Tag Archives: vegetables

Better, Faster (makes you stronger) than Take Away ….Beef Stir Fry


Beef Stir FRyEveryone likes to order in once in a while right?  Well one of my pet peeves is ordering in and getting something salty & tasteless.  In less time then it would take to have it delivered, and a fraction of the cost, you can make this beef stir  fry.  Best thing – no weird ingredients and I’ve included my favorite short cuts to shorten prep time. Ready, Set, …Let’s Stir Fry!

Sauce

  • 2/3 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c beef broth (stock)
  • 1/3 c rice vinegar
  • 3 1/2 TB brown sugar
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 TB minced garlic
  • 3/4 TB minced ginger
  • 2 TB Cornstarch

Veggie of choice. Rice. 1 LB beef – sliced thin

Our favorite veggie combo for a beef stir fry is:

  • about a pound of mixed red, green, orange and yellow peppers – sliced  – fresh is best, but frozen are a good time saver! (About 2 peppers, sliced total)
  • 3-4 bulbs of baby bok choy
  • 1/2 onion – sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bag (454g) of “Carrot Slaw” (shredded carrot and broccoli) – you can also  manually shred these
  • 400 g brown cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 bag of bean sprouts

other options we play with:

  • sliced water chestnuts
  • mini corn
  • snow peas
  • broccoli

Cook rice (we like basmati) according to instructions.  (Or use a rice cooker like me 🙂  ) While rice is steaming,  mix sauce except cornstarch, once it is mixed add cornstarch and whisk until mixed completely, set aside.

Heat wok or large, deep fry pan,  when pan is hot add about 2 TB sesame oil.   Let heat for a moment, then add garlic, stir fry for about 30 sec, add onion.  Continue to saute for 1 min. Add beef & try to sear.  Add peppers. (if using frozen peppers the trick I use is to thaw peppers (in microwave in a pinch) and squeeze out all excess water, as that will render your sauce tasteless).  Add carrot slaw.  Add about  2TB-4TB  water, cover and let carrots steam for about 3 min.  Remove lid (water should be gone or pour off excess water).  Add mushrooms, Toss. Add sauce & toss.  Heat sauce to boiling and continue to stir fry for about 3 min, – the sauce will thicken, your rice should be ready.  Plate with rice, serve and eJOY.

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Pumpkin Up Your Soup & Snacks


With the arrival of October and the cooler weather,  so comes pumpkins.  Pumpkins aren’t just for Pumpkin Pie (although a great use for it!), and for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, they are loads of fun for carving – and of course roasting the seeds!  I’ve also included a soup recipe that you may not typically think of, but really highlights some of the fall veggies.  This soup is thick and creamy without containing dairy (coconut milk is used in place of cream) and although I made this with home-made turkey stock (from the Thanksgiving bird), you could certainly substitute veggie stock and make it a vegan dish as well!   I’ve also highlighted my families favorite ways to roast pumpkin seeds with a few variations as well!  So visit your local farm or farmers market before they close for the season & enJoy!

Sweet Potato-Squash & Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato
  • 1 med acorn squash
  • 3/4 can pumpkin puree or a small pumpkin
  • 1 litre (approx 4 c) coconut milk
  • 1 litre (approx 4 c) chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 lemon’s juice (or about 1.5 tsp lemon juice concentrate)
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash and pumpkin (if using) in half and scoop out the seeds (keep them pumpkin seeds for roasting!). Wash the sweet potato. Place the pumpkin and squash face down on a cookie sheet with a lip (you may want to spray it with EVOO first to keep them from sticking) and add a bit of water to the bottom of the tray. Cover with tinfoil.  Place the tray in the oven along with the sweet potato(es). Bake for about 45 min – 1 hr or until a knife goes in without resistance.
  2. Remove the skin(the meat of the veggies will be very soft) by scooping the insides out and into a large 4 quart pot.   Mash together.
  3. Heat, add lemon juice.  Add the coconut milk a little at a time until mixed in. Add the stock.  Add black pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes – serve & enJOY

Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Scoop out pumpkin seeds from large pumpkin.  Rinse in a colander to get some of the “pumpkin guts” off. Lay out on a cookie sheet for 24 hrs to dry out (or else you will need to increase cooking time – we let them dry out over night – about 14 hrs and then roasted them for about 1.5 hr).  Once they have dried out, you can pick any of the left over “guts” off more easily.

