Tag Archives: dairy-free

Instant Pot Shiner Bohemian Black Lager Beer Beef Chili

beef & beer chili

Chili.  It’s a crowd pleaser for a reason and it just got even better.  With the addition of dark beer and an Instant Pot,  it’s magical.  Chili that tastes like it lazily simmered away half of the afternoon in 30 minutes.

My original intention with this chili was bison instead of ground beef, however I didn’t embrace the idea of a $12 serving of chili.  When did that happen?  I’m used to paying a little more for food, but the price of bison has gone up quite a bit since the last time I purchased it. Once I regained my composure and the mothers of young children took their hands away from the delicate little ears, I set off toward the ground beef.   

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Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Sheet Pan Supper

Sheet Pan Supper – Chicken and vegetables roasted all together on one pan for a super easy dinner with minimal cleanup.  Meals like this are a lifesaver during hectic evenings when you need to get dinner on the table without a lot of effort. 

Also known as “clean out the fridge dinners” around here.  You know how it goes, you’re running around trying to get everything done, making sure you have clean clothes, the dog is staring at you like “Um, hello… Could I get some food down here too?”.  You open the fridge to find some carrots, peppers and maybe a few other veggies.  Onions, potatoes and tomatoes are always on hand, so you are halfway home.  If you don’t eat meat, or if it’s a “meatless Monday”, you’re done.  Otherwise, a couple of chicken breasts thrown on with the veggies and some seasoning makes this a slam dunk in record time. The most time consuming part of this is chopping the vegetables.  If I know that I’m facing a busy week, I chop veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge.  

I really love meals like this because I always have bits of veggies in the fridge.  Not enough to actually serve as a side by themselves, but if I put them all together- I’m in business.  This is also the perfect way to use up those vegetables that are on the verge of being tossed out.  No one wants to waste food, so a sheet pan supper is the way to salvage what you’ve already bought!

The best part of a sheet pan supper- only 1 pan to wash and if you line it with parchment paper, it’s a snap.  Use this as a basic jumping off point.  If your family doesn’t like certain veggies, change them out.  This is a suggestion and it’s what I had in my fridge.  It changes quite literally every time I make this.  One week, it could be broccoli and Brussels sprouts and the next I might only have a few root vegetables.   The proteins change as well – try shrimp or a beautiful piece of salmon or cod in place of chicken, just remember to adjust cooking times.  

A word about the Sheet Pan 

If you have a jelly roll pan or a flat cookie sheet (no sides), those aren’t sheet pans and they may warp.   A heavy-duty commercial grade sheet pan is best.  If you don’t own one, you need to buy one (or 3) immediately.  For less than $15, this workhorse of the kitchen will be a lifesaver.  In restaurant kitchens, a sheet pan is probably the most used item.  It will last you forever if you take care of it. 

Used in this Recipe:
Sheet Pan
Parchment Paper

Sheet Pan Supper
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 2 bell peppers, chopped
  3. 4 carrots, peeled, sliced in half and chopped into 2" pieces (I used rainbow carrots)
  4. 1 large sweet onion or 5 shallots, peeled and chopped
  5. 2 russet potatoes, washed and diced into 1" pieces
  6. 1 large sweet potato, washed and diced into 1" pieces
  7. 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  8. a few sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary
  9. kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  10. 2 tbsp. canola oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toss carrots, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes with half of the oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  3. Place on sheet pan and put in the oven. Roast until about halfway done, roughly 20 minutes. Toss remaining veggies with 1 tsp. oil, salt & pepper. Drizzle remaining oil over chicken breasts and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Remove tray from oven and add chicken and the rest of your veggies. Tuck sprigs of thyme or rosemary between vegetables and lay on top of chicken.
  5. Return tray to oven for 25 - 28 minutes, or until chicken is done. If your chicken breasts are on the smaller side, start checking them at 24-25 minutes. If they are large, you may need the full 28 minutes.
Notes
  1. We add ingredients to the sheet pan in stages because it doesn't all cook at the same time. Potatoes & carrots take a bit longer, so they need a head start.
  2. If you use seafood instead of chicken, remember to cut baking time by roughly half. Shrimp will cook in about 10-12 minutes (medium size) in a hot oven with convection. Portions of fish will need a few minutes longer.
  3. *All ovens are different! You may have to adjust a few minutes on either side of cooking times if your oven runs cool or hot.
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Soba Noodles and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Soba Noodles with Stir Fried Vegetables - Pook's Pantry

Soba noodles with stir-fried vegetables is a quick, easy and delicious healthy option for meatless Monday, or any day of the week.  Soba noodles cook in a only a few minutes, the veggies get a quick sauté and dinner is done.  From fridge to fork in less than 20 minutes – faster if you prep vegetable the night before.

