Category Archives: entree

Thanksgiving Leftovers (can be even better than the main event!)

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted the other day. WordPress and I had a fight. I lost… lost most of my post that is. I tried to click ‘save draft’ and it sent me to a screen that said, “Are you sure you want to do this?” Well, I thought I did, but now I’m not so sure… and gone.

Well, we had expected to have more leftovers. After all, 4 people, 2 turkeys (24lbs total), 4 big sides… that’s a lot of food person. Overall, we did pretty good. My parents took home half of the leftovers.

turkey carving my dad and the husband carving the turkeys

In our family, Turkey Tomato Soup is a newer tradition almost as big as the Thanksgiving dinner itself. My mom has been making it for several years now. It’s a great way to use up that last bit of turkey.

turkeytomatosoup

Thursday night, I threw the carcass in pot and made some nourishing bone broth to use in my soup. Once it cooled, I removed a bit of the fat layer. You can tell if you have good broth if it gels when its cold (gelatin is released from the bones). Homemade broth is really good for your digestive system.

turkeytomatosoup1

If you have the time and patience, you can gather quite a bit more meat by picking the bones of the carcass. Sometimes I feel like it, sometimes I don’t…

I suggest if you still have some leftover turkey, throw it in some soup. If not, you can always use chicken from next week!!

turkeytomatosoup2

TURKEY TOMATO SOUP

3C turkey chopped (or more if you have it!)
2cans (14oz) tomatoes (dices, stewed or combo – SCD legal if necessary)
1can tomato paste
2-4C chicken/turkey stock
1can Cannelloni beans (white kidney)
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1lb baby carrots
1 large onion diced (2C)
1C chopped celery
4TBSP butter
1TBSP basil
1tsp parsley
sea salt/pepper to taste
splash red wine
cheddar cheese (optional)

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions and celery and salt/pepper to taste. Cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add garlic and tomato paste, stir well and heat through. Next, add stock, 2cans tomatoes, basil, parsley and splash of red wine. Bring to simmer and add carrots and meat. Cook for 45mins. Add beans, check salt/pepper flavoring and cook for another 15 mins. Serve topped with cheese if desired, crackers if you can!

turkeytomatosoup4

This is a great meal to make for leftovers/lunches throughout the week, as it reheats really well. Also, it can be done in the slow cooker. If you use frozen sliced carrots, you can reduce your cooking time by almost half (cook 20-25mins, add beans and cook 10-15). I used whole baby carrots because that’s what I had and was too lazy to chop them smaller.

turkeytomatosoup3

My mom and I have a conversation about tomato paste every year about this time. It usually goes something like – Why does the recipe only call for 2oz of tomato paste, when the cans only come in 6oz size? Do they expect me to freeze the left over paste and actually remember to get it out later? Fat chance… What a waste! – So, needless to say, we’ve started using the entire can. Feel free to use 2oz and save the rest for another recipe. The extra paste deepens the tomato flavor and we really like it.

Also, red wine… I know they say you should use a wine you would drink. I haven’t been drinking much lately, let alone red wine. I’ve found that Pompeian Burgandy cooking wine works great for our tastes. Go ahead, roll your eyes, shake your head… I don’t care. Use what works for you!

Enjoy!

On top of old Smokey…

I’ve had spaghetti squash once before. I liked it, but wasn’t overly impressed at the time. Mostly, I think, because I was still eating actual spaghetti noodles…

meatballs ingredients

Nearly everyone I know has a special red sauce recipe. I developed mine a couple years ago for the husband. Apparently, with a strong Italian heritage, you aren’t allowed to eat sauce from a jar. I’m sure its written somewhere. I mean, there must be an Italian rule book they follow.

meatballs mixed

This weekend I made a legal version of my sauce, meatballs and gave spaghetti squash another go. It was really good – but, I should have made more meatballs! I’m still underestimating exactly how much meat and vegetables I need to cook since we aren’t eating bread/carbs!

meatballs baked

Spaghetti Squash is easy. Preheat oven to 350degrees. Carefully cut it in half, remove seeds and rinse. Place halves, cut side down, on a sheet pan with 1/2 C water. Bake 35-45mins.

spaghetti squash

Carefully pick up halved squash (hot pads may be necessary) and using a fork, scrape the squash from the rind. It will get stringy! Drain if needed.

spaghetti squash finished

MEATBALLS
makes 15-16, 1 1/2″ diameter

1lb ground beef
1/4C almond flour
1 egg
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, rough chopped
1/8C grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4tsp parsley (double if fresh)
1/2tsp Sea salt
1/4tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients in bowl to combine. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 15-20mins. Add to your finished sauce and simmer for another 10mins. Serve over spaghetti squash and cover with cheese.

spaghetti meatballs
I should have drained my squash a bit better, but the water did not adversely affect the taste – at all!

