Short Rib Red Sauce

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This is a sauce I like to make LOTS of. I like to freeze it  for later. This is a recipe which I like to add sauteed cremini mushrooms to and or any lovely greens in season. I simply add to the fresh or thawed base sauce; you can create whatever you wish. This recipe is also easily divided if you don’t wish to make as big a batch but why not?

Short Rib Red Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

6 oz. diced pancetta

2 1/2 lbs. short ribs or flanken style short ribs.

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Flanken style short ribs pictured on the left. I prefer the flanken style because it has less fat and more meat.

3/4 cup flour

3 onions , small dice

3 carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice

1 bunch parsley chopped

6 cloves garlic , minced

1 head roasted garlic, pulp squeezed out

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 1/2 quarts tomato puree

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3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 bay leaves

7 1/2 cup beef broth

2 1/4 cups red wine

red pepper flakes; to taste

Additions

sauteed mushrooms

sauteed seasonal leafy greens

sauteed squash

Heat the olive oil in a 13 quart heavy pot. Cook the pancetta until crispy . Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the short ribs ; do not over crowd pot and brown the short ribs on all sides.

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Do not rush the browning process. It’s the browning and the luscious tiny bits left on the bottom of the pan known as the fond that add to the depth of flavor in the sauce.

Once all the short ribs are nice and brown, add the short ribs and crispy pancetta along with the remaining ingredients to the pot. Give the pot a stir ; make sure to scape the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir to combine.

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Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour. Using a slotted spoon remove the short ribs and the bay leaves. Allow the short ribs to cool enough to just handle and remove the bones. Place the short rib meat back into the simmering pot and continue to cook until short rib meat is tender enough that it shreds. Using the back of a spoon smash any grape tomatoes on the inside edge of the pan that have not fallen apart.   Shred the meat and place back into sauce simmer the sauce until thickened slightly. Serve this sauce over mashed potatoes or toothy pasta such as rigatoni, penne or tagliatelle.

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Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

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Granola is so easy to make yourself. This recipe is just a guide. Follow it to the tee or add whatever your favorite fruit nuts and seeds are.

Healthy Fruit and Berry Blast Granola with Flax Seed and Millet

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flax seed

1/2 cup millet

1/4 cup freeze dried sliced strawberries

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries

1/4 cup dried apples, coarsely chopped

1/8 cup dried cherries

1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/8 cup dried raisins

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1/8 cup dried blueberries

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup honey or to taste

3/4 cup egg whites

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and oil them; set aside.

In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit; toss. In a separate bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, honey and egg whites until combined well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss until evenly coated. Divide granola mixture in half between the two prepared baking sheets. Spread out granola in even layer on baking sheet. Bake each sheet for 25-35  minutes or until edges are crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool completely on rack. Once cooled, break into clumps and store in airtight container.

South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

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This salad can easily be converted to a fantastic vegetarian salad simply by omitting the chicken and cooking the quinoa in vegetable stock.

South West Black Bean and Chicken Salad

6 cups cooked shredded chicken

Two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 green bell paper, roasted , peeled, seeded and julienned

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and julienned

1 jalapeno seeded, minced

2 cups, chopped Roma tomatoes

1 cup sliced green onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn

1 cup quinoa cooked in 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth as directed on package

Lettuce greens

Dressing:

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lime zest

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper; to taste

In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the salad and toss. Line the serving bowl/platter with lettuce greens; set aside.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Pour over the salad and toss. Place on greens lined serving dish.

French Provencal Pot Roast

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French Provencal Pot Roast

(1) 3-4 lb. chuck roast

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 shallot, sliced

1 leek, light green to white part cleaned and sliced

1 cup or so red wine

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

10-12 small red new potatoes, whole

2 ribs celery , cut into chunks

2 sprigs rosemary

1 lemon , cut in half

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup beef stock

one 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

12 large leaves basil, torn

1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence

2 tablespoons drained capers

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. In a heavy iron pan with tight fitting lid heat on high. When hot add a bit of olive oil and sear the roast well on both sides. Remove seared roast to platter. Turn down heat to low and add the onions, leek and shallot and quick saute. Add the garlic. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pot. Add the sliced lemon halves and place roast on top along with the Herbs de Provence, rosemary sprigs, and beef stock. Place tight fitting lid on pot and cook in oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until roast appears to have about 1 hour of cooking time left.. Remove from oven and add the carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms,  fire roasted tomatoes, 1/2 of the parsley, capers and 3/4 of the torn basil leaves. Place lid back on pot and finish baking until meat and vegetable or tender. Once finished remove lemons and place roast, vegetables and pan juices on platter and garnish with chopped parsley and rosemary sprigs.

