Vegetable Coconut Curry and Fiesta Friday!

vegetable coconut curry recipe 6

“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney

I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday #115 at, where I’m  co- hosting along with Julie@Hostess at Heart please click on over to join the party and add your Fiesta Friday links to the linkup!

Do you want to know what my first Indian restaurant experience was like? I dragged my husband, at the time just my boyfriend, almost kicking and screaming to an all you can eat for $9.99 lunch buffet at the newly opened Indian place close to our University. I was determined to have a little culinary adventure. Some friends came along and we all politely took small samples of everything. A little chicken curry, a little fried cauliflower, a single piece of naan (pffft!! Who can eat just one piece of naan?!?).  Let me tell you what- they got me hooked on curry (and naan, ooooh naan!). The selection of vegetarian food is also ahhhmazing!

Honestly? I paused for quite awhile before deciding to share this recipe. It is very simple as far as curries go. On the other hand, this is the first curry that I could make reliably (and I have tried more than a few). Usually I look at the ingredients list for an authentic curry and my eyes glaze over.  So many spices that are not on my pantry shelf… And the short cut recipes? They usually fall well short of my expectations. This recipe is different.

Continue reading


Beans and rice are nice

beans and rice recipe

Everyone should have one. A household absolutely shouldn’t be asked to run without it. A great beans and rice recipe, that is! Beans and rice are cheap, healthy and a wonderful comfort food.

This beans and rice recipe is simple, consisting of only pantry ingredients. I make it every week for my husbands lunches. Left overs are used as a side to accompany any Tex-mex dishes that are on the dinner menu for the week.

Continue reading

Cheap and Easy? Dried Beans and the Slow Cooker

Canned beans are a more frugal protein source than meat. But if you are looking to cut your grocery budget to the bone, dried beans can definitely help you out! Not to mention, they are healthy and take up a minuscule amount of pantry space.

But dried beans take forever to soak and cook! Nobody has time for that!

You would think that dried beans would be much less convenient than canned, but you would be wrong! I’ll explain how to make pounds of prepared beans with moments of hands on effort.

Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Chipotle Mayo and Avocado

salmon burgers

Is it just me or does it seem like summer is just flying by? I’m trying to cook on the grill as much as possible, because before you know it old man winter will be back to shoo me inside. So I’m making salmon burgers on the grill and I’m bringing these lovelies to Fiesta Friday. I hope everyone looking to stock up on their omega 3’s!

I purchased pre-made salmon burgers a couple of months ago on a whim because they were on sale. They are super convenient and a nice change of pace if you’re burned out on normal burgers. But I thought – I can make this myself. Of course I didn’t want to use bread crumbs (I hate bread crumbs, seriously they are evil) so I mixed up a batch using oatmeal as a binder.

Lo and behold salmon burgers are super easy!

Salmon Burgers – Makes 4 patties
– 1 Can of Salmon, back bones removed
– 1/4 cup oatmeal, I used quick oats
– 1 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 2 eggs

Mix it all up until in a large bowl until it is uniform and form into four patties. I found that it helped to park them in the fridge for a bit after forming and before they hit the grill.

Suggested toppings:
Sliced avocado and chipotle mayo.

I’ll have to share the recipe for chipotle mayo in a future post. On a side note how did I go my whole life until now without chipotle peppers in my pantry? Honestly, I just don’t know. But let me tell you bob they are awesome/life changing! So much lovely flavor in such a tiny package! I have been in a bit of a culinary funk lately since we cut way back on dairy. Life seemed so dull without cheese – but chipotles, they almost make up for it!

Help me out, what are your favorite dairy free dinner options?

Get out of the kitchen – Turkey pineapple skewers


If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. It is warming up here so my kitchen is closed. I’m trying to cook as many meals as possible on the grill, in the microwave, or in the slow cooker. I’m also trying to eat healthier (and who isn’t). I was excited to find turkey kielbasa and $1.29 pineapples at Aldi last week. Healthy and cheap, YAY! It’s time to put them to good use, eh?



