I spent years trying to acquire a taste for olives. I wanted to like them SO badly and be one of the fancy people who asked for blue-cheese stuffed olives in a martini. Over the last few years, it finally happened (woo!) and now I’m *obsessed* with salty, briny olives. In this dish, capers would make a great swap if you’re still on the fence. The pan sauce that comes after browning the chicken marries together the salty olives or capers with sweet dates. The dates plump up and release their sugary sweetness and I could simply eat the sauce with a spoon! A little lemon and parsley make the sauce reminiscent of chicken piccata, but with a sweeter twist. The best part of it all – the whole dish is ready in just 30 minutes! I chose to make pearl couscous on the side, but any grain or pasta would be fantastic paired alongside.
Chili is the quintessential cozy soup and an absolute necessity the minute it becomes cold outside. I put a twist on the classic chili flavors this time by amping up the sweet, smokiness and heat with Mexican chorizo, sweet potatoes, carrots and chipotle peppers in adobo. The balance of flavors, paired with a little extra tang of red wine vinegar, unfold with each bite.
People can be very particular about their chili (especially when it comes to including beans or not!) and the toppings. I like to go easy on the beans, so I’ve only included one can in this recipe, but by all means add as many different kinds as you’d like! When it comes to the tomato topic – diced, whole or sauce – I have another curveball for you… When I made this chili for the first time, I realized I was out of my usual canned diced tomatoes and only had tomato paste in the pantry! I had been craving it all day, so I decided try it anyway with the tomato paste I had on hand. I’m not usually a huge fan of tomato chunks in my chili, so this seemed like an easy solve. Diluting the tomato paste with the four cups of chicken stock and one tablespoon of brown sugar turned out to be JUST the ticket for that expected sweet tomato flavor as the base of the chili. (That extra dash of sugar was needed to curb the acidity of the tomato paste!) If you opt for the usual 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes instead of the 6-ounce can of tomato paste, I would reduce the chicken stock by 2 cups to achieve the usual thickness of chili.
When I comes to the star of the show here – the chorizo!! – be sure you look for the Mexican chorizo at the store versus Spanish chorizo. Mexican chorizo is more loose and crumbly because it is fresh ground pork sausage seasoned with chiles, spices and vinegar. You’ll need to cook it completely because it comes raw! If it comes in a casing, you can remove it and brown it like you would any other fresh sausage. Spanish chorizo, on the other hand, is a dry cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and smoked paprika. My family and I use it in our Potaje de Garbanzos, a Cuban garbanzo bean stew, if you want to give it a try as well.
One of the best things about living in New York is having so many friends and family come visit. I love being able to give recommendations on where to eat and drink. After a year of living in the city, I’ve collected quite the list. These are the must-try spots I’ve vetted in Manhattan and would gladly take anyone who comes to visit. I I hope this list inspired you when you’re visiting the city!
Brooklyn Bagel (Located in Chelsea)
I’ve had some good bagels in the city, but the hands-down winner is Brooklyn Bagel in Chelsea. They coat their bagels with seasoning (sesame seeds below!) on BOTH sides for extra texture and they pile the inside high with cream cheese.
Buvette (West Village)
This cozy French spot in the West Village has the most incredible steamed (yes!! steamed!!) eggs served with a big slice of bread, prosciutto and freshly grated cheese. There is usually quite a wait, so either sneak into a seat at the bar if you can, or put down your name and stroll around the neighborhood while you’re waiting. Cappuccino and almond croissants are a must for an appetizer!
Jack’s Wife Freda (SOHO)
I love this spot for it’s American Mediterranean-style food and beautiful aesthetic (just see their Instagram). The rosewater waffle is amazing and I’ve always wanted to try their green shakshuka!
