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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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“Crack” Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry

This was my first “back on the healthy train” recipe since coming back from quite a bit of travel over the past few months—including a week and a half inhaling pastries on the French Riviera.  So I didn’t need normal healthy, I needed SUPER healthy.  A sort of food detox, if you will.

Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry...healthy, easy, yummy

What I didn’t expect was for this to be SUPER yummy as well.

beef-cabbage-stir-fry-green-onions

And cheap and easy.  Fast, cheap, healthy, easy, and yummy is like a unicorn of a recipe.  I mean, it’s no mac and cheese, but it’ll do.

beef-cabbage-stir-fry

This is going into my regular rotation of uber healthy meals.  It’s got a ton of fiber from all the veggies, is surprisingly satiating, and still has just enough protein from the beef.  You could definitely use a whole pound of beef instead of a half-pound (or substitute turkey, chicken, pork, whatever), but I didn’t feel cheated by the amount of meat, and it lets you stretch your meat further.  This was lunch leftovers all week for me, and I didn’t get sick of it, which is a miracle in and of itself. [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…]

Carrot, Parsnip, & Goat Cheese Mash Shepherd’s Pie

I’ll start this with a confession: I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had a traditional shepherd’s pie. I don’t know why exactly, though why have something topped with mashed potatoes when you can top it with piecrust (a la pot pie)???

Shepherds Pie with Carrot Goat Cheese Mash piece

But something about this recipe captured my imagination when I first found it. First, I love goat cheese. My sister can’t understand why I love it so much. Second, the combination of flavors in the filling just seemed interesting and so hearty. And the addition of carrots (and parsnips, which I added myself) made the filling so light and fluffy.

shepherds pie with carrot goat cheese mash in pan

This dish really was amazing. I had an impromptu dinner party and needed to fill a crowd. It got rave reviews, and I was sad I only had a small serving leftover for the next day. One guy actually pulled this out of the fridge and had it for dessert instead of the cake everyone was having! [Read more…]

Mom’s Famous Lasagna

Lasagna is a very personal thing. In general, most people think their mom’s/grandma’s/wife’s/pick your relative’s lasagna is the absolute best thing in the world, and all other lasagnas are vastly inferior. I certainly fall into this camp. I’m don’t think I even ate any other lasagna except my mom’s until I was…in college? And then I was so disappointed by it that it only reinforced my opinion.

Mom's Awesome Lasagna

I stand by that opinion, though, and have had friends reinforce it over the years. When I make this, I often get exclamations of “This is so good! It’s even better than my mom’s…though don’t tell her I said that!”

Mom's Lasagna finished closeup

This lasagna recipe is really easy to put together, and it gets its awesomeness from a couple ingredients that are outside the norm. Instead of a homemade marinara or a jarred tomato sauce, it uses a specific Hunt’s canned four-cheese sauce, which gives it a special flavor. And rather than the traditional ricotta, it uses cottage cheese. Yeah, I know it sounds weird. I think we started doing that when I was a kid and I didn’t like ricotta and my mom wasn’t too crazy about it either. But what we discovered is that the little curds in the cottage cheese end up melting and take this to a whole other level of gooeyness (instead of the graininess of ricotta).

mom's lasagna assembly

The result? Tangy, cheesy, fragrant, spice-filled awesomeness. I love it fresh out of the oven, with the steam still coming off it. My dad loves it as leftovers, when the cheese and sauce have had a day or two to hang out and get married in the fridge. Either way, it’s out of this world. [My mom informs me that it was originally my Aunt Susan’s recipe that we tweaked over the years, so kudos to her as well!] [Read more…]

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