Chips or veggies with dip is quite possibly the easiest appetizer possible and it is always a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t like a simple serve yourself finger food? I mean really?…
Quick & Easy
I’m starting to feel my age. Not in the sense that I feel feeble and tired, though I’m pretty tired of this shoulder injury, but I’m feeling it on an intellectual/emotional level. We’ve got summer interns in the office now and nothing makes you feel old like having a couple cocky young things almost 10 years younger than you hanging around. I mean really, I was one of the youngest people in the office until last week, my whole life ahead of me and all that, now looking at them I almost feel bad because they have so much to learn and suddenly they are looking at me like I know it all.
These last few weeks of beautiful weather has really excited me to get outside and spend some time in my gardens and finishing house projects. I mean it was 70 the other day and it was the beginning of March?! Usually we are still buried under piles of snow here in March so this is really weird. Unfortunately one of the side effects of spend so much time breathing in the fresh spring air is that I’ve kind of put cooking on the back burner for a while. It’s that weird time of year when the spring veggies and herbs haven’t quite made their appearance yet and I’m totally not in the mood for more soup so there have been a lot of tossed together last minute dinners lately. What can I say even I just don’t have it in me sometimes to cook a four course meal every night. I’d much rather be drinking wine by our new fire pit (more on that soon), I mean if we are being honest here.
This recipe is one that just keeps popping up in our household, and with good reason, since it’s one of my favorites. I love it because I always have everything for it on hand, it’s super easy to whip up for lunch or dinner and it’s pretty darn healthy too. I also really love that I can swap out ingredients for whatever I have at the time; for example I have used broccoli rabbe, kale, and collard greens instead of spinach. I have also changed the type of beans and even mixed them because I had leftover to use in the fridge.
While this recipe can easily serve four if you are interested in making it go further serving it with a side or pasta or rice is also a great option.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 lb chicken sausage, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 cups of loose packed baby spinach
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and sausages for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sausages have browned and the onion turned translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the kale, broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust seasonings and serve.
Having the motivation to come home and cook dinner every night is not always easy. More often than not I really just don’t feel like it. Thankfully meal planning really helps me stay motivated, since I hate to see things go to waste and I don’t have to make a last minute decision on what to make for dinner. But even when I have my week planned to a T there are times where I just don’t have the motivation. Work is draining, especially when you spend an entire day or 3 just crunching numbers in spreadsheets.
These are the days that I fall back to the simple recipes, the ones that take minutes to slap together, and while they don’t feel very exciting they get the job done. On one particular occasion last week I totally threw out my initial dinner plan and just went with a simple 2 part meal and less than 10 ingredients total. It turned out to be a big hit with both Chuck and Lady A (did I mention one of my best friend sis living with us for a while? It’s been a lot of fun having her around). I was totally surprised by this because I never expected beans and greens to really be something that was requested, like ever.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the ones most well received.
While I know I’ve said this before it continues to surprise me that these simple, rustic, homey recipes are the ones that people really actually want to eat. These are the things that people are craving. Sure complicated and fancy can be fun, but the grass roots simple stuff is what reminds us of home.
So I guess what I’m saying is to not forget those simple recipes that your parents or grandparents made you, sometimes those are the best.
- 4 boneless pork chops
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon water or broth
- Pound pork chops between 2 layers of platic wrap to ½" – ¾” thickness. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork chops to the pan and cook for until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes before flipping. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan reduce the heat to medium low. Add the mustard, vinegar, water and broth to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly while scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce should be well blended and thickened. Remove the pan from heat.
- Serve pork chops with sauce drizzled on top.
Greens & Beans
About 10 cups packed greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, cut into 1-inch strips
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
Salt & pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add greens to the pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted slightly (sturdier greens will need 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat and drain, reserving about ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper and saute for 1 minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the greens, tossing with tongs to coat with oil.
Add the reserved cooking liquid and beans. Simmer, stirring reqularly until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
This is a great recipe for Satay Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Utilizing the flavors of satay chicken in a new and unique way.
I am just not in the Christmas Spirit this year. Call me a Grinch, but decorating has never been high on my priority list and as someone who is trying to downsize their stuff and move away from the excessive commercialism that is part of our culture the idea of shopping for more commercial stuff is just not appealing. Aside from the occasional soup I am not really into the Christmas food yet either. I’m hoping you guys won’t mind my lack of Christmas Posts this year, I mean everyone else in blog land is doing them so you can get your fill elsewhere, and I will just be your escape from it all.
This recipe is pretty much the last thing I think of when I of Christmas but as far as keeping it healthy and delicious around here it was perfect. So, perfect.
Both Chuck and I loved this recipe, and it came together quickly which is always a good thing, especially when your time is limited.
Cooking the chicken in a pan this way means that it can then be put over salad greens or steamed veggies with rice to create a number of different kinds of meals. I love versatility.
Now I know that the ingredient list looks gigantic, but do not let it scare you. If you enjoy Asian style foods you probably have most of these in your pantry already, so there is very little actual prep time, despite the large list of things.
Seriously give it a shot. It’s a great way to break up those heavy holiday foods with some healthy Asian style excitement.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- Peanut Sauce
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)
- Romaine or butter lettuce leaves for serving
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- ½ a red pepper julienned
- 1 tablespoon scallions, chopped (optional)
- In a large bowl whisk together the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, turmeric, lime juice, and honey. Add chicken and toss.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minute to 2 hours.
- Once marinade, heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken. Cook chicken, while stirring for 6 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and sriracha until well blended and set aside.
- Stuff each lettuce leaf with carrot, pepper, and chicken. Drizzle with peanut sauce, top with scallions and serve.