The Casual One Pot, Vegetarian Chili

I recently attended a Master Class on Food Sensitivities, Allergies, and Gut Health led by a doctor and a scientist. The major take away for me, EAT YOUR FIBER. I am fully stocked with colorful veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains. Cooking game is strong this weekend. Here is a vegetarian chili From Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Love the lentil addition to this recipe.

I doubled the recipe with the exception of the kidney beans. Adjusted the tomatoes with 1 28- ounce can of whole tomatoes and 1 28- ounce can of diced tomatoes. Upped the chipotle in adobo sauce for more heat (we are a spicy family).

The usual fixings for this comfort bowl included: diced avocado, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. An easy peasy recipe that takes little prep. I let it simmer for most of the day so all the flavors could really come together. Add additional water if too thick for your liking. This is a healthy, flavorful, and not to mention economical meal.

Whipped up a fresh batch of my isostilo granola while the chili was cooking. A winter zen kitchen morning for me with a little kitchen swagger playing on Spotify in the background.

Back To Kitchen Sharing

Well as life swirls around with many things distracting me these days. I have been cooking, staying healthy, checking out major online sales, finding new interests, and mostly trying to unlock the mystery of why we are having some poor sleeps in my house. Anyhow, I would like to share some of my recent favorite meals. Heads up, they are all vegetarian. That is how we roll these days just because it makes my family pretty happy. I love recipe swapping with friends. I just hadn’t thought to throw them on the blog. We have been insta and whatsapp sharing. But this week, I have had multiple requests by friends on what to cook. So here you go!

BTW half baked Harvest is my love these days and the New York Times is my husband’s. A pretty good combination.

Every recipe is quick, easy, and pretty minimal in the ingredient department. Cheers to healthy home cooked meals!

Kale Caesar With Sweet Potatoes and Crispy Chickpeas (Delicious!)

Roasted Cauliflower Salad is perfect for a winter weekend brunch.

A true winner in my book! The recipe is fast, easy, and tasty. Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
One Pan! Persian Herb & Chickpea Stew for a warm comfort meal to be cooked any night of the week!
A vegan spin on the famous butter chicken. It is heavenly but you have to like coconut! A 30 minute Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower
Finally a veggie burger that is easy and delivers! NYT offered this up and I made it. Tip: make the recipe early and let the patties sit the frig for as long as you wish. I formed them into balls then pressed them in to patties as I placed them in fry pan. I had no issues with them falling apart. For toppers I used vegan mayo mixed with peri peri hot sauce, sliced avocado, fresh greens.

(all images from Half Baked and NYT and pay NO attention to any grammatical errors:)

Be sure to get outside! Everyday! Then cook!

One Dish, One Pan, Weber Style

How about Paella to celebrate the Labor Day Weekend! But on the Weber. We love dining at home, especially on weekends. My husband typically gets excited and becomes adventurous on the weekends with meal planning. He enjoys a challenge, seeks out flavorful food, and loves firing up the grill. He did all the work for this dish and deserves all the glory! Cook’s Illustrated and The New York Times are his go to sources for interesting dishes.

Paella on the Weber should be on your next weekend menu. Invite some friends because this dish is best shared with be those you love. Maybe you add a fresh herby green salad and sliced watermelon for dessert. FYI this dish takes time but well worth it. The charcoal Weber grill makes this the perfect summer, fall, and spring dish to cook outside.

It takes a run to the grocery store and some prep with a little bit of kitchen time. He used an aluminum disposable pan which has its benefits but you don’t get that crisp crunchy rice sticking to the pan. But nothing to scrub is a major upside to me!

Here is the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. We substituted spicy chicken for the chorizo and also left out the clams. The dish still had loads of flavor. Don’t be afraid to add some of your favorite hot sauce along with the fresh squeezed lemon!

1 ½pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved crosswise
Salt and pepper
12ounces jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
6tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6garlic cloves, minced
1 ¾teaspoons hot smoked paprika
3tablespoons tomato paste
4cups chicken broth
1(8-ounce) bottle clam juice
cup dry sherry
Pinch saffron threads (optional)
1onion, chopped fine
½cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped fine
3cups Arborio rice
1pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
1pound Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1cup frozen peas, thawed
Lemon wedges

Instructions:

This recipe was developed using a light-colored 16 by 13.5-inch tri-ply roasting pan; however, it can be made in any heavy roasting pan that measures at least 14 by 11 inches. If your roasting pan is dark in color, the cooking times will be on the lower end of the ranges given. The recipe can also be made in a 15- to 17-inch paella pan. If littlenecks are unavailable, use 1½ pounds shrimp in step 1 and season them with ½ teaspoon salt.

1. Place chicken on large plate and sprinkle both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl until evenly coated. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic sticks to bottom of saucepan and begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and remaining 1½ teaspoons paprika and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until dark brown bits form on bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add broth, clam juice, sherry, and saffron, if using. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

3A. For a Charcoal Grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Using tongs, arrange 20 unlit briquettes evenly over coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

3B. For a Gas Grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken on grill and cook until both sides are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes total. Return chicken to plate. Clean cooking grate.

