Tag Archives: dinner

Bean(less) Beef Chili

Let’s face it.  There are a bagillion and five ways to make chili.  Do I add beans? If so, what kind? Should I make it in the crockpot? Instapot? Dutch oven?  How long does it cook for?  Do I add rice? Veggies? GAH!  Chili has become such a versatile and fun dish to make because the truth is, it’s whatever you want it to be.  To be fair, and to give credit, chili in its traditional sense is cooked low and slow on a burner for a few hours, and has a variety of beans and made with beef, but this can absolutely be made with turkey if that’s your prerogative.  Tonight, it’s made in a dutch oven and blended with fresh veggies!IMG_0329

The chili I make is most of the time bean-less as I don’t prefer beans (and being that I’m 90% of the time eating Paleo-style, beans are not part of the Paleo protocol) and they’re just added texture that I just don’t like.  Now, that’s not to say this chili isn’t flavorful… because it definitely packs a punch!  With layered seasonings like cumin, chili powder, pepper flakes, onion and garlic powder, and of course S&P, it creates a harmony unlike no other.  I start with a large onion and roughly chop it so that the pieces are not all the same, but relatively small and thin. I heat my dutch oven before adding the oil, then add in the onions and some salt.  The onions will begin to become translucent and fragrant, then I add the in sliced cherry tomatoes (really just for fun and texture) and let it settle.IMG_0317

I take 2 lbs of grass fed ground beef and add it to the pot, seasoning with just the salt, onion and garlic powder, and mix together well.  As the ground beef begins to brown, I break apart the large meat chunks with a wooden spoon.  Mix all together and add in the tomato sauce (for tonight, I just used what I had in house, which was a jar of Classico sauce, but I prefer traditional tomato sauce in a can).  Stir together to coat all ingredients and then add in the chili powder, cumin, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir and let sit on a low flame for two hours.  After one hour, I add in chopped zucchini.

Alas, the results is a chunky, hearty, and bean(less) chili that packs a kick and warms the soul simultaneously.  Top it off with sour cream, cheese crisps, or grated cheddar for extra pizzazz.  Enjoy and, Nomaste 🙂

Bean(less) Chili

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Chili
Keyword beanless, chili, dinner, healthy, Hearty, paleo, Soup, winter
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 jar low-sugar tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced then chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pan or dutch oven, turn heat to medium and then add the olive oil.  Add in chopped onions and begin to let simmer. Add tomatoes and stir.  Let simmer and occasionally stir, waiting for the skins to begin to peel and the onions to be translucent

  2. Add in ground beef and break apart with wooden spoon.  Stir together with onions and tomatoes, adding garlic and onion powder and salt. Let sit and brown, about 7-8 minutes.

  3. Pour in tomato sauce and stir to coat evenly.   Sprinkle in chili powder, red pepper flakes, pepper, and cumin.  Cover and turn flame to low.  Simmer for 2 hours

  4. After one hour of cooking, add in the chopped zucchini.  Stir and cover.  Cook for remaining time; stir occasionally.

  5. Serve over rice or sweet potato, regular potato, etc. Add cheese or favorite condiments as needed and enjoy!

Lemon Orzo and Vegetable Primavera

It’s the final countdown (until Thanksgiving), and I cannot wait to indulge in all my favorite goods: the sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, turkey, stuffing, and apple pie!  This happens to be my favorite holiday out of all holidays celebrated, especially because it brings people together.  Friends, family, and friends who are family – it’s a season to give thanks and be happy 🙂

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I always loved the idea of eating orzo, as it’s a super small pasta that goes with just about every kind of sauce.  The downside?  I never really know how to best prepare it.  Should it be in a cold salad?  Could I eat it like regular pasta with just butter?  Tonight’s dinner featured orzo as a kind of sprinkling of carbs that paired perfectly with the medley of sautéed vegetables.IMG_0031

Giving props to my SIL Ashley for finding a similar recipe and giving me inspiration,  I took it a different route: instead of roasting the vegetables and using mushrooms, I sautéed all of the veggies separately, using one pot over and over again, then mixing it altogether at the end with a touch of salt, pepper, and garlic.  I used zucchini, spinach, onions and shallots, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers.  I started with the onions and cooked them until translucent then set aside.  Up next was the spinach: sautéed in butter and garlic, then the zucchini, and last the tomato/pepper mix.

I cooked the orzo as I would regular pasta, then added it to the vegetable mix, tossing the whole dish with some fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, S&P (Salt and pepper).  Crumbled mediterranean feta sat atop the beaut and we couldn’t have been happier at how this came out!  This will for sure be part of the rotation of meals.  Bon appetít!

