Monday, February 27, 2017

Favorite Meal?

In the early days of our marriage, I attempted to make taste-alike Chipotle-style  burritos. Have you ever eaten at the restaurant Chipotle? Their burritos are out of this world! (They are similar to Qdoba burritos but not quite the same.) Chipotle offers several choices of meat, as well as a vegetarian option.

I expected the burritos to be a huge flop, but they were a hit! "Chipotle" quickly became our favorite meal and still is. (Click here to view my recipe.) Between cooking the rice, browning the meat, and chopping all the veggies, the burritos take about two hours to prepare, but they are definitely worth it.

Do you or your family have a favorite meal? I'm always interested to hear what others like to cook and eat, so I would love to hear from you. And if you can, give the approximate prep time. If it's an easy recipe that you can rattle off the top of your head, feel free to share how you make it, as well.

50 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/27/2017

    My husband is a BIG meat eater and these are some of his favorites: sloppy joes, chicken and shrimp stir-fry, herb roasted chicken, sliced steak with onions and peppers, Parmesan crusted pork chops, coconut crusted chicken strips with Thai chili sauce, and meatloaf. Oh and chili and beef stew if it's cold enough out.

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    1. Those sound good! Mr. Handsome loves meat, but for some reason, he really dislikes sloppy joes. I enjoy teasing him about that. Just don't understand how a major meat eater can dislike one of the most stereotypical meat dishes. LOL.

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous2/28/2017

      That is funny! It's a staple for meat eaters! We eat ours over brown rice...maybe that would be enough of a change for him to try it?

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    3. Anonymous3/01/2017

      My husband doesn't care for them, either. Maybe it's how we "sauce" them? When the kids were little, I made them every so often. My husband would eat them but not say anything. It was that silence that finally gave away the truth!

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    4. What are sloppy joes? I've always thought they were a type of sweater (I'm English!)

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    5. Good question! Sloppy Joes are ground beef sandwiches (usually eaten on a hamburger bun). The meat is combined with onion, ketchup, and other flavors/seasonings. It's a very American dish and is cheap and easy to make. There are different receives though. Some are great, but others aren't so good.

      Ellie

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  2. Anonymous2/27/2017

    Shrimp curry is an unusual and exotic favorite for us! All of the ingredients can be bought at Aldi except for the coconut milk, it requires only 1 pot, and only takes about 30 to 45 min. to make.
    You will need one bag of medium frozen shrimp (uncooked), 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 or 2 bell peppers, 1 bag frozen green beans, , cilantro, tomato paste, curry powder and ginger powder (or fresh ginger), 1 lime, 1 can coconut milk, sriracha or any other hot sauce, and rice.

    First I put the frozen shrimp to thaw in a big bowl of lukewarm water, and get 2 cups of rice started in the rice cooker. In a big pot (I use my dutch oven), cook in a little oil the diced onion, crushed garlic, and dry spices (about 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tsp ginger powder) until they're nice and fragrant, then throw in the roughly chopped bell pepper, then the frozen green beans (about 2/3 of the bag) and mix well. While this cooks on low, I take the shells off the shrimp (this takes about 10 min.), and throw them in the pot as well. The shrimp cook extremely fast, within a couple minutes. I add a heaping table spoon of tomato paste, the juice of 1 lime, some sriracha, and salt and pepper. Then I stir in the can of coconut milk and let simmer a few more minutes on low. You don't want to overcook it!
    Serve with chopped cilantro on top, over a bed of rice. It tastes even better the next day!

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    1. Sounds super exotic! I'm not a fan of shrimp, but I would love to try it with chicken.

      Ellie

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  3. Alicia2/27/2017

    I live in the Gulf, so seafood is fresh plentiful, and not too expensive here. My two very favorite recipes that are always in heavy rotation are salmon with an ancho chili rub (refrigerate with the rub for 30 minutes, cook in the oven for about 20, or on the grill for about 5!), and baked tilapia (20-30 minutes in the oven).

