Monday, December 14, 2009

Pasta with Fresh Thyme, Garlic & Goat Cheese

Garlic? Check! Thyme? Amazing! Goat Cheese? Irresistable! Put it all together and you've got a whole lot of Awesome!!! This recipe is so simple and so tasty, you may never make spaghetti and marinara again:) Serve this with some greens and crusty bread and you'll be a happy camper.

Serves 2


  • 1 package fresh pasta (fettucini or linguini)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme - leaves picked
  • A good handful of goat cheese
  • 2 Tbls olive oil

  1. Cook the garlic cloves unpealed in a good sized skillet, turning every so often, for 15 minutes (this is making roasted garlic without turning the oven on!)
  2. Put some salted water on to boil while you cook the garlic
  3. When the garlic's done, peel it
  4. Put the pasta in and cook al dente
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it in the skillet with the garlic, thyme, goat cheese and olive oil. Mix it up good, bashing up the soft garlic a bit and getting it all mixed together
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Easy Goulash (Think Fancy Beef-a-Roni)

I made this last night and it was super easy and super tasty! It may be a little salty (how I like it:), but you can ditch the salt included in the recipe and it should still come out great!

Serves 6


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 Tbls Italian Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 cup dried macaroni (I like whole wheat)

  1. Brown the beef and turkey over medium high heat in a Dutch Oven or heavy saucepan. Break it up into crumbles while it cooks

  2. Throw in the onions and saute until about 5 minutes

  3. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, salt & pepper, and seasoned salt. Stir well

  4. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes

  5. Add the elbow macaroni and stir it up, put the lid back on and simmer for about 20 minutes

  6. Turn off the heat, pull out the bay leaves and allow it to sit about 30 minutes

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Pizza

This recipe is best (and less messy!) with Golden beets, but it will work with the red ones too. It's so simple and so delicious!!!

Serves 4 - $13


  • 4 oz olive oil (2 oz for the beets and 2 oz for the pizza)
  • 1 lb golden beets
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pizza dough (fresh or premade)
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Scrub the beets and slice them into 1/2 in disks (I usually go a little thinner, because I like them really crispy. If you do this though, you have to pay close attention to make sure you don't burn them up!)
  3. Throw the beets on a foiled baking sheet or baking pan and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil on top. Season with salt & pepper and toss it in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping them once during the cook-time
  4. As the beets are cooking, get your pizza dough or shell ready. Spread the olive oil and goat cheese, and chopped garlic on the pizza. When the beets are done, pull them out and turn the oven up to 450
  5. Toss the beets on the pizza and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is all melted and a little bubbly
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lentil Soup with Lemon, Pancetta & Mint

This is a Nigel Slater recipe I found on the Guardian website. It's such a mash-up of flavors, but it really works! We had this for dinner with some nice crusty bread. The whole thing was ready in 45 minutes from first onion slice to first spoonful in my tummy!

1 large onion
olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
3 slices Pancetta
a small bunch of flat-leafed parsley
½ lb French Green Lentils
32 ounces of stock
3 big handfuls of spinach
1 lemon
a small bunch of mint


Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Toss some olive oil in a medium sized pot and throw them in over medium heat. Dice up the bacon and throw it in when the veggies have softened a little. Cook until the veggies and bacon have all browned nicely.

Chop up the parsley and throw it in the pot. Wash the lentils and stir them in too. Pour the stock in and bring the whole shabang to a boil. Turn the heat down so it's at a nice simmer and partially cover with a lid. Cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender (but not too tender)!

Rinse and quickly steam the spinach in a separate shallow pan with a lid. Squeeze it dry and divide it evenly between the soup bowls - you'll pour the soup right on top.

Season the soup with salt, pepper, lemon juice and the torn mint leaves. Taste as you go and call it good when it's good! Serve over the spinach and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peas with Fettuccine, Basil & Sunflower Seeds

This recipe comes from Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food and is ready start to finish in less than 30 minutes. An amazing dish for how simple it is to prepare! I served this with grilled patty pan squash fresh from Brooke's Dad's Garden (thanks Mark!) and some fresh bread.

Serves 2


  • Fresh fettuccine for 2
  • 4 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 10 fresh basil leaves - torn into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  1. Toast the seeds on a baking sheet in a hot oven or under the broiler until their brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool a bit.
  2. Boil plenty of water for the fettuccine. When it's ready toss the noodles in with a little salt. Drain.
  3. While the water's boiling/noodles are cooking, heat up the olive oil in a skillet.
  4. Toss in the peas, minced garlic and basil and cook stirring frequently for about 7 minutes.
  5. Combine all of the cooked ingredients in a big bowl and toss, adding black pepper if you'd like.
  6. Enjoy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Poor Man's Pork Picadillo

This recipe's great and simple! You can make sandwiches out of the filling if you'd like, but I serve it up with boxed Spanish rice and black beans. It's great for leftovers too!


