Curried Red Kidney Beans and Cauliflower with Spinach

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
3 green cardamom pods, cracked open
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 can (28-oz.) whole peeled plum tomatoes, with their juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and diced small
1 tsp. salt
2 cups cooked red kidney beans (or 1.5 14-oz. cans), in their juices
1 small or ½ large head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
hot cooked rice

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium. Add the onion cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to lose its sharp white color

Stir in the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, minced garlic, grated ginger, cumin, and cardamom and fry, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.

Add the cayenne, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala and cook, stirring, for another minute.  Next, add the serrano chile.

Cut the canned tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, directly into the pot, with kitchen shears. Pour in the tomato juices from the can and let them reduce for a few minutes.  Stir in the salt, kidney beans, cauliflower, and chicken stock.

Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the liquid has thickened into a gravy-like sauce.

Spread the baby spinach across the top of the stew, then delicately stir it in to just wilt it.

Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and cilantro in a small  bowl to make the topping.

Serve the stew hot over rice, with a sizeable dollop of yogurt sauce on top.

Note: this can easily be a vegetarian meal by substituting veggie stock for the chicken stock.

Recipe adapted from My Recipes.

 

Collard Greens Soup

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Ingredients

1/2 lb. stew beef cut into small pieces (or other cut that will render lots of flavor- I used some leftover braised short ribs)
1 large bunch collard greens
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup white beans (cannellini or northern beans) or 1 can, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coarse grits
1/4 cup corn flour
7-9 cups of water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions

Brown the beef in the pot you will use to make the soup in.  It does not necessarily need to cook all the way through as it will be added back later.  Once browned, set aside.

Wash the collards to get all of the gritty bits out. Chop the stems finely and cut the leaves into square pieces.  Set aside.

Boil 2 quarts of chicken stock in a large pot.  Add the collard greens and grits, paprika & pepper flakes. Cook until soft (20-25 minutes).

Add the beans and the corn flour: be sure to keep stirring while adding it to prevent lumps.

Add the beef back to the pot.  Turn the heat to low and cook for half an hour to let the soup thicken, stirring every few minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Almost Turkish Recipes.

Honey Garlic Chicken in the Slow Cooker

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Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 sliced scallions
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Directions

Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker with no overlapping bits.

In a small dish, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes, and pour the sauce over the chicken.

Put the cover on the slow cooker and cook on a low heat for 5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and put it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then set the shredded heap aside in a bowl.

In a small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry.

Transfer the liquids from the slow cooker to a small saucepan set over a medium heat and whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and thickens a bit (about 3 minutes). Pour the sauce over the chicken, and stir to combine.

Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Recipe slightly adapted from Just A Taste.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, chunked (my personal favorite these days is Vermont Smoke & Cure)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked cannelini beans (I prefer to soak & cook my own, but if you do canned, 1 can will suffice)
2 cans (4 oz.) diced green chiles (hot or mild, depending on your personal preference)
1/2 cup Cotija cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

In a hot Dutch oven, cook the bacon to render its lovely fat and brown the meat up.  Next remove the bacon and set it in a dish to the side.

Season your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, cumin & paprika and brown them in the bacon fat.  At this point you need not cook them all the way through, just make them easy to chunk up.  Once  browned, remove the breasts and let them rest on a cutting board while adding the onion to the pan and reducing the heat, and cook the onion until it begins to be translucent.  When it’s almost there, add the garlic.

Add the bacon back to the pan. Cut your cooked chicken into bite-sized chunks and add it to the mix.  Stir  in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, white beans, and green chiles. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a slow boil and cook, uncovered, stirring as needed until the liquid has reduced to your level of preference.

Serve with crumbles of Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro on top (and maybe a piece of bacon.

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen.

Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

New Year’s Day provided us with a freebie day off in the middle of the week.  Besides random household chores, I decided that the best use of this time would be to cook a few dishes that we planned to eat in the coming week so that we buy ourselves time in the evenings for the next few days by having dinner already prepared.  The bigger benefit being that these dishes are ones that get better with time- the kind that soak up dressings, and age with grace.  A soup, some roasted vegetables, a dressed rice dish….

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 medium carrots, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 3-inch piece daikon, halved and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small purple-top turnip, peeled, halved, and cut into thin half-circles
  • 1 cup thinly cut cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower (or other mild) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon barley miso (we found a great 3-year dark handcrafted right in Conway, MA by South River.  Organic too!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  • Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot, add the rice and return it to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 50 minutes
  • Meanwhile, bring a large fry pan up to a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and all of the sesame oil, then toss in the carrots, celery, leek, daikon and turnip and get a nice brown on them.  If they begin to get too dark, turn down the heat and cook them until they’re al dente
  • When the veggies are cooked, add in the cabbage.  It’s cut nice and thin so it should soften up quickly
  • While that’s cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil, ginger, miso and crushed red pepper until blended
  • When the rice is cooked, add it to the pan with the vegetables (or, if you’re out of space in the pan you can do this in a large serving or mixing bowl) and pour in the dressing, stirring to incorporate all ingredients
Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip