Category Archives: Protein

Madhur Jaffrey’s Instant Pot Dal Makkhani (with my tweaks)

I found this recipe at Food52, and just ordered her new Instant Pot cookbook!

  • 1 cup whole urad with skin (also called sabut ma; these are small and black in colour)
  • 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans (called rajma in Indian stores; I prefer the smaller ones)
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more, to taste)
  • 4 teaspoons peeled fresh ginger grated to a pulp (or from a tube)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic (or from a tube/jar)
  • 1 cup pureed or strained tomatoes or passata (I like passata)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • half a large onion, sliced very thinly (halve from roots to tip)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bright red paprika, mixed with
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder

IMPORTANT, IN ADVANCE: Wash the beans and soak them overnight in water that covers them generously. Drain them the following day.  Alternatively, put the beans into a large pot and cover generously with water.  On stovetop, bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, then let sit as is for a couple of hours.  Drain.

  1. Put the soaked and drained beans into the Instant Pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the ginger, garlic, tomatoes, chili powder, and 4 cups water. Close and seal the lid, then cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 30 minutes, and let the pressure drop by itself. Hit CANCEL to reset the cooking program.
  2. Open the lid carefully, venting the steam away from you. Stir the dal. Using a potato masher, crush the dal as much as you can. Taste, adding another 1/2 teaspoon salt as needed.
  3. Select the SAUTÉ setting and set to Normal. Stir in the 1 tablespoon butter, cream, and garam masala, heating through.
  4. Tarka: Put the oil or ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, arrange the onions in a single layer. Stir and fry them, turning now and then, until they turn reddish gold and crisp.
  5. Sprinkle the paprika/chili mixture over the top and quickly pour all the contents of the pan over the beans, spreading it out over the surface. I stir it right in and serve out of the Instant Pot!

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Filed under comfort food, food, Protein

Refried Beans (Instant Pot)

Put into the Instant Pot and stir till combined:

        • 2 cups dried, unsoaked pinto beans, washed and picked over
        • 3 cups vegetable stock or water (I use boiling water and stock paste from a jar)
        • 1 large onion, chopped
        • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
        • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced or chopped (leave seeds and ribs in)
        • 1 tsp paprika
        • 1 tsp ground cumin
        • 1 tsp chilli powder
        • 3/4 tsp salt
        • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
        • 1/2 cup tomato salsa, or some tomato paste and chopped tomatoes

Close lid of Instant Pot, and set to Manual > High Pressure > 30 minutes.  When pressure cooker beeps, either let stand for 10 minutes and open after releasing remaining pressure, or let pressure release naturally.

Mash the contents with a potato masher, or blend with a hand blender. 

Stir in:

        • handful of grated sharp cheddar cheese
        • handful of chopped red, or sweet, onion
        • small handful of chopped cilantro

Let it rest for a minute or two to let the cheese melt, then stir gently to combine.  It will thicken a great deal as it cools.

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Filed under dinner, food, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Breakfast Bake with Sausage and Peppers

Serves 4

  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • red or yellow onion, chopped
  • a couple of cloves of garlic, chopped
  • big drizzle of olive oil
  • Spike Seasoning to taste (or use any all-purpose seasoning mix that you like the flavor of)
  • fresh-ground black pepper to taste

 

  • 12 links (about 10 oz.) turkey breakfast sausage links

 

  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella, grated

Preheat oven to 450F

Spray a medium-sized baking dish with non-stick spray.

Put veggies into the baking dish, toss with ~1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning and fresh-ground black pepper, and put the dish in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

While the veggies cook, heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, add the sausages and cook over medium-high heat until they’re nicely browned on all sides, about 10-12 minutes.

Remove to cutting board, line them up, and cut sausages into bite-sized pieces (alternatively, cut up the sausages beforehand and saute the pieces).

When the peppers have cooked for 20 minutes, stir in the cooked sausages and bake for 5 minutes more.

Remove from oven, turn oven to BROIL, sprinkle the grated Mozzarella over the top and return dish to oven to broil for a couple of minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.

