Friday, September 1, 2017

Old-Fashioned Chow-Chow Relish - The Loveless Cafe

What is Chow-Chow Relish?

This relish has long been a favorite on pinto beans in the South.  It originated from using end of the season vegetables in the garden.  It also has some roots from the Pennsylvania Dutch.  I remember my Mom making this growing up.  She would make quarts and quarts of the stuff and we would eat it straight from the jar.

I just recently returned from an amazing trip to Nashville and made at stop at the Loveless Café.  In one of the stores, Jams and Hams, were all sorts of delish preserves, peppered bacon and Chow-Chow relish.  I picked up a jar and quickly polished it off!  Of course, one jar was not enough so here's the recipe straight from the Loveless Café for you to make at home.  It's great on hamburgers, hot dogs and great added to deviled eggs.  There is no canning involved as this will keep 2-3 weeks in the fridge.  If you want to process it - 12 minutes will do the trick.


2 cups diced green bell pepper
2 cups diced sweet red bell pepper
1-1/2 cups diced firm green tomatoes
2 cups diced sweet onion
1-1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1-1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground ginger


In a large non-reactive skillet, bring water, salt, sugar and spiced to a simmer.  Add vinegar and bring to a boil before adding all vegetables.

Stir to coat all the vegetables, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook and stir for approximately 5-10 minutes or until vegetables become tender.

Transfer to glass jars, let cook and refrigerate.  Will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.  If you want to process this in a water bath, process 12 minutes.

You can add any mixture of veggies that you like to this recipe.  Mom added cauliflower and green beans.

Recipe - The Loveless Café
Nashville, Tenn.
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Cook Time:10 mins.
Makes 2 16 oz. jars

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Picadillo Sloppy Joes

A new twist on an old favorite!


1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. ground sirloin (90% lean)
1 - 15 oz. can Ro-tel tomatoes with green chilis
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Hot sauce to taste


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Reduce heat to low.  Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until softened.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Turn up the meat to medium high.  Add ground sirloin and cook, breaking up the lumps for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

Add tomatoes, chili sauce, water, olives, raisins and salt and pepper.

Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in lemon juice and hot sauce.  Adjust salt and pepper.
Divide among brioche buns and serve hot with plenty of napkins.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Zucchini & Mushroom Meatloaf

When you are using leaner meats for a healthier meatloaf, you need to bump up the moisture.  Besides being a healthy addition, mushrooms and zucchini make for the moistest meatloaf ever.  You can substitute ground turkey if you prefer.  I love cooking my meatloaf in a cast iron pan.  If you are feeling ambitious, try this meatloaf with my Bang! Bang! Homemade Ketchup!


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
5 oz. white button or cremini mushrooms (about 5 or 6) finely diced
1/2 cup zucchini, grated
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. 90% lean ground sirloin
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 large egg
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes (with juice)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. Country Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. molasses


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make life easier, chop your onions and mushrooms in a food processor until finely minced.
Heat the oil in a small skillet, add the onion, mushrooms and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the tomato paste, Mrs. Dash Seasoning and garlic and cook, stirring 2 minutes more.  Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, oats, egg, Worcestershire sauce, mushroom mixture, zucchini and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix until just well combined.  Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish or cast iron skillet and shape into a loaf.

In a small food processor, combine the tomatoes, ketchup, molasses and mustard and pulse until smooth and pour over the meatloaf.

Cook the meatloaf until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 55-60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve with mashed potatoes drizzled with olive oil and chives.

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour
Servings: 8 1-inch slices
@Adapted from Ellie Krieger
  • 222Calories / Serving
  • 10%Daily Value
  • 8Servings

Need more meatloaf recipes?

Stuffed Pizza Meatloaf
French Onion Meatloaf
Cheesy Porcini Meatloaf
Grandma's Tomato Soup Meatloaf

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sweet & Spicy Orange Chicken

Tender chicken breasts cubes marinated in orange juice, garlic and ginger.  A simple saute makes for the best orange chicken ever!  Choose your sides - steamed broccoli, jasmine rice and dinner is served.  Fresh ingredients always replace take out!
For the sauce:

1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice wine or red wine vinegar
2-1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp. grated onion
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes

For the coating:

1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients except for the cornstarch and water.  Bring to a boil and let cool until room temperature, about 15 minutes.  Cube chicken breasts and place in a ziploc bag with 1 cup of the cooled marinade.  Reserve remainder.  Place chicken in refrigerator for 2 hours. 

