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.