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Archive for the ‘Main dish’ Category

Say the words “boiled dinner” to today’s epicurians and you might be greeted with a grimaced face that seems to say, “Boiled? It sounds simply awful!”

In fact, boiled dinner is quite delicious. The corned beef is cooked until it melts in your mouth and the root vegetables are so tender they can be sliced with a spoon. It’s also so easy to prepare without much watching that it could be called the original slowcooker meal.

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Tuna steak kabobs

Juicy, tasty, healthy, and – best of all – quick, tuna steak kabobs don’t require an outdoor grill. Just stir together some olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard for a tangy-spicy marinade and load up some kabob skewers for just a few minutes under the broiler.

Tuna steak kabobs, or use your favorite fish, is a fast go-to dinner for a busy weekday night.

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Classic lasagna

My friend Jeremy had posted this recipe on my Recipe List page and I finally had a chance to make it when a few friends got together recently for a baby shower.

Lasagna is a perfect potluck item to bring, and although I love this Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagna, I thought our get together would be a good opportunity to try out Jeremy’s recipe. (more…)

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Two nights a week I don’t get home until 9 p.m. after swim practice and I am ravenous! Sometimes I have leftovers on hand so I can eat right away. But most nights I need to make something substantial – and fast.

Beef stir fry with green peppers and onions is a perfect answer. It’s quick, hearty, and has both good veggies and protein for a post-workout meal. You’ll be eating a hot meal within 15 minutes after hanging up your workout clothes to dry.

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I was cleaning out some cabinets in the kitchen the other day and found this recipe that my high school friend Erin sent to me years ago.

I’ve known Erin since we were both 14. I first noticed her in the freshman hallway because she was leaning against my locker flirting with the boy I had a crush on. Later, we ran track together (the boy was eventually forgotten), and many years later I was the maid of honor in her wedding.

Erin remains a talented and dedicated runner and now she is the mom of two boys and just this fall returned to teaching full time. Through it all, she has always paid close attention to what she eats. In high school, she regaled us with unbelievable stories about such things as seaweed soup and carob “chocolate.” These were rare and exotic ideas to me at the time. Erin’s mom, Aubrey, also introduced me to tofu, cooking with maple syrup instead of sugar, and cheese nachos melted in the toaster oven.

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Sometimes squash can be intimidating. They are weird looking, require a huge knife to hack them open, and then take hours in the oven to roast and soften. Spaghetti squash are the smoothest of the squash family. Their flesh, when cooked, breaks apart in strings not unlike angel hair pasta. But don’t be fooled. It is still a squash.

I just learned a great squash trick. You can soften a squash in 8 minutes in the microwave. Yes. Just halve it, scoop out the seeds, cover it in plastic wrap and nuke for 8 minutes. You’ll want to let it rest a bit so you don’t scald your fingers when you remove the plastic wrap.

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I wish I had a picture of risotto to share with you. If I had a picture you’d see soft pillowy mounds of arborio rice, with flecks of green broccoli, and earthy mushrooms held together with Grana Padano cheese but I don’t. Because I ate it before I could take a picture. All of it. It was that good.

So here is an autumn Valentine for you instead.

It’s almost as good, right?

I felt like I had gotten a Valentine the night my friends came over to eat risotto in heaping bowlfuls. My friends are all single urbanites, charging in a million different directions. I wan’t sure who would show up at the dinner table. In the end, there were five of us – just kind of “coming home” together after a week of hectic schedules, new jobs, and surviving the ordinary. (more…)

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Chicken and dumplings

She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes. You know the song right? The one where some mysterious stranger driving a team of white horses comes to visit and the family rallies to kill the old red rooster. And then they all have chicken and dumplings like that is a really good thing. I mean, wow. That must have been some VIP if the rooster has to go into the pot  – and yet she has to sleep with Grandma in red pajamas. Go figure. The song simply does not make sense. (more…)

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I have never made a homemade chicken potpie. Until now.

Woah. I feel like I just got let in on some secret toward finding eternal happiness. This is encouraging, particularly at this time of year when it is completely dark by 5 p.m.

Chicken potpie is one frozen food that I will admit to eating. Maybe it has some childhood nostalgia for me. My parents had busy careers and even though we enjoyed lots of home cooked meals, an upside down chicken potpie straight from the mini aluminum pie tray with a slosh of applesauce on the side was one of my favorite dinners. It was one of the first things I got to make as kid all by myself, which means, I got to poke fork holes into the top of the frozen pastry and slide it into the oven. By the time I finished watching an episode of “Laverne & Shirley,” my dinner was ready. (more…)

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