Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pot Roast in a Crock Pot with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

If you want to cook something really easy for dinner, use a crock pot.  It cuts down your time in the kitchen and you create less dishes to clean.

Pot Roast in a Crock Pot
1 - 3 pound grass fed rump roast
1-1/2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 bay leaves
Very small onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
Add roast to the crock pot, add all other ingredients.  Turn crock pot on high and let cook for several hours.  I cooked mine for about 6 hours.  About an hour or so before serving, flip meat over.  You can use a little bit of the juice to serve over your meat.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes - the one I had actually was the size of two so I used it instead
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
Peel and chop sweet potato.  Place chopped sweet potatoes into a sauce pan with water.  Place on stove and cook over high heat until sweet potatoes are tender (could take upwards of 15 minutes, depending on the potato).  Once cooked remove from heat and drain in a colander.  Place potatoes back into the saucepan and place back on the burner, without heat.  Add butter and mash using a potato masher.  Once all large pieces are mashed, add a little bit of coconut milk and mash.  Continue to add more coconut milk until you get the consistency you want.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper and serve.

Wilted Spinach
1 package of fresh baby spinach
1 garlic clove, minced
Little bit of olive oil, just a small amount
In a large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add garlic, stir, add spinach.  Toss spinach in pan so that the olive oil mixes with the spinach.  Continue to toss until spinach has lost its crispness.  Don't cook it too much or it will become mushy.  Serve with a little salt and pepper.

Serve dinner with a nice wine.  We served our meal with a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Hickory Hill Vineyards located in Moneta, Virginia.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Catch me on Facebook

I have been considering creating a facebook page that ties to my blog for a while now.  I finally decided to do it.  I am hoping that you will look me up and follow me.  I am hoping that we can have discussions about food, what to make for dinner and hopefully I can provide some really great information.  Look forward to seeing you.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Waffles and Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches

Yesterday morning I made waffles and this morning I used the leftover waffles to make a breakfast sandwich.

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated (egg whites, beaten until stiff but not dry)
1-1/4 cups milk
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Beat egg yolks.  Add milk and oil.  Beat thoroughly.  Add to dry ingredients.  Combine quickly.  Gently fold in egg whites.  Bake 3 to 4 minutes in a hot waffle iron.  Serve with heated maple syrup.  I also used a blueberry sauce that was imported from France (it is made out of fruit and sugar).

Waffle Breakfast Sandwich
(Makes 1 sandwich)
1 egg
1 half of a left over waffle
Slice of cheese
Cut the waffle half in half and place both sections into a toaster and lightly toast.  In a small custard dish, spray with olive oil.  Add egg to custard cup and beat with a fork to break egg yolk.  Place a piece of wax paper over the custard cup and place in microwave.  Cook for 45 seconds at 40% power.  Then cook at regular power for 15 seconds.  (This is what works for my microwave without blowing egg all over the place).  Place egg on toasted waffle, top with cheese and place other half of waffle on top.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Taco Salad

Taco Salad
1 pound grass fed ground beef
Taco Seasoning (see recipe below)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Lettuce, torn into small pieces
Tomatoes, diced
Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Tacos (I used leftover tacos that I had in the cabinet, warmed them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes)
Sour cream
Use about 2 tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of ground beef.  Brown ground beef and then add seasoning and about 1/2 cup of water.  Cook until seasoning is absorbed.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of black beans to the pan of meat.  This will help to warm them up.  Break tacos in half and place on a plate, I used 2 tacos per plate.  Add lettuce and arugula.  Place a couple of spoonfuls of taco meat, add cheese, diced tomatoes.  Top with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  I also broke up another taco into small pieces and sprinkled on top of the salad.

Taco Seasoning
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground pepper

There is enough seasoning for 2 different meals.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Asian Salmon Salad

I will bet that you can tell from my previous posts that I haven't done fish for a while (we were out of it) and haven't really had that many vegetables.  We just love fresh vegetables and a salad is always a great solution.   Tonight I decided to make salmon and place it on a bed of greens.

Baked Salmon
2 salmon filets (I used Wild Coho Salmon from SeaBear)
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
1/4 of a red bell pepper
2 small tomatoes cut into small sections
Green leaf lettuce
A small amount of fresh ginger, grated
Crispy rice noodles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place salmon onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt (I used a bamboo flavored sea salt), and pepper.  Place salmon in the oven and cook for 14 minutes.  Time will vary based on the thickness of the salmon.   Remove salmon from pan by placing a spatula underneath the salmon fillet but just above the skin.  The skin will stick to the pan and the salmon will come right up.  Make sure that you don't oil the cookie sheet prior to putting the salmon on it otherwise it won't stick.  Place salmon on top of the lettuce, arugula, bell pepper and tomato, top with some fresh grated ginger. Serve with Asian dressing and top with rice noodles.

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place everything in a small jar and shake until mixed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Sauteed Bok Choy

I adapted the chicken recipe from one of my many cookbooks.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
6 tablespoons ketchup
juice from 1 lemon
4 tablespoons tamari
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon arrow root dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
lemon slices
In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook, turning until golden brown, about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine onion, ketchup, lemon juice, tamari, sugar, pepper and 1/2 cup water; blend well.  Pour mixture over chicken.  Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken to a serving platter, cover and keep warm.  Add arrow root mixture to the sauce.  Raise heat, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.  Pour over chicken and garnish with lemon slices.  (The lemon slices add a nice flavor if you cut- minus the outer skin -  them up and eat with the chicken)

Sauteed Bok Choy
Olive oil
2 small heads of bok choy
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and diced
Sesame seeds
Red Pepper Flakes
Wash and remove each leaf from the bok choy.  Cut tough stems (just a little) off of the bottom.  In a small skillet or wok, add oil and heat to medium.  Add garlic and ginger, let cook slightly to become fragrant.  Add
bok choy and toss, using tongs to coat the bok choy into the ginger and garlic.  Be careful that it doesn't cook too fast.  Add a splash of tamari, a dash of sesame seeds and a little bit of red pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you want it).  Toss to coat, remove from heat and serve.
Note: I cooked my bok choy a little longer than I wanted, so be cautious because it cooks fast.

