Curried Lamb Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hearty, Warming Autumn or Winter Dish of Curried Lamb, Fruit and Acorn Squash

Perfect for a fall or winter meal, this entree is warming and filling but not at all heavy. Adjust the spices to add or reduce heat as you prefer. For a sweeter dish, add additional dried fruit. Serve with the tossed salad and a pinot noir for a very satisfying supper on a chilly evening.

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 acorn squash — halved, seeded
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup onion — finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic — finely minced
1/2 cup dried apricots halves — finely diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts — chopped
1 tablespoon dried mint flakes
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon baharat spice — or combination of cinnamon, curry and ginger
1/2 cup hummus
1/2 cup feta cheese — crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350. Halve the acorn squash, remove seeds and cut a small slice from the bottom to provide a flat surface. Roast the squash, cut side down for 45 minutes on a lightly greased piece of foil.

Saute the lamb, garlic and onion until done, breaking the lamb into small pieces as it cooks.

Add the walnuts, apricots, and raisins. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add the spices (curry, baharat, and mint) and stir in the hummus. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until the squash is done.

Fill the squash halves with the lamb mixture, top with the feta cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cooked through and browned on top.


Start to Finish Time:
“1:15”
Ratings : easy
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 823 Calories; 54g Fat (57.2% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 59g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 109mg Cholesterol; 681mg Sodium; 18g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 311mg Calcium; 6mg Iron; 1570mg Potassium; 529mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Challah for Rosh Hashanah

Make this bread by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook. Either method works, but there is something very soul-satisfying about handmixing and kneading bread, especially for holiday meals. You may use either all purpose or bread flour. I prefer White Lily bread flour for it’s lighter results. Depending on your location you may not need all four cups of flour. The dough will be soft, and a bit sticky because of the fruit, but it should be firm enough to shape and bread. Most bakers work by touch, so rely on your own instincts as to when the dough is right consistency. This bread will fill your home with wonderful aromas, and the taste is the essence of a holiday. I made this once for a group of college kids celebrating Rosh Hashanah away from home. They, especially the guys, took less than five minutes to finish it off! In the unlikely case that you have leftovers, use them for French Toast. My husband says “top it apricot jam and whipped cream and have it for dessert.”

Serves 12.

Start to finish time: 4 hours.

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1/4 cup dried apricot halves — cut in small dice
1/4 cup raisins
1 medium apple — one cup when peeled, cored and cut in small dice
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon — or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon cardamom — or more to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter — melted
3 large eggs — or two large duck eggs, if available
4 cups bread flour — all purpose flour works too!
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar

Place the apricots raisins and apples in the boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and squeeze dry. Combine with the cinnamon, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let cool to room temperature.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the eggs, melted butter and sugar and beat to mix well. Stir in the prepared fruit. (by hand or in stand mixer)

Stir the salt into one cup of the flour. Add the flour one cup at a time to produce a soft but workable dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead about eight minutes. (2 minutes if using a stand mixer)

Place dough into an oiled or greased bowl, turning once to oil the top. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes. If your oven has a proofing setting, use it. If not, let the dough rise in the oven with the light on.

Gently punch down the dough, form or braid it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with sugar. Return to oven for second rising (about 30 to 45 minutes)

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending upon your oven. The loaf should be firm, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Cool on a rack to room temperature, and wrap in foil until you reheat for serving. If made in advance, this freezes beautifully. Reheat, still wrapped in foil at 170 degrees.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 280 Calories; 6g Fat (20.1% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 72mg Cholesterol; 245mg Sodium; 12g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 24mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 165mg Potassium; 90mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Low Carb Dark Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake


“A sugar free crustless cheese cake prepared in the blender and baked in a water bath. To reduce the carbs even further, omit the cherries.”

Recipe By : Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time 5:15
Categories : Dessert, Low Carb,

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 pound cream cheese — full fat
1 cup ricotta cheese — whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring
2/3 cup no calorie sweetener like Splenda — divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 Ounces unsweetened baking chocolate — divided
2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces frozen cherries — unsweetened

Slowly melt half the unsweetened chocolate. Keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8 inch spring form pan with a baking spray.

Place the eggs, 1/2 cup of the Splenda, cream cheese, ricotta, vanilla and cocoa powder in the blender. Blend at high speed for about 3 minutes or until completely mixed.

Stir in the chocolate and blend again to mix.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Place that pan in a larger pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned on top. Let cool to room temperature (about one hour).

Remove from the spring form pan, cover and chill at least 4 hours.

When ready to glaze, combine the remaining chocolate, butter and Splenda and melt together.

Arrange the thawed drained cherries on top of the cake. Pour the chocolate glaze over in a decorative pattern. Return to the refrigerator.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 340 Calories; 29g Fat (74.7% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 116mg Cholesterol; 185mg Sodium; 4g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 114mg Calcium; 4mg Iron; 332mg Potassium; 198mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Blue Cheese Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms

The filling for these savory first course mushrooms is inspired by a 1970’s recipe for a cold roast beef platter. It featured a rare beef tenderloin wrapped around a blue cheese and walnut center. You can certainly use this recipe as the starting point for such a buffet entree, but if you don’t mix meat and dairy at meals, you can use this to turn mushroom caps into a little bit of heaven. They can be made in less than and hour and if you are not ready to serve them right away, they can be cooled, chilled and reheated later (in either a microwave or a slow oven.) For a main course, use the walnut cheese mixture to fill portabello caps. This very versatile filling can also be used to stuff artichoke bottoms, or as a topping for baked potatoes. In any case, it will provide the basis of a stand-out dish and won’t stay around for long! Low-carb, gluten-free and keto-friendly.

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large mushroom caps — stems removed
3 ounces cream cheese — softened
1/4 cup blue cheese — crumbled
1/4 cup walnuts — broken and toasted
1/4 teaspoon chives, freeze-dried
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 dash granulated garlic
1 dash onion powder — dried, granulated

In the olive oil, slowly saute the mushroom caps, turning once, until they release and reabsorb all their moisture. Drain on paper towels and let cool.

Combine the remaining ingredients (cheeses, walnuts and spices) and mix thoroughly.

Use you hands to mold the filling into the mushroom caps. Moistening your hands will make it easier.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden brown. For more golden color, run them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Suggested Wine: A crisp White Bordeaux is a great compliment for this dish.


Ratings : easy 0
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 294 Calories; 27g Fat (81.1% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 33mg Cholesterol; 407mg Sodium; 2g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 112mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 309mg Potassium; 176mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Coconut Custard (Dairy-Free, Low-Carb and Gluten-Free)

ramiken custard2

This is one of my go-to desserts for Shabbat Suppers. It’s is quick, easy and accommodates most diets…especially those emphasizing fewer carbs. And because it is parve and dairy-free it’s a good dessert for a meat meal. This diary free coconut custard comes together vert quickly, cooks in about 45 minutes and even allowing for a couple of hours to chill, can be prepared the same day as you intend to serve it. Enjoy!

Serve with fresh fruit. Strawberries or Mandarin Orange slices are especially nice.

Ingredients:

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
4 large eggs
1/2 cup zero calorie sweetener — (Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel
1/4 cup coconut
1 2/3 cups Thai Unsweetened Lite Coconut Milk — (one 14.5 oz. can)

Method:

In a large measuring cup (4-5cups) or a medium bowl, thorougly whisk together the eggs, sweetener, vanilla and dried orange peel.

Add the coconut and coconut milk and whisk to combine.

Set 4 (6oz) ramikens or custard cups in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Fill the cups with the custard mixture, and pour hot (not boiling water) into the pan to a depth of about halfway up the custard cups.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (until top is golden and a knife inserted into one of the ramikens comes out clean.)

Chill at least two hours before serving.

Description:
“New and Updated: A delicious Parve dessert which is sugar, dairy and gluten-free!”
Source:

Start to Finish Time: less than 3 hours.
10 minutes prep. 45 minutes to cook. 2 hours to chill

Nutrition:
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 188 Calories; 10g Fat (67.1% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 186mg Cholesterol; 74mg Sodium; 2g Total Sugars; 1mcg Vitamin D; 30mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 122mg Potassium; 116mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: .

Minted Lamb Ragu

Minted lamb ragu2

A nuanced sauce with the flavors of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Serve with Rice or over noodles. This ragu is very simple in its preparation and quickly put together, but it tastes like you’ve been at it for hours. Make this early enough in the day to let the flavors meld, or make it ahead and refrigerate overnight. The sumac berries and the dried hyssop are optional but each of them adds depth and interest to the dish. The sumac brings a note of tartness and they hyssop offers earthiness.

Serve over rice or noodles and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 6
Preparation Time 30 minutes.
Start to Finish 1:30+

Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon garlic — sliced
3 cups mushrooms — thickly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil — preferably Greek
15 ounces diced tomatoes — canned
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon basil — dried
1 teaspoon oregano — dried
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
3 tablespoons mint — dried
1 teaspoon dried hyssop — optional
1 teaspoon dried sumac berries — optional
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Method:

Brown and drain the ground lamb. Set aside.

In the olive oil, saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until golden.

Return the lamb to the pot and add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a simmer and cook slowly for at least one hour. Even better when reheated the next day!

Minted lamb ragu1

Ratings : easy 0

Nutrition:
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 349 Calories; 25g Fat (63.1% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 55mg Cholesterol; 258mg Sodium; 8g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 54mg Calcium; 3mg Iron; 1003mg Potassium; 273mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: .

Suggested Wine: Andas; Bonarda;

Serving Ideas : Works as a stew or as a topping for rice, noodles, couscous or quinoa.

Cumin and Cilantro Roast Chicken with Avocado Salsa

20200717_190418avocado salsa cumin cilantro roast chicken4

When you’re watching your carbs, but still want to enjoy your dinner, try this juicy, piquant roast chicken and avocado salsa. With only 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving, you won’t feel at all deprived. This entree comes together easily and adds a lovely scent to your kitchen as it cooks.

A brightly flavored Chicken filled with the sunny tastes of lime, sumac, and cilantro, and the earthiness of cumin.

Serve as a light summer supper entree. To make a larger meal, add a smoked salmon first course, some riced cauliflower as an accompaniement, and a crisp white wine. Fruit for dessert is an excellent finish.

