Thursday, March 19, 2015

STEWpid... See what I did there?

Leftovers, and cheap: stew meat, beans, yams, mushrooms, other stuff?


  • 1-2lb stew meat (I used beef)
  • Onion, sliced or chunked
  • Portobello cap, sliced or chunked
  • Some sweet potato/yam, chunked
  • Chickpeas, about a can
  • Diced tomatoes (16oz?)
  • Some ginger (about thumb-sized, diced?)
  • Spices to taste, this version I used:
    • Ras al hanout, maybe 1-2t
    • Paprika, maybe 1-2t
    • Salt

Put it all in a slow cooker on high for about 6 hours.

Even this stew meat went all limp.

It's just hard to mess up with a slow cooker.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mostly-Irish Stew

Apparently my new slow cooker is much smaller than my old slow cooker. This is both good and bad, since I won't end up making a month's worth of food that requires rapid eating/freezing/throwing-away :/


  • 1lb lamb, 1" chunks (I used a wonderful New Zealand boneless leg)
  • 1lb potatoes, 1" chunks
  • 1lb carrots, 1" chunks
  • 1lb onions, 1" chunks
  • 1lb turnips or parsnips, 1" chunks
  • 1/2lb mushrooms, 1" chunks, I used portabello
  • 2c lamb broth (or beef)
  • (Optional) Replace ~1/2-1/4 broth with Guiness Stout. Drink the rest, obviously.
  • Salt, pepper, whatever else you want, to taste

  • Put everything in slow cooker
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours
I ran it about 6 hours and the lamb was completely tender. Ended up being wonderful.

I forgot to add the seasonings when I was cooking. Had several bites before I realized anything was missing. Added a touch of salt and pepper and that was actually enough.

I also prefer a thicker stew. The obvious option is a flour/butter mix, but I'm trying to avoid wheat when it's convenient. A pureed blend of potatoes and, say, cooked white beans, and maybe some alternative flour would probably work. The beans would add some additional fiber and protein as well.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Peanut Butter and Banana Mug Cake

It's cake/pudding you make in a mug. Endless variations abound.

  • 1 egg
  • 1T almond flour
  • 1T coconut flour
  • 1/2 banana, mashed with fork
  • ~1T maple syrup
  • ~1t-1T vanilla
  • ~1-2T peanut butter chips
  • Beat egg with fork in a microwave-safe mug
  • Stir in the almond and coconut flours
  • Stir in the banana, syrup, vanilla, and PB chips
  • Microwave about 90s
This variation was better than the original I tried (chocolate chips), I think the extra moisture from the mashed banana helps a lot. It would probably also work with a whole banana and/or actual peanut butter.

Bacony Collards

Collard greens are the new kale. And by new, I mean old. I like them a lot better.


  • Bacon, about three (3) strips worth
  • Collard greens, about a dozen large leaves
  • Vinegar (I prefer a cloudy red), 1-3T to taste
  • Maple Syrup (pure, please), 1-3T to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sunflower, chia, etc. seeds, 1-3T to taste (optional)


  • Cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered
  • Add the greens, coating evenly
  • Reduce heat, cover, and cook until greens at desired tenderness
  • Add vinegar, syrup, and salt to taste, simmer a bit longer
  • Add seeds for some additional texture elements

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Nutty" Lemonade

I was aiming for a sort-of "Dreamsicle" taste/texture by using almond milk (in this case, actual almonds). It mostly worked and ended up being pretty good, although not exactly what I'd been expecting.

  • 1oz raw almonds
  • 1 lemon, seeded and peeled, plus its zest
  • 1 lime, seeded (if variety has seends) and peeled, plus its zest
  • chunk of ginger (grated works better, also see modifications)
  • sweetener to taste
  • bunch of ice (I tend towards 4-6 cubes)
  • bunch of water (varies; ends up at the 3c mark in VitaMix)
The rest is easy; blend on "smoothie" setting (VitaMix) or "until really, really smooth/frothy" (blender).

Two things that worked great: use pieces of crystallized ginger in place of raw ginger and sweetener--this was really good. Reducing the amount of water used during blending then adding carbonated water during the pour was really nice--probably my summer drink when I want the extra nutrients of the nuts.

Using an ounce of crystallized ginger brings nutrition info to approximately:

Cal: 300-315
Fat: 14g
Carb: 47
Protein: 7

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

World's Easiest Southwest-stye Slow Cooker "Stew"

I forget where I originally saw this one; perhaps Lean & Forget-It? In any case, it's delicious, and embarrassingly easy to make, freezes well, and can be adapted in a variety of ways. The basics:

  • About 1-1.5 lb chicken breast (I leave them whole, or cut in half)
  • Two cans beans (I often mix types, like black and pinto, and often use pre-spiced cans)
  • Two cans corn (I like a really sweet corn)
  • Two jars salsa (Have fun with this--once I tried a really hot habanero along with a sweet raspberry salsa; it was surprisingly good)
Dump it into a slow cooker. I usually just go overnight on low.

I pull the chicken out and shred it with two forks. You may also chop the chicken up into small chunks if you're not in to the shredded thing.

It's a pretty moist dish. To reduce, you can drain the beans and use less salsa. I usually put some shredded cheese in/on it.

Healthy, fast, relatively cheap, and tasty.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kenyan-inspired Ground Beef Curry/BBQ

Saute until browned:
  • Wad of sliced onions (I like onions, so roughly 1-3 large onions, I like red onions)
  • Bunch of ground beef (1-1.5 lbs)
  • Hot peppers (optional, jalapenos are okay but thick-skinned, consider serrano), a bunch
  • Curry powder (I like curry, roughly 2-4 tsp)
  • Crushed garlic (sometimes I saute this with the beef and onions, 5-10 cloves)
  • Grated ginger root (2-3 tbsp; freezing peeled ginger and using a microplane makes this easier)
  • Sliced/chopped/diced tomatoes (I usually use a can of crushed, roasted tomatoes)
After that's all mixed in:
  • Some cinnamon (not much)
  • Chopped cilantro (if desired)
  • Some water
  • Some salt
  • Anything else you think might be good; cumin, cardamom, clove, sage, nutmeg--this recipe is easily tunable to various mixes of sweet/spicy/savory, and mixing them all up in one is fun.
Let it all simmer for 15-30 minutes, depending on squishy you like your onions, how blended you want the flavors and how hungry you are.

I'll often add some coarsely-chopping onions (and peppers) towards the end of the simmering process for some additional crunch and zest.