Category: Easily Adapts to Vegetarian


As you can see, I’m still on the Asian food kick!  I had some leftover pulled pork from the Banh Mi meal, and decided it could use a Korean BBQ sauce and be recreated into an, as it turned out, quite delicious casserole!

Korean BBQ take 3

3-4 C. pulled pork (chicken and ground meats would work well for this too)

3-4 C. cooked rice (I used a wild and brown mix that was – oh yeah – leftover)

1 can Cannelloni beans (always in my pantry, but any beans such as garbanzo or black beans would work too!)

2 C. assorted vegetables (I used celery, carrots, and onions, that I softened in a little oil, butter, and garlic and had in the fridge ready to use.  They also freeze well.)

1/4 C. Korean BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought) – a mix of soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile.

1 C. shredded cheese (I used mac and cheese mix for one dish and Daiya shreds for the other, since I have a son who can’t have dairy.

Combine pork, rice, beans, vegetables, and Korean BBQ sauce.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with cheese or shreds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until cheese is golden, meanwhile roasting any vegetables you want to have on the side!

We used “Pickled” cucumbers, onions and carrots as a topping – also from the Banh Mi meal.  (Mostly cucumbers, since my kids and grandkids attached the onions and carrots first!)

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Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on the side were prepared by my cousin, who came over with my 90 year old uncle for dinner.

 

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I am crazy about Asian food.  Last night we had Korean Barbecue Chicken and a Rice Melange.  It was delish!

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3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in Korean BBQ sauce

Sauce:

1 C. soy sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. each ginger and sesame oil

1 Tbsp. each water and corn starch (in a slurry to thicken)

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add slurry and turn down to low.  Slowly simmer till it thickens.  Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  (I have bought a bottled Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi Bulgogi) from a company called Ajumma Republic and it is really good).  You can marinade the chicken overnight or even freeze it in the sauce for future use.  Once defrosted, bake for 35-40 minutes.  Chop into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears, stir around in sauce, and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Rice Melange:

1 box Near East rosemary garlic brown rice and quinoa (I have found that one packet of seasoning from these boxed rice mixes goes a long way, so no additional seasoning was added to the rice)

1 c. Lundberg Wild Blend Rice

1 c. brown rice

3 c. broth (I used unsalted chicken)

2 1/2 c. water

3 Tbsp. butter

Place in rice cooker.  The rice cooker knows its done when it runs out of liquid, so unplug and remove from heat as soon as the rice cooker clicks over to warm.  Add into the cooked veggies to serve.

Veggies for Rice Melange:

Heat oil of choice in large pot with a little butter.

Saute veggies of choice over low heat.  I used what I had on hand:

1 bag riced cauliflower

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow squash, diced finely.

1 can Cannelloni beans, low sodium

1 tsp. seasoning blend of choice.  I used an Asian inspired one to stay on theme.

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After about 25-30 minutes over low heat, add in one can of beans.  I added Cannelloni because they are our favorite and I always have them on hand.  This way, anyone wanting to stay vegetarian (if you use veggie broth instead of chicken) can eat the rice melange.

 

My cousin and her father were coming over for dinner tonight, and she wanted to contribute some frozen shrimp, butternut squash, and sugar snap peas, so I trolled all my favorite sources for recipes and came up with a recipe for Ginataang Sitaw Kalabasa, a Filipino stew that called for green beans instead of the sugar snap peas.  Since it contains no nightshades, it was perfect! I had some boneless skinless chicken thighs on hand, so I adapted the recipe.  It was a huge success!

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1 lb. frozen shrimp, thawed

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into strips

1 large butternut squash, roasted

1 package sugar snap peas

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. oil (I used a sunflower avocado blend)

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

2 Tbsp. eel sauce (or fish sauce)

1 Tbsp. red chili paste (okay, this is not nightshade free, but I grabbed the wrong jar! I meant to get curry paste)

1 C. chicken broth

1/2 C. chopped carrots

1/2 C. sliced celery

Saute onions, celery and carrots in oil.  Add in ginger, garlic, and chili paste, and stir a few minutes until fragrant.

