LFD – Chickpea stew over rainbow kale. 3/20/21

Chickpea stew over rainbow kale

LFD (Leftovers For Dinner) is on the menu tonight and you probably recognize the dish from Meatless Monday. Since the chickpea stew has been sitting in the refrigerator all week, it has absorbed most of the liquid in the dish. You can see in the picture how fat the pasta has gotten. So I added back in some stock. I just heat the stew on the stove top but for a change from Monday’s dish I serve it over raw kale leaves. Not to waste anything, I have chopped up the thick kale stems and let it cook with stew.

By the time Saturday rolls around and I have been cooking all week, I love the simplicity of Leftovers For Dinner.

Posted in American, Easy, Kitchen tips, leftovers, Leftovers For Dinner, Legumes, Pasta, stew, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Weekly winner – Brazil! Shrimp Moqueca 3/19/21

Brazilian Shrimp Moqueca (Shrimp stew/soup in a spicy, tomato-y, coconut broth)

First, thank you to all the Brazilians who happened upon my site while looking for something else! We had fun reading Brazilian recipes and deciding on this moqueca to make.

Moqueca is a Brazilian seafood stew. …Moqueca can be made with shrimp or fish as a base with tomatoes, onions, garlic, lime and cilantro. The name moqueca comes from the term mu’keka in Kimbundu language. Wikipedia

It is pretty easy to make. I found a recipe on homesweetjones.com which we felt we could replicate. Really the only changes we made was to use a teaspoon of olive oil to sauté the vegetables, a cup of chicken stock in place of the boullion cube and water, and we also substituted a can of light coconut milk instead of full fat.

Having made this we decided there was one thing we would change for next time. The broth came out too thin so we would probably thicken it with something and maybe use a couple of drops of coconut extract to up the coconut flavor or else use full fat coconut milk which is off the chart points-wise for my diet.

All in all it was a pretty good dish and I think we will make it again.

Posted in Easy, Kitchen tips, pescatarian, Recipes, Shellfish, South American, stew, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chicken piccata, mashed potatoes, asparagus. 3/18/21

Chicken piccata, mashed potatoes, asparagus

Since I was tired of our usual Classic Chicken, I pushed for a different way to make chicken this week. We came up with chicken piccata which is basically chicken breast pounded out, seasoned with salt and pepper, and dusted with flour. John sauteed the chicken in olive oil spray and a teaspoon of olive oil. The sauce is made out the chicken drippings, chicken stock, white wine, lemon juice and zest, shallots, mushrooms, capers, garlic, and a teaspoon of butter swirled in.

When the chicken was about ready I mashed the boiled potatoes with faux butter, a teaspoon of real butter, and some milk. I sliced the asparagus and cooked the pieces in a little water.

The lemony caper sauce was great on the chicken but it also tasted wonderful on the potatoes and asparagus. Maybe this is my new classic chicken dinner!

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St. Patrick’s Day Fusion. 3/17/21

Sweet and sour stuffed cabbage

Since we have been celebrating as many food-themed holidays as we can due to the tedium of the pandemic, why not St. Patrick’s Day too?! My sisters were telling me how they were making Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage. They and I are at least 3/8ths Irish. Certainly enough Irish for a celebration. But what of my other family members. Our daughter is only 3/16ths Irish because John is not Irish at all. He is half ethnic Polish and half Jewish Polish. So, how can I fuse these cuisines together?

Our daughter decides to make Irish soda bread. Good start. It turns out delicious, kind of like panettone with caraway seeds. She says it is very easy to make (unlike panettone.)

Irish soda bread

John and I decide on sweet and sour stuffed cabbage as the main course. We have made this before for the Jewish holiday of Succoth but it involves a lot of work so it does not appear in the regular rotation of dinners. John is charged with making the stuffing for the cabbage and I am in charge of getting the cabbage leaves off (I used boiling water to loosen them), stuffing the leaves, and making the sauce. The Instant Pot will take care of the cooking. After loading in the sauce and cabbage rolls into the Pot, I also put in 6 meatballs made from the leftover stuffing and the extra cabbage from when the leaves got too small to stuff.

Although I wish there were some sort of narrative to go along with the dinner, it all turns out great. We eat in the dining room and demolish half of the soda bread and a lot of the stuffed cabbage rolls. After dinner surely Irish eyes were smiling for all of us.

Long rather complicated recipe follows the picture below.

Stuffed cabbage rolls (Sweet and Sour)- Modified Jacques and Julia recipe for whole stuffed cabbage and memories from our childhoods

2.5-3 lbs. head cabbage

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic clove, minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons caraway seeds
1⁄4 cup chicken stock
2 cups cooked rice
1 lb uncooked ground beef
Some finely chopped up cabbage

FOR THE SAUCE (sweet and sour)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cans diced tomatoes
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Core the cabbage. Use some method for getting the leaves off; freeze or boil. Remove useable leaves, maybe 16, and chop up rest of cabbage. You will add the extra cabbage this to the Instant Pot on top of the cabbage rolls. Reserve some small pieces of cabbage to chop up for the stuffing.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat; add onion and celery and saute, while tossing and stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and reserved cabbage, cook another minute or so while tossing and stirring.
Season with salt, pepper, caraway.

Pour in stock, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates and vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes (if too much liquid remains, simply remove cover and continue cooking).

Remove vegetables to a mixing bowl and allow to cool; add cooked rice and ground beef, mix well (with hands). Be sure mixture is well seasoned as this is the stuffing (to test, fry a small amount) Any excess stuffing can be made into meatballs.

