Italian Sausage and Peppers

Italian Sausage and Peppers

 

I’m baaaack! Wow, it’s been an amazing month. Lots of travel, family, and I got engaged! I try to make this blog about the food, and not me, so I won’t say much about it other than I’m incredibly happy and excited! And that WOW is planning a wedding a lot of work. So, I made this recipe for my fiancee. It’s her mother’s recipe, and one of her favorite dishes. It’s easy, relatively quick (there’s an hour of simmering, but it’s hands-off work), and very tasty. Perfect for one of those spring storms we hope to see more of around here.

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Chocolate Mustard Beef Stroganoff

Chocolate Mustard Beef Stroganoff

I know, this dish sounds weird. Chocolate with mustard? And beef? I thought the same thing. But the video of it over on ChefSteps was too good to resist, so I had to try it. And then try it again, because it’s just THAT good. Only this time, I put the stew over egg noodles. I can not recommend cooking this highly enough. Have some friends over. Cook them this. Then… hope to get SOME peace from them begging you to cook it again and again.

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Dijon Lentil and Sausage Casserole

Dijon Lentil and Sausage Casserole

I’ve found that it can be very difficult to find a casserole that’s both healthy and full of flavor, though this one that’s full of lentils, turkey sausage, parsnips, and green beans does the trick wonderfully. It takes less than an hour to make, feeds 8, and can easily be made vegetarian. Leave the sausage out, or even replace it with something like mushrooms or marinated artichoke hearts, and you have a wonderful dish for a Meatless Monday. Whether you use sausage or not, give this delicious casserole a try while parsnips are still in season.

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Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

This is not your traditional carnitas. It’s not fried, for one thing. There’s no added fat, which makes it extremely healthy. It’s incredibly tender, though, and delicious. It goes well with last week’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde and homemade guacamole. The key ingredient is achiote paste, which I easily found at a local mexican supermarket, though I’m sure you can easily find it online as well. I cooked this according to the Modernist Cuisine recipe, though it might also be interesting to try crisping it up under a broiler while you’re reducing down the cooking liquid in step 5. Whether you do so or not, this is some of the best carnitas I’ve ever had despite not being fried.

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde

I don’t often make salsa verde, and this roasted tomatillo salsa makes me realize both how easy it is and how much more I should make it. It tastes very strongly of lime, but I like that in a salsa verde. If you don’t, feel free to decrease the lime juice as long as you aren’t canning it. It goes amazingly well on carnitas, and I can’t wait to try it with some chips later this afternoon.

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Cauliflower Cashew Cream Soup

Cauliflower Cashew Cream Soup

This soup is something unusual for me. First, it’s vegan. Second, it’s mostly subtle flavors rather than strong ones. That being said, it’s delicious. The original recipe is courtesy of Stepanie Burchiel, who makes amazing soups and sells them at central coast farmer’s markets. Her cookbook, available at Farmersmarketsoup.com, is full of delicious, healthy soup recipes. This was the first I tried, and though I tweaked it a little by adding some cayenne and chili powder, I can’t wait to go back and make more!

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Honey Wheat Bread

Honey Wheat Bread

 

Over the last two years, I’ve been steadily trying to cook more and more from scratch, and buy less foods with preservatives in them. One thing I’ve never managed is bread. Thankfully, my fiancee loves baking, and made this honey wheat bread for me to blog (and eat!). It’s absolutely delicious, and while it takes a long time, most of that is time to let it rise. Give it a try, and stop buying factory-made bread!

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Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

 

I’m not a morning person. You may have noticed this. So breakfast for me is often a granola bar or a piece of toast with peanut butter and jelly. Not the healthiest breakfast ever. Lately, though, I’ve been cooking these up a lot of mornings. They’re a fantastic blend of nonfat yogurt, berries, kefir, seeds, rice, and banana. Quick, easy, and delicious.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates with Chorizo and Goat Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Chorizo and Goat Cheese

I made these for the Superbowl, and thought of saving them for some good bbq holiday… but today is National Medjool Date Day, so here you go! They’re a great, easy appetizer that’s a Mexican twist on the blue-cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon that I see everywhere. If you’d like a little more crunch, try a sliver of almond inside them as well. Either way, these are fantastic.

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Smoky Kale Caesar Salad

Smoky Kale Caesar Salad

 

I know everyone is gearing up for the Super Bowl, and I wanted to post a bacon wrapped, chorizo and goat cheese stuffed date recipe here today, but I haven’t had a chance to make it yet. So instead here’s a healthy Caesar salad with kale and a fantastic dressing. I’m not a fan of anchovies, so instead I substituted it for white miso and it turned out fantastic. It was adapted from the always-delicious Shutterbean, and got requested to be served again immediately after I made it. So when you’re feeling like a good amount of greens after the excesses of the Superbowl, I highly recommend whipping this together.

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