Los Tacos No. 1 (Chelsea Market)
I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here, but the adobada taco from Los Tacos No.1 is undoubtedly the best taco I’ve ever had in my life. Is it a blessing or a curse that I work upstairs and could hypothetically have them everyday? Shaved pork, pineapple, creamy avocado sauce is honestly life changing.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor (Chinatown)
This Dim Sum spot is one of the original in Chinatown and is one of my favorite spots to visit. That fluffy dumpling below tasted like a sweet pillow of heaven! After Alex Guarnaschelli visited it on her Food Network show, Fix Me a Plate, I loved it even more.
Barbutto (West Village)
Promise me when I say that you will have the most-memorable Carbonara and Kale Caesar of your life. The restaurant has big windows that come up when it’s nice out and you can people watch. Everything on Chef Jonathan Waxman’s menu will be a highlight of your trip.
Corner Bistro (West Village)
This dive-bar like spot has incredible burgers. It’s super casual and cash-only place with inexpensive beer and cozy neighborhood vibe. Cozy in the window sill spot to people watch on a chilly night.
My friends and I got lucky on a weeknight with a minimal wait, but this ramen spot usually has a two hour wait! Ipuddo had the best pork buns of my life. The fluffy pillows of clouds were slightly sweet to contrast the spicy sauce, tender pork and crisp lettuce. The ramen was also amazing!
Joe’s Pizza (Greenwich Village)
If you’re looking for a great late night (drunk pizza) slice, you have to check out Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village. It is an absolute institution and I truly think the pizza tastes better after midnight!
Empire Cakes (Chelsea)
When my co-workers said Empire Cakes had the best black and white cookies and blueberry scones, I was sold. The black and white cookie was the first I had in the city and I’ve compared the others to this ever since. It’s shaped more like a short and fat mini cake than a traditional cookie, which was optimal for icing even on the sides. The scones were just moist enough while having a crumbly texture of scones. I loved the soft blue tint the scones had from the berries making them feel especially homemade.
Levain Bakery (Upper West Side)
These are the best cookies in all of New York City. End of story. They are massive, still gooey and melty in the middle when you break them in half. They are so solid that they even last for a few days wrapped tightly with plastic – aka, perfect for you to take a few home with you!
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (Several locations)
Fantastic ice cream (regular and vegan options!) started in Brooklyn. I love that it’s super creamy and not too sweet. An ideal balance! You can find locations in the West Village, Upper East Side, Brooklyn and more.
Dante (Little Italy and West Village)
There are two locations of Dante and I love them both! I was immediately pleased seeing they had Aperol Spritz on tap, but their negroni selection and overall cocktail menus are incredible. The spritz was served in a massive glass with huge square chunks of ice and topped with a lemon and green olive. My dream!
Raoul’s (West Village)
If you’re looking for a vintage-feeling NYC spot, this is where to go! You feel transported back to a classic New York atmosphere and can pop around to other restaurants and bars in the area. If you get there before 5pm, snag a spot at the bar so you can order one of their burgers. They only make 12 a night and they run out fast! The burgers are served with duck fat fries and they’re incredible to say the least.
What’s on your list of favorite spots to visit in New York City? Comment below and I’ll keep updating this list with favorites as they come along. Happy travels!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Pork tenderloin is something I admittedly don’t cook enough, and should because it’s one of the easiest meats. Whip up a marinade in the morning, let it flavor the pork in the fridge all day, come home and once you cook it, the tenderloin will be full of flavor. This tangy and sweet combination of balsamic vinegar, orange and hickory syrup gives a dynamic bite of flavor. Plus, just look at that caramelization!
This recipe came together in a very spontaneous, kind of experimental way. My aunt Sherri makes an amazing tenderloin with rosemary and orange marmalade, so I was inspired by the big bag of oranges I had in my kitchen, plus the hickory syrup I picked up at the farmer’s market. I had never heard of hickory syrup before, but got to talking with Bill from Hickory Valley Farms in Indiana this summer and he told me all about their process. Making hickory syrup is a complex 10 step process to extract flavor from the naturally bitter hickory bark. I loved the campfire-like flavor of the syrup, but maple syrup would also work in this recipe to cut through the tang of the oranges and acidity of the vinegar. (P.S. I’m doing Whole30 right now, so I wouldn’t include the added syrup!)
