When you get home with basil, tempeh, spaghetti squash and realize the basil was supposed to be spinach…you know you’re probably going to have an interesting dinner. It just so happened that in my failure to READ the recipe…I made the dish slightly amazing if I might say. I just tried to burn it first.
This is what I was hoping to make:
This is what it ended up like….
I didn’t have Mirin (so I used honey) and I didn’t have tamari (so I used soy sauce). I forgot the garlic but I had basil!
// // // // // // // // //
- 12 ounces tempeh, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium
- 1/4 cup
mirinhoney 2 cloves garlic, finely choppednope
- 1 (2.5-pound) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
- 2 cups small broccoli florets (1 bag of frozen broccoli cooked)
1 cup packed baby spinacha handful of fresh basil
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, gently toss together tempeh,
tamari soy sauce, mirin honey and garlic; set aside to let marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange squash halves, cut sides down (I would do that if I had a larger baking dish), in a large baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup water into dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, turn over squash and set aside to let cool slightly.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain tempeh, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat pasta sauce in a medium pot over medium heat until hot throughout then add broccoli and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove pot from the heat.
Using a fork, scrape strands of spaghetti squash onto a serving platter. Spoon hot pasta sauce and broccoli over squash, top with tempeh and serve.
It was DELICIOUS! Thanks Whole Foods. I think the basil did add a lot of flavor. I would make it with basil and forgo the spinach.
Who knew apple butterflies and apple ‘flowers’ could inspire lunch time! One lazy raining afternoon, I was cutting up apple slices for Sweetpea’s lunch. For some reason, she started talking about “triangles” (or “treigh-nals) and “circles”. So I thought I’d arranged the apple pieces into triangles and circles. She seemed intrigued. So we tried ‘flowers’ and butterflies. As I started decorating them with raisins and cheese, she devoured it all!
Side note…our little lady has a thing for NOT EATING. So anything that motivates her to eat! I’m in.
As I recounted this story to my mother, she said she used to make rabbit grass for me. Apparently, my daughter may emulate me (ALOT). Rabbit Grass is…grated carrots with raisins. I will have to try that next.
While I was making pumpkin pancakes this morning (BECAUSE IT’S AUTUMN!!!!!), I thought I’d throw together a slow cooker recipe.
Yes, I love cooking with my daughter. She and I threw (literally) together our pumpkin pancakes this morning. I love that she wants to “help”. Anytime I’m in the kitchen, she’s asking to “heeaaallllllllllllpppp?” I love learning play!! I try to say yes! Get right in and up here. Cleaning up can easily happen and I can always make the recipe again if it all ends on the floor. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Pancakes/ (I did add about an extra 1/2-3/4 c milk to thin them down…as George said…not a fan of pancake bricks…I’ll take the pancake version).
Anyhow, while the pancakes were cooking (on very very low) we put together the spices and juices in the slow cooker while we defrosted the chicken in the microwave (on the defrost function). 8 minutes later I put the chicken in the slow cooker and turned it on for 6.5 hours.
Recipe compliments of Closet Cooking: http://www.closetcooking.com/2014/04/slow-cooker-chicken-carnitas-tacos.html
1 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 t prechopped garlic
chili powder I used cayenne (I’m apparently out of chili powder)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
The recipe went on to say broil it and crisp it up but if you don’t have time…don’t!
I will be the first to admit, the grill has been the most intimidating thing in our postage sized backyard (think small and divide by 42). So when George was working his typical late day, I marched out to the grill determined to make dinner (or burn/blow something up). We’ve only had the grill for three years and I’ve never used it. Somehow that became George’s domain and not something I do. Whatever, roles happen in marriage so when he had asked me why I don’t try…I kept thinking…Yeah. Why don’t I? So…
Perhaps, I should step back for a second. Fish: I have traditionally failed at cooking fish (from a salt lick — it said add salt!!, to overly fishy nastiness)…Salmon has been categorized in my brain as…hmmm…FISH. So therefore, again, out of the picture (insert George talking about Omega-3s and how healthy they are…Omega 3 article). So fine. I will make take a detour.