    For a side dish (and tbh, what finally started getting me to eat veggies πŸ™ŠπŸ˜‚) caramelizing broccoli in the oven. Toss with some garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook for about 15 minutes at 450. (The trick is caramelizing, but not burning the broccoli... Admittedly I'm not always successful lol)

    My mom makes some AMAZING Santa Fe style (stacked like pancakes) enchiladas using a recipe of my great-grandmother's but they take a good 2 to 3 hours to prepare 😱 So those are only made for special occasions or a particularly festive night! Mmmm now you've got me hungry for her enchiladas, haha

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    1. Delicious! I grew up eating a lot of Salmon, but we didn't live near the ocean, so we bought it at Costco. Haha. My mom would always grill it with dill and lemon juice.

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Ellie, you should always try to choose wild salmon if you can (Costco sells it). It may be a bit more expensive, but there's a much higher amount of vitamins and omegas then farmed fish. Farmed fish also has much higher levels of toxins. Wild salmon will usually look bright coral or red in color.

      Not sure if you know of the Canadian philanthropist and scientist David Suzuki, but he has a great article on the differences:

      http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/resources/2010/think-twice-about-eating-farmed-salmon/?gclid=CNHZ667Ys9ICFUtNfgodjpcCLA

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    3. Alicia2/28/2017

      Ahh, salmon with dill and lemon juice is delicious!

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    4. Thanks for the article! I remember my parents always trying to get the wild stuff, although sometimes they had to settle for farmed.

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  4. We love chicken noodle soup on cold nights. I'm making it healthier now. I changed the recipe I changed a recipe in Healthy Choices cookbook and made it even healthier.
    This recipe feeds many people so if you want you can make it and have people over or reduce the ingredients.

    2 boxes of reduced sodium chicken broth
    2 cups cut up boneless skinless cooked chicken breasts
    1 cup each diced celery,diced carrots
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 8oz bag of whole wheat noodles
    Cook the carrots and celery in the chicken broth with the salt and pepper. When almost tender and the chicken and noodles and cook until noodles are done.
    This is great with homemade bread. The original recipe is courtesy of Miriam from Sugarcreek,OH

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    1. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Why do you use reduced sodium chicken broth (not no-salt) and then add a tsp. of salt? That seems to defeat the purpose. It doesn't seem like the healthiest choice. My husband has needed a low sodium diet for years, so I've become sensitive to recipes like this.

      I make chicken soup with no salt added broth plus 2 or 3 packets of no-sodium bouillon powder (Herb Ox). I start with raw chicken (bone-in breast or leg pieces) so the broth flavor has time to develop while the chicken cooks. I add big chunks of onion, celery, and carrots to the pot at the beginning, then remove them when the chicken is done (they will be very limp). Seasoning is dried thyme, poultry seasoning, pepper, celery seed, and parsley (no salt). You can add a bay leaf if you like, or a pinch of turmeric to enhance the yellow color of the broth. You can also add a whole clove of garlic, but you'll want to fish it out later.

      I remove the cooked chicken, skim any fat from the broth, and then add more raw diced celery and carrots and let them cook a little bit while I shred the chicken to add back to the pot. Cook just til the carrots are ready.

      I add cooked noodles or rice at the very end. I don't cook them in the broth because they absorb too much liquid.

      Making soup this way keeps the sodium to the lowest possible level. Celery naturally adds some, so you don't miss it in the finished soup. The herbs and vegetables add the rest of the flavor.

      It takes a few hours to make this soup from scratch, but on a winter day when you're home anyway, it's a nice leisurely thing to do, and it makes the whole house smell good.

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    2. Sounds great, Regina. I LOVE a good bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. I'll have to try this recipe. My husband associates chicken noodle soup with being sick, so it's not his favorite dish, but I've made it a few times, and he will eat it.

      Ellie

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    3. Anonymous2/28/2017

      There seems to be a lot of foods that your husband doesn't like.

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    4. Anonymous2/28/2017

      I don't understand how you get any flavor from that top recipe, with only celery, carrot, salt, and pepper. Seems it would be bland. I like the ingredients in the 2nd recipe better. But everyone has their own idea of chicken soup. I think I'd rather open a can of Campbell's than eat that top recipe.

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    5. He's actually very open to trying new things, but he does have his favorites. We both have our food "quirks," as I'm sure everyone does. :)

      Ellie

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    6. Anonymous3/02/2017

      I buy the lipton cup of soups. If I don't have salt on mine children soup I throw up. But I only have a 1/2 cup of soup I don't have the whole thing.

