Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Let’s honor Dad this Father’s Day and show him the love with these super tasty ideas that “sneak” veggies into every delectable bite! Try my twist on zesty enchiladas using farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas.

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For years now, I’ve written about ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.

You’ve written back with tons of great ideas that have made their way into recipes that we are all familiar with today.

You know what? It turns out that kids are not the only ones that need those veggies.

As we grow older, our healthy diets become just as important for us as they are for our children.

If your household is anything like mine, it’s Daddy dearest who often shoves away that cauliflower while he adds a serving or two of French fries. I’ll make you a bet that nary a pickled beet has been spooned onto his salad plate.

Even with Popeye as a role model, our father shuns any green leafy veg unless it is swimming in cream sauce.

This Father’s Day let’s honor Dad and show him the love by sneaking a couple of veggies into his everyday meals. Won’t that be FUN!

Here are some ideas…

A SALAD is a terrific way to hide fresh veggies. In addition to good old lettuce and tomatoes, try sneaking in these:

🌿Microgreens – full of nutrients and a big punch of taste in a little bitty leaf.
🥬Squash – Shave thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips that resemble lettuce leaves.
🥕 Carrots – I know, you’re saying anybody can add carrots to a salad. BUT what if Daddy hates carrots? Here’s a secret. Put the carrot in the dressing! Use your trusty food processor to emulsify the veg into your vinaigrette. You can do this with any veggie. 🥦 Cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach will work too.

Sneak those veggies into your MAIN meals so that Dad won’t know what hit him!

For pasta sauce make your favorite red, white, or green sauce and add some new veggies into the mix. For spaghetti and meatballs, add sauteed veggies to the meatball like eggplant, peppers, or kale.

When sautéing onions and garlic to make your red sauce, add shaved Brussels, diced cabbage, or riced cauliflower. Add roasted butternut squash to your fettuccini sauce. Make pesto with spinach and pea sprouts instead of basil.

You can add every veggie to stews and soups. Bell and spicy peppers are a terrific addition to chili. Add turmeric root, turnips, or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup.

VEGGIE VESSELS are a terrific way to merge more veggies into your main meal. Stuff roasted peppers with chicken and rice. Add Cajun-spiced shrimp to spaghetti squash boats. Hollow out zucchini for veggie enchiladas. (This recipe comes from “Canvas and Cuisine”, my most veggie-filled cookbook!)

Let’s give Dad a real present this year. One that will keep him around for lots of future Fathers Days!!

Zucchini Enchilada Boats
With Chorizo and Black Bean Filling

This dish has all the flavors of enchiladas but stars farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas. Spicy chorizo sausage and meaty black beans are the heart of its fiery filling. The yummy enchilada sauce brings the whole thing together. It’s pretty darn delicious!

Servings

6-8

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the skillet until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sirloin and chorizo and stir, breaking up large clumps, until the meat is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into the meat filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Whisk together the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot over medium heat to form a paste. Stir in the tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken and allow the seasonings to merge. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can pour in a bit more water. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and hollow out the zucchini leaving about a ¾-inch boat. Place these into the dish. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the boats. It’s ok if the filling spills over. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the boats. Layer cheese over the top. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the zucchini is fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Garnish the boats with fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Strawberry Recipes for Desserts

Make and take this effortless side, or get it going while your main course is on the grill or stovetop! It’s all about grilling and chilling this Memorial Day Weekend.

Whether it’s burgers, brats, ribs, or steaks, the sides are just as important as the main course when you’re planning your Memorial Day bash.

There’s lots of planning and lots of dishes to prepare. Here’s a way for you to make things just a little bit easier on yourself this year. 

Start with grilled veggies!

Any veggie will work here. My favorites are thick asparagus spears, bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant and portobello mushrooms. 

For the asparagus, break off the tough ends and trim. For the mushrooms remove the cap and inner gills. Slice the eggplant and red onion into ½-inch circles. Cut the squash diagonally into ½-inch ovals.

As you slice your veggies lay them onto a baking sheet. You can use parchment paper to layer everything on top of each other. Brush both sides with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now you are ready to grill.

