The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Posts Tagged ‘cheap eats

Cilantro Nectarine Coleslaw

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Katie White is a coleslaw genius, and this is her recipe. Coleslaw is something that I normally think of as being kind of creamy, rasin-laden, delicious, and a little heavy. This is a new approach to coleslaw, and it makes a perfect side dish to any roasted hunk of meat or vegetarian concoction.

This coleslaw made February in Juneau feel a little more like July. The fresh crunch of the cabbage, sweetness of the nectarine, snap of the finely chopped red onion, cilantro-ness of the cilantro, and acidity of apple cider vinegar will have you eating seconds.


– 1 big old head of green cabbage, chopped up all coleslaw style
– 1 or two red or orange peppers, finely cut lengthwise
– 1 head of cilantro, washed, and finely chopped
– 1 or 2 nectarines, cut in half, pitted, and cut crosswise

– 3 Tbsp. good-quality olive oil
– 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
– sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


Slow Cooker Garbanzo Bean Stew

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Garbanzo Bean Stew

I’ve never met a chickpea I didn’t like: hummus, falafel, socca. I love chickpeas in all forms. When I woke up yesterday morning to a left over jar of sauce from my coconut milk chicken dish I knew I had to do something with it. I decided to pull the old slow cooker out and get something going before I headed into work. I’d pre-soaked a bunch of chickpeas the night before in anticipation of making some roasted chickpeas, but my roasted chickpea idea turned into stew. I have a recipe for Yumi’s cilantro pesto that I’ll post soon but I’ll just list individual ingredients now so you can make this easy stew.

If you’re a vegetarian, please substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth. I’m sure this recipe would be just as good without any meat juice. If your name is Mick Beasley, nix the coconut milk and add some half and half.

– 3 1/2 cups of garbanzo beans (probably around 2 cans)
– Juice from left over morel chicken sauce, or substitute 1/2 cup of diced button mushrooms and another 1/2 cup of coconut milk
– 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (I use low-fat and it’s delicious)
– Juice from one fresh lime
– A handful of washed, chopped, fresh cilantro
– 3 cups of chicken of vegetable broth
– 1 stalk of lemongrass smashed up and cut into four parts
– 2, 1 inch pieces of ginger peeled and cut into quarters
– A handful of Thai or regular Basil, chiffonade cut
– 1 can of diced tomatoes, sauce included
– 1 cup of diced baby carrots
– 1 cup of broccoli, diced
– 3 stalks of celery, I love using the heart, which has more leaves
– Sea salt & pepper to taste
– 1 cup of frozen or fresh diced yams

– Reserve the broccoli, yams, celery, and carrots for different stages of this recipe
– Put all ingredients into the crock pot, except for the above mentioned
– Put the crock pot on medium heat in the morning before you go to work
– When you come home for lunch, add more chicken or vegetable broth if necessary, add celery and carrots and yams, stir, taste, and add more sea salt & pepper to taste
– When you come home after work check on your stew, add broccoli, let cook for a few more minutes
– Turn off your crock pot, allow stew to cool and serve

Serving Suggestion: Top this delicious stew with a dollop of organic yogurt and a sprinkle of turmeric for color. Or if you’re avoiding dairy, add some finely cut green onions to the top of the stew and enjoy.

Happy Eating!

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Iron Skillet Pizza

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Pizza is great stuff, even when it’s not great it’s still pretty good. I had friends from out-of-town hanging out this weekend and I needed to throw together a decent meal on the quick. I saved a third of my bread dough from this week’s baking, figuring I’d try making a pizza out of it. The ball of dough in my fridge needed a few minutes to warm up before I rolled it out on a lightly floured cutting board and then tossed it a bit giving it a skillet like shape. Maybe you’re thinking about starting to bake bread, or want a recipe that’ll give a bread and pizza dough option. I love Jacques Pépin’s bread recipe, and have been using it weekly to bake bread for our family. The recipe makes 3 loaves of bread or 4-5 pizzas, depending on size. This week I baked two loaves of bread and saved a portion for this heavenly pizza.

I pre-heated my oven to 450 with the iron skillet inside, took the skillet out when I felt like the oven had heated itself and the skillet sufficiently (about 10 minutes), put a little cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, the rolled out dough, spread a little olive oil around on the dough, covered the dough with a little marinara, some dried Greek oregano, and my favorite toppings. I baked it for around 20 minutes, and it was pretty darn crispy and delicious. If you prefer less crispy pizza, I’d let it bake for around 10-14 minutes.

