What to do with 1/2 lb leftover hamburger meat

I had a pound of ButcherBox ground sirloin and made the Pasta With Roasted Pepper and Manchego Pesto but only used 1/2 of the hamburger so I decided to make some burritos with the left over. that was good but I thought what else so I decide to make some instant pot chili with beans which were added after it had all cooked. Lyn has a friend, Richard, who is great at making several meals out of one. I said this is Richard approved. I also tried to crisp the burrito rather than have is a a soft shell. crisping under broiler ater a light spray of avocado oil proved to be a good thing to do.

If you are interested in trying their organic meat please use my code we can both save some money. Hey, I love ButcherBox and I think you will too! They deliver 100% grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door with free shipping. Not ordering here would be a missed steak! I’m giving you $30 off your first box! You can thank me later..

Taco seasoning
I usually make a batch and store in jar and use in many dishes.
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
• ¼ teaspoon onion powder
• ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper

Morale is 1 pound can go a long way. I also have some chili frozen.

Cashew Cauliflower Bake

Cashew Cauliflower Bake

I got some cauliflower with my last Misfits order and we wanted something different I found this from https://www.lordbyronskitchen.com/cashew-cauliflower/ .

Note: if you want to try out Misfits please use my code COOKWME-FG1DCQ so we both may save some money. Everyone who signs up with your link will save $10 on their first order—and thank you later. YOu can either go with surprise what’s in box or choose what you want froma list. Hint sign on at exactly the right time to get widest variety of choices, mine is 4PM and Google reminds me every Friday which is my day for Wednesday delivery.

Once you make this recipe for the first time, be prepared to make it over and over again.  You and your family will both love it. Heck you can always add or substitute some precooked chicken. Cashew Cauliflower is the vegetarian equivalent of the classic Chinese buffet favorite, Cashew Chicken.

This was a wicked easy bake. Other than getting vegetables on the table, and cutting down on your meat consumption, the only thing in this recipe that you might need to buy is the cashews.  I promise you that nearly every other ingredient in the list below is already in your pantry.

There are only two of us so I cut this in half not knowing how it would taste now I wish I had not.

HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Cauliflower – Pick the largest one you can find. Because, you’re going to regret not having more if you buy a little cauliflower.
  2. Cornstarch – This is used to coat the cauliflower and is also used in the sauce.
  3. Sauces – Soy sauce and ketchup are both used. One adds a familiar salty taste, while the other adds color, sweetness, and a deep tomato-y flavor.
  4. Brown Sugar – We use brown sugar for sweetness, but it will also help to thicken and caramelize the sauce.
  5. Garlic and Ginger – What’s an Asian-inspired dish without these two?
  6. Cashews – I used roasted, unsalted cashews. If you use salted, the overall dish might be a bit too salty in the end.
  7. Dried Red Chili Flakes – These are optional. I like a bit of heat, but they can be omitted.
  8. Optional- I added some cut up asparagus last night (2nd batch) was good addition. I needed to remember spring is around the corner.

How

PREPARE THE CAULIFLOWER FIRST:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower into a large bowl and add in the 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Using your hands, gently toss the cauliflower florets until completely dusted with the corn starch.
  3. Remove the florets from the bowl, lightly shake off the excess corn starch and place into the greased baking dish.
  4. Bake cauliflower at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

NOW LET’S PREPARE THE SAUCE:

  1. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the water with the cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Note: last night I tried again and made sauce for 4 even though I only had 1/2 head. I had to cook a little longer once I added the sauce but was definitely worth it.

FINISHING UP:

  1. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and pour the sauce over top. Move the cauliflower around gently with a small wooden spoon to get the sauce underneath the florets. Bake for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, add the cashews, and once again, lightly stir cashews into the cauliflower and sauce. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately.

IMPORTANT: READ THIS!

It is imperative that you shake off the excess cornstarch before attempting to bake the cauliflower. Once you have tossed the cauliflower with the half cup of cornstarch, depending on how big or small your cauliflower was, you might have an excess amount of cornstarch.

HOW TO REHEAT LEFTOVER CASHEW CAULIFLOWER:

  • Actually, this will be the last thing, and then I promise you can get to the recipe.  If you plan to make this ahead of time, keep in mind that the cauliflower will not hold up well to being reheated, but there is a way to get around that problem – somewhat!
  • Do not reheat this in the microwave!  It will become a steamy mush. Instead, carefully position each floret onto a greased baking sheet.  Leave room between each floret.  
  • Spray the top of the cauliflower with a little bit of cooking spray and place under the broiler.  Just a minute or so and you’ll have a reheated cauliflower dish without the mushy microwave mess.
Pasta With Roasted Pepper and Manchego Pesto

Pasta With Roasted Pepper and Manchego Pesto

Makes 4 servings

Melissa, my pseudo adopted daughter,  and family sent us a nice cheese package for Xmas and one was manchego cheese. Lyn saw this recipe in the Boston Globe and we tried and will try again and again. Of course, I cut it in half since there were only two of us but here is the complete recipe for 4.

