20 Minute Meal Strippy Steak

 

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Cooking everything from scratch can be quite time consuming. If you plan ahead its much more manageable. But what if your plan falls through and you need something quick?  Well this is one option I’ve found that takes only 20-25 minutes from freezer to plate.  Cube steak and round steak usually need to be slow cooked or they get tough.  We’re going to slice them into ribbons so they can be fried really quickly to get around that.  Another staple in my freezer is pre-chopped onions, they come in handy to add flavor to almost any dish. If you haven’t done that ahead of time add it to step one.

2 lbs frozen cubed steak, or round steak could probably work too
2 lbs spinach, or other greens
1/2-1 cup frozen chopped onion or 3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed
5 tbs coconut oil, split into 2 and 3
salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning

Step 1: Take the steak out of the freezer and put it in warm water for ten minutes. While its thawing wash, and prep your greens. If you don’t have pre-chopped onion on hand, prep it or the garlic now too.

strippy steak raw

Step 2: Put 3 tbs of oil in a large skillet on high heat. Start slicing your meat into ribbons about 1/3 inch wide. Its ok if its still a little frozen in the middle, its easier to slice that way.  Halfway through this your pan will be hot. Turn it down to medium high and toss in your onion or garlic. Finish cutting the steak and season it to taste.

strippy steak cooking

Step 3: Add your steak to the hot pan, watch out for spitting oil. Turn the heat up just a touch because the cold meat will cool down the pan and you want this to cook FAST.  Flip/stir frequently. Add the remaining 2 tbs of oil to another pan on medium high heat. As soon as it’s warm toss in your spinach and reduce heat to medium to get it wilted down. Stir this frequently as well. As soon as your steak is no longer pink turn off the heat.

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Step 4: Your greens should be done after about 5 minutes of cooking time. Put some greens on a plate and top them with some steak strips. This makes about 4 adult portions. Enjoy your quick and easy dinner.

 

Garlic Herb Roast Chicken

roast chicken

We buy a lot of whole chickens. I can get a lot of servings out of it. For the first 2 servings we have roast chicken with a vegetable side and salad. Then I shred the rest of the meat and make other recipes out of it, getting an average of 6 more servings. (Italian Chicken Quinoa is an example) The bones I use to make broth. Roasting a chicken is pretty easy and doesn’t take a lot of hands-on time. Just season your bird, put it in a pan, and put it in the oven for a while. One of our favorite ways to season our chicken is using garlic and dried herbs. Here’s our recipe.

Garlic Herb Paste

3 tbs ghee, coconut oil, or butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp each dried parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil

Add all ingredients to food processor. Pulse until combined.

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Rub the paste under the skin of the chicken. Just rubbing it on top doesn’t get the flavor into the meat as well, but you’d still get a flavorful skin that way if you are in a rush. Roast your bird 20 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes.  Check its temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thigh. It should be 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy your beautiful bird!

 

 

Sweet And Spicy Pumpkin Soup

sns soup

 It has been bitter cold this winter and I wanted a creamy soup. This recipe contains spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves that make you feel warm and comfy, as well as cayenne and ginger which are said to help with circulation. Put those spices in a rich, soothing base of sweet pumpkin and savory broth and you have the perfect winter soup. I’ve also made it using butternut squash. You can use it as a main course served with crackers for a lighter meal, or as a side dish. It would go great with a roasted chicken.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Soup

3 cups broth
4 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs ghee
1 1/2 Tbs cinnamon
1/8 to 1/2 tsp cayenne, to taste
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp  ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or using a immersion blender until smooth. Heat on medium in large pot until simmering, stirring occasionally.

Spiced Nut Butter Dip

 

ezaKlC1391744400Need something easy and quick to whip up as a snack for a group?  Mix up this peanut butter based dip, slice up some apples, and you’re good to go.  You could also try using graham crackers for dipping, or it could be great used as filling between two cookies. Yum. For those who are going paleo just use another nut butter, or sun butter for the nut free. If you use an unsalted nut butter you should add a pinch of salt. I brought this to a church social and it was a hit.  You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already!

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used coconut)
1 cup raw honey
2 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

8 or so apples sliced for dipping
Add half the milk to the peanut butter and mix till combined.  Add in the other half and repeat.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients (minus the apples) and keep mixing until combined.  If its too thick slowly add more milk until its the desired consistency.

