Croatian Potato or Restani Krumpir as they call it


Sometimes when you cook for yourself or others and even party guest you want to make something extra special . It may just be a really good side dish like this one if you already have a good protein. My family is orginally from Croatia and my Mom who is a wonderful cook to, likes to teach me recipes from the homeland like this one..

Restani Krumpir (or rested potatoes) consists of fried potatoes with onions, paprika and sometimes diced bacon or pancetta is added in.

I already had the chicken that I bought which is already roasted and I just wanted a unique side dish. Croatian comfort food at it’s finest in my opinion. I love it and make it once in while just for myself. My mom prepares it for the holidays to. It pairs the best with roasted meats in my opinion. It’s like chunky mashed potatoes but 10 times better!

Ingredients*

Russet potatoes
yellow sweet onions
animal lard or oil you a can heat up very hot
salt and sweet paprika

**just add as many potatoes and onions as you need for the serving

How to Make it

wash the dirt and boil in cold water and cook until soft for about an hour. drain and let cook before you peel and slice so you don’t burn yourself.

In a skillet sauté chopped onion until soft . Carefully peal the potato and roughly mash it into large chunks. Add salt to the cooked onions and some lard is you have it and fry it until it starts to stick.

chef tip! you can also peal and boil the potato in large pieces if you prefer.

Italian Sweet sausage with vegetables oh and fresh is the best! 🐽

Sausage is an easy way to get all the health benefits of the less-appealing parts of the animal and avoid wasting food. Buying sausage from a farmer, a good butcher, or a local supplier, you are able to get high-quality sausages in an animal casing with no junk ingredients . Win win for all!

I went Mazzaro’s Italian Market in Southwest Florida and picked up their sweet sausages . Their meat and fish section is a really an extraordinary butcher shop. The make their own fresh sausages in store!

This is dish is great with pasta or just good crusty bread for lunch or dinner

Ingredients

chopped raw fennel
chopped raw mini sweet pepper, mix of yellow , red and orange
chopped sweet yellow onions
seasoning Italian dry mix
olive oil

Chopped the vegetables and sauté everything in olive oil in one pan. In another skillet pan fry the sausage separately until cooked through .. Once cooked slice and mix it with the vegetables.

Here is a great article from Spruce Eats blog on Types of Sausages if you want to learn more

https://www.thespruceeats.com/types-of-sausage-4064593

Meatless Bean Corn Tomato Chili

All the fall/winter season arrives warm chilis and soups are my favorite to make. Plus you can make them in batches and freeze portions for future use! A quick and easy meal to enjoy on the table fast.

Recently I created deliciousness on a cool Monday night for a meatless Monday people like to call it..

I had Trader Joe’s “beefless” beef in my freezer still . If you want you can remove it or replace with ground beef or turkey. Just makes you cook the meat and onions through before adding everything else. I found out since that soy crumbles are already cooked, so they can usually just be added into soups, stews, chilies and the like toward the end of cooking. Since everything else is in a can it comes together really fast. (Great benefit!)

Ingredients

2 cups of yellow onions ,
1 package of
Trader Joes soy crumbles’
1 can of Goya low sodium black beans
1 can of Goya corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
3 cups of cold water
Longhorn steak seasoning or y kind of chili or taco seasoning you like to taste

How to Make it

I added to a big pot first the chopped onions which I cooked in avocado oil. then added in the frozen crumbles and mixed it together.
Once that is combines and mostly cooked though add in the, water, beans, corn and tomatoes and let it simmer away until done.

chef tip! If you take out the crumbs or meat it all together just another can of drained kidney beans to make it heartier!

Lavash Bread as Pizza? Yes!

I’ve been researching healthier pizza and bread alternatives that are better for you and found this idea online from SkinnyTaste blog. It was so easy and good and creative! I personally believe that pizza can actually be quite healthy, depending on the kind of bread we use and of course the topping ingredients.

What is Lavash ?

Lavash Bread is low carb and a good source of fiber. Used in a roll-up sandwich or as a sliced party snack, this lavash bread will not fall apart. Middle East Lavash Bread is a reduced carb, high protein and has no cholesterol.

Joseph’s Bakery Low Carb Bread Flax Oat Lavash is the brand that I like to use and easy and I can buy in the my local grocery store. Highly recommended

For more information about Joseph’s Bakery Lavash Page click here

For this pizza I added raw spinach , shredded mozzarella cheese, homemade mushroom tomato sauce and cooked organic 90% lean ground beef for protein . Bake flat at 425 degrees for 10 minutes until crisp . Use what ever cooked protein and veggies you like.

