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Category: Entrees

Fried Rice with Kale and Shiitake

2 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced pancetta, prosciutto, or bacon
4 oz cooked pork or poultry, diced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
6 scallions, thinly sliced (greens and whites separated)
1 shallot, mined
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
2-4 oz (about 1 cup) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
3 cups kale, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked rice (day-old or air-dried)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce

In a wok or very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Of moderately high hear Add the ginger, scallion whites, shallot, peppers, pancetta, and cooked meat. Cook over, stirring constantly, until veggies are tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sliced shiitakes and corn, sprinkle with a little soy sauce, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and stir-fry until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Make a well in the rice and add the sesame oil then the eggs. Cook without stirring until the eggs begin to set at the edge. Using a spatula, scramble the eggs until just set. Stir the eggs into the rice along with the vinegar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Top with green scallions. Serve immediately.

Weeknight Bolognese

1 pound 93% lean ground beef
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt and pepper
4 cups beef broth
OR 4 tsp Better than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base + 2 cups water
6 ounces pancetta, chopped course
1 onion, chopped coarse
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped coarse
1 celery rib, copped coarse
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1 pound tagliatelle
* less than 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
* basil
* 1/4 tsp thyme
* 1/4 tsp oregano

Toss beef with water, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper until thoroughly combined.

(Note: If using bouillon + water, this step can be skipped) Bring broth to a boil over high heat in large pot (this will be used to cook pasta later) and cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Pulse pancetta in food processor until finely chopped, 15 to 20 pulses. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and pulse until vegetables are finely chopped and mixture has paste-like consistency, 12 to 15 pulses, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Heat butter and oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. When foaming subsides, add pancetta-vegetable mixture and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Spread mixture in even layer in bottom of pot and continue to cook, stirring every couple minutes, until very dark browned bits form on bottom of pot, 7 to 12 minutes longer. Stir in tomato paste and cook until paste is rust-colored and bottom of pan is dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, add beef, and cook, using wooden spoons to break meat into pieces no larger than 1/4 inch, until beef has just lost raw pink color, 4 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping up and browned bits, and begin to simmer. Cook until wine has evaporated and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and Parmesan. Return sauce to simmer; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce will look thin at this point.

Rinse pot that held broth. While sauce simmers, bring 4 quarts water to boil in now-empty pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to pot with sauce and toss to combine. Adjust sauce consistency with reserved cooking water as needed.

Slow Cooker Garlic Thyme Chicken

1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
3 lbs bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed and cut in half (or 2 lbs of boneless breast halves)
1 tbsp olive oil
20 garlic cloves, light smashed and peeled (about 2 large heads of garlic)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

Lightly oil the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Evenly place the sliced onion along the bottom.

Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the peeled & smashed garlic cloves and toss to combine. Sprinkle the seasonings across the top of the chicken-garlic mixture and toss until chicken is well coated with seasonings.

Transfer the chicken-garlic mixture to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours.

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken

1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked garbanzo beans
1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked black beans
1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 cup tomato salsa
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper to taste (about a half teaspoon each)
2 bay leaves
1 lb. chicken, large pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Place all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Turn on low, cook for 4-6 hours. Serve over a bed of rice, or with a side of cornbread or warm tortillas.

Note: For dried beans, place 1/2 cup of each bean type in slow cooker with enough water (about 8 cups) and desired spices, like bay, cumin, paprika, garlic, and granulated onion (NO SALT WHILE COOKING!). Start the beans on Low about 4 hours before the salsa chicken start time (8-10 hours ahead, total). After 4 hours, reserve 1 cup of liquid and drain. Add the beans and reserve liquid to the recipe like canned beans.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

** 1/2 pound dried cannelini/northern beans
2 bacon slices
1.5 pounds lean boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound reduced-fat or turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
—– 1c carrot (optional)
—– 1c celery (optional)
—– 1c red bell pepper (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
** 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained $
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
8 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

** If using canned, instead of dry beans, use 2 15-ounce cans of beans (drained and rinsed) and omit chicken broth.

Soak beans overnight.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion, (optional carrot), (optional celery), thyme, rosemary, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add wine, let simmer 1 minute. Stir in crumbled bacon, salt, pepper, (optional red bell pepper), and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Combine beans, pork, and sausage; stir well. Place half of bean mixture in a 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker; top with half of tomato mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

1 pound pasta (orcchiette, penne, fusilli, etc)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound italian sausage, casings removed
1 head broccoli (about 3/4 pound)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (about 1 can)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated parmesan

Prepare pasta in boling water, but stop cooking a minute or two early when the pasta is very al dente. Set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and break it up while cooking until well browned (about 7 minutes). Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add broccoli florets to the hot pan and leave un touched for 2 minutes, until they begin to brown. Toss the broccoli, add in a couple tablespoons of water and cover for 2 minutes until al dente. Remove lid. Add garlic and shallots, cook for 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and add the seasonings. Bring to a boil. Return pasta and sausage to the pan, stir til combined and simmer for 1-2 minutes, when the sauce thickens. Add the parmesan and toss before serving.

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice, optional
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups sugar snap peas
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce

Toss chicken with 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add chicken and stir fry until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Return pan to heat.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to pan over medium-high heat and quickly stir in onion, garlic, and ginger root. Stir fry until onion becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and stir until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, peas and cover for 2 minutes. Remove lid, return chicken to the pan and stir fry until vegetables are cooked.

In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup broth/water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic chili sauce, and cornstarch. Add sauce mixture to wok/skillet and stir until chicken and vegetables are coated with the thickened sauce. Serve immediately, over hot rice if desired.

Bok Choy, Beef, and Soba Noodle Stir Fry

3 ounces soba noodles, cooked
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1-pound tri-tip steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
4 cups baby bok choy, chopped
2 cups broccoli slaw
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup snow peas
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine noodles and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.

While noodles cook, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove meat with a slotted spoon. If needed, add more oil to the pan. Add bok choy, broccoli slaw, scallions, and snow peas; sauté 3 minutes or until vengetables are slightly tender. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce and garlic chile paste in a bowl. Add cooked noodles, cooked beef, and sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until noodles are thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Chicken French

2 eggs
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1/2 cup flour
4 chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup shredded swiss or mozzarella

Beat eggs and parmesan cheese.  Dredge chicken pieces in flour then dip in egg mixture.  Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and brown chicken on both sides and remove to a paper towel.  Drain oil from pan. 

Add 2 Tbsp butter, chicken bouillon cube, and 1/4 cup water to the pan.  Heat until butter is melted and bouillon is dissolved.  Add chicken to the pan, sprinkle with 3 Tbsp lemon juice, pour in 3/4 cup dry white, top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce

12-to 16-ounce duck breast half, cut into equal halves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large)
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
8 halved pitted sweet red cherries, fresh or frozen, thawed
2 tablespoons tawny Port
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
1/4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
pinch ground clove
salt and pepper, to taste

Place duck breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound lightly to even thickness (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch). Discard plastic wrap. Using sharp knife, score skin in 3/4-inch diamond pattern (do not cut into flesh).  Pat dry and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Add duck, skin side down, to skillet and cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck breasts over, reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 6-8 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to work surface, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add shallot to skillet and stir over medium heat 30 seconds. Add broth, cherries, Port, honey, thyme, and clove. Increase heat to high and boil until sauce is reduced to glaze, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cold butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice duck. Fan slices out on plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.