vegetarian chili

Everyone has that one recipe that tastes like it took hours of prep work and days over the stove to bring to fruition. This is one of those . . . bonus: it makes a TON of food, so it’s perfect for that church potluck, family dinner, neighborhood get-together, or football party. FYI: Even though it tastes homemade, absolutely everything in this recipe (if you so choose) comes out of a can. (You can totally soak and cook all of your own beans, use frozen corn or corn from your garden, and stewed/roasted fresh tomatoes, if you’d rather. And admittedly, that would be a healthier route). It’s completely up to you!
If you like a little protein in your chili, brown up some spicy Italian sausage, burger, diced steak, chicken, or tofu, and toss it in the mix.
Enjoy!

VEGETARIAN CHILI

2 cans black beans
2 cans chili beans
2 cans whole-kernel corn
1 can baked beans
3 cans diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
1 jar of salsa
3 cups vegetable broth

Over medium heat, empty all the cans and broth into a large soup pot, stir and heat through. Allow to cook on low for an hour or so to incorporate all the flavors. Adjust spice to your liking with pepper/chili pepper/salt/fresh garlic.
Serve hot with grated cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt, and diced scallions.

 

 

root-veggie pot pie

I love meals you can make in advance, either days in advance or mere hours.
Basically I love meals that make the dinner hour a little easier. Because at my house it is typically “the bewitching hour” —that mysterious time of day when everyone is transitioning from physical location and varying degrees of emotional stability. (Getting home from school/going to activities, getting home from work/going to meetings, getting up from naps/going to fall-apart on the floor, etc).

That said, even if your house boasts a considerably more calm dinner hour, this recipe is particularly tasty, easy to make, good for you, and pretty. All the necessary qualifications for a great meal.
Enjoy!

ROOT VEGGIE POT PIE 

1 large rutabaga (peeled and cubed)
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
3 parsnips (peeled and cubed)
4 large carrots (peeled and cubed)
3 turnips (peeled and cubed)
1 cup + vegetable broth
1 onion, (peeled and diced)
1 teaspoon diced garlic
3 tablespoons clarified butter
salt and pepper top taste

CRUST:
1  3/4 Cup flour + 2 tablespoons (or as needed should the dough be too moist).
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

Start with this pie crust recipe and method. Mix it up, use the waxed-paper method to roll out and fit the bottom crust to the pie plate, and set it aside.
I use this recipe and method for every pie I make—sweet, savory, fruit, cream, or otherwise. It’s the only fail-proof pie crust recipe I’ve ever found and I’ll love it forever.

Once all of your root vegetables are peeled and cubed, melt butter in a large fry pan, add garlic and diced onion, and sauté until caramelized.
Then add all of the cubed root veggies, about 1/2 cup vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed by the veggies. Add the rest of the broth, cover again, and cook. Veggies should be fork-tender by the time the remainder of the broth is absorbed. Feel free to adjust quantity of broth as needed. It will vary a bit based on the size of your veggies. Ultimately, your vegetables need to be tender enough to pierce with a fork but not mushy as they will continue to cook once inside the pie.

Once the veggies are ready and all of the broth is absorbed, sprinkle salt and pepper over the cooked vegetables until the flavor is to your liking. Then gently scrape the vegetable from the pan into the prepared crust. Roll out and fit the top crust to the pie using the waxed-paper method. Trim and crimp the edges, lightly sprinkle to top with salt and pepper, and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes—until the crust is golden brown across the top.

Allow to rest and cool slightly for about 40 minutes. This will help the juices be re-absorbed into the cooked vegetables rather than spilling out of your crust when you cut into the pie.

Serve warm.

 

fire-roasted cream-of-tomato-soup

I love food with history—food that invokes a memory, both with its preparation and its enjoyment. This particular soup recipe comes with story and memory and a long history for me. It was passed down from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, and to me. It has some inherited some variations along the way, specifically in regard to the tomatoes.

(It can be easier to pick up a couple cans at the grocery than it is to head down to the cellar and grab a couple jars off the shelf from last summer’s canning session —as my great-grandmother did. I love canning and tomatoes are definitely on that list, but for this recipe, feel free to get yours at the grocery store, unless you happen to have a few Ball canning jars of summer’s bounty tucked away).

I have this distinct memory of my mom with her hands on her hips, my sisters and I lined up in front of her, while the classic question was posed:
“What should we have for lunch, girls?”
I was probably no more than nine or ten at the time. But I remember the smile on her face when she suggested, with a mysterious grin, “How about Cream-of-tomato soup?”
At that point, we had never had cream of tomato soup, but the look on her face told us it would be wonderful, so we agreed happily and helped as she pulled out a saucepan, a couple cans of tomatoes, whole cream, garlic, onion, butter, and cheese. And I distinctly remember thinking, this is how memories are made.
So from my family to yours,
Enjoy!

