Mediterranean Bulgur and Millet Casserole with Zucchini

Bulgur & Millet Casserole

Remember how I tell you to add more whole grains to your diet? No, ordering the ‘whole wheat toast’ with your diner breakfast is NOT what I had in mind. What I am talking about is stuff like this: Millet, Barley, Wheat, Spelt and other grains in their whole form, or at least only slightly chopped such as Bulgur ( a pre-cooked cracked wheat grain) and Feerehk (green wheat or Spelt gain that is roasted). Basically the less processed the better. For this easy recipe I used some Bulgur and Millet. Because I had them on hand, and because I wanted to mix things up and lucky or me both these cook in about the same time. (Gluten Free: If you have sensitivities to gluten, you could totally use only millet, or use millet and steel cut oats if that works for you. Another option is Quinoah, but you may have to shorten the cooking time. )

It’s been rather cold and frosty around here so turning on the oven seemed like a great idea, specially after I feel like this morning I just slipped past loosing my fingers to frostbite taking these pictures. Hoarfrost or in German ‘Rauhreif’ is a pretty rare phenomenon. In fact this is the first time since I moved to the US 15 years ago that I have seen it! It’s generally fog that freezes into delicate crystals on branches, grass, fence posts, anything really.

HoarfrostSo after braving that cold with naked fingers to capture some pictures for everyone that did not make it out early enough to see, I set out to create something that allowed me to turn on the oven, with what my fridge had to offer.


  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 3/4 cup bulgur
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • (1/2 tsp salt, if using salt free vegetable broth)
  • 1 med zucchini
  • 5 oz cottage cheese (one of those single serving cups)
  • 1 cup chopped curly Parsley (approx)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata (or other black) Olives, quartered or chopped
  • some grated Parmesan


Bulgur & Millet Casserole


  1. Preheat oven to 380°F
  2. Grease a oven-proof form, or several 1-2 serving sized ones, set aside.
  3. Mix the millet and bulgur in a medium bowl.
  4. Using a Mandolin slicer, slice the zucchini finely into the same bowl, mix it up. Spread zucchini and grain mixture into prepared baking dish(es), top with cottage cheese. Then pour broth over. Don’t worry if it looks like your ratio is off and there is a lot more zucchini and it’s way too liquid. Bulgur & Millet Casserole
  5. Bake for 30-40 min or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the grains are getting soft.
  6. Remove from oven, add 1/2 of the parsley, the chopped olives and stir, then top with some grated Parmesan and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  7. Serve garnished with the remainder of the parsley, and maybe a lovely salad? Bulgur & Millet Casserole w salad

Can be enjoyed hot or at room temp (like in the summer, for example) <- it’s been so cold I feel a disclaimer is necessary to assure you all of my sanity, he!Bulgur & Millet Casserole

Copyright © 2014 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Posted in baked goodness, Bootcamp approved, dinners & main meal, frugal, gluten free, quick & easy, Sides | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braised Collard Greens with Garlic


To accompany the traditional Brazilian dish, Feijoada Completa, you need some garlicy collards to round out your meal. And just because we all can use more dark leafy greens in out everyday diet and it is soooo tasty prepared this way! Oh and of course, don’t forget to make yourself a caipiriña or two!

Braised garlic collard greens


  • 7-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced finely
  • 2 bunches collard greens, washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste


  1. Cut the hard center stem out of the collard leaves, then roll a few up together like a cigarette and slice into 1/8″ slivers. Repeat until all the greens are prepared in this way. Or if you happen to have a Brazilian grocer closeby, you might be able to get your greens already prepared that way!
  2. Peel the garlic and slice finely.
  3. Heat a tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium and add the sliced garlic, cook until golden, (do not let it get brown or it will get bitter)
  4. Add the greens to the pan and about a 1/4 cup water, sprinkle with salt, cover  and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.( stick them all in the pan, even if it doesn’t seem to fit, just balance the lid on top. Trust me, they will cook down a LOT)
  5. Serve as a side dish for example with your Slow Cooker Feijoada

Copyright © 2014 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Posted in corn free, frugal, gluten free, low sugar, paleo, quick & easy, Sides, vegan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Quick Quinoa & Berry Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa Goji Breakfast bowl

You got no time, so you grab a coffee and a doughnut on the way to work. But by 10 am you feel hungry again, you can’t possibly make it till lunch time…

Any of that sound familiar? Maybe all of it? What if I told you, you could whip up a warm breakfast that’s healthier and much more sustaining in mere minutes?
All you need is microwave to make it happen, so either make it at home and eat it or prep it and take it to eat when you get to the office!

