Category Archives: 1hour

Kusherie: You really don’t need to eat dead animals…….

One of my boys (my young men?) has asked for this recipe several times.  I’m glad you like it, Aaron, it was always one of my favorites, also.  I really don’t have any philosophical reason to avoid meat — I just don’t like it.  I think vegetarian meals, including protein from legumes and grains, is a lot more healthful.  A good resource on this are the books, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe, and its companion, Recipes for a Small Planet, by Ellen Buchwald.  I really like this approach.  And, of course, More With Less is an excellent source of common-sense recipes for those who want to eat responsibly, for their own health as well as for the good of others.

So we ate a lot of beans when I was growing up.  My mom always served navy beans, slow cooked with ham hocks, onion and bay leaf. Just like the chili, we added a dash of vinegar, and lots of ground black pepper, and hot cornbread.  Mom was mildly amused when, after she had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, Dad proudly said that he had “discovered a great way to cook beans: you just soak them overnight, and then cook them at a really low temperature for about 3 hours! ” To Mom, it was sort of like reinventing the wheel.  I continued the tradition while raising a family of eight children.  I remember being a little embarrassed when one of the boys’ friends walked in the house, sniffed and said, “Hmmm your mom’s cooking beans again.”  I don’t think he wanted to stay for supper that night. Lentils are a more convenient legume to serve, as they do not require soaking.  Brown lentils look a little “homely”, so if you can get red lentils at the City Market, they look a little better.  Kusherie is a recipe straight out of More With Less, and is subtitled Egyptian Rice and Lentils.  If you have trouble with raw onions, ask hubby to slice them.


Heat in a skillet:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 1/4 cup dry lentils

Brown lentils over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.


  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper

Cook uncovered 10 minutes over medium heat.

Stir in:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 cup boiling water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 24 minutes without stirring.

In another saucepan, heat together:

  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups tomato juice or tomato sauce
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Simmer for 20 minutes

For the Onions, in a skillet heat:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Cook these gently til soft and slightly brown.

To serve, put the rice and lentil mixture on a platter.  Pour the tomato sauce over and top with onions.  Serve with a nice spinach salad.

One Dish Meals, cont’d – Chicken Paprika

One dish meals are convenient, but sometimes they are sort of — well, unattractive.  Just some noodles and sauce.  I guess that’s not so bad, but I’m married to a man who really likes to see a piece of meat bigger than his thumb on the plate.  I like this one from Family Circle magazine.  It’s easy, cheap, and pretty tasty.  Serve it with noodles, mashed potatoes or rice on the side (there goes the one-dish idea) or with some really good, crusty bread (a perfect go-to side dish) and spinach salad.

Chicken Paprika

  • 8 chicken thighs or legs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup paprika (try to find a store that sells good Hungarian paprika)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 14-oz (used to be 16 0z) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth (see note at bottom)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Remove skin from chicken(not absolutely necessary, but I do it with this dish.) In a large skillet, melt the butter.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4 min.  Add  seasonings and cook for 1 min.

Add tomatoes, with the juice, 1 1/2 cups broth and chicken pieces.  Cover, bring to boiling, and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for about 20 min, til chicken is nice and tender.  In a small bowl, combine the rest of the broth into flour and stir until smooth.  Stir into skillet, cook 1-2 min until thick. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.  Some fresh parsley is a great garnish.

Note re: chicken broth.

Of course, the best way to get chicken broth is to cook some chicken.  This didn’t always seem practical to me, because, unless you are going to use the cooked chicken,  —well, it just didn’t make sense.  I guess you could cook the chicken, and if you’re not planning on using it (for instance, this dish calls for raw chicken), you could freeze it and make chicken enchiladas or tacos another day.  If you are going to make soup, then you are making broth for that dish, and you won’t have any left over.  Anyway, here’s my solution to what some may not think is a problem in the first place.  First, If I am doing a stir fry, something that calls for cutting the raw chicken off the bones, I cook those bones into broth and freeze it.  Otherwise, I buy canned broth or I have even used bouillion cubes, which I am ashamed to admit.  I know some fine chefs who will cook a chicken only for the broth and then give the meat to the family pet or something.  You get really good broth that way.  Like mom used to say, “You can either save time or money.”