Drizzle some sesame oil (about 1-2TB dependent on how many seeds you have), and mix it with the seeds. Sprinkle sea salt and mix.  Place in 300 degree oven for about an hour, stirring 1 or 2 times.  Let cool (if you can wait!) and enJOY!

some of our fave variations:

  • use melted garlic butter instead of sesame oil.
  • After removing from oven, sprinkle with a little sugar as well as salt for a sweet & salty snack.
  • Forgo the salt and use black pepper instead.
  • Use onion, garlic or seasoning salt instead of sea salt.
  • Add 1 tsp cumin when roasting.

I love hearing from you! Please add your comments and like my blog! Want more?  Visit my website at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com

Its Egg-cellent choice! Top 10 ways we like Eggs & Veggie Omelet Recipe!


Breakfast is old news –  try eggs for lunch,  supper & snacks!  If any of you know me – you realize that our family loves fresh veggies, my hubby is a meat-a-tarian and we all love eggs, eggs and more eggs.  While this doesn’t make us very different than lots of other families.  I thought I would  highlight some of our big kids (mom and dad ) and smaller kids (the 4 year old and 6 year old’s) favourite ways to eat eggs.

Our Top 10 Fave ways to eat eggs!

  1. Hard boiled.  Hard boiled eggs are hands down our families fave snack.  We boil up a bunch and keep them in the fridge for quick snacking.   * Watching cholesterol or saturated fat?  Hard boiled eggs make it easy!  Just stick to the whites and for-go the yolks!
  2. Hard boiled on Salad or Wrap – cut up a hard boiled (from the ready to peel bowl in the fridge) and add to a salad or chop up and put in a wrap with  Sweet Heat Mango Hot Sauce, red onions and cucumber  (Mommies fave  quick lunch)
  3. Deviled Eggs – scoop the hard boiled yolks out add some dijon mustard and mayo whip, until creamy. Use a icing bag (or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off) to fill the egg whites.  Sprinkle with paprika OR Hard boiled eggs with the yolks removed and sprinkled with paprika. (This is 6 year old Leea’s fave).
  4. Egg Salad – add a little mayo, onion, celery, mustard and chopped up hard boiled eggs and top with lettuce and tomato for an easy lunch.  (my fave as a kid)
  5. Scrambled eggs – ’nuff said.  4 year old Ben’s fave is rye toast with peanut butter and  scrambled eggs (sometimes all together in a sandwich  – hey he’s 4 what can I say…)
  6.  Quiche – use up left over veggies, bacon, ham, spinach cheese etc with a great quiche (yes real men eat quiche (they just don’t admit it))
  7. On a buttered bagel with hot sauce (Sweet Mango Heat), cheddar cheese, red onion and salami (Dad’s fave lunch)
  8. Fried Eggs – served sunny side up or if in a sandwich over easy (Dad’s fave breakie or lunch) – preferably cooked in bacon drippings (barf – o sorry was that out loud it was supposed to be just for me)
  9. Toad in the Hole – butter bread, cut  hole out of the centre approx the size of an egg.  Add bread to  a hot  pan and crack an egg into the centre, cook as you would a fried egg.  (My ex-roommate’s fave and my sister’s fave growing up). Fry this in the bacon or sausage drippings if you really want to see a heart attack on a plate 🙂
  10. Veggie Omelet – Hands down my fave!  This is one of my fave dinners.  (recipe below).  Even my husband who makes a face when I say lets have a veggie omelet for supper has changed his tune and has decided that this is pretty. damn. good.  Make this into brunch by making homemade pancakes & sausage.  (Pancake recipe coming!)

Veggie Omelet (for 2)

  • EVOO
  • misc assorted veggies – I used 4 pieces asparagus – washed trimmed and cut into 3’s,  1 small stalk broccoli (chopped), 2 portabella mushrooms washed and sliced into good sized chunks, 1 zucchini peeled and sliced
  • 4 eggs – beaten with a fork
  • 2 dashes cayenne sauce (like Red Hot or Louisiana Sauce)
  • 3-4 TB milk  

  • ((more or less depending on taste)
  • 1/4 c feta cheese crumbled
  • fresh ground pepper
Heat a small frying pan.  Add some EVOO.  Add veggies, and cook until almost done (the asparagus and broccoli will turn bright green).    
Meanwhile whisk together beaten eggs, milk, hot sauce and black pepper.  Add to a hot medium sized pan.  I typically use a rubber scraper to pull back the edges of the omelet and let the uncooked  egg run down to fill in where the cooked portion is pulled back.  
Scrape (gently don’t break your egg base) the “wet” or uncooked runny part over to the side and let it flow to bottom of pan.  Add cooked veggies from the other pan to one side of the omelet.  Add the feta. flip on side over the filling. Allow to cook for a couple more minutes, remove and serve. 
** When I made the one in the picture at the top – I over filled the middle so my omelet would not close properly – we simple ate the extra veggies as they fell out.

