Thanksgiving, Leftovers, and Roasted Turkey Soup with Potato-Parsnip Dumplings

Adrian and I have soooo many delicious leftovers from Thanksgiving. So I figured, instead of just rehashing Thanksgiving dinner for the entire weekend, why not play with the leftovers?

First off, let me tell you what we did make for Turkey Day! For the past several years I’ve been making Tom Colicchio’s Herb-Butter Turkey with Gravy and his recipe works like a charm. BUT, since 2015, I have incorporated a dry brine from Serious Eats. If you've never heard of dry brining, you HAVE TO try it! It changed everything for me (unlike wet brining, which is messier and doesn't do much for tenderness at all in my opinion). I’ve never had a more tender turkey in my life. While some of your guests may not even look forward to the dried out turkey breast they know from past experience, they will surely want to be at your house every year if you utilize Tom’s recipe and the dry brine. Yum, yum, yum.

Next up, we made parsnip mashed potatoes, haricot vert, the best cranberry sauce EVER, and some amazing honeyed carrots. The mashed potatoes were so spectacular (just a little sweeter than regular mashed potatoes), and may I say, even a little more nutritious? The honeyed carrots were a new recipe we tried this year from Williams Sonoma. We weren't disappointed. Adrian and I could have died and gone to heaven after eating them. Seriously, look at this picture below!

Of course, when making something like a turkey, I want to use the whole bird in an effort to achieve some kind of sustainability, if that’s even possible on Thanksgiving. So I made a turkey stock from the New York Times. It’s super fabulous, and just made sense to make a soup with the stock and leftover parsnips and potatoes.

I was actually planning to make Ottolenghi’s vegetarian Parsnip dumplings in broth on this rainy day weekend, knowing I’d have some root vegetable leftovers. But since I already labored over the stove for 3 hours making a turkey stock, why spend more time on a vegetarian stock? So I decided to hybridize his recipe with my Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. I’ll make his version down the road for sure, but not this weekend! 

While this dish is quite different from Ottolenghi's with the shredded turkey and meaty stock, I am happy to have his inspiration. Adrian and I just finished eating our first bowls on our porch outside, watching the rain water our garden and listening to a Songs of Old Russia album. So perfect. This soup is sooo divine, and adding the shredded turkey brought on a whole new layer of yumminess. 

What an incredible few days off it's been! I'd love to have four-day weekends more often in my life. But then again, wouldn't we all? At least I know I can cook up some great things when I have time off. No better way to spend a holiday weekend.

 

Roasted Turkey Soup with Potato-Parsnip Dumplings

Active Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour   
Serves 4

Ingredients
1/2 lb russet potato, peeled and diced
1.5 cups parsnips, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup self-rising flour (see note)
1/3 cup semolina flour
1 egg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups (2 quarts) homemade turkey broth or chicken broth
3 to 4 cups roasted turkey or chicken, shredded, both white and dark meat are fine
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

Directions
Boil the potato, parsnip and garlic in salted water until soft, about 10 mintues. Drain. Wipe moisture out of pan and return the vegetables. Add butter and sauté over medium heat for a few more minutes. Mash with a potato masher or ricer. Whisk in the flour, semolina, egg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes.

In a medium pot, bring broth to a simmer. Add shredded turkey and keep on very low heat to keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In another pan, bring some salted water to a light simmer. Using a teaspoon measurer, portion out dumplings and move to a plate. Add dumplings to the pot of simmering water. Once the dumplings come up to the surface, leave them to simmer for 30 seconds, then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.

Ladle the broth and shredded turkey into bowls. Place the dumplings in the broth. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Note: To make self-rising flour, combine 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup encompasses all of my favorite flavors: tomatoes, fresh and dried peppers, garlic, and cumin. If I were on a deserted island and could only choose specific ingredients in my own personal cuisine, these would be them! The flavors that came out of this creation are actually quite similar to an Indian curry (minus the garam masala), which we love! This soup was such a success that Adrian and I are going to have to adjust some of our Indian curry recipes in a similar fashion. I just knowwwww there are secrets no one has told me yet, and I’m starting to think dried chilis could be one of them. Tips anyone?

