Monday, November 06, 2017

Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas


  • 1 ½ lbs flank steak
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy saucepreferably the low-sodium variety
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 bell peppers any color
  • 1 onion


  1. Mix together the dry spices with a fork including the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  2. Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the flank steak and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle the soy sauce on top.
  3. Top the flank steak with the diced jalapeno and minced garlic. Slice the bell peppers and onion and throw those on top of the steak as well.
  4. Turn the slow cooker onto HIGH and cook for 5 – 6 hours or until the steak can easily be shredded with two forks.
  5. Drain the meat and peppers well then serve with the recommended fajita “fixings” (listed above). 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Crockpot Beef and Potatoes Au Gratin

  • -1 lb. ground beef (plus a touch of salt and pepper to season)
  • -3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced a ¼ inch thick (about 7 cups total after being sliced)
  • -1 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • -1 tsp. paprika
  • -½ tsp. garlic powder
  • -1 tsp. parsley
  • -1 tsp salt
  • -¼ tsp. pepper
  • -3 cups shredded sharp cheese
  • -½ cup chicken broth (or beef broth)

  1. Brown the ground beef on the stove top. Add a touch of salt and pepper to season.
  2. In a small bowl combine the paprika, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Add half of the potatoes in the slow cooker. Sprinkle over half of the onions, half of the seasonings, half of the meat, and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers again.
  4. Drizzle over the broth evenly over the layers.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Do not open the lid during the cooking time or the potatoes will not get soft.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Crockpot Kung Pao Chicken

1/3 cup cornstarch (use arrowroot powder for paleo)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 - 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
3-4 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
**4 - 6 dried red chili peppers (to taste) found in Asian supermarkets or the International section of a large chain grocery store - see NOTE)
2/3 cup roasted cashews (or roasted peanuts)
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 zucchini, chopped into halves
Sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)
Sauce (If you like this dish saucier - feel free to double the recipe)
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (use gluten free tamari or coconut aminos for paleo if necessary)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons honey (use raw for paleo)
4 Tablespoons hoisin sauce (use gluten free or a homemade paleo
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes
Cornstarch slurry
2 tablespoons cornstarch (use arrowroot powder for paleo)
3 tablespoons water
  1. In a large bowl or zip-top bag, combine the chicken, cornstarch, salt and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.
  2. Make the sauce In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You can skip this stove-top step if you prefer or are in a pinch. Just add chicken directly to slow cooker. Chicken will not have that crispy coating) Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into the slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. (SEE NOTES)
  5. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Toss in the dried red chili peppers, red bell peppers, zucchini and cashews, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened up.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over zoodles, cauliflower rice, quinoa or your favorite rice.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups baby spinach

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Place sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano and bay leaves into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth and 2 cups water until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  4. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Amish Beef and Noodles

  • -2 1/2 lbs chuck roast
  • -salt & pepper
  • -1 packet onion soup mix
  • -1 packet au jus mix
  • -1 14 oz can beef consommé
  • -12 oz canned whole mushrooms
  • -1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
  • -8 oz medium egg noodles
  • -1 cup milk or cream
  • -mashed potatoes, for serving
Heat a skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season chuck roast with salt and pepper, then sear in the skillet for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Flip and repeat on the other side. If your slow cooker has a "Roast" or "Sauté" setting, you could use this. 
Place the roast in the slow cooker, and sprinkle with the onion soup mix and the au jus mix. Pour the consommé and cream of mushroom soup over top and briefly mix together. Add in the mushrooms. 
Cook on LOW for 6 hours. 
Finely shred the chuck roast in the broth. Stir in the uncooked egg noodles. Recover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. 
Pour in the cream and mix thoroughly. 
Scoop mashed potatoes onto a plate and top with a hearty helping of beef and noodles. 

From the kitchen of Cara Holbert

Monday, October 09, 2017

Kelley's Easy Cobbler

-Canned fruit of choice
-Or fresh fruit of choice (about 6 apples or peaches), peeled and cut up and tossed with cinnamon sugar
-One box yellow cake mix
-1 stick butter melted

Preheat oven to 350, spray a glass baking dish, put fruit on bottom, top with cake mix evenly, pour melted butter on top, covering the cake mix. Bake for about 40-45 min until golden brown and bubbly :)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Salmon Fettuchine Alfredo

  • 8 oz / 250g dried fettuccine
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot (US) / eschallot (Australia), very finely minced (Note 1)
  • ½ cup heavy cream (Note 2)
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan (Notes 3 and 4)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Good grind of black pepper
  • 6-7 oz / 180 - 200g hot smoked salmon fillet , flaked (Note 5)
  • Fresh parsley (optional)
  • Extra Parmigiano Reggiano
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente (still firm but just cooked through). (Note 6)
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a deep fry pan over medium high heat. (Note 7)
  3. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes or until tender.
  4. Add the cream and bring to boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove the fry pan from the heat and stir through the Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper until the sauce is smooth.
  6. TAKE OUT 1/2 cup of pasta water PLUS scoop out an extra mug (extra, just in case). Then drain the pasta in a colander.
  7. Transfer the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water into the fry pan with the sauce. Add salmon. Return the fry pan to the stove over medium heat. Toss very gently to coat the pasta in the sauce and allow the sauce to emulsify (Note 6) for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, until the sauce coats the pasta - there should be no sauce pooled at the bottom of the skillet. (Note 7)
  8. Remove from the stove and serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh parsley, if using.
Recipe Notes
1. What is referred to as shallots in America are called Eschallots in Australia. They look like tiny onions, but usually slightly longer. The flavour is stronger and sweeter than onions. You can substitute with brown or white onions - around ¼ cup finely minced onion (you need more because onion is not as strong).

