Beef and Basil Stir-fry

Ok, this is a seriously quick and easy way to get everyone in your family to the table and hopefully they will all have a full tummy! A very similar beef and basil stir-fry recipe was given to me by friend and after a few changes to make it more friendly for my family I was so thankful! I changed up the veggies and made it with forbidden black rice because I had some left over from this previous post: Salmon with a crispy rice cake. This dish is quick, simple, versatile and so delicious! It will leave you wanting more!

IMG_1788The colors are beautiful and the dish is so hearty that everyone will love it!

IMG_1776I took advantage of the sirloin steak that was on sale and got 3 huge steaks for $12

IMG_1777While it looks like a lot of veggies it is worth it! They add so much flavor and crunch plus everyone will be happy with the meat and veg ratio.

I chose onions, kale, broccoli, red peppers, snow peas, bamboo shoots and garlic.


IMG_1779In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup coy sauce, 3 tbsp corn starch, 3 tbsp brown sugar and one cup of beef broth.

IMG_1780Slice your meat into the desired size. I chose longer thin strips. Note: marinade your meat ahead of time (try a combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic and rice vinegar) so it doesn’t turn out tough like mine did.

IMG_1781Start by sautéing garlic and onions in some coconut or sesame oil.

IMG_1782Add meat and allow to cook about half way. Remove meat from pan and set aside.

IMG_1783Toss in all the veggies and half of the sauce and cook until still crisp.

IMG_1784Add meat back in with the remaining sauce, kale, basil and bamboo shoots and allow to cook for just a few minutes until meat is done. Do not overcook.

IMG_1785Check out all those colors and the delicious sauce.

IMG_1786Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm over rice with fresh torn basil on top.

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Cauliflower “Chowder”

I apologize in advance because I do not have a picture of this delicious soup plated because honestly we all ate it too fast!!!  I think the pictures will help you get an idea of what it should look like.

Fortunately, you don’t need a picture because the soup was  so delicious and worth making you will just want to take my word for it and whip it up.  And thankfully whip it up you can because it only took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish! It’s also a versatile soup which allows you to change ingredients to make it appealing for all members of your family!

Cauliflower Chowder

IMG_7631Chop all your veggies to about the same size so they cook evenly. I used cauliflower, garlic, fennel, celery, potatoes and carrots.

IMG_7632Whatever veggies you chose just be sure to have a nice array of colors for a pretty dish!

IMG_7634In a dutch oven or large stock pot melt 2 tbsp of butter and add celery, carrots, fennel and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_7636I am seriously in love with my green dutch oven. I got it for about $40 at Marshall’s.

IMG_7639Saute veggies until they are slightly tender.

IMG_7640Add 1/4 cup of flour and mix until flour taste is gone. About 1 minute.

IMG_7642Add 3/4 cup of milk (I used whole) and about 4 cups of chicken or veggie broth

IMG_7643Bring to a low boil, toss in a bay leaf, a whole head of chopped cauliflower and a couple chopped up potatoes.

IMG_7646All mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower and potatoes are fork tender.  At this point you could blend part of the soup and add it back in if you wanted a creamier texture but I liked the rustic feel of a chunky soup.

IMG_7647Add some frozen or thawed peas, remove the bay leaf and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Again, sorry for the lack of pictures of the final product but you can imagine it looks so yummy with a cheesy topping and some crusty bread! Add chopped cooked bacon if you’re really feeling adventurous!!

Whole wheat spaghetti with zucchini

A great way to get your kids to eat their veggies is in a few simple steps.  1. Let them pick out the veggies they want to try at the grocery store.  They will be excited to try something they chose and love the sense of being part of the cooking process. 2. Make them look and taste good. (ie. this pasta dish). 3. Feed them the stuff they “don’t like” when they are really hungry and before you give them the stuff they do like such as fruit, snacks or bread. Try this easy ands delicious pasta dish with just a few simple ingredients.

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Slice zucchini, yellow squash, onions, garlic and mushrooms into similar sizes so they cook evenly.

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My daughter could not get enough of the zucchini, yellow squash, onions and garlic.  She’s still a little unsure of the mushrooms.

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I forgot to take pictures of the sauce preparation but here’s what I did: sauté the veggies until still slightly crisp.  Add a scoop of pesto, a scoop of ricotta cheese, salt, pepper to taste and a little pasta water from the cooked pasta to create a sauce.  Add the cooked pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

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Feel free to modify the ingredients for your family such as different veggies or a different pasta.


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Pasta smothered in cheese… how  can you go wrong!?!

IMG_7629It’s sure to please everyone!

Green curry made easy!

A super delicious and easy dinner everyone in the family will love is green curry with chicken and vegetables.  The best part of this dish is the versatility.  You can add anything you want to it depending on your family.  For this particular curry I added sweet potatoes, green beans, onions, red bell peppers, bamboo shoots, eggplant and chicken.  Other great options are shrimp, tofu, baby corn, boo choy and so much more!

