Electric Lunchbox #91: Taco Soup

Taco Soup!

Perfect for the cold weather we are having right now…not that it compares to the snow storms experienced in Texas and other states. But still, everyone needs a good recipe for a delicious warm soup, right?

This is another Brentwood recipe, one that we tasted at a potluck more than once and got the recipe to make it ourselves at home whenever we craved it. It’s got everything to make it hearty and filling yet it’s not too heavy. A perfect balance of flavor and healthy ingredients.

I like my taco soup with all the fixings…sour cream, cheese, green onions, chopped onions, tortilla chips…but it’s also delicious as is.

Hope you try this ELB version, stay warm and safe my friends!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup canned Pinto beans, drained

1/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1/4 cup canned corn, drained

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 tablespoon canned green chili

1 tablespoon taco mix powder

1 tablespoon ranch mix powder

4 oz can chicken meat, drained

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 ELB cups water for the base

*Sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, tortilla chips, to serve

Procedure:

1. In the big ELB bowl, place pinto beans,

2. Kidney beans,

3. Corn,

4. Tomatoes,

5. Green chili,

6. Taco powder

7. Ranch powder,

8. Water,

9. Chicken,

10. Water,

11. Cornstarch,

12. Mix everything together. Place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

13. Carefully open the ELB, and stir the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

14. Serve hot with all the fixings! Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #87: Minestrone

It’s been cold this week here in Southern California so when I told my husband that I do not have any ideas on what else to make in the ELB, he said “soup!”

He went on naming different soups he grew up eating in Peru…and I stopped him when i heard Minestrone. I love Minestrone and I haven’t made it in a long time!

When I was a high school student at Herbert Hoover High in Glendale, CA, I chose a cooking/baking as my elective class. Not only as a way to nurture a life skill/hobby, but also to rest my brain between classes. And the basic Minestrone I make all these years always comes back to the recipe I learned in Mrs. Baker’s class.

So here it is! The original recipe I scribbled down when I was 15 years old – sure brings back a lot of memories! I didn’t even have to scale it down for the big ELB bowl as it fits perfectly!

Do not feel like you have to follow the recipe to the letter. Any bean or veggie you want, or have on hand, can be used instead of the ones listed in the recipe but I do encourage you to try the recipe as it is at least once. Then you can make adjustments after you’ve tried the recipe as is.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons onions

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon rice

1 tablespoon small pasta

1 tablespoon canned beans

1/2 cup peeled and diced potatoes

1 tablespoon green peas (used celery as I was out of green peas)

Salt and pepper

A few rosemary leaves

3/4 cup beef broth

2/3 cup water

Procedure:

1. Place the chopped onions in the big ELB bowl.

2. Add the butter,

3. Cornstarch,

4. Tomato paste,

5. Rice,

6. Pasta

7. Beans,

8. Potatoes,

9. Celery or green peas

10. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and the rosemary leaves,

11. Add the beef broth and water. Stir to mix everything together.

12. The butter will be a big blob but it will melt as the soup cooks the pasta and rice. It makes this soup rich and velvety!

13. Place the bowl in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

14. Carefully open the ELB. Stir the soup and check the pasta and rice if it’s cooked through.

15. Serve hot! Enjoy!

Green Beans With Chicken

This an easy to make dish for weekday nights. You can serve it as a side or as the main dish. My boys like meat so this will only be a side dish tonight!

Try to cook the green bean only briefly so that it retains the crunchy texture that is perfect with the sauce. AND a lot of rice! 😊

1 tablespoon oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips about 1 inch

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 – 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add onions and saute 5 minutes more, until soft and lightly browned.

2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with ground pepper. Cook until lightly browned.

3. Add green beans, oyster sauce, and water. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked but green beans are still crisp but cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Add cornstarch dissolved in water and cook 5 minutes more, until thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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Electric Lunchbox #85: Bodega Beans

I read an article about Bodega Beans a few weeks ago. Have you heard of it? It sounded quite delicious to me that I was planning to make it even before I was done reading the article.

Apparently it is a recipe for when you want a cheap but healthy meal with readily accessible ingredients. And nowadays, who doesn’t want that? It can be a wonderful side dish, if anything!

According to the article, the most basic “recipe” is to sauté garlic and onions in a little olive oil, add a can of drained beans and any seasoning you like, drizzle with more olive oil and you’re done! A sprinkle of cheese is optional, then serve with rice or bread.

I did make it and it was absolutely delicious! I added a few spices to it but feel free to use any that you like or have!

After making it a few times on the stove, I made it in the ELB for you guys! You can prepare rice in the small nesting bowl and you’re all set for a yummy meal!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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I like to add crispy bacon to my bodega beans as my son doesn’t like beans but loves bacon…so beans with bacon is acceptable to him. 😊

Just place the bacon strips in a clean skillet, let the oil render out and brown till crisp. Crumble when cool.

Ingredients:

Bacon, browned and drained, optional but highly recommended

1 tablespoon minced onions

2 tablespoons chopped carrots

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cumin, paprika, sazon todo, as desired

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1 can beans, rinsed and drained (garbanzo, pinto, red bean, black bean, any will do)

2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 tablespoon each bacon grease and olive oil, more as needed

Parmesan cheese, optional

Avocado slices, optional

Chopped cilantro, optional

Chili pepper flakes, optional

Procedure:

1. Place onions in the big ELB bowl.

2. Add some carrots,

3. Salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other seasoning you like. I love adding a couple of shakes of cumin.

4. Chopped celery,

5. The can of drained beans,

6. Crumbled cooked bacon,

7. Mix everything together. Add the olive oil or bacon grease and olive oil mix. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the ELB base.