Bacon Harvest Squash

So my husband asked if we could have bacon in our supper tonight, but none of our usual dishes with it sounded like the right fit.  I’ve been wanting something with fall flavors and thought squash would be a good match with it.  After some google searches for inspiration I came up with this recipe.  I knew it was a hit when it elicited the eye roll AND the happy chair dance from husband. I’d include a picture, but we ate it too fast.  I’ll see if I can’t make it photogenic next time!

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash
1/2 lb bacon ( I use beef bacon but I’m sure pork would work)
1 apple
1 rib celery
1/2 c walnuts (pecans or almonds could substitute well)
1/2 c cranberries
1/8 c onion, diced
2 tsp sage
2-3 tsp butter, ghee, or coconut oil depending on gravity of dairy allergies
salt, pepper to taste ( I never end up measuring those…)

Directions:

First cut the squash in half and scoop out guts.  Cook cut side down in 350
degree oven for 30 minutes.  While that is baking, cook bacon until ALMOST
crispy. Dice the celery, onion and apples, chop the walnuts. Remove the
bacon from pan. Saute diced/chopped ingredients in the bacon grease until
they are just softened. Remove squash from oven when the timer beeps right
in the middle of whatever you were doing.  Let it cool before you burn
yourself. 😛 Scoop out about half the squash and put in mixing bowl. Rip up
the bacon into smallish bite sized peices and add it, the sauteed
ingredients, sage, salt and pepper to the squash.  Mix well. Spoon the stuffing
back into the squash hollows and top each half with a dollop of
butter/ghee/coconut oil.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 350.  Serve it with a side
salad or other side dish and it will Make 4 servings.

Necessity The Mother of Invention Aka Italian Chicken Quinoa

We keep most of our meat in the chest freezer in the garage.  Usually on the weekends I have my husband bring in what we will need for the week.  This weekend, I forgot.  Shouldn’t have been a big deal, but I somehow misplaced my key to the garage.  All we had in the freezer were some chicken necks and backs for making broth, cranberries, a chopped up zucchini, and one frozen cooked leg quarter.  If I had made my menu over the weekend or taken meat out of the inside freezer the night before, like I’m supposed to, I wouldn’t have had this problem.   I had to have supper made and ready to eat when he got home, because we were going to church tonight. Perfect storm.  After some frantic searching, I realized I’d have to come up with something using what I had.  So I started some quinoa cooking.  Quinoa is a high protein grain, I chose it because one leg quarter between the two of us isn’t much protein.  If you don’t have quinoa you could substitute rice. I put the chicken in the toaster oven to thaw, and thought.  After the chicken was thawed through I got to work. I put some olive oil in a pan and threw in the frozen zucchini.  I added the shredded chicken, a can of diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  And you know what, it actually turned out pretty good.  I admired my mom when I was younger because of how she could make a meal out of pretty bare cupboards.  I’m grateful that the creative tips she taught me has allowed me to do the same.  Here’s the handy dandy recipe for when you are low on ingredients, and need something quick and easy to make.

 

Italian Chicken Quinoa

1 cup quinoa

1 Chicken leg quarter, pre-cooked (could use any other cut of chicken)

1 chopped zucchini

1 tbs olive oil

1 can diced tomatos

2 -3 tsp Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook up some quinoa. While that’s simmering do the following steps.

2.  Put olive oil in skillet on medium heat.  Add the chopped zucchini.  Stir occasionally.

3.  While the zucchini is warming, shred the chicken. Add it in to the pan.

4.  Stir in a can of  diced tomatoes. Add Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper. Put the lid on the skillet.

5.  Its done with the zucchini pieces have turned semi-transparent, about 20 minutes.

Serve chicken tomato mixture on a bed of quinoa.  Feel free to add to this; some crushed garlic, extra oregeno or basil, or other vegetables you have on hand could go well.

 

Sherpa’s Pie Recipe

Lately I’ve been playing around with some Indian spices. They make you feel nice and warm, so they’re great for this time of year. I had a craving for some classic comfort food, but I wanted something a bit different too. So I made this Indian inspired shepherd’s pie. My husband decided it would be called sherpa’s pie, he’s better at naming things than I am. Feel free to play with the ingredients. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand. In the pictures you’ll see a carrot, I took it out of the recipe because I decided it didn’t another sweet orange ingredient. You could substitute ground beef if you don’t like, or just don’t have, the lamb. If you’re a vegetarian go ahead and use tofu or chickpeas for your protein.