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Slice all your veggies into bite sizes pieces and slice your chicken into thin strips.

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This delicious and flavorful curry paste will add an authentic curry flavor.  You will also need coconut milk and coconut cream.

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Add some coconut oil to a large pan and a tablespoon of curry paste.

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Add both the coconut milk and coconut cream and bring to a low boil.  Add the veggies according to cooking time so potatoes first and others as they become tender.

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Add the chicken when the potatoes are barely fork tender so everything is finished at the same time.  Add the veggies that cook the fastest at the end.  Add more curry paste at the end depending on your taste preferences.

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A homemade curry is so quick and delicious and a really great family dinner! Serve over sticky rice, white rice, brown rice or rice noodles!

It’s sure to impress and satisfy everyone!

Cheese tray (with dried fruit crackers!)

What’s not to love about a cheese tray?! There’s cheese, crackers, other yummy bits of snacks and it’s so easy to serve.  Plus, it has a wow factor for those you are serving it to! Make any dinner party more elegant.  It’s an easy appetizer you don’t have to tend to.  People have the ability to create their own bite and the options are endless! I couldn’t resist these cute and delicious dried fruit crackers by Simple and Crisp.  Not only are they are great statement piece they taste good too!

IMG_7671A cheese tray is easy to arrange right on a cutting board.  It keeps it casual and allows people to cut pieces for themselves.

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These dried fruit crackers were perfect with this hard goat’s milk cheese from Spain!  Be sure to pick a strong (not stinky) enough cheese to stand up to the crackers.

I recommend this Campobello Spanish cheese, a sharp cheddar or even a goat cheese.

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IMG_7656Simple and Crisp crackers are so unique and perfect for any cheese or appetizer tray.  Try all 4: apple, pear, orange and blood orange. You get the real fruit flavor with the crunch of a cracker!

IMG_7658Here’s how I chose to serve my cheese and crackers.  3 types of crackers: orange and pear Simple and Crisp, Raincoast Crisp cranberry hazelnut and apple slices!

IMG_7669I then realized I needed some color so I added some fresh olives from the self-serve olive bar! Any variety will do!

IMG_7659How cute are those crackers!

IMG_7661I love the fruit flavor plus the crispness of the cracker!

IMG_7662Cracker, cheese and apple: the perfect combination.  Crunchy, tangy, creamy, crisp and sweet.

IMG_7663The orange slice is so pretty!

IMG_7665A true classic!

IMG_7666Ok, then I got a little crazy but the pesto was such an awesome addition.  Grab a pre-made pesto in the deli section or make your own! This is a pea, kale and hazelnut pesto.

 

My (Easy) Version of Sloppy Joe’s!

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I am pretty sure everyone grew up eating a sloppy joe at some point in their childhood.  Whether it was at a friend’s house or the sandwich was included in your weekly meal routine sloppy joe’s are an easy, hearty, and delicious meal everyone will love! Yes, I know the original came from a can and while mine does come from a jar I feel that the ingredients in the Stonewall Kitchen Sloppy Joe sauce is a little higher quality than the typical Manwich from a can. Here is how I make them:

IMG_7608Buy your dinner rolls, ground meat and sloppy joe sauce at Harbor Greens

IMG_7609In a pot, sauce pan or dutch oven cook the ground meat until not pink.  Remove as much excess fat with a spoon or ladle as possible and discard.

IMG_7612Add enough sloppy joe sauce until the mixture is as saucy as you like it.  I had a little under a pound of meat and I used 3/4 of a jar. I also added diced onions and garlic to make it taste more homemade. Other great add-ins would be corn, carrots, some hot sauce and more.

IMG_7615Toast the buns in a pan with some melted butter for flavor and crunch!

IMG_7613You can even add a little cheese like I did with the parmesan or a slice of aged white cheddar to make your joe’s extra gooey!

I served my sloppy joe’s to company with homemade fries and a salad.

Homemade fries are too easy:

Wash and slice up bakers potatoes into fry shaped sticks.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (optional) and cook in a single layer, not too crowded, on a sheet pan at 400 degrees until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. A nice tip: line your pans with foil to keep clean up easy!

 

 

Pesto Lasagna- fresh pasta and extra cheesy!

I just realized as I got to the bottom of this post that it is St. Patrick’s Day and I just randomly made this dish and posted it on a day dedicated to green! Not only is this a green lasagna but I served it on a green plate.  For someone who is not at all interested in holidays this sure worked out perfectly!!!

I was in NYC last weekend and basically started drooling when I saw a pesto lasagna (like the one below) show up at the table next to my mine. I had to figure out a way to replicate the dish because I had not stopped thinking about it since I saw it.  At Harbor Greens I was able to get fresh lasagna noodles, all the ingredients for the pesto as well as the 3 different cheeses needed and this delicious beautiful lasagna came together in no time!

