Corn Chowder Salad

I came across this when I was looking for ways to eat up some of the delicious corn we’ve been getting! It comes together pretty fast but it does make the counter a mess-you’ve been warned! I love the smokiness from the bacon and the creaminess from the potato of corn chowder-give it a try!

warm corn relish2 warm corn relish1

You’ll Need:
2 tbp olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pound red or white boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups fresh corn kernels (5-6 ears)
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp cider vinegar
red pepper flakes

Heat oil over medium low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to allow the fat to drain. To the bacon grease, add the potatoes and cook. Toss occasionally but let cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in bell pepper and season with salt. Cook about 5 minutes more, until both are tender. Add in corn and cook until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with onion, vinegar and bacon. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. It’s great hot but is also delicious chilled.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese

This is one my favorite ways to use butternut squash! I cannot believe I haven’t shared this here before because this little gem is a fall staple and great warm dinner.

pasta with butternut squash and blue

You’ll Need:
4 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil + cooking spray
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 oz uncooked pasta, small shapes are the best
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup 2/% milk
1 tsp flour
2 large egg yolks
2 oz blue cheese crumbles (about 1/2 a cup)
toasted walnuts, for topping
pasta with butternut squash and blue

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and add squash. Spray again and add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Toss to coat and bake until fork tender, about 25 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic, sauté 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup milk, remaining salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk, 2 egg yolks and flour. Slowly add egg mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk. Once all mixed, add in blue cheese, reserving a few crumbles for the top. Cook 5 minutes, until thickened, stirring often with a whisk. If there is room in a pan, stir in butternut squash and pasta, stirring to combine. If there isn’t room, toss in a large bowl. Toss with reserved cheese and walnuts, if using.

Cincinnati Style Chili~Fast Dinner Idea

Since moving home, I’ve have eaten at a Skyline Chili as an adult. Unironically, even. I really enjoy the slightly sweet chili and it’s served with carbs! COME ON PEOPLE! It makes me sad for all the wasted years when I thought Cincinnati chili was ‘gross.’ I am trying to limit the visits to fast food joints (not that I don’t have ideas about how to lighten up the Skyline menu-because I doooooooo) and stick to more healthy made at home versions. This isn’t traditional as it uses ground turkey over ground beef. It also skews the more traditional 50/50 beef/beans ratio towards 65/35 because despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t love beans. As with all chili, this is also very good the next day over hot dogs!

cinci chili

You’ll Need:
6 oz uncooked spaghetti
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion,
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz ground turkey
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
2 tsp red wine vinegar
shredded cheese for topping
finely chopped white onion for topping

Cook spaghetti as the package directs, leaving out salt and fat. Drain.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat a large deep sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add in ground turkey and cook until browned, stirring to crumble meat. Add in spices (thru cinnamon) and sauté 30 seconds to wake up the flavors. Add in tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add in beans and cook one more minute to warm them up. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. Serve over spaghetti and top with cheese and fresh white onion if you’re daring.

Vegetarian Chili Rellenos

veggie chile rellenos

M has made these for us a few times, chili rellenos are his favorite Mexican inspired food and these make it easier to indulge more often. They also seem to heat up great for him at work. As I always have crock pot beans of some sort in the fridge, this is certainly something we can usually make in a pinch!

veggie chile rellenos

You’ll Need:
4 poblano chilis, sliced and ribs removed, on a lightly creased baking sheet
1 can beans, we used kidney but any would work
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced, seeded if you prefer
ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese.

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeño in a deep sided pan over medium high heat. Once onions are glassy, stir in cumin, salt and pepper as well as the drained beans. Stir in half the cheese until just melted Cook until the beans are warmed through and then spoon into the prepped pobanos and top the 8 halves with the remaining cheese. Broil or cook on 350 until cheese is melted.

Crockpot Beef for Tacos

crockpot beef for tacos ~

I made this before I left so we could have tacos but also so M could have plenty of food in the house while I was gone. I don’t normally care but 6 days is a long time! Luckily this was easy and delicious! I can certainly see making this for a taco night with friends in the future.

You’ll Need:
3 lb rump roast (or flank steak)
1 14 oz. can of Rotel or diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup beef or vegetable broth (that’s all I keep)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
a good sprinkling of ground cumin

Place the rump roast in the crock pot. Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over the roast. Cook on low for 8 hours and then shred in the juices. Enjoy.

Pico de Gallo Salsa with Jicama

pico de gallo l

M made this after I was traveling and he meal planned for the week himself. I have to say, I was in for quite a treat! This is incredibly crisp and super spicy. This recipe made a huge bowl that we ate for dinner over grilled portobellos with enough for chips for the next few days.

pica de gallo w

You’ll Need:
1 medium jicama, finely diced
6 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 yellow tomatoes, finely diced
6 oz mint, finely chopped
1 serrano, seeded and finely diced
1 jalepeno with seeds, finely diced
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp salt
1 scant tsp Pico de Gallo powder (dried chili and salt) or to taste

Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for maximum spiciness.

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork~Weeknight Dinner Idea

caramelized pork 2 We love this dinner! And if I do it right, it comes in in just under 20 minutes which is always a winner in my book. The sauce doesn’t really become caramel but it does reduce beautifully and there is enough to smother the rice. caramelized pork You’ll Need:

2 cups water
1 cup white rice
1 tbsp oil
1 1-lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

You’ll: In a medium skillet, start the rice and water. Keep an eye on it while cooking, take off heat about 15 minutes in and let sit. Fluff with a fork before serving. In a wok or deep sided skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Stir fry the pork until it is browned on most sides and cooked through. Remove to a plate or bowl. In the same skillet, stir fry the onion, garlic, carrot and ginger over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the stock, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, rice vinegar and crushed red pepper. When the onions are just starting to become clear, add in the sauce and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4 minutes, until it starts to stick to the back of your spoon. Stir in pork and cabbage and let cook together 1 more minute. Serve one cup rice with one cup pork and vegetable mixture. Top with a tbsp cilantro and peanuts.

Spicy Corn on the Cob

spicy corn on the cob on

This isn’t really a recipe but more a technique. One awesome thing about life in the Midwest is the abundance of fresh sweet corn. M usually grills it in the husk and then we top it with fresh crema, cojito cheese and this spicy pepper and salt mix called Pico de Gallo. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and crunchy, rich and creamy, and downright spicy! What’s your favorite way to make corn on the cob?spicy corn on the cob on

Crunchy Tofu Tacos~Vegetarian Taco Night

I’m always looking to up my taco game and while I really liked the flavors here, this is a lot of work for a weeknight taco dinner. I’d love to keep flavors but go with the much faster TVP as the protein in the future.

crunchy tofu tacos

You’ll Need:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cashews
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 1/2 cups julienned radishes
2 tbsp mayonnaise (or unflavored greek yogurt)
1 1/2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp rice vinegar
8 corn tortillas
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Slice the tofu in half, so you have two inch thick slabs and let soak on several paper towels under a dutch oven or other heavy pan for about 10 minutes.

To make the quick pickled vegetables, heat rice vinegar, water and sugar until boiling and pour over carrots and radishes. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast the cashews until they just start to turn color. Remove and roughly chop.

Add oil to the pan, and swirl to coat. Raise temperature to high to pan fry the tofu. Fry until golden on all sides.

Whisk together sriracha, remaining teaspoon of rice vinegar and mayonnaise to make the sauce.

When the tofu is done, removed from pan and cube. Using the hot skillet, toast your corn tortillas, one at a time. Assemble tacos and dig in!