Beef Rendang


My usual aim is to have simple, quick easy to make meals for dinner.  My goal is to spend 1 hour or less in the kitchen making dinner.  I have a busy family and I want to enjoy them and not spend my whole life cooking or standing in the kitchen. Continue reading “Beef Rendang”

Cabbage and Spam Errr… I mean Ham!

I remember as a kid this was one of my Mom’s favorite meals, and as kids we LOVED eating all the spam out of our dishes, but would have to choke down the cabbage! Continue reading “Cabbage and Spam Errr… I mean Ham!”

Coconut Shrimp Curry

When I first looked at this recipe I didn’t think it was anything too spectacular, but I found some shrimp in the back of my freezer and I wanted to use it!  We had friends move about 6 months ago and they graciously gave us their frozen meat and shrimp since they couldn’t take it with them as they moved across the country.  We don’t often buy shrimp, so it was a treat for us to have it…

But at the same time…

Since we don’t buy it (mainly due to expense) I don’t really know how to cook it!  Thankfully this recipe was simple and easy to do and it tasted great!  All the kids loved it as well and kept picking out the shrimp to eat first!  Don’t get me wrong, I would have done the same!!!

In fact, as we were eating it I realized that my 20 month old Aisling had never had shrimp or shellfish before and since she has so many other food allergies I was slightly worried she may have a reaction.  She didn’t and it’s a good thing with the amount that she ate!  She would even try and sneak it off her brothers plates!

Also, in looking at this recipe I didn’t think the sweet potato with shrimp in a curry would be all that great.  I wasn’t sure how the flavors would blend.  It really was fantastic though. I knew my doubts were valid though when Brian said, “This isn’t real Asian curry if it has sweet potato in it…”

As I said previously it wasn’t just the shrimp that was a hit, but the whole dish.  All of us cleaned our plates and there wasn’t much left for Brian’s lunch the next day!  Instead of serving this over rice I served it over spaghetti squash.  This was really good and hubby enjoyed it even if it wasn’t 100% Asian!

Coconut Shrimp Curry
original recipe from Family Circle Magazine – but this recipe posted as been minimally altered from the original


  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 TBSP [amazon_link id=”B005MH0P5Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]red curry paste[/amazon_link]
  • 1 can full fat [amazon_link id=”B0036QLLL2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]coconut milk[/amazon_link]
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

Heat oil in a wok over medium heat.
Add garlic and ginger – cook 1 minute.
Add curry paste – cook 30 seconds.
Whisk in coconut milk and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
Mix in sweet potato and reduce heat to a simmer – cover and cook 5 minutes.
Add cauliflower and onion -cover and simmer 10 minutes or until tender.
Stir in shrimp, basil, lime juice and salt – cook uncovered for 3 minutes.
Serve over spaghetti squash (see below)

Spaghetti Squash
Super simple and easy to cook.
Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  (I usually clean and keep the seeds to dry and replant if it’s and organic squash. Or I clean, dry, soak and roast them with some salt and coconut oil for a snack for the kids. They are super popular!)
But both halves of the squash in the oven on a cookie sheet with the rind down.
Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes until all parts of the squash are tender.
Remove from the oven.
Use a fork and scrape the squash out of the rind and it will resemble spaghetti!
Add some butter or coconut oil and top with any food that you would typically serve over rice, pasta or quinoa.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Almond Sesame Chews

I already knew I was attached to my [amazon_link id=”B001P2FUZC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]dehydrator[/amazon_link], but I’m becoming more and more dependent on it.  That could be a good thing or a bad thing!  I’m glad it’s getting plenty of use! 😉 A week or two ago I posted on the almond coconut cookies we made in the [amazon_link id=”B001P2FUZC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]dehydrator[/amazon_link].  Those are long gone so we had to come up with something else to make. Continue reading “Almond Sesame Chews”

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Being that hubby is Asian, he has the strong preference of eating rice three times a day!  That is NOT an option any more.  Poor man.  I can’t imagine! Last year I posted about my hubbies significant health issues and diet changes that ensued.  We have continued with the changes and have added additional restrictions as we’ve been dealing with our kids allergies as well.   Continue reading “Cauliflower Fried Rice”

Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder

I’m a people person… and so is hubby and so are the kids! I’m SO glad there aren’t any extreme introverts in our family… at least not as of yet! We LOVE having people over and thrive on company, conversation, games and shared food. We have a lot of friends in our neighborhood. Some from church and others that we have just met on the street, at the playground, at the pool and even at the library! We know most of the people on our street, at least to say hello and have enjoyed meals with quite a few of them as well. It has been so nice to feel like we belong and know where we live and who we live with. We love community! Continue reading “Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder”

Sesame Beef and Snow Pea Soup

This is a super quick and easy soup. Quite light and very flavorful. The simple flavors make this enjoyable even on a warm day. Usually dear hubby likes lots of spices and complex flavors. Simple just doesn’t work for him… except this recipe!

The first time I made this I thought for sure no one was going to like it… but I was quite wrong and for that I’m surprised and oh so grateful! Another plus is this is a quick recipe and inexpensive as well!

I often have jars of chicken and beef stock in the fridge ready to go for any soup or stir fry that may need it! By having it on hand makes it easy to whip up a healthy recipe or treat a cough or cold.

This recipe is originally from Bon Appetit, which I’m confused and not sure how such a simple recipe made it into that magazine! But I guess it does speak to it’s great flavor! I did change it a little, but so little that I definitely have to give all the credit to Bon Appetit! My changes are things like homemade stock instead of canned, and [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] instead of rice. But read on and see what you think.

Sesame Beef and Snow Pea Soup
(4 servings)

4 cups homemade beef stock
1½ cup 1-inch pieces diagonally cut snow peas (about 6 oz)
1⅓ cup matchstick-size strips red bell pepper
2 cup ½ inch wide strips thinly sliced roast beef (about 10 oz) (or I used thinnly sliced steak, or shaved beef)
1⅓ cup sliced green onions
2 TBSP minced peeled fresh ginger
8 tsp rice vinegar
1 TBSP oriental sesame oil
3 cups cooked [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] (about 1 cup uncooked)

Bring broth just to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add snow peas and red pepper and simmer 1 minute. Add beef, green onions and ginger; remove pan from heat. Mix in vinegar and sesame oil. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Mound [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] in center of deep bowls. Ladle soup over, dividing equally.

Simple Veggie Stir Fry

We just LOVE stir fry around this house! The kids eat it up like it’s going out of style. Also since dear hubby is Asian he has a true love affair with WHITE rice. The kids definitely take after him in that! I think they have his Asian blood! I too have been bitten by the bug and would definitely prefer white rice over pasta or other carbs, but in our current lives we’ve cut it out almost entirely.

Occasionally we will have fried rice and for that there is no substitute! I just go with it, have the white rice and treat it like dessert! SO yummy… but that is a post for another day… although maybe it won’t be a post at all. I do most of the cooking around here, but hubby is definitely the pro at fried rice. I’ve attempted a few times, but my kids well tell me, “It isn’t as good as Papa’s!” So it probably isn’t worth posting one of my recipes! Maybe we will have a guest post and dear hubby can share! Don’t hold your breath! 😉 Not sure that will ever happen!

So.. on to our stir fry. I often just take a gander at what is in the fridge and just throw it all together. It’s a great way to use what veggies are left over and hide some not so favorites! We have also started serving it over [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] instead of rice. Not quite as good, but a great substitute. The kids love it and Brian is ok with it. I also like stir fry because it is a cheap and easy way to feed lots of people. Also, by using the [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] which is high in protein it helps to fill you up without having to add meat!

I often don’t add meat to it, especially if I’m making it for lunch. Here are the most common ingredients that I use, but it can be changed in 1001 different ways. I’ll have a few variations at the bottom!