When we were drawing up the recipe, we realized we really wanted to try it out with some dried cascabel chilis we bought on a trip to Mexico last year. Holy yum (!) did they bring this dish to a new level. Other dried peppers work perfectly fine (pasilla, or even New Mexico, which are a little milder), but these cascabels have a nice spicy touch that we enjoyed immensely. 

To make the recipe a little quicker, you can always use chili powder and purchase your own tortilla chips. But keep in mind that it can be really fun to process your own chilis and fry your own tortilla chips. Haven’t done that yet? Give it a try this time and let me know how fun it was!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 dried chili peppers, such as pasilla or cascabel, broken into pieces
4 corn tortillas, halved, cut into ¼-inch thick strips
Canola oil, for frying
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 sage leaves
2 large jalapeños, finely chopped, divided
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh epazote, torn, or ½ tsp dried (optional)
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups (32 oz) chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 large tomatoes (about 1 lb), roughly chopped
1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
Juice of 2 limes 

To Garnish
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Sour cream
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
4 radishes, cut into rounds, halved
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions
Slightly roast the peppers in a medium hot skillet, turning frequently, for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer peppers to a medium bowl and soak in 2 cups of hot water for 15 minutes, until soft. Drain and set aside. 

In a large skillet, heat half an inch of canola oil over medium heat. Fry tortilla strips in batches until crisp, about 1 minute. Drain strips on paper towels and set aside.
 
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté the sage until crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove sage leaves and reserve for garnish. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Add half of the diced jalapeno, bell pepper, garlic, epazote, and cumin, red chili powder, and salt, and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, chicken, bay leaf, corn, tomatoes, and chicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until chicken has fully cooked. Remove chicken from the pot and shred with a fork. 

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pan until it reaches a pureed consistency. Add lime juice and reserved chicken and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove bay leaf, pour soup into bowls, and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, green onions, radishes. Serve lime wedges on the side.  

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Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

This recipe for Indonesian-style lemongrass chicken is deliciously outstanding, as lemongrass chicken always is! And the lemongrass was grown in our garden to boot! 

The greatest thing about this lemongrass chicken is how many anti-inflammatory ingredients are included. I was just talking with my mom this morning about how food is medicine and this dish is a shining example of that. Between the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, galangal, and turmeric, this is a meal that is sure to please your belly and keep your body healthy and happy. 

To keep this dish on anti-inflammatory end, I served it up with a rice alternative that is made out of konnyaku flour and oat flour. Definitely not a bad substitute for white rice, I must say! Plus the calories were reduced by half, which means more chicken for me, yay!

If you’d like to learn more about Indonesian cuisine, check out this guide from Bookmundi about local must-try foods. It’s known to make tummies rumble!

Chicken in Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Ayam Sambal Goreng Sereh)

Adapted from Daily Cooking Quest
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
10 birdseye chilies, or more to taste
3 shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only
2-inch piece galangal
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and knotted
1 cup light coconut milk
½ tbsp tamarind + 4 tbsp hot water, mixed well, strained
2 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Steamed coconut rice, to serve

Directions
In a large bowl, marinate chicken with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare spice paste by adding chilies, shallots, garlic, 2 lemongrass stalks (white pieces only), galangal, and turmeric to a food processor. Blend until the paste reaches a smooth consistency.

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Fry chicken until the skin is crispy and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

In the same skillet, add spice paste and lemongrass, and fry until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, tamarind paste, sugar, and salt to the frying pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Return the chicken into the pan and cook until the sauce is reduced and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve over steamed coconut rice. 

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Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas with Kale & Spicy Red Lentils

 

I’m not sure if I’ve said this already, but I really LOVE Ethiopian cuisine. Okay, maybe I did tell you in an earlier post [HERE], but I can’t express my crazy addicted love for it enough. One thing I like best is that the vegetarian dishes, which are vegan when omitting the spiced butter or substituting with vegan cheese in the salad, are just as yummy as the meat dishes.

