This Beef and Broccoli recipe is sponsored by the wintertime garden gods of the OBX. We grew broccoli in our backyard garden! Like, good, sweet, tender, edible broccoli. Of course, by “we”, I mean Joey. He is careful and patient and attentive to everything in the garden. I am impatient and reckless about planting and tending to the things in our sweet little raised bed, which Joey carefully and patiently built by hand. So sweet.
When our hearty green crop of broccoli was ready to be harvested, I felt obligated to cook it… thoughtfully? Yes, thoughtfully. Roasting or boiling seemed too harsh. Keeping it raw just didn’t have the feel-good, delicious vibes I was looking for. Enter, my frienemy, stir-fry. Historically, I can eat stir-fry by the pound, but I am not good at making it. Turns out, there’s nothing like the challenge of treating your homegrown produce right to whip your cooking skills into shape. A light steam and a quick toss in a perfectly saucy sauce was this broccoli’s destiny; here’s how I made it happen.
Today, I get to share the best bread ever that I made with Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili the other night! If you’ve never heard of fry bread, it’s a Native American flatbread, that is quickly fried in oil where the inside fluffs up and the outside becomes a crisp golden brown. It lightly crunches in a OMG-this-is-incredible way when you bite into it, just before the soft, pillowy inside melts onto your tongue. While it frequently shows up next to my bowls of chili, we’ll talk later about another highly recommended place for fry bread in your life.
Sometimes, chili is just a vehicle for the toppings. The cheese, the avocado, the sour cream… all the things! Let’s get one thing straight: This chili is not that. It’s a flavor bomb of tender sweet potatoes, black beans, and (optional) beef suspended in a deep, tangy, chipotle, tomato, beer sauce-like-broth. Oh, and it’s yum x10 because of my current best friend: roasted garlic. We’ve been over the undeniable splendor of roasted garlic. If you’re not on the train yet, please hop on. It’s so good and there’s such satisfaction in just squeezing the rich, golden, caramelized paste into whatever you’re making.
We’re up to no good with some pork and beans today. This Sausage Cassoulet is a stew of all the meats, beans, a tomato-y broth, and… wait for it…. a whole head of roasted garlic. Can’t stop now – now you already know – this is going to be delicious. It’s ok – go ahead and picture yourself at the stove, standing over a simmering pot of rich tomato broth full of sliced smoked sausage, generous hunks of pork and chicken, creamy beans, just squeezing an entire head of buttery, sweet roasted garlic into the mix.
Friends: This skillet of Cajun Chicken Pasta is on point for everything you want right now, and it knows it. It’s creamy, spicy, and saucy with loads of chicken and veggies. How much do you need this right now? I needed it for dinner last night, for lunch today, and probably at least one more time this week.
As good, if not better than the taste? It’s a one-skillet meal deal! Yeah! That means only 1 pan to wash while you’re deep in your happy-carb-coma. How do you get to this convenient, craveable pasta nirvana? Let me help you.
It is 39 degrees on the Outer Banks today. Never mind that it was 54 degrees a few days ago, winter is here and these days are meant for putting on multiple fuzzy layers with no intentions of going outside, making a cup of hot tea, and roasting something yummy in your oven. It’s Lamb Gyro day! Roasted lamb, slathered with garlic, sliced thin and broiled till it’s crispy… folded into a soft, warm pita spread with tzatziki sauce and topped with lettuce, onion, and tomato… OMG and the french fries? That we’re going to bake in the olive oil/lamb fat that’s leftover from broiling the lamb? You guys… what are we even doing here? Making the best wintertime dinner ever!!
Easy dinner, comin’ atchya today. This recipe came about on a particularly busy Sunday. For a long time now, Sundays have been “date night” for Joey and me. Although, he’s not a big fan of that term… apparently it provokes teasing in his group of male friends? Whatever. So, “date night” for us means we sit down together at the counter with a good bottle of wine, we ask Alexa to play whatever music we feel like listening to -actually, sometimes, because I’m a nerd, we pair the type of music with the type of food we’re having: French music with French food, etc. N-e-r-d. So, anyway, wine, music, and we enjoy an appetizer, a nice main course, and a dessert. And we talk and eat, for as long as we want.
Since it’s January and we’re all trying to live our best healthy life I wanted to make salmon for the main course of this meal. However, I’ve really sucked at cooking salmon lately. The past few times I’ve made it, it has been dry and suuuper bland. Well, the guy at the fish counter dropped some knowledge on me, that you all probably already know. Farm-raised salmon is fattier, meaning, less likely to feel like you’re eating construction paper. It can also have less flavor than the wild caught stuff but I’m ok with that. I don’t need salmon to taste extra salmon-y.
The night before last, I had a recipe-fail. It sounded tasty in my head – angel hair pasta with kale and butternut squash, topped with lemon-y parsley bread crumbs and Pecorino Romano. Sounds good, right? Well, it ended up looking and tasting like a ball of yarn. Luckily, this frittata I made last night restored order in the house. Nothing better than a recipe that sounds good and is good, right?
Fact: crispy, brown edges on a vegetable are better than mushy/steamed or bland/raw vegetables. Isn’t it nice to know there’s an easy way to achieve the crispy-browns every time, no matter what veggie you’re making? This is the way I do it all the time, every time. Leave a comment if you can possibly find a roast-able veggie this method won’t work for, (I mean, don’t comment “lettuce” or “avocado”…); I just don’t think you’ll find one.
Well, heeeyyyy 2019! I’m so glad we were able to celebrate the holidays with friends and family over the past few weeks. But, I’m also very happy to welcome the new year and get back into normal habits. Cookies with every meal? Not normal. Meatballs as snacks between meals? Delicious but not ok. It’s time to Get. It. Together. Time to make some Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup. This recipe is, in my opinion, like, 90% healthy. If you want to be squeaky clean and leave out the sausage and cream, it’s fine -the soup is still amazing. For me, I still require a little fat and richness. Not to mention, Joey’s “there’s no meat in this” sensor would go off.