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  5. Anonymous2/28/2017

    I read that red meat is good for you.

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    1. We love red meat especially steaks and Santa Maria style tri-tip but we have decided to reduce the amount we eat. For us, Tim's heart attack was definitely a wake-up call to really take a look at what we were eating. For those that are wondering, tri-tip is a triangular shaped cut of meat from the the bottom sirloin. It's so good!

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    2. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Top Anon: It depends on the meat, and it depends on what sort of diet you follow. Some people only eat the leanest of lean beef, and others prefer a marbled steak with the fat still on it. You have to decide based on your overall health, your genetics, and what diseases you may be prone to. Even that can be a guessing game with wrong guesses in the end.

      For us, I only buy really lean cuts (London broil, top round) and lean ground beef (93% lean or 99% lean if I can find it). I trim away or drain away all fat. We only eat red meat once or twice a month. Same with pork. Lean, and not too often. We eat so much white meat chicken and turkey that it's a wonder we haven't sprouted feathers or crow at dawn.

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    3. Anonymous2/28/2017

      I only eat red meat on occasion, and I always try to find the leanest cuts.
      My family eats lots of healthy fish though, like wild salmon

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    4. Anonymous3/01/2017

      To Anon who started with "It depends on the meat..." I thank you for giving me a great laugh at work this morning! I had to laugh out loud when you said its a wonder we haven't sprouted feathers or crow at dawn LOL! It reminds me of my son and his love for white meat too but your silliness made me laugh!

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    5. Anonymous3/02/2017

      I don't have any health problems.

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  6. Anonymous2/28/2017

    Pasta!

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    1. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Our latest obsession is big chunky curly pasta (tortiglioni) with beans and greens. Cook 1 lb. of the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining. While the pasta is sitting aside in the colander, toss a little olive oil, some chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic (minced), and some cut-up ham to the pasta pot. Stir-fry that around til the onion is soft and the ham is warmed. Add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. Then add the pasta cooking liquid, a whole head of kale or Swiss chard (cleaned & sliced into ribbons), and a can of no-salt-added white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed. Season with a generous amount of coarse ground black pepper (ham adds the salt). Stir it all around til the greens are wilted and softened. Add the pasta and let it warm back up with everything else. That's it. Serve with grated Parmesan. This is even better the next day as leftovers.

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    2. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Break 1/2 lb. whole wheat angel hair spaghetti into thirds & cook just til al dente. While that's cooking, mince 3 cloves garlic, a big handful of fresh parsley, and a jar of green olives (drained & rinsed). Drain the pasta under cold running water and add it to the other ingredients. Mix. Drizzle on some olive oil and black pepper. That's it. Very simple but very tasty, especially if you love garlic. We eat this as a side dish, but in the summer we add some cut up grilled chicken to it as a (cold) main course. It's good for a picnic supper. Ok, now I'm hungry!

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    3. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Pesto pasta is bomb.

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    4. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Some people have trouble with pesto. It can leave a metallic taste in your mouth that takes quite awhile to go away. Like weeks! It ruins the taste of everything else in the meantime. It's called "pine mouth." The pine nuts are the culprit. So if you've never had pesto made with pine nuts before and you don't know how you react, proceed cautiously.

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    5. I love pasta! I'll have to try those recipes!

      Ellie

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  7. Caroline2/28/2017

    We eat mostly vegetarian. My husband's favorite meal is a chickpea piccata.

    Sautee 2 small shallots and 2 cloves garlic in a little olive oil, add a handful of breadcrumbs and stir until the breadcrumbs are toasted. Stir in a little salt and some dried thyme. Add a carton of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas, the juice of one lemon, and several heaping tablespoons of capers. Cook just until chickpeas are hot.

    To serve, layer fresh arugula in a bowl and top with hot noodles or (our favorite) mashed potatoes. The heat from the potatoes will slightly wilt the arugula and it's delicious. Top with chickpeas and lots of broth!

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    1. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Wondering why the need for bread crumbs? What do they add to the finished dish? Can't you just heat and season chickpeas and add them on top of the arugula? I think I'd use a little white wine instead of stock to heat the chickpeas I'd serve this with a microwaved sweet potato on the side. We love arugula or any other bitter, peppery green. Not always easy to find it in the market, unless I make a special trip to Trader Joe's. Their wild arugula is to die for!

