I heard a while back, coworkers discuss making chili and how it would take all day in the crockpot to get just right. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the crockpot (especially for my refried beans) but … I also want to be able to create a fantastic comforting meal within an hour of getting home from work.
You can have a steamy bowl of comforting chili ready in less than an hour! If you prep your veggies ahead of time- have the garlic, onion and peppers in one bowl and zucchini & mushrooms in another, you could have dinner ready in 40 minutes. Don't feel married to the ingredients maybe you don't have zucchini but have a sweet potato or aren't sure which peppers you like yet. Use what you have and experiment to find your taste with spices and peppers.
large chopped onion & 2 minced garlic cloves
peppers (2 bell, & 2 of a spicy: jalepeno/poblano/serrano OR chipotle in adobo), minced
2 zucchinis cubed
4-5 portobello mushrooms or package of baby bella mushrooms cubed
2 cups corn (frozen or fresh)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Tomato & Beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cups black beans (canned rinsed or cooked dried)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
Spray your deep pot with oil
Over medium high heat saute your onions, garlic, peppers
Add zucchini & mushrooms saute until browned.
Add corn and spices.
Turn up heat and add tomatoes, beans and water.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, let simmer for about 20 minutes (just enough time to pop your cornbread in the oven and spin your salad!)
I’m not usually a fan of faux meat products, but once in a while I crave the texture and flavor of a comfort food like chicken tenders or in this case, pan-fried sausage. Most of the time I love a good panko crusted veggie, fried tofu or crispy eggplant but I must say, Field Roast “sausage” is de-liscious!!
We tried the Smoked Apple Sage – “a savory combination of apples and sage anchored with yukon gold potatoes with a subtle hint of hickory smoke”. We pan-fried it in olive oil and it got super crispy and browned, reminiscent in texture to moms breakfast sausage. In fact, we both “mmm”ed repeatdly. When mixed in with the pillowy gnocchi and olive oil it tasted better than the real deal. Not to mention they are made with all natural (soy-free) ingredients, pack 26g of protein and only 10g of fat:
We used Pumpkin Gnocchi this time, and sprinkled a bit of grated Brazil Nuts over top. The next day, we split some soft pretzel rolls and added some pan-fried sausage with a bit of broccoli slaw on top…equally YUM.
We haven’t been this impressed with a store-bought product in a long time. If you’re a plant predator or just looking to cut down on your meat consumption a little, go buy some Field Roast sausages, you will be pleased! (Found in the frozen section next to vegan/vegetarian products like “burger” patties etc.)
Sometimes you just want a big ‘ole sandwich to sink your teeth into. I also wanted something flavorful enough to stand up to my delicious heirloom tomatoes. We loved the bite of the crisp tofu with the juicy warm tomato and creamy avocado on a toasted kalamata olive roll. This would be great on toasted multigrain bread too!
I was inspired when I saw this picture on Happy Healthy Life.
This came out of a desire to eat some items in the fridge that needed to be used. Honestly, I had never had okra before and was inspired to grab some at the Farmer’s Market to try. According to online foodies, it needed to be thinly sliced right before you cook it and pan-fried super hot to sear in the moisture. The polenta I sometimes buy in the prepared rolls at Trader Joe’s or Wegmans, just slice and brown on each side. We had dinner in under 30 min. and no food went to waste, perfect.
Polenta is made from cornmeal and can be bought in tubes in the produce at Wegman's or in the Italian section of most grocery stores.
half a large onion, diced
1-2 hot peppers of choice (or sub mild)
3 garlic cloves
Okra, about ½ lb. rinsed and dried in kitchen towel
Tomatoes, diced about 1½-2 cups
1 cup veggie broth (or water mixed with veggie bouillon)
Saute onion, peppers and garlic in a large saute pan with a little olive oil.
Heat a separate saute pan over high heat, add vegetable oil. Slice okra on bias to get longer slices. When oil begins smoking, add sliced Okra in single layer. Let sear, then stir to flip. Total of only 3-4 minutes cooking time.
Add to sautéed veggies, add tomatoes, few tablespoons of tomato paste or ketchup and broth as well. Salt & lots of cracked black Pepper.
Meanwhile slice polenta, spray okra pan with oil and begin browning one side over medium high heat. About 3 min. check for browness/crispness and flip.
Taste Okra mixture, adjust seasonings/more tomato paste, add hot pepper flakes if desired.
Cook eggs over easy when all is done and seasoned to liking. (Crack in medium high heat pan sprayed with oil, let cook until whites almost set and bottom browned, season heavily S&P, flip, turn off heat.
Plate browned Polenta, Okra & Tomatoes and egg on top.
Dino-what? As perplexed as the checkout people at the grocery store were, the two names I knew to look it up under were Dinosaur or Lacinato Kale and they couldn’t find it. Oye…few minutes later a checker sprinted back “Tuscan Kale”. Alrighty then, this yummy dark leafy green has 3 names. It’s also one of my favorite new things to eat in the following salad. Thanks to MommaPea over at Peas & Thank You for turning me onto this fabulous idea!
