Happy Friday! We’re heading into Halloween week, and we’re having a bunch of friends over for dinner as a starting point to trick or treating. This turkey and butternut chili is what I’ll be serving - warm and filling, but not too much so with those tender, sweet cubes of squash. Modifications are noted for a meat-free option. Also, I know we talked about keeping a “sauces and dressings” arsenal for you to easily reference favorites, I haven’t forgotten! Soon. Have a great week! Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.
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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.
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MEAT & DAIRY
recipe 01: Ottolenghi’s Braised Leeks with Eggs + Feta
Adapted from Ottolenghi Simple
I am only one recipe into Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Simple, but if I can get permission, we’ll have to do a whole week from that book. It looks so delicious. This is a recipe from the brunch chapter that I thought would transition great to dinner too. While leeks may not be a common ingredient in your crisper, they are worth getting to know, and perfect with eggs. They have a gentle oniony flavor, almost creamy? And you truly don’t have to do much to them to coax out their amazing flavor. His original recipe calls for preserved lemons, which I will guess you don’t have, or maybe not be an easy ingredient to procure. We’re just going to do a squeeze of lemon juice, while I know that is not the same flavor, it just simplifies things. Between the cumin seeds and za’atar, I figured we were getting exotic enough. You can find a za’atar blend at spice shops, health food stores and online. You can also make your own - a simple version being a blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. Lastly, pressed for convenience, any dried green herb is fine, while perhaps not as interesting as the original written recipe.
The yield here may easily be halved, or braise the leeks and do less eggs than needed (as pictured, we did four and it all works out fine). Any leftover leeks are great folded into scrambled eggs, smashed onto toast or tucked into a sandwich.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: you can braise the leeks in advance and rewarm them when you are ready to add the eggs.
use it twice: as mentioned in the headnote, you can pull some of the leeks for another use, if it look like more than you would consumer with however many eggs you include.
kid friendly: real talk, I made them a fried egg and cut up some fruit. Not an entirely different meal, but just a sidestep.
dairy free: skip the feta cheese, and swap oil in for the butter.
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 large/4 smaller leeks, trimmed and cut into 1/4” slices
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. cumin seeds (caraway seeds similar if you stock those)
1 cup vegetable stock
5 oz. baby spinach or baby kale
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp. za’atar
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Put the butter and 1 Tbsp. of the oil into a large sautè pan with a lid and place it over medium heat. Once the butter start to foam, add the leeks, 1/2 tsp. sea salt and a few pinches of pepper. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft. Add the cumin seed, vegetable stock and boil until the stock has evaporated. Fold in the spinach to wilt and turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir in the lemon juice.
Use a large spoon to make 6 indentations in the mixture and break one egg into each space. Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt, dot the feta around the eggs, and cover the pan. Simmer for 4ish minutes, until the egg whites are cooked, but the yolks are still runny.
Mix the za’atar with the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil and brush over the eggs. Serve immediately, from the pan alongside some toasted bread.
recipe 02: Chopped Greek Salad
I LOVE having lunch salads ready. You may believe I want to cook all the time because I just luuuvvvv it and that is not true. I totally get burnt out. Thankfully, I am not too fancy for leftovers, and will enthusiastically eat the same salad for three days if it gets me out of more chopping. This is that salad. It holds up well, crunchy, salty, rich with olives and feta. I like having some quinoa or leftover rice with it, because it keeps me fuller, longer. You can for sure eliminate it if you prefer.
If you want to swap in some grilled chicken in place of, or along with the garbanzos, that works here too and will make it more substantial. I would simply marinate it (overnight ideally) in olive oil, balsamic, a crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper, and some rosemary and then grill from there. Chop it up and add it in with everything else. If you like a more well dressed salad, double up on the salad dressing.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: the grains can for sure be cooked in advance. You can chop all or some of your vegetables, and store them covered in the fridge for a day.
use it twice: the salad saves well, as long as it is not overly salted. If I prep more than I think we’ll eat within a few hours, I store some unsalted, so it stays crunchier in the fridge. The dressing can be doubled to dress any sort of simple salad.
kid friendly: oh man, this is a tough to no-sell to my kids. How dare I serve them a RAW tomato! The nerve. A suggestion, in case yours are not as strong willed and opinionated as mine, double the grain and mix in just a bit of the chopped salad. Also, put it all in a wrap. Greek burritos!
dairy free: skip the feta.
for the salad
1 English cucumber, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 pint baby tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 cup cooked garbanzos, optional, see headnote
1 small bundle of fresh mint, plus more for garnish
1 small bundle of fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup crumbled (about 4 ounces) feta cheese, as needed
for the lemon-oregano vinaigrette
1 tsp. honey
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
Dash of red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
pita chips, for topping, optional
We are going to chop all our vegetables up pretty small. The beauty of a greek salad is the sum of it’s parts, so if the pieces are small, you have potential to get a bit of everything in each bite. Chop the cucumber small, and add it to a large mixing bowl. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, olives and garbanzos. Chop the mint and parsley well (about a packed 1/2 cup of herbs give or take), add them to the bowl, along with half of the feta cheese. If you will be eating this within the day, season it with salt and pepper.
