Thursday, July 13, 2017

3 bean potato veggie soup (IP)

3 bean potato veggie soup

As I write this recipe here, I am on my second bowl of this amazing soup.
One thing to understand about me, is that no matter how hot it gets outside, or what season it is, soup will always be in my house.  I love soup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and I usually eat more than one little bowl.  

I wanted to make a large batch of soup today, and the purpose was to have lots of leftovers. I work graveyard shift at the hospital, and I wanted to have something I could just take out of the fridge/freezer, and heat up at work.  If I don't plan ahead, I end up eating whatever I can find, and it usually isn't packed with nutritious stuff.
So, here we have my newest soup recipe, and I am proud of it.  I am not salt free, but didn't include salt in this recipe.  I did put a little after, but very little.  I found it had great flavor all on its own.  
(Please note, I am listing all the ingredients that were used today.  If you would like to add or subtract anything, please do. :) )


5 medium russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about the size of your thumbnail)
3 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1/2 inch)
4 stalks of celery, washed and chopped (about 1/2 inch)
1 large red bell pepper, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green beans
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice.  I found some fire roasted, so I used those.
1 bunch tuscan kale, washed and stripped from large center, and cut into bite sized pieces.
1 14.5 oz. can of black beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans.  All drained and rinsed.
4 cups good veggie broth/stock or mushroom stock
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

After prepping all the veggies, put them in your Instant Pot.  It will be a tight fit, so you will have to tap it all down.  Trust me, it will fit!  
Add your broth/stock, and stir around until it is all mixed up good.

Add all your seasonings, and stir one more time.

Place the top on, and close the pressure valve.  
Manual setting mode, select time to 5 minutes.  Now, as always, walk away and clean up your mess.  
For this recipe, after 5 minutes, I let it go NPR (natural pressure release)

Serve right away, with a nice crusty bread with Chuck's great corn butter on top.
This soup will store in the fridge for a few days, and will freeze good too.  
I hope you give it a try, and I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jessica's quick air fryer pizza

Jessica's quick air fryer pizza

Well, the title says it all.  This recipe (the first official air fryer recipe) is dedicated to my friend Jessica.  She asked me to come up with some easy, tasty, air fryer recipes. 
I thought a great first recipe would be pizza.  This pizza dough is so easy to make too.  It is full of flavor, and the whole recipe from start to finish is under 30 minutes.  
It is for one single pizza (air fryers are only so big) but they come together so fast, you could double the recipe.  I am just putting the instructions for the crust.  Everyone loves their own pizza.  For the one I made today, I put some sauce on the bottom, some sweet bell peppers, mushrooms (shocker) and some spinach.  It all goes on top, and you don't have to pre-cook the crust first.  

Ingredients (crust)

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat bread flour)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (lukewarm) 
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 teaspoons dried sweet basil (you could sub with oregano or Italian seasoning)
1 teaspoon maple syrup

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, water, and maple syrup.  Stir until the yeast is well mixed.  Let sit for about 5 minutes, or just until it starts to get some bubbles.

While that is sitting, combine the flour and the spices (onion, garlic, basil) and mix well.  If you use salt, you can add a 1/2 tsp. of it here.

After 5 minutes or so, add the yeast water to the flour.  Use a wooden spoon, and combine to form a very crumbly mess.

Not all of the flour will be stuck to this ball, and that is o.k..  Just take your hand and squish it all together to form a loose pile of crumbs.  (see illustration above)

Now, pour the ball and all its unhooked followers on to a clean work surface (I used a large cutting board)  Work as much of the loose crumbles into the dough (yes, you will knead this for about 5 minutes)  just until the dough is smooth and you can form a small ball.  (again, if it all doesn't go in, don't worry, you want a smooth ball, that is slightly moist)
Now let the dough sit and rest for 5 minutes. (just enough time to clean up that mess you just made)

After it has rested, and you have cleaned up your mess, you are ready to roll this ball out.  You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick.  When you have rolled it out nice and even, you will put the bottom of the basket for your air fryer on top of it, and push down (like a cookie cutter) and it will give you the size and shape you need.

After you cut it to size (there will be a little left over, you can toss, eat, or do the hokey pokey with those scraps)
Place the crust in the bottom of the basket now.