5. Place roasting pan on grill (turning burners to medium-high if using gas) and add remaining ¼ cup oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion, red peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Add rice (turning burners to medium if using gas) and stir until grains are well coated with oil.

6. Arrange chicken around perimeter of pan. Pour broth mixture and any accumulated juices from chicken over rice. Smooth rice into even layer, making sure nothing sticks to sides of pan and no rice rests atop chicken. When liquid reaches gentle simmer, place shrimp in center of pan in single layer. Arrange clams in center of pan, evenly distributing with shrimp and pushing hinge sides of clams into rice slightly so they stand up. Distribute chorizo evenly over surface of rice. Cook (covered if using gas), moving and rotating pan to maintain gentle simmer across entire surface of pan, until rice is almost cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes. (If using gas, heat can also be adjusted to maintain simmer.)

7. Sprinkle peas evenly over paella, cover grill, and cook until liquid is fully absorbed and rice on bottom of pan sizzles, 5 to 8 minutes. Continue to cook, uncovered, checking bottom of pan frequently with metal spoon, until uniform golden-brown crust forms, 8 to 15 minutes longer. (Rotate and slide pan around grill as necessary to ensure even crust formation.) Remove pan fr

Why this dish works from CI:

Grilling paella lends the dish subtle smoke and a particularly caramelized crust and makes it a great dish for summer entertaining. In place of a traditional paella pan, we cooked ours in a large, sturdy roasting pan that maximized the amount of socarrat, the prized caramelized rice crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. Building a large (7-quart) fire and fueling it with fresh coals (which ignited during cooking) ensured that the heat output would last throughout cooking, but we also shortened the outdoor cooking time by using roasted red peppers and tomato paste (instead of fresh peppers and tomatoes), making an infused broth with the seasonings, and grilling (rather than searing) the chicken thighs. To ensure that the various components finished cooking at the same time, we staggered the addition of the proteins—first the chicken thighs, followed by the chorizo, shrimp, and clams. We also deliberately placed the chicken on the perimeter of the pan, where it would finish cooking gently after grilling, and the sausage and seafood in the center, where they were partially submerged in the liquid so that they cooked through; once the liquid reduced, the steam kept them warm.

Such a great dish for entertaining. Thanks Cook’s Illustrated! Happy cooking!

Serving Up A Smitten Kitchen Dish

Made it!  Loved it!  You should too! 

I am a visual person, so no surprise this yummy looking bowl caught my attention with its golden soft egg and colorful thinly sliced veggies.  Smitten Kitchen’s Crispy Rice and Egg Bowl with a ginger-scallion dressing is a delightful mid-week winner.  It’s a belly warming dish full of flavor, made with simple ingredients, and is quick and easy. 

FYI I doubled the short grain brown rice, sautéed garlic with the fried rice, and topped off the bowls with sliced avocado for an extra creamy finish.  Extra hot sauce is standard in our house!  Maybe roasted sweet potatoes next time around or whatever else may be in the crisper.  See the recipe below or read about it for more helpful tips on SK.  (image from SK)

 

Crispy Rice and Egg Bowl with Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette

  • SERVINGS: 4
  •  TIME: 10 MINUTES 
  • SOURCE: SMITTEN KITCHEN
  • 1 1/4 cups minced scallions, both green and white parts (from a 4-ounce bundle)
  • 2 tablespoons minced or finely grated fresh ginger
  • Neutral oil (such as grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup sherry or rice wine vinegar
  • Fine sea salt
  • About 1 heaped cup julienned or coarsely grated carrots (from about 8 ounces fresh)
  • 8 ounces small (Persian-style, about 2) cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups cooked, cooled rice (my favorite here is short-grain brown or white)
  • 4 eggs
  • Soy sauce or tamari (to serve)
  • Toasted sesame oil (to serve)
  • Sriracha, gochujang or another hot sauce of your choice (to serve)

Make the vinaigrette: Mix scallions, ginger, 1/4 cup oil and sherry or rice wine vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt). Set aside.

Crisp your rice: Heat a large frying pan over medium high. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil; you’ll want to coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil all over. Nonstick pan (as I used) are more forgiving here, so you can use the lower amount. Heat the oil until it’s hot, another minute, then scatter half the rice over the surface; it’s okay if small clusters remain. Season lightly with salt and do not touch it. In 3 to 5 minutes, the underside will become golden brown and crisp. Use a spatula to flip it in sections then fry on the other side until it is also crisp. Divide between two bowls and repeat with remaining rice, dividing it between two remaining bowls.

Crisp your egg: If there isn’t enough oil left in the pan (you want a thin layer), add another splash and heat this on high heat. Add eggs one at a time and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, lacy, and crisp underneath, and the whites are opaque, bubbly and dramatic and the edges are brown. You can spoon some oil from the pan over the egg whites to help them cook faster. Place one egg on each bowl of rice.

Assemble bowls: Arrange some cucumbers and carrots to each bowl. Spoon 2 tablespoons vinaigrette onto each bowls. Drizzle each egg with a half-teaspoon of tamari and toasted sesame oil, letting it roll onto the other ingredients, plus hot sauce to taste. Eat immediately. Repeat frequently.

Do ahead: The dressing will keep for 5 to 6 days in the fridge; the chopped vegetables will keep for 3 to 4.