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Category Archives: Main Dishes

4 meals from one chicken

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For today’s Double Dip Monday, I want to share how I got four meals for three people from one whole roasting chicken.  I will be upfront and admit that Daughter and I don’t eat very much meat, so this might not work out to four meals for you, but the principles still apply.

To start, I roasted the chicken whole for our big Sunday meal, and served the meaty breast and legs with brown rice.  There was one breast left over, plus the meat that was on the rest of the bird, so I picked that off, shredded it, and put it in the fridge.  I saved all of the bones, plus the meat on the wings and back, and made cock-a-leekie on Monday by adding leeks and the leftover rice.  This gave me enough soup for two full meals for the three of us, if I added some rolls or scones and a few cut up fresh veggies.  On Tuesday, I took the leftover shredded meat, added in some random salad bits I had floating about the fridge and some actual leaf salad, and served up chicken salad with a balsamic dressing.  Then, on Wednesday, I served the leftover cock-a-leekie.

Given that I could get three to four meals out of the roasting chicken, I splurged and bought a free-range, organic bird (what I generally refer to as “happy hens”).  The upside was that the bird was so flavorful that none of us ate as much as we would have eaten if it had been a factory bird.  I plan to try this out several more times, just to see if it is one particular type of chicken or all happy chickens in general, but you can get several meals out of any bird if you’re clever about it…


Fried Apples and Onions

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Ah, fried apples and onions, you have saved me on many a hungry fall night.  I think, technically, this is supposed to be a side dish for some kind of roast meat. but since I rarely roast meat, I am perfectly happy just serving fried apples and onions on their own.  This dish is really the perfect way to use up the glut of apples and onions that comes in late fall and winter, especially when so little else is available fresh.

For each person, thinly slice one onion and one cored but not peeled apple, and also chop well about half a slice of bacon.  In a very large pan, fry the bacon and onions together, pouring off excess grease if necessary.  Once the onion is soft, layer in the apple rings, sprinkling a teaspoonful of sugar here and there throughout (depending really on your own taste and how sweet your apples are). Cover and leave the apples to soften, stirring them as little as necessary.  Once the apples are soft, the dish is ready to be eaten.  I serve this with potatoes, but it can go with whatever you fancy.

Welcome to Double Dip Monday!

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Welcome to Double Dip Monday, the first of a weekly installment I will be doing in honor of the second recession we are now in here in Europe.  For this first post, I thought I would recap the menus I planned for last week, and what we managed to eat.

We were away until Tuesday, so this isn’t a full week’s menu.  I was also using up what was leftover from the holidays, which accounts for some of the more extravagant dishes.

Tuesday dinner was relatively basic – fried apples and onions, with mashed potatoes and a basic vegetable soup.

Wednesday started with our standard breakfast of rolls and rice cakes with cheese, and lunch was leftover dinner from Tuesday.  Dinner was lentil stew with GF oat bread rolls, similar to one the posted here (just minus the dumplings), and apple and carrot salad.

Thursday breakfast was  leftover oat bread rolls with a homemade leek and cheese spread, and lunch was leftover stew for Daughter and I.  Our dinner was a bit more upscale, with onion soup to start, followed by GF pasta with classic alfredo sauce and more apple and carrot salad.

Friday breakfast was homemade granola with milk.  Lunch was leftover onion soup, and dinner was a simple girls’ night in with more leftover onion soup, polenta, fried leeks, and the rest of the apple and carrot salad.  This was a definite step up from our usual girls’ night dinner, which is typically at the intricacy level of oatmeal.

I used Saturday to do a bunch of weekend cooking, so we started with pancakes.  I try to make enough to have leftovers for at least snacks or maybe another breakfast for one of us.  Lunch was a quick frozen vegetable risotto, while I set cock-a-leekie and ranch beans to cook.  I made GF pizza for dinner as a treat.

Sunday was a whirlwind day, starting with our regular breakfast, and including cock-a-leekie, ranch beans and hush puppies for lunch.  Dinner was more cock-a-leekie, and whatever other leftovers were floating around (pancakes anyone?).  It was a ginormous pot of cock-a-leekie, so we even have some leftover for tomorrow.

