Archive | Main Dishes

Weeknight Sweet Potato Pot Pie

This is an old favorite worth sharing again. Having made it today, I am reminded how simple and hearty it is and how perfect it is for back to school/work/practice weeknights. Add a green salad and you are at the table in no time. Or, make the filling in the morning before work, or on the weekend, and then top it with puff pastry and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Simple and so satisfying.

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Weeknight Sheet Pan Pizza

Pizza is one of those things, like quiche and quinoa, that I consider the perfect platform for cleaning out the veggie drawer, using up odd bits of cheese, and other oddballs including pesto, chipotle purée, leftover cooked meat, bacon, pancetta, fresh herbs – you name it. And yes, I consider it a weeknight meal. Here’s how!

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Eat Your Greens!

This is the season for celebrating dark leafy greens. Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, they are some serious food. Kale, collards, chard, spinach, and mustard greens top my list. Before cooking with greens, fill a sink basin or large bowl with cold water and swish the greens around in it, then lift them from the water, leaving any sand and grit behind in the water. Repeat this process until the water is clear.

This week’s post is a collection of recipes designed to inspire you to add more dark leafy goodness into your diet. Get on with it!

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Grilled Garlic Rosemary Shrimp

On the Central Coast of California, grilling season doesn’t really exist. It’s always a good time of year to grill!

This shrimp is really tasty and stands alone as a main dish, makes a great filling for tacos, or would be a really nice appetizer. Shrimp only take a few minutes to cook, so I recommend having everything else ready to go so they can go right to the table. I use a grill basket to grill shrimp, but if you don’t have one, use wooden skewers or rosemary stems.

Have a great week!

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Lunchtime! Mediterranean Barley Bowl

This is my latest favorite thing to do. For lunch, I take whole grains and toss them with whatever veggies, cheese, and protein I have on hand. This is a great way to use up leftover brown rice, quinoa, or in this case, barley. I buy pearl barley. It cooks faster than whole groat barley and is more typically found at the store. I use it in soup a lot. This Mushroom Barley Soup is a favorite! I digress. Back to my lunch. It was so good that I decided to make it a post so you can enjoy it too. Please forgive the lack of specific amounts in the recipe. Everything is to taste here. This is less about measuring and more about creating a delicious lunch from refrigerator and pantry staples…

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More Polenta, Please!

Polenta is basically medium-grind cornmeal boiled in water and/or milk and salt. It becomes a thick, porridge-like mixture. Incredibly quick and versatile, polenta can be served creamy, like mashed potatoes. Add grated Parmesan cheese to the mix and some fresh herbs – oh my. Or, you can spread it out in a sheet pan and chill it, then slice it and grill it with a little olive oil and salt. It can also be spread into thin layers like lasagna noodles (a great gluten-free alternative!). Read more for the recipes…

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From the Archives: Black Bean Burgers

A few weeks ago, a Flagstone Pantry friend sent in a question about my recipe for Black Bean Burgers. I had managed to not specify the quantity of black beans. Sheesh. She’s been making them for years anyway, playing around with quantity. I am so glad she contacted me (thanks, Jen!), and invite any of you to send feedback, questions and requests for recipes using the contact form or comment box below each post.

Since it had been a while, I made them this week and was reminded how tasty and satisfying they are. I skipped the bun and served them topped with guacamole and accompanied with grilled vegetables and brown rice. Rice and beans – a complete protein combo for the ages. Delicious!

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Cooking with Quinoa

Since I published my recipe for Superfood Salad, I’ve gotten quite a few inquiries about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is an ancient (gluten-free!) food, more closely related to spinach than rice. Widely available these days, quinoa is treated like a grain and is one of the few vegetarian sources for complete protein. When cooked, the grains “unravel,” triple in size, and become translucent.

This week’s post includes instructions for cooking one cup of quinoa and a collection of recipes showcasing its versatility. Enjoy!

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Slow Cooker: Chicken and Chickpeas

When you braise chicken thighs, the meat just falls off of the bone. They are simply delicious. In this recipe, after some quick browning and sautéing, the slow cooker does the work. Removing the skin reduces the fat, but you don’t miss it. The warm spice profile makes this dish deliver a comfort food fix. Serve it over brown rice or couscous with a seasonal green salad. It will only taste like you cooked all day!

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Tamale Time!

It’s tamale time! Set aside a day for them and you will be rewarded for weeks to come. It’s not hard to make tamales (really, it’s not!) ~ it’s just time consuming. Add some music, friends and/or family to the mix and that problem is quickly solved.

In my recipe for Green Chili Chicken Tamales, shredded chicken, Serrano chilis, tomatillos and fresh cilantro stew together to make a delicious filling. The masa, or dough, is seasoned with paprika, cumin, chili powder and garlic. A combination of chicken broth and vegetable oil moistens and binds the dough. That’s right, I skip the lard, and honestly ~ no one suffers.

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