Chef tip! Don’t add a lot of sauce and toppings so it doesn’t get soggy.

Link to recipe on Skinnytaste I was inspired by

UPDATE! This dish has been submitted in a Foodiespicks recipe themed competition online . Click on the link below to vote!

https://bit.ly/2GhSPCz

Skillet potato gnocchi with Mushrooms and brown butter herb sauce

If you love delicious Italian food but are really short on time, look no further than the holy grail of quick Italian meals — frozen gnocchi. Gnocchi are small, delectable Italian dumplings made with potato, flour, and eggs. Also if you make your own gnocchi they will also freeze well to.

I also have to say I am lover of all kinds of mushrooms. Mushroom sauces are great when you can purchase fresh mushrooms. The pack in a lot of flavor and go with a lot of different things.

This method of cooking frozen gnocchi is very simple — all you’ll need is a large skillet or pan for tasty gnocchi that are crispy outside and a perfectly soft inside. This simple mushroom “sauce” really brings the dish together.

Ingredients and steps

500g potato gnocchi – frozen
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups mushroom, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 raw garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons of “herb de Provence” dry spice mix or any dry Italian seasoning works to

How to Make it
In a large skillet add half of the the butter over medium heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and garlic, parsley and cook, stirring, until soft. Transfer to a separate bowl. Heat the remaining butter in pan over medium heat until foaming.

While the mushrooms are cooking add the frozen gnocchi to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the gnocchi for one minute after the water returns to a boil and the gnocchi float to the top. Remove the gnocchi with the spider strainer or slotted spoon and add them to the other skillet directly.

Once you add in the cooked gnocchi, stir for 5-8 minutes until the gnocchi and butter are golden. Transfer the mushrooms to the gnocchi and mix it gently together. At the end add in the herb de Provence” mix from France , which has dried thyme, marjoram, rosemary and sage in it. Serve hot and enjoy! Top it with shredded parmesan cheese when hot to make it more heavenly.

chef tip : Want them brown and crispy? Leave them undisturbed in the pan for about 3 minutes before you move them. Then flip them onto the other side for another 3 minutes to brown the other side.

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Balsamic honey chicken thighs with pickled Danish red cabbage

Homemade balsamic honey chicken thigh over pickled Danish pickled red cabbage , what a great combo !

I like to marinate the chicken in a balsamic glaze and honey or agave syrup with salt and pepper.

I then refrigerate it for least a hour before I bake or grill them. You can do this also with chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts. Just adjust the cooking time.

I had a red cabbage that I bought recently that is pickled. This is the star of this dish. Recently there has been a lot of talk on the benefits of your gut by eating fermented foods. So eat away! Pickled cabbage, is pickled via fermentation.Fermented foods have lots of proven health benefits thanks to good bacteria, and the fermentation process also results in wonderfully complex flavor.

For this dish I used Danish red cabbage , also known as Rødkål . You can buy in store or make on your own. The process is time consuming but worth it the end and it store well in the fridge for many days.

The company I use is called Beauvais , which makes a great version that tastes homemade and can be found in your grocery store or online .

About Beauvais 

Beauvais is a Danish brand of condiments, snacks and readymade meals now owned by Norwegian food company Orkla ASA.  The brand was founded by and is named for Jeean Baptiste Desiré Beauvais, a French immigrant, who established a production of canned food in Copenhagen in 1850. The company was acquired by Orkla in 1995 and renamed Orkla Foods Denmark in 2013. (Source Wikipedia)

Try it out you will love it!

Chef tip! – Want to learn more about foods that pickled versus fermented check out this article below

https://www.furtherfood.com/pickled-versus-fermented-foods-which-is-better-for-your-gut/

Chicken Pomodoro in Creamy Light Vodka Sauce

To save money when I see something on sale I buy and freeze it for later, especially meat and some seafoods. All you have to do is take it out the night before when your planning your next meal and leave it in the fridge to thaw.

This chicken dish below is so good and simple ! It’s an easy way to use up those chicken tenders or cutlets in your freezer. These rest of the ingredients are pantry or fridge staples. The sauce is amazing on it’s own to so I make extra sauce and the freeze it for a future pasta dish.

