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.

Instant Pot Crustless Seafood Quiche (Whole 30)

Have you ever felt like the world is playing a giant practical joke on you? Within an hour of getting to work today I had a baby throw up on me, a customer drop a gallon of milk on one foot and another unrelated customer drop a bottle of sparkling cider on the other.

The mom of that baby was so upset and embarrassed. She really thought I was going to be mad at baby. What bag of dicks gets mad at a baby??? Not this bag of dicks, for sure.

By the time the cider hit the floor, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. Sometimes you just gotta laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

I substituted 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp oregano for the herbes de Provence

Crustless Crab Quiche

Instant Pot Fast and Easy Whole 30 adaptions by me

4 large eggs

1 cup coconut milk

1 TBS nutritional yeast

1 cup chopped scallions

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp herbes de Provence, see sub above

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz seafood, like shrimp and/Or crab meat

Grease a 7 inch spring form pan well. To help prevent the pan from leaking, sit on a piece of aluminum foil that’s bigger than the pan and crimp it around the bottom.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add the nutritional yeast, scallions, pepper, paprika, herbs de Provence, seafood mixture and mix well.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan and cover with another piece of foil. Place the trivet in the liner and add 2 cups water. Place the pan on the trivet. Lock the lid and cook for 25 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes then quick release any remaining pressure.

Remove the pan from the liner and run a knife around the edge of the quiche. Remove the outside of the pan.

At this point, it is ready to eat. I think that it benefits the dish to give it 5 minutes under a preheated broiler.

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.