Serve with some cooked rice and you have yourself a great meal!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pork Bratwurst with Red Cabbage

Wanted something super easy for dinner so I chose to cook this in the crock pot.

Bratwurst in Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
1 package of pork bratwurst (4 links)
1 jar sweet and sour red cabbage
Place the bratwurst and the cabbage into a crock pot.  Set the crock pot on high and cook until your desired doneness.  I cooked this for several hours.

I make these without a spatzle maker.  I have one but don't use it because quite frankly, I hate to clean it.  So I drop the dough by uses spoons.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup water
Butter (to toss cooked spatzle with)
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl; make a well in the center.  Add eggs and water to well and mix thoroughly.  Scoop up dough on a spoon and with another spoon cut off small little pieces of dough into a pot of boiling salted water.  As the spatzle rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon and put into a covered bowl with a little bit of butter until all are made.  Toss with more butter if needed and serve.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hailbut Cheeks in Lemon Caper Butter Sauce with Sauteed Kale

Let me start off by saying that cooking dinner tonight almost ended up with having the fire department show up at our house with sirens blasting.  What happened was that I was cooking the kale.  When I removed the lid a big blast of hot steam was sent forth up into the air.  When that happened I thought I wouldn't be surprised it if set off our smoke/fire detector, well it did.  Our detector is with an alarm company so that alarm was going off shouting "fire", "fire". as my husband desperately tried to get it to stop (resetting the alarm).  We should have gotten a call from the alarm company stating the obvious, that they had an alarm.  We did not receive a call, which we thought was strange.  I encouraged my husband to call the alarm company to make sure that the alarm went through and to tell them that all was okay.  Of course they had tried to call, it went to voice mail, so they naturally called the fire department.  We told the dispatcher that it was a false alarm and she said that they would work to get the firemen before they got to us.  Shortly after this we heard sirens, we knew they were coming for us.  Thankfully the sirens stopped so we knew that they had received the "all is okay" signal.  I think the worst thing that could of happened was 1) be totally embarrassed because firemen show up at my door as I am cooking dinner,  2) the neighbors knowing about number 1, and 3) that I didn't have enough food to feed them.  All of that being said, I did let the department know that I would make it up to them by posting on their facebook page.    I guess you can say that cooking dinner in my house is never dull.

Halibut Cheeks in Lemon, Caper and Butter Sauce
I have made this recipe before.  Click here to see what I did then.
1/2 cup flour, I used my gluten free flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound halibut cheeks
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay, from Virginia of course)
1 lemon, juiced 
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Put the flour on a deep plate and season well with salt and pepper.  Dredge the fish in flour.  Put a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and butter and get the skillet hot.  Add the cheeks and cook until browned on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip the fish and continue to cook until desired doneness, about 2 minutes more.  Remove the cheeks and set aside, keeping warm.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring to brown.  Remove and drain bacon on paper towels.  Put the skillet back over medium heat.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil, the white wine, lemon juice, capers, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the parsley and bring to a boil; boil until reduced and thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place a serving dish of the cheeks on a plate, pour the sauce over the fish with the bacon, and serve immediately.

Sauteed Kale
1-1/2 pound bunch of kale, washed/soaked, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup water (this time I used white wine in place of water**)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until soft , but not colored.  Raise the heat to high, add the water and kale and toss to combine.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all of the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste  and add vinegar.  Serve.
**I found that by using the white wine in place of the water it gave the kale a sweetness that we had not had before.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables and Egg Fried Rice

I am now back in my kitchen cooking once again.  We were away for a short vacation with this meal being our first come cooked meal in a while.  Wanted to keep it on the lighter side with a ton of vegetables.  

Some of the ingredients below are estimations.  

Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables and Egg Fried Rice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, sliced into small slices at an angle
1/2 of a red pepper, sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, snapped and cut into pieces
1 small handful of snow peas
1 small head bok choy (sliced thin)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 small green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup tamari
1-1/2 tablespoons arrow root
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Jasmine rice, cooked to package directions
1 egg
In a  wok or large skillet add coconut oil and heat.  Add chicken and cook until just about done (when no more pink can be seen), add chopped ginger.  Stir to coat chicken.  Add carrots and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes covered.  Add asparagus, and snow peas, cover and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add bok choy and the white part of the green onion, stir to incorporate.  In a small bowl add pineapple juice, tamari, arrrow root and ground ginger, mix well with whisk.  Add some of the liquid mixture to the wok and stir.  Add more until you get the right amount of liquid (you don't want the chicken and vegetables floating in it) and let it cook until it thickens.  Remove chicken and vegetables from wok, place in large bowl and keep warm.  Add cooked rice and egg.  Stir rice and egg around so that the egg becomes scrambled and mixed into the rice.  Use caution so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the wok.  Add the rest of the green onions and serve with chicken and vegetables.