Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cheap easy delicious Sunday dinner recipe!

Sunday Dinner Slumgullion, YUM!

My of-Scots-descent mom always made slumgullion for Sunday Dinner because it was always different and always delicious. What is slumgullion, you ask? Simple: mixed up leftovers. Not so simple, because if you mix up the wrong leftovers you get ... cooked garbage. Aunt Maddie does this when she makes this dish in my Starke Dead mystery series. But if you follow a few simple rules, slumgullion will become a Sunday dinner staple in your home too!


Think of like with like and ingredients you'd use together in dishes. In the example pictured above, I took leftover chili (steak, chili sauce, tomatoes), leftover Mexican casserole (hamburger, corn, chilis and carrots) and leftover pasta and combined. Yum!

If you have a lot of one leftover and a little of another, and not quite enough to make a meal consider another item that would combine well with your ingredients. I might add beans or some spaghetti squash to the recipe above. Or add a side dish too, a salad perhaps.

Avoid mixing too strong of flavors, sweets and sours, for example. If Aunt Maddie was making the recipe above, she'd add apple pie! Okay, an extreme example, but Aunt Maddie is pretty extreme herself. Also avoid too many different added spices. Both these mistakes will make the food taste strange and murky.

If you have "simple" leftovers, such as cooked vegetables and chicken, consider which spices to use and try different ones for a "refreshed" dish. (I might use coriander, thyme and pepper for the vegetables and chicken, for example.)

Avoid mixing tomatoes,vinegar or lemon juice with peas, green beans and/or broccoli as the green vegetables will turn brown and bitter.

That's it! Otherwise, let your creativity reign!

Do any of my readers have suggestions or stories, good or bad, of slumgullion recipes?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Easy Cheap Delicious Mustard Salad Dressing Recipe

Takes five minutes to make and oh, so good!

In honor of my having sold the first in my Starke Dead mystery series, Starke Naked Dead, to my publisher Muse It Up, here's a healthy and fast dressing recipe that's chockablock full of cancer fighting antioxidants! Why? Because I need fast, healthy food so I can work on the next in the series, Starke Raving Dead!


Basic recipe:


1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider, coconut vinegar or rice vinegar work well)
1/3 cup oil (olive oil works best, but grape seed, canola oil or walnut oil also work)
1/3 cup mustard (Dijon works best, but any mustard will do)
1/3 cup water

Mix all the ingredients together in a jar and you're done! Easiest way to mix is to shake the jar.


Add complementary spices:
1 teaspoon of curry spice makes a tasty curry mustard dressing
Coriander, cumin and/or pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons of nutritious (brewer's) yeast will make this dressing creamier
Substitute mayo for the oil
Substitute dill pickle juice for the vinegar
Add a splash of lemon or lime
For a thicker "creamy" dressing, process 1/3 cup of cooked or canned beans of your choice in a food processor until smooth and then add the ingredients in the basic recipe.

This keeps well up to two weeks in the fridge, although in my house it never stays that long!

Try your own variations as this is a forgiving recipe. Share your variations!