Top 3 Easy less than 6 ingredient recipes – Cajun Shrimp Pie (sorta), Penne and Cranberry Apple Pork Chops Recipes!


Here is my quick – using up the leftovers in the fridge recipes.  These are great for that busy season – and to use up any leftovers.

Now I do have to point out that the Cajun Shrimp Pie was originally a recipe my Mom made for us when were kids  and she always called it Cajun Shrimp Pie – why I’m not sure.  Now that I am older and cook I look at the ingredients and other than the thyme … and the shrimp. In any case, I (of course) switched it up a bit, but none the less its great for left over rice.

The Penne Primavera (ish) recipe is an easy way to use up a few left over veggies and lemons.

The Pork Chops – well great to use up that one last apple, and the frozen cranberries in the fridge.

Here we go!  Another culinary mission is a foot!

Cajun Shrimp Pie

I apologize – I didn’t actually take a picture until it was in the oven, and there are a couple more than 6 ingredients in this one but still easy!

Ingredients
Crust
3 cups (a little more or less is fine) cooked rice
2 eggs – beaten
1 TB butter melted

Filling:
1 Cup uncooked med shrimp + 1/4 c salted water (my mom always used 1 small tin of salad shrimp & liquid but we prefer “real” shrimp 🙂
1 small onion – chopped finely
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas

2 TB cornstarch mixed with 4 TB water

1/4 tsp Thyme

Optional 4 slices processed cheese

Optional – hot sauce – we use Bayou Butt Burner Hot Sauce (2-3 glubs of it)

In a bowl, mix cooked rice, beaten eggs and butter together and press into a sprayed pie plate to form a “crust”

In a saucepan saute onions, add shrimp (if using uncooked), when onions are softened and shrimp is cooked add milk, and bring to a slow simmer, reduce heat, add cornstarch mixture, and thicken, add peas and thyme and salted water, allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Pour into rice crust.  Top with slices of processed cheese (you can try brick cheese, but processed works nicely :))  Bake at 375 for about 25-35 minutes(until slightly browned) and cheese is bubbling.

Prep Time 5 minutes, baking time about a 1/2 hr.   Leftovers make great lunches!  You could also make this into a “seafood pie” by adding crabmeat and scallops to the shrimp mixture.  Play with it – enJOY.   Serves with a salad.

Easy Cranberry – Apple Pork Chops

  Ingredients:

4-5 Boneless Pork Chops (small)
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
1 apple – peeled, cored sliced
1 c apple juice (or cider)
1/3 c  cranberry juice

In a sauce pan, on a med-high heat a little oil or spray with non-stick spray.
Add chops – and brown – don’t worry about cooking them through.  Once they are browned reduce heat to low-med and add juices, and rest of ingredients.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Uncover and cook for an additional  minutes or until liquid reduces a little.  Serve with a baked potato, salad and roasted demonica squash.

Hint the liquid is awesome over the roasted squash.  EnJOY!

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 15-20 min

Primavera-ish – Clearing out the Crisper Penne

Boil 1/2 or 3/4 box of penne according to directions.
In the meatime:

Heat a saucepan to med- high, add whatever left over veggies (we had some chicken so I threw that in too) you have – we had 2 small fingerling sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced into long slices), broccoli, chicken breast, onion or whatever you have (green beans, carrots, parsnips, asparagus etc) Add the juice of 2-3 lemons, and the zest of 1 lemon, add about 1 c of chicken stock (or veggie stock – I happened to have chicken stock), a ton of basil (1/4 c of dried).  Saute/simmer until veggies are cooked, add pasta and simmer for a few more minutes. Add peas.  Serve & enJOY

Prep Time – 5 minutes  Cooking time: 20 min.

Hope you enJOYed (ok ok I will give the JOY thing a rest 🙂  ) these simple and healthy (well except for the process cheese business) ready to eat in no time meals!  Don’t forget to like this post & leave a comment!

Tried any of my recipes?  I want to know how it turned out leave me a comment!

From my kitchen to yours, Healthy & Happy Eating!

Joy