Banana Bread

We don’t let things go to waste in our house.  Brown, slimy bananas make great banana bread! Overripe bananas can easily be mashed with a little lemon juice and frozen  until you are ready to bake.  I have tried several recipes; one had grape-nuts instead of nuts. This one is my favorite.  We had one daughter who didn’t like nuts, so I usually made two loaves, one with and one without.  Chocolate chips are not bad either!


  • 3 really ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour (of course, I use half whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cups of nuts (walnuts or pecans) (black walnuts are really good) (you can use more if you’d like)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips if you like

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan.  Mix the bananas and eggs.  Add the flour, sugar, salt, and soda.  Add the nuts; don’t overmix.  Put the batter in the pan and bake for 1 hour (or so).  (Quick breads will be done when the shrink from the sides of the pan and a toothpick poked in it comes out clean.) Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then remove.  It slices better when it is cool if you can wait, and it is great with peanut butter and a glass of milk for breakfast!

Granola: Crunchy; Muesli: chewy

Granola is my answer to cold cereal. My opinion is that when you buy cereal from the store, you might just as well eat the box.  There are many, many granola recipes out there. For my favorite, I go once again to the More-With -Less cookbook.    My recipe is different from the original, because one of the great things about granola is its flexibility. Just start mixing!

Preheat oven to 250.

In a large bowl or roasting pan, mix:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 9 cups rolled oats (preferably old-fashioned, not quick)
  • 1 or 2 cups of coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups of raw wheat germ
  • 1 cup wheat bran (not the cereal, the bran)
  • 1 1/2 cups of dry milk powder

In a separate bowl, mix:

  • 1 1/2 cup water (better start with ust 1 cup)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup honey or brown sugar (you can add more if yo must)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread out onto 2 cookie sheets and bake 1 hour or til toasty. This makes about a gallon.  I add raisins AFTER it is baked.  If you like sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. they cn be added before the granola is toasted.  Soy flour can be added (about 3/4 cup) but you may have to add a little water.

Muesli: This is like raw granola, and it’s great for the summer.

In a large casserole with a lid (or any container with a lid) mix:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup each lemon juice and honey
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried fuit (I like dried blueberries, cranberries, and apricots) Refrigerate overnight and enjoy.

Breakfast: A category of its own

I’m sure you have heard it said: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it.” I’ve come to appreciate another old saying: “Eat breakfast like a king, luncheon like a duke, and supper like a pauper.” I don’t always wake up very hungry, so I take this to mean qualilty, if not quantity.  But breakfast is really my favorite meal; it seems to be the only meal that can be enjoyed in either quiet solitude, or a happy crowd of family members and friends.  When the children were little, breakfast on school days was  either hot oatmeal or homemade granola (at least I like to remember it that way!).  No Cap’n Crunch at our house. One of the kids spent the night at a friend’s house and made sure to tell me that “their mom lets them eat Cap’n Crunch”.  (We did eat raisin bran and Life cereal.) On Saturdays, we would have pancakes, and on Sundays, I’d make muffins — they were kind of like hand-held pancakes and we had to get out the door quickly! Early in my marriage, I learned to make Dutch pancakes, and they became a favorite. As the kids got older, we ate breakfast together less and less. (No one ever tells you when it will be the last time you fix pancakes for someone.)  I am pleased to observe, however, that , for the most part, they still eat a healthful breakfast.  One son eats oatmeal on the way to work, another eats granola for snacks, and my daughter Kelsey makes great Dutch pancakes.

Lemon Bars

Every body loves them, although I think one is enough — boy are they rich.  Barb Gertz at has a really good recipe for Lavendar Lemon Bars; they raise the elegance bar (pun intended) a few notches.


  • 1/2 # butter (no substitutes)
  • 2 c. flour (I use at least part ww)
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Press in  a 9×13″ pan.  Bake 10 min. at 325 degrees.


