Dying For Dinner

Caught a second viewing of “Fed Up”, a documentary about the obesity epidemic, food, exercise, and the food industry. It will make your jaw drop and rethink the way you eat. Sugar is in all processed foods, and it’s killing us as a nation. Michael Pollen, journalist, professor, and author of such books as the The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (view on Amazon.com) is interviewed and what he says is simple. If you cook fresh foods, then there shouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, Americans are hooked on processed foods loaded with sugar. Go for some fresh stuff and check out these wholesome recipes. Your body will thank you.

To Die for Roasted Radish, Beet, and Carrot Salad with Fresh Orange and Curried Pecans

By Molly McRae

Like any good mystery, this is a recipe that started with “what if?” My family loves roasted vegetables – root vegetables in particular. One day when we had radishes, beets, carrots, and half a red onion, we ended up with this salad. It’s another creation that I’ve turned over to café-owner Mel in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries.

Preheat oven to 450º F.

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Ingredients for roasted vegetables:
1 bunch red radishes cut into wedges ½ -inch at wide end
4 beets (tangerine to orange in size), peeled and cut into ½ -inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ – to ½ -inch slices
½ a red onion, sliced into ¼ – to ½ -inch rings, then rings into quarters
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh thyme
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

Ingredients for curried pecans:
⅓ c. pecan halves
½ to 1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt

Fresh ingredients to finish the salad:
3 to 4 c. mixed greens (spinach, romaine, etc.)
1 seedless orange, segments cut into bite-size pieces

  1. Toss prepared radishes, beets, carrots, and onion with olive oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning once or twice, cooking until the vegetables are tender and the edges are beginning to caramelize. Roasted vegetables are good – caramelized vegetables are superb.
  1. When you think the vegetables are 3-5 minutes away from being perfect, stir in the balsamic vinegar and finish roasting.
  1. Let cool while you prepare the pecans, the greens, and the orange.
  1. Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add pecans, curry powder, and salt. Stir until pecans begin to brown. Remove from heat.
  1. Put greens in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted vegetables. Top with the orange and the pecans.

The salad doesn’t really need a dressing, but oil and vinegar, Italian and Asiago peppercorn is great.

Mulled Chicken & Brown Rice (serves 6)

By Jamie Mason

I have never included details of food in my writing except once in a ranting essay against picnics, but I do like tasty things that are easy so that my family doesn’t feel abandoned when I’m eyeball deep in the writing process. So, here’s an easy and killer main dish that cooks for a long time so you can tap out another few thousand words while dinner is made.

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2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 to 2/3 cup raisins (I prefer the baking raisins if I can find them)
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
Slivered almonds

Heat oven to 350.

Add the raisins to the 2 1/2 cups water while it’s heated to boiling, because it fattens them up, and then mix in the can of soup and the spices.

Combine all ingredients except the almonds in an ungreased 2-quart casserole.

Cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Stir, cover with foil, and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with almonds and serve!

Molly McRae

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries from NAL/Penguin. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she is a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. After twenty years in upper east Tennessee – the setting for her stories, short and long – Molly and her family live in Champaign, Illinois. You can find out more about Molly at www.mollymacrae.com or connect with her on Facebook or Pinterest. And you can find her blogging on the first Monday of each month at www.amyalessio.com and on the 23rd of each month at www.killercharacters.com.

Jamie Mason

Jamie Mason was born in Oklahoma City, but grew up in Washington, DC. She’s most often reading and writing, but in the life left over, she enjoys films, Formula 1 racing, football, traveling, and, conversely, staying at home. Jamie lives with her husband and two daughters in the mountains of western North Carolina. Her first novel, Three Graves Full, was released by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books in February of 2013. Her latest, Monday’s Lie, also from Gallery, hit shelves in February of 2015.

These recipes are so good they should be a crime. If you concoct either of these great recipes, let us know what you think and send us a picture. We may include it here with a link to your website.

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