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Filed under Breakfast, dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, Vegetables, whole food

Instant Pot Refried Pinto Beans

Put into the Instant Pot and stir till combined:

        • 2 cups dried, unsoaked pinto beans, washed and picked over
        • 3 cups vegetable stock or water (I use boiling water and stock paste from a jar)
        • 1 large onion, chopped
        • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
        • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced or chopped (leave seeds and ribs in)
        • 1 tsp paprika
        • 1 tsp ground cumin
        • 1 tsp chilli powder
        • 3/4 tsp salt
        • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
        • 1/2 cup tomato salsa, or some tomato paste and chopped tomatoes

Close lid of Instant Pot, and set to Manual > High Pressure > 30 minutes.  When pressure cooker beeps, either let stand for 10 minutes and open after releasing remaining pressure, or let pressure release naturally.

Mash the contents with a potato masher, or blend with a hand blender. 

Stir in:

        • handful of grated sharp cheddar cheese
        • handful of chopped red, or sweet, onion
        • small handful of chopped cilantro

Let it rest for a minute or two to let the cheese melt, then stir gently to combine.  It will thicken a great deal as it cools.

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Filed under food, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Dal Makhani in the Instant Pot

(adapted from http://www.twosleevers.com)

This recipe easily doubles, however, I use a little less than 2x the water.

Place in Instant Pot:

    • 1/2 cup whole black urad dal, washed and picked through for stones, etc
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 2 tsp minced ginger
    • 1 1/2 cups water

Set manually at high pressure, for 30 minutes.  Let the pressure release naturally.  When pressure has returned to normal, remove the lid and lightly mash some of the dal (to your preference).  Do not drain the dal.

While the dal is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together, and set aside:

    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup half-and-half, whipping cream, or cashew cream
    • 1 tsp salt

In a small frying pan or saucepan, melt:

    • 2 tsp ghee

In the hot ghee, gently toast:

    • 1/2 tsp turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala
    • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds

To the pan, add, cook, and stir:

    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

When the tomato paste has absorbed the ghee, remove from heat to cool a little.  Whisk this mixture into the yogurt/cream mixture.

Add the yogurt/spices mixture to the cooked dal in the Instant Pot, and stir gently until combined.

Add a small handful of:

    • finely chopped cilantro

Stir gently, and let the cilantro heat through. 

Serve with brown basmati.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Chickpea Vegetable Stew in the Instant Pot

My take on a recipe found on the Instant Pot web site.  It could just as easily be done on a stovetop!

Pictures of ingredients and finished stew

Making Chickpea Vegetable Stew using chickpeas done in the Instant Pot

Serve over top of whole wheat couscous or brown rice.

Sauté in the Instant Pot:

        • 1 Tbsp butter (use olive oil if you want it to be vegan)
        • 1 large onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
        • 1 large carrot, diced (about .5 to 1 cup)
        • 4 cups cauliflower florets
        • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
        • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
        • big handful of green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
        • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
        • 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced

When onion is translucent, add and sauté the spices until they are fragrant:

        • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
        • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
        • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
        • 1/4 tsp Indian red chilli powder, or cayenne
        • 2 tsp turmeric
        • 2 tsp kosher salt

Turn off sauté and add to the Instant Pot:

        • 2 or 3 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
        • 1 28oz can stewed tomatoes, drained and cut up with scissors
        • 1 can coconut milk, 13.5oz

Stir gently to mix.  Put the lid onto the Instant Pot, and select “Soup”, reducing the cook time to 10 minutes.  Do a quick release when the time is up. 

If desired, add a handful of:

  • cilantro, finely chopped
  • toasted cashews or other nuts, chopped (can also use as garnish)

And stir. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

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Filed under dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot

In a blender puree together:

      • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, UNdrained
      • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and chopped
      • 2 TBSP fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped (or use the tube kind)

When smooth, blend in:

      • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
      • 3/4 cup whipping cream
      • 2 tsp kosher salt

Turn the Instant Pot on to “Sauté” and add:

      • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted, or ghee

When the butter is hot, brown both sides of:

      • 12, or up to about 20 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Do this in batches so as not to crowd the pot.  When pieces are browned, put them into a bowl.

