Our first box from Home Chef included 3 days of meals for two people.
The first meal we tried was the One Pot Creamy Chicken Chowder which was delicious!
Our second Home Chef meal was the Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Cream. This meal is also shown as “mild” for spiciness but I have found that if I use all the red pepper flakes in the recipe I will suffer since I don’t enjoy spicy food.
So with this particular recipe I reduced the red pepper flakes to 1/4 of the packet. That gave the meal a “friendly” hint of spice without being overpowering.
I have to say ~ the Home Chef meals, although “appearing” to be small in portion size, are quite hearty and very delicious. This meal was no exception. Even the mushrooms (and I’m not a mushroom fan) tasted great!
I was recently gifted the Instant Pot Duo ~ well, 3 months have past since I was gifted it but that’s another story.
The Instant Pot looks more complicated than my rice cooker but so far it appears to be easy to use.
I did have to deal with a psychological block: when we were at a friend’s for lunch a few years back, she had used a pressure cooker to make her lentil beans and while we were waiting for them to cook, the pressure cooker blew up in her kitchen and we spent lots of time cleaning lentils from the walls, cabinets, ceiling and floors.
So ~ with that small (uh, large) remembrance in mind, I stealthily tiptoed around the Instant Pot making sure I read all the directions.
There is one very small piece of instruction that I believe they left out ~ well, I can’t find it in my User Manual. When you start the Instant Pot (once everything is in the pot and the lid is securely closed), it has to warm up before it actually starts. The “Keep Warm” button was lit when I started my recipe and it didn’t turn off until the Instant Pot reached its desired temperature to begin.
Instant Pot Duo
That made me a little nervous because I assumed I had done something wrong but two recipes later and that seems to be a pattern ~ well, okay, two times is not much of a pattern but it’s what I’ve got right now.
The first recipe I made was one I found on the internet for a beef stew. In our household the reviews were mixed “it was okay” to “it was very good.” Of course, when I make a new recipe I usually introduce it to the family with “you will love this!” I find the brain has a funny way of enveloping what it’s told although quite honestly, my husband’s brain is a little harder to deal with (laughing).
I have to say that I deviated a little from the original beef stew recipe by Damn Delicious. I didn’t add Worcestershire sauce, caraway seeds nor celery. I tend to like my soups less complicated. I also replaced the all purpose flour with tapioca flour (a habit from my paleo days). In spite of that it came out great!
Today I decided to make a recipe from the Sun Basket website.
Have you heard of Sun Basket? They are a company, similar to Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, where you can order meals by having the ingredients of that meal delivered to your home. Then you can make it when you’re ready. They send along a recipe book for all of the meals for that particular week.
I usually only order 2 different meals when I need a break from trying to think of what to make and want to try something new ~ which is not too often.
Like Hello Fresh, I’ve received food that is not good to use, mainly vegetables that have gone bad. Sun Basket is good at giving me credit but the fact is, you don’t have the complete meal that you anticipated you would and you wind up having to substitute.
This Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas recipe is not one that I ordered but it was in the recipe book and sounded interesting so I decided to try it.
I am not a mushroom eater ~ and I would never eat them raw. But I’ve tried the cremini mushrooms in this recipe and they actually taste pretty good so ~ why not try a new recipe?
Surprisingly this meal came out quite good. I say surprisingly because the cream is made with almond milk which is a little bit of a twist, wouldn’t you say?
Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas
Although the recipe does not call for parmesan cheese, I shaved a little on top.
Here’s the link where you can find this recipe. It’s pretty easy and makes for a filling meal.
On this cold bitter morning, I left the house with a grocery list in hand with every intention of getting all the groceries at only one store. No grocery store hopping for me today.
Upon exiting the car, I was immediately hit with a northern wind that me feel that my face was going to freeze. Spontaneously, my gloved hand raised and covered my mouth.
Brrrr. Quickly walking to the entrance of the store, I picked up a grocery cart, swiped it with a cleaning cloth and proceeded to the produce section.
How does my husband do it? I wondered. Here I drive around in a Ford Escape that has remote startup and heated seats and the poor guy leaves home every morning in a 1997 Toyota Camry that has, well, heated nothing. By the time he makes it to work the car has just started to warm up. Then it sits all day outside and he has to get in the cold car for a cold trip home.
I decided I was going to make him a special dinner today for his daily sacrifice and since one of his favorite meals is Corned Beef Hash, I was determined to make it for him. That would hopefully help his mood when he arrived home, right?
After finding everything on my list I was about to check out when I suddenly remembered, where’s the corned beef? So ~ off to the back of the store I went. I waited as the butcher helped another customer. Asking for what I needed, he led me to the place where I could select the corned beef that I was looking for.
$25.00!!!! Granted it was 3.5 pounds but I felt insulted. No, no way am I going to pay $25. Besides, I reasoned, it was too much meat and the recipe I had only called for 8 ounces.