From Milk Street: The idea for this pesto came from Spanish romesco, a heady sauce that counts nuts, olive oil, smoked paprika, and dried ñora peppers among its ingredients. In keeping with the Spanish theme, we use manchego cheese, a semi-hard aged sheep’s-milk cheese with grassy notes, a subtle piquancy, and a salty-savory finish. A generous dose of oregano adds bold herbal flavor and freshness.

2¾ ounces manchego cheese (without rind), chopped into rough 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup whole roasted or raw almonds

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

Note: I used a heaping tablespoon of dried, since my fresh is buried under 15″ of snow

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika                

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup drained roasted red peppers, patted dry

1 pound Fusilli pasta (you could use whatever pasta you like)

In a food processor, pulse the manchego to the texture of coarse sand; transfer to a bowl. Process the almonds, oregano, paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper until finely chopped, scraping the bowl. Add the manchego and half the oil, then process until smooth. Add the peppers and remaining oil; pulse until creamy.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup water, then drain. Toss the pasta with the pesto, adding cooking water as needed to help the sauce cling. Season with salt and pepper.

What is Fusilli (foo-SILL-ee) it is a type of Italian pasta shaped like curly spirals or little springs. Fusilli is often served with thicker sauces like meat sauces and heavy cream sauces, since the grooves in the pasta trap sauce. The word fusilli comes from “fuso” meaning spindle—a spindle rod is traditionally used to spin the strips of pasta into a spiral shape.

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs

I had some bone in chicken thighs in the freezer and was looking for ideas on line and found fitfoodiesfind which looked simple and delicious. I was being lazy so simple fit the bill.

I like dark meat rather than white meat to me it remains moist and I reserve cooking them when Lyn is fasting, I call them my bachelor nights.  The one key difference between the two is the fat content. Chicken thighs are fattier than the breasts and are also moister in comparison. However, both thighs and breasts have the same relative content of iron, sodium, and good cholesterol, they differ in the amounts of calories, fat and saturated fats.

Anway…. This baked chicken thigh recipe has the crispiest skin and the juiciest inside. You can’t go wrong with this recipe any day of the week.

Pictures borrowed form fitfoodiesfind

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5lb. – 2 lbs. bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs (~4 large chicken thighs)
  • 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

How

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a metal cooling rack on top of the aluminum foil. 
  • Add the granulated garlic, salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Next, prep chicken thighs by using kitchen shears to trim any excess skin. Next, draw out moisture from the chicken thighs by patting them with a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle the spices on the chicken thighs and use your hands to massage the spices into the chicken. Be sure the chicken thighs are covered with spices. Let the chicken sit for 10-15 minutes in the dry rub.
  • Place the chicken thighs on top of the metal rack.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey together and drizzle the mixture over the chicken thighs.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and bake the chicken thighs for 30-35 minutes or until they reach 160ºF.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings ala Chef Gail

Homemade Chinese Dumplings ala Chef Gail

I love what they call Peking Ravioli and have bought from restaurants, and frozen. My fondest memories are when I used to commute into Boston via the train, a there was a group of us and maybe once a month take turns going into China Town and buying a huge box of frozen ravs. On the way back we would split them up and distribute to our coolers. Many good meals were had. Well our Son Mike’s is married to a wonderful woman, Gail, who happens to be from China. I innocently (ya right) ask if she ever made them. Her mom had visited recently and left her with a freezer full. She said yes and she would show me how. I jokingly called Chef Gail and it stuck at least while she was here.

It was like getting a recipe from your mom, a little of this, a handful of that a splash of rice vinegar and she went by smell. When she felt it smelt right, we were ready to start making the dumplings. Now that I think about it that makes sense there are dishes, I make that I’ll know it is correct and ready to cook by the smell, I just never thought about it that way.

