Did you know that the night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights for ordering pizza in the United States? I get why. I really do. Whether you are hosting, cooking to contribute to the big meal, or preparing to travel we all feel pretty overwhelmed on that Wednesday and so, for many of us, the last thing we want to do is think about what to make for dinner. And while I am a big fan of ordering pizza from time to time, it seems to me that with all of the indulging and overeating that is going to happen the next day, having a nutrient-packed meal the night before might actually be a good thing to help to keep our bodies (and spirits) in balance. But making a big fancy meal is not going to fly. So here’s my suggestion: super simple slow cooker chili!…
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wild Blueberries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner?! It completely snuck up on me. Luckily, this year is kind of like my year off. Our family has a tradition of staying in the DC area for one year and then going up to extended family in New Jersey the next. When it is nearby I am in charge of the Turkey (high stakes cooking!), but on the New Jersey years I am usually assigned a simpler, more transportable set of dishes. This year I am responsible for the corn bread and an appetizer. I will likely bring some classic cornbread so as not to rock the boat too much, but I also like to bring a new and different spin on recipes and now I’ve got two contenders: last week’s feta jalapeño corn muffins and this week’s wild blueberry corn muffins. It is going to be a hard call……
Let’s talk breakfast for a minute. When I was a kid I hated breakfast. I mean, I really hated breakfast, but I also needed a good one because, as I have written about before, when I didn’t get protein in the morning I turned into a little monster and got into trouble at school. So for years my poor mother struggled to find foods that I would be willing to eat in the mornings that had protein. Fast forward to current times and I couldn’t imagine starting the day off without a protein-rich breakfast. It is my foundation for the day and I have found that if I start off on the right nutritional foot the rest of the day’s food choices fall happily into place, but if I don’t get what my body really needs then I often make more sugar-laden or impulsive choices later.
For years my solution to this was, and often still is, homemade granola with a lot of fruit and some plain yogurt. The combination of the fiber and protein has worked really well for me and I really enjoy it. But recently I have noticed that sweet breakfasts are a little less appealing, so I have been trying to build up my savory breakfast options. So far my go-tos have been a rice cake with brie, tomato, and cucumber and frittatas packed with vegetables, but I wanted to have another option that I could rotate in and so the Feta Jalapeño Corn Muffins were born….
My family has been on a BIG noodle soup kick this winter. Chicken noodle, vegetable noodle, and Asian noodle have all been on regular rotation and I am loving it! Why? Four reasons: 1) they are easy to make in 30 minutes, 2) they are cheap, 3) I can use whatever I have left in my fridge and it will turn out great, and 4) it is an easy way to get more vegetables in!…
Many moons ago, when my now-husband and I first started dating, we did the thing that many couples do: we tried to increase our appeal by cooking meals for one another. At the time, neither of us cooked very much, so we both fell back on comfort foods that we had grown up with. For me, that was my dad’s Bolognese sauce. For my husband, it was eggs and rice.
When he first told me of his love for eggs and rice I was dumbfounded. Outside of fried rice at Chinese restaurants I had never heard of the combination. And to be completely honest, I thought it sounded absolutely awful. But in the interest of being a good sport with my new boyfriend, I agreed to try it. As I looked down at my plate of rice topped with a fried egg, I was still doubtful. And then I took my first bite and I was blown away! It was delicious, nourishing, and comforting. It felt like something I would imagine a grandmother would make for you when you were home sick….
Zucchini and all summer squash are at their peak right now. They are everywhere. The farmer’s markets and farm share baskets are full of them and they are on super sale in the grocery stores. Given their abundance I have been on the search for new and different ways to cook with them. I’ve sautéed, roasted, and grilled them. I’ve added them to sauces, casseroles, and sweet breakfast muffins. But this week I decided to try something different: a savory muffin. And boy am I glad I did!
These muffins are simple, flexible, and delicious. They are wonderful as a side dish with a cold summer soup, like gazpacho (here is a great, super simple recipe), or with a big salad. They’d be wonderful with a light chili made in the crock pot, so your house doesn’t get too hot. And they’d make a great addition to a barbeque or picnic….