Use an open flame or your trusty grill pan to cook each slice turning once so that you have grill marks on both sides.

Make sure you do not over-cook. You want firm veggies, not mushy ones. Remember things keep on cooking after you remove them from the heat.

Transfer the veggies from the grill to the baking sheet. You can cook these the day before your barbecue. Cool to room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Chill ‘til you are ready to serve. 

 

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Now, here is where we get creative!

1: Layer the veggies onto a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Shave thin slices of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

2: Stack the veggies, beginning with eggplant and layering from largest slices to smallest. Layer in a slice or two of mozzarella cheese and add a few leaves of fresh basil on the top. Drizzle with olive oil.

3: Layer the veggies onto a platter and add slices of tomato and watermelon. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of the watermelon that are about the same size as the tomato slices. Add a sprinkling of blue cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction.  

4: Chop the veggies into similar size pieces and stir into rice for grilled veggie pilaf.

5:  Slice the veggies into thin strips and pair them with your grilled beef or chicken for fajitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas.

The secret here is that you can grill the veggies in advance and with little effort assemble the dish while the main course is sitting on the grill. What a great plan!

Stop Food Waste With These Recipe Remixes

Stop Food Waste With These Recipe Remixes

Stop Food Waste Leftover Remix

Make Earth Day every day in your kitchen! Take the pledge to stop food waste with my best tips for reusing produce and remixing leftovers! #StopFoodWaste

Stop Food Waste Day was first introduced in 2017, and this years marks the fifth year of inspiring action around food waste reduction.

Who even knew this was a THING?  

 I discovered very early in the family kitchen that fruits and veggies lingering a little too long must be given a new lease on life! And that leftovers getting too comfortable on the fridge shelf demand an encore.

In honor of Stop Food Waste Day and the innovation and creativity in reducing one’s food waste impact, here’s Jorj’s list of what to do with leftovers.

I thank my grandma’s for the training on this one.

EGGS 

Don’t throw away left over scrambled eggs. Use them in tomorrows egg sandwich or burrito.

WAFFLES

Cut leftovers into chunks and toast them in the oven with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. Now you have waffle croutons for your ice cream dessert.

PANCAKES

Slather left over pancakes with cream cheese or peanut butter. Roll up and place into a baking dish. Douse with syrup and bake until warmed through. Pancake roll-ups for breakfast!

SALAD

Leftover salad with dressing is not as good as it is the first day, but it will work on sandwiches and subs. However, leftover everyTHING will make a great salad. Look in the back of your fridge’s veggie drawer and use those ingredients to doctor up your everyday garden salad. Carrots, fennel, radishes, cukes, peppers, cauliflower… these all work. Look into your jars too. Pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives are perfect additions. Don’t forget the cheese. Salads are a perfect dish to avoid food waste!

CHEESE

I’ve written about cheese about a hundred times. But here are some highlight dishes that are perfect for your leftover cheese: grilled cheese, cheese spread, hot cheese dip, cheesy deviled eggs, cheese-filled omelets, veggies in melty cheese sauce.

NOODLES

Leftover pasta is my go-to thing for that morning-after breakfast. But left over noodles are great for reinvention. Leftover Alfredo pasta top pork cutlets and sauteed eggplant for an inspirational mid-week dish. Stuff some leftover mac ‘n cheese into your next roast beef panini sandwich. And don’t forget spaghetti pie, noodles in casseroles and pasta turned into frittatas.

CHICKEN

Besides chicken salad there’s chicken quesadilla, chicken soups, chicken casserole, chicken burritos, chicken hash, chicken pot pie…… this one’s easy.

FISH

Salmon and tuna turn into salmon and tuna salad with just a couple of additions. Other left over fish can be turned into croquettes, chowders and spring rolls.

BEEF

Leftovers work perfectly in fajitas, cheese-steak subs, stuffed peppers, open face steak sandwiches on Texas toast, quick beef stew and beef and potato hash.

PORK

Shred leftover pork and douse in barbecue sauce for a pulled pork sandwich. 