3 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons clarified butter
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon diced onion
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan melt butter over med-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and simmer until both caramelize and begin to brown. Open tomatoes and empty all three in the the pan with the garlic, onion, and butter. Stir to combine. Add broth and heat through. Turn off heat and balsamic and cream. Stir and taste. Adjust salt and pepper to liking.
Serve hot the grated cheddar on top (and with a side of grilled cheese!)

sweet potato hash with a soft egg

Potatoes and eggs are usually the ubiquitous American breakfast food, but if eating clean has taught me anything, it’s that anything can sub-in when it comes to meal norms. And this ‘typical’ breakfast food works just as well for dinner. Especially if you throw in a grilled steak topped with arugula, or something similar.

But for today, this was breakfast. And it was beautiful.
You can mix up the sides endlessly because sweet potatoes play nice with so many flavors and textures. Salad . . . fresh fruit . . . crudités . . .pickled beets . . . a few slices of uncured salami . . . there really is no end to the options.
In my case, it was yellow tomatoes and a slightly overripe avocado.
Hey, whatever works!
Enjoy.

SWEET POTATO HASH WITH A SOFT EGG

1 peeled and shredded sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate/shred one sweet potato and set aside.

In a skillet over med/high-high, heat olive oil until hot (but not smoking). toss in onion flakes and allow them to caramelize. Then toss in grated sweet potato and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Turn to coat with olive oil and allow the heat to brown the edges before scraping the pan, turning again, and allowing to brown once more. Scrape and brown the potato until it begins to crisp. Then, with a spoon, hollow out two “nests” in the bed of hash and crack one egg into each nest.

Slide the skillet into a 400-degree, preheated oven and bake the hash and eggs until the egg yokes are covered with a thin while film and the whites are firm.

Remove from oven and plate with fruit, veggies, or meat.

 

roasted acorn squash soup

I very nearly destroyed dinner last night.
This happens to me sometimes when I forgot that I put something in the oven and it overcooks. In a big way.
Fortunately, I was cooking squash. And squash are redeemable. I mean, with a name like squash, they almost have to be, right?

They were going to be a side dish, but instead they became the main dish. And it was serendipity all around. —A happy accident. And also delicious. Worthy of sharing.
Enjoy!

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP

IMG_0244

2 medium-large acorn squash
32oz/1 qt chicken broth
1 15oz can of whole-fat coconut milk
1 tsp onion flakes
1 teaspoon fresh garlic
3/4 teaspoon of salt (moire or less, depending on taste preference)
2 tablespoons clarified butter

In a 400-degree oven roast the squash until the rinds are blackened. About an hour or more. —I simply pierce the rinds with a sharp knife so they can vent while cooking, and place them whole right on the rack (with tinfoil underneath to catch drips). I find they are easier to de-seed post roasting. I’m all about simplifying the process.

When they have finished cooking and the rinds are blackened, remove from the oven, allow to cool, then slice open, and scoop out the seeds. scoop the cooked squash from the blackened rind and set aside.

In a soup pot over med-high heat, melt clarified butter and simmer garlic and onion flakes until cartelized. Add the acorn squash, broth, and can of coconut milk. With an emulsion blender (or in a standard blender) emulsify until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with rosemary, or parmesan, or both!

 

 

zucchini noodles and shrimp with garlic-horseradish yogurt sauce

Nine days stuck indoors with sick kids makes you do some funny things. Not the least of which includes totally abandoning healthy eating resolutions/Whole 30, because when you are trying to survive it is not a good idea to give up pie.
Temporarily abandoning blogging is another one of those survival things.
And cooking real food. Pjb? Cereal? Pancakes? Fruit basket? All reasonable meals come day nine with four small sick children and no escape.
Anyway. I’m back.
Hi.
And I’m eating pie. Whatever.

But I’m also eating this: Zucchini noodles and shrimp with garlic-horseradish yogurt sauce.
Tasty? Check.
Good for you? Check.
Pretty? Check.
All the requirements met.

Enjoy and stay healthy out there!

ZUCCHINI NOODLES AND SHRIMP WITH GARLIC-HORSERADISH YOGURT SAUCE

1453830441001

5 small green and/or yellow zucchini (Spirilized into noodles or cut in thin rounds)
1 lb peeled shrimp
3 tablespoons clarified butter
1 tablespoon diced garlic
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauté pan, melt clarified butter, and simmer garlic and horseradish. Add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue simmering and toss pealed, tail-free shrimp into the pan. Cover and allow to simmer for a few more minutes. Then throw zucchini noodles (or rounds, halved) into the pan. Toss to coat with butter sauce and cover until the zucchini is more noodle-like than vegetable-like. —About 8 minutes.

Remove the zucchini and shrimp from the pan but retain as much of the cooking liquid as possible. I even go so far as to use a strainer/colander with a plate underneath, draining the zucchini and shrimp, and then adding the liquid from the plate back into the pan.

Turn the heat off the liquid and allow it to cool a bit. You’ll add the yogurt and mayo to this liquid and if it’s too hot it will separate.
Once cooled (20 minutes or so) add ½ cup homemade mayo and 1 cup honey yogurt. I like a creamy greek yogurt for this—so tasty! Whisk until the yogurt and mayo are well incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Spoon over plated zucchini noodles and shrimp. Serve hot.