Welcome to Cooking with Chef Jeff

Hi and welcome to my blog. Here you'll find meal ideas that are made from primarily whole natural foods. I try not to use any sugar or sweetener in any of the recipes. At the bottom of the page, you can see a list of the cookbooks that I use. I do vary some from the cookbooks, usually not a whole lot. Feel free to read along and even post some ideas/comments to help me to improve in the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Ok, I know. It sounds weird. But, the flavors really go well together.  It is a great winter dish. Too bad we made it for the first time in the spring. This would be one I can see us making at least once a month.

3 carrots, finely diced
4 stalks celery, finely diced
1 onion, diced
7 cups chicken broth
2 cans of pure pumpkin (15 oz each)
2 pounds pork sausage
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the carrots, celery, and onion.
2. Add the ground pork and seasonings.
3. Sautee until the pork is cooked and veggies are a bit tender.
4. Add in the chicken broth and pumpkin and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Check seasoning and tweak as needed.
6. Simmer until needed or for another 20 minutes.

We put some sour cream in our soup and that really added a nice, creamy touch.  It was a great balance between a bit of spice and some smooth cream.  A few tweaks I am thinking about for next time is adding a splash of heavy cream while cooking and adding in some avocado as a garnish.

This recipe was found online and passed through multiple iterations and people before I got it. I don't know who the originator is. I found it on the Active Low-Carber Forum.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Smothered Chicken

This is a very good meal that does take a bit of effort to put together, but is really worth it. It's a bit heavy on the dairy, but oh-so-good. There are 3 parts to the recipe, so I'll try my best to get everything in the right order. Make sure to read through the entire recipe and portion out everything before starting.


6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
10 slices mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tsp pepper

Creamed Spinach:
1 large bag spinach leaves
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp onion, minced
2 tbsp olive oil

Sauteed Mushrooms:
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Mix the garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper together and coat the chicken.
3. Bake the chicken for 16 minutes

4. While the chicken is baking, heat the 2 tbsp of oil for the creamed spinach in a large pan over medium-high heat.
5. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes
6. When the onions are sauteed, add the spinach and garlic and cook until cooked through. The spinach will reduce to a small amount.
7. When cooked through, add the cream cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
8. Set aside the the creamed spinach.

9. In a fresh skillet, melt the butter and oil.
10. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned all over.
11. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.
12. Add in the garlic, salt, and pepper.
13. Cook until most of the wine is cooked off.

14. At this time, the chicken should be done baking.
15. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn over in the pan.
16. Add the creamed spinach to the top of the chicken breasts.
17. Add the sauteed mushrooms on top of the creamed spinach.
18. Place 2 pieces of the mozzarella cheese on top of each breast.
19. Cook another 12-14 minutes or until the cheese is browned and the chicken is done.

That's it.  A lot of steps, but it was very yummy. We ended up using the broiler to get the cheese a bit browner at the end, but you may not need to.

This recipe was from a blog called: baconbuttercheesegarlic

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Here's a wonderful cauliflower casserole that will meet your baked potato desires. It is delicious.

2 lb cauliflower florets
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 6 oz and 2 oz
8 oz shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided 6 oz and 2 oz
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 clove garlic, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1. Steam cauliflower until tender.
2. Soften cream cheese and mix with the heavy cream.
3. Mix 6 oz of cheddar and 6 oz of jack cheese into the softened cream cheese.
4. Stir in onions, garlic, salt, and pepper.
5. Drain cauliflower, smash with potato masher, and then add in the cheese mixture and mix all together.
6. Pour into 2-3 qt dish and sprinkle on the last of the cheddar and jack cheese.
7. Cover with foil and bake 25 minute at 350.
8. Remove foil and bake until cheese is bubbly and brown on top.

This is best served like loaded mashed potatoes and topped with potato toppings like bacon, sour cream, butter, etc.  It is a wonderful side dish for just about any meal.

When we made ours, we put the bacon in the cheese mixture, but it made it kind of soggy, so we recommend adding to the top like bacon bits on mashed potatoes.

This recipe is based on one from Louanne's Kitchen.