Thursday, September 8, 2016

Klunker's easy chili mac

Klunker's easy chili mac

I really love to be in the kitchen and cook.  I love the whole process, from beginning to end. I love the chopping, the mixing, the boiling, and of course the eating.  I also have one foot in reality too.  I realize that I don't have the time or patience for non-stop cooking.  I have two kids under the age of 5 that I want to spend time with too.  
Sometimes I want to cook something really good, but don't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen.  So, today's recipe came about.  I wanted a recipe that would be really good, really fast, and really easy to clean up.
I hope you give this one a try, it is really good, and hits all the right spots!


2 cups dry macaroni noodles (you can use regular, whole wheat, rice)
10 cups water to boil the noodles

1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped small
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 15oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or you can use fresh)
1 14.5oz. can of diced tomatoes (or boxed, or the equivalent fresh diced) with juice
1 tablespoon low sodium/sodium free chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. paprika 
salt and pepper to taste (wait until you are done to season with salt and pepper)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (nooch)
up to 1/2 cup veggie broth if you want it creamier


Bring your water to a boil over high heat, add your pasta, and cook according to package directions.  When the pasta is done, drain well and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.

While that is boiling, place a large saute pan on the stove, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes, or until it turns translucent.

 Add the tomatoes and spices, and stir well.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the black beans, and stir well.

After stirring well, cover the pan, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove lid and stir.  If you want it saucier, add the veggie broth.

Add the cooked pasta.

Stir very well.  Make sure to really cover all the pasta in the yummy sauce.

Finally, add the nutritional yeast.  Stir well to coat.

Now, the best part, EAT!!!

Some great additions to this would be mushrooms (of course) and some baby spinach.  Also, you could put this in a casserole pan, put panko bread crumbs on top, and bake in a 400° oven for 10-12 minutes, until the top starts to brown.
However you make this, I hope you enjoy it. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Easy brussels sprout slaw

Easy brussels sprout slaw

Honestly, the title say's it all.  This super delicious slaw is about as easy as it gets.  It is full of very healthy ingredients, no salt added, and I used maple syrup to sweeten the dressing.
I hope you give this one a try, and make it often.


1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and cleaned
2 large carrots, peeled
2 heads of endive, cleaned
1/2 cup raisins (optional, but really good)

For the dressing

1 medium zucchini, peeled and cut up
1 medium carrot
1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice of 2 limes (try and use fresh)

Using the shredder on your food processor, shred the brussels sprouts, carrots, endive.
Put into a large bowl (you may need to do these separate, just dump into your bowl after each ingredient.  Using your hands, toss the ingredient together to mix.  Add the raisins, and toss again.  
In the same food processor, or blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. (use the s blade) Blend until smooth.  I like it a little chunky, but you can blend until smooth. 

Pour over the slaw mix, and with tongs, blend well.  Take a few minutes to do this, so it is well mixed.  

Cover and chill for a couple of hours.  

Uncover and mix again well.  Serve with any dish you want.  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Korean sweet and spicy sesame potatoes

Korean sweet and spicy sesame potatoes

Lets just be honest, it should come as no surprise that I would come up with a recipe for yet another Korean themed dish.  I was thrilled with this one, simply because I literally woke up for the day with the whole recipe on my mind.  I was able to go downstairs and execute it with no trouble at all.
I am thrilled with the results!  I love them hot, and actually love them better cold.  They get an almost candy like tacky shell on them.  The flavor, oh mercy, it is so good.  It is sweet at the first introduction to your mouth, as you chew, a delightful heat creeps in and mingles with the sweet.  A nutty undertone from the sesame seeds add the final pop to this delicious potato candy.

Steamed broccoli or wilted, seared mustard greens would be a great accompaniment to this dish.  You could also put in the fridge and make cold, then serve on a huge salad.  It really is just that good.


