Kriegers Weeknight Wonders


Whenever I hear those words I always think of one thing.

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But that’s not what’s on the menu today!

When Gaye suggested that theme I know she was thinking of veggies instead.  Green veggies!  Or maybe lime! Or maybe Pistachios!

Whatever she was thinking I went with asparagus!

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asparagus ‘pasta’

Ellie calls this pasta because the stalks of asparagus are shaved into thin strips.  Not an easy task if your stalks are rather thin.  But quite tasty when quickly sauteed with garlic, onions, and lemon then topped with some Parmesan.

I will definitely make this again but maybe not as ‘pasta’.

The recipe is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders (page 246) and it is a very quick side – less than 15 minutes (not counting the shaving!).

More green on the Eating with Ellie site.

 

 

 

 

This week Gaye wanted us to Get Some Pork on (Y)our Fork!  So we did.

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This particular recipe is pork steaks with creamy almond sauce .  While this is not a combination I would normally think of, it was pretty tasty.

Ellie calls for Pork Tenderloin but I never buy that.  I did have some really lean chops in the freezer so I used those instead.  The browned steaks are paired with a creamy sauce made from chicken broth, garlic, onions, almonds, and whole wheat bread.  The bread and almonds are toasted and then added to the broth/onion mix, {the onions and garlic cooked until soft}.  After mixing they are blended with some sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar) to form a smooth sauce.

Ellie has the sauce UNDER the steaks but I chose to put the sauce OVER the steaks instead. {I completely missed the part where she said to slice the pork steaks!!}  However you want to do it you will enjoy this dish.

Ready in 30 minutes or less.  270 calories per serving.

The recipe is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders on page 113. or HERE.

Check out the other Eater’s Pork dishes.

I think pasta is one of the most comforting types of food out there.  Thick and hearty sauces in the winter.  Served cold as a salad in the summer.  Pasta, or noodles, or pretty versatile.  That is why I chose PASTA as the theme for this weeks Eating with Ellie..

 

I picked the

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whole-grain penne with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach

for this go-round.

It was filling and full of flavor. And healthy.  2 cups {which is more than you think!} is only 580 calories.

The ‘sauce’ (which I will make more of next time) was full of chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  You can imagine how good that was.  The reason I said I would make more is because I found it to be a trifle dry.  I made 1/2 of the recipe which was perfect for two servings.  I usually increase the sauce and am sorry I didn’t this time.  he whole dish is seasoned with a little salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, and fresh thyme (altho’ I had to used dried).

This one is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders and is on page 160.I also found the recipe HERE if you want to try it.  This is one of ellie krieger’s great collection of recipes all of which are ready in 30 minutes or less.

Since I had marked 10 pasta recipes I guess we will have to return to this theme a couple of more times.  So I can make the other 9 pasta dishes.

Check out what pasta dishes the other EATERS made this week.

The theme this week for IHCC is Ancient Grains.  That means any dish that included:

Farro             Polenta
Kamut           Chia
Spelt              Freekah
Barley           Buckwheat
Blue Corn    Wild Rice
Teff               Amaranth
Millet           Quinoa
and one they didn’t list – lentils.
Ancient grains are those that have been around for many eons of time.  The original grains that have been unchanged since they were originally cultivated.  Many of them thousands of years ago. Full of protein and gluten free.
I had already made all of the quinoa recipes in Ellie’s books but then I found one that had quinoa AND lentils.  Score!!
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Savory red lentil, quinoa, and vegetable stew
Not very photogenic but darn tasty.  The red quinoa and red lentils {which I had run out of and so used plain lentils.  If I had had the red there would have been more color in the dish.} mean the dish is full of protein and gluten free.
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 small bunch kale (2 cups packed leaves)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably red
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1⁄2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then keep warm over low heat until ready to use.

While the broth is heating, chop the onion and dice the carrot. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mince the ginger and garlic. Stem the kale; discard the stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne to the onion-carrot mixture and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the lentils, quinoa, and all but 1 cup of the boiling broth. Stir in the kale leaves and cinnamon stick. Cover, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the quinoa and lentils are nearly tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the peas and cook until the peas, quinoa, and lentils are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Stir in the remaining broth as needed if the mixture seems too thick. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

I almost didn’t include the dollop of Greek yogurt on top. ALMOST… but I am so glad I did because it added an extra layer of flavor and a little ‘tang’ to the whole dish.

The full recipe makes a bunch.  It says a serving is 2 cups of the stew and 2 Tbl of yogurt.  That is a lot.  I used it as a side and since I am the only one eating it I have plenty left over.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 235.

There are more Ancient Grain dishes over on I Heart Cooking Clubs.  So go check them out.

We are definitely meat eaters. It is seldom we have meatless meals. Even our soups usually have some kind of meat – beef, venison, chicken, fish.

So I was excited to see Peggy’s choice for this week’s Eating with Ellie – sloppy joes with out the beef.

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I liked these but I did’t love them. I think I may have chopped my mushrooms a little too tiny. The flavor was very intense.  Chili powder, molasses, cider vinegar, and mustard powder all come together with tomato sauce to give the mushrooms that basic spicy sloppy joes flavor.

I left out the pinto beans Ellie called for because I am just NOT a bean eater.  I think some cheese would be good on these.

So much better, though, than the canned.  Thanks Peggy.  I’ll try these again with bigger pieces.

Who else made these this week?  Check out Eating with Ellie to see.

I like to think I’m going to eat healthier each year.  I start out well but then things get in the way – birthdays, eating out with friends, pie, cake, ooey gooey pasta – and….well, you know how it goes.

But being with Eating with Ellie makes eating healthy a little easier.  Especially if the recipes are full of flavor and quick, which was the case with Chaya’s pick for this week.

I have made this several times and usually to go with Ellie’s chinese vegetable soup with pork.  All you need is quinoa – the SUPERFOOD – sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chicken broth.  It’s SOOOO easy.  And SOOOO good.

You really should try it.

For more quinoa visit Eating with Ellie.

For some reason Mother Nature decided to extend our summer through December.  The temps were in the upper 70s and lower 80s.  Warm and sunny.  NOT what you would expect for the Holiday season.  When I picked this recipe for Eating with Ellie back in October I was presuming it would be cold in tim;e for this recipe. Fortunately, I was right,  But I was worried for a while.

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As it turned out it turned cold just in time.  And it was good.  But then, it’s an Ellie recipe.

I don’t make chicken soup very much, especially with noodles.  Usually it is beef veggie soup.  But I can see this one being added to the rotation all winter.

Carrots, celery, escarole (or spinach) with lots of garlic, basil, pepper flakes, mixed with borken whole wheat speghetti and browned chicken.  Perfect!  Simple! Quick!

Did the others like my soup pick?  Check it out on our website – Eating with Ellie. 

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