Cooking Club: Week 38

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As the sun begins to set later and later each night, my desire to spend weeknights over a hot stove at dusk, dwindles significantly. To save a bit of time each night, and to make weeknight cooking easier, I try to carve out an hour or so on a Saturday or Sunday to do a bit of prep work. If an hour of your weekend sounds like too much, skip it! But think of it as a gift to your future-self. Otherwise, I have found a little time in the kitchen with a good playlist or podcast in the background makes weeknight cooking feel less like a chore. Here is a suggestion to get a head start on the prep for the following recipes.


In one-ish hour you’ll have:

Prepped + ready baked potatoes (Recipe 1)
Roasted Garlic ready for a quick pizza sauce (Recipe 3)
Most ingredients for the Tomatillo Sauce just waiting to be blended (Recipe 2)
Mexi-Slaw made (Recipe 1 + 2)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400’ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. On one baking sheet, place sweet potatoes, prepped as directed in Recipe 1. Pop in the oven on the lower rack and set timer for 45 minutes. These will roast for 15 minutes before you add the second sheet pan to the oven. 

  3. Meanwhile, for the White Pesto in Recipe 3, get ahead by roasting your garlic. Place garlic head on a square of foil, drizzle with oil, and season with salt. Wrap it up in foil and set aside.

  4. On the other sheet, prep and season tomatillos, onions, poblanos, and garlic as directed for the Tomatillo Chicken Tostadas in Recipe 2. 

  5. After the potatoes have roasted for 15 minutes, add the garlic pack to their sheet, and pop em’ back in.  Add the sheet pan with the tomatillos to the top rack. Everything will roast for about 30 minutes (or less depending on your oven).

  6. During the final roast, prep the Mexi-Slaw as directed in Recipe 1, but leave out the pepitas until serving. Nuts and seeds get weird sitting in dressing. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

  7. Remove sheet pans from the oven. If not eating that night, store the cooled, pre-roasted potatoes in an airtight container. Transfer tomatillo tray ingredients to an airtight container, and store in the fridge till you're ready to make the sauce. The garlic-foil packet can be kept in a small bowl until you’re ready to make the pizza sauce.

I’d recommend rolling with the Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes for dinner that night, and then having the tostadas the next! Up to you!

News:

- In case you missed it last week, we released a little food photography guide, which you can view here.

- We updated the Sauces & Dressings page, and renamed it as the Condiment Index, with a few new non-dressing & sauce requests, including the quick pickled onions, spicy maple pepitas, and the green tahini sauce.

- Comments, questions or suggestions? Submit your feedback here.


groceries

I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.

Your List i

sloppy joe stuffed sweet potatoes w/ slaw tomatillo chicken tostadas roasted broccolini flatbreads muddy buddy mix

Produce

Pantry

Meat + Dairy


recipe 01: sloppy joe stuffed sweet potatoes w/ slaw

serves 4

Inspired by Alex Snodgrass of The Defined Dish, these are a take on a childhood classic, with a bit more flavor than the kind that comes from the can or packet. Topped with a bright slaw - the acidic bite from the lime juice and vinegar plays well off the rich filling.

You can serve these over buns if you wanna stick with tradition, or over some salad greens for something a bit lighter. Vegetarian swaps mentioned below.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The entire sloppy Joe mixture can be made a day in advance. It is even better the next day, honestly. The potatoes can be baked and rewarmed when ready to serve.

Use it Twice: The slaw will be used again for the tostadas. Leftovers can be repurposed into a burrito or quesadilla for kids’ (or your!) lunch.

Kid Friendly: My kids are suspicious of onions so I chopped them up as small as I possibly could. Any leftover meat and smashed potato can be stuff into a burrito or quesadilla.

Vegetarian Swap: Use 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils in place of the ground meat. They sell pre-steamed ones at some markets or cooked black beans work too. Because you’ll be missing the fat from the meat, I would add some avocado on top to make it more satisfying.

Lower Carb: Skip the potato.


