Pico de Gallo with Lemon Zest

Pico de Gallo with Lemon Zest

Pico de Gallo with Lemon Zest

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 ripe plum tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Handful cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Chop tomatoes and place them in a colander allowing them to drain for about 30 to 45 minutes. In the meantime, combine the rest of your ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add in tomatoes, cover with plastic wrap and allow mixture to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa Mini Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Mini Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Mini Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 36 mini sweet peppers (about 1-1/2 lb bag)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3/4 cup reserved sweet peppers, diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • Handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Begin slicing sweet peppers 1/3 lengthwise on the curved side, reserving for later use. De-seed the inside of the peppers so that you have a nice hollow middle. Set aside.
  3. Dice reserved peppers until you have about 3/4 a cup and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, jalapeno and reserved peppers and cook about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add vegetable broth and tomatoes, stirring until combined, then add in quinoa, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil then cover, reduce heat and allow quinoa to simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Note: you’ll know quinoa is done when you see what looks like a little tail pop out!
  7. Stir in chopped cilantro and begin spooning your quinoa mixture into your peppers, filling as much as you can, and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake peppers at 350 for about 13 minutes then remove from oven and top peppers with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Once your sweet potatoes are peeled and cut into fries, place them in a large bowl and soak them in cold water for about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line two baking sheets with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. Drain sweet potatoes, pat dry and add to a large plastic sealable bag. Add in cornstarch and shake until sweet potatoes are lightly dusted making sure there are no clumps.
  3. Transfer sweet potatoes to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tossing well. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chipotle chili powder and brown sugar and slowly sprinkle over the sweet potatoes making sure to coat entirely.
  4. Spread sweet potatoes into a single layer on both baking sheets, making sure they aren’t touching each other, and bake for 15 minutes. Using a spatula toss sweet potatoes around on the sheet and spread back out into a single layer. Bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Pull fries out of the oven and sprinkle (liberally) with sea salt and enjoy!

One Pot Spaghetti

One Pot Spaghetti Recipe

One Pot Spaghetti

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti noodles, uncooked
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2½ cups beef broth
  • ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan, shredded
  • fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler on high. Heat a large, deep-sided, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Drain fat and return beef to skillet.
  2. Pour spaghetti sauce and beef broth into the skillet and stir to combine. Break the uncooked spaghetti noodles in half and add to the skillet. Stir noodles into the sauce and make sure they are fully submerged in the liquid. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook for 9-11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and parmesan and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley for garnish.

Florentine Meatballs

Florentine Meatballs

Florentine Meatballs

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 26 ounce jar marinara sauce

Optional:

  • spaghetti noodles
  • additional marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, combine the egg, parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk and let stand until milk is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumb mixture, ground beef, and spinach to the large bowl and mix gently until combined. Shape into 20 meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Cook meatballs in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the marinara sauce to a large skillet over medium-low heat. When the meatballs come out of the oven, place them in the marinara sauce to finish cooking, about 5-7 minutes. Serve meatballs over cooked spaghetti with additional marinara, if desired.

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Roasted Vegetabless

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 10 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • optional: fresh parsley or basil, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the tomatoes and mushrooms on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil to coat. Season with a pinch of salt and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are just tender. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the almond milk, whisking to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened and bubbling.
  4. If desired, pour the sauce into a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Return to the skillet over medium-low heat, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add the pasta and roasted vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil, if desired, and serve immediately.

DIY Baby Shower Cake Pops Recipe

DIY Baby Shower Cake Pops Recipe

DIY Baby Shower Cake Pops Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 box cake mix (I used dark chocolate cake mix!)
  • Eggs, water and oil for the cake
  • 1 can of frosting (I used cream cheese)
  • 25-35 cake pop sticks
  • Candy Melts (at least 24 oz – I used 1 1/2 packages of Candiquik)

Directions:

1. Bake your cake according to the box. It’s easiest to just make it in a 13×9 inch pan. Remove from oven and cool completely.

2. Once cake is COMPLETELY cooled, crumble it up. No need for a food processor or anything like that – just mash it up with your hands.

3. Add 3/4 container of frosting of your choice. Don’t use too much frosting or the cake pops will be too wet. Not good. By the way, cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate cake make wonderful cake pops!

4. Combine the frosting and the cake crumbs with your hands. Yes, your hands. It just works best to clean your hands really well and get in there. Here is how it will look when it is all combined.