It’s a very forgiving breakfast so measuring is something I won’t do most days, but since it does you all little good if I write, take some of this and a little of that and a wee bit of a third thing, here it is written up 😉

Quinoa Goji Breakfast bowlIngredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes* (this is what they look like)
  • 2 tblsp chopped dates or raisins(I used the ones that come conveniently chopped and coated in oat flour so they don’t stick, but feel free to chop your own)
  • 2 tblsp Goji berries, or other dried berries such as blueberries, cherries, even apricots would work
  • 1/4 cup milk

* you could also make this with quick cooking oats, if you can’t find Quinoa flakes, adjust cooking time accordingly.

Quinoa Goji Breakfast bowl This is what it looks like before you add milk


  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl, stir and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 min. Stir after the first minute or it might ‘grow’ out of the bowl as it cooks.
  2. Let cool a bit, and eat.

Quinoa Goji Breakfast bowl

Copyright © 2014 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Posted in Bootcamp approved, breakfast, corn free, frugal, gluten free, low sugar, quick & easy, snacks | Leave a comment

Easy Kale Cheddar Pie

kale cheddar pie

Ok so I have a juicer and I do use it, mostly. But what bugs me about it as the waste. I mean I have a pretty darn good juicer but no matter how you put it, the stuff coming out the other end is, well, wasted. So I do like to come up with things to do with that, uh, refuse. Yesterday I made some kale, carrot and apple juice. I juiced 1 bunch of kale, 2 carrots and 1 tomato (because it sat there and looked at me lonely) then I removed the pulp from the container, put the pulp container back in place and juiced the apple. The apple was in there just for palatability of the juice, honest, if you can drink straight up kale juice, I am tipping my hat to you, but you must be partly bionic.

So using the pulp from the juicer makes me feel less wasteful when using the juicer, AND it has tons of fiber, so it’s totally win-win!

But enough talking, let’s get to the dinner recipe, shall we?

Kale Cheddar Pie slice


  • 2 cups kale and carrot pulp (juicer pulp)*
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz cheddar, grated coarsely
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • about 1/4 cup milk
  • Pie crust of choice (you could make this awesome one here, but store-bought will do)

* if you don’t own a juicer, you can also finely, finely chop the kale, and grate 1 carrot


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Get your pie plates ready: In my case I used one 9″ pie plate and then a cute 6″ one that I have, sort of a personal size. Grease the inside lightly. Set aside somewhere cool until ready to fill.
  3. Dice onion and saute in a skillet over medium heat until softened but not brown, turn up the heat and stirring, caramelize just a little bit.  Set aside to cool off.
  4. Mix the pulp, eggs, and milk in a bowl, then add the grated cheddar and stir until all is nicely mixed. Lastly stir in the cooled onions (they don’t have to be cold, you just don’t want to cook the eggs)
  5.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and fit into the pie plates. Cut cute shapes out of the leftover dough pieces using cookie cutters. (Animal cracker shapes are neat!)
  6. Fill with the kale cheddar mixture, decorate with the cute shapes, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the center is set and no longer liquid and the crust is browned.
  7. Enjoy warm or at room temp!

Kale Cheddar Pie Slice

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Indian Spiced Spinach with Chana Dahl – Slow cooker Friday

2013-11-21 14.09.19

One of my friends talked about Palak Paneer (Indian Spinach with Paneer Cheese) the other day and ever since that day I have been eyeing my overload of spinach, sitting sadly on the refrigerator shelf, slowly inching towards less crisp each day, thinking of ways to use it up before, you know, it’ too late. Since I have not had a whole lotta time to devote to thoughtful meals as of late, I needed something super easy that did not require standing at the stove. And yes, you guessed it, my little slow cooker would be just the thing to use. It’s become sort of a staple tool around here…

So I adapted the idea since I had no paneer cheese, but had chana dahl. (←that’s basically a small variety of chickpeas, that comes peeled and split) And lots of spinach. You may want to serve it with rice… And feel free to use 2 more cups of spinach, add by the cup full, stir add more. I used about 4 cups, as that is what I had, but boy does it cook down…

Spice mix with chana dalAnd here is the spice mix with the dahl, ready to cook away!