* you can place 2 ELB cups of rice, rinsed and drained with 2 ELB cups water to the little nesting bowl to round out your meal!*

8. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

9. Carefully open the ELB and mix the contents. Serve hot with rice, bread, cheese, chopped cilantro, and/or avocado if desired. Sprinkle with chili pepper flakes if you want a little spice.

10. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #82: Tuna Casserole

I love this dish and I had been making it forever. Tuna, creamy sauce, pasta, some vegetables…it’s perfectly easy to make, healthy, using mostly pantry stable ingredients that you probably already have on hand….what’s not to love?

So today, I’m sharing how to make it in the ELB! I figured if I can make it in the ELB, I can have just one bowl to clean after I devour this! Easy to make, easy clean up too! Winner!

Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you want in this dish, only peas, only carrots, no mushrooms…feel free to add or remove as you wish! Make it your own!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 cup egg noodles

3/4 cup water

1/2 tablespoon dried onions, or 2 tablespoons fresh, minced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup frozen peas or mixed vegetables

1/2 can tuna, packed in water or oil, drained

1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup

2-3 pieces of white mushrooms, diced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Procedure:

1. In the large ELB bowl, place the egg noodles and pour water in.

2. Add the onions,

3. The cheese,

4. The frozen peas or mixed vegetables,

5. Mushrooms,

6. Condensed cream of mushroom soup,

5. And the tuna.

8. Mix them together gently, being careful to leave the noodles at the bottom.

9. Top with the other 1/4 cup cheese, cover with foil and set on the ELB base.

10. Place 2 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until done, about 35 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the noodles for doneness. If not done, add 1/2 to 1 ELB cup water to the base and steam until done.

12. Stir the contents carefully and serve hot! Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #79: Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love food…any food…but lately have been craving Chinese/Asian food (anybody notice?) and been busy cooking a lot of them.

This time, it’s Lettuce Wraps! I recently got an Ankarsrum mixer and also bought the complete grinder/blender/citrus juicer combo. Not that I needed more gadgets, but I figured it’s worth it if can grind my own meat to just the size I need it.

So I got some chicken breasts today at Stater Bro’s with my mom after her doctor’s appointment and when I got home started my holiday baking (Alfajores Peruanos and Bacardi Rum cake – also baked 3 Butterfly Pea Sourdough with Toasted Oats and Einkorn at 6 am to bring to my mom) then ground some of the chicken to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps! Whew! So much for a day off!

And here is the recipe! It is delicious! Happy to say it all worked out (the mountain of dishes and utensils to wash too!) and I’m done, just need to type this up!

I hope you try this recipe out! Low carb people, here is a recipe for you! ❤️

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup ground chicken

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I used 1/2t, I like ginger!)

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

3 button mushrooms, diced

2-3 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts

Dash of ground pepper

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. In the big ELB bowl, place chicken, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onions.

2. Next add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar.

3. Then add the mushrooms and water chestnuts. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper.

4. Mix everything together until well blended. Do not pack it in the bowl. Lift and loosen up the meat after mixing.

5. Cover with foil and place in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, around 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. This is how it’ll look like after steaming.

7. Mix and break up the meat into little pieces.

8. Serve with washed lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #78: Salmon and Veggies

A heart healthy, low carb meal done in a few minutes, almost hands free, and delicious to boot! What’s not to like?

Salmon with veggies! My son has been asking for salmon lately and we have been going through it a lot.

I usually pan fry or oven roast but this time I tried a single serving in the ELB.

Delicious and pretty, this can be prepared in advance but make sure to keep it chilled until ready to cook as fish goes bad really quickly.

Hope you enjoy this meal!

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1 potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 yellow squash, thinly sliced

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 salmon fillet, around 5-6 oz

Zest of 1 small lemon

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Place potatoes and zucchini in the bottom bowl, drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Mix them together.

2. Place salmon in top bowl, sprinkle with lemon zest and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Pour orange and lemon juice over salmon, then season with salt and pepper. Place on top of bottom bowl and cover with foil.

4. Place both bowls over the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 35 minutes.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check the fish for domestic. It should flake easily and look opaque throughout.

6. The potatoes and zucchini should be tender. If the fish or vegetables are not done, steam with 1/2 to 1 ELB cup of water until cooked through.

7. Serve salmon on top of the veggies. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #77: Spicy Eggplant

I do learn a thing or two every once in a while when I develop/experiment on recipes. And I am all for sharing it so that you can learn something too!

For this particular recipe, I found the sauce too watery after cooking it with 2 ELB cups of water. AND I learned that if I want it to be thicker, I can add more cornstarch to the cooked dish, stir in until it dissolves, add another ELB cup of water to the base, and let it steam away. I usually dissolve cornstarch in a little water and add that to the dish but for this, I just stirred it in. The eggplant needed to be cooked a little more too so it came out perfect after another 20 minutes of steaming.

So…if you want your ELB sauces thicker, you can always add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch and steam it a bit more.

This is a dish can be as spicy or as mild as you want it to be. Feel free to add more chili paste if you like spicy food.

I would prepare rice (2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained, and 2 ELB cups water) in the small top bowl to have a delicious Chinese style lunch or dinner in a pinch!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon chili paste (mild – add more to make it more spicy)

1/2 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce, or hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 – 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup cubed eggplant

3 ELB cups water, for the base

Chopped green onions, for serving

Procedure:

1. In the big bowl of the ELB, mix together brown sugar, garlic powder, soy sauce, water, vinegar, chili paste, black bean paste or hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix well.

2. Add the eggplant cubes. And mix to coat cubes with sauce.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

4. Carefully open the ELB and stir the eggplant. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

5. Top with chopped green onions and serve hot.

6. Enjoy!

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