A full life in moderation.

Archive for Main Dish

Pork Chili Verde

An oldie, but goodie. Was looking for something hearty, satisfying and healthy to serve at a large dinner and came across an old recipe my mother sent my way. If you’re intimidated by the fresh jalapeno for fear of spice, cut to just 1 (original recipe called for 3 to 4, was too much for me). The chili was a crowd favorite. Enjoy.


3 lbs Boneless Pork Loin* (cubed)  *I prefer pork shoulder – the extra fat leads to a richer/soupier chili.

1 Cup Cilantro (chopped and lightly packed)

1 onion (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

2 Tbs black pepper

2 Large fresh jalapeno (diced)

1 4oz can diced jalapenos

1 4oz can diced green chilis

1 tea sea salt


Put all ingredients together in heavy pot/dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to low and simmer for 2.5 hours. If using pork loin, may need to add water or chicken broth if looking dry.

Serve with tortillas, avocado, limes, extra jalapeno, sour cream, hot sauce – whatever you’d like! I also served with Cilantro-Lime Rice and a sweeter salad to take the heat off the chili.

Whole Roasted Chicken

It may seem odd to post a recipe for a whole roasted chicken in the dog days of summer. However, my youngest wanted the chicken at the store and I wanted Green Chili Enchiladas (I use the left-over chicken the next day for my enchiladas, which will be posted tomorrow). So, it worked out.


  1. Whole Free Range Roasting Chicken
  2. Olive Oil
  3. 3 T Garlic Salt
  4. 1.5 T Dried Rosemary
  5. 1.5 T Dried Thyme
  6. 1.5 T Dried Sage
  7. 1/3 cup dry vermouth


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove packet on inside of chicken, either set aside for making stock or throw away. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Using your hands, coat outside of chicken with Olive Oil. Then rub chicken all over with the garlic salt, rosemary, thyme and sage. I also rub the inside of the chicken cavity with the spices.

Place chicken spine up on a roasting pan and put in oven. Cook for 45 minutes, flip chicken over and drizzle dry vermouth over chicken breast. Put back in oven and cook another 45 minutes. Chicken is done when the liquid at the leg joint runs clear when cut with a knife. Let rest 10 minutes and then carve.


Black Bean Chili

Great weeknight meal. It is healthy, quick and filling. Enjoy.


I bag (16 oz) dried black beans, rinsed

2 Cups crushed tomatoes

1 Large Onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 Tablespoon Oregano

3/4 Tablespoon Paprika

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

*Optional chopped fresh jalapeno


Boil beans in large pot with plenty of water for 1.5 hours (check on them to ensure there is enough water during the boiling process as it evaporates). Drain beans, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Saute onion, pepper, garlic and jalapeno in olive oil until just soft. Add everything else except beans and cook on low for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir and serve!  I serve with either cornbread or pan-fried Polenta.

Clean Living Pancakes

I am a parent that makes breakfast for their kids every morning. We don’t do a lot of cereal – we do omelets, pancakes, waffles, french toast. We tried crepes, they hated them. What has been interesting about this daily event in our kitchen; I have chosen a culinary life where I do not eat 99% of what the rest of the family consumes. In an effort to enjoy a Sunday morning breakfast, not smoothie, I went in search of a clean “pancake”. I found one, tweaked it, and now LOVE it. Enjoy.


1 whole egg

2 egg whites

1/4 c uncooked rolled oats (if you used old-fashioned oats, soak them in the above egg mixture for 15 minutes before you cook)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small ripe banana, mashed into a paste

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons organic pure maple syrup


Combine egg, egg whites, oats, vanilla, cinnamon, bananas in a bowl and mix well. Melt coconut oil in non-stick pan, pour in egg/oat mixture. Cook on medium heat until pancake is able to be flipped (moves easily in pan as one unit). Serve with the syrup!

Onion-Ginger Salmon

Great way to get your good fats! This salmon recipe is easy and delicious.


1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Cup lime juice (about 4 limes juiced)

1 small onion, chopped

2 tsp tarragon

1 Tbs salt

2 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)

2 gloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

Dash of red pepper flakes

1-1.5lbs fresh salmon (I love King, but any variety will work)


Combine all ingredients in bowl. Place salmon, skin side down, in baking dish. Pour marinade over top of salmon and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain marinade, reserving onions/ginger/garlic. Place onion mixture back on top of salmon. Bake salmon at 425 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of fish.

Serve salmon and delicious onion mixture with baked or roasted potatoes.

Roasted Chicken with Olives, Mushrooms and Herbs

This is my father’s brilliant attempt to duplicate the roast chicken from the Union Hotel in Occidental, California. Make sure the chicken is well trimmed of excess skin and fat so the sauce won’t be greasy.


6 Chicken Thighs
6 to 8 oz. Crimini mushrooms, quartered

1/3C Lemon juice
One 6oz can whole pitted black olives
Large handful fresh rosemary; strip leaves to yield 1/3 cup. Reserve 3 or 4 large sprigs 1 teaspoonful fresh thyme
1 Tablespoonful fresh Oregano
1⁄2 teaspoonful ground pepper
1 teaspoonful Kosher salt
7 peeled garlic cloves
1 Tablespoonful extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 T minced Italian parsley


To make marinade: in food processer, combine lemon juice, 1⁄2 cup olives, rosemary leaves, thyme, oregano, pepper, salt, garlic and olive oil. Process until finely pureed, then add wine and process until well blended.

In a ceramic or glass baking dish, combine marinade, chicken, remaining whole olives, and mushrooms. Mix well, top with rosemary sprigs, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking dish in oven (complete with marinade, chicken and other ingredients). Bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncover, remove rosemary sprigs, and bake for an additional one hour and 15 minutes. Baste and turn chicken pieces every 15 minutes.

When done, remove chicken, mushrooms and olives from baking dish. Reserve remaining liquid and remove fat to make sauce.

Serve chicken, mushrooms, and olives with sauce and parsley for garnish.

Colin’s Tri-Tip Steak

This steak is my oldest child’s favorite meal, hands down. He requests at least once a week.


1/2 Cup Tamari Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (or 2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger)

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 3-4 fresh cloves garlic, pressed or minced)

3 lbs Tri-Tip Steak


Add all marinade ingredients together in small sauce pan. Warm over low heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour marinade over meat and marinate for at least 5 hours, turning every hour. Cook steak on grill over high heat until just done. Cut into thin strips and serve. Store left over steak (if there is any) in marinade.