Best of all, we had a perfect evening for a bonfire accompanied with some hot cider and popcorn.
But my biggest news of the week has nothing to do with me: my friend Kerry successfully completed a four-week, 200 hour, yoga Teacher Training Intensive in Rishikesh, India! Congratulations Kerry!
|Kerry on the Ganges in Rishikesh, India|
One-Pot Sausage, Kale and Bean Pasta (Cooks Country, Nov 2013) Vegetarian option, GF option
We grow our own beans, and just due to timing this particular Sunday, I didn't get them prepped in time and ended up adding them later. Not sure if it was because of that, but I thought the dish was better sans beans. I used a hot Italian sausage ("hot" for most Minnesotan's) and omitted the red pepper flakes. Kale was the last harvest of the season. I really liked the flavors and textures in this one - it's a one pot dish which really seemed to bring everything out and is perfect for a Fall day or company. Recommended.
|photo from CooksCountry.com|
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
and sausage broken into 1/2 pieces
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
8 oz orecchiette pasta (I used shells)
12 oz kale, stemmed and chopped
1 oz Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated (~ 1/2 cup)
(I used Parmesan)
1) Heat 1 tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned all over, 5-7 minutes. Add onion and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, fennel seeds, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2) Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and half of the kale. Cover and reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 4 minutes. Without stirring, place remaining kale on top of pasta. Cover and continue to cook until kale is just tender, about 4 minutes longer.
3) Stir to incorporate kale into pasta. Simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 3-6 minutes. Off heat, stir in Pecorinio and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra Pecorino.
Slow Cooker Ratatoullie (Cooks County, Sept 2013) vegetarian; GF option
As I've noted in the past, I tend to be a chop and plop person when it comes to my slow cooker. The idea that I need to pre-cook before slow cooking seems counter productive. This recipe calls to broil the veggies briefly to enhance flavor and evaporate some liquid. That, I can handle. And I have to say broiling worked far, far better than any pre-sauteing I've done with other recipes. This method has merit.
However, with my dish, this ended up being more vegetable saute than soup/stew like. The reason for this was I was using re-hydrated dried summer squash so I didn't have as much liquid to play around with at the start. Not that I'm complaining - I served this very yummy vegetable mix over rice. I would make this again in a heartbeat. Serves 8-10 easily.
|photo from CooksCountry.com|
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 red pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 onion, chopped (I used one)
1/2 cup EVOO (I used 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp herbs de Provance
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat broiler. Cover jelly roll pan (or two) with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Toss with 6 tbsp olive oil, garlic, herbs de Provance, and sugar. Spread in a single layer on prepared jelly roll pan(s). Broil 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Rotate pans as necessary.
Place vegetables in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. Stir in Parmesan, basil and a bit of EVOO. Serve.
Chicken Salad Melts (Cooking Light, Sept 2013)
This is one of the "Duh" recipes, that if I had thought about it a bit more, one just doesn't need a recipe for. But, in my defense, sometimes the brain cells need a little nudge. This is perfect for a quick mid-week meal, or add some soup and make it the ideal weekend lunch.
- 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
- 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/8 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 6 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced apple
6 Bibb lettuce leaves
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each muffin. Top evenly with cheese. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Top sandwiches evenly with apple, lettuce, and top halves of muffins.