Peanut Curry

The word “curry” just means spice. There are thousands of types of curry (and so little time to try them all!). This recipe takes me about 20 minutes to prepare, and then 45 to cook. You can start the rice after you get the curry going.

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Ingredients

  • Either 1.5 lbs. of steak, cubed OR chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups red potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 13.5 oz. can Chaokoh Coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, brown the meat in the oil on medium high. Add the vegetables and stir occasionally until onion is translucent.

Add all the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Serve over white rice.

Notes

  • This is already gluten free
  • If you want to make it Paleo, use sweet potatoes instead of the red potatoes, and leave out the sugar
  • Don’t like spicy? Leave out the crushed red pepper. The rest of the ingredients are mild

Tuna Salad

When I was young, I didn’t care for tuna; the texture was too mushy. I quickly became a convert when working at The Depot Deli. Their tuna salad had all kinds of crunchy textures and flavors. Here’s the recipe, as I remember it.

tuna salad

Ingredients

  • 14 oz Albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle, chopped
  • 2/3 cup mayonaisse
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • (optional) 1 apple, chopped
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients, and serve either as a sandwich, on a green salad, or with crackers.

Jambalaya

I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe to have more spice, and chicken breast. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home that served Southern food fairly often. It’s a super easy, one pot meal that is comfort food for me. This serves a family of 4 with leftovers to spare.

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Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 lb. ham, cubed
  • 2 large green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I use olive oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, brown the chicken and ham in the oil.

Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, and add the bell pepper, garlic and onion to the remaining oil. Sauté over medium high for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add the meat and all remaining ingredients back to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 35 minutes on low, without stirring.

Notes

  • My mom’s recipe called for whole chicken pieces. I just didn’t like to bother with the bones and skin.
  • If you remove the Tabasco, this dish isn’t spicy at all.
  • It’s already gluten free, as long as your chicken broth is gluten free.

Grownup Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is ridiculously easy to make. I like to make it a couple of days in advance.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 black peppercorn
  • dash of red pepper flakes

Directions

Combine all of the spices in a cheesecloth and tie in a knot.

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce to simmer, stirring often for 20 minutes.

Discard the cheesecloth bundle and cool.

Granola

Making your own granola is really easy, and tastes so much better than store-bought.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 cup dried fruit, diced (apricots, dates, raisins and apples all work well)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°.

In a roasting pan, heat the coconut oil until melted. Add all ingredients except the dried fruit, and stir to combine.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and stir in the dried fruit. Cool for 30 minutes before storing.

Notes

  • This will keep at room temperature for a month and 3 months in the fridge.
  • Makes an awesome ice cream topper.

Satay Chicken

Another super quick and easy dinner when you’re in a hurry. Pretty much no effort or cleanup at all. Not so much cooking, as assembling already prepared ingredients.

SatayChxMain

Ingredients

  • 1 lb package of pre-cooked chicken kabobs
  • 7 oz Satay Peanut Sauce
  • Rice

Directions

Line a 13 x 9″ baking dish with foil. Spray with oil/cooking spray. Place the kabobs in the dish, and pour the sauce over the top.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Simple Spaghetti

This might be the first dinner recipe I ever learned to make. My version has evolved over the years to include sherry and Italian Seasoning. You can use any kind of pasta you like. In the photos you can see that I used linguine and fettuccine, because I was out of spaghetti noodles.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean Natural Pork Sausage
  • 16 oz spaghetti (or your favorite pasta variety)
  • 26 oz Blue Parrot Spaghetti Sauce (or your favorite variety)
  • 1/3 cup Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and olive oil. Add the pasta and cook to your preference; I prefer al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Brown the sausage in a large saucepan. Add the sherry and reduce. Add the spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer over low for at least 5 minutes, or as long as you like.

Serve sauce over the pasta.

Notes

  • Serve with: garlic bread, Parmesan and a salad
  • Gluten free: just change the noodles