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Citrus-Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Goat Cheese

In Dinner, Great Left-Overs, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes by Tom0 Comments

It’s purple and delicious and so easy to make.  Buying a whole head of cabbage always seems like a like you  are singing yourself up for a lot of work, slicing, coring, shaving, etc.  But seriously this goes from ingredients to table in barely 30 mins, and it doesn’t really take that much effort at all!  This recipe for a braised cabbage with apples and a bit of citrus is simple and quick to make… and best of all, it keeps very well and can be enjoyed cold.  Add a bit of goat cheese to transform this beautiful cabbage into a fancy savory treat.  Let’s cook! Inspiration:  Lemonade LA Cookbook Tom’s Flavor Notes:  Clean, fresh, PURPLE, slightly sweet Ingredients: 2 lb Red Cabbage (1/2 of a big one) 4 small organic apples – diced 1 onion – diced 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup orange juice 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese Step by Step Recipe Instructions – Citrus-Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Goat Cheese Get your big knife out and chop the cabbage in half.  Trim out the core and discard.  Turn the half cabbage over onto flat side and cut into 2-3 wedges.  Shave each wedge to create cabbage ribbons. Dice up the onions and apples.  Sautee over medium heat in an extra large fry pan or even a heavy wok with a lid (as I did).  Cook until onions become translucent and slightly soft. Add cabbage to pan and turn to combine.  Add red wine vinegar, orange juice, honey, pepper and salt.  Adjust heat to low and cover to braise for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally. Once soft, but not moooshy, remove from heat.  If enjoying warm, add to plate and top with goat cheese. For a cool version, store in tupperware and chill for a few hours. I would hold the goat cheese until plating too. Let’s Eat! Tools Needed Chef Knife Cast Iron Wok (or just big ole Fry Pan w/ Lid) Printable Recipe Citrus-Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Goat Cheese   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins   Sweet and Purple with a bit of savory goat cheese! Author: Tom Schmidt (eatwithtom.com) Recipe type: Side Dish Cuisine: Veggies Serves: 4 Ingredients 2 lb Red Cabbage (1/2 of a big one) 4 small organic apples – diced 1 onion – diced 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil ½ cup red wine vinegar ½ cup orange juice 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese Instructions Get your big knife out and chop the cabbage in half. Trim out the core and discard. Turn the half cabbage over onto flat side and cut into 2-3 wedges. Shave each wedge to create cabbage ribbons. Dice up the onions and apples. Sautee over medium heat in an extra large fry pan or even a heavy wok with a lid (as I did). Cook until onions become translucent and slightly soft. Add cabbage to pan and turn to combine. Add red wine vinegar, orange juice, honey, pepper and salt. Adjust heat to low and cover to braise for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once soft, but not moooshy, remove from heat. If enjoying warm, add to plate and top with goat cheese. For a cool version, store in tupperware and chill for a few hours. I would hold the goat cheese until plating too. Let’s Eat! 3.2.2925  

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Quinoa, Black Beans, Cucumber and Avocado with Eggs Recipe

In Gluten-Free, Great Left-Overs, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegetables by Tom4 Comments

Quinoa Recipe Healthy Eating Ideas - Avocado Black Beans Cilantro Cucumbers Easy Lunch


Quinoa Recipe for a quick lunch


This dish with Quinoa, Black Beans, Cucumber and Avocado with Eggs is light, but hearty enough to refuel your tanks and support your journey to greatness. The combination of the vinegar, limes and cilantro creates a wonderful freshness that reinvigorates your soul through your daily grind.You never know, a great idea might even hit you over the head after lunch when you are NOT a wandering zombie in an afternoon coma…

Lunch is often a “human maintenance” meal for me. This translates to: I need food that fuels me through the rest of the crazy day, without leaving me ravenous or sleepy an hour later. Since I love to eat, it also kills me to just grab some junk food and call it okay. So I have been on a quest to find a lunch “supplement” that is filling, enjoyable, and healthy.

This recipe evolved from a bean and quinoa salad dish that my mom regularly makes at home. From that inspiration, I added some avocado and eggs to make it a little more savory and substantial enough to call it a meal.  Without the eggs, it can also be a great side dish.

how to cook quinoa food blog recipe

I like to use organic dried black beans cooked via the pressure cooking method, but you can use canned ones. I recommend spending the additional nickel and grabbing the organic ones if available. The organic version will have fewer preservatives and I usually feel less “musical” after the meal. Even if the upgraded beans are a couple bucks, you are nowhere near the cost of a cheeseburger! Treat yourself!

This is a great meal to partially prepare ahead of time, especially the beans and quinoa. I like to make a large batch of beans and quinoa, and store them (separately) in left-over containers in my fridge. They last for about a week without getting funky. With these prepped, you can pull together all kinds of healthy meals on the quick (and cheap).


Quinoa Recipe with Eggs Step by Step Images

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Chorizo Recipe – How to Make Pork Sausage

In Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Paleo Friendly, Party Food, Recipe, Techniques by Tom2 Comments

How to make Chorizo Recipes


A wise man once said: “When life gives you big ole pork butts, make Chorizo sausage”


Here we turn our pork butt into Chorizo, a dynamic and delicious team player in the kitchen. This sausage brings a strong spicy and rich flavor to any dish. (Check out the Seafood Stew!) Chorizo can also stand on its own, I’ll even throw a link on the grill and top it with some ketchup. Shoot, Chorizo can even take the lead on your next conference call, really just a great team player…

When picking out your next piece of butt, choose a nice big one with plenty of marbling. Good fat content is paramount to a successful sausage. Or if your local grocery does not have whole butts, grab a large pack of pork steaks, it is the same meat.

