Maple Dijon Pork Chops

These are slow-cooked and the use of maple extract instead of syrup means they are light in calories too.

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Maple Dijon Pork Chops

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Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional for garnish)
Method
  1. Grease the inside of a slow cooker with oil.
  2. Add broth, onion, mustard, garlic, and extract; stir to combine.
  3. Add pork chops, turning to coat well.
  4. Cover. Cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  5. Remove chops to serving platter. Stir cream into sauce.
  6. Serve with sauce and, optionally, topped with fresh thyme.

Caesar Beef in a Pan

This is the beefeater’s version of Caesar salad.  Beef, onions, garlic, celery (for crunch, instead of croutons), Caesar dressing, and Parmesan cheese.  It’s a sort of skillet scramble. No lettuce.

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Caesar Beef in a Pan

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Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1.5 lbs lean ground beef
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Tbsp Caesar dressing
  • 1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
Method
  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add meat, celery, onion, and garlic.
  2. Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender.
  3. Stir in dressing
  4. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cheese-Stuffed Italian Meatball Muffins

These are meatballs with a surprise in them.  They’re good with anything Italian.

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Cheese-Stuffed Italian Meatball Muffins

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Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 string cheese, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 3/4 c pizza or pasta sauce
Method
  1. Heat oven to 400
  2. Oil 12 muffin cups
  3. Mix meat with scallions, eggs, salt, and pepper.
  4. Form into 12 balls. Place one in each muffin cup.
  5. Press a piece of string cheese into center of each ball, then cover it up.
  6. Top each with a tablespoon of sauce.
  7. Bake 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

 

Caribbean Island Chicken

I usually make three or four the first night and cook one fresh and freeze the others.  This uses a little time in the present but saves a lot in the future.  I prefer golden raisins, but any seedless kind will do.

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Caribbean Island Chicken

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Ingredients
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 8-oz can pineapple chunks or tidbits, with juice
  • 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c raisins
Method

To Freeze

  1. Label a gallon freezer bag
  2. Put ingredients in the bag.
  3. Freeze flat.

 

To Cook

  1. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  2. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or cook in the slow cooker on LOW for 4-6 hours.
  3. Serve with rice.

Family Frito Pie

Frito Pie is a Texas thing that I discovered when my sons took up baseball.  (I grew up on the Dakota prairie).  Traditionally, you cut open a bag of Frito’s chips and top them with chili and cheese (and maybe onions) and eat it right out of the bag.  This is a family-sized version that you can serve at the table.

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Family Frito Pie

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Ingredients
  • 1 9.75 oz bag Frito's corn chips
  • 2 15-oz cans no-bean chili
  • 1/2 c diced onion
  • 1 c (or more) shredded mild cheddar or Colby cheese
Method
  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Spray 13″ x 9″ pan with cooking spray
  3. Dump the Frito’s into the pan.
  4. Spoon the chili over.
  5. Sprinkle with onions and cheddar
  6. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and chili is bubbly.

Idiot’s Orange Chicken

This got its name because everything except the chicken is one unit in the recipe and I was told: “any idiot can make this” (although I’ve known some folks who would probably find this recipe challenging).  Often we buy one can of diet soda from a machine at the grocery store for $.25  but if you can’t do that, 2 liters is generally inexpensive enough that you don’t mind wasting the rest if you have no takers on the left-overs.

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Idiot’s Orange Chicken

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Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 2 breasts) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c ketchup
  • 1 can (12 oz) diet orange soda
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger (or ginger paste from a jar or tube)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 bag frozen 3-pepper and onion blend
  • crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
Method
  1. Put chicken in Dutch oven.
  2. Pour ketchup and soda over chicken. Stir.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, sesame seed oil and red pepper and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through and sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Add frozen vegetables. Stir well and cook until vegetables are done to your liking and sauce is thicker again.
  5. Serve over brown rice.

Reuben Wrap-Ups

If you check the recipe index, you might get the impression I like Reubens.  You’d be right.  These are good hand-food and they also can be an appetizer if you slice them into pinwheels and toothpick them.

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Reuben Wrap-Ups

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Ingredients
  • 8 low-carb tortillas or wraps
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • 8 slices corned beef from the deli on #2
  • 16 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 can sauerkraut (with caraway if you can find it)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place a wrap/tortilla on a plate and spread with dressing.
  3. Top with corned beef, then Swiss
  4. Spread about 1/4 c sauerkraut on top
  5. Roll carefully and place on ungreased baking pan.
  6. Repeat until they’re all made.
  7. Bake for about 5–10 minutes.

No Dough Pizza

This is a low-carb pizza and can also be gluten free if you read the labels of all your ingredients.  How low in carbs it is depends on your toppings, of course.  I got this recipe from a friend who was doing a low-carb diet.

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No Dough Pizza

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Ingredients
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp grated parmesan
  • 1/2 c pizza sauce
  • 1.5 c mozzarella
  • pizza toppings (pepperoni, cooked Italian sausage, etc.)
  • additional garlic powder to sprinkle
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Spray 13″ x 9″ pan with cooking spray.
  3. With the mixer, combine cream cheese, eggs, black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 c parmesan cheese.
  4. Spread into baking dish.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes
  6. Let cool 10 minutes
  7. Spread sauce on crust.
  8. Top with cheese and toppings, sprinkle with garlic powder.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese melts.