When all chicken has been browned, and removed from the Instant Pot, in the hot butter sauté until golden:

    • 1 cooking onion, finely chopped

To the golden onion, stir in:

      • 2 tsp ground cumin
      • 1 TBSP paprika

Stir for about 30 seconds, then add the blender-mixture, along with the chicken & its accumulated juices. Stir very gently to combine. Cancel the “Sauté” command.

Put the lid on, and lock it into place.  Ensure that the vent is set to closed.

Select manual “HIGH” pressure, and 5 minutes cook time.

When timer beeps, turn the Instant Pot off, and let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, use a quick pressure release to let out any remaining pressure; watch out for steam!

The fat will have floated to the top of the butter chicken. Skim off about 3 to 4 TBSP of the hot butter putting it into a small bowl.  Into the small bowl of hot butter, whisk in until very smooth:

      • 2 TBSP all purpose flour

Select “Sauté” again, then stir in:

      • 2 tsp garam masala
      • 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground up (toast in dry frying pan and crush them before hand)
      • the butter and flour mixture that is in the small bowl

Bring to a boil, and cook for a few minutes to thicken.  Turn off Instant Pot and add:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 firmly packed minced fresh cilantro

Stir gently, and serve.

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Filed under dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Korean-BBQ-Inspired Beef Bowl

Serve on cooked brown rice; add any other veggies that appeal.

The Sauce:

  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Whisk the above ingredients together in a small bowl, and set aside.

The Beef:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 medium-sized cooking onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3⁄4 cups frozen peas
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, and cook until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  3. Add ground beef and sauté, breaking it apart, until no pink remains. Drain off excess fat.
  4. Add the peas and the sauce, mix well, and cook until hot.
  5. Serve immediately, on top of cooked brown rice.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 small cooking onion, diced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups dry macaroni
  • 1 cup to 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 2 tins tuna, drained and flaked

 

Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs (or other crunchy crumbs)

 

Heat oven to 350F.  Butter an 8” x 8” glass baking dish, and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While making the sauce, cook macaroni according to package directions, drain, and set aside in its pot. Do not rinse!

Heat butter in medium sized saucepan, and add celery and onion.  Sauté, without browning, for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add jalapeno and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add the seasoning and flour to the vegetable mixture, stir and cook for about 1 minute.  Add milk, and stir till smooth. Bring to a gentle boil, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the mustard, then stir mixture into sauce. Stir in the ¾ cup cheese.

Add the peas and the tuna to the hot mixture.  Gently stir until combined.  Pour into the buttered pan, and even out with back of spoon.

Mix the topping ingredients together in a medium bowl (I use my fingers).  Sprinkle topping evenly over casserole.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and browned.

 

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Low Carb Pizza Crust

This is the best non-flour pizza crust I’ve found; it’s very flavourful, and not dry and crumbly. I think if it were pressed very thinly and baked longer, it would make delicious crackers.  Based on a recipe at ruled.me

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (I like PC Italian in the grinder)
  • pinch salt (or 1/2 tsp if your Italian seasoning doesn’t have any in it)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 ounces (3Tbsp) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (or 4 ounces mozzarella and 4 ounces cheddar)
  • 1 large egg, whisked lightly

Preheat oven to 400F.

  1. Whisk together the almond flour, psyllium, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, place the cheese, and microwave at 50% power until it is melted just enough to stir it.
  3. Stir the melted cheese until smooth, then dump in the dry ingredient mixture.  Mix well — this takes some time!
  4. While the cheese is still warm, add the cream cheese, preferably in little pieces at a time.  Stir like crazy.
  5. Add the whisked egg, and again, stir like mad with a sturdy spoon.  The mixture will be sticky, not bread-dough-like.
  6. Grease a pizza pan REALLY well, or use greased parchment paper on a pan, and scrape the dough into the centre.  With very well oiled hands, gently pat and press the dough out to the edges. 
  7. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven, and run a thin spatula under the crust, so that you can flip it.  When the crust is loosened, place a cutting board on top of it, and keeping the pan and the board together, flip the whole thing over.  Hopefully it will come out, but if it doesn’t, just repeat the process. 
  9. Slide the upside-down crust back onto the pan, adding more oil to the pan if it looks dry.
  10. Bake for another 2-4 minutes.
  11. Use while hot to make a pizza, or save it to make pizza later.  Add toppings of your choice, and bake for 5 minutes or so.

