Author Archive

Creamy Pork and Vegetables

March 23, 2014

Creamy Pork and Vegetables

Diets suck.  Fat free, sugar free, flavor free…there is a lot of truth to it.  Replacing things you like with suitable substitutes can be both difficult and interesting.  I came up with this recipe looking to not use chicken (which my wife does not like), but having an Alfredo-type sauce.  It turned out real good.  Creamy Pork and Vegetables

  • 10 oz lean pork loin, cut into strips then into 3/4″ squares
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp oregano flakes
  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz spaghetti, 3″ lengths, cooked to package instructions

Cut pork into strips, then into about 3/4″ squares.

Prepare vegetables.  Cut tomatoes into 1/4″ cubes. Cut zucchini into 1/4″ squares. Cut broccoli into about 1″ florets. Cut mushrooms into slices.  Chop parsley finely.  Chop onion.

In a large skillet, cook the pork, garlic and onions and about half of the oregano together in the olive oil over medium-high heat until pork is cooked through.

Cook the spaghetti, drain.

Add the butter, vegetables and parsley to the skillet.  Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the spaghetti, salt and remaining oregano.  Stir thoroughly.

Add the half and half and Parmesan cheese. Stir until sauce starts to thicken and coats other ingredients evenly.

Serve immediately.


Potato and Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

March 23, 2014

This is a nice side dish that has a very light vinaigrette and mustard flavor.  The recipe makes about 4 servings, but can be easily scaled.  Can be served hot or cold.  Potato and Green Bean Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 lb red potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped about 1/4″ square

Vinaigrette sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

Cube unpeeled potatoes and cook for 8 minutes in boiling water and butter.  Add green beans onion and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Drain.

Make the vinaigrette sauce and chop the basil.

Place drained potatoes and beans back in the pot, add the sauce and basil.  Stir until evenly coated.  Can be served immediately or chilled for cold salad.

Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

March 8, 2014
Beef Vegetable Stir Fry

Beef Vegetable Stir Fry

This recipe is easy to make, very tasty, and is rich in vegetables and vitamins.  Here is the PDF of it.  Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

  • 1 lb lean beef, cut into strips about 1″ long
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb aparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb broccoli florets, about 1″ diameter
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered


  • 1 package Sun-Bird Beef and Broccoli Seasoning Mix (other brands will work)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp beef bouillon granules or 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 Tbsp Kikkoman stir-fry sauce
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Use a 2 cup measuring bowl to mix sauce ingredients together.  Stir thoroughly, making sure there are no corn starch clumps.

Prepare vegetables.  Cut broccoli into pieces about 1″ diameter.  Cut asparagus into 1 1/2″ pieces.  Slice carrots thinly.  Quarter the mushrooms (or sixths if they are very large).

Slice beef into thin strips about 1 inch long.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add beef and garlic and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.  After 5 minutes, stir the sauce and add about 1/4 cup to the beef.

Add carrots to beef mixture and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add asparagus and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add broccoli.  Stir up the remaining sauce and add to the skillet.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes.  Serve with rice or noodles.

Green Pesto Pasta Vegetables

March 2, 2014

This is a great side dish that gives you your green veggies but manages to disguise the fact that they are green veggies quite well.  The pesto sauce is quite mild and not overpowering.  It can be served as a vegetable side, or as a main dish for a lighter meal.  Here is the PDF.  Green Pesto Pasta Vegetables

Pesto Sauce

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, minced
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • 2/3 cup asparagus tips, cut into about 1 inch lengths
  • 2/3 cup broccoli, cut into florets about 3/4″ diameter
  • 2/3 cup fresh green beans, cut into about 1 inch lengths

Remaining ingredients

  • 1 pound mini penne pasta


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Finely chop the spinach, basil, garlic and pine nuts and put in a small mixing bowl.  Add the nutmeg, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix well and set aside.

Blanch the vegetables in a pot of boiling water to soften their texture (just a few minutes will do); drain.  Add the blanched vegetables and pesto to the pasta. Stir until well combined.  Serve immediately.

Baked Ravioli

March 1, 2014
Baked Ravioli

Baked Ravioli

Once a week I drive to Cascade, ID for work.  While there, they serve me lunch free of charge.  It is always a home-cooked style meal (albeit made for about 50 people) and it has always been fantastic.  A couple weeks ago, the chef made some baked ravioli.  It was very good and I thought I would like to try it.  This is not her recipe, but one that I put together from some other things and it turned out awesome.

For those who would like the PDF form of it, Baked Ravioli.

Meat Sauce

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz jar Barilla marinara sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 cup spinich, chopped into 1 inch square pieces
  • 1 oz fresh basil, chopped into 1/4 inch square pieces
  • 1/8 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped

Remaining items

  • 24 oz cheese ravioli (Celentano or Rosetto)
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese


Meat Sauce: Cook ground beef and sausage together, breaking up into small pieces.  Drain and rinse, and set aside.  In the skillet, add the olive oil, onion and garlic.  Saute over medium heat for several minutes until onion is mostly cooked.  Stir frequently.  Add the cooked meat back into the pan, add the tomatoes, marinara sauce, pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.  Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cook the ravioli according to package instructions.  Drain and allow to cool.

Chop spinach into pieces about 1 inch square.  Chop basil into pieces about 1/4 inch square.  Chop parsley into small, fine pieces.  Mix greens together, setting about 1/4 of the parsley aside.

Mix together the meat sauce, ravioli, chopped greens, and half of the mozzarella cheese. Put in a 9×13 baking dish.  Cover with the remaining cheese and garnish the top with the remaining parsley. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Chicken with Butter Sauce

March 4, 2012

I am new to this forum, but like good food.  Thanks for letting me share!

I should note that I use Living Cookbook to put my recipes into. It not only organizes them well, it also includes nutrition information. That’s not always a good thing.  Some things I like seem to have a lot of calories and fat in them, dang it!  Since I have to become a little more health conscious, I guess the information is useful.  To that end, I will include a PDF of my recipes that contain that information. 

One of the problems around my house is that the wife and oldest daughter just do not like chicken much. It has to be pretty well disguised for them to eat it. But I picked up some very nice chicken breasts for a good price last week and wanted to do something with them that everyone would eat. After trolling around and looking at various recipes, but not liking much of what I saw, I came up with this recipe for Baked Chicken with Butter Sauce.

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1/4 cup Margarine, melted, but not quite liquid
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • 1/2 cup White wine (or apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup Margarine
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup Roma Tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

1  Crush Ritz crackers until fine. Mix with chopped parsley and basil, finely grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

2  Melt the margarine until very soft (not quite liquid) and mix with the minced garlic. Spread over the chicken breasts.

3  Evenly coat chicken breasts with the cracker mixture. Place in baking pan, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until done (use a meat thermometer).

4  In a saucepan, add margarine and apple juice. Heat until margarine is melted, just below boiling. Stirring constantly, add the half and half. When mixture starts to thicken, reduce heat.

5  Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer over low heat, stirring fairly often. Sauce should not boil. If sauce is too thin, add a little flour 1 tsp at a time.

6. When chicken is done, transfer from baking pan to serving platter. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.