When you’re watching your carbs, but still want to enjoy your dinner, try this juicy, piquant roast chicken and avocado salsa. With only 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving, you won’t feel at all deprived. This entree comes together easily and adds a lovely scent to your kitchen as it cooks.

cumin cilantro roast chicken3

5 pounds roasting chicken
1 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large avocado
1 large tomato
2 tablespoons red onion
1/4 cup black olives — sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves — loosely packed
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

FOR THE CHICKEN

Rinse and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle cavity generously with salt.

Place the olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, salt, sumac and red pepper flakes in a small blender. Process to a moist paste.

Using your fingers, loosen the skin of the breast and thighs, and with your hands, spread half the mixture between the skin and the meat. Rub the rest of the paste over the outside of the chicken.


Tie the legs of the chicken together. Transfer to a deep baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight.

At cooking time, pour off any juices that may have accumulated in the baking pan.

Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for and hour and a half, or until the thigh juices run clear. If the skin has not browned and crisped, place the chicken under a broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the skin crisps.

FOR THE SALSA

Coarsely chop the tomato, red onion, avocado, cilantro, and black olives. Combine with the lime juice, olive oil, cumin powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir well, and refrigerate until serving.

Recipe By :Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size : 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Start to finish Time: 2:30
Categories : Gluten Free,Low Carb, Main Course Poultry

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 707 Calories; 54g Fat (68.9% calories from fat); 49g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 244mg Cholesterol; 472mg Sodium; 1g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 48mg Calcium; 5mg Iron; 750mg Potassium; 492mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Braised Lamb Shanks with Dried Fruit and Moroccan Spice Rub

Braised Lamb Shanks Moroccan Spice4

To save time and energy on Friday, I try to do at least part of the Shabbat Meal in advance. In this case, it’s the main course. Even better the next day, these braised lamb shanks are perfect for any festive meal!

Serve with minted rice, or couscous. Garnish with dry roasted pistachios.

Make this easy and savory dish a day or two before serving. believe me, it will be even better then! If you don’t cook with wine, substitute beef or chicken broth for the braising liquid.

Braised Lamb Shanks Moroccan Spice

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 1/2 pounds lamb shank — at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes — Aleppo pepper, if available
1 tablespoon curry powder — or Ras El Hanout
2 teaspoons dried mint flakes
1 tablespoon pistachio nuts — ground
1/4 cup currants — or dried barberries
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots — diced
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup pistachio nuts, dry-roasted — reserved for garnish

Braised Lamb Shanks Moroccan Spice2

Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, Aleppo pepper, Ras El Hanout (or curry powder) ground pistachios, and mint in a large ziplock bag. Add the lamb shanks and shake well to coat the meat.

Heat the olive oil to medium high in a heavy, lidded casserole. Add seasoned lamb shanks and sear on all sides.

Braised Lamb Shanks Moroccan Spice3

Add the dried fruit and any of the remaining spice rub.

Pour the red wine over all, cover, and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook on lowest setting for about 2 1/2 hours or until the lamb shanks are tender.

Refrigerate overnight.

To serve, remove the meat from the shank bone. Reheat, and garnish with pistachios.

Cuisine: “Middle Eastern”
Source: “All Good Gifts, 2020”
Copyright: “Glyn Ruppe Melnyk”
Start to Finish Time:”3:00″ plus overnight if made in advance

Serving Size : 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 571 Calories; 31g Fat (52.8% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 114mg Cholesterol; 429mg Sodium; 8g Total Sugars; 0mcg Vitamin D; 55mg Calcium; 5mg Iron; 987mg Potassium; 407mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Savory Pecan Crusted Chicken Croquettes for a Ladies Bridge Party

women playing bridge

A retro dish combining memories of chicken a-la-king and crispy chicken croquettes.

This is a good recipe for a day when you have the time and initiative to channel your inner 1950’s era housewife/househusband. This slightly fussy dish is reminiscent of recipes my mom gathered from brightly colored old issues of Better Homes and Gardens, Gourmet, and Southern Living. When she served dishes like this my sisters and I felt very grown-up and sophisticated. Even if we never once saw her host a bridge party, we knew that she could, and that somehow, perhaps by osmosis, we could, too. I have altered this recipe to make it gluten free and low carb. Along with a small salad, it will serve four as a light lunch, or with green peas and a rice will do nicely as a main course for dinner. And the recipe has nothing to do with the photo…I just love the picture!

Serving Size : 4
Preparation Time :0:30, Cooking Time: 30 minutes, Chilling Time 2 hours. Total Time: 3 Hours
Categories : Gluten Free Low Carb
Main Course Poultry

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
8 ounces chicken — cubed, cooked white meat
1/4 cup onion — finely diced
1/4 cup celery — finely diced
1 tablespoon red bell pepper — finely diced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil — divided
1 cup chicken broth — divided
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg — grated
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup pecans — finely chopped
2 ounces mushrooms — thinly sliced
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1 tablespoon scallions — finely chopped
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Saute the onion, celery and red pepper in one tablespoon of the olive oil. Transfer to a small food processor and chop until very fine. Add the cooked chicken, mayonnaise, nutmeg, poultry seasoning and 1 tablespoon of the chicken broth. Process until smooth.

Clean the food processor and finely chop the pecans. Place into a shallow bowl. Line a plate with plastic wrap of waxed paper. Form the chicken paste into four equal size patties. Press both sides of each patty into the chopped pecans. Place on the lined plate, cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, saute the sliced mushrooms in the remaining olive oil with a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder until golden brown. Add the remaining chicken broth and remove from heat.

When ready to cook. preheat the oven to 350. Transfer the chicken croquettes to a lightly greased baking tray. Bake slowly (15 to 20 minutes per side) turning once.

Meanwhile, reheat the mushrooms and the broth. Stir in the arrowroot to make a thin sauce. Serve the croquettes topped with the sauce and garnished with the chopped green onion.

Source: “All Good Gifts, 2020”
Copyright: “Glyn Ruppe Melnyk”
Start to Finish Time: 3 hours, includes 2 hours to chill

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 372 Calories; 33g Fat (77.9% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 45mg Cholesterol; 326mg Sodium; 3g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 35mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 318mg Potassium; 175mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch).

Suggested Wine: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, or Sauvignon Blanc

Serving Ideas : For a 1950’s vibe, serve with a side of green peas and pearl onions. Or following a bowl of chilled tomato soup as part of a light luncheon.

Blueberry Banana Bread

blueberry banana bread

Delicious way to use an abundance of blueberries while they are still in season!

We always look forward to fresh blueberry season, and plan for lots of ways to enjoy them. But, inevitably, we seem to fall behind in our ability to consume them before they pass their prime. Salads, pies and preserves are all great ways of utilizing these superfood berries. Today, however, I also have a handful of overripe bananas looking for attention. So, Blueberry Banana Bread! The result is rich, moist, and surprisingly light.

It can be toasted for breakfast or slathered with cream cheese for an afternoon tea treat.

Note: This recipe requires no milk or additional liquid. It’s a thick batter, so but sure to check for doneness before removing from the oven.

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
4 large bananas — very ripe
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil two 9×5 inch loaf pans

In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the bananas, vegetable oil, and sugar. Beat until smooth.

Add the eggs and continue beating until smooth and fully incorporated.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until smooth (2-3 minutes)

Gently stir in the blueberries.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out. Cool completely on rack before slicing..

Source:
“All Good Gifts”
Copyright:
“Glyn Ruppe Melnyk 2020”

Yield:
“2 medium loaves”

Start to Finish Time:
“0:35”
T(cooling time):
“1:00”

Ratings : easy
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 315 Calories; 11g Fat (29.9% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 51g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 47mg Cholesterol; 408mg Sodium; 24g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 102mg Calcium; 2mg Iron; 214mg Potassium; 181mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch).

Mushroom and Tarragon Crust-less Quiche

DSCN0691

A simple but luscious and earthy entree with a spotlight on mushrooms and tarragon.

While I have never been a fan of fried, scrambled or boiled eggs, I am quite fond of omelettes, frittatas, and quiches…probably because I love all the fillings! I’ve never met a cheese, mushroom, pepper or tomato that I didn’t fall in love with. In fact, I am so enamored of night shades that I have to discipline myself not to serve them everyday. I prefer my quiches without crust (my body is happier without the carbs or the gluten) but feel free to make it with crust if you are so inclined. You may also use milk or whole cream but I find the mid-point richness of half and half to work best in a dish this earthy.

Serving Ideas : Serve with a lightly dressed green salad or an orange and romaine salad with a citrus dressing.
Accompany with a crisp white wine such as a Chenin Blanc or Viognier.

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
8 ounces mushrooms — sliced
1/2 cup onion — finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon tarragon — dried
4 large eggs — well beaten
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 cups swiss cheese — shredded
1 tablespoon green onion — thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Generously butter (or spray with Pam) a 9″ pie pan or baking dish.

In the butter, saute the mushrooms and white onion until golden. Stir in the tarragon and remove from heat.

Place the mushrooms into the baking dish and cover with half the shredded swiss cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until frothy. Stir in the half and half (or milk), the seasonings and the remainder of the swiss cheese.

Carefully pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms, and sprinkle on the chopped scallions.

Bake at 350 until the top is set and golden and a knife inserted into the middle of the quiche comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.

DSCN0695

Source:
“All Good Gifts”
Copyright:
“Glyn Ruppe Melnyk 2020”
Start to Finish Time:
“1:30”
Ratings : easy 0
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 487 Calories; 38g Fat (70.6% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 228mg Cholesterol; 361mg Sodium; 4g Total Sugars; 1mcg Vitamin D; 794mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 339mg Potassium; 616mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: .

Suggested Wine: Chenin Blanc or Viognier

Recipe By :Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time 1:30
Categories : Dairy Eggs
Main Course Vegetable

Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad

“Perfectly cooling with just a hint of heat for a fancy summer lunch or al fresco dinner.”

NOTES : Back in the 1970’s, my sister, Deborah used to make a similar salad with fresh lump crabmeat. I remember loving it served as an appetizer with Ritz crackers and an ice cold vodka martini. These days I make it with shrimp and serve it as a lunch entree or first course for dinner. Our drink of choice in 2020 is a well-chilled french chardonnay or chablis if we can find it! The flint and mineral notes of the wine are the perfect foil for the richness of the shrimp and it’s mayonnaise based dressing. And don’t be put off by the crushed red pepper flakes. They add just a bit of heat and enliven the whole!

