There’s a time and a place for 30-minute beef chili: a weeknight when you just want to throw something in a pot and have it be warming and pretty delicious in a matter of minutes. And then there’s a time and a place for those more lazy afternoons watching football when you can also make the World’s Best Vegetarian Chili and bake homemade cornbread to boot. That’s not really my designation; this is a recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated called the “Best Vegetarian Chili,” so you know it’s true.
In any event, this was delicious, and really not that much work: brine some dried beans for a couple of hours. Then clean and grind some dry mushrooms and some walnuts (I happened to have leftovers of both in my pantry), which add savoriness. Blend up some tomatoes and cook everything with onions.
The secret ingredient? Throw in some bulgur at the end, to add chewiness and texture. Of course, I always also add some fish sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire, a little trick I learned that helps amp up the umami.
World’s Best Vegetarian Chili
- 1 pound dried beans (I used half black beans and half pinto)
- 3 dried chilies, any type (guajillo, ancho, and pasilla are good options)
- 1 Tbsp smoked chili powder (like chipotle)
- 1/2 oz dried mushrooms mushroom, any type (I used porcinis), cleaned
- 4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted if you like
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 or 2 hot peppers
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 pounds onion, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 7 cups water
- 2/3 cup bulgur
- Add beans to a large bowl or dutch oven and cover with water by at least two inches. Add 3 Tbsp salt and soak for at least six hours and as long as a day. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the chilies on a banking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until they are fragrant. Transfer to a plate, let cool for 5 minutes, then stem and seed the chilies.
- Blend the walnuts in the Magic Bullet and set aside.
- Grind the toasted chilies, mushrooms, chili powder, and oregano in the Magic Bullet and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the Magic Bullet and blend. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, and hot peppers. Blend until everything is basically smooth.
- Over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil in a big dutch oven or pot. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt and cook until the onions begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about ten minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium, add the chili mixture and cumin, and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the beans and the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Cover the pot and move to the oven (still at 300 degrees). Cook for 45 minutes, then take out of the oven and add bulgur, walnuts and tomato mixture. Cover and cook for an additional two hours. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and Worcestershire, stir, and taste for salt. Serve.
What if you could make a pasta dish in less than thirty minutes using a clever mix of store-bought ingredients and homemade pizzaz that was delicious, unusual, and nutritious? (Well… It contains vegetables, at least.) And what if it all fit in one pot for easy cleanup and no stress? I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.
Adapted from The Kitchn, this dish uses store-bought frozen tortellini combined with sweet potatoes, spinach and just a litttttle bit of cream to make a delicious, satisfying weeknight dinner. Cutting the potatoes into pieces helps to make it all come together really fast, and, hey, your dishwasher will thank you.
The Magic Bullet comes in handy to give extra-super flavor from fresh herbs and garlic.
One-Pot Tortellini with Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Cream
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- leaves from several sprigs rosemary
- ½ tsp. black peppercorns
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
- 1 bag baby spinach
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or cream
- 1 12-ounce package frozen tortellini (I used cheese tortellini)
- Heat the oil in a pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat.
- Blend the garlic, rosemary, and peppercorns in the Magic Bullet.
- Into the pot, stir in the sweet potato cubes, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just starting to soften.
- Uncover the pot and add the broth. Add the spinach in handfuls, stirring until it wilts down, before adding more.
- Stir in the half-and-half or cream, then cover and bring the liquid to a simmer.
- Uncover and stir in the tortellini. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tortellini are cooked through, about ten to fifteen minutes.
Buddha bowls are my new favorite way to get in all of my vegetables for the day. If you haven’t heard of them yet, I’m sure you’ve seen them around the web, since they’re kind of a thing right now. But what’s with the name?
They actually called “Buddha” bowls because they look like, well, a Buddha belly with all of those vegetables piled on top! In terms of what vegetables you can add to them, you can go crazy and add whatever you want! The base of this Buddha bowl is made with quinoa, and it is topped with some of my favorite vegetables, including bell pepper, radish, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, kale and avocado. You can also switch it up and make the base out of brown rice, or mix in some cooked black beans. My favorite part about this bowl is the dressing—it is so delicious and adds so much flavor to this healthy vegetable quinoa salad.
Buddha Bowl with Tahini Dressing
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup cooked kale
- 1 radish, sliced
- 1 carrot, thinly peeled into ribbons
- 1/2 cup purple cauliflower
- 1 asparagus, chopped
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Bring the water to a boil, then add the quinoa and turn to low heat and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, then uncover, stir and cool.
- Add the olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small Magic Bullet cup and blend well.
- Spread the quinoa over the bottom of a large bowl and top with the veggies, followed by the dressing.
