Squash, Carrot and Red Lentil Stew

Squash and lentil stewTry this recipe for a healthy, hearty meal with flavours that have a South African twist.  For the original, more authentic-sounding recipe (it’s designed for the slow-cooker if you’re into planning ahead like that – during the week, clearly I’m not) check it out on Eating Well. Continue reading

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Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

Serving the lasagnaLike the rest of the Eastern seaboard, we were hit with a winter storm yesterday.  I’m excited – it’s that beautiful fluffy sparkly kind of snow.  With the winter we’ve had, I’m happy to have snow (not rain) and temperatures that are a little more moderate than -30 C (it’s a lovely -13 in Ottawa this morning), as it seems we’ve been seesawing back and forth between the two extremes this season.  I’m grateful for this snow, and excited to dust off my cross country skis and head outside! Continue reading

Two-Days-To-Christmas-And-I-Don’t-Have-Time-To-Cook Vegetarian Chili

Quick Vegetarian ChiliNo matter how prepared I feel for the holidays, they always sneak up on me and suddenly they’re two days away I don’t seem to have enough time to get everything done. This year we’re having Christmas dinner at our house for the first time ever (yikes!) so there is even more to do. After a weekend spent doing nothing but errands, cleaning and prepping the house, this quick chili recipe is the perfect Sunday night solution.

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Moroccan Stew

This is an easy, hearty and healthy recipe that made for a delicious dinner with great friends.  The chopping and spice-mixing was done ahead of time so the only thing left to do once people arrived was add things to the pot and stir!  As much as I enjoy cooking, I love spending time with friends more, and the last thing I want to do when I have company is spend the entire evening slaving over the stove.  Continue reading

Hearty Beer & Chicken Stew

One of the things I love about fall is that it gives me an excuse to have the stove on for hours heating up the house and making comfort food.  This was originally a slow-cooker recipe from Eating Well, but my slow-cooker isn’t big enough so I translated it to stove-top and made a few other tweaks along the way.

I used local meat to make this stew.  It’s so comforting finding a local butcher (or several) who you trust and can talk to about the origins of the food they sell.  The rich, smokey bacon flavour is really the star of this stew, so if you need an excuse to find a great local butcher I say now is the time!  If you’re in the Ottawa area, I got my meat for this meal at Sasloves.

6 tbsp plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use Red Fife heritage wheat)
2 1/2 pounds local boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 pieces thick-cut local bacon, chopped
1 can of stout beer (I used Guinness, but would have loved to find a local microbrew!)
1 pound carrots, diced
6 medium red skinned potatoes, diced
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat; transfer to a plate.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a clean plate and repeat with more oil and second half of chicken. Remove it to the plate also.

3. Add bacon to the pot and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. (This whole mess with the flour was really annoying, but worth it – it helps the wonderful bacon flavour permeate throughout the stew!)

4. Add carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and broth.  Stir.  Turn down heat to low.  Cover and simmer about half an hour.

5. Add potatoes.  Cook another 20 minutes.

6. Stir in peas, cook for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.