1 lb. baby potatoes, steamed or boiled, and sliced in half
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 heaping tablespoon Korean gochujang (hot pepper paste)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and gochujang, mix well (until smooth and blended)

Place a large saute pan on the stove, over medium heat.  Let heat up for about a minute.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute for about 2 minutes, until the onions start to wilt.

After 2 minutes of stirring, add the maple syrup blend.

Add the cooked potatoes.

Stir well to cover well.  Continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes.  You want to cook until the syrup gets very thick and sticky.

Add the sesame seeds, and stir well to coat.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

****A NOTE OF CAUTION!****  This stuff is hot, very hot.  Do not try and eat out of the pan, otherwise you will have a blister on your lips and tongue.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  
You can serve it after that.  As stated above, you can serve with some steamed greens.  Or, let them cool completely, and put in a glass container, cover and into the fridge for a few hours.  Everything gets sticky and so delicious.
As I was eating this tonight, I thought that this would be really good with firm tofu too!  Be creative, and enjoy this recipe.

Asian zucchini noodles

Asian zucchini noodles 

I just picked up a new veggie noodle maker, and thought that I had better try it out.  I was so happy with the ease of use.  I have a hand held maker, and it was good, but it failed when I wanted to make carrots and other hard veggies.  If anyone is interested, this is it below, and it was purchased at Wal-Mart for $20 bucks.  

I would really suggest making the investment.  I can see many uses for this, especially if you are trying to cut back on pasta.  Even if you are not, it is a great tool to have in the kitchen.
I have been wanting to make a new Asian themed sauce, and had an idea.  So I thought this was a good time to try the noodles and see how it all tasted together.

Now, you could really put anything you wanted in this, or even use regular noodles.  I will provide the recipe exactly how I made it, so you can recreate the dish as I made it.

Ingredients for sauce (make first, and set aside)

1/2 cup aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1 Tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed, fresh garlic
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sriracha 
1 tablespoon rice flour

Mix together well with a whisk, and set aside.  

Main dish ingredients:

1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly (half moon shape)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin slices

1 large carrot, grated or spiral cut
2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 large, or 2 medium zucchini, washed and noodled (spiral cut) or use regular Asian style noodles.  (you will need to pre-boil them and rinse well in cold water)
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 stalks green onion, sliced thin
sesame seeds to garnish

Place a large, nonstick wok or saute pan over medium high heat.  Let heat up for about a minute.

When the pan is heated up, add the onions.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until they start to color and wilt a bit.

After 2 minutes, add the carrots and bell pepper.  Stir fry another 2-3 minutes, or until they are starting to soften.

After 2-3 minutes, add the mushrooms, and continue to stir fry.  If anything sticks, you can add some water, about a tablespoon at a time. Stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms start wilting and giving off liquid.

Add the zucchini noodles (or regular noodles if using) and with tongs, mix into the veggies.  Mix well and continue to stir fry for a couple minutes, until the zucchini noodles start to wilt just a bit (2-3 minutes)

Add your green peas and green onions and stir fry for another minute.  

Whisk your sauce one more time, and add to the zucchini noodle mix.  Mix into the veggies well.  It will start to thicken almost right away.  Stir fry for about 1 minute, making sure to coat everything well.  

Serve right away.  This recipe makes two servings (or one really huge serving). It will give you lots of sauce, so you could have some rice with this too, and spoon the leftover sauce on the rice. 
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion if you like.  I just put in a big bowl and went to town eating this.

I hope you give this a try, and you enjoy it as much as I did.  I hope you can try this with zucchini noodles too.  But mostly, the sauce is the star, so give that a try for sure.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

White kimchi (baek kimchi, non-spicy)

White kimchi (baek kimchi, non-spicy)

Well, I have finally taken the time to make a new kind of kimchi.  There are many versions and ways to make kimchi.  You can make it out of many things too.  Each area of Korea has a way of making the national food.
I have always heard of a version that is not spicy.  It is called baek kimchi, and it is amazing. Now I love spicy kimchi, and it will forever be my favorite.  But, I also love to try new things. and can see this being part of my regular Korean menu.  

