Monday, February 6, 2017

Kitchari, Mung Beans and Quinoa

Every once in awhile I pick up a copy of “First for women” and in last months issue I came across Kitchari soup. This article was about Detoxing the lymph system and losing 9 lbs in 4 days!  You can find the complete article in the January 23, 2017 magazine, they also have several great soup recipes. "This process is suppose to remove lymph-clogging wheat, processed fats and heal your gut."

The recipe uses mung beans…hmmm I wasn't sure what these were so off I went to google mung beans and Kitchari, and down the rabbit hole I went…Kitchari is an Indian dish that and Kitchari means mixing, usually two grains. 

I found some interesting and educational sites along with several recipes :
Kitchari Healing Stew, Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse 
Ayurveda a Science of Internal Healing

Here is my first try, which cooked up like risotto not soup….and as I later realized I only used 4 cups of broth not the 8 that was recommended. I just grabbed a 32 ounce box of organic vegetable broth not thinking about the fact that this was 4 cups. I stumbled across this great link by author Katie Workman Julie Childs Quotes  and as Juila Childs use to say "The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

Kitchari, Kary’s way, I used organic because after all it just makes sense. 

Here’s what I used:
4 cups low-sodium Organic Vegetable Broth- I used one 32 ounce box of broth so this batch was not soup like at all, thick like risotto but still delicious
1 cup split mung beans, found these at Earth Fare and really like the flavor
1 cup Organic Quinoa
2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. fennel seeds, next time I will use ½ tsp. If you’re not familiar with fennel it has a licorice taste next time I will use ½ to 1 tsp.
1 tsp. smoked paprika, this is a current personal favorite
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Non-traditional your choice to add: ½ sweet yellow onion and 2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed, more if you like

In a large cooking pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat, add onion and sauté until the onion starts to become translucent, add crushed or chopped garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, do not burn the garlic!

Add the vegetable broth, beans, quinoa and stir in turmeric, cumin, fennel and paprika.
Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 to 35 minutes. Using the ingredients in my recipe this did not turn out as a soup, more like a risotto and it was delicious, yep it was. 

Do make it your own and Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary!

Original Recipe First for women, January 23, 2017 magazine
Kitchari soup
In a large pot mix and simmer for 45 minutes
1 cup of split mung beans
1 cup basmati rice,
8 cups veggie broth,
1 Tbs. grated ginger
2 tsp. each turmeric, coriander and cumin

Friday, February 3, 2017

Super bowl snacks 2017

Food favorites for the Super Bowl  

The count down begins...Ready, set, hike! 
Mac and Cheese

Turkey Chili

 I am sure most of you in the US are aware that Sunday is “Super Bowl Sunday” so unless you are living under a rock, have been on another planet or off the grid, this Sunday many of us will enjoy chicken wings, pizza, beer and many other assorted snacks and beverages all while watching the big game. Or maybe you will be socializing while the game is on just waiting for the next commercial. Oh come on and admit it, we all love to watch those commercials! 

This year we are spending it with our bestie's Karin & FW. Here's our weekend menu & some other fav's:

Gumbo, Mardi Gras Salad & Crusty French Bread

Mac & Cheese

Paplano Peppers with Cream Cheese and Bacon 

 Shrimp Marinated Lulu’s Awesome Recipe  ~ The shrimp is so delicious as a appetizer or try my Shrimp Pasta Salad, Mardi Gras Style always a fan fav!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Turkey Chili

Some days a bowl of chili is the only thing to ward off the chill, so as we head towards the first day of Winter and Christmas Day here is one of my family favorites. I love to use green peppers, they are tasty but just look so pretty!

Turkey Chili
·         1 lb. ground turkey~ you can always substitute with ground chicken or ground beef
·         1 medium sweet yellow onion, peeled and diced. You can use a yellow onion I just like the sweet or sweet Vidalia onion from Georgia
·         1 large green pepper, remove seeds and dice
·         2 garlic cloves minced or one tablespoon of garlic powder
·         28 ounce can diced tomato with liquid
·         1 15-ounce tomato sauce
·         15 ounce can light red kidney, drain and rinse
·         15 ounce or 1 ½ cups of corn, if canned drain or you can use frozen
·         15 ounce can black beans with juice, I use low sodium or no salt
·         1 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper ~ this can be hot so I add more after cooked if we need more heat, or serve with hot sauce, everyone’s heat tolerance is different, me I like spice not hot
·         2 small hot peppers, slice in half, remove seeds ~ Optional, if I have these on hand I toss them in
·         Cooking Instructions:
·         Using the stove top, add diced onions to a large cooking pot cook the diced onions for 2 to 3 minutes, add the turkey to the pot cook until the turkey begins to turn brown about 10 minutes. Drain grease from cooked ground turkey
·         Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, corn, black beans, chili powder and peppers
·         Bring the chili to a boil and simmer on low for 60 to 90 minutes, the longer you simmer the chili the more flavorful the chili
·         Crock Pot Option: cook the turkey, drain then add to crock pot along with all the other ingredients, I cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, depends on your crock pot/slow cooker
        Everyone's taste buds are different so I usually add enough spice to provide a great flavor, each person can add additional hot sauce depending on how spicy and hot they like their chili.
       Salt and pepper to taste, start with ¼ tsp each 

