Bored With Broccoli? Try Burning It!

Recently, I had dinner at a very good steak house with some old friends.  The meal was great but the thing I remember about it was not the steak.  The thing I remember was the vegetable – burnt broccoli.

I like meat but vegetables are where its at.  That’s where all the nutrition and sometimes all the redeeming value comes from.  Give me the greens before all else.

Anyway, burnt broccoli was the veg that caught my eye on the menu and it did not disappoint.  I did a bit of research online and I found this one from  Easy to follow – just add some olive oil and salt and then bake it forever.

It’s not an exact match for the version I had at the restaurant.  The seasonings are off a bit but its close enough and I’ve served it more than once since then.

Give it a try.


Review – The Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan

This one is a keeper.  I’ve tried several dishes from this book but tonight I tried the Moo Goo Gai Pan (page 74).  The dish was a big hit, but I did a couple of things differently:

  1. My kids will not eat mushrooms, so I left these out of the recipe.
  2. Sherry instead of rice wine vinegar.
  3. Canola oil instead of peanut.
  4. Serve them over rice noodles.
  5. I tripled all ingredients for my family of four and ended  up with one serving left over.  Based on that I think the quantities listed by the author are a bit light, but I find that’s true about most recipes.  Adjust as necessary for your own circumstances.

Use the Pampered Chef Choopper for the garlic and ginger.  This thing works great.

Give this cookbook a try:

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan

Sausage, Potato and Spinach Soup….

….from Damn was the Saturday night meal this week.

Nancy said that she was planning on having a salad for dinner and nothing else.  That just doesn’t work for me.  I’m ok salad and eat it twice a day, but weekend meals are different.

I stared out looking for something to do with kielbasa (one of my kids wants to try it) and stumbled across this recipe.  I like it very much but no one else did.  The rest of the family is not big on oregano and I think that’s what turned them off.

I had to make a few modifications to the recipe.  My take on it was:

  1. Chicken sausage (Murray’s) instead of pork
  2. White potatoes (which I had anyway) instead of red
  3. Tajin instead of red pepper flakes

One other thing – about half way through cooking I had to run out of the house for a while.  So I had to let the soup sit (covered) on the stove for about a half an hour.  That did that after I added the potatoes but before adding the spinach.

Everything else was the same.  It makes a great soup.

Weekday meals……

….always a challenge.

What do you feel like eating?  What do we have in the house?  What can we make that won’t take too much time.

taco seasoning, cumin, crushed tomatoes, beans, ground turkey, slow cooker

In this case we felt like having chili and here’s what we had in the house:

Not shown is the corn which goes in the chili and the cauliflower that it is served with.

Also shown is the slow cooker.  A slow cooker is a great thing.  Set it up in the morning and come home to a great meal in the evening.

Here’s the process:

  1. Add some about a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and brown the turkey.IMG_20151014_1314074_rewind
  2. Transfer the turkey into the slow cooker and add a can of strained, rinsed pink beans.IMG_20151014_131740_burst_01
  3. Add 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes.IMG_20151014_1318093_rewind
  4. Add 1/3 cup of taco seasoning and about a tablespoon of cumin.IMG_20151014_1321213_rewind
  5. Here is where I ordinarily would put in the corn (canned or frozen, about a cup or two) but I forgot this time.
  6. Stir it up and let it cook on high for about 3 hours or low for about 5 hours.
  7. When your ready to eat, steam some cauliflower.IMG_20151014_1635279_rewind
  8. Spoon a generous helping of chili over the cauliflower. IMG_20151014_1636107_rewind
  9. Serve with a corn muffin and maybe a dollop of sour cream on top.IMG_20151014_1640239_rewind


Round Two For This One

A follow up from this August post.

Cold season has arrived.  As a result, we put together our second batch of this recipe from  If there was any doubt that this one was a winner, those doubts should be dispelled.  An encore is an endorsement and the picture above is from round two of this new staple in my home.

The only thing I did wrong was I waited too long to make another batch.  I believe that it works better after it ages a little while.  Next time I’ll make the new batch when the old one is 2/3 gone.

Review – Sliders For A Football Sunday

I have a kid who is a meat eater.

He will do pasta, sometimes chicken and even fish.  Vegetables are a struggle.  Perhaps you know the type.

