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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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…]

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Guys, why have I never thought to put meat in a frittata?? What is wrong with me???

Frittata with Caramelized Onions, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

I went to visit my bestie in Dallas, since it had been way too long and I hadn’t met her bebe girl yet. I actually got to see my friend Hannah as well and her new little boy. Girls’ brunches are the best—look at those nuggets! They were quickly losing patience with us…

girls brunch babies

The day before, Kristine and I had a girls’ brunch with some other friends at her house. We didn’t want to go to a ton of trouble, but knew we’d all be starving so we needed to make hearty food. We also needed to make sure it was dairy-free since dairy seemed to upset the baby…and that does limit things a bit.

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Finally we settled on French toast (with almond milk) and a frittata with goat cheese, which was deeeeelish! We basically made a “kitchen sink” frittata, meaning I cleaned out her fridge of veggies and just threw them all in there.

frittata with turkey sausage parsnips & goat cheese french toast

The surprise in this, besides the turkey sausage, is the parsnips. I feel like parsnips don’t get enough love. They’re sweeter than a potato, milder than a carrot, and easier to prepare than a turnip (ugh, peeling turnips is the worst). When sauteed or roasted, they caramelize into this delightfully nutty sweet crunchy awesomeness. We had some extras in the fridge because we made my shepherds pie with goat cheese carrot parsnip mash (amazeballs) the night before. I used the parsnips and onions as the base or “crust” of the frittata, then we also piled in more onions, spinach, and tomatoes, as well as the goat cheese and turkey sausage.

‘Nuff said. [Read more…]

Traditional Spanish Tortilla

See, I would have called this a frittata. And apparently I would have been wrong.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla done

One of my co-workers is half Spanish, and one time he brought in a traditional Spanish tortilla for breakfast. While it looked exactly like the frittatas I’m so fond of, it just had a slightly different flair. The gold potatoes are delightfully tender and add a delicate base to the dish. Many also include onion, asparagus, chorizo, and other fillings. The recipe below called for tarragon, though I used fresh rosemary and oregano instead.

Traditional Spanish Tortilla

Spanish tortillas and frittatas are very similar, though there are a few differences. Tortillas are always egg- and potato-based, while frittatas only have to have eggs. Also, apparently the main difference is that you’re supposed to flip a Spanish tortilla on the stovetop at the end, versus finishing in the oven like a frittata. I’ll definitely be trying this method next time—I’m trying to wheedle my co-worker’s recipe out of him! [Read more…]

Ricotta, Tomato & Spinach Frittata

Simplicity, man. As I mentioned last week, I just wanted the easiest dinner possible. Something healthy, but something that didn’t require a million steps or ingredients.

Ricotta, Tomato, & Spinach Frittata done

Also, I’ve been on a weird ricotta kick. Like, eat it straight out of the carton with a spoon, maybe with a drizzle of honey. It’s getting weird. I used to hate ricotta

Ricotta, Tomato, & Spinach Frittata

So I made some delicious marinated grilled (well, sauteed) chicken, and this delightful frittata.

ricotta tomato & spinach frittata tomatoes spinach

Frittatas are such a great go-to meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re full of veggies and protein, easy, and make awesome leftovers. Basically, they’re perfect. [Read more…]

Coq au Riesling

Having family stay with me always means I’m going to try something special in the kitchen. This one had been at the top of the list for quite a while. But while it seems kind of fancy (it’s a little like the chicken version of boeuf bourguignon), it’s actually not that difficult or time consuming. And it tastes awesome.

Coq au Riesling with Mashed Potatoes

This dish’s flavor combination is so rich and layered—you build a base of the bacon and onions and garlic sauteed in butter and oil, simmer for a while with some sweet white wine, then finish the whole thing with some cream. It’s rich, but not overly so—the mushrooms and chicken keep it from becoming too much.

coq au riesling garlic

You can serve as you see fit, over rice or pasta or mashed potatoes. While I’m not really a mashed potato person, my garlic mashed potatoes were the perfect foil for the sauce (which is fairly runny). You probably do need to serve it over something, though, or the sauce will be hard to corral. [Read more…]

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

This is going to be kind of epically long, guys. But don’t be scared, because this is totally doable.

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

I’ll tell you a not-so-secret: I don’t like roast or stew. Never have. Growing up in the Midwest, with grandparents who raised cattle, I ate a lot of roast with little potatoes and carrots. Even beer or deer roast on occasion. And it just never did it for me. That’s why I’ve never had that same fascination with Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon that other cooks seem to have. To me looking at it, you put tons of work in and at the end you get…stew??

