Posts Tagged ‘one dish meal’

CSA box Veggie Chili–this is prior to the last few minutes of cooking…almost ready. A one-pot dinner filled with many healthy, delicious, perfect bites!

In trying to use up the bounty of fresh veggies in creative ways…I’ve come across plenty of perfect bites (and a handful of not-so-perfect bites).

This recipe is so easy and a great way to use up the veggies from your weekly CSA box. The “Farmer’s Market Chili” is a veggie-packed chili is full of flavor and can be adapted to be a great vegetarian main meal. This particular recipe is just shy of being vegetarian. I used beef broth but substitute vegetable broth and your meal is vegetarian…don’t top with cheese or sour cream and you have yourself a vegan chili! The portions can be increased exponentially to freeze for the upcoming chilly fall and winter days ahead. As far as the specific veggies—improvise based on what you have on hand. The key is to incorporate a few different textures in the chili. Another added bonus: this is a one pot meal! Have fun and enjoy 🙂

Simple Summer CSA Chili

3 medium zucchini, roughly chopped

2-3 medium/large yellow summer squash

1 bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 medium/large carrot, roughly chopped

1 small American eggplant (or…one small Japanese eggplant and one small white eggplant)

2 jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped (remove seeds to reduce spice level–use them to kick up the heat)

1 shallot, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

2 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)

6 oz can tomato paste

28 oz can whole tomato (tear or roughly chop tomato, save all juice)

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin (fresh ground is best)

15 oz. can of beans (any type will do, I actually used chickpeas)

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp canola oil (substitute 1 Tbsp bacon fat + 2 Tbsp canola oil if desired)

cheese and sour cream (optional for topping)

To make:

In a large dutch oven or other thick bottom pot, heat oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and diced carrot–saute until softened a bit. Add garlic and shallot, stir and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir just until fragrant. Add eggplant, squash, zucchini, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and saute for approx 1 minute–add 1/4 cup of the broth to de-glaze the bottom of the pan, continue to stir 1 more minute. Add tomatoes with juices, beans, and remainder of the broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for approximately 15 minutes or until the veggies are done to your desired crispness. Add additional broth, wine, or water if chili becomes too thick. I prefer a thicker, chunkier chili but thin to your taste preference. Enjoy!

Optional: Let cool slightly, scoop into a bowl, top with a dollop of sour cream and cheese.

Farmer’s Market Chili


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Side dish envy: Balsamic Butternut Squash

As much as I like a perfect bite of roast beef, turkey, or ham, filling my plate with multiple side dishes is my favorite part of a big holiday meal. Side dishes are often unfortunately overlooked during the holidays–a time when meats and desserts really shine. This recipe is so easy and results in a bold, flavorful side dish that will certainly be noticed. Leftovers reheat well or can be used as a tasty base for soup the next day. You can multiply this recipe to feed as many people as needed.

Roasted Balsamic Butternut Squash


1 butternut squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

good Balsamic vinegar

To make:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

If you buy whole squash, peel the squash with a sharp vegetable peeler then dice into approximately 1 inch cubes. To save some elbow grease you can buy the pre-cut butternut squash in most grocery stores in the produce aisle. I find the pre-cut are a bit dryer than cutting your own, but peeling and cutting the squash takes some effort. In a mixing bowl, toss the squash salt and pepper and olive oil until the squash are coated. Layer the squash onto a baking pan, lined with foil, in a single layer. Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until browned and softened to your likeness (you can check the tenderness with a fork). Turn the squash about halfway through the cooking to get a more even caramelization/browning of the squash. I actually don’t turn them and prefer one crispy side and one softer side 🙂 Remove from the oven and sprinkle with you favorite balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy…have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Perfect Butternut Squash bites!

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I absolutely just love barbecue/barbeque!

Living in the city certainly limits my ability to make my own versions of barbeque. I am partial to real smoked barbeque that has been cooking slow for hours in an outdoor smoker. Needless to say that is not an option for me in a shoebox apartment. So…I have to explore other options. This is a decent version of “BBQ” pulled pork that is easy to put together, easy clean up, and feasible for anyone who has a crock pot–no need for the outdoors or smokers. Even though the recipe is in a crock pot, I find the pork can get dry pretty easily if you get a leaner cut, which is recommended for crock pot cooking because there is no real place for fat to drain. So…have your favorite homemade or store bought BBQ sauce handy to really make this recipe your favorite option for indoor “BBQ”!

