Salmon, Neufchatel Breakfast Bake

8 lg.-jumbo eggs
8oz. Neufchatel cheese*
1t Old Bay Seasoning
1t fresh ground garlic pepper
1t fresh ground black pepper
1t dry dill
2t dry tarragon
3-4c celery, green onion, purple
~ onion, and carrot sliced-chopped
1 lg. roasted red pepper - chopped
12oz. salmon - smoked is best

Leave the cream cheese at room temp for a couple hours.  *Neufchatel is French cream cheese, made in the Normandy region since the 6th century.  It has less calories and fat than the American version.  In a medium bowl, combine that and the eggs, using a fork and then a wire whisk.  Add spices and continue to blend as you prep and assemble the remaining ingredients.  Cut the salmon into long strips, then chop into small cubes.  Put these in a well buttered 9"x13" glass baking pan.

Add the chopped-sliced vegetables.  Whisk the egg mixture one more time then quickly, but carefully, pour it over everything in the pan.  Arrange anything that might have floated out of place, being sure the whole pan is evenly covered with all ingredients.  Bake at 325° ( -?- I forgot to set the timer 😕) Bake until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center area comes out clean.  Probably 30-40 minutes.

Check often though, after 20 minutes.  You want it just firm, but not so done that it's dry.  Cut into 12 squares, each of which contains about 150 calories. . .Lin

Meatloaf Potatoes and Carrots

1# lean ground bison (lamb or beef)
1# ground turkey (or chicken)
1# pork sausage
2 lg. or jumbo eggs
1c quick cooking rolled oats
1 lg. onion - chopped
6oz. sun-dried tomato pesto*
6oz half & half* - may not need
1t fresh ground garlic sea salt
1t fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients *(or 8oz. tomato sauce and 8oz. half & half - the half & half last, after mixing, only if needed) in a large bowl, using a heavy wooden spoon or very clean hands 😊 Form into 2 loafs and bake at 350° for one hour.  Only slice what you need while the meatloaf is hot.  Once chilled, it cuts nicely into thin slices for meatloaf sandwiches.  You can also cut it a little thicker and into cubes and serve with spaghetti and red sauce, for Spaghetti and Meat Cubes. 😀 . . . Lin
*            ~            *            ~            *            ~            *
2# baby assorted fingerling potatoes
2 lg. carrots - scrubbed & sliced
1/4c butter - and/or - Italian Herb Olive Oil
2 sm.-med. sweet potatoes - scrubbed & sliced
1/2 lg. purple onion - rough chopped
1-2t Rosemary Seasoning *

Scrub the potatoes well, leave them whole and combine them with the carrots in a 2-4 qt. heavy bottomed pot.  Add a little water, partially cover and simmer over low-medium heat on the stove, for about 10 minutes to steam and evaporate about half the water.  Add the remaining ingredients, partially cover once again, and continue to heat another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are still a little crisp tender.  Serve with some of the seasoned butter cooking 'sauce' spooned over the vegetables. . .Lin


Have I mentioned how WONDERFUL meatloaf is - in regard to 'leftovers' of ANY sort?  Dinner, sandwich, spaghetti, covered in cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes - then broiled to brown the potatoes....sort of a Meatloaf Baked Alaska....  hash when combined with chopped potatoes and vegetables and browned. . .or whatever else you can dream up.  Today I did some town errands.  I cut that short, saving some for another day since it turned rainy and damp.

I came home, put the sweaters on the dogs 😊 then decided to have an early dinner and maybe just a simple salad later.  I quick sautéed 4oz. white mushrooms with ½ a large purple onion, both slice-chopped, in 2T butter.  Then I cubed two slices of meatloaf.  Added those just before the mushrooms and onions were done cooking.  At this point a splash of steak sauce or ketchup and a little water, or just Vodka (!!) This is a great way to get all flavor of the pan brownings into the food Mmmmm. . .It was ready in minutes.  Happy Leftovers 😀

Clean Out The 'Fridge Vegetable Soup

5 ears of corn - steamed - cut off cob
2 large carrots - scrubbed and sliced
1 med. onion - sliced
5-6 lg. cloves of garlic - chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage - rough chopped
1 Anaheim pepper - seeded and sliced
3 mini peppers - seeded and sliced
5 sm.-med. turnips - peeled and diced
2-3T coconut oil - or butter
1 lg. red roasted pepper - chopped
green onion tops - sliced
1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes - chopped
3/4c barley, rice or orzo

Combine everything, down to and including the coconut oil, in a 5-6qt. pot.  If using rice, add that now.  Sauté all together until it's sizzling and snapping 😊 Add the remaining ingredients and some water.  Simmer an hour, covered.  Serve now with crusty buttered bread.  Keeps well refrigerated for several days. . .Lin

This is some really interesting, grainy bread!
I used it for a grilled cheese sandwich today with tomato and onion.
Not gluten-free, but has a very interesting molasses flavor, and yet. . .
There's no sweetener of any kind listed in the ingredients!
As I said. . .Interesting!