 Makes four to six servings or two if you are really hungry! Double the recipe and freeze a portion to have on-hand when the craving for chili hits again.

What is your favorite Chili recipe? Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 Meal Plan, Turkey in the Crock Pot for 2 or More

Today and every day I am thankful for my family, friends, having food on my table and for all we have. What are you thankful for? 

Here's my Thanksgiving 2016 update which includes; ideas for a traveiling feast, cooking at home or great recipes for any time of year. 

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day and every day! 

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

New 2016 

Green Beans with Sausage
Stuffing with Cibatta Bread
Sweet Potato Oven Roasted
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese with Onionm Bacon and Panko
Carrot raisin and apple-salad no mayo

Non-traditional desert ~ Something Sweet New 2016

Glutten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies

Bluebear, Denali and yes the Turkey!
Updated 2015

Turkey Sliders
Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot
Turkey Roulade
Grilled Turkey Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese
Traveling and PlanningThanksgiving Dinner
Simple Thanksgiving Dinner
Kary's Cobb Salad with Turkey
Ground Turkey Meal Options

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day and Happy Birthday to our Granddaughter~

Veterans Day 2016~ Thankful to be an American and Happy Birthday to our Granddaughter!

What a long crazy year and no matter who you voted for or against, today and every day we should be grateful for those who have defended our rights and continue to defend and protect.

We would not be a free nation without our Veterans and Armed forces. I don’t think we can ever thank our Veterans or Armed Forces enough for serving our country. Special thought’s today for all of you who have served and still serve, our son Brad, my father Doug, brother-in law Mike who we lost too soon and his daughter Michelle Reynolds, Uncle Jimmy, to all the families and friends who’s support allows them do their job and all of you that “stand on the wall” to keep us safe and free to live our lives the American way. 

We must continue to have hope, listen to one another and work towards a peaceful future, this is what sets us apart and nobody can take that from us.

Today our family will also celebrate our Granddaughters 5th Birthday, Happy Happy Birthday to our own Tinkerbell, Miss A. Her favorite chocolate cookies are made, check back for that recipe and I can ‘t wait to make spaghetti and meatballs with her!

Just Cook Something, it always makes me feel better. Cheers, Kary~

Monday, October 24, 2016

Comfort and Joy, Kristin Hannah~Book Club with a side of Baked Potato and Salad

As you know the "Have you read the book" book club are big fans of Kristin Hannah, not sure how we missed this one when it was first published but thank you Jan for recomending Comfort and Joy, By Kristin Hannah

This month we had to do a bit of re-juggling of hosts and the day for our book club gathering, but we are a flexible group and after a long summer vacation we were back together again. Thank you, Ann, for stepping in and hosting, we know you will be on grand baby watch this November so thanks for switching months. Ann, we are right there with you waiting for the wee one!  

We all have signature dishes that we make for book club, tried and true recipes that always taste yummy that we whip up for gatherings and one of Ann’s is her lasagna.When I stepped into Ann’s home the other night I was wondering if that was her lasagna I smelled, hmmm I was not sure what was in her oven but it smelled so yummy.

With fall in the air and as the leaves on the Sugar Maples start to turn a brilliant orange and red, Ann said she was trying to think of comfort food for tonight and what she came up with was a baked potato and a tossed salad bar, as Ann said, hey you can use many of the same ingredients: diced tomatoes, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, home cooked bacon bites, red onion, sour cream, home-made ranch dressing and balsamic dressing.

Oh, yea who doesn’t love a baked potato! I don’t think I have ever turned down a baked potato…Usually hubby and I split one so I can get my carbo fix adding just a dash of butter, salt and pepper oh so good. Tonight, however we all loaded up our potatoes and tossed our salad while we chatted.

As we caught up on summer vacations and Rosemary’s fifty-year wedding anniversary, she went on a truly fantastic holiday in the Bahamas where Ro was treated like a queen as she should be treated!  We then moved on to discuss the book and as always shared lots of giggles.

