Pork and Vegetable Curry

20oz. boneless pork
⅓ med. purple onion - chopped
fresh ground garlic sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2T coconut oil
⅓c dry white wine

3 med. carrots
3 green onions
4 sm.-med. red potatoes
⅔ med. purple onion
½ celery heart
1c water
1c golden raisins
2T tomato paste
1-2T curry paste - or -
1-2T curry powder

1-2c coconut cream

Put the first group of ingredients in a heavy-bottomed 3 quart pot.  Heat it all, only until the coconut oil melts.  Stir to coat everything then cover it and remove from the heat.  Let that stand for an hour or two.  Meanwhile, chop the vegetables then add that group of ingredients and bring to a simmer in the 3 quart pot with the meat.  Cover and leave on medium heat for an hour or until the vegetables are the way you like them.  Stir in the coconut cream and serve, as is or over rice.

Plan for leftovers!  This tastes even better after chilling and reheating. . .Lin

Nutty-Cruciferous Vegetable Cheese Casserole

6-8 garlic cloves
½c sunflower kernels
⅓c butter cut in 'pats'

½ med. head cauliflower - sliced-cubed
2 med. carrots - scrubbed-chopped
1 med. green cabbage - 1" cubes
1 med. purple onion - chopped
1½c chopped celery and tops
1 poblano pepper - sliced
6-8 green onions - sliced
1T Rosemary Seasoning
1t-1T Lemon Pepper

1¾c vegetable-beef bone broth *
3T flour
1T sugar
¼c half & half
4 slices American cheese
½-¾ grated Italian Kasseri cheese

In a saucepan, combine the garlic, sunflower kernels and a little of the butter.  Heat and stir until the butter melts and begins to sizzle.  Remove from the heat.  Put the next group of vegetables into a small-medium black roasting pan.  Pour the butter, garlic, sunflower kernels over them.  Season and top with the rest of the butter pats.  Bake, covered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to create the cheese sauce, combine the broth and flour in a 2qt. saucepan and whisk well.

Add remaining ingredients, whisking to keep the mixture smooth.  Bring to a low 'bubble.'

Pour over the vegetables and stir with a wooden spoon to combine the vegetable water in the bottom of the pan with the sauce, until everything is well coated.  Cover and return to a 300° oven for 20 minutes.  Uncover and cook at 400° - with or without Italian flavored panko breadcrumbs - for an additional 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. . .Lin

Clean-Out-The-'Fridge Chicken Stew

2-3# chicken legs - skinned
5 carrots
2 med. red potatoes
8 garlic cloves
2T oil or butter
1½c leftover (frozen) gravy from
~ Easter chicken and beef

Simmer the chicken, covered, for an hour or hour and a half, until a fork stuck in the meat comes out easily.  Remove the chicken, refrigerate and chill the cooking water overnight.  Scrape off the fat layer, heat the broth and strain it into a 3 quart pot.

Chop the carrots, potatoes and garlic.  Saute and stir, in butter or oil, 10 minutes or so.  Add 2 cups of water, the leftover gravy, and the chicken.  Simmer, covered 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  

Onion-Bacon-Provolone-Stuffed Beef Burgers

1½# ground chuck
1c finely chopped onion
2T tomato paste (in a tube)
4 lg. cloves garlic - minced
1c provolone cheese cubes
½c organic flax-chia blend
½c quick rolled oats
1c bacon crumbles
2 jumbo eggs
1t fresh ground black pepper
2t fresh ground garlic sea salt

Combine all the ingredients, mixing well with a wooden spoon and your hands, in a medium size bowl.  On a long sheet of waxed paper, divide the giant meatball into 8 equal 6 oz. parts and shape into patties.  I fried one and froze the rest.

