LENTIL RAGOUT

This was a simple easy meal to make.  In this recipe I used canned lentils (which also freeze very nicely) and some extra vegetables in the fridge that needed using up.  An easy Vegetarian week nite meal.

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 of a large onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 medium carrot, diced

1/2 cup diced rutabaga

large handful of fresh spinach, chopped

1/3 cup diced celery

2/3 cup chopped fresh green and yellow beans

1  can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes

good splash of Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

1 bay leaf

salt and fresh cracked pepper - to taste

3/4 cup cooked lentils

Heat up a large saute pan on medium/low heat with the EVOO.  Add in the onion and garlic sauteing to sweat out.  Add the fresh vegetables and spices, saute about 8 minutes.  Then pour in the tomatoes with juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Turn to a low simmer and cook about 25 minutes.  Add in the lentils and continue to cook until reduced further - about 10 minutes.

Adjust ragout for any seasonings and serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

 

This dish was inspired by a few different recipes, but mostly for comfort food made easy...and gluten free.  Here the pasta was Tinkyada Pasta shells - something I have not seen in a very long long time, so we scooped up a couple of packages as it really is a nice pasta for many dishes - soups and salads as well.  A one pot meal and comfort awaits.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 shallot, finely minced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

1/4 cup chopped crimini mushrooms

2 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried basil

2 cups organic beef stock

2 cups tomato basil marinara sauce (we used jarred)

8 oz. gluten free Tinkyada pasta shells

2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese

1/2 cup Lactose free cream

Parmesan cheese

Heat up a dutch oven on low/medium heat with the ground beef added to the pot.  Break up the ground beef.  As it begins to brown, add in the shallot, mushrooms, garlic, garlic powder,basil, salt and pepper.  Cook 10 minutes stirring from time to time.  Pour in the beef stock, marinara sauce, and pasta - stirring well to combine.  Bring to a lite simmer, lid on and cook about 25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

Remove from the heat and add in the cream and cheddar cheese - mix well.  Cover with the lid and let sit 5 minutes before serving, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 

Like most people, after almost a year of staying home and cooking each nite it has started to get boring. In looking at long forgotten recipes on this blog it was time to re-visit some of them which then created a whole new idea.   What originally happened as a happy accident, has now given me some "fun" back in the kitchen.  I decided to challenge myself to use up any and all leftovers, or extra food in the fridge and pantry to come up with new ideas/combinations and recipes.  Pizza Omelette? or how about Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwich?  Both were surprisingly delicious.  Another example of using up extra ingredients is the Chicken Schnitzel Marinara recipe.  Not only does the food taste great, there is no waste - yayyy!

These two new ideas came about as a result of re-visiting my Gluten Free Pizza Calzone Recipe.  We had extra "pizza stuffing" from the Calzone's in the fridge so this was how it was used up which turned into great flavor combinations.

For the Omelette simply whisk up two large eggs.  Heat up a non stick pan on medium heat with a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Pour in the egg mixture, turning the pan to evenly distribute.  Once the omelette has cooked for a few minutes, dollop in desired amount of the "Pizza stuffing".

Flip 1/2 the omelette over to cover the pizza sauce and press down to spread the pizza sauce throughout the omelette.  Continue to cook a few more minutes until cooked and filling is warmed and melting.

For the Pizza Grilled cheese, butter 2 slices of gluten free bread.  Dollop/spread the pizza filling on the non buttered side, top with the other piece of bread and cook as you would a regular grill cheese sandwich.  My dear husband fell in love with this one:

Two new meals using the same leftover ingredient, and how easy it is to make too!

 

Here we have another quick easy one pot meal.  Seem to be heading in that direction these days - along with anything curry!

On that note, here is some info.  We used a Madras Curry Powder blend in this recipe which certainly carries a bit of heat.  If you like heat, then by all means add in a Tblsp. of diced ginger to the recipe for added flavor.  (I did not include ginger, as we are serious wimps when it comes to heat).  That said this is a simple plain meal that came together fairly quickly.  You could also include minced fresh coriander, and use vegetable stock to keep it Vegan/Vegetarian.  I have also recently discovered the convenience of using canned lentils - so simple but gives added protein to the dish. They also freeze beautifully.  I generally use 3/4 of a cup of lentils in most dishes - well rinsed, then place into a small glass jar and freeze until needed thawing before use.  A quick recipe for lunch or dinner.

3/4 cup canned well rinsed lentils

2/3 cup long grain white rice

2 small/medium sized German Butter or Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2/3 cup long grain white rice, well rinsed

3 Tblsp. Avocado Oil

2 tsp. Madras Style Curry Powder

Salt to taste

1 shallot finely minced

1 large garlic clove finely minced

1 medium/large sized carrot diced

2 Swiss chard stalks, trim the ends off, then finely dice the stalk, and leaves

1 medium sized parsnip diced

2 cups chicken stock or vegetarian stock

fresh coriander

Heat up a dutch oven/pot on low medium heat with the added Avocado oil.  Add in the shallot and garlic, sauteing till lightly golden.  Then add in the rice and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the curry powder, salt stirring well for another minute.  Add in the Swiss Chard, carrot, parsnip, potatoes, stirring to combine, then pour in the chicken/vegetable stock and stir well.  Bring to a lite simmer, lid on, turn down to minimum and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes, rice and vegetables are cooked through.  Sprinkle in a handful of coriander if using.