 

5. Next you want to make the actual cake balls. I found it easiest to use a small cookie scoop so that I could guarantee that all the cake pops were the same size. Remember the OCD sister, she like things uniform!

 

6. After you scoop the cake, roll them in your hand until they are complete round balls.

 

7. Carefully melt 1 square (or about 1/4 cup) of the candy melt in the microwave according to the package. Again, you can use whatever flavor you’d like – I went with vanilla. You just need a little candy to make sure the sticks stay. You don’t have to color the candy melt yet.

 

8. Take one cake pop stick and dip the very end in the candy melt and then stick into the cake ball. Repeat with all the cake balls. Put the cake pops into the freezer to set for 30 minutes.

 

9. While the cake pops are chilling, melt and color the rest of the candy melts. Melt the candy in the microwave according the package and add food coloring. I was going for cobalt blue. HINT: If you plan to make a design on the outside of the cake pops, make sure you don’t color all your candy melts. Leave a little to decorate.

10. Remove the cake pops from the freezer. Dip into the candy melt until complete covered.

 

11. You can either set the cake pops on a wax paper lined tray to harden or devise some type of container to keep them upright to keep the completely round shape. I wanted to just display them on a beautiful silver tray, so I didn’t mind if the bottoms were flat. That helped them stand up.

12. Let the cake pops set out until hardened. Do not put them in the refrigerator! You just let them harden at room temperature.

13. To add a fancy flair, I took white candy melt and drizzled designs on the cake pops and sprinkled some with the big, white, crystal sugar sprinkles.

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1lb pecan halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (your preference)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
  3. Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large ziploc bag
  4. Whisk egg white, water and vanilla in a large bowl until frothy (you can use a fork or electric mixer, either works just fine)
  5. Add pecans to large bowl and stir to combine, coating each pecan in egg white mixture
  6. Pour coated pecans into ziploc bag, seal and shake to fully coat in cinnamon/sugar mixture
  7. Spread out in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet
  8. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Nutella Churro Donut Holes Recipe

Nutella Churro Donut Holes Recipe

Ingredients:

Donut Holes:
  • 1 cup self raising flour (or plain/all-purpose flour/s)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • (1/2 teaspoon baking soda if using plain or all purpose flour/s)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or melted coconut oil) OR light butter/spread of choice, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup low fat milk (or almond milk)
Filling:
  • ⅓ cup Nutella, melted (or this Refined Sugar-Free Nutella Spread)
Coating:
  • 1 tablespoon light butter/spread of choice, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar of choice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 176C | 350F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin tray with cooking oil spray; wipe over excess with paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk all of the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre and add the oil, egg, vanilla and milk. Whisk the batter until smooth and lump free.
  3. Spoon the batter (about 2 teaspoons) into each muffin hole, filling to to ¾ full. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are golden in colour and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a donut comes out clean. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes and transfer them onto a cooling rack.
  4. Brush each donut over with a light coating of melted butter; combine the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl; toss each donut hole into the cinnamon sugar mix until evenly coated.
  5. Fill a piping bag with the Nutella. Using a a narrow nozzle, fill each donut with the Nutella until they puff up and expand (not too much or the donuts will overflow).

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients
Butternut Squash Filling:

  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (about half of squash)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more, if needed)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Spinach Filling:

  • 1 cup cooked spinach (8 oz uncooked)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients:

  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked (for gluten free, use Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or more)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (on top)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Butternut Squash Filling:
For this filling, you will need to have pre-cooked butternut squash puree. Using food processor, combine 2 cups of butternut squash puree with Ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg. Add more milk if needed (to make the butternut squash filling very creamy). Mix very well, taste and add more salt, if needed.

Spinach Filling:
Combine spinach, Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Cooking lasagna noodles:
Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water, drain. Using knife, trim noodles to fit your baking dish (if necessary).