To make the sauce, set a large pot on the stove top and heat over medium high heat; add oil, onion, celery, and carrots and saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, and white wine, salt and pepper, and bay leaves; Add sugar, vinegar and lemon juice. simmer on low for 20 minutes. You need the sauce to reduce some and the alcohol flavor of the wine to cook out. Taste and correct for right amounts of sweet and sour.

Add a heaping tablespoon or so of the stuffing.

Roll up the cabbage leaves

Add ½ cup or so chicken stock to Instant Pot, you need enough liquid in a pressure cooker!

Put in half the sauce followed by cabbage rolls, leftover cabbage and meatballs

Add rest of the sauce and cook under pressure for 15 minutes, release pressure when cooking is done after 10 minutes rest.

Posted in Beef, Holidays, Kitchen tips, omnivore, Recipes, rice, Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Asparagus carbonara with mushrooms. 3/16/21

Asparagus carbonara with mushrooms

First time making this recipe and, wow, was it great! It has been a long time since we have used cheese in a dish so that alone made this dinner seem really indulgent. The recipe is on the NYTimes Cooking site which, unfortunately, is only available by subscription. I do see that there are lots of other recipes for asparagus carbonara on the internet and you might try one of those while asparagus makes its seasonal less-expensive appearance. Our recipe was vegetarian as in no pork products so a little healthier. And use Italian pecorino rather than parmesan cheese. Sheep’s milk cheese is tangier. Now, what to do with the rest of that block of cheese!?

Posted in Easy, Eggs, Healthy tips, Italian, Kitchen tips, Pasta, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chickpea and ditalini stew. 3/15/21.

Chickpea and ditalini stew with spicy tomatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini, celery, and spinach

Talk about getting all your required daily vegetables in a one pot meal! This simple to make chickpea stew can be made vegan or vegetarian. Tonight, for meatless Monday, I went the vegan route by using vegetable stock and leaving off grated cheese.

John and I took about 20 minutes around 4 PM to cut up the vegetables. I tried to cut everything to about the same size as the chickpeas. When it was time to make dinner everything was ready to go. You saute the vegetables in a little olive oil adding the garlic last and making sure to season each item. I also dropped in a few stems of thyme. Next add canned spicy tomatoes and chickpeas along with the broth and some water. When it comes to a boil the ditalini goes in. The ditalini is ready in about 11 minutes at which time you add the spinach and fold it in. Top the dish with a drizzle of good olive oil and optional grated parmesan cheese.

We made a double recipe and we will eat this stew again for Saturday’s LFD (Leftovers For Dinner.)

Posted in Easy, Healthy tips, Kitchen tips, Legumes, Pasta, stew, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

BFD Fried egg, asparagus, rice. 3/14/21

This gallery contains 3 photos.

If you watch food TV competitions the judges are always touting how fabulous and sexy it is to have a runny egg on top of a dish. So I thought I would give it a try. I cannot attest to … Continue reading

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Weekly Menu – March 15 – 21, 2021

This week’s winner of the most blog views is Brazil! Actually it was India again but according to the rules, “Any country who wins the coveted country of the week and has one of their favorite dishes showcased is ineligible to win again for 8 weeks.” So Brazil wins edging out Thailand by just two views.  I looked at Brazil’s favorites and they are apparently people who are not on diets! I will try to make their seafood stew, moqueca, as moderately as possible.

In other menu news, John and I are making stuffed cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day and some soda bread if our daughter makes it. As far as I can tell I am about 3/8 Irish. John is not Irish at all. I really did not want to make corned beef but I do like cabbage so we settled on the Eastern European dish. Maybe some Irish emigrated there during the Great Potato Famine?

Also there is a new dish, asparagus carbonara.  We will see how that works out. When I asked John if he’d like a chicken dish this week, he suggested Classic Chicken (not again!) I countered with chicken piccata. I know he will do a good job with that!

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LFD (Leftovers For Dinner) Chana dal. 3/13/21

Chana dal over rice and kale

I love the ease of Saturday’s LFD. We made a double recipe of Chana/Toor dal on Monday so all I had to do was add some broth and the stems from the kale and heat it up. I placed half cauliflower rice and half white rice and a big handful of kale leaves in my bowl followed by a couple of ladles of dal and then a big squirt of sriracha. Yum!

Posted in Easy, Indian, Kitchen tips, leftovers, Leftovers For Dinner, Legumes, rice, stew, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

New England Clam Chowder. 3/12/21

New England Clam Chowder

Last real cooking day of the week since Saturday is LFD (Leftovers For Dinner) and Sunday is BFD (Breakfast For Dinner.) I have gone off menu with this selection since I had to rejigger my plan earlier in the week. This chowder is a great pantry recipe with only the leeks (which you could probably substitute with more onion) as an outlier ingredient.

Usually I make Rhode Island Clam Chowder and this is basically the same recipe but I added more cream than I usually do. Since John and I are in the maintenance phase of our diet, I feel that I can add in some extra fat occasionally. I have posted this recipe before and you can find it here.  Instead of 2 tablespoons of cream I added 1/2 cup . Since it makes about 4 servings (for regular humans, maybe 3 servings for John and me) the amount of cream in a portion is only 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons per person instead of 2 tablespoons in the whole pot.

It is not a pretty dish but it is pretty terrific!


Posted in American, Healthy tips, Kitchen tips, pescatarian, Recipes, Shellfish, soup, Vegetables | Tagged , , | Leave a comment