Recipes

MEXICAN STUFFED PEPPERS

This stuffed pepper recipe is a great way to use leftover rice. Serve these with a side of roasted veggies for a healthy and delicious dinner option!

Ingredients:

• 4 bell peppers
• 14 oz. (400g) lean ground beef
• 1 x 14 oz. (400g) can chopped tomatoes
• 1 x 14 oz. (400g) can black beanss
• 1 cup (160g) cooked brown rice
• 2 tbsp. Mexican spice blend (taco seasoning)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and cook the beef for 5-7 minutes until browned. Add in the tomatoes and, rice and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for around 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans, then mix into the pan and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut off the tops from peppers and remove the seeds from the inside. Place the peppers on a baking dish and fill the peppers with the beef mixture.

Cover the dish with kitchen foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.

   

Recipes

BEEF AND ROASTED EGGPLANT STEW

This hearty stew makes a perfect dinner for postpartum recovery. It’s packed with the veggies your body needs and gives you a good amount or iron from the beef and chickpeas. This is a great one to send to a friend or relative who wants to bring you a meal! Bonus: it also  freezes well, so you can prepare a double batch and save half for later.

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 lb (450 g) lean  ground beef
• 2 medium eggplants, cut into bite-size pieces
• 2 cups (330g) cherry tomatoes
• 14oz. (400g) can chopped tomatoes
• 14oz. (400g) can chickpeas, drained
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 4 tbsp. tomato puree
• 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 2 tsp. mixed herbs
• handful parsley, chopped

Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cut eggplant into a baking dish and drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes until soft.

In the meantime, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown  the ground beef.

Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft—then add in the mixed herbs, tomato puree, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Next, add in the chopped tomatoes, vinegar, chickpeas, and cherry tomatoes. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and continue simmering until the eggplant is ready.

Once the eggplant is soft, add into the tomato sauce and mix well. Serve with rice and chopped parsley.

   

Recipes

RED SWEET POTATO CURRY

This red sweet potato curry makes an amazing comfort dish for dinner. It’s especially great for postpartum recovery and breastfeeding.  If you need a good way to  add complex carbs into your diet, try this recipe!

Ingredients:

• 2 tsp. coconut oil
• 1 white onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
• 14oz. (400g) can chopped tomatoes
• 1 cup (240ml) bone broth or vegetable stock
• ¼ cup (65g) smooth natural peanut butter
• ½ cup (120ml) canned coconut milk, light
• juice of 1 lime
• 3 cups (480g) cooked brown rice
• ¼ cup (30g) peanuts, chopped
• handful cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in large pan. Add the onion and cook for around 5 minutes until soft.

Next add the garlic and red curry paste and stir well. Add the sweet potatoes, chopped tomatoes, bone (or vegetable) broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and coconut milk. Pour into the pan and stir well to combine.

Remove from the heat, squeeze in lime juice, mix well and serve with the cooked rice. Garnish with the chopped peanuts and cilantro.

red sweet potato curry    red sweet potato curry

Recipes

Hearty Beef and Veggie Chili

This chili is an all-time favorite at our house for two reasons: It’s incredibly easy to make and it’s delicious.

Oh, and it contains a huge helping of veggies in it, which makes my little nutrient-density-loving heart happy.

My kids love it topped with cheese and I love it served over brown rice or a sweet potato. We even eat it with Frito-style chips sometimes. It is also something that is super easy to freeze and thaw, so I almost always make a double or triple batch of it. This let’s us have a super fast meal on a weeknight if needed, that’s still super healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of high quality ground beef or bison
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 2 cans of pinto beans
  • 1 8oz can of diced green chilis (optional)
  • 16 oz of diced root veggies of your choice (for this, I love using the Healthy 8 veggie blend from Trader Joe’s. Here’s a copycat recipe in case you don’t have TJ nearby or need ideas)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chili seasoning
  • 16 oz organic beef bone broth

Instructions

Open all of the cans of beans, chilis, and tomatoes. Drain the water from the beans, but do NOT drain the tomatoes or chili.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the ground meat, until it is cooked through. Add in the diced onion and stir occasionally until the onion softens and releases its water. Then add in the chili seasoning and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Add in the 16oz of chopped root veggies. Cover and cook until the veggies are softening (but not cooked through). If the veggies or meat is sticking to the bottom of the pan, you can add a few oz of the beef stock in this step to prevent that.

