Sunday, May 29, 2011

Healthy Hamburger Helper

I came across this recipe on a blog I follow called The Nourishing Cook and it was an instant hit!  It starts with raw sweet potato that you need to cook in the skillet as well, but if you have cubed roasted sweet potato on hand (like I always do) it cuts the cooking time down dramatically.  Another "cheat" I use on this recipe is having frozen chopped spinach on hand.  A 15 minute meal!

Healthy Hamburger Helper  (mom_of_4 comments in italics)


  • 1 pound ground beef or other ground meat (preferably grass-fed)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, bacon grease, tallow or lard (I used bacon grease, of course!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed (for SCD or the GAPS diet, use carrots instead, about 2 cups cubed)  (this is where I pull out the leftover roasted sweet potato...)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons coconut flour (see my resources)
  • 6 large leaves chard, kale, spinach or other greens, chopped (about two cups measured chopped)


1. Chop onions, sweet potato or yam (or carrots) and mince garlic.

2. Saute the onions in the oil first until lightly browned. Or you can saute until they are caramelized if you would like.

3. Add sweet potatoes (or carrots) and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.
4. Make room in the center of the pan and plop in the hamburger. Brown the hamburger.

5. Meanwhile, cut up the greens (I have chard here).

6. Once ground beef is (mostly) browned, add the coconut flour. Mix and saute until the sweet potatoes are soft enough for your taste.

7. Add the chard to the pan once sweet potatoes are cooked. Only cook the hash 5 minutes or less with the chard in it, you don’t want to overcook it.

8. You’re done! And leftovers are yummy and easy to heat up too!

(A few dashes of soy sauce is the perfect condiment to round out the flavors in this dish.  Even the kids loved it!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crockpot Honey Chicken with Dried Fruit

from Busy Cooks

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 4 chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit pieces (I used apricots and raisins)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped (minced)


Place all ingredients in 4-5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours until chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. Serve over hot cooked rice or egg noodles. 8 servings

Do not use bone-in pieces of chicken because the recipe may not work. Bone-in dark meat chicken cooks very differently from boneless in the crockpot.

mom_of_4's Favorite Chicken Curry

My favorite chicken curry recipe is the "Basic Meat Curry" recipe from the More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre. First, I think it's ironic that my favorite curry recipe is from a Mennonite cookbook, but I guess we have been busy being practical and economical all over the world. Second, it's just as interesting that I did not discover this recipe until a coworker brought it for a department potluck. I asked him for the recipe and he brought me a photocopy from the same cookbook I already had. What is so special about this copy, is that on it his wife has recorded a family moment the day she tried the recipe - their son's first music class - and added her own "tweaks" that saved me a lot of trial-and-error.

Basic Meat Curry (with my comments in italics)

Saute in heavy deep skillet or kettle (I use a deep skillet with a lid):
2T fat, oil, or shortening (umm...butter, of course!)
2 onions, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (2 cloves, definitely 2)

Blend in small bowl:
2 T lemon juice or vinegar (lemon juice)
2-4 t. curry powder (2 is mild enough for the kids, I like 3)
Stir curry mixture into sauteed onions and fry lightly 1-2 minutes. This produces a relatively mild curry; if desired, season with additional spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, ginger, cumin, or cayenne.

Add one of the following:
1 3lb chicken fryer, cut into small pieces (6-8 chicken thighs, I like bone-in to add richness)
2 lbs beef, cut in 1" chunks
2 lbs lamb, cut in 1" chunks
2 lbs meatballs, browned
Stir-fry briefly to coat meat with spices.

1 c tomato juice or sauce (I buy the small cans of tomato sauce to have on hand just for this recipe)
1 t. salt
1-2 c. broth or water (2 c chicken broth is best, but I've used water in a pinch)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 2-3 hours for beef and lamb, 1 1/2 hours for chicken, 20 minutes for meatballs. Add more liquid during cooking as needed for thin stew consistency. Thicken slightly with flour just before serving, if desired. (I just keep an eye on it and take the lid off to reduce the sauce if it is too thin)