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 pound medium shrimp — cooked, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup onion — very finely diced
1/2 cup celery — finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed — dried
2 tablespoons red bell pepper — very finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon peel — freshly grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice — freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon olive oil — extra virgin
1/2 cup mayonnaise — I prefer Duke’s
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes — dried
1 teaspoon dill pickle — finely chopped

Quickly boil the shrimp in salted water until just done. Rinse in cold water, peel and chop coarsely.

In a good sized bowl, combine the shrimp with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Chill for at least 3 hours and up to over night.

“All Good Gifts”
Copyright:
“Glyn Ruppe Melnyk 2020”
T(time to chill):
“3:00”
Ratings : very easy 0
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 196 Calories; 11g Fat (50.2% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 149mg Cholesterol; 856mg Sodium; 4g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 77mg Calcium; trace Iron; 218mg Potassium; 291mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch).

Suggested Wine: French Chardonnay or French Chablis

Serving Ideas : Serve with gazpacho or a cold cucumber soup. Serve on lettuce or over sliced avocado.

Recipe By :Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:20 plus 3 hours to chill.
Rating: Very Easy
Categories : Appetizer Main Course
Salad Shellfish

Copyright: “Glyn Ruppe Melnyk 2020”

Beef and Eggplant Stew

Beef and Eggplant Stew6
Meltingly tender cubes of eggplant in a rich beef and tomato sauce.

This recipe will fill your home with the aromas of Mediterranean comfort food. Remarkably simple to prepare, from easily acquired ingredients, your friends and family will think you have an Italian grandmother visiting. Athough it can be finished in well under 2 hours, this stew improves from being refrigerated overnight. Just reheat gently before serving. This is especially delicious with a green salad and a glass of red wine for an al fresco dinner. A perfect dessert would be fresh figs.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound eggplant — peeled and cubed
1 cup onion — chopped
1 tablespoon garlic — minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper — thinly sliced
1/2 cup green bell pepper — thinly sliced
1/4 cup black olives — thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano — dried
1 teaspoon basil — dried
1 teaspoon marjoram — dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup water
1 pound ground beef

Beef and Eggplant Stew

Procedure:
In a large stovetop casserole, heat the olive oil to medium high, but not smoking. Add the eggplant, garlic, onion, and bell peppers.

Saute until translucent and very fragrant. Stir in the spices, black, olives, tomato paste, and the water. Bring to a simmer.

Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

In the same casserole, saute the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain any fat.

Return the eggplant mixture to the pan and stir well.

Cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, longer if you have the time. It’s even better the next day.

Beef and Eggplant Stew2

Recipe By:Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size: 4 Preparation Time:0:45
Categories : Beef, Gluten Free,Italian,Main Course, Mediterranean, Vegetable
Copyright: Glyn Ruppe Melnyk, All Good Gifts 2020″
Start to Finish Time: 1:30
Ratings: easy

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 459 Calories; 33g Fat (62.8% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 77mg Cholesterol; 492mg Sodium; 10g Total Sugars; trace Vitamin D; 76mg Calcium; 5mg Iron; 937mg Potassium; 265mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Suggested Wine: Chianti, Sangovese or Red Zinfandel

Serving Ideas : Serve alone as a stew, or over steamed rice.
If your diet allows, top with freshly grated parmesan.

Five Cheese Creamy Squash Casserole

Nearly everyone has their favorite family or personal recipe for preparing summer squash. My dad loved it cooked in butter and onions. Mom preferred adding crisped bacon. My brother-in law wants his grilled, and my sister fries it up with a crumb crust. As for me, ever since my days as a young cook in the 1970’s I have adored a cheesey, custard like casserole. Those casseroles are often heavy on the mayonnaise, and while I loved that when I was younger, these days I prefer something that has less oil and a bit more finesse. This is my latest iteration of a timeless Southern dish. Use more or less or alternate cheeses as you desire, and adjust the baking time to produce your preferred degree of brownness. In any case, it’s delicious!

Recipe By :Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:30
Categories : Dairy Gluten Free
Low Carb Side Dish
Vegetable

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 cup yellow onion — diced
1 tablespoon garlic — minced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup red bell pepper — fincely diced
4 cups yellow squash — diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 ounces cream cheese — softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese — grated
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 Cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease an oven proof casserole.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and saute until translucent.

Add the diced squash and continue to saute until all the veggies are tender. (about 5 minutes) Season with the basil, oregano, salt and peppers.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the two eggs with the softened cream cheese. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, parmesan, cheddar, swiss and mozzarella and stir to combine.

Combine the sauteed vegetables with the sauce and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 350, depending upon the degree of brownness you prefer.

Serve hot or warm. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat another day.

“A very cheesy way to enjoy an overabundance of summer squash.”
“www.allgoodgifts.net”
Copyright: “Glyn Ruppe Melnyk, All Good Gifts 2020”
Start to Finish Time: “1:15”

Per Serving: 434 Calories; 34g Fat (69.9% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 149mg Cholesterol; 746mg Sodium; 7g Total Sugars; 1mcg Vitamin D; 528mg Calcium; 1mg Iron; 394mg Potassium; 399mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch).

Suggested Wine: Chardonnay

Serving Ideas : Serve with roasted or grilled meats and a crisp green salad, sweet tea is a great accompaniement if you don’t want wine. Chardonnay is great if you do.

Roast Chicken for Shabbat

Succulent whole roast chicken with rich stock for gravy or soup.

Ours is an interfaith marriage. Will is Jewish, I’m Christian. But we celebrate every Sabbath and I always cook a festive meal. Normally we also entertain on Shabbat, an activity which has been put on hold during the Covid19 pandemic. But even, or perhaps because it is just the two of us, I bake Challah and make a fancy meal, often chicken. Lately, it’s been challenging to find poultry, so I take whatever the local grocer has and will deliver. For the past couple of weeks, that has been a whole chicken, weighing in at over five pounds. It feeds us through the entire weekend.

This is my go-to method for preparing a whole chicken for Shabbat, and includes a wonderful method for making truly delicious stock. It smells heavenly, and has on at least two occasions, elicited facetious proposals of marriage from guys who were in the house on the day I was cooking. The only challenging part of the recipe is spatchcocking (removing the backbone and flattening the chicken) and a pair of poultry or sturdy kitchen shears makes that very manageable.   

This is easily done in one day, but I try to work ahead, so I kosher, spatchcock and start the dry brine on the chicken on Thursday morning while I make the stock. Then on Friday, I know that the chicken in well under way while I bake Challah and prepare the rest of the meal.

The calorie counts are a bit wonky because they combine the roast chicken, the chicken thighs, and the chicken stock. But if you care about limiting carbs, this is a great option with only 6 grams per serving.

Ingredients:
5 pounds Chicken — whole, spatchcocked
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 pound chicken thighs
2 quarts water
1 medium onion — unpeeled, quartered
1 large carrot — unpeeled, cut into three inch pieces
5 stalks celery — with leaves, if present
1 large clove garlic — unpeeled, cut in half
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN:

Rinse drain the whole chicken. Place in a large bowl and generously salt. Add cold water to cover and refrigerate for one hour. Drain.

To spatchcock the chicken. Using a sharp knife of kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove. Spread the chicken open and flatten, using the heel of your hand to break the breastbone. 

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken-1808565

Hint: If you are making stock, just toss the backbone into the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

Line a roasting pan or deep cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Generously season the underside of the spatchcocked chicken with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and crushed rosemary.

Place the spatchcocked chicken, skin side up, on the baking sheet. Season very generously with additional salt, poultry seasoning and rosemary. Refrigerate, UNCOVERED, for at least 8 hours or up to two days.

For instructions on how to dry brine, see: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/dry-brine-chicken

When ready to cook, drain off any accumulated liquid. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices from the thigh run clear.

Garnish as desired and serve.

FOR THE CHICKEN STOCK:

In a stock pot or dutch oven, place the chicken thighs, any giblets that may have been with the chicken and the remaining ingredients. (onion, carrot, celery, garlic, cloves, bouillon and seasonings).

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook for one hour, and if desired, remove any giblets and the chicken thighs to be used for another purpose.

Continue to simmer the vegetables and herbs for up to four hours.

Drain, discarding the solids. Taste and adjust seasoning. Use at once or refrigerate or freeze.

Start to Finish Time: 30 minutes prep. At least two hours to “kosher” and let rest in refrigerator. 1:30 to roast.

Ratings : moderately difficult 5
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Nutrition Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 761 Calories; 53g Fat (63.3% calories from fat); 63g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 268mg Cholesterol; 1331mg Sodium; 2g Total Sugars; 1mcg Vitamin D; 89mg Calcium; 3mg Iron; 884mg Potassium; 532mg Phosphorus. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

Suggested Wine: pinot noir, shiraz, or cabernet sauvignon

Serving Ideas : Use the stock to make a rich and flavorful gravy. Simply thicken with cornstarch and cold water, or a butter and flour roux. Will especially loves it served with stove top dressing.

Copyright:
“Glyn Ruppe Melnyk, All Good Gifts 2020”

Stir Fried Chicken with Zucchini and Yellow Squash

stir fried chicken with vegetables13

This quick and easy recipe begins with cubes of chicken breast marinated in Asian spices and stir fried with spring vegetables. Once you’ve taken the time to marinate the chicken (and that is very easily done before breakfast)the rest of the dish comes together in time for a quick meal. The chicken is tender and savory, and the vegetables are crisp tender and bursting with flavor.

Serving Ideas : Serve with steamed rice.
Optional: Include chopped brocolli florets, sliced carrots, and or diced eggplant.

Start to Finish Time:45 minutes (plus time for marinating)
Level of Difficulty: 2-Easy
Serves 2 but is easily doubled or tripled

Ingredients:
8 ounces chicken breast — boneless, skinless, cubed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil — divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce — divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder*
1 cup asparagus spears — cut in 1″ pieces
1 cup onion — thinly sliced
2 cups zucchini — thinly sliced
1 cup yellow squash — thinly sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper — thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms — thinly sliced
1/4 cup scallions — thinly sliced for garnish
1 teaspoon garlic — minced

stir fried chicken with vegetables8

Procedure:

Earlier in the day, make a marinade with half the sesame oil, half the soy sauce, and the salt, pepper, ginger, mustard and five spice blend. Mix with the cubed chicken and marinate at least one hour.