All spices our local shop The Spice House in Old Town

We shot this recipe when my parents were visiting and my Dad Jerry is the true sausage aficionado who got me started with this whole idea. I like to be a conscious eater, and sausage is terribly hard to find without NASTY chemicals. Soooo I am learning to make it at home without the monster toxins!  Additionally you know that the ingredients include good quality meat with the proper fat content (approximately 20% with a pork butt), compared to store-bought sausages that can go as high as 50% fat!

Making Sausage at home is a bit of a project, but it saves super well and you will love spicing up all kinds of dishes with a bit of sausage. Add a bit of chorizo to Kale and Eggs or a frittata to give it a uniquely Spanish taste.  Also you can simply poach these sausages in fry pan with a bit of water or pan fry to an internal temp of 165F for a quick lunch.


The Tools for Sausage Making


Kitchener Sausage Stuffer - Harbor Freight Meat Grinder ReviewYou need a few tools for this project, but seriously, you can afford these! The grinder is $50 and the stuffer is $100. Combined, about equal to the price of a pair of decent dress shoes. Of course you could get it done with the KitchenAid Grinder Meat Grinder attachment, but you likely won’t have as much fun. Believe me, I was bit skeptical on this investment, but I am diggin’ it now!

Electric Meat Grinder
Harbor Freight grinder is a great cheap grinder for the foodie. It is perfectly capable of grinding any meats without bones. It is a simple,  small and light enough to easily put away. It seems that this grinder will run for quite a while as long as you do not feed it rock solid frozen meat.

Although the grinder can stuff your casings it can be a real mess and take a long time to stuff and clean up. A true stuffer is a key tool for success.

Kitchener 5-Lb. Stainless Steel Sausage Stuffer
At $100, this is the least expensive route to a great sausage stuffing experience. The tool is finely manufactured and works great. The speed that you force the meat through the tube can be finely adjusted. The ability to control all that raw meat moving around your kitchen will go a long way toward enjoying your sausage making experience and keeping your food prep safe.


Chorizo Homemade Sausage Recipe and Stuffing Tutorial

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Limey Avocado and Grape Tomato Side Dish from Lemonade LA

In Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian by Tom1 Comment

Amazing avocado recipe - vegan meals - chicago food blog


Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes


Large chunks of avocados spiked with a zesty lime vinaigrette, smiles are guaranteed.  This dish is a great side or main player for a veggie based lunch.  The good fats in the avocados will keep both your brain and stomach happy all afternoon.  No h-Anger excuses!

(h-Anger defined: the annoyed and dangerous mindset that causes you to turn into a ravenous beast until you get junk food or another meal.  No, coffee does not fix this condition.  See additional details on the Urban Dictionary.)

I  traveled and worked in downtown Los Angeles for many weeks last year.  Of all the meals I ate throughout the city, my favorites primarily all came from this quick serve modern cafeteria restaurant on the basement level of the office building.

Best Food blog recipes for lunch gourmet vegetable side dish chi

Recipe Inspiration – The Lemonade Cookbook


This mecca of lunch greatness, called Lemonade, seems to exist only in California and the Middle East (go figure…) at this point.  This dish falls into their ‘marketplace portions’ category, consisting of relatively healthy, mostly veggie based, and super flavorful dishes.  I was so excited to find such a truly filling and healthy option for lunch on the road that I ate there nearly everyday.  Oh yeah, and on travel days I would eat it twice… oops.  If you are flying Delta through LAX, you can find it right there in the terminal.

Since I am such an avid fan, of course I had to buy the cookbook.  So now that my days traveling to L.A. are over, I am working through the recipes and plan to share a few more of my favorites in future posts.  Got a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket? Pick up the The Lemonade Cookbook on Amazon.


Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes

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Fresh Raw Beet Salad – Fancy White Shirts, Take Cover!

In Great Left-Overs, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegetables by Tom0 Comments

Beets are sweet raw, how to eat seasonal vegetables in chicago


Beet Salad Recipe with Apples and Cabbage


This raw beet salad recipe tames the earthy essence of the beets and brings out a beautiful sweetness.  As soon as you get past the fact that you are gobbling up raw beets (if you have phobia), you are bound to forget that this is actually a pretty healthy dish!

Raw beets have quite possibly the most intense red color I have ever seen.  It has such a powerful color that every item in this salad will become lush and red in color.  Watch out for your fancy white shirts!

Recipe Inspiration: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

There is something about beets that worries many people.  There must have been conspiracy among grandmas in the past to make terrible dishes with beets.  But that can’t be grandmas always make great stuff.  Maybe someone forgot to wash their beets and they got a mouthful of sand… No worries, in this recipe, you peel the beets, so you should be safe from the grit.

I worked from Mark Bittman’s Raw Beet Salad Recipe and pulled a few of variations mentioned to come up with this combo.  I love his uncommon takes on regular ingredients.  Be sure to check out his inventive alternative preparations for the Raw Beet Salad, he is a Master.

Don’t worry about leftovers with this recipe, the flavors will continue to improve as it marinates.  It makes for a good take along lunch dish, although prepare for co-worker jealousy!

Let’s Cook!


Raw Beet Salad with Apples and Red Cabbage

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