 

 

If you read my blog, you know I am a lover of all kinds of soups!  I could eat soup every day for sure.  This soup was so quick and easy, great for lunch or dinner served with grilled cheese, gluten free buns, or a simple salad.  When in a rush, or you don't feel like cooking, store bought tomato basil marinara and chicken bone broth work great in a pinch for time, plus, it is a good way to use up what is in the pantry/fridge/freezer.  This meal came together in about  35-40 min....these days that works for me.  If you wanted Vegan or Vegetarian, simply use Vegetable broth in place of Chicken Stock/Bone broth.

2 chopped carrots

1/2 an onion roughly sliced

1 chopped leek

1 chopped large celery stalk with leaves

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 c frozen organic spinach

2/3 cup frozen organic corn

2/3 cup frozen organic green beans

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (store bought or homemade)

5 cups chicken bone broth (store bought or homemade) (Vegetable stock for Vegan/Vegetarian)

1 rounded cup gluten free elbow macaroni pasta - cooked separately

Heat up a dutch oven with the EVOO on low heat.  Add in the carrots, onion, leek, celery, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Saute 5 min.

Pour in the Marinara sauce and bone broth stirring to combine.  Bring to a simmer, and cook 15 min.  Then add in all of the frozen vegetables. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the elbow macaroni pasta separately according to directions, drain and add to the soup giving a good stir.  A warming soup for the soul.

What is not to love about Mac N Cheese?  Add in some extra lean ground beef, some tasty seasonings, and best of all....everything goes into 1 pot.  A quick and easy meal in one go.  With this dish, I used a 3 1/2 quart dutch oven so you will want something at least that size.

Speaking of Dutch ovens....my dear husband recently gifted me with this Lodge pre seasoned dutch oven that I had been coveting.  The lid is also a separate  frying pan.

 

For this recipe you could include a 14 oz. well drained can of diced tomatoes which would be a lovely addition too.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 large shallot, minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup chopped small red or green pepper

2 Tblsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tblsp. tomato paste

2 cups stock - can easily use:  chicken, beef, or vegetable stock whatever you have on hand

2 cups milk - we use Lactose free 2 %

1 pack of Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow Pasta (340 grams)

1 1/2 cups aged cheddar cheese - we used 1/2 white, 1/2 orange cheddar

Heat up the dutch oven on low medium heat with the extra lean ground beef.  (no need for added oil)  Break apart the beef well with a spoon.  Brown about 5 minutes, then add in the shallot, garlic, red or green pepper and continue to saute 8-10 min.  Add in the seasonings, and tomato paste mixing well to incorporate, continue to saute for 5 minutes.

Add in the stock and milk, and pasta - mixing well.  Cover with the lid cracked and turn down the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 12-14 min. until the pasta is cooked el dente.   Add the cheddar cheeses mixing well, serve hot....will be even yummier with leftovers tomorrow.

 

 

This is another salmon dish but had to share as it was such a super easy lunch/dinner to make, I can't believe not having made it before now.  Plus, it was tasty and very economical.  At some point during the week we always end up with leftover potatoes in the fridge - such a great way to use them up.  Although, not sure how mashed potatoes would work in this recipe as these were pretty delicate, so make sure the pan is good and hot and cook a good 7 minutes per side.
1 rounded cup mashed leftover large baked potato
1   213 gram can wild salmon, drained bones removed
1 egg - whisk with a fork
2 green onions, diced, or 1 large green onion
1/2 tsp. dried dill - or more to taste
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 Tblsp.  mayonnaise
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - for frying
In a medium sized bowl combine the mashed potatoes and drained salmon.  Use a fork to break it all up mixing together.  Add the rest of the ingredients - mix.  Shape into patties, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.
Heat up a non stick pan with a good drizzle of EVOO on medium high heat.  Once good and hot, cook each side about 7 minutes. (turning the salmon cake 1/2  way around in the pan to cook evenly to a nice golden brown)  Serve hot with any other vegetable side dish or a salad.  Can also be served with tartar sauce or pesto sauce.  Super easy, super quick, and an inexpensive meal all in one!

For some reason we rarely ever see fresh Veal in our grocery stores, however, using chicken in this dish was wonderful.  This would also be lovely with boneless pork chops too.
This was such a quick easy meal to prepare - great for those busy days.  Just steam up some veggies, potatoes, toss together a salad, cook the chicken and dinner is ready.
2 skinless boneless organic chicken breasts
1 cup Gluten Free breadcrumbs (I use Udi's - freeze the crusts, take out what you need, thaw, then blitz in the food processor)
1 egg - lightly whisk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt and fresh cracked pepper
lemon wedges
minced Italian Parsley
3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add the breadcrumbs, seasonings, and Parmesan Cheese to a plate and mix well with a fork.  Heat up a cast iron pan on medium high heat with the EVOO.
Place each chicken breast between a layer of plastic wrap.  I used a rolling pin to pound the breasts - 8-10 good pounds to flatten to 1/2 inch or so.
Dredge the chicken in the egg first, then add to the bread crumb mixture pressing in the chicken breast to coat well.  Once your pan is nicely heated add the chicken breasts and cook about 6 minutes per side or until tender and cooked through.  Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a good drizzle of fresh lemon juice to accompany any side dishes.

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