Once the veggies have begun to soften, add in the diced chilis if you are using them. Mix thoroughly. Next, add in the diced tomatoes and all of the beans. Stir the mixture to evenly distribute.

Finally add in the remaining bone broth and bring the chili to a simmer. You can simmer in as little as 10 minutes, or wait up to two hours to serve if you keep it over very low heat. You can also add the chili to a crock pot at this point and cook on low heat for up to 6 hours.

If you made a double batch, separate half of the chili out to freeze once is it cooked. Wait until it is cooled to room temperature before placing in a freezer bag and freeze it flat for easiest storage and thawing.

Health & Wellness, Time Management, Uncategorized

The UnFancy Recipes

This is the second post in my Home Cooked with Takeout Effort series and it is going to focus on what I call Un-Fancy recipes. Too often, when we look for recipes online we find something that sounds too complicated, has too many ingredients, and takes too long to make. We don’t have an hour and 10 minutes on a weeknight to juillene carrots or chop up 10 different vegetables. We don’t have the time to brown the roast on all sides in ghee before cooking it for 20 minutes per pound. Then on “good days” where we actually do make a recipe we found online, we end up with too many dishes to wash, portions that were too small, and specialty ingredients that we don’t know how to finish before they go bad. So we feel like we wasted our time and money. All this often has a detrimental effect on our confidence in the kitchen “I’ll never be able to do that” or “I definitely don’t have that kind of time” or “Its ultimately a waste overall”

Here’s the secret though: most of us who cook regularly do not make things that are listed on a foodie blog. We cook in an Un-Fancy manner. We cook in a way that doesn’t seem worthy of posting online because the ingredients and steps are so simple. We use a standard “formula” to answer the “what’s for dinner?” question and go from there. It’s all very unglamorous. But it’s also very easy to learn, to implement, and to keep doing regularly.

This is my standard formula for a meal: make one protein, one starch/grain, and one veggie. I try to make sure the veggies are double the weight of whatever protein I am making. Thats it. The table below lists out examples of what falls into each of these categories.

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Now that we understand the formula, how do we keep it from getting “boring”? The secret here is keeping a few staple ingredients on hand and having several go-to spice blends. A huge hang up with recipes in general is that they cal for 1/2 teaspoon of 4 different spices, 1 teaspoon of 2 additional spices, and a tablespoon of 3 different sauces. Measuring out all of that (and even having all of it on hand) is a huge PITA (pain in the @#$) and time consuming. Having staple spice blends on hand eliminates this problem, while keeping your food super flavorful and delicious (and healthy to boot!). Here’s what I keep on hand in our kitchen:

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In addition to the spice blends, you want to have a few staple cooking ingredients on hand. These are a way to flavor your food without a lot of hassle. Keeping this list short helps you to use everything regularly. Using these regularly also has the added benefit of helping you learn how to use them efficiently and effectively to add flavor to meals. Here is a list of our family’s staple ingredients: olive oil, avocado oil, jar of minced garlic, apple cider vinegar (ACV), basalmic vinegar, lemon juice (get a glass bottle for way less hassle and many more uses than squeezing lemons), lime juice (optional, lemon works in most cases), amminos (healthy substitute for soy sauce), and avocado oil mayonnaise.

Ok, now how do we make this all work out to be easy meals that take you less time to make than takeout or delivery? Well, if you have a convection oven at home, you’ve hit the JACKPOT of easy home cooked dinners. In a convection oven, you can cook items on every rack in the oven at the same time. I will often place whichever baked chicken thighs we are having on the top rack, a pan of veggies on the middle rack, and a pan of carrots or potatoes (for the starch) on the bottom. The whole meal takes 35 minutes to be done once its in the oven, but it takes YOU only the 5-10 minutes of prep time to be actively “cooking” in the kitchen.

If you don’t have a convection oven, never fear! You can either roast your chicken and veggies side by side on the same rack and use an “instant starch,” OR you can use a steamed/sautéed veggie option. And if all else fails, a bag of salad is a great go-to option for the veggie choice (just be careful with the dressing, since they are often loaded with excess sugar).

Here are a few pictures showing how we usually combine items from the Un-Fancy Recipes. I encourage you to try this out ONE TIME this week. Swap out ONE take out or fast food run with one of these. When you do it, let me know how it worked!