Filling

1 medium zucchini

1/4 pound pea pods

1 head of broccoli

1 can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 lb ground lamb

2 tbs curry powder

1 tsp ginger

3/4 tbs marjoram

Salt pepper to taste

 

Topping

4 1/2 cup mashed butternut squash

1/8 -1/4 tsp ginger depending how much kick you want

1/2 cup coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Your first step is to roast the squash. This can be done the day before. For this recipe then mash with a potato masher with the 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

Cut vegetables into diced size pieces.  Pictured is a double amount of vegetables.  When I’m chopping anyway I like to do extra and freeze them for later.

Fry ground lamb at medium heat until browned and cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste while frying. Stir frequently and break up large clumps. Place lamb and vegetables in 9×13 pan. Mix in spices and the diced tomatoes. Spread it out nice and level so you can later easily smooth on the squash topping.

In separate bowl mix together the mashed squash, ginger, coconut milk, and salt and pepper. Spread topping on the filling in the pan.

Put in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Makes 6 generous servings, unless you ask my husband over.

How to Roast Squash or Pumpkin

I was spoiled growing up. My mom always used fresh pumpkin in her holiday baking. It makes such a difference in the flavor. Roasting a pumpkin, or squash, isn’t difficult. I had a big butternut squash i needed to cook up for preparation for another recipe. First, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Then cut the squash in half.

Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. To keep the squash from sticking tothe pan smear some coconut oil, butter, or ghee on the cut side of the flesh. Place the squash on a large sheet pan with lips, or roasting pan.It’s better if you can fit them both in laying flat,but if you need to lean one on the other a bit like in the picture below it’s ok. They just might not cook as evenly.

Put them in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the size of the squash. These I did for an hour. They are done when you can stick the tines of the fork through the skin of the squash with almost no force. Take the out and let them cool.

The one on the left is done, if they get as dark as the one on the right, they are a little bit overcooked.

The skin will peel right off, just watch out for pockets of heat. At this point prep it for whatever recipe you are using. Or you can mash it up with a little of your favorite milk/milk substitute and enjoy as a yummy side dish.

 

Energy Trail Mix Recipe

There are many energy bars out there today, but a lot of them are high in sugar. Because of this they raise energy levels quickly, but then the dreaded crash sets in. I was planning a vacation with my husband that involved a 14 hour road trip, one way. We were also planning on doing a lot of walking and hiking so I knew we needed a snack that would help provide us with lasting energy without the crash. This trail mix recipe was born out of that need. Unfortunately we had to postpone the trip, but it certainly did the trick while we were raking our yard!

Keep scrolling after the recipe to read some of the health benefits of the individual ingredients. And of course, remember to use all organic ingredients whenever possible. I am sensitive to even natural sugars so this recipe is really low in all forms of sugar. If you are less sensitive than me you could add a small amount of dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries.

 

Energy Trail Mix Recipe:

(Yields 4-5 cups)

1 1/2 cups almonds

1 cup shelled pistachios

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted or raw)

3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

(optional 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks and/or 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit)

You can combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together, or toss them in a resealable bag and shake them up a bit. Easy, right? Make sure only one of your nuts is salted, the first time I made it I didn’t pay attention to that and boy did it make you thirsty,

 

Health Benefits:

Almonds

  • High levels of copper, riboflavin, and copper aide in energy production
  • Good for your heart, brain, skin, blood pressure and cholesterol balance
  • High in vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and fiber

 

Pistachios

 

  • High in vitamin B6, which is essential for your nervous system, red blood cell production, energy production and immune system
  • Contains the minerals copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and zinc
  • Has as much fiber as oatmeal per serving
  • Antioxidant
  • Aides in glucose tolerance
  • Cholesterol balancing

Pumpkin seeds

  • Contains diverse forms of vitamin E
  • High in minerals manganese, tryptophan, phosphorous, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium
  • Antioxidant
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • And men, it’s good for prostate health

Coconut

  • High in fiber, B vitamins, potassium
  • Raises good cholesterol

 

Sources: