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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST

Who doesn’t love food that gives you a hug from the inside on these cooler nights? Or ONE POT MEALS? Are you tight for time? Don’t feel like standing in the kitchen long? Use a slow cooker or if you don’t have one, a dutch oven! Okay, this recipe is one of your answers of all possible options. It’s a nice rendition on a standard slow cooked chuck roast and I’m sure you’ll love it. So, if you’re going to be gone all day and want to walk in the door with dinner ready then, go the slow cooker method on low for 8hrs. Otherwise, you can do all the same quick prep work, put it in a dutch oven, and walk away for about 3 hours. Either way, you can’t mess this up!

If you plan on having guests over, this is a great way to have great food. You’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and focus on any of the other food items you plan to prepare. Personally, I’m a sucker for anything made in big batches because I love the convenience of leftovers. I love having days where I can dive deep into all the things I need and want to do where having something I can reheat quickly doesn’t take a lot of my time. Before you tackle this greatness make sure you use a decent quality balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but select your cooking balsamic like you would select your red wine. If you can’t imagine enjoying a particular balsamic vinegar in a dressing then you won’t enjoy cooking with it. If you don’t know what to select, my favorite go-to is Gran Reserva Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by Lucini.

Because this dish is very meat centric, you can keep this fairly low carb with a few baby golden potatoes and carrots. Also, feel free to add your own flare to this. Some times I like slicing a bunch of fresh garlic cloves in half and tossing it in the pot. Add more spices or other favorite veggies if you want. When it comes to one pot meals like this, you can add in anything you like. One of my favorites is rough chopped fennel. But when it comes to leftovers, you can totally slice the meat up super fine like shown in the images, make a beef sandwich, add Italian sweet cherry peppers, dip it into the au jus, and slather some damn good horseradish. You see what I’m saying? Okay good! Happy eatings!

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BALSAMIC DIJON CHUCK ROAST
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rub both sides of the meat with salt. Drizzle a large pan with olive oil over high heat and sear each side of the chuck roast for about 3 minutes to get a nice crust.
  2. Place the chuck roast in a slow cooker or dutch oven.
  3. Saute the onions with garlic powder in the drippings over medium-high heat in the same large pan that you seared the meat in. After two minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let simmer and stir frequently until it becomes syrupy.
  4. Turn heat off and stir in the Dijon mustard. Add this balsamic Dijon mixture in with the meat. Throw in the thyme sprigs, baby potatoes, whole carrots, salt, pepper, and the beef broth.
  5. Cover and let it cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker. Or about 3 hours on 300 F degrees in the oven.
  6. Add the sliced mushrooms an hour before done.

HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

Ever look at the ingredients list of your favorite mayo? Especially the ones that claim to be “Olive Oil Mayonnaise” that still use other oils more than actual olive oil? LOL What’s the point, right? Mayo is actually kinda pricey at the store for crap quality ingredients and who doesn’t like homemade anything, anyways? Here’s a quick homemade mayo for you. That way you can use whatever oil you like most and control what goes in it.

This is important: with most oils make sure you love the taste on it’s own. Most cheap oils will make the mayo taste bitter! I personally love using grapeseed oil because it hardly has a taste at all and you’ll never taste bitterness. Once you’ve mastered this in the making, feel free to add your favorite spices as you can really make some awesome spreads with it. Enjoy!


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HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment add the egg yolk, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and sea salt.
  2. Whisk everything for about 30 seconds until everything is blended to a bright yellow color. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides if you have to.
  3. Continue whisking on medium speed and start pouring the extra virgin olive oil very slow creating a very thin stream, about 1 teaspoon at a time until you've used about a 1/4 cups worth. Make sure everything is thoroughly combined before you pour in more each time.
  4. Then pour the remaining olive oil. As you see the olive oil accumulate on the sides, hold back the pour and allow the whisking to catch up and continue until you've finished pouring it all in. This should take about 8 - 10 minutes. At the very end scrape down the sides and whisk on high for 5 seconds.
  5. Store in a mason jar and keep refrigerated.

HONEY PORTER KEBABS

Mmmm who doesn’t like kabobs? They’re simple to make, fairly quick to put together and cook… and they can be very healthy. These aren’t the healthiest ones but they’re close enough, full of flavor and sure beats trying to be healthy eating out since that’s nearly impossible. And yes, even a salad from a fast food joint is a lost cause.

This recipe is really all about the marinade. So make sure you pick a good porter beer. I use all chicken breast but feel free to use chicken thighs or half and half. And of course you’re not limited to only using one color of bell peppers. You can always add additional veggies to the mix too. As always while all my recipes are great as is, they’re also there to inspire you to make them how you would enjoy them best!

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HONEY PORTER KEBABS
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Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Instructions
MARINADE
  1. Combine everything together in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least a couple of hours, even better over night.
ASSEMBLE
  1. Pour the leftover marinade and dark brown sugar into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil whisking it for about several minutes until it thickens just enough to glaze the back of a spoon. Mix in about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Assemble the skewers with the chicken, onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes by alternating them.
  3. Put the skewers on the grill, brush the marinade generously on top and close the grill for about 3 minutes to get a char started. Turn the skewers about every 2-4 minutes and brush more marinade each time for a total grilling time of about 15 minutes give or take.
  4. Remove the skewers onto a clean plate and if there's any marinade leftover you can always place the remaining on top. Garnish the top with some chopped cilantro.

HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE

Tartar sauce tends to have a bad reputation for not being a healthy sauce. I’m sure it doesn’t help being associated with greasy, deep fried fish ‘n chips but I’m telling you it doesn’t have to be unhealthy at all. Like anything, use it in moderation. With my recipe you have an option to health-ify it. Plain Greek yogurt isn’t only a healthy sour cream replacement, you’d be surprise what you can do with it. In this case it can replace the mayo if you like. It’s my mission to make everything full of flavor so that no one ever feels like they’re left unsatisfied. You’ll be amazed how quick and easy this is to make. Try my Zesty Salmon Cakes with it!

 

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HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Make the tartar sauce in advance by combining all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cover it and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

CHICKEN FENNEL CAESAR SALAD

I love caesar salads but the standard caesar is almost too simple for me. If I’m going to eat a salad, I need some excitement both visually and in taste. In some ways I have always felt that if I don’t add more to it then I’m wasting a perfect opportunity to get more veggies in my diet.

When I made this for the first time I had only but a few things in the fridge that I didn’t want to go to waste and with no other option to make a meal. It’s called, “Jenn is too hungry to go to the grocery store at the moment. Will buy everything, if I shop hungry.” Times like these are great because it sparks that creative culinary side that I believe we all have if we give ourselves a chance.

The fennel works great in this due to its fresh, crisp flavor that cuts through and balances the tanginess of the caesar dressing. If you don’t like fennel or mushrooms, try something else you really like instead. If anything at all, use this as a base to inspire you to create something of your own.

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CHICKEN FENNEL CAESAR SALAD
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Ingredients
SALAD
DRESSING
Servings
servings
Ingredients
SALAD
DRESSING
Instructions
DRESSING
  1. Whisk everything in a medium bowl and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
SALAD
  1. In a large bowl toss the romaine lettuce, fennel, mushrooms, and chicken breast. Drizzle the dressing over and grate the cheese on the top.
Recipe Notes

My favorite baked chicken for this salad is simply some salt, fresh ground pepper, and ground paprika. Drizzle the top with olive oil. Bake at 375 F degrees for about 30 minutes in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.