Flat Iron Steak Green Salad on Flatbread Pizza

A flat bread pizza topped with grilled flat iron steak and a big flavored salad finished with Southwestern toppings.


1 lavash(9 inches by 12 inches)

1 T olive oil

1/2 sour cream

1/4 C pasta sauce

½ C shredded cheddar¹


12 ounce flatiron steak marinated in favorite marinade.

Salad Ingredients

1/2 C cucumber diced

1/2 C tomato diced

2 T shallot diced

3 T cilantro chopped

2 T Kalamata olives chopped

2 C Little Gem (baby romaine) lettuce chopped

1/3 C white balsamic vinaigrette

¼ Crème or sour cream

1/2 avacado sliced

2 T Roasted Salsa Verde


Serves 2 or 4. Preheat oven to 450º F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make Salad

Chop and combine all salad ingredients (except romaine) in medium bowl Set aside.


Grill or broil steak to desired doneness and rest for 10 minutes. Slice the flat iron steak against the grain and set aside.

Flatbread Prep

Place flatbread on baking sheet and paint both sides lightly with olive oil. Transfer to oven and bake about 2- 3 minutes per side and remove from oven and cool.

Combine sour cream and pizza sauce in small bowl. Spread sauce onto lavash then sprinkle cheese. Bake for 3-4 minutes and remove from oven and cool.

Assemble the Flat Bread Pizza

Place the flatbread on large serving platter.

Combine salad ingredients, romaine, and steak. Add salad dressing and toss together.

Sprinkle the salad steak mixture onto flatbread. Add avocado slices and drizzle with crema and tomatilla salsa’.

Cut and serve,


¹Use an aged cheddar cheese if possible/ It adds depth to the steak richness.



Easy Chicken Bolognaise

Tonight is kids’ two-hour basketball practice so we need an easy, quick to make dish.  The type of food that makes a growing child ask for seconds.  Unfortunately, there are never leftovers:)



1 pound ground chicken ¹

1 T Mexican Blend (Morton & Bassett)

1 t Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt

2 T olive oil

1 large carrot diced

2 celery sticks diced

1 large shallot diced

4 garlic cloves minced

1 C chicken broth

2 t basil chopped

2 t thyme

2 C marinara sauce

1/2 C cream

1/2 C Parmesan cheese

2 t parsley chopped

Salt and pepper


1 pound of  pasta

4 quarts of salted boiling water


Serves 4-6


In medium bowl combine chicken, Mexican seasoning, salt and set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add diced carrots, celery, and onions.  Then cook for 4 minutes over medium high heat.  Next, add garlic and cook for two minutes.

Add the seasoned chicken mixture, then stir to break chicken into bits.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink–about 8 minutes.


Add chicken broth and cook for two minutes while stirring occasionally. Add marina sauce, basil, and thyme and cook for five minutes.


Add cream, combine, and simmer for about ten minutes.


Add additional reserved pasta water, if sauce is too thick. Add Parmesan and adjust seasoning.



Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook following package directions. Drain and reserve about 1 cup pasta water.

Assemble Pasta Dish

In large serving bowl add the pasta. Pour sauce over the pasta and top with chopped parsley.  If desired, serve with a green salad on the side.



1. Ground turkey or ground can be used as direct replacement.






Mission Beef Stew

A fantastic and hearty winter stew with red wine and potatoes.  Great for a couple of meals.


1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 c flour

2 lbs beef cut into 2 inch sections

4 T olive oil

1 T soy sauce

1 T Worcestershire Sauce

1 c red wine

3 c beef stock

2 carrots, cubed

1 onion, cubed

8 small potatoes, cut into eighths

1 tblsp herbs de Provence

1 tbsp garlic, chopped


Trim fat off beef.  Season with salt and pepper and then toss with flour.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan.  Shake off excess flour and add beef when oil is hot.  The burner should have a medium heat where you hear a sizzle when adding beef, but should not be so high that the oil and flour burn.  Consider using a dutch oven style pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or you will steam the meat.