Farm Raised or Wild Caught.
1. Which Salmon Should I Buy
– I chose Sockeye Wild Caught…it’s classified as fishy but with a cedar plank from Whole Foods (or Amazon.com)…it’s positively DELICIOUS (I promise). So if you purchase farm raised, I’d REALLY recommend the plank…it absolves all sorts of (fishy tasting) sins. I tend to think the wild caught, though more pricey, tastes better. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_xleu84BJU…I kind of love Alton Brown)
Wild caught is about $15/lb here. So maybe that’s a bit much. Sometimes I feel farm is better than none at all?
How I did it:
1. Purchase Fish (debone if necessary…which means pulling out little one inch tines with your fingers..lots of hand washing involved…some butchers remove them for you)
2. Soak Cedar Plank in water (the soaking part is key to fire prevention)
3. Put fish skin side down on plank and let it come to room temperature
3a. Chop up veggies, arrange on foil, lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper
3b. Put up baby in a safe place
4. Set up your grill according to directions
5. Put some foil down, put your veggies on the foil on the grill and start
6. Cook until internal temperature is 130-145’F (I live by an internal thermometer…I use the regular one I use for all other meat in the kitchen)
7. Take fish and veggies off grill
8. Let fish set for a few minutes after it comes off the grill
9. Serve with a nice glass of wine
I had grand plans of making 5 slow cooker recipes this week. That was until I accidentally strained the beans out of the pot into the sink…etc…etc…So we had two slow cooker menus, the standby pasta dinner, and a quick chicken dinner (quick-ish = 45 minutes).
As my mother would say, both recipes were “Banner Batches.” I liked the soup so much I had it for lunch twice in addition to dinner on Tuesday. Okay, that could have been influenced by the fact that my lunch planning was slightly lacking. Friday’s lunch was “buy your own” … whoops.
1. Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone
Notes: Some people on the http://www.howsweeteats.com website commented that this was flavorless or flat, but to me it was perfect. I loved it and so did George.
2. Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Mango Salsa
Notes: I think I woke up twice during the night as this one was cooking. It smelled AMAZING. The jerk seasoning added a lot of flavor. I thought I might skip making the salsa…the mango salsa really made this dinner amazing.
3. Caramelized Onion Chicken
Not a slow cooker recipe but a relatively easy/quick/delicious dinner
Seeing that this past week was a meat mash wash (read my recipes failed to be delicious), I am going to rehash my top 5 recipes (which might be my last couple posts??). In no particular order other than flavorful, easy to make, and down right good.
1. Savory Pepper Steak ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/04/dad-friendly-slow-cooker-meal/)
– Continues to meet the mark. It’s legitimately delicious, easy and the whole family loves it.
2. M’s Tortilla Soup ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/03/16/tortilla-soup-amazingness/)
– Can be made (quickly) on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. Family favorite for about 8 years now! (Where does the time go????)
3. Turkey Lentil Soup ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/24/now-that-one-was-delicious/)
– Surprise! We loved it!!
4. Beef Fajitas ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/03/22/fajitas-march-madness-perfection/)
– The seared meat with the spice rub were … well it’s 7am and I’m wishing it was for dinner tonight. The rub added so much flavor! We had it as a main entree, in lettuce wraps or burritos. So YUMMY!!!!!!
5. Beef Curry ( https://mamathyme.com/2014/02/09/paleo-with-a-twist/)
How I do it:
1. Prep and freeze on weekend
2. Cook at night (thaw prior to cooking) Monday morning before work place in containers (we like glass)
5a. Thaw Tuesday night’s dinner Monday morning
6. Monday night….dinner’s ready! SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES!!!!!!
I’ve kind of fallen in love with coconut oil. When my sister in law mentioned that she used coconut oil as a moisturizer I was highly skeptical. I kept seeing articles online that sang the glories of the oil, so I decided to give it a shot (step aside my long favorite Clinique). As I moved past my evening face care routine, I started looking for other coconut oil uses.
