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Category Archives: Main Dishes

Sweet & Sour Chicken

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I cook a lot of stir fry. It is an easy and quick meal that gets a lot of veggies in front of my family. Not to mention I have voracious rice eaters so this keeps them happy.

Sweet and sour chicken is always a keeper. You can include as many vegetables as you want or cut some out. Whatever you have in the fridge- throw it in the skillet. I highly recommend using fresh pineapple; it makes the dish. However, if you don’t have it around or hate cutting it (I’m not judging) use the canned stuff. On another note; woks are stupid and if you own one you should throw it out. A large skillet does the trick and is better at distributing the heat you need to stir-fry.

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Sweet & Sour Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6 T apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 6 T orange juice
  • 3 T ketchup
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 c. pineapple chunks
  • 1 c. broccoli
  • 1 c. carrots, sliced (I used carrot chips)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger

Whisk vinegar, orange juice, ketchup, and cornstarch together.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add the pineapple until heated through. Stir in garlic and ginger. Add vinegar/juice mixture. Toss until all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce.

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Turkey Meatballs (GF/CF) and Spaghetti Sauce

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Full disclosure: I started eating paleo recently (i.e. no gluten, no dairy). After a very long time reading research and various other things I decided to try working with my diet to help with my MS. My family does not eat this way- I’m pretty sure I would be dead if I so much as proposed the idea. Dinner can be a little interesting because of our different diet plans so I try to adapt as best as I can- or I make two different dinners. Spaghetti is always a big hit around here so I’ve started making paleo meatballs and then having two options- traditional spaghetti or zucchini noodles (aka zoodles). The picture with this post is with zucchini for the simple reason that everyone else was already eating before I got a picture. I don’t have a recipe for zoodles for you because all I did was peel a zucchini (yes, it really is that simple). I encourage you to try zoodles because they are super easy and very good as a pasta. Not to mention the health benefits of a zucchini over a pasta noodle. Unless you are in my household; in which case I would never propose a green vegetable over pasta- nope never!

meatballs and zoodles

Turkey Meatballs (GF/CF)

  • 1  lb. ground turkey
  • 1   egg
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4  c. almond meal
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients; use your hands to mix and form into balls. Bake 20-25 minutes, until browned and cooked all the way through. I then add them to a spaghetti sauce on the stove. You could use a canned/jar spaghetti sauce but I think it is easy to make your own.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ½  onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil until shimmering in a pot. Add garlic and onions, cook until onions are translucent (3 minutes). Add canned tomatoes and sauce, then add spices. Bring to a simmer, if you are using meatballs add them now, and cook 15 minutes.

Beef and Broccoli

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My father sends the best Valentine’s gift to me every year- 9 pounds of steaks. To say I love a good hunk of beef is an understatement. Normally, I would argue against doing anything to a steak but salt and pepper BUT stir-fry is another favorite of mine. You could use different cuts of meat (i.e. cheaper ones) but why???

This is a basic stir-fry recipe- you could really use any vegetable/meat combination. I used beef broth because that’s what I had on hand but use what you have. Stir-fry is healthy, fast, and easy. A perfect combination for a weeknight dinner at our house. What more do you want?

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Beef & Broccoli

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 strip steak, cut into strips
  • 2 c. broccoli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 c. broth
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 T. corn starch

Combine broth, soy sauce, and corn starch; set aside. Heat oil in skillet; sauté steak. Remove steak. Sauté garlic until fragrant and then add broccoli; cook about 3 minutes. Add steak. Stir in broth/soy mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Serve with rice.

Fried Rice

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Maybe you do a better job of keeping lunch staples around your home- myself? Not so much. And so while standing in the doorway to my pantry (starving) this fried rice was born. You could definitely use some other vegetables, this is simply what I had on hand. Also, I used brown rice but any rice would work. In other words, this is a base recipe that can be used to make many variations. Remember: baking is a science; cooking is an art. No rules, baby!

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Fried Rice

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. peas
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In a large skillet, heat oil; add garlic.  Add cooked rice; cook until heated through.

Stir eggs into rice; cook 30 seconds. Add peas and soy sauce; cook 2 minutes or until eggs are cooked and peas are heated through.

Swiss Steak

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New Year’s Resolution: start blogging again. Life has been pretty crazy with a new job (that is now 2 years in), new house, and new baby but hopefully I can get back to the blog… fingers crossed, y’all!

So, first recipe back? How about Swiss Steak? This is a regular meal around our house. It’s easy to throw together on a week night and allows me to sneak lots of veggies into the family meal without people noticing. I’ve tried it baked and in the crock pot but stove top is really the best way to make Swiss Steak.

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Swiss Steak

4 cube steaks aka minute steaks

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano 

Heat olive oil in pot (I like my Dutch oven but use what you have). Season meat and sear for 3 minutes a side. Remove steaks from pan. Brown garlic and onions in pan, cook until transparent (about 3 minutes). Add green peppers and celery and cook about 2 minutes. Add meat, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes.

 

 

Roasted Chicken

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I grew up on a farm so don’t ask my views on chickens. To put it succinctly, I believe the only good chicken comes in cellophane. Having said that, chicken is one of my favorite foods to work with. It is easy and versatile.

I adore roast chicken and chicken is one of the few meats the baby will always eat. The only problem is that many recipes make something difficult out of what is very simple. To prove how easy this is I made it on a weeknight. Read through the directions first so you have an idea of how much time to set aside. The method may sound a little strange but trust me, it works! Save the leftovers and use them in things like chicken soup and chicken salad.

This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. They are always my go-to source when it comes to cooking!

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Easy Roast Chicken

  • roasting chicken
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Heat oven safe skillet in 450 degree oven. I just set the skillet in the oven while it was preheating. Prepare chicken by rubbing it with olive oil and seasoning it liberally with salt and pepper. Place chicken directly onto hot skillet.

Roast chicken 30 minutes or until it reaches 120 degrees.

Turn oven off. Let it continue to roast 30 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees. Remove chicken from oven and allow it to rest 20 minutes.

Ham and Green Beans

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We’ve established the fact that I am cheap, correct? I base many of our dinners off of what is on sale in the produce section or meat counter. Why waste money? So, having said that, Fareway had fresh green beans on sale for 78 cents a pound. I snatched them up and picked up some ham. Fresh green beans are delicious and when you don’t have to weed the little suckers they are that much more so. I still have nightmares about the mosquitos that used to swarm the green bean plants of my youth.

Cooking, unlike baking, is not a science but rather an art. Who needs a recipe when you have decent ingredients? So, this isn’t really a recipe so much as a “what I did.” Feel free to mess with this to your heart’s content. Like I said, when you have good ingredients, it is hard to mess it up.

Ham & Green Beans

  • 1 pound green beans, snapped (you could use frozen I’m sure)
  • 4-5 potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 pound ham, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth

Prepare crock pot (you know my love for crock pot liners). Put all ingredients into crock pot, cover with chicken broth and water (I just filled the broth can with water). Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.