Phenomenal Stuffed Eggplant- *low carb* Saturday Weekly Recipe post

Phenomenal Stuffed Eggplant

egg

Serves 4

Always use: Organic, Range fed, WHOLE foods, CLEAN, and all natural ingredients.

Vegetarians- Substitute chopped zucchini’s and quinoa

Paleo- disregard cheese

The Stuff you need;

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 handfuls fresh spinach leaves (or 1 pkg chopped frozen, thawed and drained)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1+1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1⁄2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2 TBS Italian seasoning
  • Salt, Pepper, spices to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan/Reggiano/Romano Italian cheese blend to taste

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F
  • Cut the ends off of the eggplants and then slice in half lengthwise
  • Scoop the eggplant meat from the eggplant halves, leaving empty shells, with a  bit of a border
  • Dice and reserve the eggplant guts- salt lightly set aside
  • Place empty eggplant shells in a 13×9 baking dish
  • Saute Italian sausage, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, add spinach, and wine-cook 5 min
  • Add the reserved eggplant innards, bell pepper and mushrooms to skillet, simmer an additional 10-15 min until all soft and mixed
  • Drain all excess liquid
  • Stir in tomato sauce, olives, and Italian seasonings, and simmer 5 minutes- season to taste
  • Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese evenly over the inside of the eggplant shells
  • Spoon in ample amount of cooked sausage mixture
  • Top the stuffed eggplants with mozzarella & parmesan cheeses
  • Bake 35 – 40 minutes
  • Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
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AWESOME Spicy Tuna/Avo Salad Lettuce wraps- Wednesday weekly recipe post

Spicy Tuna/Avo Salad Lettuce wraps

tuna

Servings – 4

The Stuff you need:

    • 3 cans tuna in water- (drained)
    • 4 green onions, diced
    • 1 carrot shredded
    • 1 small red/or white onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves chopped
    • 1 jalapeno, diced small
    • 2 medium avocados, (mashed with next 4 ingredients)
    • 2 limes (juice from)
    • Squirt Sriracha sauce
    • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
    • Salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and cumin to taste
    • Large butter lettuce leaves, to wrap

What to do with the Stuff;

  • Put drained tuna into bowl
  • Add diced green onions, red onion, garlic, and jalapeno
  • In separate bowl, mash the avos, with lime juice, sriracha sauce, fresh cilantro, (cumin, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper- to taste)
  • Add tuna mixture to Avo mixture and blend well.
  • Wrap in Lettuce leaves 😉

Y U M !!

Did she say “Crack slaw” ? ;-) … Saturday weekly recipe post

Crack slaw 😉

images

The Stuff you need:

  • 1/2 head red cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 head white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, and shredded
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger, chopped
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 TBS sesame oil
  • 2 TBS raw sugar 
  • Cashews (optional)
  • Sunflower seeds (optional)
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and lemon pepper- to taste

What to do with the Stuff:

Mix all together, in a bowl, chill 4-6 hours mmmmm!

Creamy Parmesan Baked Salmon – Wednesday weekly recipe post

Creamy Parmesan Baked Salmon

salmon

Serves 4

The Stuff you need:

    • 4, 6-ounce salmon fillets (skinless)
    • 3 TBS plain Greek yogurt
    • 3 TBS mayonnaise
    • 5 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • Lemon pepper to taste

What to do with the Stuff:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, Parmesan, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon pepper
  • Place Salmon fillets on a lightly greased baking sheet
  • Spread mixture evenly over top of the salmon fillets
  • Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through
  • Use top rack directly under broiler to brown the Parmesan mixture
  • Mayonnaise is what will allow for the browning
  • If the fillets are thin, check 2-3 minutes early
  • If your fillets are thicker, they may require an extra 1-3 min

ENJOY !

“Warrior Chef” wounds, and earning your scars ;-) – Saturday weekly post

This week’s Saturday post, I wanted to touch briefly on “scars of the trade”…specifically, cuts.