Basic Simple Stir Fry
2 carrots chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped in bite sized pieces
Large handful (about 1 cup) sweet peas
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic diced
1 can sliced water chestnuts
2 cups [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link] uncooked
3 TBSP [amazon_link id=”B0043RKUP6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]tamari[/amazon_link]
3 TBSP water
3 TBSP [amazon_link id=”B0001DMTJG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]oyster sauce[/amazon_link]

Cook [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link]. Usually takes 2 cups of water per cup of quinoa. I often cook mine in the [amazon_link id=”B002CVTT52″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]rice cooker[/amazon_link]. Then it’s quick and hands off!
Add oil of choice to wok (I usually use [amazon_link id=”B003QDRJXY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]coconut oil[/amazon_link], occasionally bacon grease) and cook onions until transparent and garlic soft. Add broccoli, carrots, [amazon_link id=”B0043RKUP6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]tamari[/amazon_link], water and [amazon_link id=”B0001DMTJG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]oyster sauce[/amazon_link]. Cook for about 5 minutes with lid on to cover and steam. At end add water chestnuts and sweet peas. Cook until water chestnuts are warm and sweet peas are blanched. Serve over [amazon_link id=”B0036FB6FY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]quinoa[/amazon_link]!

[amazon_link id=”B0001DMTJG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Oyster sauce[/amazon_link] often has a lot of sugar in it. If you have a good fermented version please share! In place of [amazon_link id=”B0001DMTJG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]oyster sauce[/amazon_link] can use fish sauce and a bit more water and a bit of [amazon_link id=”B000EDM6KU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]arrowroot[/amazon_link] to help thicken it.
Sometimes we add green beans, a bit of kale or spinach, peppers,
Can add hot peppers or some hot sauce to give it a bit of a kick!
The possibilities are endless!

And this is what you end up with!  No veggies left in the bowl!  When we had this last week, my oldest, Tonchi (4), had THREE servings and still wanted more!  And then cried when there wasn’t any broccoli in his last serving!

Thai Beef Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Slaw (optional with fish)

Just this week we had these for dinner with fish instead of steak.  I had forgotten how good they are! We had dinner with some friends and they agreed they were tasty as well!

I think I’ve mentioned it 1000 times before, but I don’t cook fish very often.  This is a favorite and will be repeated!  Hopefully we don’t get tired of it!  It is so simple and delish!  The slaw to go with it is what makes them so yummy!  I’ve used this same slaw with steak tacos as well and it is just as good.

The original recipe is from Cooking Light in April of 2007.  I don’t think we tried it until last year, so either I had some one’s hand-me-magazines (and I’m glad they didn’t rip out this recipe!) or I just kept the recipe that long!  I’m really not sure which it is.  The original can be viewed here and was for steak, but I almost like the fish better.

The first part of the recipe is for seasoning the steak, which is also amazing.  If you are using this recipe for the fish, then just bake or broil til done.  I used salmon and didn’t season it at all.  The slaw had plenty of seasoning that blended well with the salmon.

As usual, the recipe listed here is VERY similar to the original, but with my own additions/subtractions/clarifications.



1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves grated
1 pound flank steak, trimmed
Cooking oil

¼ cup fresh lime juice (lemon works just as well)
 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons peeled finely grated fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce (we like [amazon_link id=”B004M050W2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Red Boat[/amazon_link])
½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
4 garlic cloves, grated
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 cups finely grated carrots
¼  cup sliced green onions
½  cup chopped fresh cilantro

Remaining ingredients:
8 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas (corn tortillas are much better for the fish tacos)
Or for a grain free option try my tortillas!


To prepare steak:
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Prepare grill or broiler.
  3. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

To prepare fish:

  1. Place in baking dish and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until desired dress of doneness. Or grill or briol.
  2. After finished, shred fish into small pieces.

To prepare slaw:

  1. Combine juice and next 6 ingredients (through garlic cloves) in a large bowl. Add cabbage and next 3 ingredients (through cilantro); toss well to combine.

Lia Huber, Cooking Light
APRIL 2007

Enjoy these tasty tacos and let me know how they turn out for you!


Curry-Spiced Noodles

We rarely eat noodles but every now and again it is nice to have.  We probably haven’t had any noodles in the last year.  I had heard of the [amazon_link id=”B004CLCEDE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]miracle noodles[/amazon_link] or [amazon_link id=”B002GDH5Y8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]shiratake noodles[/amazon_link], but didn’t really research it too much since they were made of potato starch.  I did look for them once or twice at our local Asian grocery, but they were made of soy which isn’t in our menu! Continue reading “Curry-Spiced Noodles”