I found Plantain Chips
Recipe from http://www.hollywoodhomestead.com/plantain-chips/
3 green plantains
2.5 cups coconut oil for frying (I used 3/4 cup)
Sea salt to taste (definitely a must)
1. Chop plantains very thinly
2. Heat oil in large pan (I used 3/4 cup because I just didn’t have 2.5 cups to spare)
3. Add one plantain to heated oil (move with spatula after first few seconds to make sure it doesn’t stick)
4. Fry on each side on medium high for about 6 minutes ish per side
5. Place on absorbent paper towel and lightly salt while hot
6. Repeat for the other two plantains
Several years ago, a friend (M) shared this recipe with me. It has changed somewhat into our version of her soup, but in honor of her, we still call it M’s Soup.
So far, I have made this twice in the slow cooker with pretty good success. Put the following in the slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours:
15 oz Can of Corned Corn (or a frozen bag of corn)
10 oz Can of Rotel or chopped tomatoes (Undrained)
10 oz Black Beans (Drained)
16 oz Chicken Broth
2 Chicken Breasts
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
1 Small Can of Chopped Green Chilis
1t Red Pepper Flakes
When complete, I shred the chicken (while still in the crockpot), pack it up for the evening. To serve, I like grated cheese on my soup (George doesn’t), and stirring in some tortilla chips.
I think I’m a bit out of sync here. I need to post here AFTER I’ve tried the recipe(s). However, this week I’m just too excited about two sites I’ve found. I shortened the recipes to keep with the goal of quick-easy-simple however my changes MAY have been influenced by what I had on hand. I am loving coconut milk, fresh ginger and am pretty excited about cilantro! After making the Savory Pepper Steak from last week, I am convinced the trick for slow cooking is building flavor. I’m hoping these last three items make for delicious dinners this week!
Beef curry came from http://www.rubiesandradishes.com/2013/12/03/easy-slow-cooker-curry-2-ways/. I chose to try the beef version since the cook time is closer to 8 hours. I also added about a tablespoon of fresh ginger and a teaspoon of minced garlic (or one clove).
Cilantro chicken came from http://www.honeygheeandme.com/2014/01/crock-pot-cilantro-chicken-whole30/ I modified this one a lot.
1 large yellow onion, about 2 cups diced
5 large garlic cloves, about 2 tbsp minced
1 Serrano chile pepper, about 1 tbsp minced (half deseeded) I used a can of chopped green chilis and kept the juices
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek I didn’t have on hand
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk (not light)
2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
4-6 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless (approx 1.25- 1.5 lb) I used 5 gmo free, organic chicken drumbsticks.
I didn’t brown the chicken or the beef…I threw it all in a plastic bag, labeled it and froze it for this up coming week. We’ll see how it turns out!
If you’re interested, I’m on Pinterest as ‘Mama Thyme’, I’m tracking the recipes I love and my research recipes (recipes in test).
So much of my day to and from work is rush-faster-leaner-stronger…….so when it’s time to sit down and enjoy dinner — I would rather pass on the tasteless meat mash. My slow cooker focus is: quick, easy, less than a million ingredients/steps, and delicious.
When a friend mentioned she was making “SLOW COOKER KOREAN GRASS FED SHORT RIBS” I was intrigued. Could be slightly amazing. Two recipes later….and I have the prospects of decent exciting dinners that happen to be Paleo — I count that as a win.
To me, the Korean Short Ribs are more complicated than simple (you have to brown, chop, blend, prep stuff). The recipe is here: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3762844557/slow-cooker-korean-grass-fed-short-ribs I made it anyway.
My other adventure for today was “Smokey Roast” which had equal praise and was quite simple to make.
Stir “The Actors” in a bowl, thoroughly cover/rub into 2.5 lbs beef chuck roast, brown in coconut oil (5 min each side). Chop 1 onion. Put in bag. I stopped there. I’ll add 3/4 cups water when I cook it for 7-8 hours. We’ll see how I did! The recipe came from here: http://everydaypaleo.com/smokey-roast/