Delicious SCD Pulled Pork

Growing up in the south has made me appreciate all different types of BBQ. We don’t eat pork very often – but we love bacon and pulled pork BBQ.

Now, you need to understand that there are pretty major regional differences in barbecue. If you were to take a drive down I95 from North Carolina to Georgia/Florida – you could have 3 completely different culinary experiences. The bases range from tomato to mustard to vinegar.  (this link explains them a little further).

While in college, we used to tailgate at a friend’s house. They were originally from NC and my first introduction to vinegar based barbecue. The boys used a special pre-mixed gallon jug of seasoning. I’ve looked for it for years to no avail.

About a year ago, I found this wonderful recipe on Martha Stewart’s website for pulled pork sandwiches. Its delicious.

We had some company over this weekend and the menu included this pork and (previously posted) garlic and onion mashed cauliflower. I didn’t manage to get any photos (I just couldn’t bring myself to bust out the camera and make everyone wait).

I did adapted a few ingredients to make it SCD legal. It’s easy to change the recipe for quantity as needed. I typically use a 4-5pound butt (1/2-1pound per person) and vary the spiciness for the crowd I’m feeding. Also, I prefer to slow cook it all day or overnight. It keeps for great leftovers too!

Southern Pulled-Pork Sandwiches
image from Martha Stewart

Everyone ate their pork on rolls with Sweet Baby Rays Sauce. Its so good and tender – I ate mine right out of the pan.

PULLED PORK
adapted from Martha Stewart

1/8C honey
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp Coarse salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into pieces
1 1/2C apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced/crushed
Water to cover

8 soft sandwich rolls, split (optional)
Store-bought barbecue sauce, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Heat cider and honey in 5-quart Dutch oven on medium until just combined.
Add pork, garlic and spices.
Add water to cover meat.
Cook until tender and separates easily when pulled with a fork, 6 to 7 hours.
Transfer pork to a work surface, reserving pan juices.
With two forks, shred meat.
Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with pan juices to moisten
(you may not need all the juices).
-Here is where it helps to check the flavors and add more honey or salt/pepper as desired.
Pile pork on rolls, and top with barbecue sauce, if desired.

Delicious and super easy weeknight dinner

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted last night, but I fell asleep sitting up with my computer in my lap…

Last week felt really long. Heck, it was long. I put in way too much overtime, delivered a couple challenging prosthetics, was a speaker for a physical therapy continuing education course sponsored by my office and worked as an OT both Saturday and Sunday (I hate public speaking, but that’s a whole other post).

I had planned to cook an actual meal last week; but, with all the late nights, it just didn’t happen. Need-less-to-say, I ate a lot of scrambled eggs. Who wants to see a post on that…?

In an effort to utilize what food was already in my apartment, I made my favorite go-to meal. Roast chicken and vegetables, yum. Again, I was craving something starchy… enter butternut squash.

It can be so hard to cook for 1. When I’m away from home I find I cook for 4 and have great leftovers for lunch all week.

I have really come to like squash! My mom never thought she’d see the day I’d eat cooked vegetables, but here it is!

My favorite part about this meal is how simple and versatile it is. I use this recipe for roasting whole chickens or just parts, as seen below (even my Thanksgiving turkey gets a close variation). It works great for all of them (just adjust your cooking times!).

If you use option 2, feel free to add additional chopped herbs or fresh garlic to your taste. I’ve used both rosemary and parsley before and it’s fantastic. Fresh garlic can work well too, but I find it burns too quickly if on top of the chicken.

Don’t get too jealous of my fancy dinner-ware. I save my best paper china for my photo-ops…

dinnerandlunch

ROAST CHICKEN

3-4 lbs chicken (with skin and bones)
2TBSP butter
1TBSP coconut oil
1tsp garlic powder
Salt/pepper to taste

There are two ways to do this. I usually base my decision on how dirty I feel like getting my hands and how many pieces I’m doing – whole bird, option 2; 8 thighs, option 1.

Option 1: Melt butter and coconut oil and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with salt/pepper and garlic.

Option 2: Combine softened butter and coconut oil and all seasonings. Separate skin from chicken by running fingers between skin and meat. Fill cavities under skin with seasoned butter mix.

Once chicken is prepared, bake at 350degrees until internal temperature reaches 165degrees. (Roughly: chicken thighs 30-40mins; whole bird 75-90mins).

roasted squash

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1-2pound butternut squash
1TBSP butter
1TBSP coconut oil
Salt/pepper to taste

Peel and dice butternut squash. Melt butter and oil and pour over squash. Season with salt/pepper. Bake at 350degrees for 30-40mins. Use spatula to toss/rotate pieces every 10-15mins to keep from burning. Make sure to use a sheet pan with at least a little side edge – the squash can put out a bit of water.
Enjoy!

