Chicken Potato Hash

Breakfasts on the Whole 30 are hard. Not only do they want us to give up everything we normally think of as breakfast, pancakes, muffins, cereal and the like, and they want us to replace it with vegetables. Ughhh!

Lets talk about the one traditional breakfast food you are allowed to have, eggs. By the end of your first round you are going to hate them, a lot. So leading up to my next Whole 30 in April, I am going to publish several quick and easy Whole 30 breakfast recipes that have no eggs or can be made without eggs. Most of these recipes where inspired by recipes in my big white binder of recipes for one or two. The idea for quick and easy breakfasts using simple sauces and spices came from Mel Joulwan’s 28 Day Paleo Plan magazine. Her Chicken Potato Hash has become one of my most breakfasts on and off round.

Chicken Potato Hash

From Mel Joulwan’s 28 Day Paleo Plan magazine

1 TBS olive oil

8 – 12 oz cooked chicken

1 cup cooked potatoes

2 – 3 scallions

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 lemon

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Meanwhile, dice the chicken and potatoes, add them to the skillet. Saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Slice the scallions and add to the skillet with the salt and paprika. Stir well and cook until heated through. Squeeze the lemon over the top. Stir and serve.


Not My Mom’s Porcupine Meat Balls (Instant Pot Recipe)

In the Netflix documentary, Ugly Delicious, Chef David Chang talks about how, sometimes, we love a food not because it is the best but because we have a history with it. Chef Chang was talking about his love for Dominoes Pizza. For me, I am talking about my mom’s porcupine meatballs. I loved them when I was a kid and they are still one of my favorites as an adult.

For those of you not familiar with porcupine meatballs, you take a pound of ground beef, a couple of handfuls of instant rice and roll them into balls. Then you combine a can of condensed tomato soup and a can of water, pour the mixture over the top of the meatballs and cook through. That’s it. Simple, easy, with memories of me trying to stab my brother with a fork to keep him from getting the last meatball. Gourmet? not even close but it doesn’t have to be to be my favorite.

Even though my mom’s porcupine meatballs will always be my favorite, I am always up for trying someone else’s interpretation. When I saw the recipe for porcupine meatballs in the Instant Pot Fast & Easy Cookbook, I knew it was going to go on my menu plan immediately.

While this isn’t my mom’s recipe it is still a great porcupine meatball recipe. The meatballs are great even without the sauce. With the sauce the meatballs are awesome.

Not My Mom's Porcupine Meatballs

From Instant  Pot Fast & Easy

1 lb ground beef
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1 cup water
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cloves
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, onion, rice, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix until combined. Shape into 8 to 10 meatballs. Place meatballs in a single layer in the pressure cooker.

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and their juices, water, oregano, cinnamon, paprika, cloves and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Pour over the meatballs.

Cover. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with a natural release.

Crockpot Stuffed Green Peppers (Whole 30)

Recipes for the crockpot are coming along slowly but they are coming. The crockpot just isn’t my preferred method of cooking so I just don’t think of using it. When I do, it takes a lot of experimentation to find what works and what doesn’t. Right now, my biggest problem is that to work well my 2 quart crockpot needs to be at least 1/2 but no more than 2/3 full. I need 4 to 6 cups of food for it to work well. My recipes aren’t usually for that much food.

The timing of the food is also an issue. I use my crockpot overnight. I need recipes that take a minimum of 5 hours to cook through but not overcook. I am still trying to find those recipes.

One crockpot recipe I have tried and liked was the stuffed green pepper recipe from The Family Freezer. I chose stuffed green peppers because I had leftover pasta sauce and ground beef that needed to be used before I went home for Christmas. This recipe is a good example of the timing issues I am having with crockpot recipes. The recipe said to cook from frozen for 6 to 8 hours on low. My peppers were cooked until the pepper was tender and the meat cooked through in 3 hours on low in my crockpot. So the first time you make any crockpot recipe check it at halfway through the cooking time.

Stuffed Green Peppers

Adapted From The Family Freezer

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 small bell peppers, any color, tops cut off and guts cleaned out

2 cups pasta sauce, 2 tablespoons reserved. I used Simply Ragu, you can make your own sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, garlic and the reserved 2 tablespoons of pasta. Divide the meat mixture in to 2 equal parts and stuff each half into a bell pepper. Add oil to the bottom of the crockpot. Place the stuffed peppers on the bottom of the crockpot and pour the remaining sauce over the peppers. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

IP Cabbage Roll Soup (Whole 30)

Yesterday started out with a bang. Okay, it was more like a loud pop, a boatload of sparks and some flame. I was sauting some onions for my breakfast. My birds started squabbling so I went to see what was going on. I heard a loud pop, turned around and saw sparks flying across my kitchen from my stove. There were flames under my saute pan. Fortunately, my guardian Angel was awake and hard at work. The sparks and flames were out before I really even realized what happened. It was way too much excitement for 5:15 am on a weekday. The only causality was my saute pan. The element the saute pan was on got so hot it melted a hole in the bottom of a stainless steel pan. Oh, and my stove. I am not turning on that thing ever again.

I am so thankful for my birds. If they hadn’t started squabbling I would have been standing right over the pan when the sparks started flying. I am so thankful nothing caught fire. Those sparks reached all over my kitchen. I shudder to think what an epic disaster this could have been. I am also thankful I still have my pressure cookers or else all I would be eating is sandwiches until my landlord gets back from his vacation.

Cabbage Roll Soup

Adapted From The Big Book Of Paleo Pressure Cooking

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb ground beef

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 TBS finely chopped dates

1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 TBS white wine vinegar

1 TBS tomato paste

2 cups finely chopped green cabbage

2 cups compliant broth, beef, if you can find it

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your pressure cooker on the high saute mode. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef and cook, stirring often to break up the meat, until it starts to get crispy and the meat is starting to stick to the bottom of the liner.

Add the onion, continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Stir in the finely chopped dates, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, cabbage and 2 cups of broth. Beef broth is recommended but I used turkey broth and it worked fine.

Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes them quick release the remaining pressure. Taste and add more salt and vinegar, if necessary.

Meatballs With Tikka Masala Sauce (Whole 30)

A few weeks ago I made a batch of meatballs I was really excited about because they had all the flavors of my favorite pork chop recipe. The problem .was the meatballs, unlike the pork chops, came out very bland. I was so disappointed. What was I going to do with 40 bland meatballs?

The idea came to me, if the meatballs are bland, why not sauce them up? So I dug through my big, white binder of recipes and scoured the internet for sauce recipes and came up with several sauces to spice up my meatballs.

The first sauce I tried for my meatballs was an Indian inspired Tikka Masala sauce. It is so good and so easy.

Tikka Masala Meatballs

Meatball recipe from Me sauce adapted from The Defined Dish

1/2 lb ground beef

2 TBS almond flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp tomato paste

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

1/8 tsp ground ginger

dash cayenne, to taste

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

2/3 cup coconut milk

juice 1/4 lemon

In a small bowl, combine ground beef, almond flour and salt and pepper. Divide into eight equal portions and roll into balls. Heat a saute pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, when hot add the meatballs to the skillet and brown on all sides. Only attempt to turn the meatballs when the naturally release from the pan. Trying to force them to turn will only break the meatballs apart. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomato paste, cumin, tumeric, ginger, cayenne, and curry powder; stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil. Add the meatballs back to the sauce and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 5-10 minutes more.