Italian Casserole (low carb)

What you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 diced bell peppers
  • 2 6 oz cans of mushrooms, drained and rinsed (or fresh)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Add the ground beef, water, onion, bell pepper and garlic to a pan (preferably large dutch oven that can go from stove to oven)  and brown over medium heat. Drain excess water/fat drippings. Put into a baking dish, if necessary. In bowl, whisk the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, eggs, salt, pepper . Stir in 1 cup of cheese. Pour the mixture over the ground beef and stir it up a bit. Top with the rest of the cheese and and bake for about 30 minutes.

Cheeseburger casserole (keto/low carb)

What you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 diced bell peppers (optional)
  • green onion or crumbled bacon bits to top

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350. Add the ground beef, water, onion, bell pepper and garlic to a pan (preferably a large dutch oven that can go from stove to oven) and brown over medium heat. Drain the excess water/drippings. If necessary, put into a glass baking dish. In bowl, whisk the tomato paste, cream, eggs, salt, pepper . Stir in 1 cup of cheese. Pour the mixture over the ground beef and stir it up a bit. Top with the rest of the cheese and and bake for about 30 minutes. To serve, top with bacon, green onion or whatever else you like.

Spinach Paneer

Spinach is so good for you, but let’s face it, it’s pretty nasty.  It’s like eating grass and dirt. This is the one dish I’ve found that actually get’s me jazzed about eating spinach. Now I just need to find one that does the same for kale.

What you need:

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

What to do:

In large skillet heat the vegetable oil and saute the onions, ginger, garlic and chile for about 15 minutes until it’s caramelized and very soft. Add water to prevent burning if it starts to dry out. Next add the garam masala, turmeric, coriander and cumin and a little water if you haven’t already added any. Cook a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the spinach, salt and 1/2 cup water, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat off. Add the yogurt a little at a time to keep it from curdling. Finally, add the paneer. Turn the heat back on, cover and cook 5-10 minutes until everything is warmed through. Add water a little at a time to thin out, if necessary.

Lemon Chicken

This was easy, quick, has flavor  *and* still got two thumbs up from the kids, so this definitely goes in the ‘make again’ pile.

What you need:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup or so of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of two lemons
  • 3 large chicken breasts, cut into strips or 10 chicken breast tenders

What to do:

you need three shallow bowls. In the first, put the flour. In the second, put the eggs. In the third put the bread crumbs, seasonings and lemon zest and mix it well. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Dredge your chicken in the flour, dip in the eggs and then press into the breadcrumb mixture, being sure to coat both sides and press down on the breadcrumbs so they stick. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until golden on both sides. Cool on a paper-towel and you’re done!

Bok Choy w/Cashews

What you need:

  • 1 bunch of bok choy, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • t TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • handful of cashews, chopped

What to do:

In large pan, heat the oil add in the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the bok choy and saute for about 5 minutes until the bok choy is tender. Add everything else and heat through/toss well.

Warm Napa Cabbage Salad

This side goes great with almost any dish and it’s pretty simple to make or customize to your liking, it just takes a bit of time so I usually make it while we grill steaks or something like that. This is definitely not something my kids will eat (due to it having flavor), but that’s ok because that leaves more for me.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup of honey dijon dressing + 3 TBSP water, mixed well
  • 6-8 cups of finely shredded napa cabbage – so, like half of a large head or a whole small one
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped in to small pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms

What to do:

In a large, deep pot saute the bacon for  about 5 minutes and then add in the mushrooms. When the bacon and mushrooms are cooked, (do NOT drain out any bacon grease) add the dressing to the pan and mix it all together heating thoroughly. Start adding the cabbage and mixing well. You want to do this quickly enough to warm the cabbage, but not fully cook/soften it. Remove from heat, season with some pepper if you like and serve right away.

IP Beef Short Ribs

My sister sent me this recipe and it is really amazing. The meat is perfectly seasoned and fork tender.

What you need:

  • 3-4 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil for browning
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2/3 cup ketchup (Heinz, preferably)
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

What to do:

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper, then brown in olive oil in the instant pot – I have to do this in two batches. Remove meat to plate and saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic in the last minute or two. While that’s cooking, whisk together the red wine, ketchup, soy, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Add the meat back to the instant pot, pour the mixture over, toss in the thyme and set cook at high pressure for 35 minutes, with 10 minute NPR.

Italian Pot Roast

I love pot roast and could eat my Red Wine Pot Roast every day, but the family sometimes likes variety so this is a bit different, but still very easy.

What you need:

  • 1 3-4 lb pot roast
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh is better but canned is fine too

What to do :

Preheat oven to 350. In large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the roast on both sides for a few minutes. Add everything else and cook in the oven for an hour. Remove, flip and cook uncovered for a half hour, then cover for the last 30-45 minutes (longer for a larger roast). I serve this with a side of spaghetti, Caesar salad and steamed broccoli.

Stegt Flæsk

Ken brought this one back from one of his trips to Denmark. It’s traditionally served with a parsley sauce, which he sometimes makes. But I like just the pork belly itself. Make a huge batch and eat it cold out of the fridge for days. So good.

What you need:

  • Pork Belly (half a pack from Costco)
  • salt & pepper

What to do:

Cut the long strips on half and arrange on a baking sheet so you fill the sheet as much as possible. Liberally salt and conservatively pepper everything. Cook in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Flip, put back in the oven, increase the oven temp to 400 and cook for 20 minutes.  Then flip every 10-15 minutes until nice and crispy. Remove and cool on a rack.

IP Garlic Pork

The instant pot version of Garlic Pulled Pork – probably not quite as good as making it in the oven, but it’s a lot quicker and still really tasty. You do have to play around with the amount of garlic in this one to get it to your liking…this version is pretty mild and great for eating as a stand alone serving of shredded pork. If putting in tacos, bump up the garlic a bit.

What you need:

  • 3.5 lbs pork shoulder cut into large chunks
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 3 cloves of whole garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • juice of an orange, lime or lemon + enough water to get 1/2 cup liquid
  • 1 onion sliced

What to do:

Mix the spices together and set aside. Add the pork to the instant pot and pour the juice/water over it. Sprinkle seasonings and mix so meat is coated. Add the bay leave, garlic cloves and onion to the IP…seal that baby up and cook it on high pressure for 50 minutes, 10 min QR. Shred and enjoy. Since the IP seals in pretty much all the moisture, this will render out a lot of liquid…which is really tasty! Use it as “jus”over the pork or just drain it off if you prefer. The pork will be yummy either way. I always freeze leftovers with a good bit of the cooking liquid.

This is also great crisped up in a pan as leftovers.

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