Brown beef cubes on all side.  If the bottom of the pan appears to lack oil, add a small drizzle sound the bottom – about a teaspoon.

Pull the pan off the burner, remove the beef.  If you are doing multiple batches, then quickly clean burned bits off the bottom and add a little more oil to the pan.  Put the pan back on the burner and heat the pan again.  Removing bits of burned material from the bottom of the pan removes burned flavor from the dish.

Complete each batch. Remove all beef from the pan and then add wine, soy sauce, and stock.  Scrape bottom of pan with wood spoon.  Do not scrape with a metal spoon.  Bring liquid to a boil.

Add the beef to liquid and let simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender.  Turn the burner down to simmer.  Put the lid on to keep liquid from evaporating.  You may need to add an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of stock during the cooking period.

Add other ingredients and cook for 20 minutes in an uncovered pan.  The dish is done when potatoes are fork-tender.

If thickened sauce is desired. remove beef, potatoes, and carrots to a bowl. Cook sauce over medium heat while stirring occasionally to desired thickness. Add back in the meat and vegetables.

Serve in bowls.



Stuffed Cabbage


I saw Julia Child and Jacque Pepin make stuffed cabbage on PBS.  With care and attention to preparation and seasonings, I was able to follow the recipe and understand why this unique recipe was the focal point of the show.  The flavor of the cabbage was delightful and very tender.   I modified ingredients to my taste preference, but most interesting was freezing the cabbage for ease of preparation.  I used gentle seasonings so the cabbage flavor was not hidden. 


1 head of green cabbage or Savoy cabbage

1 large onion chopped

2  carrots diced

2 celery stalks diced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 t  caraway seeds

1 T parsley chopped

3/4 pound ground beef

1 C cooked rice


1 large onion diced

3 carrots diced

4 celery sticks diced

4 garlic cloves minced

3 T olive oil

1 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes*

1 T Cento® tomato paste

1 t Italian herbs

1 bay leaf

3 C chicken broth

1 C white wine


Oven temperature 350º F   serves 6-8

Core the cabbage and wrap in plastic wrap.Place in freezer for 24 hours then remove and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cook rice according to package directions.* and set aside.

Remove 12 outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. Chop the remaining cabbage up and add set aside.

In large skillet bring olive oil up to heat and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and chopped cabbage. Cook until liquid is reduced about 30- minutes.

Add rice and ground beef and combine.


Heat olive oil in 5 quart oven proof covered pot. Add onions, carrots,celery, Italian herds and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, and broth. Bring to boil.


Cut large sheet of aluminum foil to assemble cabbage leaves and stuffing. Lay down in overlapping circular form the 4 largest leaves. Place at least 1/3 of stuffing in center. Add next 4 leaves and repeat. Add 4 final leaves and remainder of stuffing. Pull the bottom leaves and foil up to form a firm ball. Leave a hole at the top on the ball.

Place the hole side down in the braising pot. Pour in wine and cover. Bake for 1 1/2 -2  hours. Check half way through check on braising liquid level; may have to add additional broth.

Remove from oven. Using a large spatula lift cabbage out of pot to serving tray. Remove foil and pour some braising liquid over cabbage. Count and serve. Serve with green beans and a green salad.

Stuffed Cabbage After Braising

Stuffed cabbage is delicate. Use caution with slicing to create servings.  Below is an example serving.

Stuffed Cabbage Layers

Serve with peppery tomato sauce.

Stuffed Cabbage with Tomatoes


*Diced tomatoes can be substituted for crushed tomatoes.

*Organic brown rice make take longer to cook than white rice.

Freezing the cabbage was a time saving step. No par boiling the leaves. I debated between ground beef and ground turkey. The ground beef added additional flavor to the cabbage.




Top Blade Chuck with Madeira Sauce

A flavorful tender steak with a velvety sauce that is ready to serve in less than an hour.