Ingredients
 

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
Salt + Pepper

FOR THE MEXI-SLAW

¼ red onion, sliced very thin
Juice + zest of two limes
1 small head green cabbage (1.5 lb.), shredded
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 small jalapeño, seeded + sliced very thin
½ cup pepitas, toasted, optional

FOR THE SLOPPY JOES

1 Tbsp. avocado oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
1 red bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 lb. ground dark meat turkey
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos or tamari (sweetness from coconut aminos is good here!)
1 heaping Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 cup canned tomato sauce/puree
½ -1 cup chicken stock, as needed
2 Tbsp. chives, chopped, optional

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400’. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer potatoes to sheet, poke with a fork a few times, and rub with a bit of oil. Roast until soft and tender, about 35-40 minutes. When fork tender, remove your potatoes from the oven and allow to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, soak your onions in lime zest and juice and allow to macerate for about 20 minutes. This helps mellow out the raw onion flavor. Add the cabbage and chopped cilantro into the bowl. Mix oil, mayo, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth. Pour dressing over the cabbage mix and toss it all together. Add sliced jalapeño if using, and top with pepitas. Pop in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

To make the sloppy joe mix, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add in garlic and tomato paste, mix well with the veggies, and cook for about 2 minutes, adding a drizzle of oil if dry. Mix in ground turkey, oregano, paprika, and chili powder. Sauté and allow to brown, for about 7 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spoon intermittently.

Once browned, add the balsamic, coconut aminos, and mustard to the pot to deglaze. Add the can of tomato sauce and stir well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add in chicken stock in ½ cup increments. Allow liquid to reduce, taste, and continue to add a bit more stock if you want a saucier filling. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

To assemble, split each potato down the middle with a knife to create a pocket. Stuff with ¼ of the meat mixture, and top with slaw and chives.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    629
  • fat i
    31 g
  • carbs i
    54 g
  • protein
    37 g

recipe 02: tomatillo chicken tostadas

serves 4

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: If you want to get a little prep work out of the way, you could roast the components for the tomatillo sauce ahead of time, as suggested in the headnote, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to blend. The sauce can be made in advance, and the chicken can be shredded ahead of time.

Use it Twice: The tomatillo sauce is great as an enchilada base if you loosen it with a bit of broth. Make a double batch, store it in the freezer, and make enchiladas next week.

Kid Friendly: Use the chicken to make a taco - a bit easier to eat than a piled tostada. You could probably skip the cayenne if people are sensitive to heat.

Low Carb: Serve as a taco salad over the slaw and some chopped romaine or butter lettuce.



 Ingredients

FOR THE TOMATILLO SAUCE

1 lb. tomatillos, husked, rinsed + quartered
½ poblano pepper, seeded + chopped (for more heat add 1 whole pepper)
1/2 yellow onion, peeled + chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
Dash of cayenne, to taste
1 tsp. sea salt
4 oz. can mild green chiles
Juice of 1-2 limes
½ cup cilantro, chopped

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 tbsp. avocado oil
4 cups shredded chicken
1 ½ cups Tomatillo Sauce
½ cup chicken stock + more if needed

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED RADISHES*

1 cup red or white wine vinegar, warmed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cane sugar
1 bunch radishes, sliced thin
1 jalapeno, sliced thin

FOR SERVING

8 6” tortillas, crisped
Refried beans, warmed, optional
4 cups Mexi-Slaw (Recipe 1)
2 avocados, sliced
1 small bundle cilantro, chopped
Pickled radishes, optional*
Lime wedges

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425’. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To the sheet, add tomatillos, poblano, onion, and garlic. Drizzle with avocado oil and season with oregano, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Toss together, nestling the garlic under the veggies so the cloves don’t burn. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the pickled radishes. In a large mason jar, stir vinegar, salt, coriander, and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add radishes and jalapenos, screw on the lid, and give it a shake. Place in the fridge until serving.

In a food processor, add contents of the sheet pan with green chiles, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend until mostly smooth. Taste for seasoning and salt accordingly. 

Heat a tablespoon of avocado oil in a skillet over medium high. Toss in shredded chicken, and allow the chicken to crisp a bit, about 2 minutes. Add tomatillo sauce in ½ cup increments. If you’d like the chicken to be saucier, 1 ½ cups of the sauce works perfectly. Turn the heat down to medium and allow chicken to simmer. Pour in ½  cup of chicken stock, stir, and allow to simmer and reduce for 3-4 more minutes. Add more stock if the mixture thickens too much. Taste for seasoning and finish with salt if needed. Turn the heat to low while toasting tortillas.

In a separate pan, heat about a teaspoon of oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add tortilla, and crisp on each side in 2-minute increments. Continue to flip until you’ve reached your desired crispness. Place on a paper towel lined plate, and sprinkle with salt.

To assemble, slather some refried beans on the tortilla, and add slaw, chicken, avocado slices, and pickled radishes if using. Finish with lime and fresh chopped cilantro. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    793
  • fat i
    47 g
  • carbs i
    54 g
  • protein
    35 g

recipe 03: Roasted broccolini flatbreads

serves 4

For those of you who are up for an extra challenge, you can make the pizza crust from scratch using this recipe from the blog. A few have mentioned Smitten Kitchen’s recipe which is quicker. This is best to make in advance, and make sure you read through all the notes before starting to avoid any baking related fails. If you do have a kitchen disaster, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have some great fresh and frozen options to pinch hit for a quicker weeknight meal.

