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Archive for the ‘Main Dish’ Category

Chili

I’ve debated putting my chili recipe up, because in a lot of ways chili is chili is chili.  However I think I’ve struck a great balance of spice and a hearty base from which to add too.  This recipe feeds me 7 hearty dinners.  I typically bake up some cornbread and have a small baked potato to complete the dish.

The other advantage of this dish is that i cook a vegetarian portion as well as one with meat.  If I’m cooking for myself I simply add the two together, however it allows you to cater for both.

Base Ingredients:

Olive oil

Green lentils (1cup)

Red kidney beans (15oz can)

Black Beans (15oz can)

Crushed tomatoes (32oz can)

Yellow onion (1)

Garlic (5 cloves)

 1lb chicken diced

1lb turkey ground

Spice Ingredients:

Red bell pepper (1)

Anaheim Chili (1)

Jalapeno (2)

Chili powder (to taste)

Cumin pepper (to taste)

Additions: Celery, carrots, potatoes, sausage, beef, tofu, cheese, green onion, etc.

 

Dice up all the vegetables and cut the chicken into small pieces.  Use a large pot and a large frying and pan and simulateously cook two parts of the chili.  Dribble olive oil in the bottom of both pans.  In the frying pan cook the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes at medium-high heat.  Next add about 10oz of the crushed tomatoes to the pan in addition to 1 cup of water and the lentils. 

In the pot throw in the chicken, turkey and remaining crushed tomatoes.  Next throw all peppers in splitting them between the two pots.  Cover them both, occasionally stirring for 10 minutes.

Add half the beans to each pot as well as about 1tsp of both chili powder and cumin to each mix (so 2tsp of cumin and 2 of chili powder.  More can be added at the end).  Now let both pots sit on low-medium heat for 30 minutes.

The lentils may not completely cook in the 30 minutes; nonetheless, after thirty minutes turn off the stove and combine the pan into the large pot.  Cover the pot and let sit for another ½ hour letting the flavors mix and allowing the lentils to cook through.

 

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Good recipe from a magazine.  I’m working to think up ways to make it more bold.

2 large russet potataoes

3 egg yolks

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup fresh basil

1&1/4 cups flour (maybe more)

2 tbs olive oil

1 yellow onion

2 cups cremini mushrooms

1/4 cup parmesan

Skin and boil the potatoes.  Mash the potatoes into a smooth consistency with minimal lumps. In a large bowl add in the egg yolks, salt, 1/3 cup basil and 1 cup of flower.  Next Knead the dough adding flour until you reach a bread consistency, not sticky.  Transfer dough to a flowered surface and flatten/roll into a 3/4″ thick sheet.  Sprinkle with flower.  Cut into 1/2″ by 1/2″ squares.

Separately heat up a skillet with 1tbs olive oil.  Dice the onion and slice the mushrooms.  When the skillet is hot add the onion, 5 minutes later add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium heat.

While the onions and mushrooms cook, boil a large pot of water.  Add the gnocchi and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the dumplings rise to the surface.  Use a slotted spoon to drain off water and place finished gnocchi in a bowl (I did three batches, just to be sure the pieces wouldn’t stick together).  In the bowl toss the gnocchi with 1tbs olive oil, remaining basil, and a pinch of salt.

Add the two parts together and sprinkle on the Parmesan.

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Not the best photo or presentation, probably cause I was ready to dig in for seconds

So I thought I was the first person to make a Sweet Potato Enchilada, turns out I’m not according to google, but I claim to be the first person to make it a California Enchilada.

So the first stage follows the Sweet Potato Burrito recipe exactly.  You’ll be making the exact same base.

Ingredients: in addition to Sweet Potato Burrito Ingredients

1 (28oz) Can of either red or green Enchilada Sauce

corn tortilla package (at least 12, around 6″ diam)

1 small sweet potato (not the same (orange) variety as in the base, a yellow one)

1 avocado

grated cheese (as much or as little as you want)

Additions:

olives, canned corn, sour cream, diced tomato, etc.