Now, go to town.  Put sauce, veggies, fruit......pretty much whatever you want on the pizza.  Try not to make it too overloaded, otherwise its hard to get out.
Place into your air fryer, and set to 360° for 12 minutes (13 minutes for more crispy)
After it is done, take out and let rest for a minute or two.  The secret to getting out of the basket is to take a fork, lift up the side, and put a spatula under it.  Turn the basket just a little and it comes right out.  IF NOT, just go around each edge with a fork and put the spatula under to loosen.  
Cut your pizza from corner to corner, and enjoy!!

I hope you enjoy this pizza.  After the first time you make, it will be super simple and you can make so many different kinds.  You could use different kinds of seasonings and toppings and have pizza every day!
**Because of the many types of flours, you may need to adjust the cook time a bit.  You may increase in 1 minute increments until the desired crispiness.  This should only be the first time you make***

Friday, June 2, 2017

Klunker's Mexican quinoa

Klunker's Mexican quinoa

I am finding out just how much you can do with quinoa.  It amazes me actually, just when I think I have hit a roadblock, a new idea or an update on age old ideas come around.
I really love this recipe, it is warm, but not spicy.  It doesn't leave you reaching for the water, but it does put a nice warm feeling in your mouth and throat.
I used all salt free ingredients, and found it was great.  Now, if you are not on a salt free path, you could add salt and pepper at the end.  


1.5 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained well
1 cup frozen corn
1 14.5 oz. can of no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of no salt RoTel (tomato and green chili mix, usually in the Mexican section, or by the canned tomatoes)
1 red bell pepper, washed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 leeks, tops removed, bottom light green to white used.  Slice in half lengthwise, and slice into thin half moons. (see first picture of cooking) wash very well after slicing.
1 medium zucchini, cut into quarters and then chopped into chunks (about 1/2 inch)
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2.5 cups water

In a large saute pan (with a lid) saute the leeks.  They will take the longest to cook.  
Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until wilted and soft.

After the leeks have softened, add the RoTel, corn, beans, red peppers, zucchini, and all the spices.  Saute for another 10 minutes, or until the veggies have started to soften.

After 10 minutes, add the quinoa

Stir the quinoa into the veggies well.  Add the water, and stir again, and bring to a boil

Cover with a lid, and turn to medium low.  Let cook for 20 minutes, and make sure you don't peek.  <<Seriously, don't peek!
After 20 minutes, turn off the heat, and let sit for 10 minutes (again, NO PEEKING!)
After 10 minutes of sitting, you may now peek. Actually, take the lid off and stir it around.
Serve hot, as a side, or maybe a bit more and you can eat as a meal.
You can add avocado, fresh cilantro, salsa, or a squeeze of lime (or all those)

I hope you give this a try, and enjoy it as much as I do.  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Klunker's red lentil, corn, and potato chowder

Klunker's red lentil, corn, and potato chowder

Looking through my cupboards today, I discovered I had two large bags of red lentils. Grateful that they don't go bad, I decided that maybe I should make something with them.
I decided to try a new recipe and see how it turned out, and I am glad I did.  It will now be on my top 5 list of favorite soups.

My love for lentils comes from my earliest childhood memories.  My mother made, and still makes, the absolute best lentil soup.  Every time I eat lentils, it takes me back in time.  My mother is by far the best cook I know, and the reason I have such a passion for my recipes.
I also want to dedicate this recipe to my friend Sandra, she is an inspiration to me!  She eats SOS (salt/oil/sugar) free, and so this recipe follows those guidelines.
This is an Instant Pot recipe also, so it is done fast.


6c no salt veggie stock or mushroom stock
1.5 cups red lentils, washed and drained (uncooked)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces (about 1/2 inch)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)
2 cups frozen corn
4 stalks of celery, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced small
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped small
1 14.5oz. can of chopped tomatoes (no salt added)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 bay leaf 
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tablespoon no salt seasoning (Costco brand is what I used)

Now, this next part is going to overwhelm you (kidding, this is the best part)! Put all the ingredients into your Instant Pot, and stir to combine well.

Now, put the lid on, set it to seal, and turn the Instant Pot on.  
Set to Manual Mode, and 10 minutes.  When it is done, we are going to do NP (natural release).
Now, walk away and clean up your mess you just made.  But hurry, it will be done soon!

Now, some of you are asking about instructions without and Instant Pot.  I have those here too.  It is just as easy.  
Place all ingredients into a large pot, and stir well to combine.  Place on stove over medium high heat.  Allow to come to a soft boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.  
At 20 minutes, check the lentils to see if they are done, also the potatoes.  If both are soft, it is done.  (Overwhelmed yet?  hahahaha)

OK, back to the Instant pot instructions.  
When the valve has dropped, you can open your Instant Pot and stir the chowder.  
Serve hot, sprinkled with some herbs.  I used cilantro, and it really gave it a nice pop.  You could also add some hot sauce.
Serve with crusty bread, or all on its own, it will be fantastic!