Add in chicken.  Brown.

Stir in coconut milk, eel sauce, and chicken broth.  Simmer to reduce.  Add in sugar snap peas and cover until they are crisp tender.  Stir in shrimp and cook a few minutes until pink.

Thicken with bread crumbs, if necessary.  Gently fold in butternut squash, and heat through.

Serve over rice.  I used quinoa, brown rice, pineapple, and coconut with thai curry broth in the rice cooker.

The flavors of this dish were amazing.  Loved it!

 

One of my sons is sensitive to dairy, and let’s face it, we can all benefit from scaling way back on dairy consumption.   I looked over my blog history, and I’m as guilty as anyone as using cheese as a go to for flavor and creaminess.  Tonight’s dinner was an experiment in a noodle dish with no dairy.  It was a huge success!  The addition of pumpkin in the recipe makes this the perfect time of year to try this dish, since you may have some left after making your pie.  Plus, it’s on sale everywhere.

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1 lb. pasta (I used cavatappi)

10-12 fully cooked sausage links (I used chicken hot dogs because so many sausages have cheese in them)

1 tsp. salt

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. oil (I used sunflower/avocado blend) although sunflower is not recommended on the anti-inflammatory diet.  I’m just using up what I had on hand before I found that out!

2 Tbsp. bacon jam

1 Tbsp. ginger preserves

1 Tbsp. garlic

1 container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1/3 package Daiya mozzarella shreds

1 C. pumpkin

Chopped moringa to garnish.  (we grow moringa in the garden, but any green will do, even green onions.)

Heat oil in dutch oven and cook onions and sausage with salt added until onions are softened.  Low and slow works.  Put water on to cook your noodles.

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Add in bacon jam and ginger preserves.  Cook 5 minutes more.

pumpkin mac

Add in cream cheese and mozzarella shreds.  Stir until melted.  Add in pumpkin.

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Stir in cooked noodles.  Serve topped with the moringa or other green.

Optional add ins:  Mushrooms, Cabbage, Parsnips, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Beans, etc.!  This would be a great way to use up leftovers.

You could also put this in a baking dish and top with Panko bread crumbs and bake it.

We loved this.  I can’t wait to try it with pesto instead of the bacon jam and ginger preserves.  Lots of variations will work.  I also think that the cheddar shreds will make a great sauce.

 

 

Pizza without tomatoes?  How about garlic naan bread topped with amazing Mediterranean ingredients?  These were delicious and easy to make.  I also mixed up a batch of Mediterranean burgers for another night!

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8 garlic naan bread

2 lb. ground chicken

1 container hummus (we like Boar’s Head)

1 can pitted black olives

1/2 seedless cucumber

1 bag baby spinach

1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Brown ground chicken in a large skillet and break up into small pieces.  Remove from heat, and stir in hummus.

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Prepare two large baking sheets by covering them with foil and spraying with coconut oil.

Lay out naan and bake 4-5 minutes to crisp it up.

Meanwhile, chop spinach and slice olives and cucumber.

Topped crisped naan with hummus mixture.

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Add toppings – olives and cucumbers first, then spinach, and finish off with feta.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake 15-20 minutes.

 

I am avoiding nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, white potatoes) as part of a diet geared toward reducing inflammation and pain from my psoriatic arthritis.  I know that I should also limit dairy, gluten, and processed foods, but I’ve had such great results already, I know nightshades are the real enemy.  Besides, I love chicken apple sausage and thought I’d see if it has an impact.  It  has only been a little over a week, and already I know without a doubt that the nightshades are no longer for me.  My pain decreased almost immediately, even though the information on pain management websites indicated it could take a while.  I used to take ibuprofen every day and night to manage my pain.  Since starting this experiment a little over a week ago, I have only taken it twice.  Both times  I had “cheated” and had tomato.  Absolutely not worth it.  I’m sold on eliminating nightshades.  An added bonus is that my psoriasis outbreak is going away.  On top of that, I feel more energetic and younger!  Tonight’s dinner was delicious, albeit a bit sweet from the sausage.  Adding hot sauce, pepper flakes, or cheese would likely take it to another level, but the kids liked it sweet!