Mix 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper.  Add chicken cubes and shake em up until coated with flour.  In a large saute pan, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil.  (You may need additional oil as I had to fry these in three batches - don't overcrowd the pan!  Shake off excess flour and saute chicken in batches until golden brown - about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer cooked chicken to a plate to keep warm.  Wipe out pan.  Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil.  Add cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, about 1 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer on low, covered for 5 minutes.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Porcupine Meatballs & Tomato Gravy

Porcupine Meatballs is one of those "oldie but goodie" recipes that are rarely found in any cookbooks today.  This recipe was popular in the 50's, and it's listed in my Mom's old cookbook from that time period.  Mom used tomato soup quite a bit back in the day for her delicious Tomato Soup Meatloaf and Polish Stuffed Cabbage.  I always have tomato soup on hand for a quick meal.  When my boys were growing up, I always made them elbow macaroni with tomato soup - it's still their comfort food today.
You will need:

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup raw rice, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 can water
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix first seven ingredients in a medium sized bowl until well combined.  Form into golf-ball sized meatballs and place in baking pan.  Mix tomato soup with water and Worcestershire Sauce.  Pour over meatballs.  Cover with foil and bake 1 hour.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer or until sauce thickens.

Serve with a nice side salad or steamed veggies.

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour 15 minutes
Servings:  Makes about 15 meatballs

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Baked Ham & Eggs

This recipe is suitable for breakfast or light lunch using leftover Easter Ham.  Once you try it, you'll be tempted to make it with a good quality cooked ham from the deli when leftovers are long gone!  
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped cooked ham or 2 slices other cooked ham
2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, homemade or good-quality jarred
2 extra-large eggs
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. chopped herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a 5-inch cast iron skillet over low heat.  Remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. Place the ham in the bottom of the pan.  Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the ham.  Break the eggs carefully on top; drizzle the cream over the eggs.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 7-9 minutes or to your liking.  The whites should be set, but the yolks still runny
Sprinkle the eggs with the herbs and serve hot in the skillet.

~Adapted from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Cranberry Honey Glazed Walnut Chicken Salad

This is not your typical chicken salad.  Inspired by a local restaurant, I came up with my own version of the best chicken salad I have ever made.  Just take a few minutes to glaze your walnuts and this salad comes together in minutes.  Serve on pita bread, in a wrap or as a simple salad on romaine leaves.

Honey Glazed Walnuts

1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. honey

Melt butter in a medium size saucepan.  Add walnuts and honey and stir until fragrant and thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spread out on parchment paper or lightly sprayed foil to cool.  

You won't be able to stop munching on these!

Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Honey Glazed Walnuts
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad

This salad is packed with protein and fiber.  Makes a filling lunch or a light dinner.

  • 1 15-ounce can beans, chickpeas (garbanzo), black-eyed peas or kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 5-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 large red pepper roasted, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 4 tsp. capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens

Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers oregano, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl.  Season with pepper.  Combine the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl.  Add salad greens; toss to coat.  Divide greens among plates and top each with tuna salad. (I added 1/4 cup red wine vinegar to the tuna mixture and a little extra oil - to suit your taste).

~Eating Well for your Health

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Salt Cod Cakes with ChowChow Relish

Chow-Chow is a Nova Scotian and American relish that uses up those end-of-the-garden-season "orphaned" vegetables from the garden.  I don't exactly know where it originates from, but I've seen recipes from the South (a staple whenever pinto beans and cornbread are served) and also from the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It's a mixture of sweet, hot and spicy flavors that goes perfectly with these mild cod cakes.

Salted cod may not look very appealing to most, but it is one of the kingpin fishes for Italian and Portuguese families.  Most people don't want to bother with the soaking of the fish, which plumps it up before it is cooked, but if prepared right, salt cod is worthy of praise!  The slight saltiness of the cod brings out a whole new flavor to otherwise mild cod.  Almost all major supermarkets including the ShopRite, Costco, Food Bazaar, H Mart, Jetro, Key Foods, and Shaws carry #Cristobal Brand salted cod fillets all year round.

