Yum Neua (Thai Beef Salad)

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This is one of my favorite Thai summer dishes. It’s refreshing, filling, and delicious.

Take thinly sliced strips of beef and marinate in sea salt and lime juice for about an hour. Saute until cooked medium (this won’t take more than a minute or two), and then marinate in the fridge in the following dressing until chilled


Equal parts (roughly 1 tablespoon per serving) of:

  • Lime juice
  • Palm Sugar (I shred mine from a cake with a cheese grater)
  • Nam Pla (fish sauce)
  • Soy Sauce

Shake well and add:

  • crushed garlic (about 1 clove per 2 servings)
  • a chopped green onion
  • a few sprigs of mint, chopped
  • a few sprigs of cilantro, chopped

Shake again and marinate the meat.

Serve (with dressing) over top of your favorite salad ingredients, with crumbled feta and drizzled with some sweet chili sauce.


Baked Lentils & Cheese

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This is a big hit with the kids. High in protein, very filling.

Place the following in a shallow baking pan:

  • 2 cups lentils (12 oz, but you can use a full pound if you buy lentils in 1-lb bags, just add another 1/2 cup of water)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves (or more if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 cloves minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid

Cover in foil and bake all this at 375F for half an hour.

Stir in:

  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 3-4 stalks celery, sliced

Re-cover and bake for another 40 minutes until veggies are tender.

Stir in:

  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Sprinkle 1.5 cups shredded cheese over top and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes.

Crustless Quiche

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Beat the Egg Mix together:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (13 oz) evaporated milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of paprika or cayenne pepper


This is where you get creative, but the base is:

  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

For a Quiche Lorraine, use swiss cheese and add 10 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon (or more if you like bacon)

You can also use broccoli, ham, sausage, peppers, you name it. It’s a quiche.

Put the filling in the bottom of the pie plate, starting with the onions and ending with the cheese and pour the egg mixture on top.

Cook in the microwave as follows:

  • 3 minutes
  • Stir with a fork
  • 3 minutes
  • Stir
  • 6 minutes
  • rest for 10-12 minutes

Baked Lentil Casserole

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

This is easy, cheap, and filling. My kids can’t get enough of it.

You’ll need:

  • 9″ x 13″ baking pan
  • Oven at 350F


  • 1 lb lentils
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 or 3 large onions
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic

Put in the baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.


  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup celery, diced

Bake covered for another 40 minutes.

Take out the bay leaves if practical, and add:

  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 Tbsp dried parsley)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese, sprinkled on top

Bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes.


makes 8-10 reasonably large servings.


Nutrition Facts

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 244.1
Total Fat 9.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.7 g
Cholesterol 29.7 mg
Sodium 1,121.8 mg
Potassium 456.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
Sugars 5.8 g
Protein 14.3 g
Vitamin A 75.5 %
Vitamin B-12 3.9 %
Vitamin B-6 13.5 %
Vitamin C 35.6 %
Vitamin D 0.8 %
Vitamin E 2.6 %
Calcium 24.7 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 32.5 %
Iron 15.8 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 22.9 %
Niacin 5.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.3 %
Phosphorus 28.0 %
Riboflavin 10.8 %
Selenium 8.5 %
Thiamin 10.6 %
Zinc 12.2 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Mediterranean Burritos

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Dinner dilemma: all I have that will thaw readily is a pound of ground lamb. How to make something tasty in 20 minutes?

Then I got the crazy idea to go with burritos, and add a lamb twist, and go mediterranean.

First, I made some citrus/cilantro rice, Chipotle-style. Steam up some rice, toss in some chopped cilantro with some oil/butter and some lemon or lime juice and some salt.

Next, in lieu of refried beans, I made some hummus. Throw a can of chick peas into the food processor with some lemon juice, a couple cloves of garlic, some tahini, and salt.

Brown the lamb with some Greek seasonings, wrap in a tortilla with some lettuce, tomatoes and some yogurt or tatziki (and Andrea suggested some avocado slices), and you’ve got yourself a quick and very tasty dinner.

November Roast Pork Loin

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Whipped this up this evening, and it was surprisingly easy and quick, took me about an hour from turning the oven on to serving, yet it’s a good one to serve when company is coming.

Pork roast

2 small apples

1 small onion

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.5 cups apple cider

1 Tablespoon cornstarch




Take pork roast (in today’s case, some sirloin), dust it with salt, garlic and thyme and let rest while the oven heats to 350F. While the oven is heating, peel, core, and chop apples and onion, and saute in a pan with the cranberries and some thyme. Add 3/4 cup of cider and the pecans and simmer for about 5 minutes, letting the juice be absorbed into the cranberries. Add the remaining juice and thicken with the cornstarch.

Pour some of the sauce onto the roast and stick it in the over until internal temperature reads 155F. Take out and allow to rest for a few minutes. Slice into medallions and serve with the sauce. Goes well with rice or potatoes and a salad.

Thai Squash Soup

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees, soup

Lately, I’ve been taking a more active interest in learning to cook Thai. I’ve got a pretty good handle on Thai Basil Chicken and am branching out. My current reference is Judy Bastyra’s book, “Thai: the essence of Asian cooking“, which is has drool-inducing photographs, as well as a good overview of ingredients and techniques. This recipe came from the book, and I deviated from the recipe on occasion due to ingredient availability. It is a regional dish of Northern Thailand, and was delightful on a cool and gray fall day.

