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Pakistani Kima

Full disclosure:  I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.

But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy.  That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago.  I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination.  It’s truly what makes this dish special.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

But it has a lot more going for it.  It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing).  It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.

It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby.  It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot.  I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it.  So I’m kind of in love. [Read more…]

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Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread

So, getting rid of my leavening for the Days of Unleavened Bread is generally a very easy thing.  I get rid of my baking powder, baking soda, and yeast, and that’s pretty much all she wrote.  But this year at the last minute I found a brand-new bag of self-rising flour hiding under a pile of dry goods.

Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread done

Yes, I could have just thrown it away (it’s like $2), but that felt weird, so I looked up recipes that would use it in large quantities.  I saw several crazy easy recipes for beer bread, and was instantly sold.

Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread slice

It’s beer, sugar, and self-rising flour.  It literally doesn’t get easier than that.  I added garlic, parsley, and cheddar because—duh.

Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread

Throw some melted butter on the top in the last few minutes of cooking, and you have a yeasty, cheesy, moist, dense treat. [Read more…]

Cheesy Sausage & Grit Casserole

Sorry, friends. There’s no way to make this dish look pretty in pictures. But it IS super yummy!

I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast casserole recipes for our Friday morning work breakfasts, particularly ones that don’t take a million different ingredients and a lot of assembly time (because let’s face it, I get home late).  This one is is simple, affordable, and comes together super quickly.

Sausage & Grit Breakfast Casserole

Funny story about this recipe though…the original recipe instructions just say “boil salted water, then add grits”.  Because my background is pasta, where you heavily salt the water (then, obviously, pour a lot of it out), I boiled the water and tossed a handful of salt in, and of course salted my sausage and added (salty) cheese.  The result?  So salty, it was almost inedible.  It WAS kind of inedible, in my opinion.  Lesson learned—follow the instructions on the package! [Read more…]

My Own Special Chili

Let’s be honest, chili is just an excuse to eat corn chips.

My Chili

When the weather is cold, I always start getting the urge to make chili. Here’s the thing I realized this year, though. I’m much more into the *idea* of chili than in chili as its own thing. I end up making a huge batch and then have gobs of chili leftovers, which I have to eat for a solid week to get through (yes, I realize I could freeze it, but I don’t like the texture when it’s thawed). So once I year I make a big pot, a tradition I can’t seem to break. My recipe isn’t anything earth-shattering, but it’s delicious and mellow and hearty and comforting.   [Read more…]

Easy Crockpot Beer Chicken

I rarely go in for crockpot cooking. Everyone waxes poetic about how easy it is, how much it saves your life, and how it’s basically the best thing since sliced bread. But I guess I just don’t get it.

Crockpot Beer Chicken

I mean, I don’t hate crockpots. But I just haven’t had amazing luck with them. I mean, everything’s so…soggy. But every so often I run across a recipe that makes me want to give it another shot. I’d had this recipe bookmarked for a while, and overall I really like it. I do think it would be a little better with a darker beer (I tend toward stouts and darker beers like Negra Modelo), but I used something sitting in my fridge that I wasn’t going to be as likely to drink.

crockpot beer chicken stella

The recipe didn’t call for any veggies, but I added them anyway. If you have the time, it would probably be better to add the zucchini and squash to the slow cooker more like a half-hour before you’re ready to serve, since then they’ll still retain some crunch—as it is, they were practically transparent and fairly mushy. I didn’t mind but I’d probably change that next time. You can add whatever veggies you have around, it’s a super versatile recipe. I also cooked up some farro to use as a base for the recipe. It didn’t call for it, but it seemed a shame to waste all that tasty sauce. You can use anything you have on-hand—rice, quinoa, pasta, whatever. [Read more…]

Sesame-Soy Grilled Salmon

I’m having trouble accepting that my grilling season is almost over.

Soy Glazed Grilled Salmon

Yes, I realize that the weather in Atlanta will permit grilling pretty much year-round, but I’m also realistic about how well my electric grill will heat up if it’s 40 degrees outside. So I’m trying to squeeze all the grilling in that I can, and I’m on a super salmon kick. I was so excited when my first salmon grilling (Maple Citrus Grilled Salmon) went so well, that I felt brave trying it again. This one was just as easy, but more of a savory (I always want to spell it savoury, like the Brits) spin. [Read more…]

Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes

You always need a couple of good potato side dish recipes around for when you’re not feeling super inspired. For some reason, I don’t default to potatoes, and I always have trouble coming up with starchy sides. I’ll gravitate to a kale, a brussels sprout dish, something along those lines, but lots of people probably hate me for that since the instinctive reaction is “blech!”. So I’m trying to build up an arsenal of “regular” sides.

crash hot potatoes finished

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s site, and like the idea because it seemed simple and easy. Things like mashed potatoes scare me, because there are too many steps, too much mess, and it takes quite a while. This dish was a great easy side with the balsamic beef we made Saturday night, easy to put together, and didn’t require us to find lots of work space in my tiny kitchen. [Read more…]

Rosemary-Cranberry Cheese Spread

Our family’s Thanksgiving traditions are long-standing—tons of great food for lunch, followed by football (playing and watching), cards, then we kind of just snack and eat leftovers for dinner. There’s a veggie platter, plenty of desserts, crackers, chips, and there’s always a cheeseball. The kind my family makes is generally savory, with pimentos and covered in nuts. But this recipe I found on Pinterest intrigued me with its combination of sweet and savory, so I decided to whip it up for Thanksgiving.

Funny enough, we were all so full that we didn’t even get it out on Thanksgiving, but we devoured it a couple days later and it got rave reviews from my family.

Even better, the cranberries were a great Thanksgiving tie-in! [Read more…]

New Thanksgiving Tradition? (Quinoa Mac & Cheese with Greens)

“I need to try cooking quinoa.”

I’ve probably been saying this for two years. A couple weeks ago I finally got up the courage to try it.

Why quinoa? Well, for one, it’s a bit of a superfood—high in awesome protein, rich in nutrients (such as calcium, iron, vitamin B), full of fiber and complex carbohydrates, easy to cook, hearty, versatile, and quite tasty.

For my first foray, I went with a delightful-sounding quinoa mac & cheese recipe. Spoiler alert: it was awesome, easy, and delicious!

[Read more…]

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I believe in making condiments and such from scratch (peanut butter, jelly, etc.). But I don’t really use taco seasoning all that often—maybe three or four times a year—so I never really paid attention to all the Pinterest posts about making your own.

When I decided to try a Mexican crockpot chicken recipe last weekend though, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and try making my own taco seasoning. While I’m not technically allergic to the MSG that’s usually in store-bought seasoning, it usually gives me bad headaches and makes me stuffed up, and it’s super high in sodium. So it’s just not worth it.

The ingredients are basically all ones you’d have in your cupboard. I think the only thing I needed to buy was onion powder. It took me all of five minutes to mix up the seasoning, and it should last indefinitely.

[Read more…]

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