Pork And Chorizo Stew!! Spicy And Delicious!

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The cooler days are inspiring me to cook more hearty comfort foods which still keep within our healthy eating guidelines.  This Pork and Chorizo stew is a perfect example of a hearty and delicious dish which warms your stomach and your soul.  I was inspired by a recipe from the BBC Good Food website and of course tweaked it to my taste.

Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.
Image courtesy of BBC Good Food.

Pork And Chorizo Stew

2 Tbsps olive oil

1 pound of pork tender loin or pork chops cut into 1 inch cubes

2 chorizo sausages

1 onion chopped

1 large carrot chopped

4 stalks of celery chopped

1 red pepper chopped

1 yellow pepper chopped

1 orange pepper chopped

1 tsp crushed dried oregano

1 large pinch hot chilli flakes

2 tsps smoked paprika

2 tsp chilli powder (I used Ancho Chilli pepper powder)

4 bay leaves

1 small can of tomato puree

1 large can of chopped tomatoes

3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups of chicken or beef broth

1 large can of chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of baby potatoes, halved

1 large sweet potato peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.  Cook the pork until browned all over and remove to a bowl.  Add sausages and cook until well browned, remove to cutting board and slice into thin slices.  Place onion, carrot, peppers, herbs and spices in pot and saute until onion is translucent.  Return the pork and chorizo to the pot and add tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, wine and broth.  Cook til bubbling.  If too thick, add some water or more chicken stock.  Cover and allow to cook for 45 minutes over low heat, or in a 350 degree F oven. Add peppers, beans and potatoes and return to oven.  Cook for 45 minutes more and check periodically and add liquid if the stew is too thick.  Taste the stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

I hope you try out this recipe inspired by the BBC Good Food website.  Cheers, Michele

Gluten-Free Chicken Quesadillas!! Spicy Deliciousness!

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I have been working quite hard at staying gluten-free in my diet and the one day I ate some regular cookies, I had a huge headache.  So am back to gluten-free again.  This recipe is so easy and quick and with a nice fresh salsa is a lovely dinner.  If you are a vegetarian you can change out the chicken to add more beans.   I have added a recipe for a sour cream and cilantro dipping sauce which is delicious with the quesadillas.

Chicken Quesadillas

2 packages corn tortillas (~20 tortillas)

1 cooked chicken, skinned, meat removed and chopped into small pieces

1 red pepper chopped small

1/2 small red onion chopped small

1-2 large jalapeño peppers minced fine

3 tomatoes chopped small

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1 can corn drained and rinsed

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of dried coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup cream cheese

juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients (except for the tortillas) together well.  Lay the tortillas out and spread the mixture equally over half the tortillas.  Place the second tortilla on top to form a sandwich.  In a non-stick fry pan preheated over medium heat, place 1 tsp of vegetable oil.  Fry each of the quesadillas until lightly browned on the outside and then place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Once all the quesadillas are fried, place in oven and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Cut into quarters and serve with salsa and this sour cream and cilantro dipping sauce.

Sour Cream and Cilantro Dipping Sauce

1 container of sour cream

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp lime zest

1 green onion chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together well.  Serve with the quesadillas.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Easy Pasta Salad With Shrimp!! Deliciously Gluten-free!

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I made this salad today as we are busy working on our patio and need something that is quick and easy to eat.  I hope you try it out!

Gluten-Free Shrimp Pasta Salad

2 pounds of cooked peeled shrimp chopped into bite sized pieces
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 Orange pepper chopped
3 green onions chopped fine
1 English cucumber chopped
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of white beans drained and rinsed
3 tomatoes chopped
2 cups of gluten-free rotini pasta cooked in salted water


Juice of two lemons
3/4 cup of good olive oil
1 large Shallot minced fine
2 cloves of garlic minced fine
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients together and pour over dressing.  Allow to sit in fridge for 1 hour to marinate.  Serve.  Cheers, Michele

Spicy Green Beans!! Simple and Yummy Recipe!

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I have planted my beans and peas in my garden since the soil has warmed up enough.  Hopefully the weather continues to stay warm and I will be eating fresh beans and peas before I know it.  My wonderful daughter Madeline and I are the only ones in our family who love green beans, so this recipe posting is in honour of her.  When my garden is full to the bursting with fresh green beans, this is a great way to eat them up.  Great hot or cold!

