Dutch Oven Dinner 2/3/2016.


Got off track for awhile…other tasks. Here is tonight’s dinner, a recipe found on Pinterest from Straight Up Food.  I made a couple of tweaks and think it might be nice with a couple more next time, especially substituting a little red wine for part of the water.



  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 3 large ribs celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 pound Portobello mushrooms
  • 1-1/2 TB minced fresh garlic
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peel on
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 TB basil and oregano
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (I used chopped green onion)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste


Cut all veggies into 3/4″ pieces, keeping in separate piles. Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley or green onion and set aside. Pre-measure other seasonings and set aside in a cup. Defrost the peas if using frozen.

Preheat the Dutch oven. Add 1 TB water to the Dutch oven and the cut up onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring periodically, allowing to brown slightly but not burn. Add water if needed (I didn’t find it necessary with the Dutch oven).

Add another TB water, garlic and mushrooms and stir periodically, cooking for 5 minutes.

Add water, tomato paste, potatoes, remaining seasonings, stir, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Remove 2 cups of liquid and blend. I actually scooped a couple of potato pieces into this to thicken the sauce a bit more. Return the blended gravy to the pot. Add the peas, and simmer for a minute or two more. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley or green onion, and serve.

Note: In the lower right of the picture, I added a large piece of fresh turmeric (which you can see in the lower right of the picture) to see what it would do for the color and for some additional nutritional content. It didn’t seem to change the color or flavor much – I might try adding more next time – but I suspect it probably added some nice phyto-nutrients and antioxidants to the mix.

Dutch Oven Dinner 1/9/2016.

Dutch Oven Quinoa with Veggies.
Dutch Oven Quinoa with Veggies.

Well, talk about easy. This is just my basic quinoa of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and 1 tsp. salt, maybe a little extra virgin olive oil for some richness…and a few veggies. Probably about 2 carrots, petite diced, 2 stalks of celery petite diced, half an onion petite diced and 2 cups of kale, cut small. I don’t really chop things much — hate to butcher stuff on the counter top and leave all those good veggie juices behind. I just try to cut things in such a way that they’re fairly small on the first go-’round. Oh, and I added 2 tsp. tumeric here. I use that as much as I can. I think I could have added a whole tablespoon and will next time. That’s it: put on the lid, cook for about 15 minutes, and dinner is on the table.

Dutch Oven Dinner 1/8/2016.

Cauliflower, Kale & Dill Soup

So here’s another easy thing I like to do: pureed soups. So easy. So good. So healthy.

I just chunked an onion and put it into my Dutch oven, then a cauliflower broken up (2-3 pounds), 5 or 6 large leaves of kale cut into pieces, 1/4 cup of fresh dill, 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. Szeged hot paprika. I added 2-1/2 cups of water, turned on the heat, brought it to a boil, turned down the heat to simmer, put the lid on the Dutch Oven and cooked it until everything was soft. Then I whizzed it in my VitaMix, and voila! Soup. I garnished it with a bit more chopped dill and a squirt of extra virgin olive oil.

My little dog, Rafi, likes to lick out my dish after I finish. The soup is Havanese-approved.

Dutch Oven Dinner 1/6/2016.

Dutch Oven Potatoes, Cabbage, Onion and Carrots.
Dutch Oven Potatoes, Cabbage, Onion and Carrots.

So these meals are nothing special, just playing around with my new Dutch Oven. I like the feeling that if I’m going to add heavy metals to my diet, it’s iron that I’m getting. Always was low on that.

This simple dinner consisted of potato (one large, with the peel on, of course), cabbage (half a small head), onion (a whole one), two carrots, some fresh ginger minced, salt, pepper and tumeric.

Dutch oven dinner 1/4/2016


I’ve never done the one-event pasta thing, cooking the dry pasta in with the rest of the ingredients, so this was a first for me in a couple of ways. I should have trusted the recipe I started with on the water. It didn’t look like enough, so I added more. In addition, I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients called for in the starting recipe, so this was basically free-form. I’ll tell you what I did, and I’ll tell you what I’d do differently.



  • Black beans, dried, 1/3 cup
  • Frozen corn, 1 cup
  • Plum tomato, 1 large, petite diced (about 1 cup)
  • Red bell pepper, 1/2, petite diced
  • Red onion, 1/4 large, diced
  • Whole wheat rotini, half of a 13.2 oz. box (probably 1+ cup)
  • Jalapeno, 1 TB minced
  • Hot chili powder, 1 tsp.
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Tomato paste, 2 TB.
  • Water, 2 cups

So as you see, I put all the ingredients right into the pots except the tomato paste and water. Then I stirred all together in the water, put the lid on, and simmered it for about 15 minutes until the pasta was done.

As I said, I added extra water – 2 cups would have been about right. Since it was a little too much liquid, I added the tomato paste so it would be a bit saucier. The jalapeno and chili powder were a substitute for some ingredients I didn’t have. It was good for me but too spicy for more tender tastebuds.

So here’s what I’ll do next time: stick with the two cups of water. Leave out the jalapeno and chili powder and add some chipotle in Adobo sauce.  I might even wait until it’s finished cooking on that chipotle and try adding it to some Hamilton Creek Just Mayo and adding that sauce to the dish. Yes, I think I’d like it that way.

Love this cast iron cooking. I’ve had one 10″ skillet for, oh, 40 years that I use all the time, but my Dutch oven lets me do lots of things I couldn’t do before.