It’s another New Year and once again, after the gluttony that was Thanksgiving and Christmas overindulgence, it’s time to rein it back in.  One way that we have decided to do that around here is sticking to a “meatless Monday”. 

While we were whooping it up in Vancouver a few months ago, we had a warm soba noodle appetizer at our favorite sushi restaurant.  It was loaded with seafood and unbelievably delicious.  I wanted to have something reminiscent of that salad, but suitable for a vegetarian dinner.   The only restriction I gave myself (aside from the seafood) was that I had to use what I had in the kitchen.    It wasn’t like there was a “rule” in play…  I just didn’t feel like going to store.  Out of sheer laziness, deliciousness was born!

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A Peck of Pickled Peppers

 

Banana Peppers

My banana pepper plants have been rather prolific and for this I am grateful.  As most of you who are regular visitors to this little space already know,  I went a little overboard in planting.  I have a tendency to overdo things and this was no exception. 

IMG_4293

Spending so many years living in an apartment with zero outdoor space, I may have gone a little crazy when I realized that I could grow some of my own food.  This had been a goal of mine for a very long time (growing food, not going crazy… that ship has sailed).  

I am fascinated by the entire process of planting a seed, taking care of it and watching it grow into something that will actually feed you.  

The very first time I had a banana pepper was on a pizza, my Freshman year in college.  A small group of us had descended on the pizza place next to campus.  We were there under the pretense of “studying” I’m sure.  There were pool tables, dart boards (which I became quite skillful at playing), air hockey tables; all the things one thinks of when looking for an appropriate place to “study”.

Anyhow, there we were and one of the guys went to order our pizza and when the waitress came to the table and set it down in front of us, I noticed that it had peppers on it.  Not wanting to draw any attention to myself, I dug right in but in my head was this little voice shouting “are you nuts?!”. 

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Lentil Soup

I know what you’re thinking.  Another soup recipe?  Seriously?!   In my defense, I didn’t mean to… Honestly.   This bag of lentils was meant for a “higher purpose” other than another batch of soup.  I had seen a recipe in one of the numerous food magazines that arrives at this address using lentils.  It looked so good.  It was all gloss and glamour, the kind of photo that belongs tucked inside of a black plastic wrapper.  You know the kind of photo I’m talking about.  It made lentils look sexy and that my friends is no easy task.

Well, that was my intention.  And then a cold front came through.  Goodbye sexy lentils and hello lentil soup.  So you see, it really isn’t my fault at all that I’m posting yet another soup recipe.  Blame Mother Nature, she can take it. Continue reading

Fall Panzanella

I’ll be honest with you, I was in the grocery store with a big loaf of crusty bread in my hand thinking “What’s the big deal…  I’ll just buy it instead of making it”, but I JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT.  
So, I put that gorgeous loaf of bread back amongst it’s friends and headed home to start the focaccia. 

I pulled out the stand mixer, made my dough, let it rise…  Placed it ever so lovingly on my sheet pan to puff up again before sliding it in the oven…  And yet, something was amiss.  It just didn’t look quite right, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  Once it was time for the bread to come out of the sauna, I realized I had a bit of a problem.

Not really sure how I screwed it up, but it was more of a focaccia pancake.  It didn’t rise properly and looked rather pathetic.  So I salvaged what I could, not wanting to waste everything and started over.  
Truth be told, the Ohio State game was on and I was a tad distracted…  There, I’ve said it.  I wasn’t paying attention to my work,  I was watching football. 
That’s what happened.

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Mason Jar Dressings

A very good childhood friend of mine sent me some salted caramels over the holidays and I have been rationing them out on a daily basis.   Needless to say, when I see commercials for all of the various weight-loss companies it makes me cringe a bit knowing I’m a few bites away from needing an intervention.
Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to get back into the swing of things.  Like everyone else, I get a bit out of control during the holidays and then, when all of the over-eating makes me feel like Jabba the Hutt, the pendulum swings back the other way and I get myself back in line.

As you well know from previous posts, I have no shortage of mason jars in various shapes & sizes cluttering my cabinets and there is a reason for this,  besides canning.  They are useful for many different things, quick salad dressing being one of them.

It honestly couldn’t be easier…  pour everything in & shake it up.   The best part of making your own salad dressing aside from it being much less expensive, is that you know exactly what’s in it.   There are no dyes, no high-fructose corn syrup, no ingredients that require a Ph.D. in Chemistry to pronounce.

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