Spicy Green Beans

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound tender fresh green beans

1 large tomato chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1/2 tsp Sirachi sauce

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

red pepper flakes to taste (You can make this as hot as you like)

salt and pepper to taste

In a fry pan heat oil over medium high heat.  Add all ingredients except for green beans.  Simmer til tomatoes soften and a bit of juice forms.  Add green beans and cook til tender crisp.  Add a bit of water if the sauce gets too thick.  Enjoy hot as a side dish or room temperature as a delicious salad.  Hope you enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Plan Overs For Cooked Turkey or Chicken!! Upcycled Recipes Three Ways!

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This is not the season where we are usually inundated with cooked turkey or chicken, but I always seem to have left overs when ever I roast a bird. These recipes can be used with either.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Turkey Enchiladas

10 corn tortillas

2 cups cooked turkey chopped

1/4 red onion chopped fine

1 red pepper chopped fine

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 can black sliced olives

1/4 cup cream cheese

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 can red enchilada sauce

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all ingredients from turkey to cayenne pepper in a bowl.  Place 1/4 the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.  Place the rest of the enchilada sauce in a flat bowl and dip tortillas in to moisten before stuffing with 1/10th of the mixture.  Roll up enchilada and place in the pan.  Continue until all tortillas and filling are used.  Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce and the remaining cheese.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until sauce and cheese is bubbling and cooked through.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Turkey Tortilla Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 small can of tomato paste

6 cups of chicken broth

2 cups shredded cooked turkey

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

1 can corn drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

salt to taste


3 corn tortillas cut into thin strips

2 avocados so chopped small pieces covered with juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 cup queso fresco or feta cheese

1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions until soft.  Add Chili powder and tomato paste and cook, allowing the paste to brown slightly, stirring constantly (this adds a certain smokiness to the soup).  Add broth, chicken or turkey, beans, corn and tomatoes.  Cook for 15 minutes over low heat.  Serve with toppings.

Image from
Image from

Turkey A La King

2 Tbsp butter

1 onion minced small

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 celery stalks minced small

1 green pepper cut small

2 Tbsp corn starch

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup milk

1 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat

2 cups cooked white or brown rice

In a large heavy sauce pan cook onion, mushrooms, green pepper and celery until soft.  Mix cornstarch with milk and add the milk mixture, stock, peas, salt, pepper and turkey meat to vegetables.  Cook until sauce thickens.  Serve with rice.

I hope you enjoy these turkey plan over recipes.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.  Cheers, Michele

Black Bean Brownies!! Gluten-Free Chocolatey Heaven!

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This recipe has been a go-to for many years.  My husband bought me the “Full of Beans” cookbook by Violet Currey & Kay Spicer and I have made a version of their brownie recipe ever since.


I like mine a little more Chocolatey so I have upped the chocolate a bit.

Michele’s Black Bean Brownies

1 cup canned black beans, drained and puréed


1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup gluten-free flour

1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus 1 cup for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
In the food processor where you puréed the black beans, add all other ingredients except chips and blend until very smooth.  Add chips and pulse just til combined.
Pour batter into pan, spread evenly over bottom of pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from oven.  Pour the 1 cup of chocolate chips evenly over the brownies.  Put pan back in oven and bake for 10 more minutes until tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then spread the melted chocolate chips over the top of the brownies with a spatula.
Cool in pan.  Cut into squares.

These are very moist and delicious.  They keep well in an air tight container for several days, but I have never known as they disappear so fast.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Prize Winning Chili!! And Healthy Too!

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This Chili recipe won a prize at my husband’s work Chili Cook Off.  It is a variation of the Three Amigos Chili from the ABS diet recipe from Men’s Health Magazine.  It is our go-to Chili recipe.  Packed full of delicious good things and healthy too.

Prize Winning Chili

1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion chopped small

3 medium carrots chopped small

4 sticks of celery chopped small

3 cloves garlic minced fine

1 Tbsp ground cumin

2 tsps ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsps Chili powder (smoked or Ancho Chili pepper)

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 large can diced tomatoes

2 jars  tomato sauce

2 cups chicken broth

1 can rinsed drained chickpeas

1 can black beans with juice

1 can red kidney beans with juice

1 can rinsed drained white kidney or navy beans

1 can rinsed drained corn niblets

1 chopped red, yellow or orange pepper or mix of all three

hot sauce to taste

In a large Dutch oven with lid, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and celery.  Sauté until onion is translucent.


Add ground turkey and brown until no longer pink.  Add garlic and spices up to cocoa powder and stir to coat vegetables and meat.  Add rest of ingredients and stir.  Simmer on top of stove or in oven at 350 degrees F for an hour.  This Chili is great served with steamed rice, fresh chopped cilantro and grated cheese.  A side salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado dressed with oil and lime juice and cilantro is superb with this dinner.


This Chili gets better the next day as the flavours continue to meld.  Cheers, Michele