At cooking time, drain the marinated chicken and discard the marinade.

Heat the reserved oil in a wok or large skillet and saute the chicken until very nearly done (about 5 minutes)

stir fried chicken with vegetables9

Remove the chicken and keep warm. Saute the veggies until crisp tender. Season with the remaining soy sauce.

Return the chicken to the pan, and heat through. Garnish with the sliced scallions and serve immediately.

stir fried chicken with vegetables12

Nutrition:
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 391 Calories; 23g Fat (51.0% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 58mg Cholesterol; 1366mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 1/2 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat.

* NOTES : Chinese Five Spice Powder is a mixture of Cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger and cloves. Available in Asian markets and online shops. (Try Penzey’s)
Optional: Include chopped brocolli florets, sliced carrots, and or diced eggplant.

Source:
“All Good Gifts”
Copyright:
“Glyn Ruppe Melnyk (All Good Gifts) 2020”

Chicken Patties 2020

Exported from my Master Cook Account
Servings: 4
Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes

Notes: I remember making and enjoying chicken croquettes as a young cook in the 1970’s. That recipe was fun even though it was labor and time intensive. This 21st century recipe has more chicken and very little filler or binder, but a lovely savory taste. Note that the uncooked mixture is quite soft, but cooks up very moist and tender. If you prefer a more solid patty, feel free to add more bread crumbs. These would also work very well on a bun as chicken burgers.

Serving Ideas: Serve with a simple sauce such as a mixture of 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup stone ground sweet mustard, and 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice.
Goes well with creamed spinach.

Categories: Main Dish, Poultry Entrees, Poultry Mains

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon powdered chicken stock base
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon olive oil

Procedure:

1. Cut the chicken into one inch cubes. Using a food processor, grind coarsely until no large pieces remain.

2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill for at least one hour.

3. When ready to cook, heat 1/8 inch vegetable oil to medium in a nonstick skillet. With wet hands, form the mixture into four patties and place into the hot oil.

4. Cook slowly until browned and crisp (about 10-12 minutes per side).

5. If desired, serve with your favorite sauce. I like a mixture of 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1/4 cup stone ground sweet mustard.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 476 Calories; 22g Fat (42.5% calories from fat); 56g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 266mg Cholesterol; 520mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 8 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.

Source: All Good Gifts, Glyn Ruppe Melnyk
Copyright: All Good Gifts 2020

Creamy Apricot Baked Chicken Breasts

main dish apricot baked chicken

Because this chicken needs to marinate for eight hours to overnight, you’ll need to plan ahead. But the prep and the cooking are very simple and the dish is well worth the effort. Serve it with a rice pilaf and roasted asparagus for a lovely al fresco dinner. Goes very well with a crisp dry chardonnay. Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp apricot jam
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp orange peel, dried
1/2 tsp pico fruta spice blend
1/4 tsp salt

Procedure:

Cut chicken breasts into halves. Pound into 1 inch thick cutlets.

Place flattened cutlets into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Season generously with the paprika.

Combine the apricot jam, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic powder, orange peel, and pico fruta to make a thick sauce.

Spread sauce over the cutlets.

Creamy Apricot Baked Chicken Breasts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinate: 8:00 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8:30
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 410 Calories; 26g Fat (55.2% calories from fat); 40g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 108mg Cholesterol; 404mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Suggested Wine: French Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc

Serving Ideas : Serve with a rice pilaf and roasted asparagus.

Coq Au Vin

20200511_191204.jpg

I first ate Coq au Vin at a French restaurant in Washington, DC. It was 1965 and I was on a Junior High field trip. My jokester parents had solemnly warned me not to eat it because it was “made with blood not wine”. I ignored them of course, but it wasn’t until another ten years had passed that I began cooking it myself. Yay, Julia Child!!

Using her recipe these days of Covid 19 when my groceries are being delivered requires access to ingredients that are not readily available through InstaCart. So this rendering, while deeply indebted to Julia Child, is my own free wheeling, what’s-on-hand version.

I use the rendered bacon fat for all the sauteing, but feel free to substitute butter, olive oil, or a mixture thereof, as you prefer.

I’m cooking for two in a household that tends to avoid leftovers, but this recipe is easily multiplied.

Note: I don’t thicken the sauce because I don’t want the starch and the carbs, but suit yourself! A simple roux, or a cornstarch/water slurry will do the trick

2 oz thick slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb chicken thighs, with bones and skin
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
1 cube beef bouillon cube
1/2 cup dry red wine ( I used Pinot Noir)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence
salt and white pepper to taste

20200511_170739.jpg

1. In the wine, marinate the chicken pieces for one hour.

2. Reserving the red wine, remove the chicken thighs, and pat dry.

3. Lightly brown the bacon. Remove the bacon pieces, reserving the fat.

4. In the same pan, lightly brown both sides of the chicken. Set aside with the bacon.

5. In the same pan, saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms until all are golden.

6. Return the chicken and bacon to the pan with the vegetables.

7. Add the carrot, the spices, the crushed bouillon cube and the wine.

8. Bring to a simmer and cover.

9. Continue to cook, covered, for 30 minutes on the stove top on low, or for an hour in a 275 degree oven,

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (10.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

nutrition coq au vin

Recipe Type: Main Dish

Braised Lamb, Veal or Pork with Polenta

Braised Pork Shoulder with Polenta5

(If you don’t eat pork, this also works really well with lamb or veal shanks!)

Grocery shopping from home during Covid-19 is an adventure on the best of days, but as someone occupying a spot in several high risk groups, I am really happy and grateful not to have to suit-up and sally forth to the market. Besides, our local grocer has been surprisingly well-stocked (even if they can’t deliver wine, and active dry yeast cannot be had to love or money.)

Anyway, something interesting always shows up. Yesterday’s surprise was an 8 lb Boston Butt. I had ordered a three-pounder, and had told them not to substitute pork chops, so I’m guessing the mega-size I got was the only one available. I cut out a three pound chunk, and froze the bone-in section for later. The boneless piece is in the Ninja Cooker right now along with some red wine and lots of chopped vegetables; and in about four hours, I’ll have enough Braised Pork Shoulder for several Saturday night dinners.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered
3 lb. pork shoulder or picnic roast
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cups fire-roasted canned diced tomatoes with juices
1 tbsp dried herbes de provence mix
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes

1. Sauté the chopped vegetables in the olive oil until translucent. I use a Ninja multi-cooker, or a heavy, stove-top-to-oven covered casserole.

2. Transfer to a bowl, increase the heat and in the same oil, sear the meat on all sides.

3. Reduce the heat, return the veggies to the pot, season with salt, cayenne flakes and dried herbes de provence.

4. Pour the tomatoes and the red wine over all, cover, and cook at a bare simmer for 3-4 hours.

5. Using two forks, pull the meat apart, and mix with the vegetables and broth in the pot.

6. Serve with polenta, or over pasta if desired.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (12.4 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

nutrition braised pork with polenta

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Meat, Rice and Bean Tostados

Rice Bean Meat Tostados

We’re in week six of ” Covid-19 Stay at Home” and it’s raining again, but at least the lights are back on for nearly everyone in Hamilton County. I’ve lost count of how many days it’s been wet and gray here in East Tennessee, but I do know that it’s been 11 days since Easter evening when a series of deadly tornados swept through. So, that makes any day without tornados a good one.

What I really feel like doing is taking a long nap, but it’s mid-afternoon, and even if I am not hungry right now, I will be in a couple of hours, and cooking tends to wake me up. The challenge is trying to cook relatively simple, nutritious meals, that don’t begin with a can of soup, and don’t end up as one more example of brownish-something-or-other casserole.

Today I am going for color, flavor, crunch, and more than one texture. Also something that won’t produce a week’s worth of leftovers which I will be tempted to freeze and lose in the next inevitable spring-storm-power-outage. Since there are only two of us, I’ll be cooking half this recipe and reserving the rest for lunch tomorrow.

Note: It’s not low calorie. It’s not low carb (though it is gluten-free). This is comfort food. You can skip breakfast tomorrow.

To make it, you’ll need dried or canned pinto beans, rice, corn tortillas, onion, fresh (or reconstituted dried) tomatoes, a meat/protein source and southwestern spices, I’m using a pork blade steak, but I’m thinking a lamb shoulder steak or a piece of beef skirt steak, or cubed tofu would work just fine. Or maybe even chicken thighs,

All the toppings are optional, but all will provide additional color, flavor and texture.

2 cups cooked, drained pinto beans
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water or stock
1 cup chopped onion, divided (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
8 oz pork, boneless cubed (or chicken, lamb or beef)
2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable oil) divided
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
12 corn tortillas
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup grated cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
1 cup chopped avocado (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Rice Bean Meat Tostados2

1. If you’re using dried beans, cook them. An instant pot is great for this. If using canned beans, drain and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven.

3. Liberally season the meat with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

4. In a deep casserole or oven proof skillet, sear the meat in the 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Set aside. Reserve the remaining oil for frying the tortillas.

5. In the same pan, sauté the garlic and 3/4 cup of the onion until translucent. (Reserve the remainder of the onion, and the tomatoes)

6. Stir in the rice and cook briefly to lightly brown.

7. Add the beans, seared meat, spices and the water or stock. Cover tightly and bake for one hour in the pre-heated oven.

8. Meanwhile, lightly fry the tortillas until golden and crisp.

9. At the end of an hour, stir the meat, beans and rice. Fluff with a fork.

10. Stir in the reserved onion and the tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning.

11. Spoon the filling onto the fried tortillas, top with salsa, nuts, sour cream and/or cheese, if desired.

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (16.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition rice bean meat tostados

Recipe Type: Beans and Legumes, Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Meat

Easter Ricotta Dessert

ricotta easter dessert
Ready in 10 minutes, and tastes even better if you let it rest in the fridge for an hour or two before serving. This recipe has no rules. Use what you have on hand.

This light dessert is bursting with the flavors of spring.

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp golden raisins
1 tbsp chopped pistachios or almonds
1 tbsp dried rosepetals
1 tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 tsp orange rind grated
3 medium strawberries
1 mandarin orange
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Combine first eight ingredients. Taste and adjust sugar.