Serves 4

  • 1 medium organic onion - diced
  • 2 cloves organic garlic - minced
  • 1 lb natural ground pork
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1 - 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup organic green olives from the deli section - chopped
  • From the cupboard - 1 Tbls chili powder, 2 Tbls red wine vinegar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 box organic Mexican rice

  1. Put the rice on to cook according to the directions (or cook from scratch if you've got the time...I recommend Rick Bayless Red Rice Recipe if you're cooking from scratch).
  2. Throw the onion, pork and garlic in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the pork begins to brown. Don't worry about adding any oil, the oil from the pork will be great to cook the veggies in. Stir the pork around and crumble it up really good!
  3. Add the raisins, spices and vinegar to the pan and stir it all together.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, leaving a nice spicy coating of goodness on the meat.
  6. Drain the Black Beans and add them to the red rice for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  7. Add the green olives and stir
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Secret Broccoli Recipe

Here's how kind I am people - I'm going to give away my secret broccoli recipe. This is probably the one thing I cook that makes Brooke classify me as a kitchen genius (I don't think she's actually ever said that, but oh well:). It's really easy too, it just takes a little more work than your standard vegetable fair. It's so good, if you make a big batch of it, it can be it's own side dish instead of a vegetable accompaniment. You can do this on the grill too, instead of roasting it in the oven - just grill on indirect heat for about 15 minutes or until it starts to blacken on the edges.

Serves 4

  • 1 Big Bunch Organic Broccoli - Cut into big florets
  • 1 Organic Lemon
  • From the cupboard - 1.5 Tbls Olive oil, 2 cloves garlic - peeled & pressed, 1 tsp Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 or preheat the grill for indirect heat
  2. Put the broccoli in a good sized bowl and pour the olive oil on top. Throw in the pressed garlic, salt & pepper and toss the broccoli to get the goodness spread around
  3. Pour the broccoli into a 13x9 inch pan or onto a foil lined baking sheet and put it in the oven for 20 minutes
  4. Pull it out of the oven and squeeze the lemon juice onto the broccoli, making sure you get it onto all of the florets
  5. Enjoy!

Spicy Vegetable Jumbalaya

I'm not in any way, shape or form a vegetarian, but I try to give Brooke one vegetarian meal per week since she's not quite the carnivore that I am. This Vegetable Jumbalaya does the trick too, since it's spicy enough that I might forget there's no meat in it.

Serves 6


  • 2 Large Organic Onions - Chopped
  • 1 Large Organic Green Pepper - Chopped
  • 1 Medium Organic Green Zucchini - Chopped
  • 3 Ribs Organic Celery - Chopped
  • 1 - 28 oz Can Chopped/Diced Organic Tomatoes
  • 32 oz Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Handful Chives - Chopped
  • From the cupboard - Olive Oil, 4 Cloves Garlic - peeled & chopped, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp cajun spice, salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot heat 3 Tbls olive oil and saute garlic and all fresh vegetables until they're tender
  2. Add tomatoes with their juice, vegetable stock and all of the spices and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add the rice
  4. Stir well and cover - cook for 30 minutes or until rice is tender
  5. Add the chopped chives and salt & pepper to taste
  6. Enjoy!

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

I LOVE Breakfast food. I love it at 8am, noon, 4pm & sometimes after a wild night at 2am as well (although that usually involves the Original Hotcake House, which if you're ever been there, is about the furthest thing from organic you can find). Corned beef hash is one of my all time faves as well - serve this meal with a couple of eggs over medium and some toast and your in heaven. You can serve this with steamed broccoli in or alongside and make it a great dinner meal as well.

Serves 4

  • 1 Large Organic Onion - Diced
  • 1 Organic Bell Pepper - Seeded & Diced
  • 3 Large Organic Russet Potatoes - Washed & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 lb Deli Sliced Corned Beef - Roughly chopped
  • From the Pantry - Olive Oil, Garlic cloves - peeled & diced, hot sauce (the Aardvark is amazing with this dish)
  1. Heat up some oil and throw in the diced onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 10 minutes
  2. Toss in the cubed potatoes and stir
  3. Cook the potatoes on medium high until tender for 20 minutes
  4. Mix in the chopped corned beef and cook until the potatoes are tender - 5-10 more minutes
  5. Fry up some eggs and throw them on top
  6. Hot sauce, salt & pepper to taste

African Peanut Soup

If you've been to a McMenamins in Oregon and you've been able to steer clear of the fries with your blue cheese and bacon burger, you may have had this as your soup option. It's pretty much the best meal in a bowl I've ever had, and it's rich enough to stand alone for dinner with some bread and salad greens.

