The winter can be a tricky time to eat healthy. Coming off the holidays, I know my body wants things that will actually fuel it, but I’m still craving all the cold-weather comfort foods. This dish is a fantastic compromise.
These spaghetti squash boats are warm and comforting like a casserole, but chock full of veggies and lean meat instead.
Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.
One of my favorite parts of #Choctoberfest is getting a chance to show how versatile chocolate can be. Everyone always jumps to cakes and brownies, but there’s so much more than that – how about some chocolate for dinner?
This delicious chili uses a full bar of Forte chocolate but if you’re thinking “chocolate with meat? gross!”, you’ve got it all wrong. The chocolate isn’t going to be obvious when you dig in, but it add a great depth of flavor and an amazing smoothness to the chili.
Forte’s motto is “Celebrate Life through Chocolate”, which I’m totally on board with. This chili is simple enough that you can celebrate any day.
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1 red onion, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup whiskey
2 oz. dark chocolate (I used Forte 64% dark)
Green onions, chopped
In a large pot, crisp the chopped bacon over medium high heat. When cooked, remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon but leave the drippings. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the chunks as you go. When it’s about halfway cooked, add in the onion and peppers. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft.
Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and cumin. Bring to a boil. Stir in the whisky and half of the bacon. Reduce to low and simmer for an hour.
Stir in the dark chocolate until melted and evenly combined. Serve topped with chopped green onions and remaining bacon.
In the food blogger world, we’re often working ahead. Like, I’m currently working on Christmas cookies, as absurd as that sounds on this 80 degree summer day. Sometimes I feel like I’m living three steps ahead, not in the moment, so I was super excited that more than 80% of you were still up for summer recipes when I asked on Facebook this week.
I feel like I’ve missed most of it, honestly. The move chewed up so much of my time that I feel like I’m frantically playing catch up now before school starts. Grilling is something I’m catching up on – we finally got our grill ready to go this week. This was the first thing I made.
This “recipe” is really flexible – it’s more of a method. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Want it to cook faster? Cut the pieces smaller. Want the veggies to caramelize a little more? Don’t stir as often. Sub the balsamic for fresh Parmesan. Add a nice, crusty loaf of bread and serve it as a meal. So many options!
It can also be served warm, cold, or at room temp which makes it so flexible for potlucks or entertaining.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables (adapted from Stop & Shop) Serves 6-8 as a side
One of the things I love about being part of a CSA farm is that I’m learning a lot about how to prepare food. Like, last year I got schooled in sweet corn. Do you cook it? Then you’re doing it wrong!
Fresh from the field corn is so, so good raw. One day when we were there, they taught the kids how to pick and husk the corn in the field, and told them to try it raw. It’s even sweeter raw, and the kids gobbled it up. For the rest of the summer, it was their snack of choice and I didn’t get a chance to cook another ear!
This easy salsa uses farm-fresh sweet corn. If you have a local source, that’s your best option. We love this with chips, but it’s also great tucked in burritos and to top tacos.
Fresh Corn Salsa (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes about 2 cups
3 large ears of sweet corn, cleaned and cut off the cob
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Stir together the corn, pepper, onion and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the corn and toss to coat.
Looking for more #farmersmarketweek inspiration? Here is what my fellow bloggers are cooking up today!