2. You can substitute with light cream for a lighter option. But it isn't the same!

3. Parmigiano Reggiano is a type of parmesan and is only made in Italy. The flavour is deeper, nuttier and stronger and even a little bit sweet. It is more expensive than parmesan cheese. You can substitute with parmesan cheese, but I really think that if there is ever a time to splurge on Parmigiano Reggiano, it's on a dish like this!

4. It is key that the Parmigiano Reggiano is FRESHLY and FINELY grated. Otherwise it won't melt into the cream and you'll end up with grainy sauce. Store bought grated cheese is too grainy, even from good delis. Trust me, I've made that mistake before.

5. Hot smoked salmon comes in fillets in vacuum sealed packets in the refrigerator section of supermarkets. It is already cooked.

However, you can make this with normal cooked salmon too. To do this, just sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the salmon for around 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Then flake and use per the recipe.

6. However long the pasta packet suggests as the cooking time, subtract 1 minute for al dente because the pasta will continue cooking with the sauce. My fettuccine packet says 12 minutes so I boil it for 11 minutes.

7. You need a deep fry pan to cook pasta because the pasta is tossed with the sauce to emulsify (magic that happens with starch in pasta is cooked a bit with the oil in the sauce) which makes the pasta extra glossy, thick and rich. This is a key Italian tip for making amazing pastas!

If you don't have a large deep fry pan, use a very large pot.

8. The sauce should be silky smooth and a thin film should cling to each strand. The pasta should not be drowning in sauce. If the sauce goes gluey because you overcooked it or the heat is too high, just add a touch more of the pasta water (i.e. the extra mug of water you reserved) and it will go back to silky smooth.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

·        1 1/2 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
·        1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
·        1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
·        1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
·        1 small red onion, sliced thin 
·        1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
·        1 teaspoon of kosher salt
·        several turns of freshly ground pepper
·        2 teaspoon of chili powder
·        1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
·        1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
·        1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
·        1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
·        lime
·        fresh cilantro for garnish
·        tortillas, warmed

1.     Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.     In a large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, shrimp, olive oil, salt and pepper and spices.
3.     Toss to combine.
4.     Spray baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.
5.     Spread shrimp, bell peppers and onions on baking sheet.
6.     Cook at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes. Then turn oven to broil and cook for additional 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
7.     Squeeze juice from fresh lime over fajita mixture and top with fresh cilantro.

8.      Serve in warm tortillas.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 - 2 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced steak (I used top round)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 6 hoagie rolls

  1. Place all the ingredients in the Slow Cooker (except for the cheese and rolls).
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours in the slow cooker on low.
  3. Scoop out the meat/veggies into the rolls.
  4. Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and top with a slice of cheese per sandwich (cut in half)
  5. Broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
  6. Dip the sandwiches in the leftover juice.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (about 2.5 pounds), cubed and fully cooked
  • 1 to 1.5 jars of marinara sauce
  • ½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced as thin as possible
  • 2 cups panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh, chopped herbs (I use basil...about 1/4 cup or so) 
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 9X13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the chicken in the bottom. Dump in the marinara sauce and mix with the chicken. Next, top with both cheeses until all the chicken is covered.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs and a dash of salt and pepper together.
  5. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the top.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

  • 15 lasagna noodles , cooked
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) container fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • (optional) 1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 32 oz tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
  • 15 Tablespoons part skim mozzarella cheese , shredded

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure you drain the spinach well. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasonings, 1 cup mozzarella, chicken, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

    Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry by patting them with a paper towel. Take heaping spoonful (about 1/4 cup) of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over a noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

    Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 Tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 15 rolls.

    To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

    Crockpot Orange Chicken

    -4 chicken breasts
    -3/4 cup barbeque sauce
    -3/4 cup orange marmelade
    -2 T soy sauce
    -sesame seeds

    Cut chicken into 1" pieces and cook in slow cooker on Medium for 1.5 hours.  Drain chicken juices from crockpot and then add in the mixture of the sauces.  Cook on Medium for 2 more hours.  Sauce thickens as it cools.  Serve over rice and top with some sesame seeds.

    Add in red pepper flakes and/or siracha for some heat.  Add chopped onions and green peppers before adding sauce if wanted.

    Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
    • 8 ounce sliced mushrooms
    • 1 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
    • 1 (10½) ounce cream of chicken soup
    • 1 envelope (1¼ ounce) dry onion soup mix
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
    • 1 pound large egg noodles for serving

    1. Place the chicken in the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker. Add the mushrooms. In a medium sized bowl add cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, and dry onion soup mix. Mix until incorporated and spread on top of chicken and mushrooms.
    2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4. Serve over noodles and top with fresh parsley and salt and pepper.