Rogan Josh Hot Plate (Whole 30)

The older I get the more I like to cook with big flavors.  I never cooked with spices like cumin and cayenne when I was younger because I just didn’t like the taste of them. Now they are in most of the recipes I cook.   I would like to contribute this culinary growth to having developed a more refined palate at 48 than I had at 30 but I don’t think that is the explanation, at least not all of it.

I have been aware for quite sometime I am slowly loosing my sense of smell. I have no idea why except that it may be genetic because my dad started loosing  his sense of smell about the same age as I did and his sense of smell was gone by the time he was my age now.  It is very scary to be loosing my sense of smell because smell is such a big part of the sense of taste.  I can’t imagine not being able to taste the food I so love to cook.  My dad,  however, says that he hasn’t lost his sense of taste along with his sense of smell.  Here is to hoping that I don’t either.

This recipe has big flavor.  Rogan Josh is traditionally made with lamb.  I made mine with ground beef in order to make mine cheaper and  ground beef is easier to find than lamb in many places  I know it looks like a lot of spices for 8 ounces of meat but it really is the amount you need.

Rogan Josh Hot Plate

adapted from the Well Fed cookbook

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cardamom, optional

1/8 ground cloves

1/2 lb ground beef

salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup plus 1 TBS water

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add oil.  When hot saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink; drain the any fat.   Add the spices and stir to coat the ground beef.  Add the coconut milk and water.  Cook for 5 -7 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and it is heated through.



Instant Pot Mini Swedish Meatballs (Whole 30)


A few weeks ago,  I dropped my Aroma 2 quart pressure cooker and severely cracked the base.  I was a bit bummed when I discovered that the company that made my 2 quart no longer makes a 2 quart model.  Inspired by Christina Lane,  I decided to replace my 2 quart pressure cooker with an Instant Pot 3 quart mini.

I have been reluctant to purchase an Instant Pot because  1.   Instant  Pots are more expensive than other brands of pressure cookers.  More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better  2.  I belong to several pressue cooking groups on Facebook and it seems to me that Instant Pot users have a more difficult time just getting the darn thing to work.

The 3 quart Lux mini fell into the price range I set.  I am not inexperieced at pressure cooking,  so far the mini is easy to use.  All in all,  I am very happy with my Instant Pot Lux 3 quart Lux mini pressure cooker. I’ll do a complete review in the future.

This recipe is my first attempt at creating something for my mini.  The key to keeping these meatballs whole while  browning them is to get the pot and oil hot before putting in the meatballs.  Also,don’t force the meatballs to turn.  They will release when they are ready to turn.


Swedish Meatballs


1/2 lb ground beef

6 TBS almond meal, use  bread crumbs if not Whole 30

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

¾ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper


1 ½ TBS arrowroot, use all-purpose flour if not  Whole 30

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 ¼ cup water

½ small onion diced

¼ cup coconut or almond milk,  use cow milk if not Whole 30

In a medium bowl, add ground beef, almond meal, egg, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper.   Gently combine with your hands.  Fold the meat like bread dough, don’t  squish it  between your fingers or you will have tough meat balls.  Divide the meat into 8 portions.  Shape each portion into a ball  and set aside. Preheat your pressure cooker on the saute function.  When hot, add a splash of oil and add the meatballs   Brown the meatballs on all sides.  Don’t force the meat balls to turn.  The meatballs will release on their own.

When the meat balls are browned, add all the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot.  Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.   Remove the meatballs and set aside.  Combine the arrowroot with about 1/4 cup of the liquid in the pressure cooker to make a slurry.   Once the slurry is smooth add it back to the pot and bring to a boil on the saute function.  Cook until the sauce is thickened.  I like to serve the sauce and meatballs over baked potatoes. 

Instapot Mini Spaghetti and Meat Sauce


I got my  Insta Pot Lux 3 quart mini on Sunday.  The first thing I made was Christina Lane’s Insta Pot spaghetti and meat sauce.  As  you know,  I don’t usually use store-bought ingredients in my cooking.  However,  I found a Whole 30 compliant marinara sauce i wanted to try for my next Whole 30 so I thought I would use this recipe to try it.

The quality of the sauce really matters in this recipe. I used Rao’s Roasted Garlic Marinara sauce that I bought at Walmart.  For a store-bought sauce, it wasn’t bad.  The store bought sauce made the hardest part of this  recipe deciding if you stirred the raw noodles enough to prevent them from sticking together

This recipe is enough to feed one very hungry person or two normally hungry people with a salad.

Instapot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Chicken Broccoli “Cheese” Skillet (Whole 30)

I finally did it!!!  This  morning I  ordered an Insta Pot Lux 3 quart mini. It should be here Sunday.  I am so excited  I already know what the first thing I am going to make in it.  I have a whole meal including dessert planned. I am such a geek when it comes to cooking and food.

I am not usually brand conscious but since I broke my 2 quart  Aroma pressure cooker I  decided to give Instapot a try.  I am a little nervous.  I belong to a couple of pressure cooking face book pages and it seems Instapot users have a lot of problems with figuring out how to get the darn things to  work.   However,  I am not new to pressure cooking.  I have over two-year experience in pressure cooking so hopefully, I will be able to figure things out quickly.   I will let you know how it goes.

This is not a pressure cooking recipe.  It is the last recipe I am going to post this week from Physical Kitchness.   Doing a Whole 30 can be really intimidating because we “give up” so many things and we have to spend so much time in the kitchen.  The thing I like about Physical Kitchness is she gives us really good food in a reasonable amount of time in the kitchen.  Many of Physical Kitchness’ recipes could be considered comfort food.

Adapted From Physical Kitchness

1 1/2 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup water

11/2 lbs chicken thighs

“Cheese”  Sauce

1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water over night

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 TBS nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place a 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high  heat. Add the broccoli, cover, and cook for 5-6 minutes or untill barely crisp tender.  Turn the heat off and set the broccoli aside.  Dry the skillet.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil.  Heat over medium  heat.  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts.  When the oil is hot,  add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Flip the breasts and cook 4-5 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Meanwhile  drain the soaked cashews and put them in a blender.  Add the broth salt, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard.  Blend until creamy, scraping the sides down as needed.  When the chicken is done cooking, turn the heat down to medium low and add the broccoli and “Cheese” sauce back to the pan.  Heat through.

** If you forget to soak  the cashews overnight, bring 1 cup water to a  boil and add the cashews.  Boil for 1-2 minutes or until the  cashews soften.  Drain and follow the directions for the cheese sauce.

The Fast Five (Whole 30)

Taped to the inside of my  cupboard doors are 5 recipes.  I always keep the ingredients for these recipes on hand for those days when cooking seems like a chore, not a joy.  The recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less. The recipes weren’t Whole 30 so I can’t use them on a round.  I really missed them.  So I decided before I did my second round I would have a Whole 30 version of my fast five.  This is what I came up with.  At this point,  I probably could add many more quick and easy recipes to this list.  Like cooking in general,  cooking a Whole 30 only has to be as complicated as you want to make it. Find the non Whole 30 recipes for my Fast Five under the title of What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Pan Fried Sardines

Teriyaki Chicken

 20 Minute Beef and Zuccini Stir Fry

Tuna Salad, 2 Ways