I never want to be that cliched food writer. You know the one, always sharing what’s super trendy or posting 2 million cookie recipes around Christmas or having million recipe collections of pumpkin recipes. But sometimes, you really just need to share something at just the right time. It makes sense and your readers will thank you for it. Hence this chili.
If you’re in my part of the country – or many other parts as well – then you know this week brought an extreme chill not felt for years. I was lucky enough to be inside for most of the time but there are others who aren’t as lucky. Kids walking to school, the guy I saw on the highway changing his tire, the dog who needs to take a good five minutes to find a potty spot. No matter how you’ve spent the last week, you still need something to warm up your bones. Chili is a great, hearty option.
I went for vegetarian chili mainly due to lack of thawed meat. But really, I didn’t miss it at all. Two different kinds of beans – both red kidney and black – make this soup incredibly hearty meaty without actually adding any meat. A great kick of spice lends tons of flavor and the quinoa? Well that might just be my favorite part. It adds a great heft, a nice filling quality, without making this chili heavy.
Top if all off with a helping of jalapeno cornbread and you are set. The cornbread is essential here. You could skip it but why?
Here’s the thing about spaghetti squash. You can’t go into it expecting it to taste anything like spaghetti. So get that thought out of your head now. In fact, stop calling it spaghetti squash. Just call it stringy squash because that is essentially what it is. Once you roast and cut open a spaghetti squash, you are left with stringy, somewhat crisp flesh that is delicious and totally adaptable to basically anything your heart desires. But it does not taste like spaghetti.
I think because it is called spaghetti squash, it is most often treated as such and served with meatballs and sauce. That is fine and dandy, since it is definitely tasty that way. I took mine, however, and turned it into a crustless pizza. I scooped all of the tender yellow flesh out and tossed it in a bowl with copious amounts of mozzarella and pizza sauce as well as a little basil and just a touch of red pepper flakes for heat.
And the result was excellent. I love the texture of spaghetti squash. It’s crisp and fresh. If you’re in that post-Christmas detox mode, this will fit the bill. It’s healthy while filling and incredibly flavorful. Give it a whirl if you’re still craving pizza without the added guilt!
Sometimes, the weather here can be so fickle. One day, it is in the low 60s. You drive with the windows down, wear a tee shirt and bask in the warm glow of the sun. The next day, it is back in the low 30s and we end up bundling in a ridiculous amount of layers. The space heater pops back on, huddle under 2 blankets and drink lots of tea or coffee. It makes dressing very confusing. Helpful hint – always bring a jacket.
Days like this, when the skies threaten to unleash a snowstorm at less than a moment’s notice, they require soups. This soup has become on of my most favorites as of late. The chicken falls apart, absorbing all of the delicious tomato flavor. Topped with avocado to cool off, it is a great balance of spice and coolness.
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook until onions are tender, about five minutes. Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and chicken breast to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for one hour. After simmering, remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred. Return it to the pot. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the soup and stir well. Add in chopped cilantro and mix well. Spoon into serving bowls or cups. Top with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook until onions are tender, about five minutes.
Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and chicken breast to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for one hour.
After simmering, remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred. Return it to the pot. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the soup and stir well. Add in chopped cilantro and mix well.
Spoon into serving bowls or cups. Top with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.
Chinese take-out is often a fall-back meal for many families. It is often quick and easy, making it something to go for during those busy months when time is at a premium. These days, the ease of making Chinese from home is coming to the forefront. In the amount of time it takes to call and order take-out and wait for delivery, a fresh, home-cooked Chinese meal can be on the table.
This chicken broccoli pad thai puts a twist on traditional Chinese pad thai. Chicken is stir-fried and cooked in a flavorful sauce, then tossed with broccoli slaw for a crispy, fresh crunch. Serve it along side Chinese tea and chopsticks for an authentic take-out feel.
Super Bowl Sunday has got to be one of the biggest food holidays of the year. Wings, chips, dip, beer. I myself am known to indulge despite my lack of interest in everything but the commercials and adorable Puppy Bowl show.
A good snack is key to enjoying a holiday mainly based around food and competitive sports. But you don’t need to sit around and eat like a cave man. Wings are great, of course. I could eat my weight in wings. Although why not go for something a little more sophisticated? Serve these poppyseed chicken salad bites if you want to class up your game-day party a little. They pack a flavor punch that will leave you satisfied and not regretting the decision of choosing cute foods over saucy and sloppy foods.