Simple Ground Beef and Potatoes

This is one of those meals where I looked in my fridge to see what needed to be used.  It turned out surprisingly well, so I have decided to share with you what I did.  Since I started blogging, I try to write down what I do while cooking so that I can share it accurately.  🙂

 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground beef- raw

2 pounds red potatoes, diced with skins on

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 c. frozen corn (or more)

1 c. frozen peas (or more)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp sage

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp parsley

1/4 tsp coriander

 

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef.  Don’t drain the fat!  Set the beef aside, leaving the grease in the pan.  Cook the potatoes in the grease for about 10-15 minutes until they start to get soft (this will depend on how big or small you cut them).  Add in all other ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender and peas and corn are warm.  Feel free to add in more vegetables than called for!

 

 

 

Sausage Potato Spinach Soup

This soup was really good!  We were sad when all the leftovers were finished.  I made a really bad soup the other day that is NOT making the blog.  This soup, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it may even be good for you!

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Jimmy Dean regular sausage

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

5 c. chicken broth

1 bay leaf

1 pound red potatoes, diced with skins on

3 cups spinach (I used frozen spinach-can also use kale)

2 T. fresh basil

2 T. fresh oregano

Thickening agent: 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 1 T. chicken broth

 

Crockpot Directions:

Cook sausage and slice potatoes, onion, and garlic. Put all ingredients except spinach in Crockpot and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Add spinach in the last hour if on low and 30 minutes if on high. I skipped the cornstarch.

Stove top Directions:

Brown sausage in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Drain fat if needed.  Add garlic, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes.  Cook while stirring until onions are clear, about 3 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, chicken broth, and bay leaf.  Turn up the heat and let the soup begin to boil.  Add the potatoes and continue to boil the soup until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes.  At this point, I actually had to walk away from the soup, so I turned off the heat, put the lid on my dutch oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  When I came back, the potatoes were great!

Add in spinach and fresh herbs and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to droop.  Combine corn starch with chicken broth in a small bowl and then add to soup and stir.  I used this in place of 1/4 c. heavy cream.  If you can do the cream, go for it!

Original recipe:

http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/29/sausage-potato-spinach-soup/

 

Healthy Fruit and Nut and Seed Salad

This is one of those salads that looks healthy.  I think it’s the chia and pumpkin seeds that really give it that look.  This was one of those, “Hmmm….let’s see what’s in the fridge” meals.  What I thought was going to be a pretty boring meal actually turned out nicely.

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 apple, diced

1 T. pumpkin seeds

1 T. chia seeds

2 T. craisins

Salad dressing of your choice

Optional: top with chicken

 

Directions.  Put all ingredients on a plate or in a bowl, starting with spinach and ending with salad dressing.  Enjoy!

Coconut Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

1 T. butter (I used Earthbalance)

1 medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp yellow curry powder

2 1/4 c. pumpkin puree

2 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use HEB or Swanson’s) or vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

small handful of pumpkin seeds

 

Directions:

Heat butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the pumpkin seeds.  Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients except the pumpkin seeds (or blend it in a blender).  Serve in bowls or soup cups and sprinkle in pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.justataste.com/thai-coconut-pumpkin-soup-recipe/

Turkey Cranberry Salad (or Chicken)

I know, I know. This post would have been better around Thanksgiving time, but I wasn’t ready to post it then.  I was too busy having fun with family :-).  Instead, you are getting a random February post about Thanksgiving leftovers.  People make turkey other times of the year, right?  You could also use chicken instead of turkey if you don’t want to go to the trouble of cooking a big bird when it’s not a holiday. Or perhaps you still have leftovers in the freezer… If so, this is great way to make them moist and delicious instead of merely passable.  As the weather is warming up, think about taking this salad with you on a camping trip, a long hike, or just a fun family picnic.  You can even use canned chicken if you need to!

 

Ingredients:

3-4 c. cooked turkey or chicken, diced or shredded

4 T. diced red onion

3 T. diced celery

1/2 c. craisins

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. mayo (I used Vegennaise)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Combine mayo, paprika and salt.  Stir in remaining ingredients until combined.  Add more mayo if you want it to be more moist.  Eat with crackers, in a lettuce wrap, on a sandwich, etc.

Curried Coconut Chicken

I’m trying to remember the first time I had curry.  I think it might have been post college.  I can’t believe I waited that long to try it as now I typically have it a few times a month.  This is a simple one that doesn’t require you purchasing any special pastes.  It is also good for using up leftover vegetables you have sitting around.  In my case, I had green beans that needed to be used.  I hope you find this recipe as helpful as I have!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 T. olive oil

2 T. curry powder

1-2 c. diced chicken

1 small onion, sliced

3 tomatoes, diced

2-3 handfuls green beans, cut in thirds or 2-3 handfuls frozen veggies

1 can coconut milk

8 oz. tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-3 T. sugar, to taste

1 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Heat oil and curry powder in pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken and cook for 7-10 minutes or until cooked through and then remove to a bowl and set aside.  Cook onions in the same pan for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.  Add chicken back in.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until warm and vegetables are to desired tenderness.  Serve over rice.

