The Phil E.



This is a recreation of (and riff on) one of my favorite restaurant meals available in Lincoln–the Phil E. at Cultiva. I will say that after trying to get all the pieces parts ready for lunch yesterday, I am convinced that it is definitely worth the price to order it. However, the homemade version is every bit as tasty, and on the *second* day, when all the pieces parts are already prepped and it really is just tossing it together, also very much worth the effort of making it at home too. Win-win.

Cultiva’s version comes in a crepe, which is the way I made it yesterday. Today, I just took the toppings and added them to a bowl atop leftover potatoes I had. I imagine the bowl version would work equally well with rice as a base instead of potatoes.


For the crepe: I just used my Swedish Pancake recipe with a tad more milk to make it even thinner. A full recipe makes about 6 big-enough crepes/pancakes.

For the filling (or the toppings if you’re making a bowl):

For each of these, the quantities will vary with your personal taste, but, you know, approximately a handful or a sprinkle

  • spinach (I used pre-washed baby spinach from a bag)
  • gouda cheese (I found it pre-shredded at Aldi and at SuperSaver)
  • cooked, diced chicken (as from a rotisserie chicken; I used leftover Buttermilk Chicken)
  • roasted red peppers (I used jarred, but fresh would obviously be delicious)
  • caramelized onions

For the sauce: (This doesn’t really taste like the curry sauce on the Phil E. at Cultiva, but it’s the same idea. Also, I made half a batch and have plenty for 5 or 6 servings.)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (I used just a splash–family preference)
  • salt to taste
  • lime juice to taste
1. Make the crepes/pancakes and set them aside until you’re ready to fill them. I make the crepes/pancakes as big as I can reasonably hope to flip–use about a 1/2 cup of batter. I undercook them ever so slightly because they cook a little more as the filling is warming.
2. Make the sauce (melt everything together; you may thicken the sauce with a little cornstarch) and set aside.
3. Make sure all your fillings are prepped (chicken and peppers diced, cheese shredded) and at least at room temperature, maybe a little warmer for the chicken. You are just going to put them on the crepe long enough for everything to get melty and warm, but if you start with refrigerator-cold ingredients, your crepe is going to burn before everything gets warmed up.
4. Warm a griddle or skillet to medium and set a crepe on it. Layer your filling ingredients in the middle of the crepe (like you would omelet ingredients) in this order: spinach, cheese, chicken (or chicken, cheese), peppers, onions, and sauce. Let it sit just long enough to wilt the spinach, melt the cheese, and warm everything through.
5. Fold over the sides of the crepe and serve immediately.

Creamy Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry


We’re working on eating low(er) carb in this house… and this recipe not only fit the bill but I ate the leftovers for lunch two days in a row. I am told this is normal behavior, however I usually, uh, don’t like eating leftovers. The whole family liked this one so I’ll definitely make it again. Credit to George Stella and The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook.

1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 T vegetable oil
1 T butter
2lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1-inch thick strips
salt and pepper
1 t minced garlic
1.5 t curry powder
1 C chicken broth
1 t cider vinegar
1/2 C heavy cream
5 scallions, sliced into 1-inch lengths

Blanch sliced sweet potatoes in boiling water for 4 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Generously season chicken strips with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, cooking until they begin to brown. Add garlic and curry powder and sauce 1 minute before adding the blanched sweet potato slices, chicken broth, vinegar, and heavy cream.

Let simmer 4 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by about half. Stir in scallions, season the sauce with salt to taste, and serve.

**Stella notes that this dish is best served over or alongside steamed or roasted cauliflower. Or you can mix thawed frozen cauliflower directly into the sauce before simmering in the last step.

Blackberry Pulled Pork

This recipe is based on one from a slow cooker cookbook I checked out from the library, but I had to make do with so many of the things I had on hand rather than the things it called for that it’s really it’s own new recipe. Jason says he thinks it’s probably the best pulled pork I’ve ever made, so I guess that means the recipe is a keeper. I’ve written it here as I made it this time, and honestly I don’t think I’d change much, with one exception: It didn’t really have the sweetness I expected, but Jason doesn’t like it too sweet. What to do? I added molasses, which was perfect. The change I’d make is just to go ahead and add the molasses with everything else. 


  • 3 pounds boneless pork roast, excess fat removed
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries (I did use fresh, but I have no doubt that frozen would work just as well)
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate vinegar (this is what I had; the original recipe calls for balsamic)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (the original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon? what would be the point of that?)
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped fine (the original recipe calls for ginger preserves, which sound amazing but I couldn’t find them locally)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • dash each of chili powder, cayenne, and paprika
  • 1 onion, diced (I had leftover carmelized onion that I just threw in, but since it cooks so long, I think a fresh onion would be just as good, right?)
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup molasses


  1. Place all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 6 hours, until the meat is easily shredded with a fork.
  2. Remove the pork from the slow cooker. Shred with a fork and set aside. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender (what I did) or mash any solid bits of the sauce with a potato masher (what the original recipe suggests). Return the pork to the slow cooker and toss to coat the pork evenly with the sauce.

Low-Carb Swiss Meatloaf

This one comes from The New 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender. I made two alterations to the original. I omitted the one green pepper, chopped, and I changed my meat options ever so slightly from the recommended 2.5 cups of ground chuck. This turned out great, even without the ketchup/BBQ/brown sugar sauce on top that my family normally loves.

2 lb ground chuck
1/2 lb ground sausage
5 oz Swiss cheese, diced small or grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 med onion, chopped
1 small rib of celery, chopped
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t paprika

Preheat oven to 350.

With clean hands, combine all ingredients until mixture is well blended. Form into a loaf and bake for 1.75 hrs or until cooked through. (Two smaller loaves will require less baking time. Try 1.25 hrs or until cook through.)

Sheet Pan Beef & Broccoli


Let’s just put it out there that Damn Delicious is TOPS in terms of recipes site. I can usually depend on it for delicious meals that come from very easy-to-follow recipes. This beef & broccoli was a win for flavor and convenience, though I need to figure out how to keep all the beef bites moist while cooking. I have some ideas and will report back.


1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 pounds New York strip steak, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets*
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine steak, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Place steak and broccoli in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.

Place into oven and bake until steak is browned and broccoli is just tender, about 16-18 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve steak and broccoli immediately with rice, drizzled with soy sauce mixture and garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Lemon Broccoli Pasta

I don’t have any idea where I got this recipe. In my spiral notebook, I have scribbled down the most basic directions. I don’t even remember if I’ve made it, but this sounds goooood to me.

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and boil 4 minutes. Add broccoli and boil 3 more minutes. Drain. Return to pan and add

  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • zest of 1 lemon

In a separate saucepan,

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Brown the butter, then add the garlic. Turn off heat and add the fresh lemon juice.

Toss pasta and butter sauce together. Top with

  • 1 cup fresh parmesan
  • drizzle of olive oil


Chicken Tikka Masala

I think this may be our third recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala on Needs More Butter. So why another one? Yeah, this one’s for the Instant Pot. 


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast


  1. Saute the onion and yellow pepper in the butter 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and salt and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and coconut milk and stir.
  4. Add chicken.
  5. Set Instant Pot to Poultry setting and cook.
  6. When cycle is complete, remove chicken and shred.
  7. Use immersion blender to puree sauce and add the shredded chicken back to sauce to toss.
  8. Serve over rice.