cooking for guys 101- spicy chili beef nachos & salsa
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Serves 2-3 hungry guys.

1/2 hour prep- 12-14 minutes cooking time


1/2 small red onion, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic , peeled
2 tbsp pickled jalapeño peppers , drained
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained

red chili flakes, to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Spicy Beef
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 small onion , chopped fine
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 medium chipotle chili (from can in adobo sauce) , chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. lime juice

1/2 red bell pepper, washed and chopped fine
1 bag corn tortilla chips
4 cups shredded jalapeño Jack cheese
2 jalapeño chiles (medium) washed, sliced into thin rings

black olives, sliced
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. For the salsa-  Pulse onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes and salt in blender until roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Season to taste with red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Transfer mixture to fine-mesh strainer and drain for a few minutes (get the water out).  Place drained salsa in a small bowl and set aside.

3. For the beef-  Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion about 4 minutes until soft. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and cook, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking meat into small bits with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, sugar, chile, and adobo sauce and cook until paste begins to darken, about 1 minute. Add water, bring to simmer, and cook over medium-low until mixture is nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cook for a few more minutes until most of the liquid is gone.
5. To assemble- Spread half of chips on parchment lined baking sheet.  Scatter cheese over each chip individually. Next add some jalapeños, red pepper, olives and a little meat onto each chip,  add another layer and repeat with remaining chips. Bake until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Cooking 101 for guys- Quick & easy tomato soup with crispy pancetta
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You are gonna like this a lot.

6-8 servings, will freeze in batches no problem

prep- 10 minutes, cooking- 30 minutes total

Serve with a grill cheese or garlic toast.  The easiest way to make garlic toast? Make toast. Rub it 3 times with a cut slice of garlic. Voila!  Garlic toast for dipping in soup.


1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

2 onions (yellow or white), coarsely chopped

3 – 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (no added sugar)

1/2 cup tomato paste (thats about one small can)

2 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup orange juice

4 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped

8 slices of Pancetta

sour cream- you can get low fat or non-dairy if you like

fresh chives

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.



1. Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Once the oil is warm, add the chopped onions and cook ( and stir occasionally) for about 4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook and stir for about 1 more minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice. Add a little salt and pepper at this time. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low/med and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes.

2. While soup is cooking, Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a non stick fry pan at medium heat and spread it around well with a flipper or wooden spoon.  Add the Pancetta slices and cook for a minute or so on each side until crisp.  Remove from heat, cut into slices and set aside.

3.  When the 30 minutes are up, remove your soup from the heat and transfer to a blender in batches (I like to use a ladle) .  Don’t fill your blender to the top with hot soup.  About half way.  Before you turn it on, you want to make sure you are wearing an oven mitt and that you have a t-towel over top of the lid.  Press down firmly on the lid before you start that blender. The lid will try to pop a bit when you are blending hot soup.  You really don’t want hot soup in your face.  Blend the batches just until the onion pieces are getting blended.  No need for a perfectly uniform texture.  It’s better with a little rustic texture.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls, arrange pancetta pieces over the soup and using clean kitchen scissors, cut some fresh chives on top.  Spoon a bit of sour cream or ricotta into the soup, give a swirl and season to taste again with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with garlic toast or a grilled cheese or salad from the leftover veggies from my last recipe!

tips- If you make this for any woman, she will think you are a culinary genius.  And, if it’s summer, and you use around 13 FRESH, chopped tomatoes instead of the canned variety, she will say yes.

If you want to use bacon instead of Pancetta, I really don’t have a problem with that.


Cooking 101 for guys- Seared Tuna with Red Pepper & avocado salad
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um.  Yum.  I think I was vegetable deprived the past couple of days.  This was amazing.  The Cherry tomatoes go off like little bombs in your already excited mouth.

Serves 4- total prep time- 15 minutes


1 pound fresh Tuna Steaks

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for brushing and dressing

1 red bell pepper, washed and chopped fine

1 red onion, sliced thin

2 stalks of celery, sliced thin on diagonal

1/2 cup washed and chopped mint

1 ripe avocado, sliced

2 small cucumbers, washed and sliced thin on diagonal

12 grape or cherry tomatoes

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

6 cups baby arugula, washed

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

sea salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat a non-stick skillet on med/high heat. Brush your tuna steaks with a bit of olive oil and drop in pan.  Cook each side for 2-4 minutes depending on how you like your tuna steaks cooked, season with salt and pepper and set aside to rest.

2. Gather your ingredients and place the tomatoes, sliced onion, sliced celery, chopped mint, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, diced red pepper, chick peas and arugula in a bowl.  Toss to combine. Mix your balsamic and apple cider vinegar together, set aside.

3. Slice your tuna steaks into bite size pieces, arrange on salad, Drizzle with your balsamic dressing and a little olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is a very healthy choice dinner or lunch.




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