I hope you give this a try, and enjoy it as much as I do.  It is super easy to make, and has amazing flavors.
If you are not salt free, you can adjust the seasoning as you need to, but I didn't have to (and I am not salt free)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Klunker's potato salad

Klunker's potato salad

Summer is just about here (well, where I live, it is here), and that means summer foods! One of those foods that make a picnic or family get together great, POTATO SALAD!
Now I already have another recipe on this site for a potato salad, but this one is a new dressing, and new veggies.  So, why not make a new recipe.

I love this recipe because of all the veggies involved.  It is crunchy, creamy, soft, hard.......basically, an explosion in your mouth!  Now, add to that a bright new dressing (yes, it can be used for a salad dressing too), and you have one great recipe!
I hope you give this a try!

(Coconut bowls courtesy of my sweet friend Tara)


For the dressing (Make this first, and set aside)

1 14.5 oz can of great northern beans with liquid (unsalted is what I used)
1/4 cup good dijon mustard
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced fine 
3 medjool dates, pitted 
2 teaspoons of dried sweet basil 
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Place all the above into a blender and blend until very smooth (about 3-4 minutes with normal blender, 2 minutes with high speed)
Set aside and let sit while you make the rest of the salad.

Ingredients for the potato salad

1.5 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes (you can use normal size, you will cut them into cubes)
1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes (keep whole) washed
4 stalks celery, sliced thick
1 cup sweet frozen corn (or fresh)
1 cup diced cucumber (I used English cucumbers)
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 green onions, sliced thin (whites and greens, about 1/3 cup

Start by steaming your potatoes.  If you are using baby yukons, just steam whole.  If you are using full size, cut into cubes (bite size). 
While they are steaming, prep the rest of your veggies, and put them in a bowl.  
After the potatoes are just steamed (about 12-15 minutes, depending on size), remove and let cool enough to touch.  
If you used baby yukons, cut into bite size pieces. Place into a very large mixing bowl.

Now grab some of that delicious dressing.  Pour half of it onto the potatoes.

Gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Now, add the rest of the veggies.

Pour the remainder of the dressing on top.  Make sure to get it all. 

Carefully mix all together.  Take your time, and make sure everything gets equal sauce.

Taste for seasoning.  Mine was spot on, and I didn't have to adjust.  
Cover and chill for a couple hours.  As it rests in the fridge, the flavors marry, and become amazing!  The veggies are crunchy, the tomatoes pop in your moth, the potatoes are creamy and smooth.  The dressing, well, the dressing is simply amazing.  The crisp corn adds a delightful sweet flavor, and the peas follow up with a great, clean burst!
Serve along side your favorite foods (BBQ, Mushrooms.......or on a bed of lettuce)
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and it finds its way into your normal rotation.

Garnish with some extra green onions!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Klunker's mushroom adobo (Filipino dish)

Klunker's mushroom adobo

I know, you are thinking to yourself, "this man has a serious mushroom problem".  I am here to tell you, that it is true.  I love them, and I cannot control myself.  They make me happy, they fill the savory side of my taste buds.  I am pretty sure, if they came in a big gold statue, I would probably worship them.  So, it should come as no surprise that I would come up with yet another dish dedicated to the wonderful fungi.  
This dish comes from the Philippines.  They have a national dish (normally chicken) adobo. I love the amazing simplicity and yet deep flavor this dish offers.  How easy it was to transform it to a plant based meal.  This paired with some brown rice, or maybe some quinoa, and you have an amazing meal.


1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin.  (I used a mix of cremini and button)
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thin
5 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed, and chopped
1 large bay leaf 
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

You will also need a large saute pan with lid, and a wooden spoon

Place your saute pan on the stove, and turn the stove to medium.
Add the onions and garlic, and saute for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes 

After 10 minutes, add the mushrooms

Mix well

Saute for 5 minutes
While it is sauteing, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and the bay leaf.  

Add the sauce to the mushrooms, and mix well.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. (no peeking)

Remove the lid after 10 minutes, and stir well.  
Take out the bay leaf, it has done its job.

Now, step back and marvel at the beautiful creation you just made in no time.

Serve over rice or quinoa, and enjoy!