Cook the base for the sweet potato burrito.  Preheat oven to 350.

Next open the enchilada sauce up and pour enough to cover the bottom of a glass baking dish.  Dip a tortilla in the can, and completely cover the tortilla in sauce (its messy).  Fill tortilla with sweet potato base and sprinkle on some cheese roll it up as best you can and place in pan, repeat filling up pans as best you can.  When you’ve filled up all your pans or run out of materials pour the remainder of sauce on top and sprinkle with any extra cheese.  Cook for 25ish minutes, or until the cheese is cooking and the sauce is bubbling.

Ready for the oven

While this is cooking cut up the yellow sweet potato into fry sized pieces.  On med-high heat fry the potato in some olive oil (about 2 or 3 tbs) until golden/burned on most sides.  When your enchiladas are done try to resist eating them immediately, let them set.  When ready top with your sweet potato fries, some sliced avocado and any other additions you may have.

Leftovers: Enchiladas store great in the fridge for a few days.  I typically have extra sweet potato base, but I just make a sweet potato burrito, or tacos, or fry it in the morning for as a potato cake with eggs.

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This is quick recipe…not quite 10 minutes, but can be put together in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 package of extra firm tofu (16oz)

1-2 Zucchini

1 carrot (or a handful of baby carrots)

1 broccoli crown

1 handful of bean sprouts

1/3-1/2 onion

cilantro (4finger pinch…about 3-4 tablespoons)

Sauce ( I used a combo of Soy Sauce, Peanut Sauce, and Hoisin Sauce.   Sriracha would be good too)

olive oil, spices (I used a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, pepper, and cumin)

Firstly cut the onion into slices.  Secondly cut the tofu block into about half inch cubes.  The remainder of the vegetables can be cut up into stir fry sized pieces.

On high heat put a drizzling of oil (only 1 or 2 tablespoons necessary) and the onion and tofu in a large skillet.  Then drizzle on whatever sauce you have chosen in whatever amount you feel is good.  Also add in any other spices.  Toss the tofu/onion and attempt to get the tofu browned.  I usually cook on high for about 5 minutes.

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I then throw in everything except for the cilantro and bean sprouts and turn down the heat to medium.  Add more sauce as necessary.  Finally after about an additional 5 minutes throw in the bean sprouts and cilantro, turn the heat back up to high and then take off in about 3 minutes…I usually wait for the majority of moisture to be gone.

Enjoy, serve with rice, on rice, with pasta, quinoa, etc.  It’s not the most beautiful of dishes, but it is a great tasting (if you’ve got some good sauce), well balanced vegetarian dish.

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Pulled Pork!

Firstly, I have to give credit to my Aunt for introducing me to the wonder that is pulled pork.

So, this recipe kinda goes against the grain of what I intended this blog to be…but who doesn’t splurge from their resolutions every once and a while.

This recipe is super simple with the aide of a crockpot…but a large pot and a low/simmer setting on a stove is sufficient.  You need to plan this puppy out because you let it cook for 8 hours.

Ingredients:

Pork

Root Beer

Spices (Garlic, Pepper, paprika, you name it, you could add it)

BBQ Sauce, or rather BBQ Suace (pronounced: SueOss) any brand will do.

Buns (Hamburger buns and Sandwich rolls are great)

The pork.  You could probably use any cut you like.  I always go for the cheapest.  In my case it was pork shoulder, and all i did was cut off huge hunks off the bone and put them in the crockpot.  Next, for about every 2lbs. of pork I put in a cup of root beer, this is not in the least bit science…basically immerse the majority of the pork in root beer.  Finally add whatever it is you want to this, be creative, be simplistic, it really doesn’t matter cause in the end its gonna taste AMAZING.  Cook on low for 7 hours.