The beautiful thing about pork tenderloin is that it is a lean protein, but that also means you really need to amp up it’s flavor with a marinade. I mix up the sauce right in a plastic bag to save dishes, place the tenderloin in the bag and let it soak all day while I’m at work. When I get back 8 hours later, the pork is ready for cooking! You could even let it marinade overnight up to 24 hours.
Using my cast iron skillet, I first seared all sides of the pork to create a caramelized crust. This locks the juices inside before you place the meat in the oven to finish cooking. It’s such a gratifying feeling when the pork hits the hot pan! You can hear the marinade sizzling and smell the aroma of the caramelization. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can sear the pork tenderloin in your regular nonstick skillet and then transfer to an oven-safe baking sheet to finish cooking.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Throughout the last year I went through a big hummus phase where I made a different flavor of homemade humus almost every week. I’ve made hummus flavors like roasted red pepper, jalapeño cilantro, roasted beet, sriracha, artichoke heart, and more. When I started to think about the other ways I could use chickpeas besides in hummus, roasting them became a new favorite thing to do. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have so much nutritional value and are typically less than $1 per can! Roasting them gives a completely different flavor and texture. They become a little crispy and chewy, making for a prime taco filling.
I developed this recipe months ago when I was still living with my BFF Danielle (also known as Director Danielle because of her help filming my Snapchat Discover videos). I loved the combination of avocado, roasted chickpeas and radishes, but knew that it needed one more element. I looked in our fruit bowl and saw oranges and thought, “Oh my goodness. I could be crazy or this could actually be the perfect citrus flavor!” Sure enough, I loved the sweet and slightly tangy flavor the oranges added. When Danielle gave the seal of approval, I knew we were in business!
I love this recipe because it reminds me about being creative in the kitchen. Often times the best recipes come from last minute combinations – like adding fruit to a savory taco! When you get in a rut with eating the same things over and over, how do you like to challenge yourself to try something new? I get inspired when new pairings work and feel motivated to keep developing easy, healthy and inexpensive dishes that you all will love!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
For the last two years you have probably gotten to know my roommate, Danielle, who I called Director Danielle because of her help with filming all my videos. Danielle and I met when we became leadership consultants for our sorority, Sigma Kappa. She came to live and work with me in Houston, Texas for several weeks when I lived there for a year. We did literally everything together in Houston, including eating almost every meal together.
I will never forget walking into our apartment one night after a meeting when Danielle cooked spaghetti squash for the first time. Much to Danielle’s dismay, we topped our squash with Trader Joe’s pre-made turkey meatballs. She had never been a fan of turkey, or so she thought, and actually enjoyed our easy, healthy dinner. Fast forward a few years and now Danielle regularly buys turkey meatballs. (I literally just saw them in the freezer two nights ago!)
A few months ago, I decided to try making turkey meatballs from scratch instead of buying the TJ’s frozen version. I was so excited how easy they were and how delicious they taste! Danielle looked at me making them very inquisitively, but I could tell she was thinking about how she could do them herself. I hope this post inspires her to make them!
Danielle and I moved out of our shared apartment a few weeks ago, but I am so grateful for our two plus years together. Danielle listened to me talk to Instagram and Snapchat in our kitchen day after day, she helped me taste test dozens of recipes, gave up her free time to “direct” Food Network Snapchat Discover videos and film Facebook lives and helped me wash a lot of dishes. It was so fun to watch her grow in kitchen while she was helping me grow Gourmet Gab.