Makes 1 large bowl.
A long time ago, in a galaxy… well, okay, it was this galaxy. I bookmarked a recipe for Mark Bittman’s shrimp – also known as “The Simplest and Best Shrimp Dish” or “Shrimp My Way.” It sounded pretty good, but, for whatever reason, I never made it. Well, stop the presses: I made it recently and it is pretty good. I don’t know if it’s the best shrimp dish ever—no Bubba Gump here, I’ve yet to taste every shrimp dish in the world—but it’s pretty darn good. Delicious, garlicky, barely cooked shrimp with the beguiling, unexpected flavor of paprika. And it all comes together lickety split, especially if you use the Magic Bullet to prepare the garlic marinade.
I’d recommend serving this with, well, with anything would be pretty darn great, but I served it with a garlicky pilaf of quinoa and kale that provided crunch and a little interesting texture from the quinoa. Winner, winner, shrimp dinner.
Shrimp with Paprika and Garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- about ½ pound shrimp, preferably raw, defrosted
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika, any kind (I like smoked paprika)
- Blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet.
- Melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until just beginning to brown.
- Raise heat to medium-high and add shrimp and spices. Season with salt and cook until just turning pink, about five minutes. Serve with the butter and oil.
This Thai chicken pizza is inspired by a crazy good pizza I had the other weekend up in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Instead of marinara sauce, this pizza is lathered with Thai peanut sauce made from scratch using peanut butter, soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Then it’s topped with chicken and mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven.
After it’s done baking, this Thai pizza is topped with fresh ingredients, including cilantro, carrots, sprouts, and lime. What other toppings can you think of that would go well with this Thai chicken pizza? Make it ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake for up to a few days.
Thai Chicken Pizza
- 2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers
- Cilantro, shredded carrots, cilantro, peanuts, white bean sprouts, cooked cubed chicken breast, mozzarella cheese
- Add the yeast, sugar and warm water to a stand mixer with hook attachment. Let stand 7 minutes.
- Add the salt, olive oil, and flour a little at a time while mixing on low speed. Continue to mix for 10 minutes or knead by hand.
- Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface and place onto greased pizza pans.
- Add the sauce ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend well.
- Spoon the sauce over the pizza dough and top with chicken and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes and top with remaining toppings.
Makes 1 pizza.
Do I really need to sell you on this one? Look at that picture! It contains mascarpone! That’s an Italian cream cheese. In a pasta! With delicious springtime asparagus! Are you crazy?! Scroll down to the recipe and get started making this!
Still here? Well, okay, you’re a tough sell. I can respect that. But seriously, I toast walnuts and cook asparagus in the same water as the pasta for extra convenience, making this essentially a one-pot dish, and there is garlic and nuttiness and the distinctive delicious asparagus flavor. It’s like mac and cheese – I suppose it is mac and cheese, what with the mascarpone and all – but more a subtle creaminess than cheesiness and nom nom nom this is good.
This is an adaption from a book called At Elizabeth David’s Table, via Serious Eats, except the asparagus is my addition and a mighty delicious one, if I do say so myself. The Magic Bullet comes in with the assist for chopped garlic and grated parmesan.
Pasta with Mascarpone Cheese, Asparagus, and Walnuts
- 1 pound penne
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed, sliced into pieces
- 1/2-1 cup mascarpone
- 3 oz parmesan
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, tossed in oil
- Boil asparagus in heavily salted water until tender. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and add the pasta. Cook until al dente and drain, reserving about a cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, microwave walnuts for one minute. Blend parmesan in the Magic Bullet, remove, and pulse the garlic clove to chop.
- Add butter, mascarpone, garlic, and half of the cooking water with the pasta over medium heat. Cook for one minute, turn off the heat, and stir everything up. Add parmesan, then continue to stir and add more cooking water if necessary so the sauce is nice and smooth. Add walnuts and asparagus and stir. Serve with black pepper and more parmesan.
Why is breakfast so much better tasting at night? Eggs for lunch, eggs for dinner – a fluffy omelet is good any time of day. And since you don’t necessarily want to expend a lot of energy first thing in the morning, this is the perfect recipe for those looking for a quick and easy breakfast. (Or lunch. Or dinner.) (Or maybe midnight snack? No judgments here.)
The other great thing about this omelet is that it’s totally customizable. Base ingredients turn it into a delicious Western-style breakfast, but swap out the ham for lean turkey, add a bit of spinach, or nix the cheese to suit your dietary preferences. My recommendation? Leave the cheese. It’s glorious.
