Italian-Style Cabbage Stew

As I mentioned earlier this week, I got a gorgeous head of cabbage in my farm bag from Front Porch Pickings. My husband is a good German boy (from Pittsburgh originally) and he loves cabbage!! I normally make haluski or slaw with it, but since it’s been so dreary out, I went looking for a soup recipe to fill our bellies. I found some inspiration online and tweaked some recipes until it fit us just right!

Use your giant soup pot – this makes a TON! I made the mistake of starting with a smaller pot and had to transfer… oops!! This soup is filling and chock full of good for you vegetables. And the calorie count can’t be beat!!

*Leave the cheese out for a dairy-free meal!

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Spicy Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Eesh. 4 whole months since I last blogged. Who am I?! The big little girl is at Grandma’s house this week and that allows a little more time in our schedule, so I decided to cook some dinner! Yay! I’ve been sick and needed something spicy to smoke all the germs out and this did the trick. This spicy chili incorporates two types of meat, some gumbo-inspired vegetables, and a Southern twist … black-eyed peas! Super filling, super spicy, and super delicious! Top with your favorite chili toppings – cheese, some onions, or sour cream and serve with cornbread for a fine meal!

One quick food note – if you’re not a connessuer of black-eyed peas (aka you are not from the South!), do not get confused when you go shopping for them. The sell them ‘seasoned’, like the Glory Brand. They are also sold plain:

See!? That doesn’t say anything but ‘black eyed peas’. They’re plain. That’s the kind you want. If you accidentally buy the seasoned kind, it’s ok, you can still use them, but leave the paprika out or you’ll have a giant smoky bowl of chili!

Also, if you’ve never cooked with andouille, do not be afraid!! I bought Aidells brand and they are sold in my store near the hot dogs and kielbasa. They’re fully cooked, so I just quartered them. There are 4 in the pack. You can use all 4 for sure, or save one to fry up with some eggs and potatoes (yum!).

Hope you enjoy!

Thai Chicken Drumsticks

Another winner from Rachel Ray’s magazine! I think I’m going to have to subscribe because I really like these recipes I’ve tried lately. This one was not fast, but it was easy!! I marinated the chicken the night before and left it in a Ziplock in the fridge just waiting for us. While it was in the oven, I made the rice and prepped the cucumbers. RRs method for making the rice took longer than her recipe said it should, so I will just make the suggestion to prepare jasmine rice according to your package’s directions. If you’d like to see what she suggests, check it out on her website. Apologies for a “2 seconds before I bit into it” picture! I promise to step the photography up here soon! 🙂 But for now, just use your imagination. This one was good! The chicken moist and flavorful (not just in the skin!) and the cucumbers and rice were a perfect compliment. I also served some spring rolls and we were a happy, well fed family!

Tuscan Chicken and White Beans

Well hello there! We’re still alive and kicking over here!! I’m heading into the 3rd trimester this week and getting bigger by the day. It’s amazing how fast pregnancy flies when you have a 2 year old to chase around! Throw in that mix a busy job, and the holidays and you’ve got 1 tired mama! We’ve been existing on mostly staple (read: easy) meals, but I had a wild hair to cook tonight and I’m glad I did!

I saw this recipe in the October issue of Cooking Light and knew that I had to try it! I adjusted it slightly as I had no desire to cut up my own chicken. I also used a bit more spinach than called for and quite honestly, it could have used even more! This was a delicious, hearty, and truly comforting meal! My husband couldn’t stop raving. For a minute, I thought it was because he was tired of eating tacos 🙂 but then I tasted and realized what the ooh and aah was about! Try this one out – you won’t be disappointed!

PS: You could just use all breasts, but you need them to be bone-in to maintain the moisture. Don’t be afraid of the bone!!

Tuscan Chicken and White Beans

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Yield: 4 hearty servings

1 cut up chicken (about 4 lbs)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 thick slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
5 ounces baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Season chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook bacon in a large ovenproof pan (I used my big Le Creuset dish) over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble and set aside, leaving drippings in pan. Add chicken pieces to reserved drippings in pan; cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.

3. Add onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in bacon, spinach, rosemary, beans, and tomatoes; remove from heat. Arrange chicken pieces on top; bake, uncovered, at 350° for 50 minutes.

Easy Weeknight Salsa

I LOVE fresh salsa. LOVE IT. One of my favorite salsa recipes is from the Mexican food guru, Rick Bayless. The recipe has you roast the some of the ingredients in the oven and then puree it all together. It’s WONDERFUL, but it’s a little time consuming. (Side note: I can point you to that particular recipe if you’d like it – just comment or email me!)

Anyway, a few nights ago, I needed fresh salsa something terrible but there was no way in heck that my wiry toddler and starving husband were going to afford me the time to chop and roast. Enter “Easy Weeknight Salsa”. Three minutes of chopping, 15 minutes in the fridge, and you’re off enjoying chips and salsa without a lot of hassle! This is really a basic Pico de Gallo – you’ll find this recipe in many home cooks’ repertoire, I’m sure, but it was too good and easy not to share!  Here’s how you do it:

Easy Weeknight Salsa

2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand 15-30 minutes so the flavors meld together. I like my salsa chilled, so I put it in the fridge to let it sit.

(Note: The salsa may get a little wet if you have any left over, but you can use a slotted spoon to get it out if you like! It’s still just as tasty!)

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