The white sauce can be made in advance and re-used countless ways throughout the summer. This is a riff off Bon Appetit’s White Pesto, and would be great stirred into warm pasta with a big splash of pasta water, spooned into a pasta bake with roasted tomatoes, stuffed into a chicken breast, etc.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: If making the pizza crust, prep that the day before. The White Pesto can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Garlic can be roasted a few days in advance.

Use it Twice: Make a double batch of the pesto and toss it into warm spaghetti or bucatini, with a bit of pasta water, and roasted tomatoes.

Kid Friendly: Chopped broccoli on pizza is one of my strongest kids-to-eat-vegetables tricks because they love pizza, and eating the broccoli is the only way through.

Carnivore Addition: Brown up some Italian sausage and add it to the pizza along with the chopped broccoli.


 Ingredients

1 head garlic, top third cut off
1 lb. bunch broccolini, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt + pepper

FOR THE WHITE PESTO

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
1 head garlic, roasted (from above)
3/4 cup ricotta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. dried oregano
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
Splash of warm water, as needed

1 lb. fresh pizza dough or your favorite pizza crust
1 shallot, halved + sliced thin
4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
Pinch of aleppo pepper
Drizzle of balsamic, optional
Fresh parsley, chopped, optional 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400’. Place garlic head on a square of foil, drizzle with oil, and season with salt. Wrap it up and roast on a baking sheet for 25-30 minutes. After 25 minutes, spread the foil out on a baking sheet, scoot garlic to one side, and add broccoli. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for an additional 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, on a floured board, divide pizza dough into four smaller or two larger pizzas. Stretch into rectangular shapes, they don’t have to be perfect! Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and set aside.

Remove the pan from the oven and give broccoli a rough chop. 

Take the garlic out of the foil and squeeze out the roasted cloves into a blender or food processor. Add walnuts, garlic, ricotta, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the garlic and nuts are well incorporated. If it is super thick, add a squeeze more lemon juice or splash of water. Stir in the parm and taste for seasoning.

Crank up to 450’ or up to 500’ if that won’t set your fire alarm off!

To assemble, poke each dough with a fork a few times. Spread a generous few spoonfuls of the white pesto. Add roasted broccoli, shallots, and a sprinkle of mozzarella. 

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and the top is brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven, finish with a sprinkle of parm, balsamic, flaky salt, Aleppo, and parsley if using.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    723
  • fat i
    32 g
  • carbs i
    79 g
  • protein
    32 g

recipe 04: muddy buddy mix

Serves 10

Similar to what’s printed on the back of the Chex box, we pulled the sugar down and tried it with different nut butters. Use whatever your household likes best. You can add in your favorite trail mix and pretzel sticks to bulk it up or eat it as is. We recommend stirring the mix in big bowls, but if your kids want to get involved, you could make it in gallon sized Ziplock baggies and have them shake it all up.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Muddy Buddies can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days or frozen.

Use it Twice: It makes a great kids sports snack if it’s your turn to bring goodies! You can make a Fourth of July version with white chocolate, dried cranberries, and red, white, and blue chocolate candies. A more adult version with chocolate covered espresso beans, toasted almonds is also pretty good.

Kid Friendly: If your kids attend a nut free school, use sunflower butter. It is generally drier, so you’ll need another tablespoon of coconut oil.


Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut, finely shredded, lightly toasted
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

8 cups rice Chex cereal
½ cup creamy almond or peanut butter, natural + runny
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Flaky sea salt
1 cup of your favorite trail mix
handful of pretzel sticks, optional


Instructions

Line a baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, mix together coconut, sifted powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Pour cereal into a large bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, add in coconut oil, almond butter, and chocolate chips. Pop in the microwave and melt in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. If your mixture is very thick, add in 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil.

Pour ½ of the melted chocolate mix over the Chex. Get in there with two spoons, or two hands sprayed with cooking spray. Mix well and add the rest of the chocolate mix until each piece is coated.

Toss in ½ of the coconut-powdered sugar mix. Once it is well combined, add in the rest. Transfer to the baking sheets and allow it all to dry. 

Once the mix is dried, add in trail mix and other bits that you’d like. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    381
  • fat i
    21 g
  • carbs i
    46 g
  • protein
    8 g