Vodka sauce is definitely an indulgence, but with this healthier version, you don’t have the guil and it is still just as satisfying!

Ingredients.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts thinned out.
flour
salt
pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄4 cup vodka
1⁄2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1/4 cup 2 % milk
4 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese
1⁄3 chopped basil
2 tablespoons garlic powder.
* Half and Half or light cream can be added at the end if needed*

How to make it

Place chicken breasts or tenders between 2 pieces of thick plastic wrap and pound until meat until thin.
Heat olive oil in skillet.
Season chicken with salt & pepper, then dust with flour.
Saute chicken in oil till golden then remove to a platter.
Pour off fat from pan.
Add broth, vodka, stir, and cook stirring until vodka is nearly gone to deglaze the pan and get all the good bits off.
Add sliced cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, and fresh chopped basil
Return chicken to pan, cook each side 1 minute then add mixture of shaved parmesan cheese and 2 % milk mixed together
Heat through and serve!

Chef tip! Freezing 101 , Ina Garten important points: 1) Label + date everything. And 2) Defrost food overnight in the fridge, not on the counter.

Boneless pork shoulder with fennel and onions

When I go to the butcher in my grocery store I see a good slab of meat is on sale I buy and cut it into portions and keep it in my freezer so have when I need it . Makes sense when your on budget especially.

The kitchen smells great today! I love good slow cooker recipe. I stayed a bit relaxing and reading. Then went out did some errands and also along the crock pot did all the work, Just LOVE that. and you have

You can also do this with other cuts like pork tenderloin to. Recipe below if you want it try it.

Mix into a paste , olive oil, fresh garlic parsley, fennel seed, salt, pepper and favorite pork or meat rub seasoning , Poke the meat to make slits and rub the mixture inside and out, let sit in fridge for 1 hour before cooking.
Sear the meat first in a skillet, add it to bottom of crock pot with raw sliced onions and fennel on top . Add a 1/4 cup water or stock if you want. Cook slow for 4 hours.

This was a large piece of meat. The cook time is around 2 hours per pound of meat. This was done in bulk to be used lunches and dinner.. Cost effective and saves time in the future.

Chef tip ! by cooking it first in a skillet after you marinate it seals in all the juices and gives a nice crust so it doesn’t fall apart while cooking in the crockpot .

Tomato, black bean, corn and feta salad with Sardines in Olive Oil

I love the versatility of this salad recipe. It’s very adaptable which I love . I’ve seen many variations of it all over the internet. For my spin , all I added was apple cider vinegar and used the oil in the sardines as the dressing. This flavorful salad can be assembled ahead of time and all you need is something to serve it with . Without the oil from the sardines just use regular good quality olive oil.

Ingredients

Diced campari or any mini tomatoes
Drained black bean can
Canned or frozen corn,
Crumbled feta cheese,
salt and pepper
dried parsley flakes
garlic powder
sweet paprika
Apple cider vinegar to taste.

Mix ingredients well together well in bowl.
Add on the side the sardines from Seasons in olive oil. Drain out some of the excess oil . What a great lunch !

One more thing I have to say is that I highly recommended this brand of sardines . Here is some more information about them below. I found mine in my local costco.

Season Skinless & Boneless Sardines are harvested from the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. The sardines are packed fresh in pure olive oil. Don’t forget skinless and boneless sardines are healthy for you – a natural source of omega 3’s and protein. Enjoy Season Sardines as a snack, in a salad, or as part of your favorite recipe!

Visit then at http://www.seasonproducts.com for delicious recipes and more info! 

A twist on good steak and a summer succotash

Sometimes you want to follow a recipe and sometimes you just end up doing it your way. Inspired by recipe I read in Real Simple magazine . Over the years I’ve collected tons of recipes from magazines, cut them out like coupons and save them a big binder. I save online recipes in files in my computer so they are like a searchable digital cookbook.

Highly recommend having a system to keep them organized and together whenever you need some cooking inspiration.

In true fashion, I changed up the ingredients based on what I had on hand at home in my freezer and fridge. Inspiration is all that you need to make great food at home.

The result a grilled Flat Iron steak with a succotash of charred yellow squash , corn and pancetta mixed together in olive oil. Super simple and tasty.

Check out the original recipe below. How would you change it up?

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/grilled-hanger-steak-with-charred-succotash