Comfort and Joy was Jan’s selection and it truly is a joy to read. We all agreed that it was a sweet, spiritual story, a bit fantastical with a touch of whimsy. The main character loved Christmas, however in the story this year she was coping with a family betrayal and trying to find her way back to herself and happiness. During the Christmas holiday Joy makes a last-minute decision to board a plane, maybe an adventure would help her change her life.

A series of events that are tragic and magical lead Joy to a friendship with young Bobby and a not so friendly relationship with his Father. We all agreed that this was a great story not just during Christmas but any time.

Snuggle into your favorite chair, make a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this wonderful book,Comfort and Joy.

Baked Potato, so easy!

Russet potatoes are best for a potato bar. Ann had large potatoes so some of us split them. It is always best to bake one per person, if you have left-over reheat the next day, make home fries, potato soup or use as a thickener for mushroom soup.

Heat oven to 400 decrees~ Bake 60 minutes, I usually check on them after 30 minutes and flip ~ on the racks in the oven or on a foil covered baking sheet. Great information on

Rinse, scrub and dry the potatoes, I use a vegetable scrubber to clean the potatoes.
Prick the potatoes with a fork, yes they can explode and what a mess that can be! I usually prick each end of the potato and depending on the size of the potato if they are really large maybe each side as well.

Use a small amount of olive oil to rub all over the potato, I have a baking dish I put them in or you can lay them on the racks in your oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, turn over using tongs, be careful not to burn yourself! Bake another 30 minutes and then you have the perfect baked potato, of course depending on the size they could cook faster, to be safe just check them as they bake.

Potato and salad toppers:

Dice tomatoes, you can use cherry or regular
Avocado, peeled and diced
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Scallions, diced
Bacon cut into bite size pieces, only fresh bacon for me not a fan of bacon bites
Sour Cream
One Red onion, diced
Ranch and or blue cheese dressing
Balsamic dressing for the Field Greens Salad
Field Greens for the Salad, rinse, dry and place in a large bowl

Now you are ready and wasn’t that easy…

Oh, and since the name of our book was “Comfort and Joy” comfort food seemed like an appropriate choice. What are your favorite comfort foods?

Just Cook Something! Cheers~ Kary 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pesto Vegi Chicken Lasagna

Our daughter Brenda and I love to make this Pesto Lasagna dish and every time we make it we are determined to write down the recipe. So Bren this one's for you and as you know we make it a little different every time depending on what ingredients we decide to use. 

You can make this with just vegetables, but this is our favorite...And remember to make it your own! 

Preheat the oven to 375 decrees

      1 box of Oven Ready No boil lasagna
      2 cooked chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
       Or 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage, ground chicken or ground turkey
      8 ounces cleaned and sliced mushrooms
       I like cremini mushrooms full of flavor and texture, you can use any kind
      1/2 lb fresh spinach cleaned and dried, ½ of a bag
      1 large or 2 medium zucchini/summer squash
       Rinse, dry and sliced about ¼ inch thick or less
      1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
      1  15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
      4 cups of mozzarella cheese
       Or 4 cups pre-shredded Italian cheeses
      ¼ cup Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, grated
      1 egg
      Salt and pepper
      1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, you can always add more

Pesto ~ You can use pre-made as well
2 handfuls of fresh basil, about 1 loose cup
1 cup olive oil
4 fresh garlic cloves peeled
¼ cup of walnuts
          I like to toast my walnuts or you can use pine nuts
¼ cup parmesan cheese
~Sometimes I add a pinch of sugar if the pesto is too tart

Place in the blender and pulse until smooth

In a large mixing bowl crack the egg and whisk. Fold in Ricotta and 3 cups mozzarella. Add 1/3 of the pesto and blend together

In another bowl add the zucchini and toss with 1/3 of the pesto

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray

Layer 1 ~ Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1/3 of the diced tomatoes

Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets, they will expand as they cook
I hold the sheets in my hand and spread the cheese very carefully so you don’t break the lasagna sheets

In a bowl mix the chopped chicken with 1/3 of the pesto and  1/3 of the diced tomatoes. Spread over the lasagna sheets

Layer 2 ~ Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets

Add the fresh spinach and top with mushrooms 

Cover with 1/3 of the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Layer 3  ~ Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets

Add 1/3 of the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the zucchini, salt and pepper,  mix then place over the lasagna sheets

Cover with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to back for 15 minutes. I check with a knife to make sure the Lasagna sheets are soft and done

Remove from oven, let sit for few minutes, slice and serve

Crusty sour dough or French bread are perfect with this dish

Just Cook Something!  Enjoy, Cheers! Kary ~  

What is your favorite lasgana recipe?