As passionate cooking enthusiasts, I am convinced, that the more we cook, the more we would tend to “earn” some scars of the trade, ie: various burns ( I have loads) as well as some minor cuts.. I truly believe these little mishaps become sort of a “rite of passage” into the culinary realm.. I got a blister once, from prepping over 300 potatoes..THAT is putting in some prep time..and I also believe the more you prep, the more masterful you become in a few different ways, like using your knives, as well as the accuracy, speed and consistency with your cutting presentations. I think the more time and effort we put into making our meals, that this time and effort spent, is like an investment on our passion. It actually builds our “culinary character”, and that the more pain we endure, the more adept we become..Almost like an apprenticeship of sorts, taking us into the expert realms..YUP, burns, and cuts, and stuff happens, SO..we learn from it, grow some scar tissue, and ranger on..last night, I have earned yet another kitchen battle scar..it has been YEARS since I nicked myself like this..this slice, actually..took my breath away.. for a minute..

I was preparing for my Saturday weekly recipe post, and felt the need to share my pain..I am currently typing this blog – minus using one of my primary fingers today, my left index finger, (to be exact) because of a NASTY slice I inflicted on myself, while chopping some parsley..Being a stickler for having the various knives in my kitchen as sharp as possible, and my French knife being JUST sharpened, I didn’t feel it at first, so I kept chopping..THEN I felt it.. OUCH!!  With the knife being so sharp, it was a really clean cut, but unfortunately, it was a substantial cut, going through my fingernail. I took off approximately 1/4 of the top right portion of my fingernail, and the flesh underneath, (which remained behind partially on my knife, and the rest on the cutting board …YUK) lol..ummyah…. Sorry to be gross…but it is what it is..

Parsley, (apparently), is a common culprit of getting a nasty slice like this. After re assessing the situation, and doing a fair amount of various prepping, (especially the past week)..I can see now, that the “re-grab” of the parsley, was what put my fingers in the path of the swiftly moving knife…………….THAT EVIL PARSLEY!……………. lol…… Clearly, this was fully owned  “Operator Error”…. I’m FOR sure at “Man down” status for a few days…From now on, I avow to work a bit more slowly, watching more closely to what I am doing, concentrate, and be a bit more conservative with my “prep-speed”, focusing a bit more on that amazing, sharp, French knife.  Clearly this is where “Accuracy vs Speed” wins again, hands down 😉 (or finger down..lol)

The best/easiest way for ME was to “self treat”.. was/is by doing the same thing any ER would do…( other than give myself a tetanus shot..which in this case for some may be an option, as the plant DID come from dirt),…BUT.. the “self treat” way is for me… I immediately washed it well,  with warm soapy water, stopped the bleeding, then dried it, covered with antibiotic ointment, and sterile gauze- I elevated it, and put some ice on it for 30 min.. today, it was STILL throbbing a bit..so- I repeated the ice and elevation as needed..I have no bandage on it right now, simply to let it air dry a bit, but- when I go back to prepping tonights dinner, and for all other activities using my hand, I keep the bandage on, and will put on a full latex glove, at least until it’s started healing – for the next few days, I will assess and make sure there is no impending infection, change my wrap 2- 3 times a day, washing well and disinfecting each time. The human body is pretty amazing and well equipped at fighting off infection. I just wince when I look at it, as there is a CHUNK of my finger missing..and the fingertips are UBER sensitive because there are so many nerve endings there..(I’m wincing just now, thinking about it again..lol)

Time to stop living in the victimhood of it, and start to heal.. I was a victim last night of my own knife wielding skill, but I am a survivor, and onto healing, I have a lot of cooking in this life to do 😉

In the meantime, I have dinner already planned for tonight..I will “glove up” and ranger on..and chalk it up to yet another kitchen experience, that leads to ultimately building my “culinary character”

Smothered Pork chops, Southern onion gravy…Wednesday weekly recipe post

 

 

 

porkchops

serves 2-4

The Stuff you need 😉

  • 4 large (bone-in) pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (can use milk and 1 tsp lemon juice) -for marinade-
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • handful diced fresh rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