I make this using almost exclusivity raw ingredients, especially raw nuts which give it it's creamy and rich consistency. As it is a rich desert, I have found a small square is decadent and filling enough for adult and child alike.
1½ cup nuts (almonds/walnuts)
½ unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dates (high quality medjool) or soaked store brand
dash of salt
1⅔ cup dates
½-2/3 cup cashews
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbl. coco powder
chocolate chips (optional)
Line a mini cake pan or round bowl with parchment or plastic wrap, enough to come up and over the completed pie.
In the food processor or high speed blender, blend the nuts, coconut, salt and ¼ cup dates. You want a crumbly, sand like consistency; the date will act as the binder. You should be able to squish it into a ball and it holds it's shape. Add dates one at a time until the right consistency.
When ready, press into the bottom of your pan or bowl.
Blend all ingredients until smooth and you're able to make into a test ball. Taste tester : ) Adjust more cocoa powder etc. if needed. (Add chocolate chips at the very end-if using).
Press evenly onto the top your crust layer. Lay the extra plastic wrap over the top and smooth it.
Refrigerate to help firm.
Thirty minutes to one hour before ready to serve, use plastic wrap to lift out of pan and peel off.
I’ve had clients and friends use this ‘recipe’ for their whole families; as a quick breakfast or yummy lunch on the run, for kids before games, active teens, sick elderly relatives etc. This is just a variation of our favorite, beneficial ingredients. You can read more about why I like this protein powder here.
This is a great quick supper. I was craving Chipotle after a late Friday work day but decided to whip this up quickly instead. I had recently made the Salsa Verde Enchiladas with cashew sour cream so had black beans and sour cream on hand. I just made some mini Cowgirlbeans tortillas to serve on the side and my craving was quickly quelled.
Salsa Verde Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Cashew Sour Cream
: Cowgirl Beans
Ingredient Notes: Salsa verde is usually made with green chilies and or tomatillos. Chipotle in Adobo sauce are delicious red jalapenos that have been smoked, dried and canned in a light tomato sauce. They are smokey, sweet and hot. Start with one chopped in recipes and then add more as you like. They can be found in any grocery in the Mexican section. Cashew Cream: (optional but SO delish. To make you must use raw cashews that have been soaked in water for two hours-overnight. (unless you have a Vitamix which will pulverize anything- no soaking necessary). I didn't measure exactly for the lemon and vinegar- so go scant with each and add more by the tsp. after you taste. You'll know when it's just right.
1 jar Salsa Verde
10 Corn Tortillas, warmed (if you skip warming they will break)
2 cups cooked or 1 can Black Beans
3 Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
Cashew Sour Cream
½ cup raw cashews (cannot be roasted), soaked in water 2 hrs. prior
juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Smash sweet potatoes in a bowl, add 1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and heavy sprinkle of smoked paprika. Taste, add more of both if needed.
Pour half of the salsa verde in the bottom of a baking dish.
Place a tortilla in the sauce, move around a bit to get saucy, then smear sweet potato mixture down the middle. Add spoonful black beans and spinach.
Roll up and push to edge of pan.
Repeat until fillings are gone and or your pan is full of enchiladas nestled next to each-other.
Pour remaining salsa verde over enchiladas.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes: you want them heated through and the tops of the tortillas browned and crispy.
Serve enchiladas with a dollop of cashew cream and a salad with creamy avocado.
Place soaked cashews, lemon juice, pinch of salt and vinegar in blender or food processor.
Blend until thoroughly combined and creamy. Taste, add more of lemon, vinegar or salt as needed.
When AJ returned from Africa, we decided to start a tradition on Sunday nights of eating what the people of Zambia eat 3 meals a day (if they’re able). It is composed of 3 things: Nshima (pronounced she-ma) and two “relishes”, usually beans and greens. Nshima is a cornmeal mush similar to a firm grits or polenta. Zambians eat with their hands, scooping the nshima and then dipping into the relishes. The only addition I make to the Zambian traditional meal is a “Makoua*” veggie- sweet potato.
*What the children would yell whenever they saw AJ “white man!”
On the 10,000 acre farm at Sons of Thunder Mission where he visited, the local Tonga people learn agricultural practices to combat starvation & malnutrition while building self-sufficiency, confidence, pride, and independence. They learn “Farming God’s Way” including training in irrigation, harvesting, storage, and marketing. Sons of Thunder also operates a grade school, a clinic/medical ministry, and an outreach program, including evangelism, church planting, and feeding /meeting the needs of the hungry and starving.
All parts of their meal is grown on the grounds, the Nshima is made of mealy meal, or corn ground into a fine flour, greens (AJ thinks swiss chard) cooked with tomatoes and onions and beans cooked with salt. They also grow some different kinds of squash to sell to the local hotels, but they do not in fact eat it themselves. AJ promised to bring me back to show them how to cook the Makoua vegetables! Gladly : )