Red & Green Special Pasta-Chicken

1½# chicken breast meat
4T butter
½t fresh ground garlic sea salt
a little fresh ground pepper
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
½c Vodka
1 med. chopped purple onion
3-4 lg. cloves chopped garlic
½c capers
1c spinach-artichoke dip
1 to 1½c small pasta - cooked al dente

Sauté chicken with butter and seasonings until lightly browned.  Add all but the last two ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in the dip and combine everything with pasta in a 3qt. casserole dish.  Heat an additional 10-15 minutes in a 325° oven or microwave 3 minutes, stir gently and microwave another 3 minutes on med.-high.  Shown here with Braised Bavarian Endive.  I went back to my old 'stomping grounds' this weekend for a surprise get-together with some special women I was in a potluck dinner group with for 16 years, prior to my move to Minnesota.  I decided to go simple with garlic and herb pita chips, gluten-free chips to accompany. . .(one of my favorites) store-bought Spinach-Artichoke Dip.  I found two.  One was really rich, just a spinach-artichoke combination.  The other was spinach-artichoke-jalapeno and had a wonderful kick to it.  I did what any sensible cook would do, I combine the two in a bigger bowl 😉  Afterword, there was quite a bit left over.  I was thinking I'd just pitch it, but instead found that a recipe was brewing in my mind, using the dip, combined with diced tomatoes, to hold all sorts of yummy ingredients together.  Now, remember. . .I was raised by a VERY black-and-white, by-the-book-cook, and was once asked to leave the kitchen when I wanted to blow up her traditional Meatloaf Recipe by adding chopped green peppers!  My Mom!  She was wonderful though, and we had a great relationship, but this is just a reminder that it's not always ''Like-Mother-Like-Daughter'' when it comes to cooking styles - - or ANYTHING for that matter!
Be Creative!! — Happy Cooking!!. . .Lin

Rustic Rosemary Chicken Stew

2-1/2# chicken breast meat 
2T bacon fat
2T oat or corn flour
1-2T Rosemary Seasoning *

If the chicken is frozen be sure it's completely thawed and patted dry.  Cut it into large pieces and put them in a heavy 6qt. pot. with the bacon fat.  Brown this a while, maybe 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle on the flour (using a strainer to avoid lumping) while stirring with a wooden spoon.  Add the seasoning and brown another 10 minutes or so being diligent about stirring so nothing burns.

~               ~               ~               ~               ~

Add the following 'rough chopped' vegetables:
4 med. carrots
4 ribs of celery
2 sm.-med. onions
1-1/4# mixed fingerling potatoes
4-6 mini peppers - seeded and sliced
1 lg. garnet sweet potato

28oz. canned diced tomatoes
1T sugar or honey
1c sour cream - optional

Shown Before Adding Sour Cream

Turn the heat down a little, to a low simmer.  Gently stir all the fresh vegetables to be sure they're coated.  Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and sweetener.  Stir gently, then raise the heat just a little.  Allow this all to simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the sour cream just at the end of the simmering time.  Serve now or chill, reheat and serve later.  This filled up my 6qt. pot, so it'll feed lots of hungry people. . .Lin

Black Bean and Bacon Breakfast Bake

12oz bacon - cut up and cooked crisp
3 mini peppers - sliced
1 purple onion - chopped
3 carrots - chopped and steamed a little
8 Brussels sprouts - quartered and steamed
1-2 cans of black beans - drained and rinsed
8 egg whisked 
1/3-1/2c half & half
6oz. sharp-strong cheese

Butter a 9" x 13" glass baking pan.  Arrange the beans and vegetables in the pan, top with bacon crumbles.  Whisk the eggs and half & half together.  Pour this mixture over everything, shake the pan when you're done so everything is coated.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes ± at 350°, until the edges are lightly browned and the center is set.  Cool slightly, then cut into 12 squares.  Each is approximately 150 calories.  These can be frozen then thawed and heated. . .Lin

Wonderful Black Bean Eggs For One. . . . .

1/2 med. sweet onion
2 sliced mini sweet peppers
a little Italian Herb olive oil
2 lg. eggs
1/3 can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato - chopped
American and feta cheese

Sauté the onions, peppers in a little flavored olive oil.  Add the eggs and stir.  When almost set, add in the beans, tomato and sauté a while.  Then add strips of American cheese and feta crumbles.  Plate immediately.