Serves 4 for dinner or 6 as a before meal

  • 1 Medium Organic Onion - chopped
  • 1 Large Organic Carrot - diced
  • 1 rib of celery - chopped
  • 1 bell pepper - seeded & chopped
  • 32 oz Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 2 large tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 chicken breast - cooked and chopped
  • From the cupboard - 1 cup milk, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper
  1. Cook the Chicken (I like to grill it if the weather cooperates)
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and toss in the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent - about 10 minutes
  3. Stir in the flour and slowly add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly to avoid lumps
  4. Add the peanut butter and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Throw in the tomatoes, chicken and milk. Season with the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Hungarian Chicken Paprikas

This recipe is the perfect comfort food (sorry mac & cheese). The first time I had it was at Novak's restaurant in Albany, OR. We go there with Brooke's Grandparents almost every time we visit and Papa Novak makes it out to say hello every time (not Mama though, she's busy making this wonderful dish)!

Serves 6


  • 2 lbs Organic Chicken Thighs - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Organic Onion - diced
  • 1 Large Organic Green Pepper - diced
  • 1 Large Organic Tomato - finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz Organic Sour Cream
  • 16 oz Organic Egg Noodles
  • From the cupboard - Olive Oil, 4 Tbls flour, 2 Tbls paprika, 1/2 cup white wine, salt & pepper to taste

  1. Saute onion, green pepper and tomato in 1 Tbls olive oil until onions are translucent
  2. Stir in Paprika and add the white wine & 1/2 cup water
  3. Add chicken, salt & pepper and simmer until the chicken is tender
  4. Pull the chicken out and set it in a casserole dish
  5. Add another 1/2 cup water to the pan
  6. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions
  7. In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup of cold water with 4 Tbls flour until smooth
  8. Bring the sauce in the pan to a boil and whisk in the flour mixture
  9. Cook until the sauce thickens to a nice gravy texture
  10. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream
  11. Add the chicken back to the sauce and serve over the noodles

Beef & Sweet Potato Burritos with Easy Rice

This is one of my favorite quick Thursday night recipes (when I'm too tired to cook something fancy). Adding the sweet potato makes the burrito filling go a long way.

Serves 4 (with lunch leftover the next day)
Under $20 for the whole meal!

  • 1 Large Organic Sweet Potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Large Organic Onion - Diced and Divided (1/2 for the potatoes, 1/2 for condiment)
  • 1 Clove Garlic - Diced or Pressed
  • 1 lb Oregon Country Beef (or your closest substitute)
  • 4 oz cheddar or pepperjack cheese - shredded
  • 1.5 cups organic white rice
  • 16 oz Organic Salsa - Divided (1/2 for the rice & 1/2 for condiment)
  • 1 large Organic Tomato - Diced
  • 1/4 lb Organic Salad Greens
  • Organic Whole Wheat Tortillas (10 ct)
  • From the cupboard/pantry - Olive oil, cumin powder, chili powder, 1x15 oz can black beans

  1. In a 2 qt saucepan heat up 1 Tbls olive oil and throw in the rice. Stir to coat and heat, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of the salsa. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes. This is poor man's red rice!
  2. Heat up 2 Tbls olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Toss in 1/2 the onion and all of the garlic and saute for 8 minutes
  3. Toss in the cubed sweet potatoes and stir until their coated with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle as much ground cumin and chili powder on as you like. I go for 1 tsp of each and add too taste. Add 1/2 tsp salt and cook over medium high heat - stirring frequently to avoid burning the potatoes
  5. In a separate skillet, cook the beef according to the seasoning packets instructions
  6. Heat up the black beans on low in a seperate pan
  7. When the beef is done, add it in with the potatos and stir
  8. Serve in the tortillas or on it's own with the cheese, onion and salsa. Beans, Rice and greens on the side or in the tortilla for the worlds largest burrito:)

  • Pork Chorizo in place of the beef is a little less healthy, but really tasty!
  • If you've got some plain yogurt in the fridge, it's amazing with the spicy sweet potatoes

Organic Recipes on a Budget

Hey Anyone out there!

A couple of years ago my wife and I decided what we were putting into our bodies was important enough to switch to mostly organic foods. I do most of the cooking for our family, so that meant I was going to have to change the way I shopped. I'm a VERY Frugal shopper, so I tend to go for the cheaper item if it's available.

Shopping for only local organic ingredients added about 30% to our weekly food budget, but over the last couple of years I've fine tuned the art of eating well without having to spend gobs of money in the process.

This blog will be a place to share some of my tricks and recipes to help you enjoy good food for a reasonably good price. I work full time and we've got a little one who's frequently running around the kitchen while I cook, so not everything I make is from scratch (plus, sometimes I'm lazy) and I'll let you know what boxed/deli prepared foods I use to accompany my main dishes. If you did cook these things from scratch, you can save even more money.