As a tribute to Director Danielle, make these easy and healthy baked turkey meatballs. Serve them over noodles, spaghetti squash, farro or any grain. They would also be delicious alongside roasted veggies with your favorite marinara sauce. If you’re hesitant about the zucchini, don’t be! It is a great way to incorporate a vegetable, plus zucchini is so inexpensive and overflowing in the summer. You can hardly taste it and the zucchini helps create a really juicy, tender meatball. Grab a friend, pour a glass of wine, turn on some 2000s hip hop (our favorite Spotify choice) and catch up over dinner with these quick meatballs.
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 cup zucchini, diced or shredded
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl mixing until just combined. Do not over mix the meat or it will become dense while cooking.
- Form mixture into about 15-18 small meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Serve with marinara sauce and roasted vegetables or pasta.
Thank you, Danielle, for being the best roomie I could have asked for! My adventures in Indy wouldn’t have been the same without you by my side. Gourmet Gab also sure wouldn’t have been the same without your support, encouragement and taste testing the last two years! I will think of you every time I make these easy baked turkey meatballs and hope you love them, too.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
If the last tuna melt you had was on sliced white bread with mayo and zero flavor, you have been missing out on an upgraded, spicy version that is still budget friendly. Today on Food Network Snapchat Discover I’m taking a $1 can of tuna and adding Sriracha, jalapeño, spicy Gouda cheese and more to take it to a gourmet level.
Every once in a while I like to pick up a can of tuna to have on hand in my pantry. When I’m in a hurry, have zero groceries or am looking for a budget friendly meal, tuna melts are the way to go. The spicy flavors are not overwhelming, but contrast perfectly with the creamy avocado and the crunchy toast. The Greek yogurt makes the tuna mix creamy, but lighter than the traditional option. The cheese on top gets gooey and bubbly, then the broiler makes it golden brown and a little crisp.
- 1 can tuna, drained
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1/2 stalk celery, minced
- 1/4 a jalapeno, diced
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon cilantro
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon, salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 avocado, smashed
- 2 slices Gouda cheese, spicy or chipotle preferred
- 1 slice thick bread (I love multigrain sourdough!)
- Toast bread until golden brown.
- Mix together tuna, yogurt, celery, jalapeño, Sriracha, cilantro, lemon, salt and pepper.
- Spread smashed avocado on toast, add tuna mix and top with two slices of cheese.
- Broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted, toasted and bubbly! Watch for the timing depending on your oven, but probably a few minutes.
When I was recipe testing I could not stop eating this. Lunch or dinner – it is such a winner. Don’t forget to head over to Food Network Snapchat Discover today to watch me whip this up. When you open your Snapchat app, swipe over until you see the brands and click on Food Network! I’ll be on there in my kitchen cooking away and making this Spicy Tuna Avocado Melt.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
One of the biggest things I hear from friends is the question, “What should I make for dinner tonight?” After I had the flu a few weeks ago, I was craving a big bowl of comforting pasta that was quick and easy to make. Whenever I’m looking for an easy and cheap dinner, I always turn to pasta with ground turkey and veggies. Tossed together in casserole form, this dish is balanced with colorful produce–bright green kale, red bell peppers and yellow squash–plus has the comfort of cheesy noodles. With summer farmers’ market season coming up this weekend, you could put any summer produce in here: rainbow chard, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and any color peppers.
When you toss everything together and bake it in a square pan with extra cheese it feels especially comforting and like a gourmet casserole. The sweet pepper, chewy kale and soft crunch of the squash all add to the pasta. I love using ground turkey for lean protein, but you could sub ground beef or simply remove altogether for a vegetarian dish. The vegetables and ground turkey make pasta feel a little “healthier,” but you know what I say…everything in moderation!
- 0.5 pound ground turkey
- 9 ounces rigatoni or another pasta
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 of a yellow squash or zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 2-3 cups Tuscan kale
- 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, just undercooking so noodles are al dente, or slightly chewy (about 9-10 minutes).
- Cook ground turkey over medium high heat in a large skillet until browned or just cooked through. Remove from pan.
- Add olive oil to the pan and then add diced pepper and squash. Season with two generous pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until soft and slightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Add kale and cook until wilted and vivid green in color, about 1-2 more minutes.