Spiced Indian Spinach with Chana Dal…and right after cooking the spinach


  • 1 lg clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera (black cumin) whole
  • 1″ pc of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seed (ground)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 cup Chana Dahl
  • 4-5 cups spinach, sliced and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt

 2013-11-21 14.09.29and ready to eat (see how the spinach is almost gone?)


  1. Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan, add the mustard seeds, jeera  and the garlic. Cook until you hear a popping sound (yes kinda like popcorn, but smaller). Remove from heat.
  2. Place rinsed Chana Dahl, and ginger through ground cumin into a slow cooker insert.
  3. Add the fried spices and 3-4 cups of water.
  4. Turn slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for about 6 to cook the dal. (this can vary depending on your slow cooker and the age/dryness of your dal)
  5. When Chana Dahl is soft, (Easily squashable with the back of a spoon) chop the spinach and add to the insert by the hand full, stir after each addition to get the spinach moistened and moved into the heat. It may look like there is way to much spinach, but trust me, it will almost disappear before your done. When in doubt, add more.
  6. Add salt, stir again, cover, turn to low and let simmer for another 1/2 hour or until spinach is nice and cooked.
  7. Serve with Basmati rice.

2013-11-21 14.10.10Sadly, the color kinda fades with cooking… but it is amazingly flavorful and super easy!

Spiced Indian Spinach with Chana Dal

Copyright © 2013 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Posted in Bootcamp approved, corn free, dinners & main meal, frugal, gluten free, quick & easy, vegan | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Odds and Ends Bean & Lentil ‘Slow Cooker Friday’ soup

Bean and lentil soup

This is so easy and yummy, I just had to write it up, although it barely deserves to be called a recipe. It’s really a classic example of the ‘afterthought’ or ‘remnant’ soup category. I used what looked at me when I opened the fridge door and pantry. 😉

I have been incredibly busy lately. Part of that is that I finally followed my heart and quit a desk job that no longer defined me. I am now working as a freelance designer in the hand knitting industry and while it is a lot of work and often long hours, I totally LOVE what I do. If you are into knitting, you can check out some of my self published stuff over here in my Ravelry shop ‘OwlCat Designs‘.

So since I have been busy as can be, the kitchen has sometimes had to take a second chair to the other things going on in my life, and I have become really enamoured with my slow cooker. Throw it in, and forget about it 🙂

This one is just that, an afterthought dinner and yes, I cheated a bit here. I found these dried soup vegetables labeled ‘soup greens’  at the local Amish bulk store, and they are adding a dash of flavor to soups and stews with minimal effort.

bean and lentil soup ingredients


All the things I used (well, minus the water)

However, you could easily substitute a bit of chopped onion, half a tomato, some additional carrot and celery and get the same result.

Bean and lentil soupIt is kind of hard to photograph these soups, they tend to look a bit brownish uniform in pictures, but make no mistake, the flavor and the lovely smell in your house when you come home after a long day will teach you to not judge a book by its cover ( although I do, yes, I sometimes buy books that have pretty pictures on them, so there I said it)


  • two handfuls of beans= about 1 cup (I used peeled fava beans)
  •  1/2 cup of lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried vegetables (or about 1 cup fresh, see substitution above)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 Rapunzel vegan bouillon cube (I use the no salt added version, if yours has salt, skip adding more)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4-6 cups water


  1. Toss everything into a slow cooker, turn to low for 6-8 hours or high for about 4. (Fill the water up so it covers everything nicely by at least 3 fingers width.)
  2. Yep, that easy. 🙂

bean lentilCopyright © 2013 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved


Posted in Bootcamp approved, corn free, dinners & main meal, frugal, gluten free, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment