Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quick, Easy, Healthy{ish} Weeknight Stew

Tonight I made some soup for dinner that was fast, easy, delicious, and healthy{ish}. I'm calling it a stew because it was thick and hearty, and there was not a ton of broth. If you want it soupier increase the amount of chicken broth, but I loved it just the way it was. I will definitely be making this again!

Sausage and Kale Stew

1/2 lb. ground mild Italian sausage--Use turkey for a healthier version, freeze the other half of the package to use another time

1 small bunch kale, rinsed, pulled off the stem, and chopped

1 can white beans (great northern/cannellini), drained and rinsed

1 32 oz container low sodium chicken broth

1 can stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Heat a pot (I like to use a cast iron dutch oven) to medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil and brown the sausage, breaking into bite size crumbles as you cook. When the sausage is almost browned put in the minced garlic to sauté. Careful, it burns easily! 

Once the sausage is nicely browned pour in the chicken broth, scraping off the good brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the broth (deglazing if you want to be fancy about it).This makes the broth rich and delicious. Mmmmm 

Add in the diced tomatoes in their juice (do not drain). I can never find these pre-diced, so I pull the slices out with a fork and dice them myself and then throw them in the pot along with the leftover juice that's in the can.  

Add in the white beans and kale along with some salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the kale is tender. 

I'm never great at taking pictures of food, but this one is especially bad because the soup was so steamy it kept fogging up my camera. I was too hungry to wait! 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mexican Favorites

Mexican is one of my favorite types of food. We have tried two new Mexican recipes for dinner in the last few weeks, and both have been absolutely delicious! They are completely opposite, as one is a vegetarian taco recipe and one is a beef taco. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Roasted Vegetable Tacos (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime
1 avocado
Homemade tortillas (FYI--I have tried this recipe with whole wheat flour since my original post and it did not work...yuck! Also, I feel like the olive oil does give them a bit of a flavor. If you want them more plain in flavor use canola oil)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix your tortilla dough so it can begin resting. In a bowl toss veggies with the oil and seasonings. Place onto a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. 

Once veggies are done roasting remove from oven and mix in black beans. Turn oven off and put tray back in to keep warm. Cook your tortillas and set aside. When tortillas are done pull veggies back out of the oven, mix in fresh cilantro, and squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Serve veggie mixture in your fresh warm tortillas, top with fresh avocado, and enjoy! 

Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas (adapted from Eat, Live, Run)

1 flank steak
1 yellow onion, chopped
1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons chile powder 
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together spices for rub in a small bowl, then rub into both sides of the flank steak. Place steak in slow cooker and cover with chopped onion and chipotle peppers. Warning: canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce pack a lot of heat. I really like spicy things and I used 1 1/2 peppers in my recipe and it was plenty spicy for me.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. When finished cooking shred meat with two forks. Serve meat inside homemade tortillas and top with a squeeze of lime juice, fresh cilantro, and homemade Pico de Gallo (that's missing from my picture because we forgot to get tomatoes at the store :( )

Pico de Gallo:
Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of fresh cilantro
Add some fresh minced garlic if you're feeling zesty

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for a few hours before serving