Jamie Oliver’s Vegetable Bolognese

On June 30, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This has become one of my favorite vegetarian dishes, vegan if you skip the shredded parmesan cheese. There is so much flavor from this rather simple recipe. It only takes about 40 minutes to prepare from start to table. The porcini mushrooms, red wine, fresh herbs and breadcrumbs add so much enjoyment to each bite.

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I discovered this recipe months after I did my review of six meal delivery services. I hadn’t yet tried Hello Fresh, but when I heard that one of my favorite TV chefs, Jamie Oliver, was doing recipes for them I knew it was time to give them a try.

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They offer a vegetarian box option that our family has ordered a few times now. This vegetable bolognese has been the star of everything we have tried. That’s not to say that other recipe have been bad; rather, we’ve had some great success with Hello Fresh.  This has been nice as it has given us another option with meal delivery when wanting to eat less meat.  So now we use Hello Fresh and The Purple Carrot too.

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I hope you get a chance to try some more vegetarian or vegan in your home. We continue to eat more and more this way and recently did 30-days straight. Coming out of the 30-days my wife and I agreed to reduce meat to only 2-3 meals a week. That could be bacon for breakfast one day, maybe a burger another day, and then no more or some tacos for lunch.

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Skip the meat and add some lentils with this excellent dish.

Full Recipe at HelloFresh.com

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Garlic Basil Chicken with Tomato Sauce

On January 18, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love a simple recipe.

By simple I mean two key things, simple ingredients and simple to make. This dish I found on Pinterest on the Pinch of Yum blog met both criteria and is sure to be a go to recipe.

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You could make this dish with your favorite jarred sauce; though, I’d follow the recipe instead since the tomato sauce is easy to prepare and could be used for a lot of other dishes too if you wanted to make a double-batch.

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Checkout the Pinch of Yum blog. Her pictures are waaay better than mine too. Enjoy!

Full recipe: [Pinch of Yum blog, Garlic Basil Chicken with Tomato Sauce]

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Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil

On August 30, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Cavatelli is an often forgotten pasta. You probably don’t recall what it looks like when you see it on a menu, but when you see it you go “oh yes, I’ve had that before.”  It doesn’t have a familiar shape like bowtie, fusilli, or penne pasta. Cavatelli is great for sauces that are oil based, like this simple pasta dish that makes for a great lunch or quick dinner on any weekday.

Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil
Serves 4

1 lb Cavatelli pasta
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 bell pepper, small bite-size diced pieces
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, additional to add to pasta for serving

Cook the cavatelli pasta in a pot of boiling water.  If using fresh, cook for 2-3 minutes. If cooking dried, follow the instructions on the package. Drain pasta when finished.

Pour half of the olive oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, garlic, and bell pepper cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan, remaining olive oil, grape tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano then cook for a minute more.  Before serving add the Italian parsley and pepper.

Sprinkle each dish with Parmigiano Reggiano, if you desire, and serve with a piece of sourdough bread.

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Swiss Chard, White Bean and Lentil Bake

On May 26, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Chris Baccus
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Since adding vegetarian to about half our weekly meals several years ago, I have come to appreciate a casserole or in this case a “bake.”  There’s really no difference.  Combine a bunch of complimentary ingredients and top with some cheese.  So much right.

This dish can be altered by switching out lentils with couscous or quinoa.  Or you can replace swiss chard with any other green like spinach or kale. Some added cubed sweet potatoes would be a nice addition too.

It does feel more like a fall comfort dish than something to make on a 70 degree day in May. Even so, this dish has a lot of versatility and can be enjoyed anytime of year.

 

 

Swiss Chard, White Bean and Lentil Bake

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1bunch swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Heat onion and garlic in a small pot with olive oil on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, beans, basil, salt, and pepper to the onions and cook together for another 3 minutes then add the swiss chard and cook for a couple minutes to soften.
  2. In a small baking dish, add the cooked lentils and then fold in the pot of vegetables. Add the pine nuts mixing everything together in the baking dish then top with grated cheese and cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 5 minutes uncovered. Remove and serve.
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Mother’s Day Vegetable Tart

On May 12, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been a good month plus since I’ve participated in a Sunday Supper event with my fellow food bloggers. The theme this week is Mother’s Day. I had the perfect recipe picked out after asking my wife what she wanted me to make for her this weekend. She had her eye, or is it stomach, on a vegetable tart she found on Pinterest placed on her aptly named “Cook (or things Chris needs to make because I don’t cook)” board. I gathered the ingredients and was going to make it Saturday so we could enjoy Sunday spending time throughout southern California.

Saturday came and went pretty quickly. We spent the day at the Long Beach Queen Mary Barbecue Festival and ended a long day enjoying some taco truck tacos in Pasadena.  The vegetable tart had to wait until Sunday lunch.  Fortunately this is a fairly quick recipe, helped by my already having a finished pie crust in the freeze that was thawed out for this weekend.

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I added some asparagus to the recipe and the pie crust is Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee recipe. The pie crust makes for buttery, flaky “tart.”  It’s good, but I think I prefer a basic tart recipe or perhaps some filo dough. That said, this is still a great recipe with the pie crust and makes for a great way to use some leftover pie dough.

Full Recipe: […Spring Vegetable Tart]

While I didn’t get to do Sunday Supper this weekend, I definitely will make my return next weekend with the group’s Slow Cooking theme. For now, be sure to checkout all of the excellent Mother’s Day recipes from the other food bloggers.

