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by Sarah Steimer

Now that it’s getting colder out, I’m not as willing to venture out at a moment’s notice for dinner ingredients. On those sorts of evenings, I go to my favorite recipe websites and search for dishes that use ingredients I already have in the apartment. We hope you use our site the same way!

  • 1/2 pound pasta — I used whole-wheat spirals
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium/large parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 5-6 Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and chopped with the leaves (no reason to discard the stems!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more to top

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain the pasta and return to the pot, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking the meat up into smaller pieces, about 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer the sausage to the pasta.

Add the parsnips to the saute pan and cook until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chard, seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted. Transfer this parsnip-chard mixture and the cheese to the pasta and toss, adding enough water to create a light sauce. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta with the extra cheese, if you choose. Makes 2-3 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

This dish is basically a much easier version of pasta (gnocchi, specifically). If you can’t find mustard greens — I got mine at the farmer’s market — you could definitely substitute another green, although I would suggest a more peppery green such as arugula.

  • 1 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • about 3 cups mustard greens center ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Spread semolina flour in an even layer in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Fill a small bowl with 1/2 cup water and set next to dish. Working in 4-5 batches, gather your fingertips and thumb together and dip into bowl of water, lift hand from bowl and splatter water over semolina. Repeat several times until the surface of the flour is dotted with ragged wet patches about the size of a nickel.

Use a fish spatula or slotted spoon to toss the dumplings you created in the flour to coat. Move the dumplings to a sieve or strainer, shaking gently to remove the excess flour. Place the dumplings on a baking sheet. Continue to make more dumplings until you run out of flour or water.

Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a low boil (you do not want a rolling boil). Add about half of the dumplings to the water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for about 30 seconds. Remove the dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon and place onto another baking sheet or plate. Cook the other half of the batch.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter is foamy and browned bits form on the bottom of pan. Add the cooked frascatelli (the dumplings) and toss gently to coat. Add the mustard greens to the pan, tossing with the frascatelli lightly and letting the greens wilt a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the frascatelli topped with grated Parmesan.

Makes two servings.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

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by Sarah Steimer

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous meal that takes so little effort. What could be better? Totally a show-off meal for a date, your parents or any other person in your life you feel like impressing the socks off. Your pets do count, I suppose.

  • 2 salmon fillets, skin removed (optional if you don’t mind it)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 8-12 Brussels sprouts (depending on their size), stems removed and cut in half
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder

    I’m still pretty much a newbie when it comes to fish. The biggest thing to remember about cooking fish is to be gentle — you’re not working with steak here.

Place the salmon fillets in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the salt, pepper, thyme and garlic, being sure to cover

both sides of the fish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for a half hour to two hours.

Put the cubed parsnips and sweet potatoes in a small sauce pan. Add the butter, milk, 1 teaspoon of the horseradish and salt and pepper. Simmer on low until the cubes are soft enough to mash. You may need to add a few more tablespoons of milk if it all evaporates. Puree the parsnips and sweet potato in a blender or food processor. Mix in the last teaspoon of horseradish.

In the meantime, place the Brussels sprouts halves on a baking sheet or glass dish. Toss with the salt, pepper, chili powder and a few drizzles of olive oil.

In a 350 degree oven, bake both the Brussels sprouts and fish on the same rack (if

Prep ahead! Get your chopping done in advance so all you have to do is throw things in the oven or let them simmer on the stove.

you can, if not try to keep the racks close and place the Brussels higher). Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the pan once but not flipping the fish. The salmon will be ready when it is opaque and flakes easily.

Layer the puree, Brussels sprouts and fish on two plates. Garnish with additional thyme.

Makes two servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

This dish was the result of waking up late from a nap and realizing I had no plan for dinner, but just odds and ends in the fridge, including leftover ground chuck that needed to be cooked ASAP. Worked out pretty well, I’d say.

  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 1/2-inch slices of precooked polenta (the kind that comes in a tube)
  • 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground chuck, red pepper flakes, egg, breadcrumbs and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into meatballs that are smaller than a golf ball, about 1 inch in diameter.

Heat enough olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, turning as they cook. The meatballs should only take about 10 minutes to cook, but cut one in half to ensure it is cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the pan and let drain on a paper towel.

Clean out the pan and heat more oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, letting both soften. Add the roasted red pepper, banana pepper and tomato. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until the banana pepper has begun to soften, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse just enough times to create a lumpy sauce. Return the mixture to the pan and adjust the seasoning (just salt and pepper in this case).

Arrange the polenta slices on two plates, three slices per plate. Microwave just until warm, about 20 seconds.

Top the polenta with slices fresh mozzarella. Add the meatballs on top, followed by the pepper-tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

Makes two servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

I’m starting to realize the genius of deconstructing meals. It’s just a faster, easier way to get all the same flavors in place, really.

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used plain panko crumbs and added some seasoning)
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 2/3 cup pasta sauce

Toss the zucchini and tomato slices in olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook on a grill over medium heat, flipping when grill marks appear. The

This is a prettier version of zucchini Parmesan – and probably healthier because the zucchinis were grilled instead of fried.

tomato slices may not want to stay together and will get a little sloppy, you can go ahead and take those off the grill if this happens. The important part was getting enhancing the flavor.

While the vegetables are cooking, heat olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add the breadcrumbs, stirring often until the crumbs have browned. Remove from heat and mix in the Parmesan. Set aside.

Arrange the zucchini, tomato and mozzarella slices on three plates. Distribute half of the breadcrumbs over the three plates, then top with the pasta sauce. Finish with the rest of the bread crumbs. To garnish, add a basil leaf (totally optional, of course).

Makes three servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

Don't make this if you're very, very hungry - like we did. Not that it won't fill you up, it will. It just takes a little longer to prepare than you would expect and the fantastic smells will kill you.

  • 4 flour tortillas*
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces beer (this is the average bottle size – choose a milder beer like an amber ale or lager)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers (or another vegetable of  your choice, or just more corn)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese – we went with Monterey Jack

    Neither corn nor peppers are in season where I live - BUT this was the perfect time to whip out the veggies I blanched and froze at the end of last summer!

Spray a springform pan with oil, or apply oil with a paper towel. Place one tortilla in the bottom of the pan, trimming the edges if necessary.

In a pan with oil, add the onions, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until onions have softened.

Add the beans and the beer, bringing the liquid to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the liquid to almost completely evaporate. The recipe said this should take 8-12 minutes but I think that was a complete lie. It felt more like 15-20 or so. But we were also wildly hungry so it may not have taken that long.

Add the peppers, corn and scallions until heated through. Remove from the heat.

Layer about 1/2 cup or so of the mixture onto the tortilla in the pan, followed by a handful of cheese and top with another tortilla. Repeat and finish with the last tortilla on top, sprinkling some extra cheese on this.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Makes about four servings.

*I don’t have a springform pan and, instead, used an 8-inch cake round and smaller tortillas. Because the sides of my pan were not very high, we were only able to layer four tortillas and had about two cups of the black bean mixture left.

Recipe adapted from: Elly Says Opa!

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by Sarah Steimer

I used some of the last of my winter fingerling potatoes in this chili. You can use a regular potato instead, but I like the pink tint some of my Red Thumb fingerlings added.

  • 1/2cup onion, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can navy or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 potato, diced OR a large handful of fingerling potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil a medium pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and cook until softened.

Add the beans, potatoes, artichoke hearts, garlic, oregano, cumin, chipotle pepper and lime juice. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the chili simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes have cooked through.

Makes about two servings.

Recipe adapted from: The Mosaic Kitchen

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