Ratatouille with Chicken Sausage and Chickpeas
I love summertime at the farmer’s market because there are so many colorful vegetables:
Ratatouille is one of my favorite summer dishes because it’s delicious and gives me an excuse to buy all the beautiful vegetables! Another nice thing about this dish is that it’s easily modified; it can be a vegetable side dish, it can be served with pasta or crusty bread, it can be a vegetarian main course if you add some type of legume, or it can be an omnivorous main dish if you add some type of meat.
When we first got married, my husband was wary of vegetables like eggplant and squash. He found them much more palatable when mixed with vegetables he already knew and loved, like bell peppers and tomatoes, and he found them downright delicious when I added chicken sausage to the mix! I adapted this recipe from Everyday Food Magazine, adding chicken sausage and chickpeas for additional protein and fiber, making it a one-pot meal.
- olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb. eggplant, peeled in strips and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
- salt and pepper
- 2 yellow or red bell peppers, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 8 oz. fresh sausage
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Remove chicken sausage from casings and cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Add onion, cooking til soft, and add garlic. After about 1 minute, stir in eggplant and zucchini, season with salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup water and cover until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and simmer about 5 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes and thyme, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and heat until warmed through. Stir in the basil and serve ratatouille.
Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad
What to do with all that leftover cabbage after making fish tacos? I’m not sure how “Asian” it is, but I have loved this chicken cabbage salad that is both light and satisfying. This recipe is adapted from Katherine Martinelli’s blog.
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin (sub white wine vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
- ½ large white cabbage, shredded
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 package snow peas, cut in half
- 1 bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup sliced scallions
- ¼ cup almond slivers, toasted
- 1 package ramen noodles, broken up
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Put the soy sauce, mirin, water, sesame oil, and brown sugar in a small pot over low heat. Heat, stirring, just until the sugar has fully dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside to cool.
Roast the chicken in the oven set at 350 for 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Cut into bite-size pieces.
Put the cabbage, carrot, snow peas, pepper, scallions, almond slivers, and uncooked noodles (discard seasoning packet) in a salad bowl. Pour half of the dressing over and toss vigorously until every piece of vegetable is coated. Add the chicken and more dressing until the salad is well dressed. The remaining dressing will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for at least 1 week.
Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve (salad can be made up to a few hours ahead and refrigerated; simply omit the noodles and toss in just before serving.)
Chicken with Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes
You can keep chicken in your freezer and artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and couscous in your pantry so that you have this meal on hand at any time. Add salad or cook up some frozen vegetables to round out this quick dinner from Everyday Food.
- chicken breasts for 2, boneless and skinless
- 8 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and slivered
- 4 scallions, green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 can or jar artichokes, drained, rinsed and halved
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
Places chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. With a meat mallet or skillet, pound to 1/2″ thickness. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat.
Bring a small pot of salted water to boil; add couscous. Boil until couscous is tender but still pleasantly chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with scallion greens.
To pan add garlic, white parts of scallions and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Add artichokes, sundried tomatoes and a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until artichokes are heated through. Spoon over chicken and serve with couscous.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
I tried many chicken tortilla soup recipes before I found this one from Central Market that gets the seasonings just right– it turns out simpler is better! You can use fresh or canned tomatoes, fresh or frozen corn, fresh hatch chilis or canned green chilis, depending on whether or not they are in season.
- vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8oz can green chiles
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Juice from 1 lime
- Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
- 1 avocado, diced
- tortilla chip pieces
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the remaining ingredients except lime juice and toppings. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to an hour. Off the heat. Stir in the lime juice, ladle soup into bowls, and add the toppings.
Meatballs are very versatile: they’re great to have for appetizers, plain or dipped in marinara, you can add them to a soup, or any pasta.
These meatballs are part of Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup recipe. I like to make a big batch, flash freeze the raw meatballs and store them in a plastic Ziploc in the freezer for future use. When I want to use them, I just put the frozen meatballs on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- 3/4 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
- 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake until cooked through and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.