2. Spoon into four small dishes. Garnish with the strawberries and mardarin sections.

3. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

4. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

ricotta easter dessert3

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition ricotta easter dessert

Recipe Type: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Holiday

Sweet Easter Egg Bread

Sweet Easter Bread 3

For a wonderful treat on Easter Morning, bake this bread the day before!

10 eggs
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
4 cups all purpose-flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Sweet Easter Bread 1

1. Boil six of the eggs, cool and set aside

2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter. Add the sugar and three of the eggs into the melted butter.

4. Add the sugar and three of the eggs to the melted butter. Mix thoroughly

5. Set the remaining egg aside to use as a wash for the bread before baking.

6. Add the butter, egg, sugar mix to the yeast and stir to combine.

7. Add salt, cardamom and the flour, 1 cup at a time, to the liquid to form a soft but not sticky dough

8. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (7-10 minutes)

9. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease all sides of the dough.

10. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for 90 minutes. (Use your oven’s “proof” setting if you have one.)

11. At the end of 90 minutes, or when the dough has doubled, remove it from the oven and divide into three equal portions.

12. Roll each of the portions into a long thick log.

13. Braid the three strands, closing the edges together to create a ring. Place the ring onto a parchment lined cooking sheet.

14. Pry open the braid to equally space the six cooked eggs into the braided ring around its circumference.

15. With a fork, beat the remaining egg with 1 tsp water to create an egg wash.

16. Use a pastry brush or your fingertips to pain the wash onto the ring. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.

17. Return the pan to the oven or counter for the second rising. Let rise about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

18. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 F.

19. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

20. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sweet Easter Bread 2

Servings: 12
Yield: 1 large braided ring

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours and 5 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (3.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition sweet Easter Egg Bread

Recipe Type: Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Holiday

Slow Cooker Brisket for Passover

I’ve never really been happy with any recipe I’ve found for brisket, from coca-cola, to molasses, to tomatoes, to red wine. It always smelled great while cooking but ended up tough and stringy, no matter how I sliced it. So, for this year’s Passover brisket I decided to go Old School, and cook it as though I were making pot roast.

I started two days in advance and I’m using my Ninja multi-cooker which allows me to sear, simmer, chill (by removing the non-stick cooking liner and lid from the heating element and placing in the fridge overnight) and reheat in one pot.

And it tastes as good as it smells!

2 1/2 lb beef brisket
1/4 tsp or more, black pepper, garlic powder and granulated onion
1/2 tsp or more, salt
4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 2 inch chunks
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 russet potatoes peeled and cut in thick slices
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in thick slices
1 quart beef stock
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf

1. Season the brisket on both sides with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and granulated onion.

2. Heat the oil in your multicooker (or dutch oven) on the sear function and brown the brisket on both sides.

3. Remove the brisket to a plate, and in the hot oil, saute the sliced onion, garlic, and celery until translucent.

4. Return the brisket to the pan (laying it on top of the garlic, onion and celery.

5. Nestle the carrots and the sweet and white potatoes around the brisket.

6. With the sear function still on high, slowly pour the stock into the pan and let it begin to bubble. There should be enough liquid to just cover the meat.

7. Sprinkle the whole cloves over the meat, and lay the bay leaf on top.

8. Cover, switch the function to the high setting on slow cooker and heat until the liquid bubbles again.

9. Reduce the slow cooker heat to low and cook for about six hours.

10. Remove the liner with the brisket from the cooker and cool slightly.

11. Place a couple of silicone heat pads on the shelf of your refrigerator and place the covered brisket into the refrigerator.

12. Chill for two days, or until about five hours before you intend to serve the brisket.

13. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and let it warm to cool room temperature. (about an hour)

14. Slice the brisket across the grain. Return it to the pot with the vegetables.

15. Set the slow cooker function to low and warm the brisket and the vegetables.

16. Remove the cloves and the bay leaf. Adjust the seasoning, and transfer the meat and the vegetables to a serving platter.

17. If desired, thicken the sauce with potato or tapioca starch. Serve alongside the brisket and vegetables.

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 6 hours
Inactive Time: 24 hours
Total Time: 30 hours and 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (20.7 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Nutrition Brisket for Passover

Brisket for Passover8

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat

Haroseth for Passover

20200407_111656

As Granny used to say, “Ain’t got no recipe”. Just visualize making mortar from fruits, nuts, and spices chopped, mixed together, and moistened with wine, water or juice.

I used apples, dates, dried barberries, golden raisins, apricots, walnuts, almonds, nutmeg,cloves, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cabernet sauvignon.

More or less, it’s up to you.

Braised Curried Lamb Shank with Apricots and Barberries

Braised Lamb Shank9

We needed a shank bone for the Seder Plate, so today I made a main dish of curried lamb shank with Middle Eastern Spices. It cooks slowly for several hours, then the meat is removed from the bone, the liquid is reduced, and the large pearl couscous is added for a final simmer.

It turned out so well that if I hadn’t already cooked the brisket, I might have saved this for the main dish on the first night of Passover.

Try it, you’ll like it!

1 lb lamb shanks, about 1 1/
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
8 dried apricots, halved
2 tbsp raisins or dried barberries
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp sweet curry powder or a mixture of spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamom etc)
1 cup dry couscous
1/4 cup walnut pieces

1. Season the lamb shank liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and granulated onion.

2. In a heavy, lidded casserole, sear the lamb shank in the oil.

3. Add the onion and garlic and saute until lightly browned.

4. Add the halved apricots, the barberries (or raisins) and the curry powder.

5. Add the beef broth, stir quickly and cover.

6. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook on top of the stove for 21/2 hours or until the lamb is very tender.

7. Remove the lamb shank and remove the meat from the bone. Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces.

8. Return the meat to the casserole, increase the heat and bring the liquid to a strong simmer.

9. Stir in the couscous, cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is done.

10. Serve at once, sprinkled with the walnuts.

Braised Lamb Shank6

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (8.2 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition braised curried lamb shank

Amount Per Serving

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat

Coconut Milk Custard

coconut milk custard4

This week is a big cooking week for both Passover and Easter. In our blended marriage we celebrate both, so I am doing a lot of cooking! But we still have to eat in the days leading up to the celebrations.

Here is a suggestion for a quick, non-dairy dessert, which is appropriate for both holidays. It’s Parve, made in a blender, requires only a few ingredients, and you can vary the spices and toppings as you wish.

Please note: my recipe program did not recognize canned coconut milk for nutrition purposes so I have figured the calorie and carbohydrate values manually. They are listed per serving:

Servings 8
Calories per serving: 137
Sugar: 13g
Carbohydrate: 13g
Protein: 5g
Fiber: 0
Salt: 150mg

6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to taste

1. place all ingredients in a blender and process for about 30 seconds.

2. pour into a lightly oiled baking dish.

3. sprinkle with additional spices as topping.

4. bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5. chill before serving.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Recipe Type: Dessert, Gluten-Free

rustic tomato sauce

Rustic Tomato Sacue

Sooner or later you’re going to get really tired of being stuck at home while we all “shelter in place” during the covid-19 pandemic. At that point you may not have much interest in cooking. But you (and/or your family) will still need to eat, and will probably want comfort food. And few things say “comfort food” better than pasta (OK, Chicken and Dumplings is right up there, too!) That’s when it’s a huge help to have some filling and comforting basics in the freezer.

So channel your inner Italian Chef and make your own Marinara Sauce. It’s remarkably easy, given the fabulous results, and this recipe makes enough to serve now and freeze (or can) for later. It’s also remarkably adaptable. Got mushrooms, great! Don’t have any, leave ’em out! Ditto for peppers, zucchini or whatever else you like in your signature sauce. And when you cook something this long and slow, it’s fine to use dried spices, dehydrated onion, garlic, and even dried tomatoes.

And you can add ground beef if you want a meat-sauce, AND if you are going to freeze it. If you’re an expert home canner, you can pressure can it, but for the rest us, there are enough health issues already these days without trying your hand at amateur canning with meat.

So, for the best in Italian cooking, learn to make our own marinara sauce. It’s easy and the recipe makes enough to freeze for another meal. ~ Glyn

28  oz. canned crushed tomatoes (or two 15oz cans)
12 oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water (or more if you like s thinner sauce)
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms (or 1 8oz. can sliced mushrooms)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive-oil
1 tbsp. dried basil or a handful of fresh basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. (or more)salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Procedure

1 Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms (if using.) Sauté in the olive oil over medium heat.
2 Combine with the water, and tomato paste. Stir thoroughly.
3 Add the crushed tomatoes, herbs and spices. Mix thoroughly.
4 Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least one hour. Or all afternoon if you are so inclined. The aroma is worth it!
5 Adjust seasoning.

Servings: 8
Yield: 2 quarts
Degree of Difficulty: very Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour or as long as you like!
Total Time: minimum of 1 hour and 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (7.8 ounces).
(more…)

Marinara Sauce

rustic tomato sauce

Rustic Tomato Sacue

Sooner or later you’re going to get really tired of being stuck at home while we all “shelter in place” during the covid-19 pandemic. At that point you may not have much interest in cooking. But you (and/or your family) will still need to eat, and will probably want comfort food. And few things say “comfort food” better than pasta (OK, Chicken and Dumplings is right up there, too!) That’s when it’s a huge help to have some filling and comforting basics in the freezer.

So channel your inner Italian Chef and make your own Marinara Sauce. It’s remarkably easy, given the fabulous results, and this recipe makes enough to serve now and freeze (or can) for later. It’s also remarkably adaptable. Got mushrooms, great! Don’t have any, leave ’em out! Ditto for peppers, zucchini or whatever else you like in your signature sauce. And when you cook something this long and slow, it’s fine to use dried spices, dehydrated onion, garlic, and even dried tomatoes.

And you can add ground beef if you want a meat-sauce, AND if you are going to freeze it. If you’re an expert home canner, you can pressure can it, but for the rest us, there are enough health issues already these days without trying your hand at amateur canning with meat.