What to do with the Stuff 😉

  • In a large ziplock baggie, add all pork chops, lay flat, add the 1/3 cup buttermilk, and allow to sit for 2- 6 hrs
  • Remove chops, and pat dry
  • Sprinkle pork chops with garlic & onion powder, & salt, & pepper on both sides
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Brown pork chops well on both sides, (approx 5-7) minutes each side
  • Transfer browned pork chops to a large plate
  • Drain excess oil from pan, and melt the butter in the same skillet
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add onion to the skillet with a pinch of salt, until onion is browned and caramelized, (approx 15 minutes)
  • Add diced garlic, stir briefly
  • Add flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add chicken broth and stir
  • Add juices from the plate with pork chops into the skillet
  • Mix in sour cream ( or yogurt) until smooth
  • Add water
  • Bring gravy to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions begin to break down, and gravy is thickened
  • Place pork chops into the skillet, spoon the sauce over the pork chops meat to coat each pork chop
  • Simmer until chops are cooked through, (approx 10-15 minutes)
  • Flavor with salt and pepper as desired, and serve pork chops smothered with onion gravy on top

Easy Veggie Chicken Stir fry – Saturday weekly recipe post

Easy Chicken Stir Fry

chicken_stir_fry_recipe_healthy

Serves 2-4

The Stuff you need;

  • 3 chicken breast halves, cut into strips
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp veggie oil
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 c broccoli blanched
  • 1 med onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

What to do with the stuff

  • Heat oils in a frying pan
  • Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.
  • Add onions, garlic, broccoli and peppers
  • Sauté 3-4 minutes until veggies are crisp-tender
  • Mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth
  • Stir sauce into chicken/veggie mixture
  • Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute

You may serve over steamed brown rice 😉 – ( or not)

Lemon herb Leg O’ Lamb on the Rotisserie…on the BARBIE ..mmmm

Boneless Leg O’ Lamb on the Rotisserie …mmmmmm….Could easily serve 4-6 people, depending on how you choose to serve it..

lam

The Stuff you need 😉

  • 1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb, (2-3 lbs)- trimmed of excess fat
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 fresh rosemary sprigs to insert into roast
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh rosemary for marinade
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers (more or less to taste)
  • 2 TBS lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 disposable foil pan

What to do with the Stuff 😉

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, peppers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and lemon zest
  • Place lamb in a large resealable ziplock plastic bag
  • Pour in all except 1/4 cup of the marinade, reserving for later use
  • Seal the bag and toss to thoroughly coat the lamb. Marinade at room temperature for 1 hour
  • Remove lamb from marinade and roll into tight cylinder and tie securely with butcher’s twine
  • Make small slits around roast, insert rosemary sprigs
  • Run spit of the rotisserie through middle of lamb and secure ends with rotisserie forks
  • Place disposable foil pan under roasting area to catch drips, put some lemon slices, and water in pan to create moisture, & stop splatter
  • Place on the grill, turn on rotisserie, cover, and cook at medium temperature (approx 275-325)
  • Baste lamb with reserved marinade using brush or baster every 15 minutes
  • Cook until lamb registers 130-135 degrees for medium-rare or 140 -145 degrees medium- medium well on an instant read thermometer
  • Remove to a cutting board, let rest for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Slice and serve

Since moving here to Australia, I have learned to adjust a LOT – “culinarily speaking” ..;-)…

Lamb being one of the better priced meats, I’ve been trying my hand at various recipes, and THIS one was hands down..AWESOME..I have REALLY learned to love the taste of this meat, and there are so many ways to prepare it 😉

For this baby, we were hankering for a more “casual type” meal as opposed to a “Sunday Dinner” type thing.. SO…we used flatbread, and made some awesome “Gyro” style sandwiches, including fresh diced tomatoes, sliced red onions, lettuce, feta cheese, kalamuta olives, and homemade Tzatziki sauce 😉 MMMMMM..I’m salivating again thinking about how good this was ;-)..and my bragging rights.. IT WAS MY FIRST LAMB ROAST,, AND.. my FIRST Rotisserie!!