The frozen dumplings I’ve made I would pan fried and then add water cover and steam until done. Gail said the authentic way is to boil them (at least the ones you have on the Chinese New Year). So, we made the stuffing (pork) added scallions, napa cabbage, ginger, five spice, canola oil, soy sauce then mix and then stuffed. using chopsticks mix stirring in only one direction (this way the filling becomes very sticky and absorbs more water to bring the juicy flavor). She showed me her way of sealing the wrappers and I soon got the hang of it. Lyn and Mike joined in and before we knew it the pound of pork was gone. Into some lightly salted boiling water and this is where we used her mom’s trick. You bring water to boil then boil for a few minutes add a little less than a cup of cold water and bring to a boil again and repeat. Essentially boiling three times. Drain and eat with dipping sauce.

Now my challenge is to figure out the measurements (double checked with Gail).

Stuffing: Keep in mind these are estimated amounts so you have to use your judgment

  • 1 lb. ground pork (>20% fat is ideal)
  • 2 cups of Napa cabbage copped finely
  • About 3/4 inch of ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (I like low sodium)
  • 1 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 2 tbs canola/vegetable oil …add more if the stuffing turned out too dry
  • 1/3 tsp salt


Dipping Sauce:
• 4 tbsp soy sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tsp sugar (optional for sweet)
• dash rice vinegar
• dash sesame oil
• pinch garlic powder
• two dashes hot pepper flakes

Scoop about 1 tablespoon (or less, so you can easily fold the dumpling) of dumpling filling and place it in the center of the wrapper. Rub the edge of dumpling with water (acts like glue) Hold the dumpling with one hand and start sealing the edges with the other hand (refer to the video to see how to fold a dumpling). Be careful, when you press the edges together to seal the dumpling, do not let filling touch the sealing area (the dumpling will fall apart if you do). After folding, press edge again to seal well. You don’t need to fold beautiful dumplings here, that will come with time, your goal is to make the dumplings hold their shape during boiling.

How

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Carefully add dumplings one at a time into the water. Use a big ladle to stir the water gently, until the water starts to boil again, so the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom, for about 1 minute. Adjust the heat so the water is at boiling point but isn’t bubbling too fiercely.
  • When the dumplings float to the surface, add about 3/4 cup cold water bring to a boil add another 3/4 cup cold water continue boiling until the dumplings are filledwith air and swollen and the dough starts to become transparent, about 1 minute or 2 (time may vary depending on temp, size of dumplings etc)
    • Gail note: I only see dumplings made from commercial wraps filled with air, the ones my parents made from home-made dough didn’t fill with air,
  • Remove and place aside and cook the next batch.
  • For the dumpling already boiled, the pan-fried left-over also great:)

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

Easy Italian Purple Cabbage Rolls

I got a red cabbage with my Misfits Market order thinking it would be a small head that I could add to my salads, but it turned out to be huge. I like stuffed cabbage and figure why not.  If your interested in trying Misfits use my code (COOKWME-FG1DCQ) that way we can both save some $$. This is a quick, easy and pretty good. I have made other recipes like sweet and sour but I kind of like this one.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head purple cabbage
  • 3 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked and cooled
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups low-sodium marinara sauce (my mother in-law used to use tomato soup)

How

Carefully cut or remove 6 large leaves from a head of cabbage—the bigger, the better; they are your vessels in this recipe. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then drop in the leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and malleable.

Bring the 3 cups water or broth to a boil, then add the rice. Cover and cook until the farro has softened and can be fluffed with a fork, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large bowl, mix turkey, egg, garlic powder, onion, bell pepper, sage, Italian seasoning (if using), salt, black pepper, 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, and rice.

In a baking dish, spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom.

Take a scoop of the meat mixture ( I used my medium ice cream scoop) and roll into a cylinder or ball. Place at the bottom of a cabbage leaf; roll up the bottom, fold in the sides, then continue rolling the leaf to seal. Repeat. Depending on the size of the leaf, I had some left over so I just made small meatballs with leftover and placed in pan. I think they are called porcupine balls, I call it chef’s treat.

Place the rolls side by side on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake at 400˚F for 55 minutes. 

You could also use this for stuffed peppers, acorn squash

Info

Hearty Lentil Soup with Kale + Potatoes

Hearty Lentil Soup with Kale + Potatoes

I don’t think that this recipe needs more than what my wife texted to our son and new daughter “I made this soup and it is really good!”. They are both avid soup lovers and Gail’s favorite restaurant is a hot pot place I think it was Spring Shabu-Shabu.