I managed to keep shopping to a minimum this past week, and I am hoping to do the same this week.  I mostly am buying only milk and vegetables, as we need them, and using up whatever I can find in our very tiny freezer and pantry.  I’m sensing bean burgers for this coming week, and something with that uses up my frozen zucchini, and possible my stewed pumpkin.

Quick noodle lunch for kids

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Now that we are homeschooling Daughter (did I not mention that before? It explains my long absences), I am collecting easy lunch recipes.  In my quest, I’ve recently come across a recipe that Daughter can more or less make by herself, so I thought I should share.

Boil up enough (GF) noodles for three servings, and I use either spaghetti or corkscrews, but really, whatever you have on hand.  Once these are boiled, drain the noodles, dump  them back in the pot, and add in about a tablespoon of butter and one cup of mascarpone cheese or similar soft cheese.  Stir vigorously, and sprinkle with either vanilla or cinnamon sugar (at a ratio of one teaspoon cinnamon to one tablespoon sugar).  Serve with fruit.

Lunch done!


Baked Cream of Buckwheat (Pohankove Krupice)

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Mother-in-Law just cued me in on an old Slovak farm dish on her last visit, and it came out such a treat that I thought I’d share.  It’s the kind of thing that makes use of what is about on a farm or in the countryside, and it can be baked when the oven is already hot for something else.

There are three steps to this, so bear with me.

To make up the cream of buckwheat, either follow the instructions on the package for four servings, or heat two cups of milk with a good dollop of butter, a tablespoon of sugar or syrup, and a dash of salt in a deep pot.  Once it is near boiling, whisk in a scant 1 1/4 cups of the cream of buckwheat (which I still call krupice, and have no idea of the proper English name).  Whisk constantly over heat until it starts to thicken, then switch to a spatula and stir until thoroughly cooked.  Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, bake four or five apples in a medium oven by washing and coring them, then placing in a buttered dish.  You can stuff them with dried fruit and nuts, jam, or compote, or just leave them empty.  You could also peel them, but I’m too lazy to do that, so I just give them a good wash.  Sprinkle in a bit of water, cover with foil, and bake until soft.

While the apples are baking, separate the whites from the yolks of three eggs.  Beat the juice of half a lemon into the yolks, then thoroughly mix into the cooled buckwheat.  Beat the eggs stiff with up to 1/2 cup of sugar, depending on taste, then fold this into the buckwheat mixture.  Pour all around the baked apples in the baking dish, return to the oven uncovered, and bake until set and browned on top.

I serve this warm with chopped nuts and a salad of tinned fruits.  It’s an amazing, stick to your ribs, winter dinner.

Honey Roasted Vegetables and Rice

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I love these vegetables, because I have them in my fridge most of the year, so I can make this without even thinking about it too much.  This recipe is from Sainsbury’s, and I’ve made it exactly this way several times; however, I’ve also forgotten the rosemary a few times and no one has said a word.  If I’m short on Parmesan cheese, I just top the risotto with a touch of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Oh, and I usually make this with brown rice instead of arborio, but it works either way.

Really, I can’t follow a recipe to save my life.

Hotdog goulash

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Yes, hot dog goulash.  It’s desperate times around here, let me tell you.  So, should you find yourself in the position of only having one pot to cook in and no cooking utensils beyond a knife and spoon, this recipe will serve you well.

Finely chop and onion and  a well-scrubbed carrot, then saute in whatever fat you have handy (I used bacon fat).  Finely chop whatever other veggies you might want to add in, like a paprika, along with a clove or two of garlic, and throw those into the pot.  Chop up enough hotdogs, at least one per person, and chuck those in, along with enough chopped potatoes to fill out the goulash.  Add in water and bouillon or veggie stock to cover, along with sweet paprika, salt and pepper (or just plain goulash seasoning).  Cook until slightly reduced and the potatoes have softened.

This went over surprisingly well, but it could be just because it was a hot meal…