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna

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Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Lasagna

ingredients

  • 1- 10 oz package cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • 3 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere, shredded
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 1 1/2 cup grated fontina
  • 1 package no bake lasagna noodles

directions

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • 2

    Cook mushrooms, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened. Add wine and simmer briskly for 2 minutes. Set aside saucepan.

  • 3

    Melt 4 tablespoons butter in another saucepan , add the flour to make a roux, whisking constantly for 3 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream and whisk until well combined. Add the thyme, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and simmer whisking occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 cup sauce and set aside. Stir in the parmesan into the remaining sauce , add the mushroom – chicken mixture and stir together.

  • 4

    Combine the mascarpone and fontina together, set aside.

  • 5

    Pour half of the reserved sauce into a 9×13 baking pan, spreading evenly . Place lasagna sheets, overlapping slightly, and one third of the mushroom- chicken mixture, spread evenly, sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated Gruyere cheese. Layer with more noodles and top with sliced mozzarella cheese. Add more layers of noodles, top with mushroom- chicken mixture, sprinkle with grated Gruyere cheese. Top with another layer of noodles and top with fontina – mascarpone mixture, spread evenly. Top again with noodles and top with remaining mushroom – chicken mixture, spread evenly, sprinkle with grated Gruyere. Top with last layer of noodles and pour reserved sauce over top and spread evenly and sprinkle with remaining Gruyere.

  • 6

    Place on foil lined baking sheet. Cover lasagna tightly with foil not touching top of lasagna. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until top is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to st at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tamale Pie

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You will never miss the meat. I used cremini mushrooms also known as baby portabellas for the lack of meat. These mushrooms are perfect texture for any replacement for meat. I also included kale for the needed green and additional vitamins to the dish. A great fool the kids into veggies alternative.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Tamale Pie

1 onion,chopped

2 cloves garlic,minced

dash of olive oil

1 (16 oz. ) can kidney beans, undrained

1(16oz.) can black beans, undrained

1 (16 oz.) can garbanzo beans , undrained

7 oz. can diced green chilies, undrained

1 (16 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 carrot, peeled, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 cup frozen corn

1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1/2 cup sliced olives

1 lb. stemmed and diced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups almond milk

1/2 cup egg substitute or egg whites

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 1/2 oz. canned creamed style  corn

Lightly grease a large slow cooker pot. In a skillet with a little bit of olive oil,cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add all the ingredients except the corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, almond milk, egg substitute, vegetable oil and cream style corn. Stir to combine, cover and cook on high for 2 hours.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and sugar. Whisk in the almond milk, egg substitute, vegetable oil and creamed style corn just until combined. Pour the corn meal mixture evenly over the top of the bean mixture; cover and cook 2 more hours. Serve.

Braised Lamb Shanks over Tuscan White Beans with Gremolata

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Tuscan White Beans

1 lb. dried white beans,rinsed and picked over

6 cups water

1 fresh rosemary sprig

salt and pepper , to taste

Place the beans in a bowl of water and let soak over night. Drain soaked beans and add to a slow cooker. Pour in the water and toss in the rosemary sprig. Place slow cooker on low and cook for about 8 hours or until beans are tender. Salt and pepper, to taste. Drain and set drained beans aside.

Braised Lamb Shanks

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and cut into large dice

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1- 3-inch rosemary sprig

4 lamb shanks

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

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Pat dry the lamb shanks and trim where needed. Salt and pepper the shanks. In a large saute pan, add a small amount of olive oil. Heat the pan on high and sear all sides of the lamb shanks. Remove to platter and set aside.

Scatter the vegetables, chopped garlic, and rosemary in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Arrange the shanks on top of the vegetables.

Stir together the broth,red wine, and tomato paste. Pour over the top of the shanks. Cover  and cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat is tender and coming away from the bone.

Remove the shanks to a platter and cover.

Skim the fat from the surface of the liquid in the slow cooker. Turn the heat to high and stir in the drained beans. Heat until beans are heated through.

Gremolata

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic , minced

zest from 1 lemon.

Chop together the parsley and garlic. Stir in the zest. Stir in half the mixture into the bean mixture.

Place bean mixture on top of shanks and sprinkle the remaining gremolata over the top of the shanks and beans.