Heat a little water and an equal part of butter or oil.  When it's sizzling or steaming, add the burger.  Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes.  Flip and add broccoli florets, re-cover, and cook another 3-4 minutes. . .Lin

Leftover Easter Meat and Vegetable Curry

2# cooked chicken and beef
½ lg. purple onion
3c chopped celery
2T avocado oil
⅓c dried fried garlic
1-2T fresh ground garlic sea salt
1-2T good quality curry powder
1c water
1T sugar

8 oz. coconut milk

Cut the meat into small cubes and slice the vegetables into a 3 quart pot.  Add the oil, stir and simmer.  Cover and let it simmer-saute 5 minutes or so, checking on it and stirring to keep it from burning.  Add the remaining ingredients in the first group.  Simmer covered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.  It will be thick.  Once the coconut milk is added, that will thin it out.  Simmer until the celery is tender.  Stir in the coconut milk and serve.  This turned out so flavorful and wonderful! . . . Lin

Leftover Easter Vegetable Soup

leftover vegetables from Easter dinner
1 med.-lg. scrubbed *red beet
3 frozen tomatoes - peeled
2t Himalayan pink salt
2t ground rosemary
½t cayenne pepper

Put the leftover vegetables in a 3 qt. pot.  Add beets that have been cut into tiny cubes, chopped tomatoes along with 16oz. of water.  Bring this to a light simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.  When the vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender to smooth it out.  This soup is very red due to the beets.  If you'd rather, *you could use a golden or a pink beet.  This soup has good herb and vegetable flavor. . .Lin

Easter Dinner ~ Vegetables, Chicken and Beef

6 Roma tomatoes
1½# Brussels sprouts
1 lg. purple onion
1 Anaheim pepper
1-2# baby red potatoes
1½# multi-colored carrots

3-4T good quality cooking oil
2-3T white balsamic vinegar

2T The Gourmet Collection ~ Lemon Pepper Spice Blend

Scrub all the vegetables, cut into similar size pieces so they all get done at the same time.  Drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with the seasoning, toss and let marinate for a couple hours.  Bake covered for a half hour at 375°.  Uncover, toss vegetables and bake another half hour.

3# beef roast
6 boneless-skinless chicken thighs
1lg. bulb of garlic with large cloves
2 pkgs. onion or beefy onion soup 
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ soup can of white wine
½ soup can of water

Cut ALL the fat off the beef and chicken.  Cut the beef roast into 3 pieces to cook evenly, or leave as 1 so the center is less done.  Put all the meat into a medium roasting pan, with garlic cloves on top.  Combine the soups, wine and water then pour over all the meat.  Bake an hour, along with the vegetables.


My Duluth Family is coming over later for our Easter dinner.  We'll have this with the Potato-Pea Soup I made the other day.  I found some mini French bread rolls to go with the soup when I bought a Lemon Cream Meringue pie for our dessert, at our local Co-Op.  I'll also open a jar of the Kimchi I made a couple weeks ago.  Mmmm, odd assortment, but I think it'll work 😋 Hope all of you have/had a Happy Easter! . . . Lin

Vegan Potato-Pea Soup

2 sm. onions
6 cloves of garlic
2 med. carrots
4 stalks of celery
3 med. potatoes
2T Italian flavored olive oil

1c split peas
6c water 
½t ground red pepper
½t ground black pepper
¼c fried shallots *
1-2T Italian seasonings
3T vegetable soup base

1 15oz. can white cannellini beans - optional

Finely chop or cube all the scrubbed vegetables into a 5 quart pot.  Add the olive oil and stir to coat everything.  Saute for 10-15 minutes, stirring all the while.  Add the next group of ingredients.  * I found the fried shallots at an International Market.

Bring this to a boil, then turn the heat to low-medium.  Simmer, covered for 45 minutes.  Check the vegetables to see if they're done the way you like.  If not, cook a little longer.  Add the drained-rinsed beans if you're using them.  I changed my mind about the beans.  Instead I used a can of golden hominy.  At this point, you can either serve as is, or blend with an immersion blender for a smother soup. . .Lin

Savory Bacon and Cheese Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
3-4T butter
seasoned salt
red and black pepper

Put the cauliflower in an ovenproof casserole with about ½c water.  Butter and season as shown.  Cover then bake or microwave until it's just partially tender.

¼c cooked-crumbled bacon
¼c gorgonzola or bleu cheese
Italian breadcrumbs - optional

Chop the cauliflower up a bit, sprinkle with the bacon, crumbled cheese (breadcrumbs?) and heat again to finish the cooking and melt the cheese.  Today this was my late breakfast and it was wonderful! . . . Lin

Cream of Tomato Soup

1 sm. yellow onion
5 lg. cloves of garlic
¼c crumbled bacon
1T Tuscan flavored olive oil

1 28oz. can tomatoes
½ can 14oz. water
2c Beef & Vegetable Bone Broth *
2t Himalayan pink salt
2t Italian seasonings
2t horseradish

1c half & half

In a 3 quart pot, saute the first group of ingredients 5 minutes or until the flavors scent your kitchen.  Add the tomatoes, water, broth and seasonings.  I used 2t Mediterranean and Black Olive grey salt in place of pink salt and Italian seasonings. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.  Blend with an immersion blender then stir in the half & half.

Perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich.  This was an excellent soup idea. . .Lin

Beef Bone Broth

The other day I saw a couple ENORMOUS beef bones marked Dog Bones.  I though, hmmm, nice.  Penny and Oliver will love these.  Hunks of meat, gristle and tendons still attached, lots of marrow. . .Then unpacking them at home, I realized, these were not for my 40# pups!!  Maybe not even for a 150# 'pup!'

So, regardless of the label, I decided when life hands me Monster Beef Bones. . .I Make Bone Broth!  

I've made bone broths a couple times before and this turned out quite different from those.  Previously, using turkey and chicken bones, once the boiling had ceased, and the pot had been refrigerated overnight, in all instances, I was easily able to scrape off a significant fat layer, but with the poultry bone broth, the 'broth' underneath was nicely gelled!  I've heard it's important for good, healthy bone broth, to be thick and gelatinous, rather than stay liquid when chilled.  The beef did not do this, which was a surprise considering the quality of the bones and the amount of marrow each contained.  I need to read about bone broths though, maybe that's something inherent in poultry but not red meat bones that contributes to the gelling.

These photos are actually from day 2.  I wasn't planning to blog this, so didn't take pictures of the original ingredients, but I started with:

2 honkin' beef bones
2 big carrots
half a head of green cabbage
3 stalks of celery and tops
2-3t black peppercorns
3 big bay leaves
2 onions
6-8 cloves of garlic
½c Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar

I scrubbed and rough chopped all the vegetables.  I didn't leave onion peels or root ends on, since my thought was I may use my immersion blender at the end of the cooking and chilling process, which is what I did.  The blending broke up the peppercorns a bit, but they're still pretty rough and very spicy.

Back to day 1.  I put everything in my 6 quart pot and covered with water to within a couple inches of the top.  I simmered this covered, for many hours, but 4-8 would be good.  Then popped the whole pot into the 'fridge.  On day 2, I removed the bones, cut away the meat and chopped that with some of the vegetables for a special treat for my dogs.  I scraped off all the fat, which wasn't difficult since the whole pot was covered in a ¼-⅓" layer of hard buttery-looking fat.

I discarded the fat and bones, warmed everything for about 10 minutes, then hit it with my immersion blender.  This resulted in a very nice, thick vegetable-beef bone broth.  Almost a half-gallon of it!  This can be frozen in smaller containers for soups or stews.

I'm thinking I may combine about a quart of this with some crushed tomatoes, half & half and more garlic for a nice beefy cream of tomato soup.  Sooo, stay tuned!

Be Creative — Make Your Kitchen Time Fun! . . . Lin

A Simple Kimchi

1 med.-lg. green cabbage
⅓-½ med. purple cabbage
6 lg. green onions
3 med. carrots
⅓c Himalayan pink salt

Thinly slice the cabbage, onions and carrots into a large bowl.  Salt everything and massage it into the vegetables.  Let stand for 2 hours.  Add 10 cups of water and massage again to be sure all the vegetables are well coated and covered with the salted water.  Keep vegetables submerged with a heavy glass plate.  Put in a cool spot on your countertop or 'fridge for 24 hours.

1½T finely ground red pepper
1½" cube of peeled ginger
6-8 large cloves garlic
¼c bottled fish sauce
2t sugar

Drain the vegetables in a large colander and rinse well.  Let drain while mixing the sauce ingredients.  Finely chop the garlic and ginger then combine vegetables and sauce, mixing well with your hands in the large bowl that was washed and dried.  Fill vented kimchi jars with the mixture and refrigerate.  This is best after being chilled a week or so.  It's fermented, so it will keep a long time in the refrigerator. . .Lin    

Chicken and Red Bean Soup

⅓c small red beans
4 chicken thighs

3 lg. carrots
2-3c sliced celery
6 lg. cloves garlic
4 lg. green onions
¼c sliced purple onion
1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1-1½c dry white wine
bay leaves, Italian seasonings
garlic sea salt, fresh ground lemon pepper

Put the beans and a couple cups of cold water in a pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain, rinse and repeat.  Do this 2-3 times until the beans are just barely tender.  Skin the chicken, wash it in cool water and cut off all the fat.  Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.  