Perfecting Meatloaf…

Is that possible? Can one actually perfect a meatloaf? Well, I’m getting pretty darn close. The husband was pleased, but I suppose that’s not saying much as he’ll eat nearly anything. He does not make a very discriminating taste tester…

Back in college, we used to have family dinners on Sunday night. The girls would get together and we’d cook a big meal, drink wine and watch the Sunday night line up. I miss those girls. We still keep in touch, but we certainly are not around the block from each other anymore. When I think of comfort foods and warm memories, I go to those recipes we used to eat.

This is recipe is inspired by one of those dinners and adapted for SCD-ers. The original recipe did not pre-cook the vegetables. Sauteing the vegetables cooks out the water and keeps the integrity of the flavors without watering down the meat. The combination of mixed meats and bacon fat keeps the flavor from going flat and doesn’t need to be over seasoned. You can use leaner ground beef if you want/need, but take care not to over cook, as it will dry out faster. Please tweak the quantities to your needs, my husband likes leftovers for lunches. It would be pretty easy to half, just use 2 eggs and a regular loaf pan.

MEATLOAF CLOSE by kellymarie.yoder
MEATLOAF CLOSE, a photo by kellymarie.yoder on Flickr.

MIXED LOAF – MEATLOAF

1# ground turkey
1.5# ground beef (I used 85/15)
1 small/med onion diced
1/2C carrots diced
1/2C sweet peppers diced (I used yellow and red)
1/2C celery diced
1TBSP bacon fat
3 eggs
2TBSP Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic minced
1tsp salt
1/2 to 1tsp pepper (depending on your taste)

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Saute onion, carrots, peppers and celery in bacon fat until tender and most of water has evaporated. Add garlic, stir and remove from heat to cool. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs, mustard, salt and pepper in large bowl. Break apart both meats and add half of each package to bowl with eggs, fold gently. Add sauteed vegetables to meat/egg mixture and remaining meat. Continue to fold together (using spoon or hands); take care not to squish meat too much. Pour into 9×9 baking dish. Bake at 350degrees for 1 hour. Allow to rest for 5mins to redistribute juices.

Squash, my new potato.

photo courtesy of bhg.com

Butternut Squash and Sausage Shepherd’s pie (photo courtesy of bhg.com)

Now, growing up my family wasn’t too keen on cooked vegetables. I remember eating a lot of salads and fresh cut veggies.  My sister and I loved potatoes and we learned to eat some vegetables in stir-fry and casserole dishes; but, I do not remember one night having ever seen a bowl of peas on the table. It just did not happen. My mom earned quite a few gold stars for that, too. Still to this day, I pick the peas out of everything.

Things changed a bit when I went off to college (GO GATORS!) and started cooking for myself. There were many calls home to ask, “now, what did you put in that again…?” Some of our free time was spent watching the food network and my interest in different foods was peaked. I came home a couple times and cooked new things for my parents. I believe it was during these years that my mom was reintroduced to broccoli…

Last week, I was thumbing through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine on my lunch hour and came across a couple recipes using butternut squash. Lately, I’m so often disappointed by magazine recipes because they are full of SCD illegal flour, sugar and starches. This one is different. I kept scrolling down the list waiting for the one core ingredient that I could not leave out, replace or make from scratch. Its almost perfect! Please check out the following recipe, barely adapted from BHG.

This dish has such good flavor. I even ate some peas! I have not had much experience eating or cooking hard winter squash before last weekend. I think there is a very good chance, butternut squash might be my new potato!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAUSAGE SHEPHERDS PIE

  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage or lean ground beef (85%) [I used HOT sausage]
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 8 ounce package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth [I did not have any homemade, so I left it out]
  • 1/2 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (about 1 1/2 cups) [the one rule I break on occasion is for no sugar added canned tomatoes. you could skin and cook down 2pounds fresh tomatoes if you have time. I don’t right now.]
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce [illegal, just leave it out]
  • 1 cup frozen carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Sliced green onion (optional)

    -Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease six 10 to 12-ounce individual casseroles or a 13×9″ pin with butter or coconut oil.

    -In a large vessel cook squash in lightly salted boiling water, covered, for 15 to 17 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain; return to pan. Mash with butter, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

    -In a large skillet cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Transfer meat to a colander; drain well. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

    -In the same skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more. Stir in broth, crushed tomatoes, rosemary, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in meat, peas and carrots, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 2 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared dish(es). Spread top with butternut squash. Place on a large baking sheet.

    -Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. If desired, top with shaved Parmesan and sliced green onion. (serves 6-ish)

    Enjoy!!