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon with Wine

My mom came into town a couple weekends ago and brought me, among other things, my new car (my hip wasn’t up to 16 hours in the car), apples and potatoes from my grandma’s garden, and a bunch of new steaks and roasts. As I was poking through recipes, looking for something we could attempt together, I kept coming back to Julia Child’s classic dish. For one, I felt like I had to attempt it just from a “legitimate cook” standpoint, plus I have an unholy fear of raw meat, so I figured my mom could help me trim and cut up the roast. So we decided to give it a go.

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon closeup

What I wasn’t prepared for was how GOOD it was! My house smelled amazing all day, and when we finally got to taste the sauce?? OH MAN. Layers upon layers of rich flavor. This wasn’t just stew or roast, this was beef in awesome sauce. I realize it’s a little more work than a typical roast or stew, but if you’re going to be home all day and can tend to it from time to time, what you get in the end is totally worth it. And there’s wine, so that should be incentive enough… [Read more…]

Omelette with Caramelized Onions, Kale, Tomatoes, & Goat Cheese

Sometimes it’s the little things, ya know??

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale Goat Cheese

This recipe was an accidental brainchild, a dish born out of necessity. My dad was in town a couple weeks ago and I invited a friend over to spend time with us. He chose brunch, so I decided to make my whole grain Belgian waffles.

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale & Goat Cheese

Things were pretty rushed that morning since my dad was helping me install gas logs in my fireplace and we had run into some snags (we took 5—count ’em, 5—trips to Home Depot that weekend). I knew I needed to provide some eggs with my waffles, but couldn’t bring myself to do boring old scrambled. My next thought was omelettes, which is my go-to egg dish when serving less than 5 people (any more, and you need to upgrade to a casserole or something). I rooted around in my fridge and came up with what I thought was the perfect combination. I had a half of a yellow onion left from dinner the night before, so I sliced it up in strips and caramelized it. Then I sauteed up a little kale, chopped up some tomatoes and goat cheese, and threw it all in an omelette.

omelette with caramlized onions kale goat cheese ingredients

I figured it’d be pretty good and would more than satisfy these two dudes’ palates. But wow, was I surprised at how good it was! This one is definitely a keeper. Add a little shaved parmesan as garnish, and we’re in business.  Omelettes are a fairly regular part of my dietary rotation, my go-to egg dish with company. I’ll make them with whatever I have on-hand—garlic, peppers, tomatoes, various cheese, herbs, whatever. But these were kind of a revelation. The kale gave it some chew, the tomatoes and caramelized onions provided a sweetness, and the goat cheese melted into this creamy pool of awesomeness. It was the perfect combination of flavors. [Read more…]

One-Pot Farro with Tomatoes

Like 98% of the Pinterest-verse, I’d seen and pinned the ubiquitous “one-pot pasta” recipe where you put dry spaghetti, tomatoes, onions, and garlic into a cold pot of water and cook it all together. I thought it sounded like a great idea and planned to try it at some point, until the ever-reliable Smitten Kitchen posted about how she’d tried it but the pasta had turned out all soft and gummy.

One-Pot Farro

That’s when reason prevailed and I realized that what she said made total sense from a chemistry standpoint. And given my hatred of over-cooked pasta (one of our nation’s great failings), this wasn’t going to work. Instead, she submitted this recipe instead, and she never steers me wrong. It uses the exact same technique but substitutes a hardier grain—farro in this case—for the soft processed pasta. Farro is better able to stand up to this kind of cooking process.

one-pot farro tomatoes

This dish was like a harbinger of fall—while the grape tomatoes were still bursting with summer flavor, the rich, silky sauce that formed around the nutty, chewy grains was like a warm hug. I’m not ready for fall just yet, but this is working on forcing me to get there. [Read more…]

Salsa!

My family LOVES salsa. Well…I should say that my dad and sisters LOVE salsa. My mom and I? Meh. Largely because we’re babies and find it too spicy.

salsa finished chip2

The thing is, I really WANT to love salsa. It looks so good! It has tomatoes! You eat it with chips! All of these things indicate I should love it, but somehow I dip the corner of my chip in it, shake it off, and call it good. However, the crowds go wild for this salsa.

salsa cilantro

salsa onion

Seriously, it’s crazy. I was back in Kansas visiting my family last month for various graduations, and my mom made a big batch to take to my cousin Janelle’s party. We got there, set it out on the counter next to another big Tupperware container of salsa, started going through the line. And in LITERALLY FIVE MINUTES it had been totally devoured. I’ve never seen anything like it.

salsa recipe

The best recipes are handwritten…

salsa finished

So rest assured, this is not just me saying it’s the best salsa, it’s a whole bunch of salsa-crazed outsiders. [Read more…]

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