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NWI Parent
NWI Parent

The cook-off

August 18th, 2010 - By Stephanie Precourt

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My “assistant” Le Cordon Bleu chef Solomon and me, all serious about my dish.


The “Mommy Bloggers vs. Foodie Bloggers” event
last Friday went great. I thought I should share my (non)winning recipe. There were 3 rounds and the Foodie Bloggers ended up winning overall, BUT 1) at least it wasn’t a Motherhood competition and 2) THE head of Le Cordon Bleu in the USA chose my recipe! That totally counts!!

(But for real, my opponent was deeelightful! Love her! And you should definitely check out her winning recipe: Spinach braid with sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, & provolone!)

And here’s mine:
Spinach, lemon, & pine nut pasta

Ingredients:

Pasta (penne, bowtie, etc- 1 box)
2 C fresh spinach
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 lemons (for juice)
about 1-2 T pine nuts
1 T olive oil
lemon zest (optional)
1 T red pepper flakes
fresh Parmesan for garnish

Boil pasta according to directions. Just before pasta is finished, toast the pine nuts in a small pan (with oil, or without). Warm the olive oil in a large skillet, Add spinach & garlic and cook, tossing until just wilted. Add lemon.

Combine spinach mixture to drained pasta and toss. Top with red pepper flakes and fresh Parmesan for garnish.

(I like this extra lemon-y, so I might add more lemon to taste.) Also, delicious with lemon chicken but I kind of wanted to offer a vegetarian dish for Friday night. This is the kind of meal I make quite often for my kids.

You can also totally mix this up and substitute with whatever you have in your cabinets and fridge. I often toss in a bell pepper, green olives, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, whatever strikes my fancy (or whatever I have that is about to expire or go bad.)

Speaking of which- here’s another recipe I made this week that I keep forgetting is my super favorite. Black bean chili. You can really make this ANY way you want- completely vegan or with ground beef, ground turkey, etc.

This is what I had on hand and made yesterday:

2 cans black beans
2 cans diced tomatoes
2-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 T olive oil
1T chili powder
1T chipotle chili powder
1 T brown sugar (ohhhh yeah)
salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste
Hot sauce (to taste)

Heat garlic, onion, & green pepper in oil until onions are translucent. Add beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then cook on low for about 15 mins or so- however long you wish, really. The brown sugar is to add a bit of sweetness- not necessary but so yum. Also, if I had ground turkey, I would have browned that first and added along with the beans, tomatoes, etc.

Ideally, I’d also add cilantro and maybe a dollop of sour cream. I didn’t have that. It was still delish!

(Also, Gray and Ivy loved the chili so much that we didn’t have enough for everyone for leftovers, and all I had on hand was a little left over onion, garlic, 2 cans of black beans and a thing of fresh salsa from the deli + seasonings. Hey, it worked- made it like that tonight.)

Have secret & simple recipes you make in your kitchen? Do share!

About the author: Stephanie is Mom to three boys & a baby girl in Valparaiso, IN and blogs daily at Adventures In Babywearing . Follow her on Twitter- she’s babysteph .

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