So, for the best in Italian cooking, learn to make our own marinara sauce. It’s easy and the recipe makes enough to freeze for another meal. ~ Glyn

28  oz. canned crushed tomatoes (or two 15oz cans)
12 oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water (or more if you like s thinner sauce)
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
8 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms (or 1 8oz. can sliced mushrooms)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive-oil
1 tbsp. dried basil or a handful of fresh basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. (or more)salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Procedure

1 Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms (if using.) Sauté in the olive oil over medium heat.
2 Combine with the water, and tomato paste. Stir thoroughly.
3 Add the crushed tomatoes, herbs and spices. Mix thoroughly.
4 Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least one hour. Or all afternoon if you are so inclined. The aroma is worth it!
5 Adjust seasoning.

Servings: 8
Yield: 2 quarts
Degree of Difficulty: very Easy
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour or as long as you like!
Total Time: minimum of 1 hour and 20 minutes
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (7.8 ounces).
(more…)

Bengal Spice Apple Crisp

Bengal Spice Apple Crisp2

Lately, while many of us are taking this covid-19 pandemic seriously by staying home and keeping our germs to ourselves, my younger brother has taken to sending me memes and cartoons about how fat we are all going to be when we emerge from our cocoons. Now, no one wants to get fat saving the world, but we do have to eat, and it’s a whole lot better to be intentional about the calories and nutrients we take in, than to just spend the next couple of months mindlessly grazing through the pantry.

I do a WHOLE lot of cooking, mostly for stress management; and because I have a lifelong tendency to balloon, I have been doing it with a 1200 calorie a day plan in mind. That means I use a nutrition program when writing my recipes (Living Cookbook), and am very careful about portion control. Being mostly indoors with limited opportunities for exercise requires us to be more creative about how we move. I wear a FitBit to track my steps (working at my floor loom actually registers as steps!) and sync it to My Fitness Pal diary in which I record my daily exercise and food intake. After three weeks in “stay at home” mode, I have lost 3 pounds. Not much in the great scheme of things, but at least when this is over, I won’t emerge in need of a new wardrobe.

OK, today’s recipe is for an apple crisp. Looking for ways to minimize empty calories, I’ve used oatmeal instead of flour, reduced the amount of sugar and butter, and to add a bit more depth to the spices without using fruit juice, have used a 1/2 cup of strong brewed Bengal Spice herbal tea. It’s not an essential ingredient, but it’s a personal favorite with me, and readily available in stores that stock Celestial Seasoning teas. I actually order it by the six-pack online. You can substitute any herbal tea that you think will go well with apples, but if you don’t have any herbal tea, just use a half a cup of water, and a bit extra spice. The apples will be nice and tender, and the raisins will plump a bit.

Bengal Spice Apple Crisp clocks in at 216 calories per serving. So enjoy. (And if it’s your birthday, feel free to add a scoop of ice cream!)

Bengal Spice Apple Crisp

3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp dried orange rind
1/2 cup brewed and cooled Bengal Spice Herbal Tea (optional)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp butter

1. Peel, core and thinly slice 3 to 4 small Granny Smith Apples (about 3 cups). Place them in a shallow 9″ baking dish.

2. Sprinkle on the raisins and dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of the sugar. RESERVE 1 tbsp of sugar for the topping.

3. Pour the half cup herbal tea over the fruit.

4. Add the cardamom, nutmeg, orange peel 1/2 of the cinnamon,

5. Using your fingertips break the tbsp of butter into pea-sized pieces.

6. Work in the sugar, oatmeal and the remaining 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to make a topping.

7. Sprinkle on the topping, evenly covering the fruit.

8. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the topping is browned.

9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Servings: 4
Yield: 1 shallow 9″baking pan

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (4.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked: Bengal Spice Herbal Tea. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Nutrition Bengal Spice Apple Crisp

Recipe Type: and Desserts, Brunch, Cakes, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Pastries

Chicken Tetrazzini

chicken tetrazzini

A simple but hearty main dish. For a recipe for homemade chicken stock, see Rich Chicken Stock at

Cook the pasta until nearly done before combining with the chicken mixture. Be sure to stir to well combine.

If you want a creamier sauce, increase the amount of cornstarch, and add extra cheese.

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, shredded
3 canned artichoke hearts, chopped about 1/2 cup (optional)
1/4 cup green peas, frozen
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
8 oz spaghetti, broken and cooked al denté
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (more if desired)

Chicken Tetrazzini3

1. Saute the onion, mushroom and garlic in the olive oil. Add the chopped artichoke (if using) the chicken, and the peas.

2. Stir in the chicken broth basil and salt and pepper and bring all to a low boil.

3. Reduce heat, stir in the dissolved corn starch. Simmer three minutes to thicken. Correct seasoning to taste.

4. Place the cooked spaghetti in a lightly oiled 9 inch baking dish. Pour the chicken mixture over and stir to mix.

5. Top with the grated parmesan.

6. Cover and bake at 250 for half an hour, or until heated through. Don’t overcook unless you really like crunchy noodles!

Chicken tetrazzini2

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Oven Temperature: 250°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (19.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Nurition chicken tetrazzini

Recipe Type: Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Poultry

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Great way to use bananas that have gone soft and spotty. These moist treats are under 200 calories a piece and can double as a quick breakfast with a cup of coffee. They are also low in fat and sugar, and have a decent amount of protein. Use or freeze within two days.5020

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup soy milk or regular milk
2 medium bananas, very soft
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1. Add the oats to the milk. Let soak for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, mash the bananas and mix with peanut butter

3. Lightly beat the eggs, and add them to the banana mixture.

4. Add the oats and the oil and stir thoroughly.

5. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices and walnuts. .

6. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients to form a lumpy batter.

7. Spoon into prepared muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.

8. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, Cool on a rack. Use or freeze within 2 days

Servings: 12

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Oven Temperature: 375°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (3.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Nutrition Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Recipe Type: Bread, Breakfast, Breakfast Foods, Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts

Broccoli, Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Brocolli Mushroom Stuffed Potatoes3

With fewer than 400 calories and 15 grams of protein per serving, this is a quick, easy, filling main course. Use either chopped nuts or bacon bits as the topping. Supplement it with a cup of vegetable soup and dinner is all set!

2 medium baking potatoes baked and slightly cooled
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 chicken bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup water
1 tbsp corn starch, dissolved in one tbsp cold water
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped toasted nuts, optional
salt, pepper and herbs of your choice

1. Bake the potatoes in the microwave or conventional oven. Keep hot.

2. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Stir in the broccoli and cook until crisp tender.

3. Add the chicken bouillon, herbs of your choice and salt and pepper.

4. Simmer 5 minutes.

5. Add the cheese and stir till melted. If needed, thicken with 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in one tbsp cold water.

6. Split the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and top with the broccoli mixture.

7. Top with chopped toasted pecans or bacon crumbles.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (11.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition broccoli mushroom stuffed potatoes

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Vegetarian

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili.2jpg

This is a good project for a day when you have lots of other things to do. Once you get it on the stove, it takes care of itself until you are ready to eat. If you don’t remember to pre-soak the beans the evening before, do it in the Instant Pot. Black Beans will pre-soak in only five minutes of pressure cooking. Use the direct release method and then add them to the rest of the recipe.

Feel free to improvise with whatever spices you have on hand. Chili is a highly variable, individual concoction. I tend to use more spice than most, so I’ve erred on the side of caution in the recipe. Top with shredded cheese, and serve with corn chips or tortillas. To make the dish vegetarian, just omit the ground
beef.

Black Bean Chili

2 cups dried black turtle beans (or two cans prepared black beans)
8 oz ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp freshly grated orange peel
1 medium potato diced
2 cups orange sections (about 2 oranges)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp regular chili powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper or tellicherry pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 packet Goya Sazon Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups water

1. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, sauté the ground beef with the onion and garlic. Drain the fat.

2. If omitting the ground beef, sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are done and flavors are melded.

Black Bean Chili.3jpg

Servings: 10
Yield: Feeds the whole family and leaves plenty to store or freeze for another day.

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours and 20 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/10 of a recipe (8.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition black bean chili

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Soups, Vegetables

Mini Cheesecakes

Remember the old recipes for one layer cakes and cottage pies? Intended for couples or small families, such recipes used fewer, generally less exotic, ingredients and produced smaller portions (probably one of the reasons our grandparents were thinner than we tend to be today.

Today I opened a 15 ounce container of whole milk ricotta to make filling for a batch of blintzes I am preparing now and freezing for later. After filling a dozen, I still had half the filling left. Loathe to freeze it, I decided to make cheesecake instead. And knowing that a whole cheesecake, even a small one, would make for an outrageously tempting snack attack during our “stay at home” experience, I decided to make two small ones instead. Having acquired a pair of mini (5″) spring form pans as a freebie add-on to a purchase a few years back, I finally have a reason to use them.

Mix this up in the blender, and when baking, place the spring-form pan/s in a larger pan of inch deep hot water. When they are done, turn off the heat, wedge the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let the cheese cakes cool completely before removing the outer ring of the pan and refrigerating or freezing.

Makes 8 small (dessert sized) servings.

1 cup whole milk ricotta
6 ounces cream cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp dried granulated orange peel

1. Combine all ingredients in blender and process for 3 minutes at high speed.

2. Pour into one 8″ or two 5″ prepared spring form pans.

3. Place into a larger cake pan and add enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the pan/s.

4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the center is set, and the top is puffed and golden.

5. Turn off the oven. Using a wooden spoon if necessary, prop open the door and let cheesecake cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

6. Note that the cheese cake will deflate as it cools. That’s normal.

7. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for several hour before serving.

8. Enjoy plain or topped with fresh fruit.

9. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.

Servings: 8
Yield: 2 small cheese cakes

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition cheese cake

Recipe Type: Dessert, Gluten-Free

Tomato, Artichoke and Mushroom Fritatta

Artichoke Mushroom Fritatta5

Bring a bit of the Mediterranean to your table! This Fritatta will serve 6 as a luncheon entree or 4 for a dinner. Pair with a green salad, a crisp white wine and some fresh fruit, and you’ll think you’re vacationing on the Riveria…OK, maybe not, but your taste buds will thank you for the experience.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil, plus additional to oil pan
4 oz. artichoke bottoms, rinsed, drained and thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, reconstituted, drained and cut into thin strips
4 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced greek olives
6 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

1. In a large, heavy bottomed, oven proof pan or casserole, sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic in the oil.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, artichoke bottoms, capers, and spices.