VEGGIES

I challenge you to give me ANY veggie and I will give you three ways to repurpose the leftovers. These will all revolve around soups, stews, quesadillas, cheese spreads, hot cheese dips, salads, croquettes, veggie bread puddings, veggie filled omelets, casseroles, veggies with pasta, veggie enchiladas, stuffed peppers, hash, veggie pies…. Get the idea?

DESSERTS

Whether you have leftover cake, pie or cookies you can use these to create a crispy topping for ice cream, a base for bread pudding, a fruit crumble and a layer or two for your favorite parfait.

I think you have the picture. (I also think I watch too much CHOPPED!) 

Now, let’s hear what THING you can create with your everyday leftovers.

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The Only Fruit Chutney Recipe You’ll Ever Need

The Only Fruit Chutney Recipe You’ll Ever Need

How to make easy fruit chutney recipe

 The Only Fruit Chutney Recipe You’ll Ever Need (And It’s Peachy Keen!)

If you’re looking for the perfect chutney recipe, look no further. This easy peach chutney recipe can be used with a variety of fruits and is great on crackers, sandwiches, or even cheese plates. Create your own signature chutney with the only chutney recipe you’ll ever need from Jorj’s kitchen!

When your brother-in-law calls on the way to your house to visit and asks if you want him to bring you some peaches, you say, “Yes”! 

And when he shows up at your house with a bag, a basket, and a box full of peaches, you say, “Thank you.” 

And on the day, he leaves, and all those peaches are lined up on your counter waiting for your inspiration, you say, “What can I make?”

Then it hits. Peach chutney.

Chutney is a condiment made with fruit and spices. I keep jars of chutney in my pantry. If guests drop by unexpectedly, I use chutney on top of goat cheese or cream cheese as an appy.

Chutney spices up my bacon and cheese panini sandwich and is just lovely spooned over pork or chicken. A spoonful of chutney added to your homemade chicken salad makes for a nice twist.

Mix it into mayo for a yummy condiment on your turkey sandwich or into sour cream for an easy dip.



Think of chutney as a spicy jam and you will find all sorts of things to do with it.

Here’s my recipe for a simple, fresh chutney that will last for weeks in your fridge.

It’s easy to prepare and a lot better than those in the jar because you taste the freshness of the fruit and control the amount of heat.

You can make chutney with pears, apples, mangos… really any fruit will work well.

All you do is throw everything into a pot and simmer until the fruit begins to break down, merging all the flavors together.

It’s fun to make, yummy to eat and a treat to share with family and friends. 

Hey, brother-in-law, these peaches were just peachy keen!

Servings

3 Cups

Ready In:

30 minutes ’til ready!

Good For:

Appetizers, Spreads, Dip, Lunch

Heat the olive oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion and cook until just soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the peaches and tomatoes. Stir in the brown sugar. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with Chinese Five spice, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the peaches just begin to break apart and the chutney thickens about 20 to 25 minutes.

The longer you simmer, the thicker the chutney! 

Cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely diced, about ½ cup
  • 2 to 3 medium-hot cherry peppers, seeded and finely diced, about ½ cup
  • ½ red onion, peeled and finely diced, about ½ cup
  • 6 ripe peaches, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
  • 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Note

To peel the peaches and tomatoes, use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top. Place into boiling water for a minute or two. Remove and cool slightly. The peel will come off easily from the slits.

Another Note

After you peel the tomatoes, you can squeeze out the extra juice and seeds by pushing them gently through a colander.

Movie Star Mushrooms: Netflix & Delish With This Mushroom Dish

Movie Star Mushrooms: Netflix & Delish With This Mushroom Dish

meals to make with mushrooms

I LOVE cooking mushrooms. These edible fungi inspire my dishes with their complex flavors and many uses. Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms is one of my favorite recipes that is easy to make and will make you feel like a celebrity chef!

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September is mushroom month. Who knew???

Mushrooms are all the rage right now. Netflix just aired a mushroom documentary that someone spent fifteen years filming…FIFTEEN YEARS!!

Although I have always loved mushrooms and at least one container jumps into my shopping basket each grocery store visit, my love affair entered new territory when I visited the farmer’s market this season

There were not one, but two stands devoted to the most interesting varieties of mushrooms I have ever seen. I’m used to working with portobello and button ‘shrooms. 