So, I left the store after paying for my groceries. Driving around, I decided to call another store and see if they had corned beef. The first store I called was Lunds and Byerlys. This should be the model store for all stores, well except for their prices. The aisles are wide and you don’t bump into people, the store is organized so well and they always seem to have what I want.
I was transferred to the meat department and the woman assured me that “yes, we have corned beef but only have two left. Shall I put one aside for you?” Of course I said. I asked if they sold it by the pound and she said yes. “How much?” I wanted to know. $11.00.
So she put it it aside for me and I gleefully drove there to pick it up.
There’s a lot of love for my husband in my heart ~ the $33.00 I paid for the almost 3 pounds was more than what I was willing to pay before but I reasoned it was worth it. Stepping into this store makes my heart soft which is why I don’t go in there very often. Everything is packaged so beautifully, including the beef brisket.
And so ~ I have to say this “love” meal came out quite delicious. Although I had a recipe to start, I had to go out “on my own” and figure things out as I went along.
The ingredients for this dish are simple. I started with a medium onion and a yam (or white sweet potato for paleo-ites). I diced the onion and threw it in the oiled skillet, mixed it around until it was almost cooked through then added the diced yam.
Yam and Onion
This process doesn’t take too long but you do want to make sure the potato is almost cooked before adding the beef.
Yam and Onion
The only herb I used in this was tarragon as the beef comes seasoned. You could use any other herb you like ~ I chose tarragon because it seems to be used in so few recipes and I like the flavor.
For the corned beef brisket, you just follow the directions on the label as to how long to cook it … well, that is, unless it doesn’t come with instructions. The only instructions I had were to cook it until it was cooked to 165 or 170 degrees. I’m glad I had a meat thermometer. Whew!
Although I had 3 pounds of beef, I decided to halve it and freeze the other half for another day. The 1.5 pounds I baked took almost 2 hours.
Corned Beef Brisket
I left it out to cool for about 15 minutes before I cut it into small pieces for the corned beef hash.
Corned Beef Brisket
But first I had to cut the fat off of it.
Corned Beef Brisket
Dice Corned Beef Brisket
Once the potato is almost cooked, add the cut corned beef brisket to the skillet and blend it to combine it all.
These were one of the best Chicken Mole Tacos I have ever tasted.
I found the original recipe in a Better Homes & Garden Magazine and have searched the internet for it but for some reason it’s not found. The original recipe was created by Robby Melvin but I have adapted it and you get to be the recipient of it’s deliciousness. Yay for you!
Alright so ~ a disclaimer here ~ I don’t like very spicy sauces so you’ll need to add extra adobo sauce if you want it spicier.
One of the things that I normally do NOT have in my cupboard because I enjoy them way too much are tortillas. In this recipe I used flour tortillas because the mole sauce is so juicy and the flour tortillas hold up much better.
Here’s a peek at what your slow cooker will look like when the chicken is almost ready … Uh, shoulda made more, eh? Well, this is 4 chicken thighs for two of us.
Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos
It was, well, pretty close to perfection … 🙂
Slow Cooker Chicken Mole Tacos
I decided to use Manchego Cheese which is a white cheese that I find at Costco but, you can use any cheese your heart desires.
What to do with all the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?
Actually, we were fortunate to have had all the turkey and fixings provided because we headed out of town to socialize with 40+ relatives. And when a person is from out of town, they aren’t obligated to bring anything. Pretty cool, no?
We did take some chips and dip though as that was “travel easy” and they were eaten up quickly.
When we returned home though, we went to Costco and they had a large turkey breast with dressing already prepared at half off the original cost. So ~ we purchased it and my husband has been eating turkey sandwiches all week.
But that can get boring, no?
So I searched the world wide web (there is a lot out there) and found a recipe that I adapted and included cashews also ~ because I think cashews should always be included in chili.
This Turkey Cashew Chili, although it has beans, is more tomato-y tasting. Just so you know … UNLESS, you let it sit for awhile. Then the beans and tomatoes blend perfectly. That’s the best way.
I purchase frozen tilapia filets at Costco to have them ready for a quick dinner.
The tilapias usually take 8 hours to thaw in the refrigerator although I’ve found that I can take them out frozen and thaw them in cold water. I simply fill a large bowl with cold water and place the tilapias in them, wait 15 minutes, empty out the cold water and replace with new water and start the process over again until they are thawed. This takes maybe 45 minutes to an hour but in a pinch it works better than having to wait 8 hours (unless you’re super organized and remember to take them out in the morning).
This recipe is fairly quick if just a bit messy but it’s a recipe that’s worth making.
Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables
I’ve heard it said that tilapia has less Omega 3 levels than salmon but hey, that’s okay. It’s not like one eats it every day, right?
So ~ without further ado, here’s the recipe for you try. Enjoy!