Recipes

As food is obviously a big part of our lives I decided to share some of our favorite recipes.  These might not be the most cost effective recipes but they are generally pretty healthy and sometimes leave enough leftovers for lunch the next day.  I will add more over time but certainly let me know if you see something posted on my food updates that is not listed here.

*****************************************************************************

Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa
This became a favorite this winter as it is simple and makes a great dinner as well as plenty leftover for lunches.
Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 4 hours
Servings: 6-8
From: https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/slow-cooker-mexican-quinoa/

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds butternut squash ~4 cups
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno optional
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) mild red enchilada sauce*
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, fresh lime juice, sour cream, chopped cilantro, avocado

Instructions:

  1. Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Be generous!! I use a relatively new (5 years old) 6-quart crockpot for this recipe. Older crockpots don’t always cook as quickly or the same temperature throughout the whole crockpot.
  2. Peel and deseed the butternut squash. Cut it into cubes and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Add in the corn, drained and rinsed black beans, rinsed quinoa (I rinse mine in a fine mesh sieve), minced garlic, undrained fire-roasted petite diced tomatoes, diced jalapeno (if desired), the 2 cans of enchilada sauce (make sure you have the right ounce amount – these are the large cans), the vegetable or chicken broth, and the packet of taco seasoning.
  4. Give everything a really good stir, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the quinoa is cooked and the butternut squash is tender.
  5. Remove the lid and stir everything together really well. Allow the liquid to absorb while on low for another 30 minutes or until mostly absorbed.
  6. Season with any additional spices and/or salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Top bowls with optional toppings – some shredded cheese, fresh lime juice, sour cream, and cilantro is what we love!

Recipe Notes
I usually use about half of the amount of enchilada sauce and substitute in more broth instead.

*****************************************************************************

Lasagna Soup
This winter I got out the crockpot at least once a week and this new recipe made it into rotation a few times.
Serves: 10
From: 5 Ingredients or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook

  • 2 lbs Italian seasoned ground turkey
  • 1 26 oz jar extra chunky pasta sauce
  • 8 c beef broth (used 6 for pressure cooker)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 12 oz dry pasta noodles
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Added 3 carrots
  • Added spinach
Use a 6 quart slow cooker. Add the ground turkey to a large skillet on the stove top over medium heat and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until browned. Discard any accumulated fat. Add the browned meat to the insert, and then the jar of pasta sauce. Stir in the broth, diced tomatoes, and dry pasta. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

*****************************************************************************

Glazed Salmon
A favorite shared from a friend. We usually cook just 2 salmon fillets as leftover fish at work is frowned upon.

  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 center-cut skin on salmon fillets (608 oz each)
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Soy Mustard Glaze:

  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T mirin
  • 1 T sherry vinegar (I substitute 3/4 part red wine vinegar and 1/2 part sherry)
  • 1 T whole grain mustard
  • 1T water
  • 1tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. Heat oven to 30, adjust rack to middle position. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pat salmon dry w/paper towels and season with pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top of flesh side of salmon, rubbing to distribute.
  2. Heat oil in 12″ oven safe skillet over med-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon flesh side down in skillet, and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for one minute.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and spoon glace evenly over salmon fillets. Transfer skillet to over and cook until center of thickest part of fillets register at 125 degrees on instant read thermometer and is still translucent with cut into with paring knife, 7-10 minutes.

*****************************************************************************

Grilled Salmon
For a healthier alternative than the salmon above try this one.

Ingredients:

  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 14 ox fresh wild salmon fillet

Directions:

  1. Mix balsamic vinegar, oregano, and minced garlic in a bowl.
  2. Brush marinade over salmon and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Lay salmon fillets skin side down on grill.
  4. Grill 12-15 minutes (check earlier to make sure not to overcook).

grilled-salmon

*****************************************************************************

Wilted Kale
Kale is one of my favorite vegetables (I know, I am strange)! This recipe is easy to modify but here is the basic recipe to build from.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic, cut in half and gently crushed
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Cooked beets (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash and de-vein the kale. Rip into smaller pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic to oil in pan. Heat until soft and lightly browned. Press out some of the juice with tongues
    and then remove.
  4. Add the kale. Sprinkle with salt, turning to get the entire batch (the pan is usually pretty full so
    sometimes you have to let it cook down for a minute before turning).
  5. Cover and cook down, turning occasionally with tongues.
  6. Sprinkle with nutmeg when it is almost wilted down.
  7. Option 1: add Balsamic when cooked and sprinkle with sesame seeds
  8. Option 2: add cooked beets
  9. Option 3: add bacon
Wilted kale with ham & pineapples and Against The Grain GF roll

 

*****************************************************************************

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Pref Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tsp each: Himalayan or Celtic sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees f
  2. Rinse sweet potato under cold water and cut into small spears
  3. Combine spices in a small bowl
  4. Drizzle spears with olive oil
  5. Dust spears with spice mix, then place on a baking sheet
  6. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until cooked to desired crispiness
cajun-sweet-pot-fries

 

*****************************************************************************

Almond Chicken
Serves 4 – we usually cook all 4 servings and use the other two for lunch or dinner the next
day. This is a great gluten free recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 egg whites and 1 yolk
  • 2 c almond flour (this is expensive but you could substitute white flour if not gluten free)
  • 2 Tsp Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450
2. beat egg whites and yolk
3. mix almond flour with salt and cayenne
4. spread coconut oil on baking sheet
5. dip chicken in egg wash
6. coat chicken with flour (shaking in baggie)
7. cook at 450 for 25 mins

 
 *****************************************************************************
Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
An awesome fall or winter vegetable that I do cook year round as it is so tasty!
4 servings, about 1 cup each
Active time: 10 minutes, Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 8 cups 1 inch-thick slices cauliflower florets (depending on size about 1 head)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 finely shredded Parmesan cheese (we use very little to make it healthier)
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed
baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15-20 minutes. Toss
the cauliflower with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the own and roast
until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5-10 minutes more.
Per serving: 149 calories; 10 g fat ( 3 g sat , 6 g mono ); 7 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 7 g
protein;4 g fiber; 364 mg sodium; 490 mg potassium.
Roasted cauliflower, grilled pork, green beans with dried cranberries and sliced almonds. 

*****************************************************************************

Honey Mustard Chicken
Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into medium sized chunks
  • Corn Starch, flour or GF flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Whole Grain mustard
  • Soy Sauce (Tamari if gluten free)
  • Chicken/beef broth

Directions

1. Dredge chicken pieces in cornstarch or flour
2. Coat frying pan with olive oil and lightly brown, but do not completely cook chicken pieces.
3. Remove chicken pieces and set aside.
4. Deglaze pan with broth
5. Add equal parts Dijon, whole grain mustard, and honey (or maple syrup!) about ⅓ C each,
depending on amount of chicken.
6. Stir to combine ingredients
7. Add chicken pieces back in and cook until chicken is done (cover to prevent from drying out.)

Honey mustard chicken with wilted kale and beets

*****************************************************************************

Ham, Broccoli and Rice Skillet Dinner (lunch)
I often cook a ham steak (a larger one) for dinner and use the leftover piece in this recipe for lunch the following day.  (This is one of Mr. SFF’s favorite lunches).

Prep Time: 25 min, Total Time: 35 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp butter or margarine
  • 1/2 C chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 package (4.3 oz) long grain wild rice mix
  • 1 2/3 C water
  • 2 C broccoli
  • 1 1/2 C cubed cooked ham

Directions:

  1. in 10-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and rice from mix; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until onion begins to cook. Stir in water and contents of seasoning packet from mix; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in broccoli and ham; return to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender and rice is tender.