A Practical Guide To Healthy Living
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Category — Meat

Curried Crustless Quiche (Paleo, Gluten-Free and Dairy Free)

crustless beef curry quiche

Oh my darlings, this is a goodie. Make this, then let it cool for a few, then cut it into 8 slices. Throw it into the fridge and eat off it for days. If you’re nice, you’ll share with your family. If you’re a mean-meanie like me, you’ll know they won’t eat it because it contains a dreaded ingredient: mushrooms. So you can keep it all. for. yourself. [Read more →]

January 3, 2014   4 Comments

Lebanese Seven Spices Seasoning

indian spices

When you’re eating a lot of lean protein, keeping things interesting is a challenge. Since becoming the chicken breast whisperer, I’ve been on a quest to liven things up, without salt. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay inspired and interested. [Read more →]

March 22, 2013   2 Comments

Sausage With Roasted Chickpeas & Chard

pile of ground paprika on white

Have you tried sweet smoked paprika?  It’s a flavor like no other . . . cool, smooth smokiness with no heat – it’s so perfect in so many things.  Sure, it’s a classic Spanish spice, but it’s so versatile, you shouldn’t limit yourself.  Have you tried it sprinkled over your eggs over-easy?  Fry up some potatoes with onion, garlic and smoked paprika and watch your family wolf them down.  Somehow this stuff elevates whatever it’s used for to new levels of deliciousness.  Needless to say, I’m a huge fan, so when I saw this recipe I jumped on it – not to mention that I had an awesome head of Swiss chard from my Picadilly share.  This was super quick and super delicious. 

Sausage With Roasted Chickpeas & Chard (adapted from Serious Eats)

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed & patted dry
1 bunch Swiss chard, thick stalks removed
12 oz. linguica sausage
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
2 t. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the chickpeas, 1 T. of the olive oil, cumin, paprika, half of the garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the chickpeas out in a single layer.  Cut the sausage into a few pieces and nestle the sausage amongst the chickpeas.  Set the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, trim and chop the chard. Add the remaining olive oil to a large skillet set over high heat. Add the rest of the garlic, and let it cook for a few seconds, just until fragrant.  Add the chard. Season with salt and pepper, and stir often. After a minute or so, add half the vinegar. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chard it tender.  Taste the chard to see if it needs more vinegar and/or salt and pepper.

Combine the chard with the roasted chickpeas in a large bowl. Toss. Serve the the sausage over the chickpeas and chard mixture.

Serves 2, but can easily be doubled for 4.

October 29, 2010   No Comments

Winter Weekend Entertaining Menu

recipe box full size

Regular readers here know that for the past year, I’ve been dealing with some bad foot pain.  I am so happy to report, however, that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Things have improved so much that this weekend I got back into the kitchen for an afternoon of cooking for friends.  On the way home from the market on Saturday morning, my car packed with ingredients, I thought to myself “this is what really makes me happy.”  I love the creative effort involved in planning a cohesive menu and spending time cooking up tasty food for friends.

This weekend’s menu featured Italian comfort foods, or as D. said, “3 of [his] favorite things: chocolate, wine and beef.” 

For munchies, we started out with Robioloa cheese and cranberry pepper jelly on 34 Degrees Natural Crispbread.  I also put out an artichoke heart and Parmesan dip that I got at Sevan Bakery, along with some grissini (long, skinny Italian bread sticks) and some pitted green olives with lemon and garlic from Whole Foods.

For dinner, we had short ribs with tagliatelle, which was rich and flavorful and worth the effort.  I didn’t make any adjustments at all to this Giada recipe (but for skimming off some of the fat several times during the cooking) and it came out deliciously – the wine and bittersweet chocolate add great depth of flavor.  

These ribs are a 3+ hour endeavor, though, so this recipe’s definitely a weekend special-event deal.  And although the recipe as written calls for 3 hours of cook-time, mine was closer to 4 – I had some really thick short-ribs.  If you decide to tackle these, I’d leave yourself more time because there is NO downside to having your sauce ready while you assemble the rest of your meal – it’ll just get that much more flavorful as it waits. 

 This fresh salad with red leaf lettuce, radishes, toasted pine nuts and a citrus vinaigrette provided a nice counterpoint to the very rich main dish.  I found the recipe in my new Gourmet Today cookbook, but lucky for you, it’s online at Epicurious as well.

I had intended to steam up some broccoli to serve with a little extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan and red pepper flakes, but that got lost in the shuffle of dinner being overdue. 

I also served up some Scali (not homemade, from Formaggio) to mop up sauce, etc.

For dessert, there were assorted amaretti and chocolate-covered butter cookies for the kids and this easy, unexpected and delicious recipe for dried figs with walnuts and mascarpone cheese.  I’d make a couple adjustments to this recipe, however.  First, if your dried figs are large, I’d halve them.  Although they do get more tender in the wine and balsamic syrup, they’re still rather chewy and it’ll be easier going with halves.  Next, I think that toasting the walnuts prior to assembling the mix in your baking dish is overkill – the walnuts toast up nicely in the oven.  Third, these were good cold, but I think that serving them warm as called for in the recipe would send them to over-the-top deliciousness.  The mascarpone is such a nice creamy complement to the sweet and tangy syrupy figs and toasty nuts.  It’s a little party in your mouth and a relatively light way to end a rich meal.

Bon appetit!

January 11, 2010   2 Comments

Greek Stuffed Peppers

greek stuffed peppers

I came across a recipe for Greek Stuffed Peppers in Ellie Krieger’s book, The Food You Crave.  I got this out of the library for inspiration and these caught my eye.  I, of course, tweaked the original recipe.  They’re beautiful – red and green and sprinkled with bright white feta.  My iPhone snap above doesn’t do them justice. 

Know up front that these need to bake for a while, but the prep time is very short – so at least you can get stuff done while they’re in the oven.  Try these for a touch of comfort food, healthied up!

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef (90% lean or higher, I used 93% lean from Whole Foods)
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 c. bulgur
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 t. dried oregano
Generous sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 small red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, core and ribs removed
1 26.46 oz. box of chopped tomatoes (such as Pomi)
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the beef, spinach, onion, bulgur, egg, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly until combined (hands are best for this!).  Arrange the pepper halves cut-side-up in a 9×13-inch baking dish and fill each pepper half with the meat mixture.  Pour the tomatoes with their juice over the peppers and sprinkle with the feta.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the filling is completely cooked and the peppers are tender, about 45 minutes longer.

These serve 4, generously.  Serve them with some orzo (which for L., is a main course) and some steamed broccoli on the side.

A couple of notes.  One, rice was always the filler in the stuffed peppers of my youth – so why the switch to bulgur here?  Did you know that bulgur has twice the fiber of brown rice?  ’Nuf said.  Next, I know that the pre-crumbled feta is a draw . . . so convenient, right?  Really, though, the flavor is sub-par and let’s be real, how hard is it to crumble cheese?  You could even get your kids to do it – L. clamors to crumble!

December 1, 2009   No Comments