I will try and make this as easy to follow as possible.  As always, if you have questions, please ask.


2-3 heads of napa cabbage (about 4-6 lbs. Total weight) cut into quarters, and then into bite sized pieces.
1 daikon radish (about 8 inches) peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 inch nob of ginger
1 large white onion, peeled, one half sliced super thin, the other into chunks
1 bosc pear, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
6 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup kosher salt (or coarse sea salt) (don't panic, you will rinse most of this off)
1 cup water

(you will need several jars that have tight fitting lids, and two large bowls)

Cabbage, daikon radish, pear and onion

Cut the cabbage into quarters first

Then cut into bite sized pieces, and put in a very large bowl.  Rinse well and drain, you need the cabbage pieces wet though, so just drain the majority of the water off.
As you put back in the bowl, put a layer down, and put a nice big pinch of salt over the layer.  (I am talking about a good tablespoon to two tablespoons).  Put more cabbage on top of that, and salt again.  Put another layer down and salt until you are out of salt.  Put the remaining salt on top evenly.  Again, don't panic over the amount of salt.  You will wash it off.

Now, mix it around good with your hands.  Really get that salt on every piece of cabbage.  Now cover the bowl lightly with a towel and set aside.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, uncover and mix around with your hands.  You will notice that it is wilting and there is water at the bottom.  This is good.  After mixing well, cover again and let sit another 30 minutes.  

After another 30 minutes, uncover and again mix around.  You will see that your cabbage has reduced in volume by at least half.  Now cover and let sit for 30 minutes more.  While it is sitting, you can start to get the other ingredients ready.  
In a food processor or blender, combine the pear, onion chunks, water (1 cup), soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  Blend until very smooth.

After blending, set aside.  Now you want to cut your veggies (carrots, onion, pepper and daikon radish.  You want them all to be thin matchstick slices (except the green onion, that just slice into 1/2 inch slices) Mix together into a large bowl.  Add the blended mix to this, and mix together well.

Now, you want to rinse and wash your cabbage.  I put a picture of all the water that was leached out of the cabbage below.

Now, you want to wash your cabbage at least 3-4 times.  Fill the bowl with fresh running water, use your hand and really get in there and wash the hell out of the cabbage.  Drain, and do it all over again.  Keep going until you have rinsed at least 3 times. I usually do 4-5 times to get all the salt off.  The salt has pleasantly flavored the cabbage.  After the last rinse, taste a piece, you will be surprised how nice it tastes. 

 After your last rinse, pour into a strainer and let drain for a while.  Press it down and you can even squeeze it  to get all the excess water off.
After it is drained, mix the cabbage and veggie mix together.  Since it is not spicy, you can get your hands in there and really give it a good mix.  Don't be afraid of it, really mix it good.
With your hands, you will now fill your jars.  Really stuff them good.  Push down and fill all the voids.  Leave about an inch at the top of each jar.  When they are all filled, take the remaining liquid in the bowls, and fill the jars to almost the top.
Now with a clean rag, clean the tops of all the jars, and put the lids on just a few twists.  You want the jars to have room to expand as they ferment.  Now, put the jars into a 9x13 pan, and place in a semi warm area of the kitchen to ferment.  I usually ferment for 1 1/2 to 3 days, depending on how warm my kitchen is.  I ended up doing this latest batch for 2 days.
Every day, take a lid off and check to see if they are getting sour.  It will be a happy taste.  You will notice that the bottom of your pan is getting wet.  As the kimchi ferments, it will bubble up and over into the pan.  Its normal and what you want to see.
When your kimchi is done to your liking, clean the jar and close the lid tight. Put into your fridge and keep cold.  
This type of kimchi does not last as long as spicy kimchi.  One month to one and a half months is all.  But, you will eat it before that.  :)
I hope I was clear enough with my instructions.  You can see the instructions for spicy kimchi on this site, just put "kimchi" in the search bar.