3. Continue to cook until all are lightly browned.

4. Adjust seasoning, and add salt and pepper as desired.

5. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool to warm.

6. Wipe out pan and rub with oil to keep frittata from sticking during baking.

7. Preheat oven to 375F.

8. In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Do not over-beat.

9. Stir in the cream and half the cheese, reserving other half for topping.

10. Return the vegetable mixture to the prepared pan. Add the egg mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

11. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden.

12. A knife inserted into the thickest part will come out clean.

13. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Artichoke Mushroom Fritatta4

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Oven Temperature: 375°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (7.7 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. One of the recipe’s ingredients was not linked. This ingredient is not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Amount Per Serving

nutrition artichoke mushroom fritatta

Recipe Type: Brunch, Gluten-Free, Main Dish

Chilled Curried Orange Beet

Chilled Curried Beet Soup3

Bright and brisk citrus flavors balance the earthiness of the beets. Try this as a first course of an Al Fresco dinner. If you have the time and ingredients, make this with fresh beets, roasting them for even deeper flavor.

15 oz canned sliced beets
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1 inch piece fresh ginger thickly sliced
1 chicken bouillon cube, dissolved in one cup water
2 tbsp sour cream or Greek Yogurt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sweet curry
1/2 tsp dried mint

1. Drain the beets. In a small saucepan, combine with the mandarin orange juice, ginger, orange rind, and bouillon.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

3. Drain, reserving the liquid. Remove the ginger.

4. With an immersion blender, puree the beets. Adding some of the reserved liquid as needed.

5. Stir in the sour cream, curry powder and the mint.

6. Chill 2 hours before serving. Served garnished with chopped mint.

Servings: 4
Yield: Four First Course Soup Servings, or Two Main Course Servings

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (6.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
nutrition chilled curried beet soup

Recipe Type: Soups

Dessert Crepes

Dessert Crepes3

Much easier than you might imagine. And a wonderful way to express your inner French Chef.

This recipe requires relatively little active time, but you’ll need an efficient blender, some silicone edged tongs, and good non-stick omelette pan or skillet. Expect the first crepe to be a bit wonky in appearance. But don’t worry, it will taste great. Serve filled with fruit for dessert or ricotta for breakfast blintzes. Store cooled crepes in fridge for 2-3 days or wrap in parchment and seal in plastic bags in freezer for longer storage.

Dessert Crepes2

4 medium eggs
1 cup whole milk (or soy milk)
1 tbsp melted, cooled butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1. Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate one hour.

2. Pour by scant quarter cups into heated non-stick pan. Tilt to spread evenly around the pan.

3. Cook for about 20 seconds or until bottom starts to show brown and golden spots.

4. Using silicone tongs, flip and cook an additional 15 to 20 seconds.

5. Slide onto a plate and repeat until all batter is used.

Servings: 12
Yield: 12 crepes

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (1.9 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition dessert crepes

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert

Creamed Chicken with Vegetables

creamed chicken and vegetables4

Simple, quick, easy and very comforting. Wholesome food for trying times.

2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3 mushrooms sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium russet potato, cubed
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp dehydrated onion
1 chicken bouillon cube, dissolved in one cup water
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tbsp corn starch

creamed chicken and vegetables

1. In the oil, saute the mushrooms and the chicken.

2. Add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, onion, poultry seasoning and bouillon. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Add the peas. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp. water and stir in. Cook on medium heat for five minutes to thicken.

4. Serve alone or over rice

Servings: 2

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 of a recipe (9.6 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition creamed chicken and vegetables

Amount Per Serving

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Muffins

chocolate banana spice muffins2

Not too sweet, with only 1 tsp of sugar and 175 calories per muffin, these have a bit of crunch and a lively but pleasing amount of spice. They can make an appearance at meals and snacks throughout the day. The spices are optional, as is the chocolate extract, but both are useful additions when working with less sugar.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom (all optional)
2 tbsp walnuts finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chocolate extract
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or whole milk
4 tbsp butter, melted
4 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 banana, mashed

1. Stir together the dry ingredients, including the chopped walnuts.

2. Mix together the liquid ingredients, including the mashed banana.

3. Combine liquid and dry ingredients.

4. Pour into prepared muffin tin.

5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Servings: 12

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/12 of a recipe (2.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients (dried spices) were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition whole wheat chocolate Banana spice muffins

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts, Dessert, Grains

Instant Pot Lentil, Rice, Beef and Onion “Mejadra” Style

Lentil, Beef and Rice Mejadra

In their cookbook “Jerusalem”, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi share a recipe for what they consider to be the quintessential comfort food of the Jerusalem. I have only slightly altered their recipe. I cook it is stages in an Instant Pot, have included ground beef, shortened the cooking process for the onions (omitting the flour and sugar), added cardamom and cardamom pods to the recipe, and substituted ground spices.

1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup rice (not instant)
1 beef bouillon cube
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (divided)
1/2 tsp turmeric (divided)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (divided)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (divided)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (divided)
2 cardamom pods

1. Pressure cook the lentils in the Instant Pot in 1 1/2 cups water and the bouillon cube for 7 minutes.

2. Drain but RESERVE the cooking liquid.

3. Place the drained lentils in a 9″ baking dish.

4. Using the saute function on the instant pot, cook the ground beef. Season with half the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and ground cardamom. Drain.

5. Add the beef to the lentils in the baking dish.

6. Wipe out the instant pot, add the vegetable oil, and saute the onion until golden brown, Drain and set aside.

7. Wipe out the instant pot.

8. Add enough water to the reserved liquid from cooking the lentils to make 1 1/2 cups liquid.

9. Add the liquid, along with the rice, the remaining spices and the cardamom pods to Pressure Cook at the Rice setting.

10. Manually release the pressure. Add the rice (draining first if all the water has not evaporated) to the lentils and beef.

11. Stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.

12. Top with the browned onions.

13. Cover the baking dish with a lid or foil, and cook in a slow (200F) oven until warmed through. Keep warm.

14. Serve with yogurt, a salad, and if desired, flat bread.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 1 hour

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (12.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition lentil, beef and rice mejadra

Recipe Type: Beans and Legumes, Gluten-Free, Grains, Main Dish, Meat

Quick Chicken Tomato Egg Drop Soup

quick tomato chicken eggdrop soup

Whether you’ve been working remotely, home-schooling quarantined children, or going stir-crazy yourself while you stare out the window wishing the incessant rain would end, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking a whole bag of dried beans or ransacking the pantry for the ingredients for yet another “taste-tempting” casserole.

When that happens, give yourself a break! You can make this soup in half an hour, It’s also low-calorie and low-fat and it’s guaranteed to taste better than that can of condensed “cream of whatever, ” you’ve been eyeing. Instead, serve this quick and easy soup with crackers and fresh fruit for a light lunch, or as a first course in a more substantial meal. Then take a deep breath. Tomorrow is another day.

15 oz canned tomatoes with juices
3 chicken bouillon cube
3 cups water
2 oz Spaghetti or Linguine, uncooked
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil

1. Combine tomatoes, water and chicken bouillon cube in medium saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Break pasta into 2″ pieces and add to the broth.

4. Increase heat (adding additional water if needed) and cook 8 minutes, or until pasta is done.

5. Using a fork or whisk, briskly stir in beaten egg. Cook one additional minute.

6. Adjust seasoning and serve. If desired, sprinkle with chopped herbs and/or grated parmesan cheese.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (11.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition quick tomato chicken eggdrop soup

Recipe Type: Soups

Weekday Sunday Brunch Strata

Weekday Sunday Brunch Strata

Millions of us are currently housebound as we await the end of the Covid-19 quarantines. Weekdays blur into weekends, and it becomes difficult to maintain normal schedules. Some are struggling to obtain basic groceries. All of us are subject to anxiety and worries. But, some of us, even those with young children at home, remain fortunate enough to be have the dual blessing and luxury of time and ingredients to prepare and share a family breakfast.

This strata, like those prepared by our parents and grandparents, offers a means to produce a simple, nutritious and slightly fancy meal. It multi-tasks as breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and makes good use of leftovers and basic ingredients.

Mix up the strata the day before. Let it rest, covered, in the fridge until the next morning. Bake and serve with fresh fruit and you have a Sunday Brunch worthy dish on any day you have the luxury of a relaxed morning–even if that luxury is accompanied by self-quarantine or social distancing. And don’t forget to give thanks!

There are lots of options:

I used leftover Challah for the bread, and seasoned the dish with a healthy sprinkle of Za’Atar.

You might layer in left-over cooked veggies (mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, asparagus?)

Feel free change out the spices with whatever you have on hand. (I’m thinking Shakshuka!)

Substitute whatever dairy or non-dairy milk you have on hand. I used Soy Milk.

If it suits your dietary choices, add chopped, cooked meat.

Ingredients:

8 slices white bread (about 8 oz total)
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup regular milk or non-dairy milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
nonstick cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Za’atar (or seasoning of your choice

Procedure:

1. Spray your dish with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Combine the milk, eggs and seasonings. Mix well with a fork.

2. Layer half the bread in the greased dish, pushing pieces together to cover the surface.

3. Sprinkle on half the cheese and half any additional ingredients you are using Pour half the milk/egg liquid over.

4. Repeat with the remaining bread, cheese, additional ingredients and milk/egg mixture.

5. Top with additional seasonings. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

6. To cook, let strata sit at room temperature for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.

7. Bake 30-45 minutes or until puffed and golden. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings: 4 generously or 6 smaller servings

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours and 40 minutes (includes resting time in refrigerator)
Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (7.4 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
nutrition weekday sunday brunch strata

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch, Main Dish

Maintaining Your Pantry and Your Sanity

Stock your Pantry

Our parents knew how to plan ahead. Daily trips to the supermarket were all but unheard of. Instead, they cooked at home, knew how to bake bread, had weekly meal plans, used leftovers efficiently, and cooked enough to freeze for another day. This list is for the home cook who wants to reclaim some of that stability by having non-perishable items in stock. This list is not exhaustive. It contains things that may not apply to you at all. It assumes that your water and electricity are on.

Most of these items are available online, and with places like Amazon Prime, can even be set up as subscriptions which automatically refill at intervals you specify. You do not have to buy everything at once. You don’t need cases of beans, reams of toilet paper or a flat of bottled water. You know what you and your family require. Rely on that knowledge.