- Add cooked noodles, browned turkey, marinara sauce and cheese into pan. Toss to combine.
- Pour pasta mixture into a 9×9 square pan. Top with layer of extra cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
This dish ended up not only being something to comfort me during the flu, but has been a weeknight favorite since. I can’t wait to hear what you think and how you customize it in your weeknight dinner life.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Last year I discovered my love for tomatillos and all salsa verdes. I’m working my way through the Trader Joe’s salsa variations, have made my own tomatillo salsa and now even got to try a family member’s tomatillo sauce! My step-mom Susan’s brother, Chuck, and his wife Kaari started the company Hollister Tamales to bring Mexican cuisine all the way to New England where they live today. I tried their tomatillo sauce in this shredded pork and couldn’t wait to share. There’s really no heat to tomatillos, just pure freshness and zest to brighten up dishes from eggs to chicken to pork!
This shredded pork is something you could meal prep on Sunday. It perfumes your house and leaves a lingering scent that makes you hungry when you walk in the door. I’ve made shredded pork in the slow-cooker before and it is just as good, but I was curious to experience with it over the stove. I wanted to be able to reduce the leftover liquid gold of the beer and tomatillo salsa to form a thicker sauce for the pork. It worked perfectly!
Yellow, green and red bell peppers added such a gorgeous color to the bowl. They’re naturally sweet and get even sweeter while they sauté, caramelize and get a little charred in the pan. Don’t take the peppers off too early. You’ll feel like they’re cooking for a while, but they need to hang out on the heat to get those rustic char marks on the skin and soften.
- 1 pork shoulder or [url href=”http://traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/3394″ target=”_blank”]boneless loin roast[/url], approximately 2 pounds
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 cup tomatillo salsa, plus extra for bowl
- 1 bottle of beer
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- [b]The Bowl[/b]
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 bell peppers, seeds removed, sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime
- Cut pork into about 1 inch chunks. Place pork in a large Dutch oven or pot on the stove. Add all ingredients for pork into the pot and stir.
- Bring to a boil, partially cover and turn down the head to medium low, enough for small bubbles to form. Cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender and easy shredded.
- With about 20 minutes left for the pork, begin to cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil over medium high in a cast-iron skillet or pan. Cook bell peppers and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the peppers until they are soft and lightly charred.
- Remove pork cubes from the pot once the meat is cooked. Using two forks, shred the chunks into smaller pieces. While shredding the meat, turn the stove heat up to medium high for the pot and allow sauce to reduce by half.
- Put the meat back into the pot and stir into sauce.
- Once peppers are ready, prepare a bowl. Scoop quinoa, peppers, shredded pork, 1/4 of the avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro into the bowl. Then add a squeeze of lime!
This bowl could be assembled with anything you have on hand. Brown rice would work beautifully instead of quinoa. Add corn, cheese, other veggies or hot sauce. It’s really customizable. I enjoyed how the avocado warmed from the pork and peppers, got creamy and balanced the tomatillo flavors. I scooped extra salsa on top, too!
When you make a big batch of this you can package up several bowls for lunch or dinner throughout the week! I thought the pork was so good I was eating it cold from the fridge as a snack, so just a heads up – it is a hit.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
A few months ago I was talking with co-workers about my obsession with salads. We got to talking about how for some reason ordering a salad out at a restaurant feels so different from making one at home. What is it about restaurant salads that taste that much better when they’re just lettuce and toppings like at home? After doing my own investigation – really just brining a lot of salads to work for months and ordering them at restaurants often – I think I’ve cracked the code.
The best salads check six boxes to fulfill their gourmet status. While chefs or recipe developers may not use this exact system, I came up with this list to help me take my salads to a gourmet level. Balancing textures, flavors, colors and toppings will result in a well-thought out meal, not just a random collection of vegetables and lettuce. You can use this general framework with any salad you make – or even quinoa or rice bowls too!
