Main Dish

Mushroom Sausage and Orzo Comfort Bowl

Mushroom Sausage and Orzo Comfort Bowl

As most anyone who knows me knows, I broke up with pasta a while ago. It was ugly. There were accusations; probably some tears. And although it has been an overall positive decision (semolina flour, you know you’re just no good for me) I have to admit that even after all this time…we still get together in that sneaky, culpable way.

And man, is it ever good when it happens. So easy and familiar, just like old times.

Is that so terrible?

Jalapeño Sauced Chicken Thigh Bowl

Spicy Jalapeno Sauce CHicken Thigh Bowl

Not to be confused with a Thai Chicken bowl, this vessel of yum gets it’s title from the spicy jalapeño pepper sauce that is lovin’ itself up all over some perfectly roasted, cheap and easy chicken thigh goodness. Spoon this over a protein packin’ helping of quinoa, black beans (or both!), plop a dollop of silky sour cream and avocado cubes on top, hit it with a smattering of fresh cilantro and you have got yourself some serious eats. It’s kinda pretty too…..especially if you like the color green.

Absolutely, without a doubt, It is ALL ABOUT THIS SAUCE.

Spicy Steak Salad with Quinoa and Black Beans

Spicy Steak Salad with Quinoa and Black Beans

I love a dinner salad. I mean, not the actual salad that you sometimes get when you go out to dinner (brown edged ice-burg lettuce, lifeless tomatoes, dried up cucumber slices…no no no – where are we getting this anyway? Let’s not come here again) … what I am talking about is salad for DINNER.

This is such a good one, to be sure.

Black beans and quinoa give it body, spinach provides the leafy greenie-ality, while a spicy, slightly sweet citrus vinaigrette gives it some kick. Yellow bell pepper contributes amazing crunch and color, avocado and feta cheese round it all out with silky-smooth, salty scrumptious-ness.

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Ragu

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Ragu

Oh good grief, talk about a BIG FAT steaming pot of luscious lycopene LOVE. This undeniably delicious, slow cooked masterpiece of a “sauce” has gently bubbled its way into every muscle fiber of my marinara lovin’ heart. This is NOT your average tomato sauce. Oh no no no no no.

Caramelized Onion and Mushrooms over Smooshed Cauliflower

Caramelized Onion and Mushrooms over Smooshed Cauliflower

This is sooooo good! I know I always seem to say that and I really DO mean it each and every time…………

but I gotta tell you…….. this stuff. Oh man.

Take a favorite cooler-weather culinary pleasure (in this case, a satisfyingly steamy bowl of something yummy), take out the copious amounts of carbs (think potatoes, pasta, bread, beans), add in a plentiful pack of superabundant sustenance (like, ya know, just some major vitamin, mineral, antioxidant action), and you will end up with this amazing bowl of body and soul satisfaction.

Lasagna Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Lasagna Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I may be going out on a limb here but I think it’s safe to say that you are a fan of lasagna (because really, who isn’t?). Tomato saucy, stretchy-cheesy creamy goodness, you can count on pleasing the masses when you whip out a bubbling pan of this classic comfort casserole.

Which makes it so perfect for feeding lots of people.

But what if your particular peeps are of the persnickety persuasion?

Maybe there’s a gluten issue in the crowd?

Oh yeah, then there are the vegetarians to consider.

Die hard carnivores are people too, you know.

So.

I am here to tell you that you can make everybody happy, including yourself, with this beauty…

Roasted Broccolini with Almond Pesto, topped with an egg!

Roasted Broccolini with Almond Pesto topped with an egg

Crispy-fied (not fried) roasted broccolini tossed with a garlicky, nutty rich, almond “pesto”, crowned with a perfectly runny over-medium egg. Go ahead and cut into it and that oozy, silky yolk is the foolproof foil for the sharpness of the pesto and the delicate green charred crunch of the broccolini. A perfect portion of creamy baked sweet potato serves as the delicious foundation, quietly but assuredly holding everybody together.

This sure works as dinner for ME…..but it didn’t start out that way.

“Kicken” Chicken Piccata

Chicken Picatta

If there is a restaurant within a 50 mile radius of my residence that serves chicken piccata, I have ordered it. Probably more than once. And no doubt I have enjoyed it, because to me, there is no such thing as a bad chicken piccata. Tender sand dollars of perfectly sautéd chicken in a supremely light and lemony sauce dotted with puckery pops of briny capers, dusted up with a flurry of freshly chopped parsley over an ethereal cloud of perfectly al dente’ angel hair pasta? Sounds sooooo good. Don’t ya think?

But could you take this into your kitchen and make it even bETTER?

Don’t be silly. Of COURSE you can. Piccata is so easy and delicious, and when you swap out the pasta for some beautifully sautéd kale, even more amazing.

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