Lasagna assembly:
Prepare a baking dish – I used a casserole dish 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches deep. Grease the lasagna dish lightly with olive oil spray. Spread 1/3 of butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked lasagna noodles without overlapping (I used 3 noodles).
Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning, paprika, basil.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner Recipe

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 (6 – 7 oz) bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp each minced fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled if desired), chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced into halves
  • 2 fuji apples, cored and sliced into half moons about 3/4-inch thick
  • 2 shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and herbs into a gallon size resealable bag, add chicken, season with salt and pepper then seal bag and massage mixture over chicken while working to evenly distribute herbs. Set aside and let rest while chopping veggies.
  2. Place sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, apples and shallot on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil then toss to evenly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread into an even layer then set chicken over veggie/fruit mixture. Sprinkle bacon (separate any pieces that stick together) evenly over veggie/fruit mixture. Roast in preheated oven until chicken and veggies are golden brown, about 30 minutes (chicken should register 165 in center). Broil during last few minutes for a more golden skin on chicken if desired. Sprinkle with more herbs and serve immediately.

Incredible Leftover Lasagne Recipe

Incredible Leftover Lasagne Recipe

Ingredients

EGG PASTA DOUGH
700 g tipo 00 flour
7 large free-range eggs , or 14 yolks
FILLING & BÉCHAMEL
3 cloves of garlic
4 onions
3 sticks of celery
3 carrots
1/2 a bunch of fresh rosemary
olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
375 ml chianti, or other medium-bodied red wine
750 g leftover cooked higher-welfare meat, such as chicken, beef, lamb, pork
1 litre milk
a few peppercorns
75 g unsalted butter
75 g plain flour
100 g Parmesan cheese
1 x 125 g ball of buffalo mozzarella
a few sprigs of fresh basil

Directions

Make your dough first. Place the flour on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Beat the egg until smooth, then pour it into the well. Using the tips of your fingers, gradually mix the egg with the flour until combined. Knead the bits of dough into one smooth lump. You can also do this step in a food processor. Just whiz the flour and egg until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip onto a work surface and bring together with your hands.

Knead the dough to develop the gluten; this makes your pasta springy instead of flabby when you cook it. There’s no secret to kneading – you just have to bash the dough around a bit with your hands, squashing it into the table, reshaping it, stretching it and squashing it again. Stop when your pasta starts to feel smooth and silky. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.

It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t got a pasta machine, just use a rolling pin. The problem you’ll have is getting the pasta thin enough to work with. The way around this is to roll lots of small pieces. You’ll be rolling your pasta into a more circular shape than you’ll get from a machine.

If using a machine, make sure it’s firmly clamped to a clean, long work surface. Dust the surface with flour, then take a lump of dough the size of a large orange and press it out flat with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and roll the dough through it. Lightly dust the pasta with flour if it sticks. Click the machine down a setting and roll the dough through again. Fold the dough in half, click the machine back up to the widest setting and roll it through again. Repeat 5 or 6 times.

Work the dough through all the machine’s settings, from the widest to the narrowest. Lightly dust both sides of the dough with flour every time you run it through. When you reach the narrowest setting, fold the dough in half, then in half again, then once more into a squarish piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and feed it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll through the settings for the last time, you should get a silky, rectangular sheet of pasta with straight edges. For the lasagne sheets needed in these recipes, keep rolling the pasta until it’s somewhere between the thickness of a beer mat and a playing card.

Cut the pasta into 20cm x 10cm sheets. It dries faster than you might think, so don’t wait more than a minute or two to cut it. Lay a damp tea towel on top of the pasta to help prevent it drying out

Peel and finely slice the garlic. Peel all the onions, finely chop 3 and cut the remaining onion into wedges. Trim and finely chop the celery and carrots, and pick and finely chop the rosemary.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large, deep saucepan. Fry the garlic over a medium heat for 1 minute, until golden. Add the finely chopped onions to the pan with the carrot and celery. Fry over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the veg are soft but not coloured.

Add the rosemary, oregano, tomatoes, wine and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 1 hour, until thickened.

Chop up the meat or pulse in a food processor, then stir into the ragù for the final 15 minutes, or until the meat is heated through and the sauce is thick, rich and glossy. Stir the sauce regularly and loosen with a splash of boiling water from the kettle if it’s too thick for your liking.

When the ragù is almost there, preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4 and start your béchamel sauce. Pour the milk into a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the peppercorns and the remaining onion and gently bring almost to the boil.

Melt the butter in a second saucepan. Stir in the flour to create a paste and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, a ladleful at a time (discard the onion and peppercorns). Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Grate and stir in most of the Parmesan and season to taste.

Grease a large rectangular or round baking dish with a little oil and bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the lasagne sheets to the pan, a few sheets at a time, and cook for 1 minute or so per batch. Remove the pasta with tongs and spread out on a clean tea towel to drain.