Who doesn’t love a good lentil soup? This one came from

a blog by Kate Scarlata RDN, FODMAP & IBS Expert
https://blog.katescarlata.com/2020/11/09/all-about-lentils-the-low-fodmap-diet-a-hearty-lentil-soup-recipe/

I borrowed picture from her site.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large potato (white), peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4 teaspoons Fody Foods vegetable soup base dissolved in 4 cups of boiled water (or 4 cups of Low FODMAP vegetable broth)
  • 3 cups canned lentils, rinsed and drained (about 2, 14 ounce cans, you may have a little lentils leftover, this can vary depending on the product you use.)
  • 1, 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 3 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup parsley, washed and chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, add olive oil.
  2. Over medium-high heat, sauté carrots, celery and potato in olive oil for about 10-12 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add soup broth and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Then, lower heat to medium, and continue to cook the vegetables for 15 minutes.
  5. Next, add the lentils, diced tomatoes, kale, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Let soup simmer on medium-low heat for about 12 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve!

About Lentils

Lentils are particularly high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, zinc and magnesium! Let’s talk a bit about these important nutritions. 

Lentils contain 6 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup canned portion.

For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, lentils make a great protein option. For those of us who do consume meat, they’re still a tasty, fiber rich, protein rich and nutrient dense ingredient!

Fiber is key for digestive health. One serving of Delallo canned lentils provides 6 grams of fiber; that’s about 25% of your daily requirement!

Lentils provide a great source of folate, a water-soluble B vitamin. While folate is crucial for all (it helps the body make healthy new cells), it is particularly important for women of reproductive age. Adequate folate intake can prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain, making it an important nutrient for those planning to conceive and during pregnancy.

Lentils provide a nice dose of plant-based iron too. 

There are two types of iron – heme and non-heme – with heme iron being found in meat, poultry and fish, and non-heme iron being found in plant foods (whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and leafy greens). Non-heme iron is less readily absorbed in the gut, but pairing it with foods high in Vitamin C has been shown to increase absorption.

In my lentil recipe, we’ll be using lemon juice, tomato paste and kale as sources of Vitamin C, but some other foods high in Vitamin C include: bell peppers, strawberries, oranges and broccoli. 

Lentils contain a good amount of zinc.

Zinc levels have been shown to be low in some GI conditions, such as chronic diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. Boost your zinc intake with lentils, or other zinc rich foods such as oyster, pork, or pumpkin seeds. For more information on zinc click here!

Lentils contain magnesium too!

Did you know that most of us don’t get enough magnesium?

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose, among a plethora of other crucial bodily functions. Lentils are a good source of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, peanuts and avocados are some other food sources of magnesium.

Now that we know lentils can fit into the low FODMAP diet, let’s get to the fun part – cooking! 

Lentils can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge to be reused throughout the week, or you can opt to buy some of the canned varieties when on a low FODMAP diet. Whether you decide to sprinkle some over your salad or stir some into your soup, you’ll be adding a nutrient-dense ingredient to any dish.

Fried chicken thighs

Fried chicken thighs

My brother told me the other day that he gave into an urge and went to KFC. He said it was good, I still won’t go back I know it won’t hit the taste buds like my mind remembers. Once on our yearly trip to visit our sister in MN while looking for something to eat we found The coop restaurant if I remember correctly it was a small 2 or 3 tables on the corner restaurant that said they had the best fried chicken. We were very excited as was my sister. We got there went in and strolled up the the counter and ordered, the first thing they asked us was did you call the order in? Thought at was odd but they took our order and we sat down. Susan who was the most excited about the chicken ordered a burger. Soon our food came and a line started to form. We didn’t think anything of it but by the time we were done eating and heading out the line at the counter was out the front door and around the corner. We understood why it was great chicken, pressure cook then fried up juicy and delicious.

Anyway Lyn was fasting so I grabbed some boneless chicken thighs and the Air fryer.

I put flour in one bowl, beat an egg with some hot sauce in another, then gluten free panko bread crumbs in the last, you can make this all gluten free on not at all.

After dredging the chicken in flour

Coat with egg

Then into the breadcrumbs.

I had preheated the air fryer to 400 and before putting chicken in I did quick spray of oil placed the chicken in and then another quick spray.

Set the temp to 400 and 10 minutes.

Turned the chicken over 1/2 through and check with instant thermometer it was done 162 degree let sit the temp would rise to 165ish

I diced one piece an put in a salad as protein.

Some asked me why I have not been posting

A couple of reasons I’ve been very busy campaigning since I retired in January and I do cook a lot of duplicates and like to try out new recipes until I either perfect my way or like it. Like you I’ve tried things, that remind me of that commercial where they make a disgusting face as they taste.

But I’m back and my cooking of new things is starting up again. Next is authentic Chinese style Ravs / dumplings thanks to my new daughter Gail.