After 7 hours, drain the liquid, saving some in a cup to moisten if needed.  Don’t be a draining nazi, you want the pork to be moist.  Next take two forks and pull the pork…it should just easily separate.  Lastly add a good amount of BBQ Suace.  I’d suggest about 1/4 or 1/3 cup of Suace per pound.  You want a very moist pulled pork, so add back in some of the drained liquid if needed.  Cover again and let this cook on low for another hour.  During this hour you can make some sides…Coleslaw is the classic combo but Salad, potatoes, fries, beans, whatever…it’ll all go well with this dish.

When it’s done just pile on as much as you like…each individual can add more BBQ as desired, you’re eating pulled pork, so go all in, and enjoy it.

Leftovers & Freezing:  just more time to marinate.  Since it’s basically mush, it reheats well, and is great to freeze.

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Delicious.  So this recipe is not vegetarian, but it does incorporate a lot of vegetables and takes the meat and makes its flavor go a long way.  There are probably a lot of things you could add to this, and if you wanted a strictly vegetarian dish you could just leave out the sausage, and maybe add in tofu or mushrooms, but you’d want to add some spice for sure.  Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:

4 medium/large zucchini

10 oz sausage (i used a pesto chicken sausage from trader joes)

1 small onion, (or about 3/4 cup chopped)

1/3 dried bread crumbs

1 egg

pepper ( you can also add salt or other spices)

3 tablespoons parsley flakes

1 tomato

3 bell peppers, color variety a plus

sprinkling of parmesan cheese

Use a knife to cut strips into the seeded portion and then use a spoon to dig out the innards, leaving a 1/8" zucchini shell

1 tomato

Side:

Quinoa

So, start off with your zucchini.  Cut the top and bottoms off, then cut it in half lengthwise (hint: cut it 90 deg from where it rests normally so when you’ve cut it in half it will rest naturally with the cut side up, rather than tilted at an angle.  This allows you to stuff more awesomeness in.)  Then gut the zucchini as shown to the right.  Do this to each half of each zucchini.

At this point start to preheat the oven to 400.    Dice up all the “guts” of the zucchini and place in a medium bowl.  Next cut each bell pepper in half and toss the seeded section.  Set aside one half of each for filling, and with the other half, dice up and place in bowl with diced zucchini.  Next dice up the onion, throw it in the bowl and then dice up the sausage.  You want the diced pieces to be fairly small…Next in a small dish/bowl mix an egg with the parsley flakes and a few pinches of ground pepper.  Pour this into the diced up vegetable/sausage bowl and give it a good mix.  Lastly pour in the bread crumbs and mix.

Throw on some freshly diced tomato and serve with quinoa piled on top or to the side.

All you do now is place some aluminum foil in a glass pan (I’m typically not a fan of using foil, cause it’s generally a waste, but it actually changes the dynamic of how the dish cooks) and then put your hollow veggies on top.  Stuff them with your diced awesomeness.  Mound them up, the zucchini should be overflowing with diced awesomeness.  Sprinkle the tops with some grated parmesan cheese.  Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.  Dice up your tomato and sprinkle on after you take it out of the oven.  Enjoy!

Leftovers, or If you’re cooking for one, I had no problem keeping the the diced portion in the fridge for 3 days.  Each night i would take however many hollowed vegetables I wanted and stuff and bake.  Tasted great on day Three.

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This can be a vegetarian meal if you use a vegetarian tortellini.  Ravioli would work too.

Ingredients:

pkg of tortellini

pkg of “stir fry” frozen vegetables

Sauce:

Can use any sauce you have, but a more exotic option would be to use peanut sauce and cashews.

Base your sauce choice on the style of tortellini you’re using…or what you have in your fridge.

Boil and cook the tortellini as directed on the package.  While this is happening heat up a large skillet and give the package of frozen vegetables a head start in the microwave by zapping them for 2 or 3 minutes.   Next throw them in the skillet with a little water or oil.  Lastly strain the tortellini and then pour them into the skillet.  Lastly throw on your sauce and “stir fry” for a minute or two…Enjoy a simple slightly more balanced dinner

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