Slice, chop or dice the vegetables into a 3-5 quart pot.  Drizzle with just a little olive oil, stir then saute until the vegetables are scenting your kitchen.  Add the tomatoes, and wine.  I added only a little fresh ground lemon pepper.  The vegetables created so much flavor on their own!  Cover and simmer on low heat, adding a little water if needed and any herbs or seasoning you'd like.  Add chicken and beans, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked, the beans are done and your kitchen smells heavenly. . .Lin

Black Bean Quinoa Tabouli

1c quinoa
2c filtered water

2-3T Tuscan olive oil
2oz. rinse-drained capers
4 lg. green onions - sliced
2 lg. cloves garlic - minced
1 frozen lemon or lime - grated
½-1c chopped kalamata olives

1 lg. tomato - diced
1 15oz. can black beans
1 bunch cilantro - chopped

This is such a special salad to me.  I originally discovered it in Mollie Katzen's "Moosewood Cookbook" and have made numerous variations of it over the years.  This '70's hippie cookbook of hers will always have a place of honor on my cookbook shelf!

Simmer the quinoa gently for about 20 minutes.  When tails have sprouted and water is absorbed, combine the quinoa with the second group of ingredients, in a large glass or porcelain bowl.  Stir gently, then let stand while prepping the third group.  Drain and rinse the black beans.  Add them, the diced tomato, cilantro (leaves and stems) to the bowl.  Next time I make it, I'll try a 3/1 ratio of quinoa to wild rice, red rice, or possibly 'forbidden' black rice for the base.

Have fun with your recipes!  Life is too short to cook boring food! . . . Lin

Detoxifying Garden Soup

1# asparagus
8oz. fresh spinach
1#+ broccoli crowns
1 bunch of celery + tops
1 sm.-med yellow onion
1 lg. poblano pepper
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 med.-lg. turnip
3 med. carrots

½c hot Ajvar
garlic sea salt
fresh ground pepper
4c fresh filtered water

Chop, dice all the ingredients.  Put in a 5qt. or larger cooking pot.  Add the Ajvar - you could substitute basil pesto, or sun-dried tomato pesto if you like - seasonings and water.  Cover and simmer on low heat for an hour.

It can be served now or blended with an immersion blender.  This step brings out all the flavors and makes further seasoning unnecessary.  I had another name in mind for this soup, but as soon as I tried it, it tasted like A Garden!  So many substitutions you could make here.  I just used what I had, but kale, zucchini, cauliflower, beets, Swiss chard, radishes, beet greens, potatoes could all be added or substituted for several of these.
Be Bold - Be Creative and Cook Happy!! . . . Lin

Albanian-Indian-Italian Chunky Red Sauce

4oz. mushrooms
1-2T Tuscan oil
½c dry white wine
5 lg. cloves garlic
8oz. mixed olives ~
~ and sun-dried tomatoes
3-4oz. tomato pesto
¾c mild Ajvar
1T sugar

1 18oz. pkg. RANA pasta

Saute' the washed, sliced, paper towel-dried mushrooms in the oil for a few minutes until they shrink a bit.  Add the wine, chopped garlic, olives and tomatoes.  Stir in the pesto, Ajvar and sugar.  Cover and bring all this to a simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.  Stir in the coconut cream, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the RANA pasta according to package directions, or just a little less, then drain.  This chunky sauce would also work well with penne, fettuccine or linguine, or even as a lasagna sauce.  Put half the drained pasta-of-your-choice, into a 2qt. casserole dish.  Pour and spoon half the sauce over the pasta.  Repeat this layer, sprinkle with grated cheese if you want, then bake, uncovered for 15 minutes at 375°.  Turn the broiler to low and put the casserole directly under the heat source for just a few minutes to bubble-brown, and crisp the top.  Keep an eye on it though, it'll go from perfect to burnt in no time.  Serve alone, or with a green salad. . .Lin