So below I present to you Misir Wot and Kik Alicha, two dishes I like to cook side by side. While split peas may be a dish you hated as a child, know that these are the delicious gourmet kind, cooked in a lovely turmeric onion sauce. I added kale because there’s a lot growing in my garden, and it’s always fun to add extra greens when possible. But who doesn’t love spicy red lentils? Misir Wot’s flavors are actually really similar to Doro Wot (Chicken in a Berbere Sauce with Hard Boiled Eggs), and you won’t miss the lack of meat at all.

What about the protein content, you might ask? Oh, that’s right. The protein in split peas is highly absorbable and red lentils aren’t half bad! Combine them with injera, which is made from the Teff, and your amino acid profile is even more complete. Plus, by eating legumes, you’re upping your fiber, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium intake, while lowing your intake of saturated fat! Eating yummy legumes like these will go a long way to lead you to good health.

Are you ready for the recipes yet? I’m already hungry for these dishes again, even though I only devoured them a few hours ago! Don’t forget to visit my earlier post link above for tips on acquiring some of the ingredients and making your own injera!

 

Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Lentils

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 yellow onions, finely minced
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
½ cup olive oil
3 to 5 tbsp berbere spice mix (less for mild)
½ cup diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup dried red lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
½ tsp Ethiopian Cardamom
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter), optional
4 to 5 Injera rounds (Ethiopian bread), for serving

Directions
Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and sweat without oil and being careful to not over-stir, for about 10 minutes. Cook onions until golden brown, lowering heat if necessary. Stir in garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and berbere, and sauté over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture reaches a paste consistency.

Stir in tomatoes, lentils, and ½ cup water to the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Over a 15-minute period, add about ½ cup of water every 2 minutes, until all 4 cups of water are absorbed. Lower heat and cover, simmering about 10 minutes longer. Add cardamom and salt.

Test the lentils for doneness. Continue to cook about 10-20 minutes longer, until lentils are soft, but not overcooked. Remove from heat and serve over injera!

 

Kik Alicha with Kale

Adapted from Ethiopian Fire & Spice by Fetlework Tefferi
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp ginger, minced
½ tsp Alicha Kimem, optional
½ tsp turmeric
½ bunch kale, sliced into 1-inch strips
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
4 to 5 spices Injera (Ethopian bread), for serving

Directions
Soak split peas in hot water for 15 minutes.

Sweat onions on low heat in a covered saucepan for 2 minutes. Do not over-stir. Add 1/3 cup of hot water, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add water and olive oil, and sauté for 3 minutes longer.

As the water evaporates, continue to make sure the onions do not dry up or change color. Add ¼ cup hot water, 1 tbsp ginger, and a pinch of the turmeric. The sauce should have a soup like consistency. Keep covered and continue to cook for 4 minutes.

Add the split peas and mix well into the sauce. Add 2 cups of hot water, cover, and cook. After about 2 minutes, when the split peas are tender, add alicha kimem for additional flavor. Add garlic and the remaining 1 tbsp ginger. Stir the peas, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking. Add water as needed. Add remaining turmeric, reduce heat to medium. Cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the peas are tender. Stir frequently, ad make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Pork Belly Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Mixed Mushrooms

 

Seeing this recipe, you might ask, is pork belly stir-fry a healthy option? It depends! As a dietitian, I know that it’s totally fine to indulge on occasion. While I wouldn’t recommend eating large portions of this delicious meal below every day, I will say that it can be a part of a healthy diet, especially because it’s packed with so many vegetables. So while I’ll try to keep other meals I eat this week on the lower sodium side, I will allow this on my plate.

Overall, I think that it’s important to allow yourself to eat the foods you enjoy on occasion as long as you keep moderation in mind, and try to be creative by incorporating healthy ingredients as much as possible. That way you can stick to your plan to meet your health goals, but not become discouraged on your journey to getting there!

