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Monday, November 14, 2016

Recipe Review from 11/7/2016

I survived daylight savings time - been a bit off kilter all week like waking up at 430a and then wanting to hit the hay at 8p - but meh, go with the flow.  It's just going to change again in 6 months.

Weather continues to be gorgeous.  Got the garage all tidied, swept and stuff put up in anticipation of slushy snow melt.  And we continue to enjoy our Swiss chard and kale - I know we've never enjoyed garden produce this long into the Fall.  

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L)   Butnut Squash Chili   (S)  Roasted Chicken and veggies
Mon (yoga)  leftovers
Tues - leftovers
Wed - leftovers
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri (Veterans Day) leftovers Easy Jambalaya
Sat (L) - leftovers   (S)   Hockey game!

Lunches - Cauliflower soup (me), sandwiches (Husband);  yogurt, carrots, fruit and granola bars

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili (MyRecipes via Pinterest)  vegetarian, gluten free
This was pretty simple to prepare - most of the prep involving chopping the veggies.  I did skip sauteing the onion, garlic, peppers and jalepenos this go around.  I'm still not 100% convinced that is a necessary step giving a 4 - 6 hour cooking time.  You WILL need your larger slow cooker for this.  

Only a couple substitutions/alterations - I did two cans of black beans and two cans of pinto.  Husband isn't wild about black beans and four cans would be a bit much.  I only did 2 tbsp chili powder and added 1/2 tbsp ground ancho chili.

My only issue with this when all was mixed and made was this turned out bland, which surprised me given the amount of cumin, chili powder and ancho chili powder.   This makes a LOT - about 12 servings?  6 meals for two of us.   I was seriously contemplating freezing some but we managed to eat it all. 

1/4 cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
4 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 14.5-oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups butternut squash (about 2 lb.), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Salt and pepper 
1. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bell peppers and jalapeños; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.

2. Transfer pepper mixture to slow cooker. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Arrange squash on top. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

3. Season chili with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, salsa and other accompaniments, if desired.

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder (Two Peas and Their Pod via Pinterest)  vegetarian, gluten free option
I was in the middle of making several meals (chili above, cornbread, and Ben-dog's food) so I wasn't paying full attention the directions below and kinda ended up doing my own thing.  Ingredients stayed the same but assembly altered. 

I really like how this turned out - tender cauliflower (but not mushy!), sweet carrots, celery all in a nice creamy saucy mix.  My only complaint is it turned out a bit bland.  I think a sharp cheddar, or a Gruyere, Swiss, or Jarlsberg would have been more flavorful.

This made 6 lunches for one.  Amount will depend on how "large" your cauliflower is.

1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (**gluten free option)
2 (15 ounce) cans vegetable broth (I used chicken stock)
1 1/4 cups milk of choice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I recommend sharp cheddar )
Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chopped cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Place pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves. Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf, and dried thyme to the pot. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir. Cook until flour disappears.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and shredded cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

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