Fresh Cherry Salsa

Cherry Salsa on Bagel

I mixed the following ingredients together and put them in an airtight storage container. I let the salsa rest for a few hours, allowing the lime juice, onions and chile flavors to soak into the cherries. This made a quart of fresh salsa. Since it is fresh, not cooked, it will need to be consumed relatively quickly, though all the acid will slow spoilage.

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped red onion
3 limes, juiced
1 serrano chile, minced
1 quart of fresh cherries, pitteed and cut in half
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

I served it with a turkey burger for supper and with a bagel for breakfast. I think it would be delicious on grilled chicken breast or pork chops, added to a burrito or on top of a salad.

Cherry Salsa on Turkey Burger


Simple Turkey Wrap

Turkey Wrap

Fast and easy comfort food you can eat with your hands!

In a small pan, add 1/2 tsp of olive oil and sautee 1 tbsp of chopped onion, add 3 ounces of ground turkey, salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder and let it brown, breaking it into small pieces as it browns. Add 2 TBSP of green salsa and 1 TBSP of ranch-style dressing and stir. This makes two wraps.

Heat flat, ungreased griddle on medium.

Place half of the mix in the middle of a large flour tortilla, add a handful of chopped romaine lettuce and about an ounce of shredded pepper jack to each tortilla. Squeeze fresh lime juice all over the lettuce and cheese. !/2 of a fresh lime will do both wraps. Roll into packet and repeat for the other tortilla. Place on the griddle and heat until browned on each side.

This has such a tasty blend of creamy and spicy flavors from the ranch-salsa sauce. The lettuce stays firm and adds a pleasant crisp freshness to it.

Velvet Green Bean Casserole

The Velvet Green Bean Casserole

While I was at The Velvet last night, I started cooking supper during Lux’ set. I tossed 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 TBSP of chopped onion plus 1 jalapeño into a medium heat skillet with 1 TSBP of olive oil. I added salt and pepper and let them start to saute. I sliced a bratwurst sausage into 1/2 inch wide pieces and tossed them in. I then chopped up a tomato and tossed it in as well.

While they cooked, I asked for direction from the folks at the Velvet, where I was with the meal, I could go any direction, but was dithering between kale and green beans. They all said green beans, so I added 1 cup of green beans, 1 oz of ground parmesan and 1 TBSP of green salsa. I added a bit of salt and pepper. I sauteed and then just before serving squeezed in the juice of one fresh lemon.

It was a delicious meal with a bit of heat from the chili and salsa, some fresh tang from the lemons and tomatoes and the hearty umami of the bratwurst and green beans.

Pork Chimichanga

The only problem with that pork roast I got for $1.99 was that darn y-shaped bone. I decided to cut the meat off the bone this morning. By the time I was done, I had about 4 ounces of bits of pork that were not nice for slicing. I decided I would make some burritos or something and ended up making the or something. I had these multi-grain uber healthy tortillas that I thought were practically inedible that were languishing in my fridge. Recalling the chef who won Chopped the other night who when confronted with oni – something she knew nothing about – said there’s nothing that can’t be improved by frying, I thought I might use those burritos and make some chimichangas.

First up was the filling. This was an easy thing to pull together. I chopped one slice of pepper bacon and tossed it in the skillet to give me the lard/fat flavor it would need. I tossed in a teaspoon of cumin and let it toast while the bacon cooked. I added 1/8 of a medium onion, chopped and let them soften. I chopped the pork up a bit, added it and 1 15 oz can of kidney beans (strained and rinsed). Then I added 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Tomato-less Corn Chili and the other half of the olives I opened last night. I let this simmer until most of the moisture had been absorbed or evaporated.

Now to making the chimichangas. I put 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small pan and heated to just over medium. I put the 6 tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften them up. I had a bowl of water that I dipped my hand into and spread the water on the tortilla before putting the pork mix in the center and folding shut. The water helped to seal the tortillas shut. I worked quickly but still had to nuke half the tortillas a second time as they had cooled off.

