Growing up, my mom wasn’t the biggest fan of cooking. She didn’t hate it, but she didn’t love the clean up that followed. Enough so that she didn’t cook often. She had what we called the “rotation” of dishes she would choose from when she did cook. Chili was one of those dishes that was always a favorite in the house. It had such a distinct smell that we knew immediately what was for dinner the second we entered the door after getting home from school. This dish was also a favorite of my moms because it is fairly simple. It requires a little prep work in the way of chopping vegetables & opening cans, but after that, smooth sailing. She always said she found chopping vegetables “soothing” & as a child I thought she was a freak. Fast forward to adulthood & I’ve never related to a sentence more.
My siblings & I most likely enjoyed the chili toppings more than the actual chili, but that’s not here nor there. Mom would serve this up with tortillas, sour cream, Fritos, lettuce & cheese. Sometimes she’d shake things up & serve it with pasta. This dish is pretty versatile with it’s toppings so it’s great for feeding a family of picky eaters (which we all were as children, let’s face it). This is comfort food at its finest & with the weather finally cooing down (I’m in California where winter JUST started) this is something you’re going to want to have on the dinner table!
Yield: 8-10 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers, assorted colors, medium diced
1 onion, medium diced
salt & pepper, to taste
1.5 – 2lbs ground beef or ground turkey
2.5 – 3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on desired spice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 tablespoon dried basil
1 15oz can red kidney beans
1 15oz can white kidney beans
1 15oz can pinto beans
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss in bell peppers & onion, then season with salt & pepper.
Sauté the veggies over medium heat until they become soft & translucent, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Once the veggies have become soft, add the ground beef & season with salt & pepper once more. Cook the beef until it becomes brown & you can no longer see any pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go.
Add chili powder, dried oregano & basil. Stir to combine & cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Next add the beans & their liquid, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste. Stir to make sure everything is combined & tomato paste has disbursed into the mixture.
Bring the while mixture to a boil. Once the chili has reached a boil, lower the heat to simmer & cook, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure everything cooks evenly.
After the hour is up you can serve the chili immediately, or it can continue cooking, covered, for another hour.
Thanksgiving can be a really difficult time for people who don’t eat meat. Most thanksgiving dishes appear to be vegetarian but in fact are not. Stuffing is a great example of that. Most stuffing recipes call for sausage or bacon, and almost every stuffing recipe calls for chicken broth. This Hearty Mushroom Stuffing replaces sausage with mushrooms and calls for vegetable broth instead of chicken. Stuffing is arguably the most delicious dish on the Thanksgiving table so I wanted to create a recipe that allows diners of every diet to enjoy! A vegan alternative to this recipe is coming soon as well! This stuffing is savory, filling, and even meaty! This is the perfect dish to bring to thanksgiving whether you’re dining with vegetarians or meat eaters!
There are a few key components to making a great stuffing. The first is the bread. You want to use a really delicious bread because this makes up a good portion of the dish. I like using French bread or ciabatta! The bread also needs to be fairly dried out so it absorbs the liquid. without getting mushy. Lastly, you need a very large bowl to mix all the stuffing ingredients well. Once you have all of these covered, you’re ready to make stuffing.
Hearty Mushroom Stuffing
Yield: 8-10 servings
1lb French bread, cut into small cubes
1lb Crimini mushrooms
½ stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
6-8 celery stalks, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2-2 ½c vegetable broth, divided
1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13 baking dish.
Begin by drying out the bread. This can either be done by leaving the bread cubes uncovered overnight or they can be toasted in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes until they have dried out. Once the bread cubes have been dried out, set them aside in a large bowl.
Clean the mushrooms by wiping the caps down with a wet paper towel or dish rag until all the dirt is removed. Remove the stems and roughly chop the mushrooms.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, dry (no fat in the pan) until they have released all of their moisture, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes so nothing sticks to the pan.
Remove the mushrooms once they have completely released all of their moisture and set aside in the bowl with the bread cubes.
Return the pan to medium heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the veggies on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and slightly browned.
Once the veggies have become soft, raise the heat to high and add the wine. It will sizzle and start to bubble. Use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, removing and browned bits that have formed.
Let the wine reduce slightly for 2 minutes then add the herbs. Stir to combine then set aside in the pan to cool slightly.
In a medium sized bowl or measuring cup, scramble the eggs and add 1 ½ cups of broth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the veggies to the bowl with bread and mushroom and stir to combine.
Slowly add the egg broth mixture to the bowl of bread and veggies, stirring gently to make sure everything is incorporating evenly. Keep adding the egg broth mixture until the bread has completely absorbed it. The amount of liquid you will need will depend on how dry your bread is and how much liquid it is absorbing. You want the bread to be completely moist to the touch without too much excess liquid in the bowl. Once all the egg mixture has been added, you can continue adding broth until the bread has reached the proper consistency. It will be anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup of extra broth. I only used an extra ½ cup of broth once the egg mixture was added.
Pour the whole bread and veggie mixture into your prepared baking dish, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
After the first 30-35 minutes, raise the heat to 425 degrees and remove the foil. Bake the stuffing for another 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and browned.
With temperatures dropping and days feeling shorter, quick & easy dinners that warm you from the inside out are a necessity. There is no dish more comforting than Pot Roast. With just a few simple steps & a slow cooker, this delicious rib sticking Pot Roast can be on your table in just a few hours.
Fall is the time to bust out the slow cooker & let it do all the hard work. Think of all the fun things you can spend your time doing instead of working on dinner! Carving pumpkins? Watching a scary movie? Finishing up those pesky chores you couldn’t get to over the weekend? Spending quality time with a loved one? The list is endless! Make yourself this Pot Roast & see what extra fun things you get to accomplish…
Start by gathering all of your ingredients & heating 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season all sides of the meat with salt & pepper then coat the meat in flour. Once the oil is hot, brown the meat on all sides. This step is not necessary but it is definitely worth it. Browning the meat adds a really nice texture to the finished dish as well as a much deeper flavor.
While the meat is browning, prepare the vegetables. Toss the potatoes & carrots into the slow cooker with the garlic & dried thyme. Place the browned meat over the carrots & potatoes, then pour in the broth.
Cover the slow cooker & cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 9-10 hours. About an hour before the Pot Roast is done, mix up the water & cornstarch until it becomes slightly pasty. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker & stir around. Finish cooking the Pot Roast for the last hour. When the time is up, remove the meat & either slice it up or shred it to serve. Enjoy!