Tag: healthy dinner

All Seasons, Appetizer, Dairy, Fall, Main, Pork, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Quiche

Serve with chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad with honey white balsamic vinaigrette-

This was a surprise hit as egg pies or quiches do not necessarily elicit much excitement unless you are in your local coffee shop looking for something healthier than scones to go with your just-perked java.
My youngest loved it so much she asked if she could have it for breakfast the next day. Because this is such an easy recipe to make with most of the time invested in waiting for it to bake, we whipped up another quiche, baked it, and cooled it all before her bedtime. My oldest daughter, who typically does not care for eggs, loved it, but was especially keen on the chopped walnut, pear and arugula salad, going back for seconds. The whole meal is a keeper!

All Seasons, Asian, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Asian Beef and Broccoli

A bit of a twist on a popular Chinese dish, which is typically made with sirloin strips, this slow cooker version uses more economical and fuss-free lean ground beef. This is a staple for my family on Tuesday piano practice night when we come in late and need dinner in a hurry. I prepare my rice in a rice cooker just before we leave and keep it on warm for our return.

All Seasons, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Latin America, Main, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Picadillo, Cuban-Style

Being transplanted to Tampa over 20 years ago has opened my eyes to the culinary wonders of Cuban food: black beans and rice, Cuban sandwiches, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), café con leche, and this dish, Picadillo. Tampa’s Cuban community originated in the late 1800s in what is now Ybor City, named after its founder, Vicente Martinez Ybor, and continues to be a huge cultural and culinary influence on the City of Tampa.

I found this history of picadillo from Tampa’s Junior League, a philanthropic and social organization that, among other things, is famous for its locally-based cookbooks, which have graced Tampa kitchen counters since 1961: The name comes from the Spanish word “picar,” meaning “to chop” or “to mince,” and it seems that many Latin American countries have their own twist on the basic ground beef recipe. In Mexico, it’s sweetened with honey, giving it a teriyaki-like taste. In Puerto Rico, it is used as the filling for empanadas and can include cheese, ham and rum-soaked raisins. In the Dominican Republic, picadillo can include hard-boiled egg and a bouillon cube. The Cuban version is a balance of sweet-salty due to the pimento-stuffed olives, capers, vinegar and raisins.

All Seasons, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Lamb, Main, Middle Eastern, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Stews, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Wash Day Stew

In Iran it is typical to prepare this dish when it is wash day. The traditional way to make this meal is very early in the morning you make a fire in a large rock-lined pit outside the house. A large covered kettle is filled with the ingredients and placed over the coals to cook slowly all day. At the end of a day of doing laundry the food was ready with minimal preparation.

This slow cooking recipe lends itself beautifully to a slow cooker and I have also simplified by substituting cooked, canned beans for dried ones. It is served strained through a slotted spoon and scooped into pita bread but I like to spoon it over a whole grain like couscous, quinoa or rice.

All Seasons, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Mexican, Paleo/Primal, Pork, Slow Cooker, Spring, Stews, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Pork Pozole

Many Mexican dishes are perfect for the slow cooker as they require braising or roasting of meats, which adapt very well to crock pot cooking. I have yet to make this the traditional way, but if the slow cooker is any indication, this is a nice addition to your Mexican recipes. Traditionally eaten during the Christmas season, I find this soup/stew adapts easily to warm weather due to its cooling condiments. I have replaced the traditional hominy with fresh corn which makes it even more appealing in warmer weather.

All Seasons, Asian, Chicken, Contains Nuts, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetable, Winter

Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken and Cabbage Salad)

This fresh, crisp salad comes together quickly as the chicken is already cooked and tossed with raw vegetables in a tangy lime-based dressing. The classic Vietnamese chicken salad makes a filling lunch or light dinner, especially welcome during the warmer months of the year. This is a staple go-to recipe in my house.

All Seasons, American, Chicken, Fall, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetable, Winter

Chicken Chopped Salad

Serve with whole grain baguette and herbed goat cheese-

I found a great tutorial in a Better Homes and Garden magazine on making a great chopped salad. Mashing the garlic in salt and letting it sit while you prep the vegetables is the key to a creamy, tangy dressing that set the flavor for the salad. I had fun modifying a classic chopped green salad into a main dish version my family loves (and it’s a great way to sneak a lot of vegetables in too!).