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    2. That sounds like a neat dish, Caroline. Does it taste anything like hummus? That's the only food I've tried that contains chickpeas.

      Ellie

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    3. Caroline3/02/2017

      Anonymous, the breadcrumbs help to thicken the broth a little! I suppose you could just heat the chickpeas, but the seasoned broth is so tasty! I also love sweet potatoes, sometimes I will have leftovers on top of a baked sweet potato.

      Ellie, certainly they both taste like chickpeas, but the chickpeas in this absorb a lot of the flavors of the broth. This dish is more Italian-flavored than middle-eastern.

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    4. Thanks, Caroline. I am very intrigued by this dish, and I look forward to trying it!

      Ellie

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  8. Anonymous2/28/2017

    I love my avocado, pomegranate and chicken tacos! They sound weird but are absolutely delicious! And once you get all the pomegranate seeds out and roast the chicken, you're good to go! Takes about 30-45 minutes if you time it right. Yesterday I made refried beans to have with my tacos and those took a longggg time but were worth every minute.

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    1. Anonymous2/28/2017

      I'll bet pomegranate is good with the chicken. It's sweet but also a little tangy, like cranberry.

      I use ground chicken. I cook it in the frying pan. The breast meat is almost fat-free. We add lettuce, tomato, cheese, and avocado to a whole wheat tortilla and fold it up. If we want refried beans, I use the fat-free canned ones.

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    2. Anonymous2/28/2017

      Oooh, I think I may have to try these avocado, pomegranate and chicken tacos!

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    3. All those things are great separately, so why not put them together? I'll definitely be trying that recipe!

      Ellie

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  9. Anonymous2/28/2017

    I like making gourmet meals for my family. My family likes most any foods so it's pretty easy to cook for them :)

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    1. Anonymous2/28/2017

      I like a family like that. I don't understand how anyone can cook for a family when everyone refuses to eat some major ingredient in the recipes, such as onion or mushrooms or green peppers or you name it. Too hard to make two versions of each dish, half with something and half without. Picky eaters don't know what they're missing! I can say that because I was picky as a kid, but when I started cooking by myself when I was about 10, everything suddenly tasted great and I wasn't afraid to experiment. Now I'll eat just about anything, as long as I'm not allergic to it.

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  10. Anonymous2/28/2017

    Ellie,

    Do you know any vegan recipes?

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    1. I don't. Do you eat vegan? If you have some to share I would love to hear them. I'm not very familiar with the vegan diet. A reader named Caroline posted a vegetarian dish above that sounds like it could be vegan?

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  11. Anonymous3/01/2017

    Ellie, I love to make Potato and Sausage Stew that I found from a "Taste of Home" magazine years ago. I'm not the original person who made this recipe but my whole family loves it SO MUCH especially my grandfather who recently passed away at age 90 who used to come to my place often just for that meal and a few games of UNO! I sure miss him so much! (The recipe can be doubled if you are having extra family for a meal). It's basically 1# smoked sausage(in a ring),cut in about 1 1/2 inch slices,about 6 potatoes,quartered, 1 pint half and half cream,1 large onion quartered, 1 green and 1 red pepper,sliced in strips, some basil (very important for flavor!), salt and pepper. You brown the meat and onions and peppers in a fry pan with butter or oil whatever you prefer. In a separate pot you boil the potatoes until slightly firm still. Then you want to combine all ingrediance and also add a shaker container of water/flour mixture to thicken the meal. Simmer for however long you see fit. YUM!

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    1. Sounds tasty! I do love Taste of Home recipes. Have you tried their cheeseburger soup? I posted an adapted version to my blog last year. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Hope that making this stew brings back happy memories of your grandfather.

      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous3/02/2017

      Taste of Home recipes scare me. They're usually loaded with fat, sodium, carbs, or sugar. They've had "lighter" stuff over the years but their basic recipes are still stuck in the 1950's nutrition-wise.

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  12. Anonymous3/06/2017

    Taste of the Home recipes are not loaded with fat.

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  13. This looks super yummy!

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