I even dabble with shitake and oyster. But the giant varieties at the stands are as amazing as they are beautiful. 

There were baskets of Black Pearl and Blue Oyster mushrooms. Turkey Tail, Lions Maine and Chicken of the Woods were names of even more exotic ‘shrooms.

The Boone Fungi company offers a wild (yes, pun intended) arrangement of mushrooms and I bought a bag of assorted mushrooms and brought them home to experiment. 

The farmers suggested roasting the mushrooms, which I did. This did nothing more than dehydrate them. So, I tackled them the way I usually do which is to add fat and flavor, and this worked beautifully!

I do have a secret for getting the best flavor from the shroom. The secret is high heat and a butter bath. You can cook an entire mushroom steak this way or chop a giant mushroom into smaller pieces. Let the mushrooms or mushroom pieces crisp in the pan until you see a golden crust. Now they are ready for whatever comes next.

Serve them atop a juicy steak, or your favorite veggie casserole.

Use a mushroom broth to create a luscious soup or sauce.

Whatever your fancy, the fancy mushrooms will add flavor and FUN to your next meal!

Who knows? Maybe Netflix will come-a knockin’……..

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that uses mushrooms just perfectly!

Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms

Servings

4-6

Ready In:

30 Minutes Until Done

Good For:

Dinner

Ingredients for Spinach

  • 1 (20-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (you can substitute with fresh spinach leaves)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups milk

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, about ½ cup

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about ¼ cup

  • Paprika

Ingredients for Mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 8 ounces of your choice of mushroom type, sliced or chopped to equal about 2 ½ cups

  • ¼ cup sherry

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms. Don’t mess with them! Let the mushrooms cook until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn them to cook on the second side, about 2 more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the sherry. Cook until the liquid disappears, about 3 minutes more. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the spinach in the microwave.  Drain in a colander and use paper towels to press out excess moisture.  If you choose to use fresh spinach, 1 pound fresh spinach will cook down to about the same amount as 10 ounces cooked frozen spinach.  For this recipe, you will need 2 pounds of fresh spinach, chopped which will be about 8 cups. Steam the spinach in a microwave oven or in a steamer over boiling water. Drain as directed above.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot over medium heat until melted.  Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture begins to bubble.  Pour in the milk and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir in the Gruyere cheese and cook until melted.  Remove the sauce from the heat.

Place the spinach into a bowl.  Pour in half of the sauce and stir.  Pour in the remaining sauce and stir once more.  Pour the spinach mixture into a casserole dish (or several smaller individual casserole dishes).   

Top the spinach mixture with the mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with a bit of paprika.  Cook until the casserole is golden on the top and bubbling, about 10 to 12 minutes (depending on the size of the casserole dish).

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Cooking With Mushrooms and Spinach

National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day Recipes

National Hamburger Day is May 28th.  What will YOU be eating?

We all know you really don’t need a designated day to savor a delicious, sizzling burger, fresh off the grill, or make a veggie-forward option for a lighter lunch option.

And with Memorial Day around the corner, it’s all the more reason to start thinking burgers!

I have made my fair share of burgers over the years for a number of occasions:  Super Bowl parties, outdoor get-togethers, and just good ol’ American eatin’.

But these recipes endure, and I’m sure they’ll find a special place in your May menu line-up!

Score a Touchdown with the SUNDAY BEST BURGER!

Check out my recipe for my Sunday Best Burger to see just what happiness is made from! If you don’t want to grind the beef yourself, ask your butcher to do the grinding for you. Most grocery store meat departments will be happy to do this for no extra charge.

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Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

 These sliders are bite-sized and couch PERFECT.  Use sharp cheddar and do NOT forget the pickles.  Oh, and good news, the recipe a mountain of pimento cheese, suitable for savoring with burgers, nachos, you name it!

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Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

My veggie burgers are filled with fiber and offer a delicious alternative to the more caloric beef burger. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.  

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Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

What would a delicious burger be without homemade fries?! You’ll be delighted by how easy – and delicious! – these hot potatoes are.

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