Sunday, January 10, 2016

Apple, Pecan and Manchego Salad

A couple of years ago I bought some Lingonberry vinegar at IKEA. IKEA is really close to our house so we go there all the time just to browse the food area. We don't have a lick of IKEA furniture in our house though. So I got the vinegar, and then I put it on the shelf and barely used it. But whenever I do use it, it MAKES the salad.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to sell it anymore but I bet they have something like it at those specialty vinegar stores

I decided to serve a salad with my pot roast for a little crisp palate cleaner and then I made one up all because the tomatoes at the store looked terrible. Hear that the rest of the world? Tomatoes in CA still don't look amazing in the winter.

Serves 3
1 apple, pink lady or honeycrisp recommended, thinly sliced
3 T pecans, chopped
a few shavings of manchego cheese (or another hard, flavorful cheese)
2 T dried cherries
Spring Mix

5 T olive oil
3 T lingonberry vinegar
dash oregano
2 t sugar
dash salt

1. Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake, shake, shake
2. Divide all ingredients between 3 bowls

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

I got a pressure cooker (7-1 instant pot) for Christmas. It is amazing!  Basically, it does what a slow cooker thing but in no time at all!  Tonight I made pot roast for my parents and husband. That's right, Tonight. I did not prep in the morning, in fact I didn't even buy any ingredients until 2pm!  My dad raved about the dish. The meat was pretty great actually - maybe the cut was a bit fatty. But the potatoes and carrots were slightly overcooked, so I will give you an adjusted time so you can do it better!

Unfortunately, pot roast + carrots and potatoes is not the healthiest of meals. This recipe makes enough food for 6 normal portions, 600 calories each--but we managed to eat the whole thing with 4 people...

One 3-lb Beef Chuck Roast
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
1 picnic bottle size red wine
1 can beef broth
3 sprigs rosemary
1 onion
4-5 red potatoes
6 carrots, peeled (this is important because if you don't do it the skin will hang off and look kind of gross when you are done)

1. Rub salt, onion powder and garlic powder all over the beef chuck roast
2. Cut onion into chunks
3. Place the beef and onion in the inner pot and pour in the wine and broth. Add a little salt (if you don't everyone will be salting at the end, whoops!) and rosemary sprigs
4. Press the Meat/Stew button and add 5 minutes, the cooker will start after it warms up
5. When the meat is done, use the Quick Release method to release steam
6. Peel the carrots and add them whole or in large chunks. Roughly chop the potatoes and add them
7. Press the Manual button and cook 6 minutes
8. Use the Quick Release method to release steam (or if you want leave it on warm until you are ready to eat
9. Serve the meat, potatoes, onion and carrot on a platter immediately

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian beef dish with peppers, onions and french fries!  I like the one they used to serve at a Peruvian restaurant in Burbank (although I like Pollo Saltado a bit better overall) but this version was pretty good too! Sure to be a family favorite, omit the jalepeno if you aren't into spicy.

And even better, all cards were stacked against my husband going for this dish. We even had soup reserved in case. But it was actually a hit! He said it was good!!  This is 300 calories only as long as you don't have too many french fries. But then again, if you do have more - the main thing was only 300 calories...

Recipe by Skinnytaste along with the Potato Board

Putting it here cause I really want to make it again and don't want them to delete the recipe like sometimes happens!


For the Baked Fries: canola cooking spray
1 medium (5.3 oz) potato, russet or yellow, washed and dried
1/4 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt

 For the Beef:
 1/2 lb lean sirloin, cut into small, thin strips (I got the stir fry sirloin pre-cut)
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
black pepper, to taste
garlic salt/garlic powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into thick strips
2 mini yellow bell peppers or 1 large
1 large jalapeno, ribbed and seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, sliced into wedges
1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the potato lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slices; cut each slice into 1/3-inch fries. Place on the baking sheet and toss with another spray of oil to evenly coat. Season with garlic powder, and salt.

 Place on a single layer onto the greased baking sheet. Bake uncovered on the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes or until tender crisp and golden. Meanwhile, season meat with salt, pepper and cumin.

Heat a large wok over high heat. When hot add the oil and the steak, cook about 2 minutes, until browned on both sides. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add the tomato, soy sauce and vinegar and cook 1 more minute.

 *If your fries aren't done yet, turn the heat to low and wait and then heat one more minute on high when ready.

 Season with more salt as needed, remove from heat and finish with cilantro. Serve immediately with french fries and divide evenly between 2 plates.

 Calories: 308.5 Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 522mg Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 4g Protein: 28g

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ham Bone Soup

For Christmas Eve we served a ham because it was super easy. We also served baked potatoes that didn't cook long enough. Where do you get small russet potatoes anyway?

We had a lot of leftover ham even after giving away a few pounds so we decided to utilize the ham in many ways. We made a delicious quiche and then we used the bone to make our very own ham stock and soup.  The soup is pretty low calorie, delicious and something to add to our freezer stash of soup.

By the way, if you do freeze soup, we recommend putting it in gallon and quart sized bags. Leave space for expansion and then place them on a rimmed baking tray and freeze on the tray. Once frozen, transfer to the freezer alone. They lie flat and don't use all your extra tupperware! You can heat from frozen too, it just takes a bit longer.

Ham Bone Soup

1 ham bone, meat removed
Any meat scraps (anything with skin, fat, whatever)
1 onion, diced
1 russet potato, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup pinto beans
1 T fresh rosemary
1 T fresh thyme
2 T olive oil
2 Cups diced leftover ham

1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven place the ham bone and ham scraps and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until fragrant. *tip - step outside and back inside to see if it smells great yet*
3. Taste the broth and confirm it tastes like something other than water
4. Remove ham bone and skim out scraps
5. In a large skillet, heat olive oil
6. Add potato, carrot, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent about 3 minutes
7. Add the onion mixture, ham, spices and beans to the broth
8. Bring to a boil
9. Lower heat and simmer at least 10 minutes or until dinner is served

Mine made at least 10 servings

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Nutmeg Ice Cream

This holiday season, I wanted to make a unique ice cream flavor to go with our molten chocolate cakes. I decided on Nutmeg and then everyone stared at me skeptically. Well, it was fantastic! It had a smooth back of the mouth flavor that reminded me of Christmas and winter. It was almost warm! Great with anything or alone! It is a slightly subtle flavor so it could be hard in a sundae to detect it. 

Recipe from Savuer:

2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups half-and-half
1 whole nutmeg, cracked (use a nut cracker)
3⁄4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream


 Toast grated nutmeg in a skillet over medium heat, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; set aside. Heat half-and-half and cracked nutmeg in a 4-qt. saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep for 10 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together sugar and yolks. While whisking, slowly pour in half-and-half mixture. Return mixture to pan; cook, stirring, until mixture thickens, 8-10 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a large bowl. Whisk in toasted nutmeg and cream; cover custard and chill. Freeze custard in an ice cream maker; transfer to an airtight container. Freeze until set before serving.