast facing down and put it in the oven on the highest rack.

Cook for 20 minutes until the chicken starts to brown. After that, turn the chicken and place the breast facing up.

Now up the temperature of the oven to 475 degrees. Cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your oven.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Sour Cream Enchiladas
Credit: mjpyro
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ lb. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 can chopped chilies
  • 1 pint of sour cream
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 dozen tortillas

First, brown the ground beef. Place some oil in a skillet and fry the tortillas for 15 seconds on each side on medium heat.

Fill each tortilla with the meat of your choice, onions and grated cheese, then roll up. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan, mix the chilies, sour cream and soup over medium heat for 5 minutes. Next, pour the sauce over the stuffed tortillas in a glass casserole dish. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Black Bean Salad
Credit: Daniel Sone via Wikimedia Commons

Black Bean Salad

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped and diced
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 limes juiced in ½ cup
  • 2 tbsp. of parsley
  • 2 tbsp. of cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. of cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the drained beans, drained corn, green onions and bell peppers in a large bowl and set to the side.

In a separate small mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the olive oil, lime juice, parsley, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper together. Pour the sauce over the bean corn mixture in the large bowl and stir until well blended. Serve immediately.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

7 Great Recipes for Homemade Classics
Credit: Opensource


  • 1 lb of cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Add salt and pepper as desired


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Place it in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes making sure all of the cheese has melted. When ready, remove the pan and let it cool for 5 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and stir the macaroni and cheese.  

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Blackened Trout

Blackened Trout
Credit: Shyqo via Wikimedia Commons
  • 4 rainbow trout fillets
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. of paprika
  • 2 ½ tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp. of white pepper
  • ¾ tsp. of black pepper
  • ½ tsp of thyme
  • ½ tsp. of oregano
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder

Preheat a large skillet on the stove. While the skillet is heating, combine all seasoning in a small bowl.  Place the butter in a small bowl and melt it in the microwave.

Dip each fillet in the melted butter, then dip it in the bowl with the seasoning mix.

Place the fillets in the hot skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side until it is blackened.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettucine Alfredo
Credit: Robert Banh via WikiCommons
  • 12 oz. of cooked fettuccine
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup of whipped cream
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. of ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
  • 10 oz. of one of the following: cooked crab, shrimp or cooked

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and sauté until golden brown. Stir in the cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Add the meat of your choice and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the fettuccine is a large bowl and toss until blended. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

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Final Thoughts

Give those a try to mix things up with your usual meal. And if all else fails, you could always try making some of your restaurant favorites to surprise your guest.

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