Lemon Orzo and Vegetable Primavera

Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek, Vegetables
Keyword dinner, easy, orzo, pasta, vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

For the vegetables

  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 1 zucchini sliced then halved
  • 2 bell peppers orange and yellow
  • 1 pkg fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion or onions and 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 cup feta
  • 3-4 tbsp oil I used avocado oil

For the dressing mixture

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 half squeezed lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan, drizzle one tbsp oil into the pan and turn heat onto medium. Add the sliced onion and shallot mixture to the pan and cook until fragrant and translucent (should be able to see through the onions), approximately 8-10m.  Set aside.

  2. Add a tbsp of butter to the same pan and pour in the spinach.  Cook until leaves are wilted and soft.  Season with garlic powder and set aside.

  3. Pour another tbsp into the pan.  Layer in the sliced zucchini and cook until browned and the zucchini starts to sweat (10m).  Set aside.

  4. Add in sliced tomatoes and bell peppers and cook until fragrant and the tomatoes begin to soften.  Layer back in all of the other cooked vegetables.  Drizzle a pinch of salt and pepper, add garlic powder.  Stir to blend.

  5. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water (3-4 qts).  Add in the cup of orzo and cook for 8-9 minutes depending on packaging. Drain and pour into vegetable mixture.  Mix well.

  6. Drizzle the lemon olive oil mixture into the pan and stir to spread the dressing.  Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and serve immediately.

Shepherd’s Pie

Throwback to when hubs and I went to London and had the most incredible food at a pub our last night in Europe.  I had a burger, but what did hubs have? Yep, shepherd’s pie.  We were not disappointed, in fact, it was probably one of the best meals we had when were abroad this past August.  The butter flavor of the potatoes, atop a layer of slow-cooked ground Dorset lamb, with a medley of veggies.  I’m drooling.IMG_4246

Shepherd’s pie, to me, is a comfort food, but can be made anytime!  I love the different textures in it, especially with the potatoes on top.  I made this version with Russet gold potatoes mashed with half and half, butter, and a ton of garlic powder.  The innards of the pie included ground grass fed beef, carrots, celery, onion, and loads of spices and flavors, lest not forget… Worcestershire sauce (woo, spelled that in one shot.. bam!)

I can imagine that this tastes great with ground lamb (obviously because that’s what we had in London) and with sweet potato mash on top.  I’ll have to give that version a whirl next time.  I browned the meat, added in the veggies, the seasoning, and then a 1/4 cup of flour (GASP!  I USED REAL FLOUR THIS TIME!) to thicken and absorb the liquid (beef bone broth/stock).  For the finale, I ladled the mash on top and spread to a relatively thick layer.  The assembled “pie” baked for 20 minutes then broiled for 10 to brown and crisp the edges of the potato on top.  Damn, this came out 10/10.  Give it a go, cheers mate! Xx 🙂

Shepherd's Pie

Course Dinner
Cuisine Comfort, English
Keyword beef, comfort food, shepherds pie, winter recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs Grass Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1/2 c beef stock preferrably bone broth
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • paprika to taste, or for coloring
  • 2-3 tbsp flour for thickening meat
  • pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 medium Russet Potatoes peeled, chopped, then boiled
  • 3 tbsp butter grass fed
  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  • garlic powder generous amount
  • salt to taste

Instructions

For the meat filling:

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the meat in some oil or spray oil.

  2. Add in carrots, onions, celery.  Cook until onions are semi translucent and the meat is browned.

  3. Season the meat mixture with the cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika.  Stir to coat all the meat and mixture.  Add in bone broth and flour.  Stir until the meat mixture absorbs the liquid and becomes a thicker consistency.  Let simmer for 15-20m.

For the potatoes

  1. Dice potatoes and add to boiling water.

  2. After 20 minutes, potatoes should be tender.  Drain potatoes and place them into a mixing bowl.

  3. Add in butter, garlic and heavy cream.  Mash together until the potatoes are creamy and can form high peaks.

Assembly of Shepherd Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 375* degrees

  2. Layer mashed potatoes on top of the meat in the skillet.  The layer should be on the thicker side.

  3. Place skillet on middle rack.  Let bake for 15-20.  Mashed potatoes should begin to brown.

  4. Move the skillet to the broil rack (top rack) for 5-10 minutes or until sides are bubbling and are crisp.  Serve immediately!

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onion

Sometimes there are things that just come to mind the night before, or even the same night when trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.  This recipe is no exception.  I love cooking with and using turmeric in a variety of ways, as turmeric is great for inflammation and overall health.  This is a dish that calls for marinading the chicken the night prior so that all the great herbs and spices get fully absorbed into the chicken, leaving it nice and juicy when cooked.  I used garlic powder, turmeric powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and chipotle powder.  I blended the spices in a Ziploc bag and let sit overnight.