Turkey and Pineapple Skewers:

Serves 2

– 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into large chunks

– 1/2 package turkey kielbasa, cut into medallions

– 1 red pepper, cored and cut into large chunks


Sweet red peppers, and pineapple pieces pair wonderfully with savory smokey turkey kielbasa medallions. Just skewer and grill over medium heat until the turkey is charred and cooked through. Serve with brown rice, cooked ahead of time when it wasn’t so stinken hot, and you have a real dinner!


What about you? How are you beating the heat?

My Favorite Meatloaf

my favorite meatloafMy husband loves meatloaf so I make it a lot. We have tried many recipes but this one is my very favorite. It’s tasty, doesn’t have many ingredients and as a bonus, it doesn’t require breadcrumbs. I never have breadcrumbs in the pantry and making them yourself just makes a mess. Oats are healthy, more versatile and much, much easier than bread crumbs!

The recipe below is adapted from The Amish Cook: Recollections and Recipes from an Old Order Amish Family by Elizabeth Coblentz and Kevin Williams, which is a lovely cookbook if you’re looking for a new cookbook to buy or check out from the library. The recipes are plain but tasty and the sidebar material is very interesting. It is one of the few cookbooks I have read in one sitting from cover to cover.

I’m bringing this loaf of goodness to Fiesta Friday. I hope everyone is hungry

easy meatloaf

My Favorite Meatloaf

Makes two loaves

1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pepper

4 eggs, beaten

Ketchup or Barbecue sauce – I like sweet baby rays, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together the ingredients and form into two loaves. I just baked one for this week and froze the other loaf for future use. Place the loaf in a baking dish or a greased cookie sheet and bake for 35-45 min or until center reaches a temperature of at least 160 F.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with sauce, if desired. Return to the oven for 10 minutes so the sauce can get a little crispy.

Do you have a favorite recipe from a favorite cookbook?

Not Your Mama’s Sloppy Joes

not your mamas sloppy joes

When I was a kid it seems like a disliked every cheap and easy dinner. Sloppy Joes were no exception to that rule. My revulsion to the orange loose meat sandwiches lasted straight into adulthood. However, Sloppy Joes are popular party fare, so I am bringing them to Fiesta Friday.

When I was a child I may have tried the canned stuff once or twice but I have no recollection of what it tastes like… Now that I’m grown, I can make Sloppy Joes into whatever I want them to be. I wanted my Joes to be meaty and spicy. Savory and not too sweet, too tangy or sour. And one more thing — the sauce must not be orange! Luckily the concoction I created resulted in a nice brick red sauce. Whew. Dodged that bullet!

I started out with a base sauce including a lot of the ingredients in Sloppy Joe recipes  – meat, onions, peppers, tomato sauce, tomato paste (I couldn’t bring myself to use ketchup or canned tomato soup), vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. The resulting sauce smelled tomato-y and sour. Not what I was going for. So I added some more seasonings and some spicy elements and ended up being thrilled with the results. Meaty? Check. Savory? Check. Spicy awesomeness? Check, Check! I think this one is going to make my regular dinner rotation.


Sloppy Joes:

Makes 8 sandwiches

– 1 lb ground beef

– 1 8 oz can tomato sauce

-1/2 6 oz can tomato paste

– 1 small onion diced

– 1 red pepper diced fine

– 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

– 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

– 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

– 3 Tablespoons barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)

– 2 Tablespoons chilli powder

– 1 tablespoon onion powder

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Start by cooking the ground beef over medium low heat. Add the diced onions and peppers and turn the heat back to low. Cook until the beef is browned then add the sauce ingredients. This sauce isn’t seriously spicy but it does have some heat. If you want to have a milder sauce cut back on the black pepper. Simmer over low heat until thickened to the desired consistency. Serve on hamburger buns.

Whole wheat hamburger buns were on sale at Aldi this week (45 cents for an 8 pack, woop woop!). I think the hearty whole wheat buns held up really well to the wet sauce, which was awesome.

Have you reinvented any dishes you didn’t like when you were a child? How did it go?

Most importantly — Did you bring them to a party?