The base to a salad is something green. Pick the one that will compliment the flavors you are looking for – like Romaine or spinach – or pick a green that will serve as a base for the flavor like peppery arugula or leafy kale. I keep a bag of greens in my fridge each week to ensure I always have lettuce on hand for spontaneous salads.
The absolute worst part of eating a salad for lunch is getting hungry again two hours later. To combat this, we have to add protein and the options are endless. Chicken, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, beans, salmon, ground turkey, sliced steak, tofu, and more are all great contenders.
For texture and extra nutrition I like to add some kind of a grain. Quinoa cooks up really easily and is super trendy right now. Farro has a heartier, nuttier texture but is great for winter recipes. Israeli cous cous is one of my favorites right now because of the pearl sized shape it cooks into.
Fruits and Veggies
This is the category where you get to have so much creative freedom. There are unlimited combinations of fruits and vegetables you can add to salads to enhance the flavor! One thing to think about is contrasting flavors. Adding fruit can really take a typical combination of vegetables to a restaurant-style status. Pineapple in this tofu bowl gave a juicy sweetness to a typical group of flavors. For a savory salad, add some mango for sweetness like in this Southwest Kale Salad.
Cheese and Crunch
If I had to pick a favorite part of the salad combination, it would be the cheese and crunchy items. You could slice or crumble pretty much any cheese and I would be happy! Some personal favorites are gorgonzola (like in this chicken and gorgonzola salad), feta in absolutely anything, and blue cheese in this chicken, dill and blue cheese salad. Other toppings for crunch like slivered almonds, candied walnuts, tortilla chips, granola, wonton crisps, etc. are ideal for breaking up the salad. Dried fruits like raisins or cranberries also make an impact!
Dressing where you can put the finishing touch on all your ingredients. The dressing gives the salad a unified flavor and seasoning on every bite. If you haven’t ever tried making your own vinaigrettes, I have a few 1-minute recipes you should try! I keep a mason jar of homemade balsamic vinaigrette in my fridge almost all the time to grab for to-go salads. The best part about making your own dressing at home is that you get to customize it. Add more or less sweetness, tartness, spiciness, saltiness or creaminess as you prefer.
Restaurants better watch out because pretty soon you’re going to be making salads on your own at home just as good as theirs! I have a few more salad recipes coming up over the next few months, especially into the new year. Comment below if you have any favorite combinations you want to share! Do you think these six components make up the best salad?
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Chili is one of those recipes I think all people need to have up their sleeve. Once you understand the basics of the soup, you can customize it to your liking or adapt it with whatever you have in your kitchen. I like to make my chili with five basic fundamentals: meat, onions, beans, diced tomatoes and spices. From there you can go as simple or as gourmet as you like. If you watch my latest Gourmet Gab: On the Go episode, you’ll notice I sneak in a little something extra to add flavor to the chili: red wine! I use it to deglaze the pan and it adds a beautiful rich flavor to the soup. The soup could easily go without that, or you can swap it with beer, or even just a little extra broth.
Growing up, my mom would always make her turkey chili for neighborhood potlucks and gatherings. Since then, I have always used turkey as my ground meat of choice. You could easily swap ground beef in your version, or make it vegetarian by adding extra veggies instead! The thing with chili is there’s no right or wrong way to make it. You can find thousands of different versions online and just have to decide a favorite. I am fairly confident the Gourmet Gab version may be up there for you — it’s the perfect combination of simple and delicious. I would love to hear what you think of the recipe and what your favorite additions are to chili. Comment below!
Easy Turkey Chili
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 cup red wine (or beer)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cans beans (black, red or cannelloni), drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toppings of choice (optional): cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips, etc.
- Over medium high heat, warm about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Once pan is hot, add ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- While turkey is cooking, dice onion and garlic.
- Once turkey is browned, remove from pan and spoon onto a plate.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and diced onion to the pan. Cook until translucent and slightly golden brown. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.
- Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add red wine to onions. Be careful! It may steam quickly. Let mixture simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until red wine liquid has reduced. Use your cooking spoon to gently scrape what is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and beans to pot. Stir all together.
- Turn heat up to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer chili for 15-20 minutes.
- Spoon into bowl and top with cilantro, cheese, etc.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for three to four days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
You’ve seen this kitchen staple in the home of the Pioneer Woman for her traditional farm meals. Bobby Flay uses it for home fries on his show Brunch with Bobby. And it’s almost required to have one if you’re from anywhere in the South.
The cast-iron skillet is an inexpensive investment that will not disappoint. When I got one for Christmas from my supervisor (thank you, Melinda!) I could not stop thinking about what to make first. Macaroni and cheese, cornbread, half-baked cookies and more all came to mind. While I thought the cast-iron skillet would be solely for comfort food, I stumbled across a recipe for Brussels sprouts and was so excited to try. An extra caramelized crust on the veggie, plus some shrimp sounded like the perfect healthy start to my new favorite pan.
Making this one-pan dish couldn’t have been simpler. The skillet browned the outside of the veggies creating a little crust, but softened the inside to a chewy texture. The second time I made this dish, I added some frozen edamame to cook with the shrimp and it added such a good flavor. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you could easily cook this recipe in a regular non-stick skillet. However, I seriously recommend purchasing one for yourself. I love my 12″ Lodge skillet from Amazon.
Cast-Iron Skillet Brussels Sprouts and Shrimp
Adapted from MyRecipes
- 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons cooking fat (vegetable oil, canola oil, coconut oil, ghee)
- 1/2 a container pre-sliced mushrooms
- Around 0.5 pound fresh or defrosted shrimp
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon honey (unless doing Whole30)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- While cast-iron skillet is heating over medium high heat, clean and cut Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
- Add oil to skillet and coat the bottom evenly. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down evenly on the skillet.
- Cook for about four minutes or until the Brussels sprouts have developed a golden brown crust.
- Add mushrooms and salt to skillet. Stir together and sauté for another two minutes.
- Create space for shrimp in the middle of the skillet. If needed, drizzle a little more oil in the pan and lay shrimp flat. Cook until that side of the shrimp has turned pink and a light crust begins to form. (Depends on the size of your shrimp, but usually about two minutes per side for smaller shrimp.)
- While shrimp is cooking, mix up sauce in a small bowl. (Honey, soy sauce, garlic and crushed red pepper)
- Flip shrimp to other side and cook until pink.
- Pour sauce over skillet combination. Toss and serve over rice or quinoa.
P.S. Wondering how to clean your new cast-iron skillet? I found this article helpful!
Don’t miss out on new recipes!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Chicken Soup really is food for the soul. It somehow manages to fill us up with good, warm flavors that make everything else in life better. During my first week in my first college apartment, some Chunky Chicken and Vegetable Soup was exactly what my soul was craving.
After winning this magnificent Le Creuset French Oven from Table for Two Blog, I knew I could take my cooking to a whole new level. What I did not realize was how easy making great dishes would become. I simply browned the chicken breasts, sautéed the veggies, added chicken stock, water, pasta and half an hour later I had the perfect chicken noodle soup.
The batch I made ended up being quite large (a few too many noodles got dumped in!), but the two left-over tupperware containers will last me all week! So far, my soup has been a huge time saver…only two minutes in the microwave and it’s ready to go.
Tip for the week: While your soup is simmering, finish washing and cutting the extra celery. Once it’s ready to eat, it won’t have a chance of being forgotten in your produce drawer!
Speaking of veggies, this soup is so versatile you could practically add any veggies you have in your fridge. Next time I’ll add in more carrots and some frozen peas for color.
I hope this simple, homemade version of chicken noodle soup warms up your soul and gives your taste buds exactly what their looking for on a chilly day.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
I’ve done my research and found three flavorful recipes to kick up your holiday meal. If you think your family will miss Grandma’s recipe use half of your cooked potatoes for the traditional recipe and the other half for a soon-to-be favorite!