I chose to use chicken thighs for this recipe.  What most people forget is that darker meat of a bird is actually more nutritious than the chicken breast.  The darker meat has loads of vitamins and essential fatty acids our bodies need to function and to stay healthy.  I love thighs because they are meatier than drumsticks, and cook for varied length of time (especially boneless).

To prep, I julienned (thinly sliced) the peppers (one orange, one yellow) and sliced the onion and let them start to sauté in a large pan in some oil.  After they started to get soft, I added the chicken and some butter and water.  I covered the chicken so it can cook in its own juices (instead of adding tomato sauce or a broth, it simmered in water and its own juices). This simmered for just about 45 minutes and was ready to serve with some rice on the side.  It was kind of awesome!

 

Turmeric Chicken with Peppers and Onions

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken thighs
  • 1 orange pepper 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Turmeric powder
  • Paprika
  • Chipotle pepper
  • Coriander
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a ziplock bag, add the chicken thighs with all spices and let sit overnight in fridge.
  2. Cut the peppers and onion in thin slices. In a medium pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil on medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Stir to coat and let sauté until soft.
  3. Add in chicken thighs and layer the peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Turn chicken over after five minutes to sear on both sides.
  4. Add butter and 1/4c water to the pan and cover. Bring heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure that chicken is beginning to get tender and fall apart.
  5. Serve with a side of your favorite rice, pasta, or potatoes and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want to make a gravy from the leftover sauce in the pan from chicken:
-- Add a tbsp and a half of flour to the pan and whisk until thick
-- Layer on top of chicken

Ratatouille

No, this post is not about the most incredible Pixar animated movie Ratatouille, but it does have to do with the dish that’s in it!  There is nothing better than slow-cooked vegetables in a beautifully decadent tomato sauce with a side of roasted vegetables (I’m obsessed with roasted broccoli, FYI.)

Picture this: perfectly ripe eggplant, crisp zucchini, plump tomatoes, onion, garlic, a dash of salt, garlic, a pinch of parmesan cheese… YASSSS HONEY!  I stumbled upon this recipe by trying to make something different, apparently Troy wanted a dish similar to eggplant parm, but he said “You know, the stew thing with the eggplant.” Needless to say, this went over just fine (and is great with rice, but tonight, we go sans starch).

I prep by cutting relatively thick slices of eggplant and zucchini, then dice up a full yellow onion and 2 cloves garlic, and two tbsp of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a dutch oven.  Let the oil get hot then add the eggplant, Toss for several minutes until the eggplant is a little tender and brown.  Repeat the same for the zucchini.  This allows the oil at the bottom of the dutch oven to absorb some of the flavors from the veggies.  I add the onion and garlic and until fragrant and translucent.

In goes the marinara and Roma tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, a bit of parmesan, and add back the eggplant and zucchini.  This sits on low heat for a while (or until the eggplant is really tender and “stew” consistency); at this point, I prep the broccoli and brussel sprouts by trimming and cutting as needed.  I toss in some EVOO and spread on a pre-greased pan.  Sprinkle fresh ground pepper and sea salt, bake in the oven for 15-20m and then layer cheese of your choice to broil until browned on top.  Voila! Ratatouille a la Morgan 🙂 Enjoy!

Ratatouille

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 jars of low sugar marinara sauce
  • 1 large eggplant sliced then quartered
  • 2 medium zucchini or one large sliced then quartered
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes diced
  • 5 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 bag pre-washed broccoli
  • 1 bag pre-washed brussel sprouts

Instructions

  1. Chop and quarter the eggplant and zucchini and put them in separate bowls. Dice the onion and garlic and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of oil to the dutch oven (or deep pan) and heat on medium-high heat. Add eggplant and stir until most of the eggplant has turned a darker color (and is fragrant). Don't worry if the eggplant absorbs a lot of the oil, it will still cook! After 4-5 minutes, take out eggplant and add another tbsp of oil to the dutch oven. Pour in zucchini and sauté until lightly brown. Take out and set aside.Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and sauté onion and garlic. Lower heat to medium and continue to stir until translucent and fragrant. Add the marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, and the sautéed eggplant and zucchini. Stir.
  3. Add fresh grated parmesan if desired and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  4. Slice brussel sprouts and broccoli and add to bowl with 2 tbsp oil. Toss to ensure all veggies are coated. Lay on a pre-greased pan and season with salt and pepper. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 15m at 350*
  5. After the vegetables bake for 15-20m, turn the oven to broil and sprinkle cheese of your choice and broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is brown.
  6. Serve immediately.