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I had some leftover meat, rice, half a packet of mushrooms, and half an onion. I even had an open box of soy milk. All that was missing was the flashing neon sign: “Make Beef Stroganoff!”

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Leftovers!

Ingredients: (for 1 person)

About 1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 onion (or few slices leek), chopped
~100-150 gr champignon mushrooms (about 1/2 a packet), sliced
~100-150 gr leftover meat (I had turkey and beef cubes), sliced
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp cornflour (or Conditor gluten-free flour)
Fresh nutmeg
Salt
One portion leftover rice in a microwaveable bowl

Instructions:

Saute the onion or leek in the oil until getting transparent. Add the mushrooms and salt, saute until you can smell them. Add the meat, mix. Put the rice in the microwave for 1 minute (or less depending on your microwave). Add the soy milk, a couple dashes of freshly ground nutmeg, and the cornflour. Mix a bit until thickened. Pour over rice and eat! (If you really want to, you can photograph it first 😉 )

Bon apetit!

 

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Since Insightful and Investigator were diagnosed celiac, I got rid of all my spices and bought new ones. I had a bunch of leftovers and I thought a curry would be great, and I forgot that I didn’t buy curry when everything was already bubbling nicely 😦 What to do?

Improvise! (though really, if you have curry just use curry 🙂 )

I found that Hawaij for soup, which is a Yemenite spice, has cumin, turmeric, cardamom and cloves. I added more turmeric and ginger, and it turned out surprisingly good. So I present to you (*drum roll*): Curry-less curry!

Ingredients (2 large servings)

about 1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced (or minced if you like)
1-2 slices fresh ginger (I peel, slice it and keep it in the freezer in a bag)
5-6 large champignon mushrooms, quartered or sliced
canned peas (or any leftover you might have, chickpeas, lentils, other beans, and nothing at all also work)
leftover meat (optional) cut up if you wish
about 1/2 cup of coconut cream (or however much you have leftover)
2 tsp Hawaij for soup
1 tsp turmeric
about 1/2 dried chili pepper, if desired
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the oil. Add the garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, the meat, the coconut cream, the peas,and the spices. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

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Bubble bubble

Let simmer until bubbling (or until rice is ready 🙂 ). Serve over rice or couscous.

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Yummy!

Bon Apetit!

 

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When my daughter was younger (below 1 year old), she refused to eat a bunch of stuff: milk products, some types of meat, soups, rice, seemingly at random as she ate all of these things at other times and places (except milk products, which she refuses to touch). So she was considered “picky”.

However, over the holidays I needed a meat dish and found that I had no raw meat to cook in any way. Going to the store was a bother. I found some frozen entrecôte steaks, from a BBQ (we looove BBQs!). I also had fresh mushrooms, so I had an aha! moment: strips of entrecôte  with succulent mushrooms in wine and soy (I would have added fresh ginger if I had it. Or alternatively, soy-based  cream instead of soy sauce in order to get a kosher “stroganoff”, but I don’t usually have it in the house).

I did that, and it was a hit with everyone… including my 1 and a bit year old daughter, who practically inhaled it mixed with white rice. So therefore it is now official: my daughter is NOT picky!

Leftover Steak “Stroganoff”

3-4 leftover entrecôte (rib, rib-eye or sirloin) steaks, fat removed and cut into strips
250-500 gr. champignon (button) mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic or to taste, minced
1 large onion, minced or diced
1-2 cups red wine (leftover, of course 😉 )
2-3 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat oil in non-stick skillet. Saute the onions until clear. Add garlic, saute until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms, stir fry for 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned but still firm. Add steak strips, mix, and add wine and soy sauce. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste. If wine is still sharp, simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve over rice, couscous or burgul.

Optional: Add 1-2 tsps flour mixed with 1-2 tbsp water to the sauce at the end, it will thicken into a gravy.

Inhaled it!

Inhaled it!

Bon Apetit!

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I returned to work last Sunday. Whoo-hoo!!! 😀

It was great to get out of the house again, great to use my brains again (as everyone knows, if you don’t use it, you lose it). There were lots of adjustments to make though – new boss at work, all my projects to be revived as they were shelved while I was gone. However, the most complex part of the day is the morning – getting everyone out of the house. Only slightly less complex is the afternoon and getting everyone back in the house 😉

So to solve the morning problem, I made all the food for school and work the evening before and put in the fridge, and had a breakfast plan for the kids. But what about my breakfast? I’m cutting down sugar as I mentioned, so eating Belgian waffles (I make ahead and freeze) for breakfast is not an option (how sad…). I can’t drink milk because it makes baby break into a rash, so cornflakes is out of the question as well. Especially as what I really wanted was an omelet. But who has time to make omelets in the morning on a weekday?