This is the best breakfast egg dish I've had in ages!!! . . . Lin

This is sort of an unofficial plug for epicurean cutting boards.  The people who created these lived in my daughter's home before her.  The Kiwi knives also.  They're wonderful!  Now available on eBay and other sites, but previously, only at Asian markets.  I've since 'retired' my Wusthof Dreizack knives and now go only with the Kiwi brand these days.  Much cheaper and they sharpen wonderfully!

Apple-Beet-Butternut Squash Soup

1 lg. red beet
1 sm.-med. butternut squash
1/2 purple onion - chopped
5 lg. garlic cloves - crushed-halved
3T butter
2 med. apples - - optional
1/2t pumpkin pie spice
1/2t ground black pepper
1-2t garlic sea salt
2-3T organic honey
3-4c water

Peel and chop the beet and squash, into a 5qt. pot.  Add the onion, garlic, butter and scrubbed-chopped apples if you're using them.  Simmer these ingredients over medium heat, stirring often, for approximately a half hour.  Stir in the seasonings and honey, add a little of the water, if needed, to keep everything from sticking.  

Simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes or so.  Cool, then puree in the blender, adding the rest of the water, a little at a time, as needed.  Return everything to the pot again, and bring to a low bubble.  Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.  At this point you could add a cup of sour cream, stirring just enough to blend with the other ingredients.  Heat carefully, to just steaming.  Serve with crusty bread.  If you didn't put sour cream into the soup, a little now would be nice on top of each bowl.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds or roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds. . .Lin

Cream Cheese - Liver Sausage Spread

In a small bowl, combine equal parts of Neufchatel cheese (cream cheese) and liver sausage (braunschweiger).  Add a tablespoon of powdered onion soup mix, for every 6oz. of combined weight.  Let stand for an hour or so to hydrate the onions.  If this seems really dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water or milk.  Use this as a dip for pita chips, crackers, vegetables, or as a sandwich spread. . .Lin

I wondered what the difference was between liver sausage and braunschweiger and I found this information.  "Liverwurst is a general term referring to any liver sausage.  Braunschweiger is a smoked liver sausage, named after the town of Braunschweig in Germany.  Therefore, a Braunschweiger is a liverwurst, but not all liverwurst are Braunschweiger." 😊

Steak Stir-Fry

1 lg. carrot - chopped
6-8 Brussels sprouts - sliced
4 green onions - sliced
1/2 lg. yellow beet - slice-chop
1 mini red pepper - sliced
fresh ground pepper
1/2 lemon - juiced
3T dark fig balsamic vinegar 
stir-fry sauce or soy sauce
12oz. lean steak - slice or cube
1/2c slivered almonds

Combine everything, but the steak and almonds, in a medium size bowl.  Toss and mix well so everything is coated by the marinade, then let stand 15 minutes or so.  Drain some of the marinade onto the steak in a medium non-stick skillet.  Put the vegetables into a larger skillet and sauté until they're still crisp, but slightly tender.  Meanwhile, stir and sizzle the steak for only a few minutes until it's almost as done as you'd like.

Put the steak and almonds into the larger vegetable pan, stir and sauté all of this together for a few minutes.  Serve as is or over rice or noodles. . .Lin

Sausage, Potato and Spinach Breakfast Bake

1# breakfast sausage
1/2 med. onion - chopped
5 sm. potatoes - chopped
1/2 poblano pepper - chopped
4oz. fresh spinach - sliced
6 eggs
1/3c half and half
American Cheese

Remove the sausage from casings and break them up.  Brown the sausage and add the onions, potatoes, and pepper to the pan.  Stir and sauté about 10 minutes.  Pour this mixture into a buttered 9"x13" glass pan.  Quick steam the spinach until the volume is reduced by about half.  Arrange this over the sausage mixture.  Beat the eggs and half and half together and pour, gently, over everything in the pan.  Top with slices of American Cheese and bake in a 350° oven, for about 30 minutes. . .Lin

Orange, Oat, and Almond (Corn) Quick Bread

1 pkg. corn bread mix
1/4c ground flax seed
3/4c quick oats
1/2c slivered almonds
1/2c golden raisins
1/2t baking powder
1t pumpkin pie spice
juice from 1 Cara Cara Orange
zest from 1-2 oranges
2 eggs
1/4c half and half
1/4c cooking oil