4 top blade steaks

Salt and pepper


2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 large carrot finely diced

3 large shallot finely diced

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 T Worcestshire sauce

3 garlic cloves smashed

1 C Madeira

1 1/2 C of Swanson’s beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T butter

1/2 C half and half


Grill 400º F

Trim excess fat from the steaks. Oil the steak lightly with grapeseed oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes per side and then move to cooler part of the grill. Close the cover and grill for about 4 minutes. At 135º the steak was medium rare.Remove steak from grill and cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.


Heat olive oil and butter  in the sautepan. Sauté the carrots until golden. Add onions and caramelize the carrots and shallots . Stir occasionally so they don’t burn. Deglaze the pan with half the Madeira scraping the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine. Add beef stock, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to boil than simmer until reduced by half.

Add half and half and add remaining Madeira. Season with salt and pepper. Strain sauce through a fine strainer and add butter. Stir and keep warm.

Plate steaks and pour Madeira sauce over them and drizzle the plates with extra sauce. Serve with cauliflower potato mash and green beans.


This recipe works with New York Strip steaks. The steak can be pan seared and finished in a hot oevn also. It is an easy meal that looks more fussy than it is.

The leftover Madeira sauce was frozen.



Chilies in Walnut Sauce (Chili en Nogada)

A stunning flavor packed entre that tastes good and looks good. There were no leftovers.



1 onion chopped

5 garlic cloves minced

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 pound ground turkey breast/ chicken*

2 pears diced

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

5 T cilantro chopped

2 T currants

2 T blanched almonds minced


6 poblano chilies


1/2 C walnut halves

3/4 C milk

1/2 C creme fraiche

1/4 C feta

1 T sugar


Walnut Sauce

Place walnuts in bowl of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Discard water and peel brown skin from the nuts. Place walnuts in small bowl cover with milk and soak for  4-6 hours

Drain the walnuts and reserve couple tablespoons of soaking milk. Place nuts in blender and add creme fraiche, Feta, reserved milk and sugar. Blend and refrigerate

Roast peppers

Place on foil lined baking sheet. Broil turning them once until skin blackened and place in covered bowl for 5-10 minutes. Remove as much blackened skin as possible and make a lengthwise slit and remove seeds and membrane. Set aside.


In large skill bring olive oil up to heat and add onions and cook for couple minutes and the add garlic. Cook until garlic fragrant. A meat and cook until brown. add tomatoes, cilantro, and pear and cook 10 minutes until mixture is thick. Add currants and almonds


1/2 C pomegranate seeds


Place chilies on serving tray. Add stuffing without tearing the chili. Cover them with Walnut sauce and dress with pomegranate seeds.

Serve with a Mexican rice and a simple tomato avacado salad.


*Beef or pork can be substituted in place of turkey. We used chicken or turkey instead of pork, did not use all fruit, and did not deep fry them.

This is an adapted version of Chili en Nogada. I had the original recipe in Mexico City and it was one of my favorite dinners.


Meatballs with Stuffing in Sauce Over Pasta

Stuffed low fat meatballs with spinach and carrots for family members who are not fans of spinach or cheese. Actually they asked for more vegetables in the stuffing and less cheese.


1/2 pound ground beef(85% ground)

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1/2  C Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1 t Italian seasoning


1/2 C cream cheese

3/4 C died provolone

1/2 C chopped spinach

1/2 C diced carrots*

1 garlic clove minced

1 t thyme

Salt and pepper


1/4 C Parmesan

Compouund Butter

1/4 pound butter cold diced

3 T herbs chopped

Chop the herb leaves and place in small blender. Pulse 2-4 times. Add chunked cold butter and pulse until combined. Remove and place on sheet of plastic wrap and roll into log. Ready to use or refrigerate and use on favorite dishes.


Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, and seasoning in medium bowl.

Combine cheese,vegetables, and seasoning in small bowl.

Divide meat into 12 balls using cookie scoop. On parchment paper press the balls flat and add a teaspoon of stuffing and seal the meat around the stuffing.

Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter(I use herbed compound butter*) over medium high heat. Brown the meatballs. Add tomato sauce and cook for 12 minutes.

Add 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook following package directions. Pour sauce and meatballs on pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan and serve.