And then I found this recipe and said Eureka! I’ve found it!

Egg muffins

Basic recipe: put fillings of your choice in muffin cups until 1/3 full. Beat eggs with seasoning of your choice and pour into muffin cups until 2/3 full. Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes. Keeps well in the fridge for a week or freeze.

My recipe: I sautéed onion, red pepper and squash in olive oil, added salt, oregano and thyme. On top of that I put small squares of yellow cheese. This I covered in beaten egg. It came out dee-licious! Part I put in muffin cups with paper liners; part I put in ramekins (about twice the size of one small muffin). The paper liners became soggy and fell apart, so that wasn’t so good. On the other hand if you want to freeze this you need something. I’ve got silicon liners somewhere; I’ll try that if I’m freezing these. Otherwise I’ll stick to ramekins in the future.

Egg muffins – the perfect make ahead breakfast!

My husband got a bit miffed that I ruined something that sounds so tasty with squash (he hates squash). So next week it’ll be mushrooms and spinach 🙂

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As usual, by the end of the week we’re left with a bit of this and a bit of that in the fridge. One of the things we had were grilled chicken breasts that had dried out a bit in the fridge. They were still soft enough to cut with a knife, but not pleasant to eat as is. So I decided to cook them in a sauce, and serve over pasta.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 small onion
1 tsp minced garlic
5-6 champignon mushrooms, sliced
About 1/2 cup cooked green beans
3 small cooked chicken breasts, sliced thinly so they absorb liquid efficiently
One cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
About 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp spelt flour or other flour, for thickening

(I told my husband that he was lucky I made apricot jam the day before, other we would have had apricots in the sauce as well 😉 )

Heat olive oil. Fry onion until translucent, add garlic and continue frying til fragrant. Add mushrooms, cook until browned. Add chicken, green beans, ginger, stock and soy sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a low fire, so chicken absorbs some liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid, add water or white wine. Add flour and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until thickened. If not thick enough, add more flour. Serve over pasta.

My mom dropped by to pick something up and said the scent was overpowering, even outside the building, and said (hint, hint, wink, wink) that she wasn’t in a hurry and that my father was out of town for dinner. So we invited her for dinner as  well 🙂 By the time I thought to photograph the excellent sauce, only this was left:

Umm… Mushroom Chicken Sauce?

😆 😆 😆

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I had fresh mushrooms, cottage cheese, and leftover pasta. I decided to make a mushroom pasta casserole instead of my regular pasta casserole. I also incorporated into it some frozen basil and froze from it 1/2 cup excellent mushroom stock.

The frozen basil:

I love fresh herbs. However, I don’t always use all of them in time. I used to chop basil small with a bit of olive oil and freeze in ice-cube trays, but it’s a lot of work. So I scouted the Internet a bit and tried a different method: freezing the leaves whole. I had a lot of fresh basil and fresh oregano. It’s very easy:

1. Remove the leaves from the stems. With basil, this is the longest step because you have to pick of each leaf individually. However, the leaves grow together so it isn’t a problem to grab a bunch and pick them all off at once. The oregano was easy – simply grasp the top of the stock firmly with one hand and with two fingers from the other hand pull the leaves off from up to down (against the direction of the leaves). They go out easily. If your oregano stalk has lots of branching stalks, this will remove the entire branch, and you can repeat on the sub-branches.

2. Wash well and let dry.

3. Place in freezer-safe boxes with a lid. Do not pack too much or you will crush the herbs.

4. Freeze.

5. When you want to use, take out the amount you want. They do not clump and thaw extremely quickly, so you can chop them up and put them in your cooking. Because they discolor and wilt a bit, they aren’t so good uncooked (in a salad, for example).

I froze oregano and basil using this method.

Mushroom pasta casserole

Ingredients

250 gr. fresh champignon mushrooms
about 150-250 gr cooked pasta
250 gr cottage cheese
1 egg
2 slices yellow cheese
2-3 handfuls frozen basil
handful Parmesan cheese (optional)

Wash and slice mushrooms. Place in microwave save cooking dish with a lid (a Pyrex is great, or I use the Tupperware microwave cooker). Sprinkle a little salt and microwave for 2 minutes on high (there is no need to add water or oil). If not cooked microwave another minute. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. This is quality mushroom stock. Use in risottos or anything else requiring mushroom stock, or freeze for later.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cut the yellow cheese into small cubes. Combine all ingredients into a large casserole dish (I use 22 cm by 22 cm). Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Mushroom Casserole

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