For the Chow-Chow:
  • 1 lb. unripe green tomatoes, cored and minced (or substitute tomatillos)
  • 1 large ripe tomato, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. celery seed

    To make the chow-chow:  Toss the tomatoes, onions, celery, and peppers in a large bowl with the salt.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.  Transfer the vegetables to a sieve and press to extract the excess juices; discard the juices.

    Transfer the vegetables to a 2 quart saucepan and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.  Transfer the relish to a jar and let cool.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    For the Cod Cakes:
    • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 ribs celery, minced
    • 1 medium onion, minced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb.) peeled and cut into small cubes
    • Kosher salt, to taste
    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless salted cod filet
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill
    • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Three days before:  Soak cod in a large bowl with cold water to cover by 2 inches.  Refrigerate, changing the water 3 times a day for 2-3 days.  Drain and cut into sections.

    Make the cod cakes:  Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add celery, onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

    Put the potatoes and cod into a 4 quart pot, cover with salted water and bring to a boil.  Simmer until cod and potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender and the cod flakes easily with a fork.  Drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Mash flaked cod and potatoes with a fork and add to celery-onion mixture.

    Add the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, herbs, egg and lemon juice to the cod-potato-onion mixture and stir to combine.  Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and form into cakes.  Transfer to a plate or baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.

    Heat remaining oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cod cakes and cook, flipping once, until golden brown.  Serve with chowchow and lemon halves.

    For more information on the Salt Fish Recipe Challenge, visit these Social Media links:

    I'm required to disclose a relationship between my blog and CFE International and Cristobal Brand.. This could include providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Cashew Crunch French Toast Sticks

    Looking for a healthier breakfast but craving traditional French Toast?
    Here you go!


    1/2 cup cashews
    1-1/2 cups of your favorite cornflakes (I used Kashi 100% Sprouted Whole Grain Flakes)
    1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
    Pinch of salt
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup low fat milk
    1 tsp. maple syrup (plus more for dipping)
    Nonstick cooking spray


    Cut 2 large slices whole-grain bread into crosswise pieces to make 5 fingers each.  In a food processor, pulse the cashews, cornflakes, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pulse until the cornflakes resemble the texture of oats.  Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and maple syrup until well combined.

    Spray a large nonstick skillet griddle with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat.  Working with one piece at a time, dip the bread into the egg mixture - you know how to do it - until completely moistened.  Coat each bread stick into the cornflake mixture gently pressing it on the bread.  Place each bread stick in the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, turning once, until the outside is golden brown and the center is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes total.  

    Serve with warm maple syrup on the side for dipping.

    ~Adapted from Ellie

    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Mediterannean Grilled Chicken Hummus Panini

    For the past few months or so, my co-worker Donna and I have been doing demos together on the weekends at my local ShopRite.  These next few weeks we are focusing on getting and staying healthy for the New Year.  I wanted to use a few new products in the store to create this delicious and healthy panini.  Everyone just loved it and the buzz is still going around the store about how good this sandwich was!

    The products we used in the sandwich were Sabra Spreads and Brooklyn Bred Bistro Buns.  Credit also goes to Karla in our Cheese Department for suggesting the best Provolone Cheese that brought this sandwich over the top!

    You will need:

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil or butter, softened
    4 squares of Brooklyn Bred Bistro Buns
    6 Tbsp. Sabra Spread Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
    1/2 lb. grilled chicken, (you can use Rotisserie Chicken) or Deli Chicken or Turkey
    Slices of Imported Provolone Cheese (we used Auricchio)
    Thinly sliced English cucumber
    Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
    Sliced Kalamata Olives
    Crumbled Feta
    Thinly sliced red onion

    1. Preheat grill pan or panini press.  We improvised at the store.  We used a skillet and placed foil on the bottom of a heavy pot to press the sandwich.  Brush olive oil or butter on one side of each Bistro Bun.  On the other side of each square, spread a thin layer of Sabra Spread.  Place buns hummus side up and layer on chicken, provolone cheese, cucumber, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, feta and red onion.  Close with top pieces of bread with olive oil or butter sides facing up.

    Place sandwich carefully onto hot grill pan butter side down.  Grill for about 3-5 minutes, until toasted and grilled on the bottom.  Flip and grill for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Place a heavy pot or skillet on top of the sandwich to help press it together.

    Cut each sandwich in half and serve warm.

    This is NOT a sponsored post.  Opinions are strictly my own.
    Recipe adapted from Picky Palate

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