growing recipes. growing belly.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Easier Shepherd's Pie

10:39 PM Posted by patty , No comments

Shepherd's Pie is pretty easy to make already, but this makes it… well easier!  I know the main factor that always deter me from making shepherd's pie is the mashed potatoes -- we never have enough leftover to make this as a "day after" dish.

8 red new potatoes
1 Tb butter, melted
salt and pepper
1 lb extra lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen carrots

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

11:26 PM Posted by patty , , No comments


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 2 boneless skinless chicken breats, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • ½ tsp ginger, grated
  • 1Tb soy sauce
  • ½ Tb Asian rice wine, Michu
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp Asian five spice powder
  • pinch granulated white sugar
  • ¾ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • large pinch ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup sweet potato starch
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • vegetable oil for deep frying 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Molasses Chili Marinade

9:19 PM Posted by patty , , , , No comments
Every time I bake a batch of gingerbread cookies I am left with not quite enough molasses to make another batch and too much to just throw out.  What I like about this recipe is how I already have all the ingredients for the marinade in my pantry and of course, the yummy yummy flavor.

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Molasses Chili Marinade

ingredients: marinade

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 Tb soy sauce
  • 2 Tb rice vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic. peeled and smashed
  • 1 Tb peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tb chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper


  • 2 lb tri-tip steaks
  1. In a large glass container, whisk together everything in the marinade, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place the steaks in the marinade and turn until completely coated. Marinated for about 1 hour, covered, turning the steak occasionally.
  3. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Place the steak on the grill, keep the marinade, and cook until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  5. Transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Let it cook for about 10 minutes and serve with the steak.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thai Ground Pork Salad or Laab

8:56 PM Posted by patty , , , No comments
This dish is usually an appetizer at Thai restaurants, but I don't see why it couldn't be eaten as a meal.  When I first tried the wrap without the squirt of lime juice and Sriracha, I thought this recipe was a bit of a fail...  turns out it's one of those dishes where you really do need all the little extra stuff that comes with the dish.  The lime juice and hot sauce creates a spicy, tangy flavor; wrap that all in some cool lettuce is well...  incredibly addicting.  Between the Husband and I, we almost devoured a pound of meat each.

Thai Ground Pork Salad
(adapted from foodandwine)


  • 2lb ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tb Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1tsp Sriracha, plus more for serving
  • 1 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped silantro
  • 1/2 chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 large leafy lettuce, separated

  1. In a bowl, mix the pork, garlic, shallots and minced jalapeños.  In a small bowl, whisk the lim juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and 1 tsp of Sriracha
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add pork mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat. Cook until no pink remains. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the meat to a bowl and stir in the herbs. Season with salt & pepper and top with sliced jalapeños. Serve with lime wedges, Sriracha and lettuce for wrapping.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

11:58 PM Posted by patty , , , No comments
Another super simple yet delicious recipe.  Definitely a keeper when I have to make dinner at lightning speed!  I ended up using leftover rice and used snow peas instead of cilantro.  Still incredibly delicious!

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup
(adapted from foodandwine)


  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicen breast, cut into 2 1/2-by-1/4-inch strips
  • 3 Tb Asian fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tb lime juice
  • 1 quart + 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled, smashed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 15oz unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 fresh red chiles or jalapeños peppers, seeded and cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 3 Tb cilantro chopped


  1. In a medium glass dish, combine the chicken strips with fish sauce and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the broth, lemongrass and ginger to a simmer.  
  3. Add the coconut milk and bring to simmer again.  Stir in the chicken and marinade and cook until the chicken is just done, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chiles and rice.  
  4. Stir in the cilantro.  Optional, add snow peas.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

9:06 AM Posted by patty , , , 2 comments

Who knew Shepherd's Pie was so easy to make, especially when you buy the frozen mashed potatoes from Trader Joe's.  Dinner to table in about 45 minutes, including prep and baking time.  

Shepherd's Pie


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cup vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 2 bags Trader Joe's frozen mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

  1. Prepare the mashed potato according to package. Set aside.
  2. Sauté onions in a little oil until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.
  3. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.
  4. Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  5. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

5:09 PM Posted by patty No comments

I stumbled upon the Foodie Penpals site by random and found the idea to be ... well simply genius!  I knew I just had to participate.  Here's the jest of how it works:
  • Sign up by a certain date
  • On the 5th of the month, you get your penpal pairing
  • You have 72 hours to email your penpal and swap info, ask about allergies and etc...
  • Foodie package must be sent by the 15th of the month to your penpal.  The spending limit is $15 and you must include something written.
  • On the last day of the month, you post a blog about what you got.
I was lucky enough to get my inaugural penpal box from Savannah. Her husband is stationed in Guam so her package was filled with local goodies that she's been enjoying.  Content of the box included: Dried Banana Chips, Dried Mango (I've been craving mango lately!), Green Tea Kit Kat (YUMS! I think there's only 5 left), Banana Ketchup (I'm so intrigued by this and can't wait to try it on something) and Calamansi - Tropical Lemon Drink (This was so refreshing & tasty!!!)

My box went to Heather, who's a vegetarian. She told me she was open to trying new things, especially local goodies... well I live where Asian food is more than readily available so I headed to the market and found a bunch of what I think are "staples" in most asian vegetarian diet.  

I can't wait for the next month... which sadly won't be till January since I totally forgot to sign up for December!!!  Booo...  If this sounds like fun to you, click to join!

The Lean Green Bean