Though I’ve had my reservations about my crock pot (steamed vegetables are gross), there is no doubt that crock pot chili is where it’s at. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight (no browning the meat!), but tasty enough for company. You’ll notice that I haven’t posted chili yet on my site – that’s because I always feel slightly dissatisfied with versions I’ve tried. Well, not this time!
Sometimes I come up with “perfect meals” in my head. These are meals that taste good (obvi), but then contain only beautifully healthy ingredients and have that balance of whole grain, veggies, lean protein, dairy, and healthy fat. This is one of those meals. As my husband was eating it he said “If I ate this every day I’d live to be 100″.
I love my husband for many reasons; a small but easy to overlook reason is his low-maintenance approach to food. He enjoys haute cuisine like anyone else, but his “food is fuel” mentality makes him easy to please on any given week night. Usually dinner looks like some type of meat (usually just sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper) and a few roasted or sauteed veggie options. The other night when I thawed some halibut and started to peel a butternut squash, I realized that regardless of his needs, I needed my dinner to be jazzed up a bit. And then there came almond sauce.
Would you like to buy organic chicken but almost die from sticker shock when you see the price? This is my “more for your money” method. It’s true – this does take some upfront time. I generally dislike things that are total wastes of my life, but I’ve been doing this for months (that’s gotta count for something, right?).
And so goes my smooth entry into crockpot-land, or should I say the “shining beacon of hope for working moms”. Well, working moms and stay at home moms. And anyone else who would rather watch Friends from 5-6 instead of cook dinner.
For some reason the “Asian-Style” dinner doesn’t come easily to me – I’ll still refer to recipes to find that elusive balance of sweet/savory/spicy. There are certain ingredients such as “fish sauce” and “hoisin sauce” that, because I don’t remember their unique flavor, I get nervous to use. That being said, I know I’ve posted similar recipes to this before but if you’re like me, a new take is always appreciated.
Burgers? I know – it’s October, but this is not the kind of burger you’re likely picturing. This is an INSIDE burger, and it makes you look forward to Thanksgiving! Sharp cheese, sweet cranberries, tangy mustard, tart apple, and tender, scrumptious turkey come together to make for one fun weeknight meal. Serve with roasted sweet potato fries and a salad (the rest of the lettuce from what you used on your burger), and you will feel like you’re indulging when, in reality, you’re sitting down to a perfectly balanced, good-for-you meal!
I really wish there was a way to make this picture better. I’m sorry. Story goes like this; I made the recipe, took just the “finished” picture, then ate away, not really planning on saving the recipe on homebeccanomics. Turns out I can’t get this out of my head! All of the ingredients are on my current food shopping list because I cannot WAIT to eat it again. It’s ridiculously good for you, easy as can be (just need to know how to use a knife), and truly one of the most pleasing things I have eaten in a while – something about the surprising apple-y sweetness with the fresh lime – YUM. The picture is bad, though.
There are quite a few things that parents of babies/young children do nowadays that were definitely not done when our parents were young. Just ask them, they will tell you; my mother-in-law uses the acronym “TYG” when describing something that “these young girls” do at her workplace. One example of the generation gap is the “first birthday party”. Now, we aren’t dummies, we know that the kid doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s a celebration of the fact that parents and baby made it through the first year and an excuse to have a fun party with your friends. I guess you could use the “if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” example here, but whatever. My friends all threw big first birthday parties, so I did too. That’s where the meatballs come in, obviously.
Asian fusion is trendy now, and this makes me happy. Asian food didn’t used to be as trendy – but probably everyone had at least one ”China Palace” type restaurant nearby. After softball games in high school my mom and I would go to China Palace (mine actually was called China Palace) and get egg rolls, wonton soup, pork lo lein and General Tso’s chicken. These 1000 calorie dinners were much needed after the incredible energy expenditure involved with running to first base once or twice. Oh metabolism, how I miss you.
I quite enjoy meals that look fancy but take no time at all. No time, and no real skill. We had this on a week night but I would absolutely serve it for company – guilt free and elegant is a rarity but the two most definitely make friends in this dish.
My students would sometimes ask me, in my opinion, what were the foods on the top of the “healthiest foods” list. Because I read a lot about nutrition, it seems there is always something new they are tauting or warning against (my husband always says, “who are ‘they’?”). Right now, if you haven’t already noticed, it’s get more vitamin D and eat less sodium. Anyways, with all this reading there are most definitely certain foods that pop up more than others. If I could name 5, I would say
Food is love. When something major happens in a person’s life, the BEST thing you can do for them is to cook them a meal. It says, “I’m here for you, I’m thinking about you, and I know that sitting in your house talking about it might not be the best thing right now – here’s dinner”. This dish is easy, universally pleasing, and the perfect give away meal.
I don’t cook/eat beef very often, just ask my husband. If I tell him we are having red meat for dinner, his eyes light up like Christmas morning. It’s sad, really, poor guy. I SHOULD man up and seek out some grass-fed beef for dinner at least once a week. Why? It’s one of the best sources of iron, which is a mineral most women in their child-bearing years are lacking and missing it can cause weakness/exhaustion. It’s also chock-full of protein, B-vitamins and zinc. When cooked up with veggies and beans it’s an absolutely a-okay diet food!
Sometimes students ask me, “what is the single healthiest food I should eat?” A difficult question and one which even experts would disagree on; however, from everything I’ve read I think there are a few foods I can answer with confidently. If your day’s worth of food included blueberries, walnuts, spinach, yogurt, eggs and salmon, I think you’d live to be a thousand.
If you don’t have kids, then go to Europe. You get married and you say to your husband or wife, let’s make sure to take at least one trip to Europe before we have kids. And then you get pregnant. And then maybe you go to Europe in twenty or so years – at least that’s our new plan.
Today’s recipe for fusilli with tuna, mushrooms and rosemary gives us a lot to talk about.
Let’s start with the pasta: What comes to mind when you read fusilli? Fusilli Jerry, right? From Seinfeld? Anyone?