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Entries in One pot (4)


Kitchen sink chili

It's not quite chili season yet, but the weather earlier this week sure was misleading.  After spending the better portion of Tuesday standing in a chill rain making our daily round of the construction sites in the neighborhood, Calvin decided that chili was perfect for a chilly day (in fact, he got a real kick out of saying that...over and over and over again).  I think it's a mark of my increasing maturity (be nice, now) that I was able to pull this off thanks to a well stocked kitchen, or at least a well stocked garden:  dried beans in the cupboard, several plants full of ripe tomatoes, onions from the garden as well, and a strange variety of fresh veggies needing to be used in the fridge.  This, as you can probably tell from its eccentricity, is entirely my own recipe.  Imagine.

Kitchen Sink Chili

  ● 2 cups mixed dried beans
  ● 2.5 quarts water, plus more
  ● 1 large onion, chopped
  ● 3 lbs tomatoes, chopped
  ● 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  ● ~4 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
  ● ~2 parsnips, chopped
  ● ~4 stalks bok choy (white part only), chopped
  ● 1/4 tsp salt
  ● 1/2 tsp pepper
  ● 1 tbsp chili powder
  ● 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1.  In a large pot combine beans and 2.5 quarts of water.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 1 hour.
2.  Drain beans, then cover with fresh water, bring to a low boil, and simmer for 3 hours, adding water if necessary.
3.  Add tomatoes, garlic, parsnips, and spices, then simmer for 20 minutes.  Add bok choy and celery and simmer for additional 20 minutes.  Serve hot, topped (optionally) with cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce.

The joy of this recipe is that you can substitute anything you think sounds yummy for anything you think doesn't.


Zuppa Tuscano

This original recipe comes from, one of my favorite recipe sites.  I have made quite a few changes to the recipe, though, and the one I post here is my own version, but I'll try to mention some of the points at which I varied.

• 1lb mild ground Italian sausage
• ~2 medium potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
• ~1 medium onions, diced
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 large bunch of kale, sliced with stems removed
• 32 oz. chicken stock
• 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

Cook the sausage, garlic, and onions in a stock pot over medium heat until sausage is done, then remove from pot and set aside. To juices in pot add chicken base and potatoes and simmer until potatoes are done, then add sausage mixture back in along with kale and cream, stir well and simmer until kale has reduced in size (at least four minutes, though longer is certainly fine).  Like most soups, this is excellent reheated, too.  Serves 4 - 5

Now - I believe the original recipe calls for the use of 5 sausages instead of ground sausage (cooked and then sliced before adding back in later), several slices of bacon, sliced potatoes instead of chunks, minced garlic instead of fresh, only 3 cups of kale, and only 2T of stock (the remaining liquid being water).

No pictures this time - maybe I'll come back and add them in later.  Enjoy!


Andouille and arugula penne pasta

I like saying arugula; it's just a funny word. Thankfully it's also a nice leafy green that has a tad of spice to it, which adds color and flavor to this tangy Italian dish that we recently discovered and added to our list of favorites. I found the original recipe, which calls for chicken andouille sausage, on, but following is my own version of this yummy Mediterranean meal.

• 8 oz. penne pasta (we use Meijer brand whole wheat organic)
• 4 links spicy chicken andouille sausage (we used organic spinach chicken sausage from Arbor Farms)
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic , minced
• 1/3 cup pesto (I make this from scratch with organic Basil, parsley, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan and Romano)
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 15 oz. cannellini beans, undrained (or aobut 1 cup beans rehydrated)
• 3 cups arugula leaves, torn
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
• salt & pepper to taste
• 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Prepare 8oz of penne pasta as directed by package

Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet over medium heat cook 4 links of chicken sausage. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then slice into bite sized pieces. (In our case the sausages were actually pre-cooked, so we skipped this step completely and just sliced the sausages and added them with the garlic in the next step)

After removing the sausage add 1-2T oil to the pan as necessary and cook garlic until browned (remember this is also where we added our pre-cooked sausages). Add sausage back in (if not already done so) along with pesto and white wine and cook until heated.  Add cannellini beans and arugula. Cook and stir until heated through and arugula is wilted. Just before serving add tomatoes and stir until warmed, then toss with pasta and top with goat cheese to serve. Yum!


Irish Boiled Dinner

Tonight was pumpkin carving night and that meant Irish dinner.  Why?  Because according to many sources the Irish brought us the Jack-o-lantern (and can really be thanked for much of Halloween, for that matter), and so to celebrate the roots of this season enjoyment we started our evening with Irish Boiled Dinner.  The way my mom makes this feast is by boiling corned beef, but I tried a new recipe tonight and boiled fresh organic brisket in beer.  I have to say, I'd rather have the corned beef and the beer on the side, and I disagree with the cooking times the original recipe listed, so I'll tell you what they said, and what I did.  The recipe came from

Put 2lb beef brisket in dutch oven; add two 12oz bottles of Lager beer, 2c water (or enough to cover meat), 2 bay leaves, 10 black peppercorns, 1/2c parsley, and 2t salt; start water.

In saucepan add 2T olive oil, 3 cloves garlic (sliced), 2c leeks (chopped), 1 md onion (sliced); sauté for a few minutes, then add to dutch oven.

Bring water mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat is tender.  Meanwhile chopped your veggies to add later:  3/4lb carrots (cut in large pieces), 3/4lb red potatoes (peeled), 2lbs green cabbage (cut in sixths, leave part of the core in to keep leaves together).  Add carrots and potatoes in last 25 minutes and cabbage in last 15 minutes.  Remove from water and serve hot.

Notes:  I already mentioned that next time I'll use corned beef and drink the beer.  Also, I used more carrots and potatoes than they called for, and I think they're wrong on their cooking times, so next time I plan to cook my cabbage for 25 minutes and my other veggies for only 15.

March 17, 2009 -  I made this again tonight using the following alterations - I used corned beef (yes, you can buy it organic), boiled it in water, and drank the beer.  The cabbages and potatoes I added 35 minutes before the meat would be done, and the carrots only 15.  The carrots could have used a little less time, perhaps, but otherwise this was delightful.  Try it with Irish Soda bread - yum!