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3 packages al fresco chicken apple sausage

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, cubed

2 small yelow squash, cubed

3 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. sherry

3 Tbsp. pesto sauce

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

2 boxes orzo, cooked according to directions

  1. Cut up sausage and veggies.  Toss with oil and cook over medium low heat, stirring regularly in large skillet until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo and drain.
  2. Add in sherry and pesto.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in breadcrumbs to thicken sauce, if needed.  Simmer another 5 minutes.
  4.   Toss with orzo and serve immediately.  Top with a little parsley or basil for color, if desired.

The variations of this are endless.  Any vegetables or beans you like.  Different sausages.  Tofu or Tempeh in place of the sausage.  Cut up boneless chicken.  Yum.

 

Although my pictures leave something to be desired, the tomato soup and grilled cheese dinner was a huge hit!  The soup cooks in the crockpot all day.  Once home from work, assemble and toss the grilled cheese in the oven.  Easy as can be!  Comfort food at its best.

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I make a double batch and freeze half for the next time!  This is the recipe for a double batch:

4 cans tomatoes (I use 3 petite diced no salt added and one with basil, onion and garlic)

1 container broth (I like Tuscany seasoned chicken broth, but often use vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian)

1 onion, finely chopped

Place in crockpot on low all day.

When you get home, add in a block (8 oz) of cream cheese, cubed up and cook for about 30 more minutes until the cream cheese melts.  Use an immersion blender and whirr it up leaving some chunks of tomato and onion for texture.  Store half for next time.

Add ins:

Frozen broccoli

Barilla “Ready Pasta” or leftover cooked pasta

Cannellini beans

I made grilled cheese using a delicious buttery cheese from Aldi called Butterkase, some Havarti, and a little muenster.  Yum.  I spread butter on the outside of the assembled sandwiches and bake between two baking sheets.  I love it because I can make so many at once without standing over a hot stove – never fun in Florida.

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Waste not, want not.  Leftover boneless chicken breast (cooked in a delicious white wine, lemon, garlic sauce) was in danger of going to waste.  I chopped it down to small bite size pieces and tossed it with some grape tomatoes, celery, and leftover farro and some Kimchi, great northern beans, a little mayonnaise and viola a yummy new type of chicken salad is born.

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4 C. leftover chicken, chopped into bite size pieces

2 celery stalks, cubed

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 Tbsp. Kimchi

5 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 C. cooked farro

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed.

Combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

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2 lb. fresh chicken apple sausage

1 bag Dole chop salad (save the dressing and toppings for another time)

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil

1 can garbanzo or other white bean

1 1/2 c. quinoa

1 c. Thai ginger chicken broth

2 c. water

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in large dutch oven.
  2. Cut sausage into small pieces and place in hot oil.
  3. Meanwhile, put quinoa, broth, and water into rice cooker and cook.
  4. Stir sausage around until golden, and add in chop salad and onion.
  5. Cook about 5-10 minutes more.
  6. Add in garbanzo beans.
  7. Simmer until quinoa is done.
  8. Stir quinoa into sausage and veggies.
  9. Serve topped with Kimchi.

We tried Wildbrine Korean Kimchi for the first time and loved it.  Spicy and delicious!

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KIMG0053

2 Immaculate pie crusts

12 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

4 oz. diced pancetta

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 apples diced

6 oz. brie, diced

1 c. shredded cheese (I used fontina)

Pre-bake pie crusts until slightly golden at 400F.  Lower temperature to 325F.

Whisk together eggs and sour cream.

Cook pancetta until crispy, adding in onions to carmelize toward the end.

Place brie and apple in one pie crust.

Place pancetta and onion in the other.

Top both with shredded cheese.

Pour egg mixture equally into both.

Bake for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

What I love about quiche is I can use up whatever is in the fridge.  Any veggie, any cheese , any meat, equals Yumm.

Serve with fruit or a salad – you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

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