Anyway, Sunday is not a day to argue about what’s for dinner.  If you have a hamburger person in your family, and maybe even one who years for the days of late night White Castle runs, try this slider recipe from

The only thing I couldn’t come up with was the rolls.  I improvised with some hot dog buns sliced in thirds.  I’m pretty proud of that improvisation.  These were organic buns from Vermont Bread Company.  Avoiding the bread is usually the best bet but this alternative worked for me.

Bottom line – this is a great recipe.  I think you should try it.

Chicken Chopped Suey

The perfect meal for me is vegetables and meat.  Less starch, less processed food more vegetables with some meat thrown in.

Chicken chopped suey fits that bill.  Its primarily a vegetable dish.  If I were a vegetarian it would probably be a weekly staple.


2 or 3 stalks of celery
1 carrot
1/2 of a medium sized head of nappa cabbage
4 or 5 stalks of bok choy
1 can of bean sprouts
1/2 of a medium sized leek
4 chicken breasts
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
soy sauce
sesame oil
2 tsps cornstarch
1/4 cup of water

The quantities given above are only suggestions.  Its never a bad thing to add more veggies and I don’t think its possible to screw this one up.  Furthermore, it works well as leftovers so big batches are a good idea.

Chicken is what I use but it works with beef, fish or even tofu.

Actually you pretty much throw in anything.

  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and put it in a large plastic container.  Chop the garlic into very small pieces and add them to the container with a generous amount of soy sauce (maybe 1/4 cup).  Mix the ingredients so that all the chicken is covered.  Put the container in the fridge to marinate for a few hours.
  2. Break out your biggest frying pan, add some olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the celery and carrots and cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the nappa, bok choy and bean sprouts and cook until the leaves are wilted (about 4 or 5 minutes).
  4. Remove the veggies from the pan.
  5. Add some olive oil to the pan and cook the leeks for a minute or two.
  6. Add the chicken and stir it.  Keep cooking until the pieces are no longer pink.
  7. Combine the corn starch and water and add it to the chicken.  Keep stirring as you add the vegetables back to the pan.  When the corn starch mixture has thickened add a teaspoon of sesame oil.
  8. Take the pan off the burner and allow to sit for two minutes.

Some people insist on a starch, so serve it over rice, rice noodles, pasta, whatever if you must.

Oatmeal – “Chopped” Style

Slow cooker oatmeal with goji berries, shredded coconut and hulled hempseedMy brother thinks that the producers for the Food Network show “Chopped” come up with the basket ingredients just before a snow storm.  They just go to the supermarket and buy whatever is left on the shelf.

There is no snow in the forecast, but I decided to do my own “Chopped” style meal, oatmeal, in the slow cooker.

I picked my ingredients up in the bulk food section of Whole Foods:

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup dired goji berries

1/4 cup hulled hemp seed

Add that to my usual ingredients as follows:

1 cup steel cut oat groats

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups water

Grease the inside of the crockpot.  I find that butter works best.  Set it all up on Saturday night, let it cook overnight (make sure you wake up and turn it off after five or six hours) and wake up to a great meal.

Of the three random ingredients, the coconut was the most pronounced flavor.

I count this one as a success.  Try it and see.

Review – Killer Beef Kebabs from RealFoodbyDad

First weekend of the football season and we kicked it off with this recipe for beef kebabs from


I only did a couple of things differently:

  1. I did mine with more steak – 1 3/4 lb to be exact.  I marinated mine overnight.
  2. I used three peppers, a pint of grape tomatoes, two zucchinis and a red onion.  This was more than enough vegetables as we had some leftover to be grilled the next day.

I ended up with 11 kebabs.

They were awesome.

Highly recommended!

Review – Turkey Burger Kebabs From Health Nut Nation – September 5, 2015

We tried this one today – hamburger kebabs from

She’s got some great recipes and some great videos.  You should check it out.  We made ours with ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Also, we used a red onion.

IMG_2712I was concerned that the meatballs would fall off of the skewers so I was careful not to try to turn them too early.  It worked out fine, everything held together.


Served with refried beans and grilled asparagus and the meal was a big hit.IMG_2709


I’ll definitely be having this one again but with ground beef next time.  The turkey came out a bit dry (or maybe overcooked).


Burgers without the bun is the way to go!