And yes, it’s totally easy to make. The Magic Bullet makes quick work of shredding and dicing and mixing it all up, so you don’t have a million dishes to wash when it’s all said and done.
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 boiler onion or 1/4 medium white onion
- 1/2 bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
- 1/4 cup diced cooked lean ham or turkey
- 3 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese, grated in the Bullet or pre-shredded
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper to the Tall Cup, screw on the Cross Blade and pulse to coarsely chop. Transfer to the pan and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in ham/turkey for 1 minute to warm. Reduce heat to low.
- Rinse and dry the Tall Cup. Add in eggs, salt, and pepper, twist on the blade, and pulse on the Power Base 5-7 times until fully whipped. Add to the pan, stirring quickly to distribute ingredients, then let rest to form a flat omelet.
- When the omelet sets, add Monterey Jack cheese on one side, fold the egg in half and serve.
I was in Philly a few months back, doing something of a noodle crawl – it was pho-tastic – and one of the best things that I had was a dish that was not pho. It was a bowl of “Burmese cold noodles” at a little restaurant called Stock. It had a great mix of funky, chewy, crunchy, floral, and rich flavors… I just knew I had to make it myself.
This required a fair amount of reverse engineering. The menu described the ingredients as “wife’s noodles, sesame, turmeric-pickled celery, tofu, cilantro, daikon radish, house chili oil.” Well, OK, that’s confusing. The noodles that I remember were chewy and soft with just a bit of spring, so I substituted soba noodles. So far so good. I can get Chinese chili oil at the grocery store, always have some Chinese black sesame around for cold sesame noodles, and routinely fry up pressed tofu, so those are covered. Daikon radish? Meh. I remember that as just being crunchy stuff, and when I want to add crunch and flavor to an Asian dish, I go with fried ginger and garlic. Yeah, that’s good. Forget the turmeric-pickled celery nonsense, but I remember there being a clear fermented flavor, so I reached for the miso. And cilantro all over? Yes, please.
In the end, a funky, chewy, crunchy, floral, and rich dish, made in the comfort of my home… Yum.
Sesame Miso Cold Noodles with Fried Garlic and Ginger
- 1 pound soba noodles
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 piece ginger, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp Chinese sesame paste, or use tahini
- 2 tsp. miso (any kind)
- 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp hot chili oil
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- ½ pound pressed tofu, cut into pieces
- Cook soba noodles according to package instructions and cool them off.
- Add a big glug of vegetable oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook until crispy, then remove to paper towels. Add another glug of vegetable oil, let it get hot, and then add the tofu. Cook until crispy on all sides, stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, blend miso, sesame paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, and vegetable oil in the Magic Bullet.
- Mix noodles with sauce and top with cilantro, scallions, and fried ginger and garlic. Serve with a cucumber salad.
Breakfast time is hectic and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut eating the same thing every day. My kids LOVE cereal, but I always feel like it sends them off to school with a tummy full of empty calories and sugar. On the other hand, I love toast because I can top it with pretty much anything and can guarantee that my kids will get a good and filling breakfast. Not to mention any breakfast that takes less than 5 minutes of prep time is a thumbs up in this mom’s book!
Side note: This also makes a really good after school snack!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Honey Almond Toast
- Whole wheat bread, bagels, or your favorite sliced bread
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3-4 medium strawberries
- Honey, to taste
- Slivered almonds
- In your Magic Bullet, add the strawberries. Puree until blended, but a little chunky. Pour your strawberries onto your cream cheese and mix together with a spoon until incorporated.
- Place in a covered dish and refrigerate.
- When you’re ready, toast your bread. Spread cream cheese on the bread, then top with slivered almonds, and drizzle a little honey on top!
- Eat immediately and enjoy the cream cheese throughout the week.
This recipe will be your weeknight go-to! It requires just a few simple ingredients, and the sauce makes a nice base for a variety of herb and vegetable dishes that you can make anytime.
Bolognese is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. It usually contains a variety of vegetables that include onion, carrots, and celery. This simple bolognese sauce recipe is an easy make-ahead sauce that keeps nicely in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to heat and serve over flat egg noodles. You can also serve it just the way it is!
Don’t try to cut down the simmer time, because the long cooking time is what makes it so flavorful. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top after serving over your favorite noodles.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 14 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add and cook the onion, carrots, and celery for 10 minutes.
- Transfer half of the onion, carrot and celery mixture to a Magic Bullet cup, let cool for about 5 minutes to room temperature, and add 1/4 cup tomatoes and blend. Add back to the pot.
- Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the milk and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated.
- Stir in the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, adding a little water if needed as it dries out. Add salt and pepper to taste. In the end, the sauce should be mostly dry.
Makes 6 servings.