Friday, September 26, 2014

slow-cooker caribbean fall beef stew

This exotic stew is full of the taste and color of fall. Adapted from the Food Network magazine
makes 4-6 servings


1 ½-2 lb cubed beef
2 tsp. curry powder
½ tsp. allspice
salt and pepper to taste
2 large yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 lime juiced, plus wedges for serving if desired
for serving:
scallions or cilantro, chopped
cooked quinoa


1. Season beef with mix of curry, allspice, salt and pepper. I like to brown my meat on all sides in a pan of hot oil. I think this locks in the juiciness of the meat but it isn't totally necessary. Place in slow cooker.
2. Add pepper and yam on top.
3. Whisk coconut milk and ginger. I added a some more curry, allspice, salt and pepper as well. Pour on top of meat.
4. Cook on low for 4-7 hours. Yes, I know that is a huge range of time but you know your own slow cooker better than me. Mine is a semi-slow cooker and I know anything I put in there will be cooked to a dry unpleasantness if I follow the time for most slow cooker recipes. 4 hours was perfect for mine :)
5. Stir in lime juice and top with scallions or cilantro. Serve over quinoa for a satisfying meal.

mexican quinoa

This dish has become a favorite with our whole family (the kids asked for seconds which is pretty rare). The flavor combination is so so good. Easy to make and super nutritious, what's not to love? adapted from 


2 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1 ¼ cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can black beans (or equivalent soaked and cooked black beans), drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen or canned)
½ tsp. salt
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ lime juiced
1 tomato, diced (or can diced tomatoes)

to finish:
shredded cheese
sour cream or plain greek yogurt
cooked shredded chicken (optional)
spinach (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Stir in quinoa and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Then add beans, corn, tomato, and salt. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until liquid is fully absorbed.
3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
4. Serve over a bed of spinach if desired and top with shredded chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa, and avocado

Friday, September 5, 2014

nectarine and fig summer salad

A last hurrah for summer! I can't tell you how delicious this salad is. You will have to try it for yourself. Adapted from

serves 4-6


4-6 cups spring greens
2 cups baby arugula
8 slices of pancetta (bacon or prosciutto are a fine substitute), fried until crisp and broken into large pieces
2 nectarines, sliced
1-1½ cups fresh figs, quartered
1 large avocado, sliced
4 ounces goat cheese (this is a super yummy addition but you can substitute another cheese if preferred)
3 Tbsp. pistachios, chopped
salt and pepper

nectarine vinaigrette:

1 large nectarine, peeled and cubed
¼ cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar because I didn't have golden balsamic as the original recipe called for)
2 tsp. honey
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
⅓ cup olive oil


Add all the greens to a large bowl and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the pancetta, sliced nectarines, figs, avocado, dollops of goat cheese, and pistachio. Dress with the nectarine vinaigrette.

for the vinaigrette, add the nectarine to a blender and blend until pureed. Add a little water if needed. add vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper and mix until combined. Stream in the olive oil while whisking or blending on low until the dressing comes together.