Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Buffalo Burgers, sweet potato fries and cucumber salad

Tonight is the last night of A Month of Meals with the Kehoe's.  It also so happens to be my birthday.  I didn't plan it to turn out like this but I am glad we are ending with one of my favorite meals.  Who doesn't like burgers and fries?  Technically there is no frying of these sweet potato slices but they are indeed gooooooood. Sweet potato fries are so easy to make.  Wash and slice some sweet potatoes into wedges.  Place the wedges in a large bowl and coat them with coconut oil, sea salt and any desired spices.  You can try cinnamon or cumin, garlic and onion powder. I used the latter.  Bake at 400 degrees, turning occasionally until cooked and evenly browned.
Sweet potato fries

Toss in a bowl with coconut oil and spices

Shake, shake.

Lay coated sweet potatoes on a pan lined with parchment.
Perfect sweet potato fries
For the burgers,  I use buffalo instead of beef because it tastes so darn good and it is naturally very lean.  This means less flare ups on the grill from the dripping fat and shorter cooking times.  Depending on the thickness of your burger patty a buffalo burger will cook in 2-3 minutes sooner than beef.  If you overcook buffalo it will dry out very quickly because it lacks the excess fat. You want to cook them medium, with a little pink in the middle.  This can usually be achieved in less than 10 minutes total. 
Buffalo Burgers:
1 lb of ground buffalo meat
1 egg(as a binder)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
splash of sea salt 
Mix the above until well combined.  Form into patties and grill.  
This is a double batch.

Careful not to over cook.
Buffalo burger with sun dried tomatoes, avocado, white cheddar cheese and spinach

For my buns, I used my sourdough starter and made some fresh ones. No yoga mat chemicals in my burger buns.  I am still perfecting the recipe.  Right now they are coming out a little too dense.  When I get it just perfect, I will let you know how to master the art of burger bun making with whole wheat sourdough.  
Whole wheat sourdough buns

Lastly, I made a cucumber salad.  Quick and easy to prepare. It is just the right cool, refreshing compliment to this burger and fries.  The key is to thinly slice the cucumber.  I use a mandoline or if I am making a really big batch my King Cutter. I like human power kitchen "appliances" but if you have one you can use a food processor.  Peel the cucumber, then slice it.

Add some thinly slice red onion, salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, fold in a dollop of plain, whole milk yogurt.  You need enough to coat the cucumbers, not too much where you can't see them. 



creamy cucumber salad

 Although a month of meals officially ends tonight, I will continue this blog with a post once a week or more.  Be sure not to miss a post and sign up for email updates.  ( to the right )
Next post I will show you how to make these....

Don't miss it. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sassy Salads

Some days life is in fast forward and before you know it, it's dinnertime.  You want to provide your family a nutritious meal but the clock is ticking.  Before all the wheels fall off the bus and the masses start crying out "FEED ME",  you can rely on trusty salad night.  I know technically it is not really "cooking" but with summer hot on our heels, it is good to have a meal that you can prepare in a quick amount of time without having to heat up the house with the oven. 

Now it is important when you are serving a salad as a main dish to make sure it is big enough to curb the appetite of hungry eaters (aka husbands) but is customizable enough to satisfy the kids.  It is also a great way to clean out the fridge. A salad can have anything in it.  I guess ice-cream wouldn't really fit the bill, so almost anything.

We prefer to saute up some of the veggies- especially some onions and peppers.  This makes the onions a little less pungent so you can enjoy the many other flavors of your bowl of goodies.  I know, you may be thinking why not leave the onions out all together?  When they are cooked they are actually sweet and who doesn't like sweet?  Also onions have so many health benefits you just can't leave them out.  
I shred our carrots.  They were rainbow carrots which adds to the prettiness of the bowl.  I also used diced avocado, slices of grilled zucchini, crumbled feta, chick peas, some left over ground beef and freekeh (for the kids) on a bed of spinach leaves.  Everyone but Lana gets crumbled feta.  No milk or dairy allergy, we just avoid dairy (other than yogurt with all it's friendly bacteria) until our children are over 2 years old. 

Family of salads

Daddy/Dr. Brian's salad
Mommy/Dr. Denise's salad
Lana's salad-1 year 11 months

Archer's salad- 4 years 11 months
I use my personal Italian dressing recipe:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic cane sugar or honey (optional)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

 Now before you think your kids will not eat this, let me tell you-THEY WILL.  I have proof...


 Not sure why we give her a fork?
How about Archer? What do you think of your salad Archer?
Can't talk... I'm eating.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Salsa Chicken and Black Beans

Happy Cinco De Mayo!  Tonight we are using up some left over black beans, salsa and some fresh tomatoes to make a bueno chicken dish.  Let me tell you I tossed in a few spices and it made  pollo delicioso.

2-3 cups of cooked black beans
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 cup of prepared salsa
1/2 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
Dusting of:
cumin powder
onion powder
garlic powder
sprinkle of sea salt

After removing the skin away from the chicken thighs, place them in a 9x13 inch glass dish and spice them.  Then in a separate bow toss the cooked black beans (mine also had onions and garlic) with the 1 cup of the salsa.  Spread the black beans evenly around the chicken thighs.  Top the thighs with the chopped tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup of salsa.  Follow with the shredded cheddar cheese.  

Cover dish with foil and bake at 375,  for about 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Pollo Delicioso

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Irish Style Roast Beef

Irish style Roast Beef
 This meal would be the perfect meal for Saint Patrick's Day, but it really is that good you could have it all year round.  I cook this roast in the slow cooker but you could roast it in the oven in much the same manner. 

3-4 lbs of roast beef
Grapeseed or coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5-6 carrots, sliced
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 small head of green cabbage, sliced
2-3 lbs of potatoes ( I used a mix of sweet potato and baby new potato)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bottle of beer (dark ale or stout)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
fresh cracked peppercorns

By now you probably guess that I like to put my meat on the grill a lot. Roasts especially are done in this manner as I feel the grill adds that depth of flavor and the sear on the outside locks in a lot of the moisture.  So I greased up my roast with some grapeseed oil and massaged in some spices.  Once the coals on my grill were hot, I seared my meat on all sides.  

Once that was done I placed in into the crock.  I then added the sliced onion, diced garlic, sliced carrots, potatoes and topped with sliced cabbage. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh, cracked pepper.  Now the finishing touch... one beer.  Now, don't use just any beer.  Use a good quality beer.  The best beer to use would be a dark ale or stout.  I used Leffe brown ale.  It is a full bodied Belgium beer that is dark brown in color and has sweet notes of caramel, due to the roasted malt used. The sweetness in the beer makes for a perfect compliment to the the cabbage.  Even people who do not like cabbage will be asking for more. 
The crock pot was set on high until things started to simmer and then I reduced it to medium/low.  I let it cook for about 4 hours and occasionally turned the vegetables around the beef to submerge into the juices.   
Now you may be asking?  Did she serve this dish her kids?  Yes!  They really like beer. Okay all kidding aside, the alcohol is completely cooked out of the dish once it is ready to serve.  So you get all the flavor without the buzz.