Yaksoba

I’ve been meaning to put this recipe up for a long, long time. It’s an oldie but goodie from More with Less. I didn’t make it for a long time because I had in my head that Jason didn’t like cabbage. It seems that’s still true, but he does make an exception for this recipe.

Jason and I are doing another Whole 30 this month, so we left out the noodles (I guess that essentially makes this “Yak,” since “soba” refers to the noodles) and when serving passed the coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup thin noodles (leftover noodles or spaghetti may be used; skip for Whole 30)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1–1 1/2 pounds beef sliced very thin (I buy what’s on sale)
  • 2 medium onions, cut in thin wedges
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
  • 1/4 head cabbage, sliced in strips
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts (or 1 cup canned bean sprouts, drained; I sometimes use green beans instead of bean sprouts)

Directions:

1. Cook and noodles according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in skillet.

3. Brown meat.

4. Add vegetables in order given, stir-frying each a few minutes and adding salt and pepper with each addition. Vegetables should be crisp-tender.

5. Add noodles last and cook just long enough to heat through.

6. Serve on rice (not on Whole 30) or alone. Pass soy sauce (or coconut aminos).

Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula Grapefruit Salad

IMG_4137

Okay, I’ll admit I was pretty impressed with myself for this one. I think this is one of my favorite things I’ve ever made: it’s light, flavorful, bright, and beautiful to boot. Plus! So easy. Keep, keep, keep. Win, win, win. (Recipe followed exactly from the whole30recipes Instagram feed, except I accidentally cooked it skin side down first. No problem, though.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 medium grapefruit, peeled and cut into sections
  • 1/2 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shaved fennel (I chopped because I didn’t know how to shave fennel?)
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine arugula, grapefruit, shallot, and fennel. Set aside.

Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add ghee or coconut oil.

Season salmon with salt and pepper and place in pan, skin side up. Cook for 3–4 minutes.

Season skin side with salt and pepper, and turn fish over. Cook an additional 2–3 minutes, or until opaque and flaky.

Place salmon on plates.

Whisk oil and vinegar together. Pour over arugula salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Pile on top of fish and serve.

Irish Potato Pie

I admit that when I got out of bed this morning, I had no plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all, but something about the tantrums my kids threw over not having and/or not wanting to wear and/or not having the right color green got me in the spirit.

This meal was at first much lamented by kids who didn’t even want to try a bite and then praised, second-helping-ed, and requested to be our St. Patrick’s Day tradition for all the years to come. I’ll take that as a win.

Now in case you can’t tell by the fact that the recipe starts out with frying bacon in butter and ends with heavy cream, this is comfort food. We ate it tonight with Irish Soda Bread and a Guinness for the adults. In the future I might try to add a vegetable (maybe in the dish, but on the side at least) just to lighten things up a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 7 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 5 potatoes (4 large), peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (I left this out, per family preference)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the thawed puff pastry in a 8-9 inch tart pan and crimp the edges. Remove the excess dough and piece it along the rim if needed to make the rim even in some places. Refrigerate the crust until ready to fill. (I don’t have a tart pan; it worked just fine in my 7×9 rectangle pan, and I’m sure it would be delicious in a regular pie plate too.)
  2. Place the butter and bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute until the bacon is crispy then toss in the onions, followed by the potatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir 3-5 minutes,to mix the onions and potatoes and coat in fat. The potatoes don’t need to be cooked through. Then spoon the mixture into the crust and drizzle with heavy cream.
  3. Bake on the low rack for 35-45 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the crust is golden. Rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped chive and cut.

Simple Irish Soda Bread

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we made Irish Soda Bread. This recipe is super simple — no kneading involved. (It is not, however, authentic–true soda bread has only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt.) Ian (age 5) helped me mix it up. Each time I added an ingredient and asked him to stir it in, he said, “You want me to put it under the flour too?”

My kids (and husband) are iffy on the add-ins. Sometimes they are a hit, but mostly not so much. I had some unsweetened dried cherries that I stirred into half the loaf after it was in the loaf pan. I read somewhere that the dried fruit makes it Spotted Bread (and not traditional Irish Soda Bread). I liked the addition, but I was right to make it to only part of the loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions:

1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda) together in a large bowl.

3. Add the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter and put them under the flour (erm, stir until all the ingredients are moist).

4. Add raisins or dried fruit if you’re using them and stir just until blended.

5. Pour batter/dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Meal Planning

On the menu at our house this week:

Sunday: Greek Chicken Soup and French Bread

Monday: a meal with our Life Group; I’ll bring Atakilt Wat (Ethiopian Cabbage, Carrots, and Potatoes) as a side dish

Tuesday: Lasagne

Wednesday: Shepherd’s Pie

Thursday: Kabob Koobideh (from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook)

Friday: leftovers or pancakes

Greek Chicken Soup (Avgolomono)

This soup is so easy and fast. If you have everything you need, you can be eating soup-from-scratch in fifteen minutes. It’s easily Simon’s favorite soup and generally a hit with all of us.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup uncooked orzo (I’ve started using 1/2 cup per my family’s preference)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (you could use fresh, of course, I almost always use the bottled stuff)
  • handful chopped fresh dill (I omit per my family’s preference, but I bet it would be great)
  • cooked chicken (leftover or shredded rotisserie chicken), optional

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.
  2. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reduce heat to low; let simmer.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon-mixture; whisk to combine.
  4. Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add dill, salt and pepper, and chicken (if you’re using it) and serve.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

I pinned this recipe ages ago, and it’s a favorite at our house. So I’m putting it here for easier access

The recipe is versatile: add more vegetables, use what you have on hand, use soy sauce if you don’t have Worcestershire (or skip it altogether). You get the idea.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • butter (you’re going to be putting it in mashed potatoes, so lots or a little, your choice)
  • splash or more of milk (again, for the mashed potatoes, your choice)
  • more butter (2–4 tablespoons)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, peas, corn, green beans; whatever you have really: cauliflower is a surprisingly good addition)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (sometimes I do with less, closer to 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes in a medium-sized pot, cover the potatoes with water, and boil for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 6–10 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables according to their cooking time. Carrots should be cooked with the onions because they take as long as the onions, but peas and corn should be added after the meat starts to cook, as they take very little time.
  3. Add ground beef to the pan with the vegetables. Cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth if necesary to keep the meat from drying out.
  4. When the potatoes are done cooking, make mashed potatoes of them (using your preferred method and adding what you like).
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Spread the meat and vegetables in a 9×13 pan. Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the beef and vegetables.
  7. Bake until browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
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