Three Recipes to Spice Up Classic Mashed Potatoes
- Wasabi Mashed Potatoes | These are my new favorite. They pair well with fish and veggies for a lighter holiday meal. Remember, you control the heat!
- Cheddar Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Bacon Bits | The flavors of classic baked potato toppings.
- Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes | Sweet and spicy combination is a winner. Fun change from the normal Idaho potatoes.
The absolute key for making silky, smooth mashed potatoes is a little gadget called a potato ricer. It is basically a larger version of a garlic press.
After you’ve cooked your potatoes, just press them through the ricer. They will come out in pasta-like strands and make for a velvety, lump free consistency. Add the other ingredients and prepare for praise from your family and friends!
You can purchase a potato ricer at any cooking goods store, or even on Amazon.com, for about $20. It’s an investment piece that you use for many years. Quick and get yours this week so you can use it for Christmas dinner!
20 days until Christmas!
P.S. Do you like the new Gourmet Gab banner?
Every cook needs a classic pasta and meat sauce recipe. In this video grounded on research, I refute the myths about making pasta. Ever heard of throwing noodles against the wall? Watch to see if it actually works. Follow this video and, with practice, you will be able to whip up a pasta and meat sauce dish that even Mom would be proud of.
This video goes out to all of my college friends breaking in their new apartment kitchens. I hope you find this video informative, as well as entertaining! Make a big batch of this and you will have a homemade dinners ready for the rest of the week. Ciao!
Here is a break down of the recipe for Pasta and Meat Sauce:
- 1 box of pasta (Penne, Bow tie, Spaghetti…)
- 1 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce (Prego, Ragu, etc.)
- 1 pound of ground meat (Turkey, Beef or Italian sausage)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 quarts of water
To make the meat sauce:
- Heat a skillet on Medium High heat. Once it’s hot, add ground meat and break into pieces. Season with salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
- Cook until browned.
- Once the meat is cooked, add the jar of pasta sauce. Stir and let simmer on Low heat to warm.
For the pasta:
- Add 4 quarts of water to a large pot (it will fill about 3/4 of the pot). Cover the pot and bring the water to a roaring boil on High heat.
- Once water is boiling, add about 2 teaspoons of salt to the boiling water. The salt is essential to raise the boiling point of the water. It also flavors the noodles.
- Add your noodles and stir. Set cooking time as instructed on the box of pasta. Do not cover the pot. Stir every few minutes.
- The pasta should be cooked al dente, which in Italian means “to the bite” or “to the tooth.” Basically the noodles should be slightly tender or chewy.
- Drain the noodles, but do not rinse them with water.
Once both components of the dish are ready plate the pasta and meat sauce.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Put noodles in a container and add a teaspoon or so of Olive Oil. This will prevent the noodles from sticking. Store sauce in a container to refrigerate or freeze. Warm up for later and enjoy!
Every summer it is a tradition to visit my family in Minnesota. My grandparents, my mom’s 7 siblings, all their kids and grandkids gather at our lake cabin to enjoy time together on West McDonald Lake.
Family dinners are always one of my favorite things while we are together at the lake. Everyone pitches in to help making the meal and once it’s complete, we eat under the ambience of a radiantly pastel sunset and enjoy the cool evening weather.
Last week when my aunt Sherri came to visit the fam at West McDonald she brought her famous homemade pesto, which is made with her own organic basil. P.S. Sherri grows her herbs in an Earth Box, probably the coolest invention I have ever seen, especially for those people who lack a green thumb like myself.
You can make a million and one meals with pesto, but for our dinner we tossed it over some pasta and cooked shrimp. Spread on bruschetta, pizza or a sandwich, add it to soups, top it over meats or fish, use as a cracker dip, or if you love it as much as me–eat it by the spoonful.
Love food. Love self. Love life.