I was a nanny for a family for 3 years for a family who had my dream kitchen! They had all the latest gadgets and cookware that made for fun, easy cooking! This, however, spoiled me greatly. The newlywed lifestyle is far from this extravagant way of living. They had one piece of cookware that I put on my mental wishlist---a Le Creuset dutch oven! You can sear things (without it sticking), and throw the whole thing in the oven due to its cast iron core! They are beautiful, functional, and SO easy to clean (I value cleanliness above all things).
I had been having some rough days after moving away from my friends and family, so Nick surprised me with a day of shopping at the outlet malls an hour away (smart man..). Our excursion was so exciting! We walked around and I spotted a Le Creuset store. I asked Nick if we could go in and just dream. I was in heaven. Everything was so pretty and colorful! I had my little 10 minutes of dreaming when I suggested we go to a different store. Without any manipulation on my part, Nick said "We should get one, Adi!"..the persuasive sales lady chimed in with a "that one is 40% off if you're interested. Nick picked it up and moved it to the register! ....I was glowing! :) I held it in my lap the whole way home, thinking of recipes to try!
Isn't she a 'beaut! I can almost hear the jeers of my friends back home! Who gets THIS excited about a pot? ...I do!
So far I've made lettuce wraps, pork roast, jambalaya, and a whole slew of fall soups and stews! I'll share some of our favorites!
Chickpea and Chard Stew
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1 bunch of chard, chopped (can use collard greens too!)
2 c baby spinach
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans chickpeas,rinsed
1 15-oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1-1 1/2 vegetable stock (low sodium preferred)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 T chili pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 c water
With the great northern beans: serving size: 1 cup cal: 400 fiber: 23 g (holy cow!) protein 22 g
Without the great northern beans: serving size 1 cup cal 283 fiber: 13.4 protein: 14 g
We served it with bruschetta! YUM!!! we used whole wheat bread, diced tomatoes, garlic, thyme (i didnt have basil), white onion, and olive oil. it was incredible!
2 lb lean ground turkey (make sure the ratio is close to 93/7, the less fat, the better!)
1/2 onion (red or white), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 box 2-Alarm Kit Chili Mix (google it! Its a great spice kit)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 11.5-oz bottle of beer, lager makes the best flavor (look away my fellow Nazarenes)
1 c tomato juice
1 cup water
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
serving size: 1 1/3 c. cal: 275 fiber .62 g protein: 29.8 g
We serve it with green onion, sour cream, cheese, and mutligrain tortilla chips!
Red Chicken Chili
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, with juices
1 15-oz can great northern beans, (rinsed)
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 jalapenos, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
2 tsp chili pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 cups water
serving size: 1 cup cal: 331 fiber 14.8 protein 28.6
we like it with tortilla chips, a grilled cheese, saltines, salsa, etc!
Well, there ya have it! Money did buy happiness in this case. :) I'm very thankful for such a wonderful husband who gives me gifts when I don't deserve them. Whining about moving hardly merits rewards- but I'm thankful, nonetheless. He loves to eat, and I love to cook---we're a match made in heaven. :)