  • 6 eggs
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 teaspn salt
  • 1  c. flour
  • 1/2 teaspn baking powder (note: not baking soda; learn the difference)
  • 1 c.  Lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest

Beat this well. Pour over crust. Bake for 25- 30 min (do not overbake) at 325 degrees.

BLT Chicken Salad

This is a much-requested recipe (at least as far as my children are concerned). I have seen it from several different sources (mags, etc.) but it’s pretty much PD now. (I hope.) Enjoy.


  • 1/2 c. real mayo
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 1/2 teaspns. vinegar (balsalmic is good)
  • 1 tablespn. BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 teaspn garlic powder

Cook 1 pound chicken breasts; cool, cut in cubes.

Cook 1/2 pound rotini pasta (of course, I prefer ww)

Cook several strips bacon til crisp (how about 1 1/2 strips per person?)

Now, mix pasta and dressing. Toss in chicken, bacon.  Add 3 c. chopped Romaine lettuce and fresh spinach.  Throww in a chopped tomato. Toasted croutons made of good french bread are a good add-in: I toss the cubes with olive oil and bake at a low temp til crisp. This will probably serve 6 people.

Mauk Borscht

The name is sort of a play on words, since I’m not sure this is true borscht.  It is published at the request of my daughter Kate.

1 large onion, chopped                                      2 cloves garlic, minced                    4-6 slices bacon, chopped

1 28-oz can tomatoes                                         2 stalks celery, sliced                        2   med. carrots, jullienned

1 small cabbage, sliced very thinly                  1 med rutabaga, cubed                      4 c. chicken broth

3/4 lb. smoked kielbasa, sliced                        1 16-oz can sauerkraut                      2 tablespn lemon juice

2 bay leaves                                                          salt, pepper                                          1 tablespn fresh dill, chopped or 1 teaspn dried

1 tablespn sugar

Saute onion and garlic with bacon pieces.  Add tomatoes, veggies, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer covered 30 minutes.  Stir in sausage, kraut, juice, sugar, bay leaves and simmer another 20 minutes or so.  Sprinkle in dill.  Serve with sour cream and hot homemade rolls. it’s really good for you.

Cincinnati Chili from Cleveland

I was first introduced to chili on spaghetti in the sixth grade. The new girl from school invited me to her house for supper.  They had just moved to Winfield from Cleveland, and when her Mom served this, she said they ate chili on spaghetti all the time in Ohio.  I’m a Kansas girl and had never heard of chili with anything but crackers.  Later in life, I learned that German Mennonites love chili with cinnamon rolls, and lots of other folks eat it with cornbread, which is now our tradition.  By the way, the recipe calls for chopped raw onions as a garnish, but if that’s a little too strong, just use sliced green onions.

2 Tablespn olive oil                                  1 c. chopped onion (1 large)                  2 cloves of garlic minced

1 lb. ground beef                                       1 lb. ground lamb (frankly, I just use 2 lbs. beef)

2 Tablespn cocoa                                      2 Tablespn chili powder                         1  teaspn ground cumin

1/4 teaspn ground coriander                  1/4 teaspn cinnamon                             1/4 teaspn ground allspice

1/4 teaspn ground cardomom                1 20-oz can chopped tomatoes             2 tablespn tomato paste

2 tablespn red wine vinegar                    2 tablespn honey (or brown sugar)      salt and pepper to your taste

1 pound linguine, or long macaroni       2 16-oounce cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

4 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese         chopped onion for topping.

In a big pot, cook the onions in the oil til soft, about 10 minutes (did i say low heat?). Add the garlic and cook a couple of minutes more.  Add meat, raise the heat and cook til the meat is brown, crumble it up as it cooks.  Drain grease.  Add cocoa and spices; coo and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste, the vinegar and the honey. Add the beans.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Salt and pepper as you like it.  While the chili cooks, boil some water and cook the linguine. (or spaghetti) Serve the chili atop the noodles, garnished with cheese and onions.   This ought to serve 6, but maybe just four.

Remember that chili is what you make it; use the seasoning measurements as a starting place.  The combination of spices in this chili is characteristic of the Greeks who have a large community in Cincinnati, and from whom i think we get this recipe.