Crock Pot Pulled Pork “BBQ”

3-4 lb pork shoulder roast

1 large white onion roughly diced

1 carrot, peeled and cut in med-large pieces (this is to absorb some of the acidity…not really for flavor)

salt & pepper

sauce base

For the “sauce” base:

5 cloves garlic chopped

4-5 Tbsp brown sugar or molasses

1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke

2 tsp dry mustard

2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup beer (one that has flavor…not light beer) –quantity divided in half   (alternative: beef broth or water)

Mix all ingredients together–except beer.

To Crock:

Place onions and carrot in bottom of large crock pot. Generously salt and pepper pork on both sides. Slowly pour sauce base onto meat. Add 1/2 of beer to crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours–there should be enough liquid in the pot; if for some reason evaporation occurs, feel free to go ahead and add the remainder of the beer now (or use water or beef broth if you do not want to use beer).

Remove cooked pork to platter and shred with fork.

Return shredded pork to crock pot (there should be some sauce/liquid in the pot) and mix with sauce and remainder of beer.

Cook on lowest setting an additional 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Assemble a sandwich with your favorite type of bread (I used potato buns) and top with additional homemade or store bought BBQ sauce to make a delicious pulled pork sandwich!

Open-face BBQ sandwich...my favorite!

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Paella is a delicious dish that until now, I have been scared to make. Paella is a Spanish rice dish that can be traditional Valencian style that uses green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood style that uses snails and seafood and omits the vegetables and beans; or lastly a more freestyle Mixed Paella composed of your preference of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans.

This version is adapted from the So Easy cookbook by Eillie Krieger. I did not have a traditional paella/paellera (the pan that paella  is cooked in), nor did I have on oven proof large skillet that would fit all of the ingredients–so I turned to my trusty ceramic cast iron dutch oven. The bottom “crunchiness” was not as crunchy as if using the correct pan, but the flavor and overall texture was the same.

Mixed Paella with Chicken & Sausage


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups turkey chorizo sausage (sliced in 1/2 inch rounds); casings removed–you can use any type of sausage for this but the smokey chorizo is my favorite

1 lb. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut in 1 inch pieces

1 medium Spanish white onion, chopped (I actually used red onion and it turned out well…but if I had the Spanish white onion on hand I would have it instead)

3 cloves garlic minced

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

10 oz frozen green peas

1 cup uncooked white rice (not instant)

1 large ripe tomato, chopped

1/4 cup sliced Spanish pimento-stuffed olives

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

small pinch of saffron threads

To make:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat olive oil in large oven-proof pan that has a cover (see note above) over medium high heat. Cook sausage stirring until brown or heated through (if sausage was pre-smoked). Add chicken and cook until browned–transfer sausage and chicken to a plate.

Bring to a boil then finish cooking in the oven

Cook the onion in the same pan (add some olive oil if needed but do not over-oil or else your paella will be greasy) until translucent.

Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute more. Return chicken and sausage to pain with garlic and onions then add chicken broth, peas, rice, tomato, olives, salt, pepper, turmeric, and saffron. Stir to mix up a bit and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat, cover and move to the oven. Cook in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and thee rice is tender.

Remove from the oven and serve hot! Pairs perfectly with a glass of Sangria 🙂  Enjoy…

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This is a quick, easy recipe for a one dish meal! It is tasty and can be adapted to include you favorite meat, veggie or cheese. I used English peas and white cheddar, but any substitutes you can imagine would work well. The best thing about cooking a casserole is if you combine ingredients you like, bake it together–it comes out perfect every time! Not to mention this recipe is great for budget crunchers–use whatever you have in your fridge or freezer. Adjust the quantities to make more or less, depending on the crowd to feed (casseroles are a very inexact science). Enjoy!

Potato Ham Casserole


4 cups thawed shredded potatoes (about half of a large bag if using frozen)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp white cheddar, but any semi-hard cheese will do)

1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham (you may substitute cooked ground beef, or cooked diced chicken)

1 1/2 cups English peas (thawed if frozen, or use fresh; canned peas may not hold up in the bake as well but could be an option if that is all you have)

1 small-medium onion, chopped (or half of a larger onion)

1 can cream mushroom soup

1 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp. salt

Dash of cayenne pepper (optional for some heat)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 qt. casserole dish (using butter or Spray oil). In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to casserole dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until heated through (usually bubbling around the edges). Serve warm. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or additional ground black pepper to taste.





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