If you have the dough pre-made, this is a simple and delicious week night meal. You don’t need to make it in an iron skillet: if you have a pizza stone, or a tile-lined baking sheet you’re in good shape.

This pizza is perfect with a nice green salad and good friends to share it with.

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Couscous with White Beans, Parsley & Roasted Almonds

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In middle school, I had a favorite lunch that I’d bring every day that wasn’t bean burrito day. Dzantik’i Heeni alumni, you know what I’m talking about when I say: bean burrito day. Yes, I remember the glory days of a Juneau with Taco Bell. Juneau, here’s some real talk: Taco Bell was a cheap trashy tramp, but we all love and miss her. I truly believe we appreciate Taco Bell more as a community since she left our landlocked asses.

My favorite lunch to bring from home was a Nile Spice Cup O’ Soup called Couscous Parmesan. I’m sure it was better than Top Ramen nutritionally speaking, but still loaded with enough salt to swell grandma’s ankles. I still dream of that soup in all of its soup glory. I didn’t want to replicate the cup o’soup, but had a large stash of couscous in my pantry that needed using and a taste for it. I browsed a few recipes online and in different magazines and books and didn’t find one that knocked my socks and shoes off.

So in true Helmar fashion I pulled this dish together with bits and pieces of things I had on hand: a few stray leaves of kale, roasted almonds, Italian flat leaf parsley, and so on. At one point early on with this dish I thought I’d botched it. The smoked paprika needs a slow and gentle hand, couscous is a delicate and fickle lady, and smoked paprika is a spice that can overwhelm. So I added a little more couscous, another pinch of salt & pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and a pat of butter and managed to balance the flavor.

– 2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth or water
– 1 1/2 cups couscous
– 1 can of white beans, or 2 cups of bulk pre-soaked/cooked beans
– a modest dash of smoked paprika (1 teaspoon or so)
– 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
– 1/2 onion, finely diced
– 10 baby carrots, thinly sliced
– 2 to 3 cups of kale, take the leaves off of the stem, and rough chop
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– dash of rice wine vinegar or white wine
– 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
– salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped roasted & salted almonds
– 1/2 cup of rough chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
– 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano on the side for topping

– Boil water in a tea kettle or broth of your choice in a pot while starting your dish.
– Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium to low heat, when it begins to shimmer add onions, garlic, smoked paprika, until onions are translucent.
– Stir onions & garlic often to make sure they don’t burn before you add carrots, kale, and salt & pepper.
– Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring often, after vegetables are sufficiently cooked add a splash of rice wine vinegar or white wine to deglaze the pan.
– Let mixture cook another minute or so, cooking off the vinegar or wine.
– Add couscous to your vegetable base, mixing well, and pouring measured broth or water into the pot.
– Add white beans and roasted & salted almonds to your couscous
– Let couscous sit about 5-10 minutes, adding butter and covering the pot, until tender, fluffing occasionally with a fork.
– Allow your couscous to cool a bit before adding parsley and balsamic vinegar

Serving Suggestion:
Top with a fresh drizzle of olive oil and some aged balsamic vinegar when you serve, a pinch of freshly grated parmesan cheese won’t hurt it either. You could even get fancy and chop up a little more Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish.

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Written by Patrice Helmar

February 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Turkey Keftedes with Shallot Tzatziki Sauce

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I come from a long line of master meatball makers. When my parents would make spaghetti, my mom was the sauce maker and dad was in charge of the meatballs. For many years I was a vegetarian, meatballs were of great cultural importance, so dad insisted on making me riceballs. Riceballs were my dad’s own special and secret blend of ingredients. Dad painstakingly made both meat and veggie balls for my favorite family meal so no one missed out. I’ll have to re-create riceballs for my vegetarian friends soon, they’re amazing.

At our current family dinner table, when my mom makes meatballs we honor the departed by teasing her, “these aren’t as good as dad’s were.” It’s a very Greek thing to say and I think it would make him smile.

These meatballs are my own creation, they aren’t made with traditional meat like lamb, beef, or pork. They’re tiny glorious balls of deliciousness, especially when topped with my very own shallot tzatziki sauce.