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Filed under dinner, food, Protein, whole food

Turkey Patties II

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (or 1/2 tsp paprika + 1/2 tsp smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • big pinch of cayenne
  1. With two forks, combine all ingredients; try not to compact the ground turkey. The mixture will be sticky.
  2. Heat up a non-stick skillet, then form mixture into three or four patties, one patty at a time, gently placing each into the pan as they are formed.
  3. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  4. Serve in a bun, or with a salad of greens, tomatoes, and avocados dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Speedy Curried Coconut Lentils

adapted from Alexandra Stafford’s delicious recipe at Food52

Serves: 4
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced (I use the fresh stuff in a tube)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds PLUS ½ tsp ground cumin (or 1tsp of either)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup split red lentils (they’re orange prior to cooking, then turn yellow-ish when cooked)
  • 1 398ml can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • the empty coconut can filled with water
  • 1 tsp salt (or use 2 tsp kosher)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

[to serve, see below, after step 3]

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, slowly sauté the ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, and turmeric for about 10 minutes, or when all of the onion is softened, and the spices are very fragrant.
  2. Add the lentils, coconut milk, salt, and the emptied coconut can full of water. Stir together.
  3. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are completely soft, about 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Turn off heat. This will be quite loose, or soupy.
  4. Add the cilantro and stir gently until incorporated. Check for salt, and adjust, if necessary.

*To serve:

  • Ladle on top of hot brown rice, then top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a tiny sprinkle of cilantro. You could also use basmati 🙂
  • I love this beside, or on top of steamed, chopped fresh spinach.
  • Whole wheat naan is great with this.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Spinach Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

Adapted from “Budget Bytes”
6 servings

 

  • 225g mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped again
  • 57g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ to 1 tsp fresh or dried herbs of choice (I like za’atar)
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350F, and coat a 9” pie plate with non-stick spray.

Sauté the mushrooms, garlic, and pinch of salt and pepper in a non-stick skillet until mushrooms are soft and all of their moisture has evaporated away, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Spread the spinach across the bottom of the pie plate, then top with the mushrooms, and finally, the feta cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture carefully over the ingredients in the pie pan.

Top with the mozzarella.

Place the pie dish onto a baking sheet, and place in oven.  Bake for 45 minutes or so, until top is golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Filed under Breakfast, dinner, food, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Black Bean and Corn Patties

This is a recipe from Food52.  Smoked paprika is a must, as is a food processor.  We serve on top of mixed greens dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, and top the patty with N’s Killer Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and thinly sliced red onions (we don’t think it would taste good on a bun).

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cupscooked black beans, DIVIDED (or approximately 1 1/2 cans, rinsed and drained) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3  quick oats, plus extra as needed
  • 3/4 cups fresh corn cut from cobs
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil for eight to ten minutes, or until golden, soft, and fragrant.
  2. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, sea salt, and peppers to taste. Stir in the sauté pan till spices toast lightly.
  3. Add 2 cups of the beans and stir to coat with the spices and onions.  Turn off heat.
  4. Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and pulse them a few times. Add the onion, garlic, and bean mixture. Process everything together, until it’s well combined but still has texture.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the last cup of black beans and the corn, and mix well with your hands. Check for seasoning and season to taste. If the mixture is too mushy to form into patties, add a little more oats or bread crumbs.
  6. Shape mixture into six patties. Pan fry them in olive oil until golden on each side, and heated through.

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Filed under food, Protein, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Aarti Sequeira’s Keema

Love her recipes!

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~ 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp good garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tsp malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and add onions; cook until golden (do not rush this step)
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute.  Stir in the spices, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up lumps with a spoon, and sauté until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, and cook another 5 minutes, partially covered.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve with warm chapatis, or over rice.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Quick Falafels with Tzatziki

Though this is quick and easy, it requires pre planning so that the chickpeas can be soaked overnight, and then air dried for two hours.