In a medium size bowl, combine the first 7 dry ingredients, stirring to blend.  In another bowl, combine the remaining liquid ingredients, whisking together well.  Pour this into the dry ingredient bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon.  Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes in a buttered 9"x13" glass pan. . .Lin

Another. . .Almonds, Beans and Brown Rice

1/2c brown rice
1/2c slivered almonds
2T butter
1/2 med. purple onion - chopped
1/2c brown lentils
1½c water
1/2t crushed rosemary
1½t seasoned salt
fresh ground garlic pepper
2 chopped carrots
1 lg. tomato - diced
1/4 head of green cabbage - chopped
1 can mixed beans - drain and rinse

In a 3qt. heavy-bottomed pot, dry sauté the rice and almonds until the rice snaps and everything is lightly browned.  Remove from the heat for a minute or two before adding the butter and onion.  Stir this all together then add the lentils, water and seasonings.  Stir again, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the carrots and cabbage stirring them in, then cover everything with the beans.  Cover the pot and simmer on low another 15-20 minutes adding a little more water if needed.  Now, check to be sure the lentils and rice are done enough.  If not, add a little more water and cook over low heat another 15 minutes.  Serve as is, topped with sharp grated cheese, or as a side dish to some meat. . .Lin

7 Minute Soup

I did things like this when my kids were little
and cooking was lower on my priority list.
A can of petite diced tomatoes would be a good addition
since cooked tomatoes are high in lycopene.
The important thing to remember is to use a can of beans,
kidneys, blacks, garbanzos, etc. AND a can of legumes.
Both are excellent sources of fiber and protein.
Be Creative! Happy Cooking 

Side Dishes: Potatoes & Kale -- Almonds, Beans & Rice

1 bunch of red kale
1 lg. shallot
small red potatoes
rosemary olive oil
crushed rosemary
fresh ground garlic sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and add seasonings.  Add the chopped kale.  Cover and sauté until the kale is tender and the potatoes are done the way you like them.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~

1/2c brown rice
1/2c slivered almonds
2T butter
1T minced garlic
1t seasoned salt
2 med. carrots - chopped
1 14.5oz. can black beans - drain and rinse

Sauté together all but the beans and the carrots.  After the rice is a little browned, add 1c water, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  I forgot about the longer cooking time for brown rice, so I'd actually add the carrots after everything has simmered for half the time, so they're not overcooked.  This is also when you add the beans.  Simmer the remaining 20 minutes or so and serve.

Bean, Kale, Lentil and Yam Soup

* I only used the green kale in this soup
2T coconut oil
2T fig balsamic vinegar
2 lg. shallots - sliced thick
5 lg. cloves of garlic - minced
1 med. onion - chopped
2 celery ribs - sliced
2 yams - scrubbed, quartered, sliced
1T± Garam Masala
1t fresh ground garlic-sea salt
½t fresh ground pepper

4 c chopped kale - green, red or a mix*
2 14.5oz cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1-2 14.5oz cans mixed beans - drain-rinse 
⅔c dry brown lentils 
4c water
2-4T± chicken soup base
1T sugar or honey

Put the oil and vinegar in a 5qt pot and heat, just enough to melt the coconut oil.  Add all the prepared vegetables and seasonings.  Toss-stir around, gently, so everything is coated.  Leave this on the stove, with no heat, for a couple hours, turning over occasionally to continue to coat and marinate all the vegetables.

Sauté and stir for 10-15 minutes to brown a little.  (The oiled-seasoned vegetables could be oven-roasted, at this point, if you prefer.)  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low until the yams, kale and lentils are tender.  Beans and lentils are a great combination.  I read the other day that brown lentils have the distinction of being one of the highest in the beans-legumes category, in fiber and protein.  I'll be using more of these in future recipes.

Check seasonings, making any changes needed.  This turned into a really interesting, sort of Indian or Indonesian, slightly sweet, slightly spicy soup.  Serve with some nice crusty, buttered bread. . .Lin

Stir-Fry Steak and Vegetables

12oz. beef tenderloin
a mix of fresh vegetables:
onion, garlic, carrots, celery, cabbage,
cauliflower, poblano, or Anaheim pepper

Rough cut the vegetables, with amounts depending on how many are being served.  This stir-fry made 4 medium servings.

Sauté the vegetables in a large non-stick pan in a little flavorful oil-based salad dressing until they're crisp-tender.  I used a Thai Sesame Lime dressing this time.  Toward the end of their cooking time, in another pan, sauté-sizzle the meat in a little toasted sesame oil being careful not to overcook.  Combine the meat and vegetables in the large pan and serve immediately.  I made this for company and forgot to photograph the plated food!  However, I can tell you, it was awesome! 😉 . . . Lin