Shake all the dressing ingredients together in a lidded jar. Dress the vegetables as desired and toss to coat.
Serve with a scoop of the quinoa or brown rice, greek salad on top, a drizzle more dressing if you’d like, and garnish with a little more feta and some fresh herbs.
recipe 03: Butternut Turkey Chili
Yes, there is some chopping. I will repeat this every time - jalapeños vary widely on spice. Some are as mild as a bell pepper, some are spicy even with the seeds out. I do not know your jalapeños, so proceed with your own experience given wherever you purchase peppers.
The size of the squash cubes are notes, we want them smallish, not big hunks in the chili. Watch your fingers!
The garnishes are NOT on the grocery list. If you're the line-by-line sort of person, be sure to add any garnishes you'd like on your chili to the Additional Items section on the grocery list.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: chop your vegetables a day or two in advance. The entire chili can be made up to three days in advance, and reheated. It’s honestly better the following day.
use it twice: this chili saves well. It can be frozen, and reheated if needed. It is also great served over a small baked potato.
kid friendly: be sure you use a mild chili powder - the heat can vary. More store-bought versions are mild, unless otherwise noted. I make sure all the seeds are out of the jalapeño when the kids are eating this with us, but I leave a few in for adults because the heat is nice.
vegitarian option: I have had good luck subbing half cup of lentils and half cup of bulgur wheat in place of the turkey. Add these in after you sautè the vegetables. You will need a splash more broth, as these ingredients absorb moisture as they cook.
1 Tbsp. avocado, olive oil or ghee
1 lb. ground turkey (ideally dark meat)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups 1/2” cubes butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 14-oz. cans diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup broth, chicken or vegetable
1 14-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and pepper
cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, chips etc.
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Warm the oil. Add the ground turkey and a big pinch of salt. Break it up with the back of a spoon and brown the meat.
Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic, squash, and another pinch of salt and saute a minute or two. Add the tomato paste, sugar, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, tomatoes, broth and beans. Stir everything to mix. Turn the heat to low, put the cover on ajar, and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the squash is tender. Add a last pinch of salt and pepper, to taste (stewy things need to be well salted! Don’t be shy). Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly before serving. Once completely cooled, store, covered, in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer until ready to use.
Garnish your bowls with avocado, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, chips or whatever you wish.
recipe 04: Green Chile & Goat Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
This is a denser cornbread, not a light, cake cornbread. I make the muffins, split and toast them for the chili. If you are more for cornbread in a skillet, a 10” skillet will give you a nice depth. Simply add about 10ish minutes to the baking time, and watch the center for doneness.
Tips of The Week
make ahead: the muffins are best fresh out of the oven, but can be made a day in advance.
use it twice: sounds weird, but my favorite thing to do with leftover corn muffins is crumble them up and toast them in an oven at 425’, let them cool and crisp up, and use them as croutons. Maybe a sturdy green, tomatoes, onions, some protein, a creamy dressing and those croutons? SO good.
gluten free: you can sub a gluten free all-purpose flour for the white flour here. It will likely turn out denser, but that is just sort of how it goes. Make sure you really whip your eggs to get air up in there.
dairy free: skip the cheese, and replace the butter with either a non-dairy butter (which they sell at all health food stores and Trader Joes)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
3 Tbsp. butter or ghee, melted
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 4 oz. can mild green chiles, drained well (optional)\
3/4 cup grated (about 3 ounces) goats milk cheddar cheese (optional)
A grind of fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375’ and grease a muffin tin or line with parchment liners.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together really well. Add the oil, melted butter, salt and sugar and whisk it all again to mix. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder (you should technically use a second bowl to mix the dry together, but I hate dishes. I just add the leavener and use my finger to swirl it around in the flours and then mix from there. Use a second bowl if you prefer). Stir to just combine. Add the drained chiles, cheese, few grinds of pepper, and stir one more time.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full and drizzle a tiny bit of honey on the top of each one. Bake for 20-25 minutes until done in the center. Remove to cool.
Muffins will keep, covered, at room temperature for 2 days, or up to 4 days in the fridge.