Tag Archives: entree

White Bean Chili

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white bean chiliThis is another of those recipes that welcomes improv.

If you are lucky enough to live where you can pick up a hot rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, you can have the wings and leg quarters for dinner another time and make this soup with the breast.
Or dice and saute your own boneless breast.

If you have the time and the presence of mind, cook your own Great Northern beans.
But a can of white beans works fine — you can sub cannellini, navy or limas.

A mild yellow onion is my preference here, Vidalias are best but a white onion works.
And you can sub bell pepper (any color) or jalapenos for the chilies.

Add handful of chopped greens (turnip, spinach, kale) if you need green leafies in a meal.
Add a cup of cooked macaroni to tempt the kids.
Throw in some diced cooked carrots for color.  It’s all yum.

I keep ground cumin in my pantry, but if you’re out, no worries. Use chili powder or oregano or basil.  Or not.

ingredients

1 c diced onion (1 cup)
2 T cooking oil
1 small can chopped green chilies (1/4 cup)
1 T minced garlic (2-3 cloves)

1 entire chicken breast, cooked and diced (2-3 cups)
1 quart cooked beans with broth (1 can beans with broth to make 4 cups)
1 t ground cumin
Salt to taste (1 tsp)

1. Saute first 4 ingredients in a hot kettle until onion is soft.
2. Add next four ingredients, stir and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Serve with hot bread (try the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!)

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Fall Dinner

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So good I was afraid I’d forget what I did.  So I’m parking it here.

Preheat oven to 350.

Country-style pork ribs
Baked sweet potatoes
Yellow squash
Cranberry stuffing mix

Chicken broth
Buttermilk or sour cream

Olive oil
Worcestershire
Ms. Dash
Balsamic vinegar

Butter
Maple syrup
Cinnamon sugar
Vanilla

Brown ribs in olive oil in skillet and transfer to oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with Ms. Dash, Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar. Cover.

Peel sweet potatoes and mash.  Melt 3 T butter, 2 T maple syrup, 1 t vanilla and 1 t cinnamon sugar in small skillet.  Stir into potatoes.  Transfer to oiled baking dish and cover.

Prepare oiled baking dish. Empty stuffing mix into dish.  Chop squash and pile on top.  Pour 1 c chicken broth over top.

Put ribs in oven first.  After 15 minutes, put squash in oven and continue baking.  After another 10 minutes, take squash out and stir well.  Add sour cream or buttermilk.  Return to oven and put sweet potatoes in oven.  Let all three dishes continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve with green beans if desired.

Happy Kale Soup

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ImageI had a dream last night: I was talking to someone about how much I love kale. This morning is sort of gray and green, cloudy and rainy behind the lush foliage on the trees that look like June more than early April.

So I’m thinking it’s a day for my happy kale soup, which incidentally has sausage, beans and onion, but for me it’s all about the kale.  The other stuff is in there just to keep it happy.

For anyone that wants to play along, here’s what you’ll need:

Soup kettle or Dutch oven big enough to hold a mountain of kale
A big cooking spoon or paddle (mine is wood)
Extra virgin olive oil — 2 T, more or less
One large onion, coarsely chopped. (Vidalias are a favorite, but a nice red is pretty.)
One package of smoked sausage (turkey, beef or pork, depending on the moment), sliced or diced
One can of white beans (Great Northerns are my fave)
Chopped kale (fresh or bagged; can use can in a pinch, but it’s not the same)
One box or two cans of broth: chicken, beef or vegie — (no MSG, please).
Season-All or Mrs. Dash to your liking

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Heat about 2 T olive oil in your kettle. Add the onion and saute until soft. Throw in your sausage and continue to saute for 2-5 minutes, depending on how long you’re willing to stand there.  Add kale, in batches if necessary, and toss until it wilts.  Add beans and broth and bring to a simmer.  At this point, it’s ready to eat, but I like to simmer for at least an hour so all the flavors blend together and the beans and onion are really, really soft.

I can’t look at that first picture and not want to make cornbread to go with.  That particular bread is my jalapeno cheddar version, and you can find that recipe here.

Eggplasagna

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Eggplant is just an amazing thing.  I love it breaded with cornmeal and fried, or made into a casserole with bread crumbs or even in chili.  But this may be my favorite way yet.  It makes being wheat-free a little more happy.

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

1 medium Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped

1 T minced garlic

1 large eggplant, peeled and diced

1 # sliced fresh mushrooms

Seasoned salt to taste

1 # fresh ground meat (I used pork, but beef or turkey is fine)

1 T. parsley flakes

1 t. Italian seasoning

1 jar prepared pasta sauce (I used Classico Tomato & Basil, but use your favorite)

1 large bag clean fresh spinach

1 cup parmesan

1 package sliced provolone (enough to cover pan, 4-6 slices)

1 package grated mozzarella (2 cups)

Heat 2 T. olive oil in skillet and saute onion with garlic until onion is soft.  Transfer to LARGE bowl (you will be adding other stuff to this).

In same skillet, brown ground meat until pink is gone. Drain fat if necessary and stir in seasoned salt, parsley, and Italian seasoning.  Add to bowl with onion and garlic, add jar of pasta sauce and stir until mixed well.  This is your kitchen gravy and it’s great with pasta or French bread, too.  But back to the plan.

Prepare a 9” x 13” pan.  I lined mine with foil that I then sprayed with Pam.

Put enough gravy in the pan to cover the bottom and reserve the rest for the top.

Back to that skillet.  Heat more olive oil if necessary, add eggplant and stir occasionally until eggplant begins to sweat and soften.  Spread out on top of gravy in 9” x 13” pan.

This is the last thing for the skillet:  the spinach.  It will be a huge pile but as it cooks it will shrink down to nothing.  I promise you.  Once the spinach is wilted and soft, stir in the parmesan cheese.  Then spread this on top of the eggplant.

Cover with a layer of provolone cheese.

Then cover with the rest of the kitchen gravy.

Top with mozzarella.

You can put this straight into the oven or stick into the fridge and heat up later.  Either way, it takes about 30-40 min in a 350 degree oven.  You might need to turn on the broiler to brown the cheese on top if you’re in a hurry and you like it that way.

Serves four hungry people, more if you add sides/and or bread.  We had fresh corn on the cob with ours.