Mother’s Day Brunch:

Mother’s Day Entrees:

Mother’s Day Sides:

Mother’s Day Desserts and Drinks:

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter today to celebrate Mother’s Day! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Do you have your ticket to the Food and Wine Conference yet? If not, there will be a special $100 discount available tonight only on the full conference pass if you participate in the #SundaySupper twitter chat from 7 to 8pm Eastern Time, and purchase your ticket during the chat. The discount code is: SundaySupper.  We hope to see you there!

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Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup

On January 13, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I was definitely coming down with something and knew a good hearty soup would help get me through a couple days of sickness. Sadly by the following day when I finally made it to the doctor I found out the flu that has become an epidemic was what I had. This soup definitely helped; though, the Tamiflu medicine is pretty helpful too.

Whether you are healthy or sick this soup makes for a hearty dish during the winter months. It can also easily be made vegan by removing the sausage.

Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, slivers
1 tsp paprika
4 bay leaves
pinch chili flakes
2 cans cannelini beans
1 bunch dinosaur kale, chopped
1 25 oz chopped Pomi tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
3 spicy italian sausages, bite-size cut
olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-high heat stockpot and add the onions with a pinch of salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika.  Let that cook for a 5 minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

Add everything else except the sausage and kale.  Bring everything to a boil and season with your liking of pepper and salt.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

While everything else is cooking, heat the sausage in a saute pan and brown it with some olive oil turning and cooking on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes for precooked sausage. Add to the soup. When you are about 10 minutes away from serving, add the kale to the soup.

Serve with some sourdough bread and some shaved parmesan cheese.

 

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

On November 11, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love participating in the group #SundaySupper where over 50 fellow food bloggers get together every weekend to share our recipes with each other and anyone else on the web.

Last week’s Soul Warming theme netted a handful of recipes I couldn’t wait to try.  On top of that list was Hezzi-D’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  The combination of jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, and chicken sounded so good.

The recipe is quite simple and only takes about a hour to make start to finish.  My wife who wasn’t all too happy when she heard the title of the recipe ended up praising the meal once we sat down to eat.  It’s not as hot as it sounds, so feel free to up the chili powder another tablespoon if you prefer a spicy bowl of chili.

I served the dish with some oven cooked biscuits from Trader Joe’s. For dessert we had some individual pies – pecan and salted caramel apple – from the Studio City Farmers’ Market vendor Pi Bake Shop.

For the Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

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Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes and Feta

On October 2, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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A few fresh ingredients make this no basil pesto pasta enjoyable

There is always cilantro in the house now that we live in Texas. It’s mostly used for tacos or on the occasional vegetarian dish chopped up to enhance flavor to a dish. With an Italian heritage, it’s hard to imagine a pesto without basil. After trying this dish that I found on the food blog Blue Kitchen, I have to admit my pro-Basil pesto stance has changed forever.

Proving Pesto Does Not Require Basil

Making pesto is easy and making it fresh is far more flavorful than buying a ready-made store bought pesto that has half the flavor richness of a just-made pesto. I used walnuts for this version (you can use pecans or pinenuts.) There is no Parmesan cheese in this pesto so it’s also quite affordable to make.

Sweet 100s require more slicing, but they are worth it

For the tomatoes in the recipe, I went with some Sweet 100s; though, any grape tomato will work fine. I’ve become a big fan of the Sweet 100s since we started seeing these “tiny grape tomatoes” at the market. They are sweet, hence the name, and add a nice flavor to this dish.

Whole Foods is carrying more local products and for the feta cheese I opted for the local choice. The one I bought here in Dallas is from Brazos Valley. Brazos Valley is in the central region of Texas. I did some Googling and found out more about this local cheese maker. You can learn more on their website.

The cheese is a bit mild so if you like a stronger flavored Feta I’d recommend a Greek feta for this dish.

You can use any pasta that you like and I had every intent of making fresh linguine for this dish but forgot I ran out of eggs. The dried penne noodles worked better than I thought and are a good substitution.

Note: I only used half of the pesto in the recipe below. The other half I froze to use another time.

For the recipe: Give Basil the Night Off Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Takes Pasta in a Lively New Direction.

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Virtual Chili Cook Off

On February 4, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Chili has become the food challenge of most places of business. Both of my last two jobs have hosted Chili Cook Offs. I have always been too busy to make any of these challenges, but if, and when I finally do, here is the recipe I plan to use. It has a couple of nice surprises including the cocoa powder and cinnamon sticks (make sure you remove the sticks before serving.)

So here is my take on Chili. Hope you enjoy it.

If you like your Chili really spicy, make sure you increase the cayenne pepper and switch the sweet and mild peppers to hot pepper choices. The recipe below is spicy, it’s what I would consider “medium” spicy or “mild” for those who enjoy eating the hottest hot sauce around.

Chili con Carne
Makes 4 servings
Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 1/2 hrs.

3/4 lb ground beef
1/4 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cans (15 or 16 oz can) red kidney beans, undrained
1/2 cup mild or sweet pepper, thinly sliced and diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Cook beef, onion and garlic in 3 quart sauce pan, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown, drain.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except beans, breaking up tomatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 hour stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desried thickness
4. Remove cinnamon sticks. Serve.

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