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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Filed under dinner, food, Main Course, Protein

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

Peanut-Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles

Serves: 4 to 8 

Slaw:

  • 4 ounces dry soba noodles
  • 1 small purple  cabbage, cut into vertical quarters, core removed
  • 4 carrots, peeled or scrubbed
  • 1 bunch green onions, roots trimmed, then sliced into thin rounds

Peanut-sesame dressing

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (fresh in a tube is fine)
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

 Garnish

  • Healthy handful of coarsely chopped peanuts for each serving
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  1. Cook the soba noodles: bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Put the noodles onto a cutting board (in a mound), and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Using a sharp chef’s knive, shred the cabbage; grate the carrots with a grater. You could add a few shredded Brussel’s sprouts or some shredded kale.
  3. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. If it’s too thick, whisk in very warm water in 1 tablespoon increments until it becomes pourable; don’t add too much!
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked soba noodles and the vegetables. Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  5. Top each serving with peanuts, and squeeze a lime wedge over top.

1 Comment

Filed under food, Main Course, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Brown Rice: quick and easy

Rice tastes much better this way, and it’s quicker than simmering it in less water, in a covered pot.  We use parboiled brown.

  • Fill a medium pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of rice per person.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down till it is boiling gently, then leave lid off and boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water — I use a seive — and season with salt, pepper, and butter.

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

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

We made this at work today, and it was super quick and easy.  Based on Mairlyn Smith’s recipe in her book “Healthy Starts Here!“.

The soup:

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 x 540ml tin of garlic & olive oil diced tomatoes (or just diced tomatoes)
  • 1 x 540ml tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh)
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, or use garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The topping:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 5)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes or slices
  • 1 lime, scrubbed well, and cut into wedges
  • 40 unsalted whole-grain corn tortilla chips, or 4 fresh corn tortillas

 

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a soup pot.
  2. Add the undrained tomatoes, black beans, corn, salsa, hot sauce, cumin, and garlic; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro, stir, and remove from heat.
  3. Ladle the soup into 4 deep soup bowls. Sprinkle each portion with the green onions, avocado, dividing evenly.
  4. Squeeze a lime wedge or two into each bowl. Crumble 10 tortilla chips into each bowl and stir gently. If using fresh tortillas, just tear into bite-sized pieces and add to each bowl.

 

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Filed under food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

The Food Lab on Hard Boiled Eggs

I’m a huge fan of J. Kenji López-Alt, and this article is terrific, as usual.

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, where he unravels the science of home cooking. A restaurant-trained chef and former Editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine, he is the author of the New York Times best-selling cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, available now wherever books are sold.

Easy-peel Hard Boiled Eggs, a la Serious Eats’ J.Kenji Lopez-Alt

You’ll need a large pot and a steamer basket, and some cold eggs.

  1. Ensure that the eggs are straight out of the fridge; warmer will not work with this method.
  2. If serving eggs cold, add 1 tray of ice cubes to a large bowl and fill with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water. Place steamer insert inside, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Add eggs to steamer basket, cover, and continue cooking 6 minutes for soft boiled or 12 minute for hard.
  5. Serve immediately if serving hot.
  6. If serving cold, immediately place eggs in a bowl of ice water and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Putting them in the fridge for a few hours overnight will make them easier to peel. When thoroughly chilled, peel the eggs under cool running water.

 

 

 

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Filed under Blogroll, food, Tips

Kristen’s Granola

Best on top of yogurt with fruit.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp honey, warmed (added half way through baking)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In large bowl, toss oats with almonds, flour, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. Over the stove, or in the microwave melt the butter in the maple syrup. Add it to the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly coated.
  4. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola in center of oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the granola, and drizzle the honey over top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes longer, stirring once more, until golden and nearly dry.
  8. Turn off the oven and prop the door open half way; let the granola cool completely in the oven, stirring occasionally.

Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about three weeks.

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Filed under Breakfast, Grains, 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

Maple Quinoa Granola

This is based on a recipe at Food52, by “spacekase” — I’ve adapted it, ingredient-wise and quantities-wise to my own preferences.  The quinoa adds a definite crunch; use quinoa flakes if you don’t like the whole quinoa.

Maple Quinoa Granola

Maple Quinoa Granola

Preheat oven to 225F

Mix together in a large bowl, then set aside:

  • 2 cups whole rolled oats (not the instant kind)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, the pre-rinsed kind (like Bob’s Mill)
  • 1 cup raw nuts, coarsely chopped (any kind that you like — I use walnuts & sliced almonds)
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped if big (I like apricots, dried cranberries & dried cherries)

For the coating, whisk together until thoroughly combined:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid/melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture, and stir until everything is completely coated.

Spread the mixture evenly into a large roaster, or onto a large cookie sheet, so that it covers the entire bottom.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, food, Grains, whole food

Browned flour for thickening

In a dry skillet over medium heat, add a cup or two of all purpose flour and stir gently until it’s browned.  Let the flour cool completely, and store in an airtight container; it will keep for roughly a year.

I now use this toasted flour for thickening gravy, as it magically dissolves into the liquid — even hot — without clumping, and the making of a roux is not necessary!

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Filed under Sauce

Moroccan-style Vegetable Pie with Chickpea Crust

This recipe is from CBC’s “Best Recipes Ever

 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper or red pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned chickpeas
  • 1 cup (250 mL) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add yellow pepper, zucchini, cauliflower and chickpeas; fry, stirring often, until pepper is softened, 8 minutes.

Add pasta sauce and lemon juice; cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. Stir in peas, fresh coriander and almond butter; let cool. (Make-ahead: refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; to continue, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.)

Chickpea Crust*:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) rinsed drained canned chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp milk

Meanwhile, in food processor, pulse together chickpeas, butter, 3 tbsp (50 mL) cold water, salt, cumin and turmeric until crumbly. Add flour; pulse until combined.*

Turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Cut in half; roll out each to 10-inch (25 cm) circle. Line 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate with 1 of the circles; spoon in vegetable mixture. Lightly brush pastry edge with some of the milk. Top with remaining pastry; trim edge. Using tines of fork, press edges together to seal and crimp. Brush top with remaining milk; slash steam vents.

Bake in bottom third of 400°F (200°C) oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

*Note:  I had to add about 2T more butter, and 3T more cold water to make the dough hold together enough to knead it.

Servings: 6

2 Comments

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

The Nöel’s Texas BBQ Sauce

This is Jamie’s mom’s recipe; Pat made it and brushed it on chicken while we were there for dinner, and it was absolutely delicious!

  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard (like Keen’s)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

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