Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sausage & Cannellini Bean Stew

We have been experiencing a deep freeze lately (- 44C with windchill...really?!) and weather like this calls for comfort foods such as stew.  I made this dish with ingredients we had on hand and it is a family favourite!  This is absolutely delicious when served with crusty bread or garlic toast!

1 tbsp grapeseed, or EVOO*
6 to 8 large Italian sausages (sweet or hot)
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet paprika would also work well)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp freshly ground, black pepper
1 - 680mL jar of passata (strained tomatoes)*
1 cup beef stock
1 - 19 fl oz can of cannellini (white kidney) beans, undrained*
  •    Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Place whole sausages in the pot and saute, turning frequently, until evenly browned but not fully cooked.  Remove sausages from pot and set aside on a cutting board.  Slice sausages into 1" chunks.
  • Place onions, garlic, and leeks in pot.  Saute until onions are translucent, stirring constantly to prevent garlic burning.
  • Add carrots, potatoes, paprika, thyme, bay leaves and pepper.  Saute 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir frequently.
  • Add passata, beef stock and beans.  Stir and bring to a boil.  
  • Reduce heat to medium low.  Add sausages, stir and cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove bay leaves.
  • Serve with crusty bread or garlic toast.  ENJOY!
*EVOO = extra virgin olive oil
*Passata should be a pantry staple - it is inexpensive and versatile!
*By not draining the beans, the stew will become thicker.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

We had decided to go out and have dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant we all enjoy, but the snow was falling heavily and we chose to have dinner at home instead.  I searched the fridge and pantry and whipped up this delicious and quick dinner which was delicious and MUCH cheaper than going to a restaurant!!!

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp sambal oelek
150g package rice vermicelli noodles
2 tbsp chopped cashews (or peanuts)
  • Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add ginger and garlic to the pan and stir constantly for less than a minute.   
  • Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, and sambal oelek together in a small bowl.  Stir into skillet with chicken and green onions.  Saute for a minute.  Remove and place into large serving dish.
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Add noodles to chicken and toss well to combine.  Sprinkle with cilantro and cashews.
  • Serve and ENJOY!