Prep Time: under 30 minutes

Serves 4

Heat 1 quart of vegetable stock (I used chicken stock, as I used the last of my vegetable stock last week) in a pan and prepare the chilli paste by pureeing the following in a small food processor:

4oz sliced shallots (I was all out of shallots, so I used chives)

10 drained bottled green peppercorns

1 fresh green chili pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (available from a good oriental grocery)

(I used canned green chillies in lieu of fresh and the peppercorns)

Peel and cube a smallish butternut squash (about 12 oz). and cut 4 oz green beans into 1-inch pieces.

Add the squash, green beans, and 2 oz dried banana flower (I have no idea where to get this, so I skipped it).  to the stock and cook it for 15 minutes. This would be a good time to cook up some rice (If you’re doing brown/red/black rice, you’ll want to prepare this ahead of time. White rice only takes 15-20 minutes).

After the stock and veggies have cooked for 15 minutes, add:

1 tbsp fish sauce (Nam Pla)

12oz prawns or shrimp (I used frozen from Costco, but fresh works too)

small bunch fresh basil

Simmer for 3 minutes and serve over rice.

In the KC area, there are two asian groceries that I like. One is at 103rd and Metcalf in Overland Park, the other is across from the park & ride on Grand at City Market.

Cedar-grilled salmon with cilantro mustard

Posted by: Site Administrator  :  Category: Entrees

It’s spring, and that means grillin’ time! (OK, so, it’s grillin’ time so long as there’s not an active hurricane or tornado directly on top of my grill, but I digress)

Tonight, I needed something quick yet tasty. I had at my disposal some salmon, some fresh herbs, and the usual complement of kitchen supplies. It felt like Iron Chef:Ian’s House. Except that I wasn’t competing against anyone. If it turned out badly, it was still dinner.

Soak a cedar grilling plank in water for about 20-30 minutes. While it’s soaking, make up the mustard. If you’re using frozen salmon fillets (Costco!), place the wrapped fillets in the water with the plank. By the time the fish has thawed, the plank is ready.

I mixed up some homemade mustard with:

2 tsp lemon juice (I use the good organic Sicilian stuff I get at Costco)
2 tsp sherry (if using cooking sherry, don’t bother with salt)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp powdered ginger

Toss this into a small food processor with enough mustard powder to make it somewhat pasty. This is your mustard. Depending on the mustard powder you use, this could be pretty spicy – fear not, it doesn’t make the fish spicy. It also makes a tasty salad dressing when mixed with some balsamic vinegar.

If you grill with gas, this would be a good time to fire up the grill. Get it to about 350 degrees (medium-low). If you’re grilling with charcoal, you should have started it a while ago :).

Let the mustard sit while the plank finishes soaking. When you pull the plank out of the water, drizzle some sherry on the fish side of the plank and let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Place the salmon on the plank and use a basting brush to coat the fish with mustard. Don’t go too crazy with the mustard or you’ll lose the flavor of the fish.

Place the fish/mustard/cedar assembly on the grill and cook until the fish is medium to medium well.

I served this with a salad of baby greens and bell peppers (red and orange) with some baked potato on the side.

Green Bean Scampi

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This was a spur-of-the-moment creation, with a given set of ingredients. Kinda like Iron Chef. 🙂

The key was to have some shrimp, and use up some of the fresh veggies from the CSA. We’d had squash for a few nights in a row, sautéed in olive oil with fresh basil, so tonight was a good night to use up some fresh green beans.

In a large nonstick skillet, put in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. When the oil is hot, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced garlic (depending on taste) and sauté for a minute or so. Add 1 lb of medium shrimp (30-40 count) and 1 lb fresh green beans. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh if possible) and continue to sauté until shrimp is cooked. Add a splash of white wine or mirin and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Continue cooking until liquid has evaporated.

Chicken Teriyaki Noodles V2.0

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Previous incarnations of this were made with Kikkoman’s prefab teriyaki sauce. This one is made from a homemade sauce.


1 cup shoyu or tamari soy sauce
4 or 5 cloves of garlic (or 2 Tbsp garlic paste)
2 tbsp. ginger or ginger paste
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. Mirin (rice wine) or dry sherry
drained syrup from a can of mandarin oranges
1 Tbsp oil

Mix well and add 2 lbs chopped chicken breasts, and marinate for approximately an hour.

In the last 15 minutes or so, reconstitute 1.5 to 2 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms by putting them in 1.5 cups boiling water. (you can also used sliced button mushrooms)

Drain and reserve marinade from chicken pieces and saute in a large skillet with 2 Tbsp oil until cooked. Drain the liquid from the mushrooms and add to the marinade. Add the mushrooms to the chicken. While you’re doing this, cook a pound of noodles (farfalle or rotini work well, although any noodle will do).

When the chicken is done, remove from the pan, leaving remaining liquid behind. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil – reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Mix:

1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c water

and add it to the mixture, stirring until thick. Once thickened, set aside the sauce and add some more oil to the pan, and toss in the cooked chicken and diced bell peppers (preferably of mixed colors). Saute until the chicken starts to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the noodles and toss until well mixed, and then add the sauce, toss, and serve. Makes great leftovers and is tasty with Sriracha “rooster” sauce.