Original recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/68532/curried-coconut-chicken/

Basil Mayo Burger

I love this mayo.  I had too much and so I went to the trouble of making new buns and burgers just so it wouldn’t go to waste!

Ingredients:

1 green onion or 1 T. white onion, chopped

3 T. slightly chopped fresh basil

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegennaise)

3 T. sour cream (I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)

1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce

1/4 tsp sea salt plus 1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a small blender/food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Serve on Pamela’s Hamburger Buns.  For the meat, I cook plain beef or turkey in 1/4 to 1/3 pound burgers.  Put a small dent with your thumb in the middle to help it cook all the way through.  Additional topping options: guacamole, tomato, pineapple, spinach, etc.

Original recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/perfect-summer-basil-burger-recipe.html

Green Curry and Vegetables

Curry is an interesting thing.  I used to think that curry was curry but now I realize that there are lots of varieties and mixtures.  Some are spicier, some are more bland.  Some have the consistency of tomato paste and others are the consistency of a restaurant salsa. Yellow curry powder is completely different from green or red curry paste.  So, when I saw a new type of curry paste on sale at the store, I decided to give it a try.  This one is called World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste.  It is more saucelike than pastelike in its consistency and it is fairly mild.  We found that the dish needed a few splashes of fish sauce to give it the right taste.  If you like Thai food but can’t handle spice, this may be the “paste” for you.  As always, you can mix and match the vegetables used.  I was cleaning out my vegetable drawer :-).  I recommend chopping most if not all of your vegetables before you start as it will speed up the cooking process.

 

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 lb. cubed chicken- omit or replace with tofu for vegetarian

6 T. green curry paste (World Foods Thai Green Curry Paste)

2 cans coconut milk

1 onion, chopped

1/2 c. chopped carrots

1/2 c. chopped celery

2 zucchinis, chopped

2 yellow squashes, chopped

4 green onions, sliced

1-2 T. fish sauce or to taste- omit if vegetarian

Rice or Thai noodles

 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add cubed chicken and curry paste and cook until chicken is cooked.  Remove chicken to a bowl.  Add coconut milk and onion, carrots, and celery and cook on medium high for 5-10 minutes.  Add zucchini and yellow squash and cook for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are to your preferred softness.  Add green onions and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Add fish sauce at the end and serve over rice or Thai noodles (some stores have gluten free ones- our HEB does).

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Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados

This is a “fancy” dish.  It looks fancy, and it doesn’t fill you up unless you have multiples, so obviously it’s fancy :-).  It is perfect for someone trying to lighten up on meals after the holidays or for anyone looking for a light, summery dish to brighten your winter blues.

 

Ingredients:

4 c. cubed cooked chicken  (I used this baked chicken.)

1 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise to make it egg free)

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2 c. dried cranberries

1 c. red grapes, halved

1 c. chopped celery

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, minced

1 c. chopped cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

6-12 avocados (or you can just eat the chicken salad with crackers)

Romaine lettuce leaves

Optional: 6 tomatoes for stuffing

 

Directions:

Cook chicken and chill.  Combine mayonnaise and paprika.  Add cranberries all ingredients except chicken and stir well.  Add chicken and stir again.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Chill for at least one hour.  Cut avocado(s) in half and remove pit.  Set out a romaine lettuce leaf.  Set avocado on lettuce leaf.  Spoon chicken salad over avocado and serve.

 

Tomato option: Another possibility is to scoop out the insides of some tomatoes and spoon the chicken salad into it.  I didn’t actually like this option much- it was more work and it didn’t look or taste as good as avocados.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-salad-stuffed-tomatoes-or-avocados-449115

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Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Feeling like you ate too much over the holidays?  Here is a light and healthy recipe for you to try.  This also would work well for a summer luncheon.  This is our favorite chicken salad so far!

 

Ingredients:

4 c. cubed cooked chicken  (I used this baked chicken.)

1 c. mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise to make it egg free)

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2 c. dried cranberries

1 c. red grapes, halved

1 c. chopped celery

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, minced

1 c. chopped cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Romaine lettuce leaves, UNchopped

 

Directions:

Cook chicken and chill.  Combine mayonnaise and paprika.  Add cranberries all ingredients except chicken and stir well.  Add chicken and stir again.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Chill for at least one hour.  Serve on washed romaine lettuce leaves.  Gently fold leaves to form a “wrap”.

 

Original recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-salad-stuffed-tomatoes-or-avocados-449115

 

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