With the oil hot, I fried one at a time since that’s all that would fit in my small pan. They only needed to fry about 45 seconds per side just enough to crisp the tortillas since the filling was hot and cooked. They were delicious and this made six, enough for three meals or 2 meals and some snacks. Even the too healthy for their own good tortillas were tasty.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I chopped up the last of the chicken from last week’s soup into squares. It came to about a cup of chicken. I sliced 8 grapes in half. I diced 1 TBSP of onion and 2/3 cup of red cabbage and 3 small radishes. Mixing these together in a bowl, I then made the sauce from 1 TBSP of mayo, 1 TBSP of Peach Mango Salsa and 1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar with some salt and pepper to taste.

I washed 3 outer leaves of romaine lettuce and then to make it flexible enough to work as a wrap and not just make a mess, I heated it for 12 seconds in the microwave. It cools quickly and retains most of its texture but is just pliable enough not to crack and fall apart when you pick up your food and eat it.

Roasted Vegetables & Chicken Tacos

The trick to successful vegetable medleys is understanding size and density. You are putting a bunch of different vegetables together and want them done at the same time. So you want to cut the denser, solid veggies like potatoes and parsnips and carrots to approximately the same size.  Softer veggies like Brussels Sprouts, onions, garlic and cauliflower can be cut a little smaller. Tender elements like mushrooms, olives and herbs can be added later.

Sometimes you simply cannot make a single serving. Well, you could but it would be wasteful of cooking energy and vegetables. This recipe makes 6 servings. It reheats beautifully in the microwave. You also could reheat in a some broth for a quick vegetable soup with a nice smokey flavor. You can add to rice, pearl barley or pasta with a dash of melted butter, grated Parmesan cheese or a tablespoon of ranch dressing. You don’t have to bore yourself with leftovers. Just remix them.

So, start by cutting up the tougher veggies and tossing them on a baking pan. I use my paella pan for roasting vegetables. Sprinkle them with a TBSP olive oil and a teaspoon of kosher salt.

  • 1 potato, skin on cut in 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 parsnip, peeled, cut in 1/2 chunks
  • 1/4 onion cut in wedges
  • 1/2 whole garlic, peeled
  • 6 Brussels Sprouts
  • 6 Cauliflower Florets

Bake at 450° F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add the tender veggies. Stir into the other veggies to get oil on them. You may have to sprinkle a teaspoon of olive oil on if it has been absorbed by the other veggies.

  • 6 mushrooms cut in half
  • 2 tbsp of sliced black olives or whole kalamata olives if you have them
  • 1 tsp of oregano

Return to oven and bake for 20 more minutes, turning occasionally. Remove when browned.

For the chicken tacos, I heated a half cup shredded chicken that I held back from the soup in 2 tbsp of green salsa. This way it gets the salsa flavor and I can reheat it without oil. I put it on a white corn soft tacos with some half a leaf of romaine shredded  and a finely chopped or shredded slice of cheese.

Stuffed Banana Peppers

I reheated some of last night’s beef roast, added a bit of the salad and cooked up two stuffed banana peppers to go with it. To stuff the peppers, I chopped up some onion (about 1 TBSP) and grated half a small zucchini (about 3/4 cup or so) and sauteed them in a tsp of olive oil. While they were cooking, I cleaned the banana peppers and popped them in the microwave for 1 minute to soften so I could stuff them without cracking them. I took one slice of pepper jack cheese and sliced it into small pieces and melted them into the zucchini and onion paste. I added about 1 TBSP of parmesan and stirred until it was a bit of a globby paste. I stuffed the peppers and roasted them in the oven at 450 until they browned – about 15 minutes.   I put some cilantro leaves on the plate, forking the beef with the cilantro for a bit of bite.

Torsk & Green Beans

Torsk is made with an Arctic or Alaskan Cod fillet. I melted 1/2 TBSP of butter in a sautee pan and put the fillet on to cook. After cooking for two minutes, I flipped it over and let it cook on the other side. I grated fresh nutmeg on the top, added some salt and pepper and let it cook for two more minutes.  Meanwhile, I took one cup of frozen french cut green beans and tossed them in a nonstick pan with 2 TBSP of Trader Joe’s Corn & Chili Tomato-less Salsa and cooked until done. I like my beans to still have a bit of bite to them so some people might want to start the beans before the fish if they like the beans more well-done.