*Carrots were microwaved for 1 minute


Layers of a delicious meat sauce, eggplant and potatoes topped with a béchamel cudstard and cheese topping.


Meat Sauce

1 pound lean ground beef (93% lean)

3 T butter

3 T onions chopped

1 C  plum tomato sauce

1 C red wine

1 C water

3-4 T parsley chopped

1 cinnamon stick.


1/2 C bread crumbs 

1 C grated Parmesan 

2-3 medium eggplants

4 large potatoes

Bechamel Sauce

6 T butter melted

1/2 C flour

4 C milk warm

2 eggs beaten

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste


Oven temperature 400º F. Serves 6-8

In large dutch oven melt butter and add onions. Cook until golden. Add beef and cook until brown and crumbly. Add in tomato sauce, wine, water, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick. and parsley. Cover and cook for 1 hour over low heat.

Remove from heat. Add half the cheese and half of the bread crumbs then remove the cinnamon stick.

Béchamel Sauce

Blend melted butter with flour in sauce pan and whisk until mixture bubbles. Whisk in milk a cup at a time. Add in beaten eggs, pinch of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut eggplant and potatoes 1/4 inch thick.

Arrange half of the uncooked eggplant and potatoes in 8″ by 13″ baking pan with a sprinkle of the remaining bread crumbs. Spread the meat cheese mixture evenly over the eggplant and potatoes. Arrange remaining eggplant and potatoes over meat mixture and sprinkle with  crumbs. Pour white sauce evenly on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crumbs. 

Bake at 400º for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º F and bake for additional 45 minutes. 

Cool slighly and serve with a krispy Greek salad.

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Beef


1 C brown rice

2 C water

1 t salt

4 bell peppers large

4 garlic cloves minced

1/2 medium yellow onion coarse chop

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/4 C diced celery

2 T olive oil

1 pound of 85% or 93% lean ground beef(turkey can be substituted)

1 t salt

1/2 t red peppers flakes

1 t Italian seasoning

1 T Cento® concentrated tomato paste

1  t Worcestershire sauce

1 C chicken broth

1 beaten egg

1 C Mexican blend cheese(additional 1/2 cup optional)


Heat oven to 350º.  8 inch by 8 inch by 2 inch pan

Bring large pot of salted(1 t) water to boil. Cut tops of peppers off and remove seeds and membrane. Submerge and boil peppers for 2 minutes. Remove and place top side down on paper towel to drain.

In small sauce pan add water,rice,and salt bring to boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat olive oil in large skillet and add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until onions translucent. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add ground beef, salt, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning  and cook until meat is browned. Drain residual fat and add  Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and broth. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add in cooked rice and cheese. Add egg and blend thoroughly into mixture.

Place 4 peppers upright in square 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan. Divide hamburger rice mixture into the peppers. Cover them with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and and cook for additional 10 minutes(additional cheese maybe sprinkled on top at this time)

Serve with  a green salad.


Kids may prefer red, yellow, or orange peppers since green bell peppers can be strong and bitter.  Another green pepper option is the poblano.

Pepper can be cut in half lengthwise or upright.  Lengthwise produces the boat style pepper shape.


Meatloaf Recipe

An easy to make meatloaf that is delicious as an entre and leftovers make a tasty sandwich.


1 1/2 pound 85% hamburger

1 large onion medium chop

2 garlic cloves minced

2 T olive oil

3 slices bread crusts removed

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup beef broth

2 eggs

1 T Worcestershire Sauce

2 t garlic salt

1/2 t pepper

3/4 cup barbecue sauce or ketchup


Oven 350º F  Parchment paper covered baking dish

Cut off bread crusts and soak in milk beef broth mixture.

In skillet add olive oil over medium low heat, add garlic and onions. Cook until translucent  about 7-8 minutes; remove from heat and cool.

Combine in mixing bowl ground beef, bread mixture, onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix ingredients together with hands until incorporated. Transfer to baking dish and form into loaf. Cover with sauce of choice.

Bake 50-60 minutes or until reaching an internal temperature of 160º  using a quick reading thermometer.

Serve hot with smashed potatoes.