Falafels*:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked overnight
  • 1 small yellow onion, chunked
  • 1 bunch flat-leafed parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece bread
  • big pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lemon
  1. Drain the chickpeas and let air dry for 2 hours or more.
  2. In food processor on low speed, whirl the ingredients until a thick paste forms. No lumps or chunks, or your balls/patties will fall apart!
  3. Form into patties and let rest while Tzatziki is made.
  4. Fry patties in canola oil on medium high heat for 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
  5. Serve with the tzatziki in whole wheat pita bread. Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Tzatziki
Pulse in food processor, just until blended:

  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chunked
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ bunch mint (or less, to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of one lemon

* for authentic — and delicious  — falafel, see Habeeb Salloum’s Falafel

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Filed under Protein, Sauce, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Cheeseburger Pasta Toss

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and minced
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 4 cups dried fusillii noodles
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, until brown all over. Drain excess fat.
  2. Increase heat, and add onions, green pepper, and garlic (add other vegetables, if using). Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juice, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, while you bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. When water boils, add noodles, and cook till al dente, according to package directions.   Drain, reserving a bit of pasta water to loosen the noodles, if necessary.
  5. In the large pot, combine the noodles with the ground beef mixture. The ground beef mixture should be fairly dry, not soupy.
  6. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with more cheese.
  8. If desired, pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with more cheese, and bake or broil till cheese is browned.

Note: Add any other vegetables you wish to — corn niblets cut off of the cob, a handful of broccoli or cabbage slaw, shredded carrot.  Anything goes!

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Protein

Vegetarian Chili à la Podleski

This recipe — more of a stew than a child — was created by the wonderful Janet and Greta Podleski, of “Looney Spoons” fame.  We’ve never made one of their recipes and not liked it!  Their books are full of nutrition information and useful trivia.

I chop everything into the size that makes it palatable for everyone, and sometimes add some eggplant along with the mushrooms and zucchini.  For those who prefer meat, they can just fry up some ground beef and put it into a smaller pot with some of the vegetarian chili.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup  chopped green  bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 can (12 oz) no salt whole-kernal corn UNDRAINED (I usually use frozen corn, and add a bit of water)
  • 1 can (19oz) no salt chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (19 oz) no salt black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced, no salt tomatoes UNDRAINED
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup unpeeled, diced zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, red and green peppers, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Add mushrooms and zucchini.  Cook and stir for 4 more minutes.

Add child powder, cumin, oregano, and basil.  Cook for 1 more minute.

Add undrained tomatoes, the beans and chickpeas, undrained corn, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve with brown rice, or cornbread.

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Filed under dinner, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetables

Tuna Croquettes à la Alton Brown

  • 2 tins flaked tuna, drained and well shredded by hand (original recipe calls for a 7 ounce pouch of tuna)
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil for sautéing
  1. Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup panko crumbs into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Using a small handful of the mixture, form a flattened patty, and place on a cookie sheet or plate.  Repeat with remaining mixture until all of it is used up.
  3. Allow the patties to rest for 15 minutes
  4. Place remaining 1/2 cup of panko onto a large plate. One at a time, coat each round in the panko on all sides.
  5. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a 12″ pan over medium heat until shimmering.
  6. Add the croquettes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove to a cooling rack set over paper-towel-covered cookie sheet ( I just put them directly onto paper towel, and skip the cooling rack)
  8. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

I like to serve these with a sauce created by mixing together:

  • 1 part mayonnaise
  • 1 part sour cream
  • dill, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sometimes a finely chopped dill pickle, again, to taste
  • sometimes some very finely chopped green or red onion
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Protein, Sauce

Hashbrown Egg Breakfast Casserole

Serves 4 to 6 people

  • 16 ounces frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 thin deli slices smoked ham, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar, shredded and divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 11” x 7” casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the hashbrowns, ham, green onions, and 1 cup of the cheese. Turn into greased casserole dish.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over the potato mixture.
  4. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheese on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  6. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Good with hot sauce!

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Filed under food, Protein