– 1 pound of free range ground turkey
– 2 cups of chopped fresh parsley
– 1 shallot, finely diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
– 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup of feta cheese
– salt & pepper to taste
– 2 tsps smoked paprika

– Preheat oven to 350
– Grease a large Pyrex pan, or cookie sheet
– Whisk egg in a small bowl
– add to a larger bowl w/ chopped parsley, shallots, garlic, and bread crumbs
– roll up your sleeves and add ground turkey, mixing by hand
– wash your hands and add salt, pepper, paprika, and feta cheese
– give it another good mix with your hands
– start rolling your balls!
– Bake for about 35-40 minutes in preheated oven

Shallot Tzatziki Sauce

– 1 1/2 cups of greek yogurt (or whatever plain yogurt you have on hand)
– 1 Tbps of plain unsalted butter
– pinch or two of sea salt
– 1 shallot, finely diced
– 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
– 1/2 cup of good white wine
– 3 to 4 fresh sprigs of mint, julienned

– Add butter to a saucepan on medium – low heat
– Add diced shallot & garlic, let cook for a minute or so, stirring carefully & adding sea salt
– Add white wine and let it cook off, still stirring mixture
– Remove sauce from stove and let it cool
– Julienne mint leaves and mix into yogurt
– Add cooled sauce mixture to yogurt and mint, mixing gently

Serving Suggestion:
Spoon sauce over three or four meatballs and top with ras el hanout.
Serve with a Tall Greek Salad or Tabouleh.

This makes about 20 little meatballs with enough ground turkey leftover for 2 delicious turkey burgers on another night.

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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Banana Strawberry Smoothie

This recipe is really a no-brainer but it’s nice to be reminded how delicious a good smoothie is now and again. I know a lot of folks on cleanses and New Year health regimes. This smoothie is totally your friend if you’re trying to eat healthy and win at life. People can put different protein, vitamin, or supplement powders in their concoctions. I’m a fan of good old fashion plain low-fat organic yogurt, fresh fruit mixed with frozen, and a little water. I’ve still got a little cache of frozen freshly picked huckleberries in my freezer that I might blend on up in one of these dandies.

Thanks to my awesome mom for loaning me her blender! Thanks to the band, Bluegrass 101 for the mason jar! If you’re interested in checking out tunes under the band’s new-ish name, The Great Alaska Bluegrass Band, you can do so here.

1/2 cup of the yogurt of your choice
1/2 cup of water, or any kind of milk (soy, almond, cow, goat, etc.)
1 banana
handful of frozen strawberries

Um, put the ingredients in a blender and blend them.

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The Alia Breakfast

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Alia Breakfast

I spent the last week down in San Francisco visiting with family and friends. The Bay Area is a ridiculously beautiful place to live and also ridiculously expensive. I stayed with my two favorite girl cousins, one of whom, like me, is temporarily unemployed. Unemployment is a time where the glory of air miles and the promise of a job come the winter months make taking a quick trip out of town possible. My cousin Anya works as a clothing designer for the cutest toddlers in America. When Anya went to work each day, Alia and I came up with a new public transportation adventure to embark on. We started many of our mornings off with this simple, filling, and cheap breakfast. Our fresh fruit came courtesy of the Mission Farmer’s Market, the Asian produce markets lining the Richmond, and the market stalls lining the border of China Town. Ali and I soon discovered to our delight that San Francisco is full of cheap delicious food to be made or bought.

This is a meal that allows for creativity and personal preference. It’s always best to use fruit that’s in season, and in our case the fruit that was most affordable. I think fresh walnuts or almonds would be great as a garnish on this breakfast, but it varies from the bare bones tradition of this cost effective recipe. If you’re trying to impress someone and want to get really fancy, roulade and thinly julienne some mint on this piece!

– 1 large peach
– 1 banana
– 1 orange or 1 apple (or both)
– 1 cup of rolled extra thick oats
– 2 – 4 tablespoons of low-fat plain yogurt (Greek or European yogurt is delicious)
– Cinnamon to taste
– Fresh honey, use sparingly (optional)

– Wash fruit and cut it into similar sized cubes
– Mix fruit with plain yogurt in a small bowl and reserve
– Cook rolled oats using your method of choice (Alia used the old school stove method)
– Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cooked oats into a bowl
– Top with fruit and yogurt mixture
– Season with cinnamon and/or honey

This makes 2-3 servings with even a little left over fruit for a later day snack.

Happy Eating!

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