IMG_7600I think I was able to get 8 layers of lasagna which made it so hearty and flavorful!

IMG_7593The main ingredients: pea and cilantro pesto (recipe below), mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan and fresh lasagna noodles!

IMG_7594For the pesto I combined 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas, 1 cup fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp pine nuts, 3 cloves of garlic and olive oil in a food processor until well blended.  Season as needed for your desired flavor.  I then added 3/4 pesto with about 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese to make the creamy pesto filling.

IMG_7595Brush the bottom of a baking dish (I used an 8X8) with olive oil, so the lasagna doesn’t stick.  Boil lasagna noodles in salted water for 1 minute and then drain on a dish towel.  Place noodles in a single layers in the bottom of the pan and smear some of the pesto ricotta mixture on the top of the noodle.

IMG_7596Your layers can really be however you want but I did as follows. A layer of the pesto ricotta mixture with the fresh peas followed by a layer of shredded mozzarella and parmesan.  Alternate layers until you get to the top of the pan or run out of noodles.  As I said, I got about 8 layers but would have loved even more!!

IMG_7597Cover the top layers with some more of the pesto ricotta mixture as well as cheese and sprinkle with olive oil to keep it moist.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes on 350 degrees or until warm through.  Remove foil and cook until top is brown and bubbly!

Who doesn’t love gooey cheese!

IMG_7599Check out all those layers! Once you use fresh pasta you will never go back!!! The noodles are so fluffy and add the best texture to any dish!

IMG_7601I love how pretty the green pesto is with the peas! It just occurred to me I am posting a very green dish for St. Patrick’s Day!!

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IMG_7604I topped my piece with a few red pepper flakes for a little added heat!

IMG_7605Ok, so go make this dish! It’t simple, satisfying, every member of your family will eat it, it’s hearty enough for a main dish Aed a salad and enjoy!

Or be like me and eat it for breakfast!

French Toast {turned up}!

I have two really delicious and easy ways to make french toast so much better!

1. Fresh whole vanilla beans

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2. Challah Bread

IMG_7543All you need is eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon (optional) and a delicious loaf of challah bread

IMG_7545Slice up this heavenly bread into about 3/4 inch pieces

IMG_7546Soak bread in egg, milk, vanilla and cinnamon mixture

IMG_7553Top french toast with your favorite toppings!

IMG_7557I love the crispy exterior with the eggs center!

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IMG_7561I personally like to top mine with syrup and coconut!

Topping options: jam, syrup, coconut, fresh berries, powdered sugar or just butter!

Mountain Muesli- a delicious way to add energy to your diet!

I have attempted to make homemade granola a handful of times and every time I wish it would turn out just like this delicious Mountain Muesli!  I love that it is not too chunky or hard but instead the I love the little specks of coconut, oats, dried fruit and nuts! Hence the name muesli! All the packages soy, corn, eggs and dairy free and they even have a new variety of gluten free! Plus they are, as the package says, absurdly delicious!

image_3I prefer mine with a little fruit and yogurt!

image_1I also love the pieces of dried fruit which are just the right size!

imageCheck out the quality of those ingredients!

IMG_7569While there are many flavors to choose from I personally love the cherry almond granola and the cherry chocolate chip mini granola bites!

IMG_7571These little bites pack and delicious punch! They are chewy, have just a slight chocolate bite, a slight sweetness from the cranberries and are perfect for on the go!

IMG_7572Mountain Muesli updated the traditional Swiss muesli by adding ground flax seed, coconut sugar and coconut oil for a boost of protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. It has the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to give you high energy the natural way. I love knowing that my family and I are enjoying a high quality product that we all can enjoy!

IMG_7574I love the variety of the ingredients and that they are made right here in Tacoma, WA! Plus, all the packages are resealable which makes them last in your home or allow you take them on the go and not spill them.

IMG_7575Grab a package of Mountain Muesli and enjoy it as a delicious meal or snack anytime!

Habarnero Salmon Spread

Need a quick, delicious and memorable appetizer? I think we all need something like that in our back pocket. Luckily I’ve got the perfect item for any occasion! Harbanero Salmon Spread is a crowd pleaser.  With a title containing habanero you may be thinking it is super spicy but the creaminess of the spread is the perfect combination with a nice smooth salmon spread.  There is no fish taste so don’t let the idea of salmon scare you off.  This spread has the perfect balance that all will enjoy!
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IMG_7579Serve with your favorite cracker or even veggies but I especially like these mini croccantini.  They are usually served along side the spread when sampled at the market!

IMG_7580You can actually see the pieces of pepper and the color is beautiful and would make any dish better!

IMG_7581Delicious… trust me! 🙂

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