 

Pork Belly Stir-Fry with Snow Peas and Mixed Mushrooms

Adapted from Bon Appetit Test Kitchen
Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb pork belly, cut into 2-inch-long by ¼-inch-thich slices
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
16 oz mixed Asian mushrooms, such as oyster, enoki, shiitake
8 oz snow peas, trimmed
1 bunch green onions, sliced, divided
12 birdseye chilis (optional)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, divided
3-5 tbsp hoisin sauce (to taste)
2 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
Steamed rice, to serve

Directions
Sprinkle pork belly with salt and pepper. Heat a large wok or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and mushrooms; stir-fry until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Add pork belly to skillet; stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until pork has browned, but is not cooked through. Add snow peas, half of the green onions, birdseye chilis (if using), and half of the cilantro; stir-fry for one minute. Stir in hoisin, chili-garlic sauce, and five-spice powder. Sauté until peas are crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates with steamed rice and sprinkle with remaining green onions and cilantro.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

It’s World Egg Day, so I was inspired to share one of my favorite eggy recipes with you! While eggs used to be a super big nutritional no-no due to their cholesterol content, research has found that they don’t raise your cholesterol one darn bit! I’m so excited to live in a time when eggs are no longer a guilty pleasure, but a delicious healthy pleasure instead! So what are you waiting for? Dive into this scrumptious recipe for World Egg Day and fill up on some high quality-protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and satisfied.

 

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 large spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs, halved and seeded
1/4 pound guanciale or bacon, chopped
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small bunch kale, chopped
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 fried eggs

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Season squash with salt and pepper. Set squash flesh-side down in a shallow baking pan and add about 1/4 inch of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover squash with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until squash is fork tender. Shred squash with a fork. Keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the guanciale until crisp and brown. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels, leaving about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, serrano, and mushrooms and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mushrooms have browned. Add kale and broth. Simmer on medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed and the kale is tender.

Return the bacon to the pan. Add white wine and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add reserved shredded squash and stir, rewarming if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve on plates topped with a fried egg!

Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef

 

If you’re looking for something a little different to cook, but for something that’s still familiar (a stir fry over rice), try out this recipe for Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef. If you know of larb, a Thai dish, this shares a lot of similarities in texture and appearance. But thanks so the spice mixture, which includes cinnamon, the flavor is definitely African. Can’t imagine what that would taste like? Make this to mix up your cooking routine. It’s great served over brown rice, with roasted sweet potatoes, or even a little bit of whole grain flatbread. I’m not sure where I found the original recipe, but it is featured on Food & Wine. I’ve changed it up to add kale instead of collards (I love kale, and it’s packed with even more nutrients than collard greens), and added San Marzano tomatoes from my garden. Super delicious!

 

Kenyan Braised Kale with Ground Beef

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and seasonings and cook browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the collard greens and tomatoes and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir everything gently as it cooks, careful not to mush the tomatoes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

A Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala + Indian-Spiced Kale with Chickpeas

 

Indian food is so delicious, but you might not deem it healthy and only save it for a cheat day. But I beg you to think differently! If you cook curry in your own kitchen (it’s not daunting at all), you can see exactly what’s going into it, and it can not only be diet friendly, but extremely healthy to boot. My recipe below uses little in the way of saturated fat, and only utilizes a few tablespoons of peanut oil and a little bit of yogurt. The results? Exceptional.

I hear the word “clean eats” being thrown around a lot, but I think it’s a term that is not well-defined and can be misleading. Some might think that “clean eats” is only eating raw, or only eating really basic foods, liked steamed chicken breast and broccoli.

I am here to tell you that this chicken tikka masala meets MY definition of clean eats. This is because the dish is well-balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, and has several spices and herbs that are super good for you. While turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory, cumin and cayenne may promote weight loss, fenugreek is rich in minerals, and garam masala is a wonderful mix of several extremely healthful spices. Studies have shown many spices used in Indian cuisine also serve as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention.

So here is my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve also paired it with a recipe from EatingWell that is a great way to use up any kale you have growing in your garden! Plus the garbanzos add just a little extra fiber to really round out this dish.

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
1.5 lbs chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 tbsp Tandoori Paste
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Peanut Oil
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 serrano chilis, deseeded, chopped
1″ piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 lb roma tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
5 cashews (optional)
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Steamed basmati rice + mint chutney, to serve

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.

Add chicken, tandoori paste, and Greek yogurt to a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to refrigerator and let marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and browned.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add serrano chilis, ginger, garlic, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Then add turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, fenugreek, and cook for a few more minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a food processor with cashews and blend until very smooth.

Return sauce to the same pan and add 1 tbsp peanut oil. Add chicken and its juices to the pan to reheat. Stir in yogurt and 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with mint chutney over rice.


Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add broth, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas; cover and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Lamb Stew with Kidney Beans, Fenugreek, and Green Onions (Gormeh Sabzi)

 

It’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I was off the grid on vacation in Central America and wasn’t cooking a darned thing!

Now that Adrian and I are back from our Panamanian adventures, we’re super ready to cook up some amazing meals. For our first home-cooked dish, we were craving some serious comfort food. For us, comfort food is this lamb stew, the recipe being passed down from Adrian’s dad’s side of the family. Adrian’s aunt taught us how to make a few of his grandma’s stews, and we are forever indebted to her for that, because his grandma was an amazing home chef. According to Adrian’s dad, we make her food just right, which is a very very nice compliment coming from him and considering the talents of his mother.

I can see some readers pondering this dish and wondering if it can be made with beef instead, and it can! I’ve also heard that chicken fares well too. As an additional tip: Fenugreek can be purchased easily online if you don’t have it already. It’s a necessary ingredient to bring everything together: it’s mapley and imbues the lamb with wonderful flavor. Lastly, if you like beef stew or any other lamb stew, this will top them all. It’s even a little healthier with the beans and all of the herbs. So go ahead and make this one! Then let me know what you think.

 

Lamb Stew with Kidney Beans, Fenugreek, and Green Onions (Gormeh Sabzi)

Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients
3/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 medium-large onion, sliced thin
1 lb lamb leg or lamb stew meat
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Sabzi (Herb & Vegetable platter)
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch tarragon
1 small bunch green onions
1 bunch mint

Directions
Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, sautéing them until golden-brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add lamb, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Stir the ingredients and keep on high heat until the lamb is a pinkish brown. Then cover the mixture with water, a little below lamb level. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Cover with lid.

While the lamb mixture is simmering, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small frying pan. Add green onions and fry until the oil has coated the green onions generously, but do not let get too soft, about 1 minute. Add to the pot with the lamb mixture when done and replace lid while pot is still boiling.

In the same frying pan, sauté parsley for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of dried fenugreek, stir, and add to lamb mixture and replace lid. Keep on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Once the lamb-mixture has cooked for ten minutes (or until the lamb is tender to taste), remove the lid and add kidney beans and lemon juice to the pot and keep on medium-low heat for ten minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice with a platter of radishes and herbs.

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Shepherd’s Pie with Steamed Cabbage

 

Sometimes Mondays are rough and you just need some comfort food to keep you going. This shepherd’s pie with steamed cabbage certainly meets that criteria and we really needed it today with all of our unexpected last-minute changes in our vacation planning.

Now, shepherd’s pie might look a little heavy, but I still consider it healthy to eat on occasion because it’s balanced with carbs, protein, and fat, and is still packed with tons of nutrients from the vegetables and meat. Plus, I mostly look forward to the steamed cabbage when we eat this meal. We steam ours in our rice cooker, but you can steam yours however you please! Sooooo good!

 

Shepherd’s Pie with Steamed Cabbage

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 6

Mashed Potato Topping
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
2 egg yolks
Heavy cream, ¼ cup
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan, 1/2 cup grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Filling
1 large onion, quartered
1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5lb ground lamb, beef, or elk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small bunch, fresh thyme leaves
3 large rosemary sprigs, needles finely chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
Green Cabbage, 1 large head, quartered and steamed (optional)

Directions
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Gently mash the potatoes with egg yolks, heavy cream, butter, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Prepare your mirepoix by finely grating your onion, carrot, and garlic in a food processor. Set aside.

While the potatoes cook, heat oil in a deep oven proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground lamb, and stir until browned and broken into small pieces, about 8 minutes. Drain the fat and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400F.

Return skillet to the burner over medium-high heat and add mirepox. Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes to cook down the vegetables. Then add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir. Add herbs and wine and stir for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and cook about 5-10 minutes, or until filling has soaked up most of the liquid.

In your oven-safe skillet, top filling with mashed potatoes and spread out with a spatula. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Fluff the potatoes with a fork to give them a peaked look. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned and your pie is sizzling! Serve with a side of steamed cabbage and enjoy!