Drape a single layer of lasagne over the base of the baking dish. Spread over a thin layer of ragù, top with another layer of pasta and then spread over a thin layer of béchamel sauce. Repeat as many times as you can (6 to 8, ideally), finishing with a layer of pasta topped with béchamel sauce.

Tear over the mozzarella, then finish with the remaining grated Parmesan, a drizzle of oil. Pick and scatter over the basil leaves. Bake the lasagne in the oven for 45 minutes, or until golden on top and bubbling at the edges. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe

 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 6 to 8
1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or a mix
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock, divided, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup brown rice
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, hot sauce, diced green onions, shredded lettuce

Directions

Combine the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, chili powder, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered, and add additional stock if needed. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the lid and add the rice, black beans, frozen corn, and the remaining chicken broth. Replace the lid and continue cooking on low for another 3 to 4 hours. Check the rice periodically in the last hour of cooking, stirring once or twice to make sure the rice cooks evenly and adding more chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Cooking is done when the rice is tender — if the rice is done while there is still liquid left in the slow cooker, remove the lid and cook on high to let the liquid evaporate.

→ Total cooking time from start to finish is 6 to 8 hours.

Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can do this either in the slow cooker itself and then mix it into the rice, or you can transfer the chicken to a cutting board if you prefer to keep it separate. Taste the burrito mix and stir in more salt or other seasonings to taste.

Serve burrito bowls with a selection of toppings. The burrito mixture will keep for 1 week refrigerated or for 3 months in the freezer. This recipe makes about 7 total cups of burrito mix.

Recipe Notes
Cooking the rice separately: If you won’t be home to add the rice to the slow cooker, you can skip this step and cook it separately on the stovetop just before serving (use these directions). To modify the recipe, combine the chicken, diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup of stock, and spices in the slow cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Add the black beans and corn, and cook for another 1/2 hour, or until warmed through, while you’re cooking the rice (omit the remaining chicken stock).
Vegetarian burrito bowls: Combine the diced tomatoes, 1 cup of vegetable stock, spices, rice, black beans, and corn in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Stir once or twice toward the end of cooking to make sure the rice is cooking evenly.
Beyond burrito bowls: Besides burrito bowls, you can use this filling to make regular tortilla-wrapped burritos or freezer burritos.

Tender & Juicy Pork Chops

Tender & Juicy Pork Chops

Tender & Juicy Pork Chops

Makes 2 to 4 pork chops

Ingredients

For the brine (optional):
3 cups cold water, divided
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (or 2 1/2 tablespoons table salt)
Optional flavorings: 2 smashed garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf

For the pork chops:
2 to 4 pork chops — center cut, bone-on, 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick (about 1 pound each)
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Instructions
Brine the pork chops (optional): If you have time, brining the pork for even a brief period adds flavor and ensures juiciness in the finished chop. Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil, add the salt and optional flavorings, and stir to dissolve the salt. Add 2 more cups of cold water to bring the temperature of the brine down to room temperature. Place the pork chops in a shallow dish and pour the brine over top. The brine should cover the chops — if not, add additional water and salt (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt) until the chops are submerged. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Heat the oven and skillet: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Place the skillet in the oven to preheat as well.
Season the pork chops: While the oven heats, prepare the pork chops. Remove the chops from the brine; if you didn’t brine, remove the chops from their packaging. Pat dry with paper towels. Rub both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set the chops aside to warm while the oven finishes heating.
Remove the skillet from the oven: Using oven mitts, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and set it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Turn on a vent fan or open a window.
Sear the pork chops: Lay the pork chops in the hot skillet. You should hear them immediately begin to sizzle. Sear until the undersides of the chops are seared golden, 3 minutes. The chops may start to smoke a little — that’s ok. Turn down the heat if it becomes excessive.
Flip the chops and transfer to the oven: Use tongs to flip the pork chops to the other side. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven using oven mitts.
Roast the chops until cooked through: Roast until the pork chops are cooked through and register 140°F to 145°F in the thickest part of the meat with an instant-read thermometer. Cooking time will be 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops, how cool they were at the start of cooking, and whether they were brined. Start checking the chops at 6 minutes and continue checking every minute or two until the chops are cooked through.
Rest the chops: Transfer the cooked pork chops to a plate and pour any pan juices over the top (or reserve for making a pan sauce or gravy). Tent loosely with foil and let the chops rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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