REMEMBER: Our current covid-19 experience will end. Stores are being, and will continue to be, restocked. If you can’t get out to shop, most grocery chains will deliver. And when this is over, grocers and farmers markets will still be there. We will get back to buying fresh produce, meats and prepared foods. But, even then, if your pantry is well organized, and regularly replenished, you will be better prepared for the next crisis, whether it is a weather emergency, a health quarantine, or even unexpected guests.

Remember, our lives will return to normal. There is no need to hoard, or to panic.

This list is intended to help you plan in advance so that you can relax a bit in times of stress.

How to Stock a Pantrystock your pantry.jpeg

Spiced Lentils with Potatoes and Carrots (serves 4)

DSCN3097

Spiced Lentils with Potatoes and Carrots

For a remarkably quick, healthy, spicy and filling dinner, try this recipe. Low in calories and fats, it is high in protein and fiber. Leftovers can be used to make lentil burgers the next night. Baharat is a middle eastern spice blend made from cinnamon, peppers, and chilies. In lean times, or if you’re housebound by Covid-19, feel free to use dried or dehydrated onion, garlic, or peppers. If you don’t have Baharat, try adding a bit of cinnamon instead. ~ Glyn

3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tsp. garlic, minced or 1/8 tsp granulated or dried garlic powder
1 cup chopped onion or 1 Tbsp. instant chopped onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet or white potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped or 1 tbsp dried, dehydrated
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp baharat spice
1 cup dried lentils
4 tbsp regular or vegan sour cream

1. Cook the lentils in the vegetable broth for 20 minutes, or until not quite tender.

2. Sauté the remaining ingredients (including the spices) until they begin to brown.

3. Combine all the ingredients, cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are soft and the lentils cooked through.

4. Serve alone or over rice in deep bowls with a spoonful of vegan sour cream.

Servings: 4

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (16.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition Spiced Lentils

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Potatoes, Pasta, and Grains, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Black Bean Tamale Casserole

Tamale black bean casserole9

Home Cooking During Covid-19

I cook for stress management, personal expression, and because I have a spouse who loves my cooking.

That said, as of today there’s no shortage of dry or canned beans in the markets in our area, though if like me, your’re housebound and you have to have groceries delivered, you may not get your first choice of bean or brand. I ordered dried Navy beans. Out of stock. They sent dried black beans instead “Even better!” said my Tex Mex Soul.

So, how to cook dried black beans? Put them in your Instant Pot*, cover with about an inch of water. Add granulated onion,, dried garlic, cumin, red pepper and salt to taste. Toss in a beef bouillon cube, the peel and segments of one small orange or tangerine (extra points if you can peel it in one long strip).

Process for 25 minutes. Let pressure naturally release.

Couldn’t be easier.

*If you don’t have an Instant Pot, use a dutch oven or large saucepan. Pre-soak (or quick soak by boiling for 2 minutes, covering and let sit for two hours) then add seasonings and cook for about 40 minutes.

20200322_140341

Beef and Black Bean Tamale Casserole

Lots of options and short-cuts if you like, but there’s something very rewarding about home cooking for those you love. If you cook your own beans, toss in some orange zest along with onion, garlic and cumin to really get the flavor going!

2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 can)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large Clove garlic — thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
1 tsp southwest seasoning (or a mix of cumin, chipotle, pepper, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups masa flour
2 chicken or beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water
1 tsp oil (to grease baking pan)
1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese

1. If cooking from scratch, prepare the beans.

2. Brown the beef, add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Drain if there is any grease.

3. Add the tomatoes, southwestern spices and beans. Adjust seasoning if needed. Simmer about half an hour to meld flavors.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the crust by combining the masa harina with the hot water and bouillon. Cover and let sit while the filling simmers.

5. Grease the bottom of a heavy casserole or oven proof skillet.

6. Spread half the crust into the bottom of the pan.

7. Spoon in the filling. Top with half the cheese.

8. Spoon the remaining crust over the filling. Smooth with the back of a spoon.

9. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

10. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and cooked through.

11. Serve with Salsa and Guacamole. (optional)

Servings: 6

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (11.1 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

Nutrition Tamale Beef Black Bean Casserole

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Main Dish

Applesauce Bread Pudding

20200321_202456
So you’ve gone full Pandemic Pioneer Woman..baking, preserving, conserving. What are you going to do with the leftovers?

APPLESAUCE BREAD PUDDING

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9″ baking dish. Tear half a loaf of leftover bread into tablespoon size pieces. Add to the dish. Top with a cup of chunky applesauce. Sprinkle on a generous amount of spice (I used cinnamon and cardamom). In a 2 cup pyrex measure in the microwave, melt two tablespoons butter. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, two eggs and a healthy dash of salt. Add enough milk or cream to measure 2 cups. Mix well and pour over the bread and applesauce. Bake at 350 until slightly puffed, set and golden. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bread

whole wheat bread

Nothing smells better than fresh baked homemade bread. Moist and fragrant with a hint of spice, this one is easy enough for inexperienced bakers but worthy of an artisan shop.

Cooking and baking are therapeutic, especially in the cold, grey, and often wet times of the year when we find ourselves housebound. (Or when you;re under a “stay at home” order during a pandemic!) Besides, baking is good for your soul, and I’m convinced that bread is the original source of aroma therapy. This one, especially if you add some ground spices, is comfort food for body and spirit.

This recipe only requires about half an hour of active time. Of the three and half hours from pantry to cooling rack, a good three hours are taken up by the dough’s quietly rising while you are free to do other things.

You don’t have to be a master baker to do this. Follow the directions and think good thoughts. Or, as my mom used to do, use the time spent kneading the dough to work out your frustrations on something productive.

If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can let it do the mixing and kneading, but honestly, I think that removes half the fun…

If your oven has a “proof” setting use it! If not, just be sure to let the dough rise in a warm (not hot) draft-free place.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Ingredients:

1 packet active dry yeast
2 cups warm water about 115°F
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt (less if you’re watching sodium intake)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Procedure:

1. In a large bowl, add the yeast to the warm water. Let sit up to five minutes.

2. Combine the melted butter, sugar and eggs. Beat lightly with a fork. Pour into yeast mixture

3. Mix the salt and flours in a large bowl. Add to the yeast/egg mixture. Don’t be timid about it. Just pour it in.

4. Using a fork, a spoon, or your own hands, stir to form a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 6-8 minutes, adding more flour if needed to make a smooth, elastic dough.

5. Return dough to a greased bowl. Turn to coat all surfaces. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.

6. Form into loaves** and place in lightly greased bread pans (9″x 4″). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

7. Turn out of pans and cool on rack. Makes to large loaves. Freezes well.

8. **To form loaves: Divide dough into two pieces. Flatten each into a 9″x6″ rectangle. Working from the short edge, roll dough into a snug cylinder. It will get longer as you roll. Pinch the edges (sides and bottom) together. Tuck ends under. Place in pan seam side down.

Servings: 24
Yield: 2 large loaves

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 3 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours and 25 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/24 of a recipe (2.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

nutrition whole wheat bread

Survival Stew

survival stew

My mother, may she rest in peace, was like most folk who grew up poor and hungry in Appalachia in the 1930’s, always very frugal. To the day she died (in 2012) she was embarrassed by her childhood and worried about whether her cooking, housekeeping and personal appearance were good enough. As a consequence, she was a great cook, a beautiful woman and great housekeeper. But more importantly, she always took care that every meal she prepared and served was delicious, wholesome, and made with love. And she never, ever, let on that in the early years of my life we, too, were very nearly as poor as she had been.

I remember one meal in particular — fried potatoes and brown cream gravy on toast. We thought it as a feast, never knowing when we ate it four nights a week that it was because Dad’s foreign duty military paychecks were late in arriving (again) and that she had bought the potatoes and bread on credit at the local market. She was that good.

I finally figured that out when I was a young mom and shopping had to wait until the next payday. In my case, the meal was called “Survival Stew” and I made it from whatever left-overs, fresh vegetables and cans of tomatoes I had in the pantry. My sons loved it, and my eldest still makes it and shares the “recipe” with his friends.

Now a days when I am blessed to have more than I need, I still make the soup when I am feeling especially stressed out, frustrated by life or just plain sad. Just smelling it on the stove is a reminder of the continuity of human experience, the goodness of life, and all the folks in every age who stand over a soup pot, cooking whatever they have with love and gratitude. ~ Glyn

Today’s Version
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 can kidney beans ( or any canned bean you have on hand)
1 can (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups water
4 herb-ox vegetable, beef or chicken bouillon cube
basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup savory sauce (soy, tamari, etc)
1/4 cup dried pasta (optional)

1. Saute and drain the ground beef. Set aside.

2. Saute the onion, garlic and celery in the vegetable oil.

3. Return the beef to the pot. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil,

4. Reduce the heat, and simmer for one hour.

5. Adjust seasoning and serve with muffins of biscuits or crackers.

Servings: 8

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (17.3 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.

nutrition survival stew

Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegetables

Homemade Matzoh

Matzoh6

!! EDITED!!

NOTE: I’ve just learned that this recipe IS NOT Kosher for Passover.

This recipe is my take on homemade Matzoh, adapted from the basic recipe on leitesculinaria.com.

Start to finish, it can be made in under 18 minutes if you preheat the oven first. I made these fairly thick and they cooked for about 8 minutes. The thinner they are the less time they take to cook. This makes 5 (quarter inch thick loaves), or 10 thin ones. They crisp as they cool.

They taste good and are more akin to what was eaten at the original Passover than the ones we buy at the market. But, strictly speaking,its just unleavened bread, not Matzoh.

Preheat oven to 500 F.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (plus more if needed)

Combine all ingredients. Mix into a shaggy dough. Squeeze together, adding more water by the tsp. if needed to hold together. Knead until smooth (about 5 minutes.) Tear off a chunk and roll as thinly as you desire. The thinner, the faster it will cook. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, poke holes in the surface. If you want to salt them, brush lightly with water (use your fingertips) and sprinkle on additional kosher salt.

Bake at 500 until the tops begin to brown in spots (thick ones take about 3-4 minutes per side. Use a spatula to turn. Bake other side until brown in spots. Remove from oven and cool. They will crisp as they cool.

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