Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Four meals, including Meatless Monday

One day recently it must not have been suffocatingly hot in our house because I came home with a package of smoked chicken thighs and somehow zeroed in on chili as the thing to do with them. Yeah, I don't get it either, and I did it. I was searching around the web for recipes using smoked chicken and I happened upon someone mentioning chili and it seemed like a good idea. So, straight to the kitchen to put a pound of dried red beans in the pressure cooker, of course.

To start the chili, I sauteed an onion, a couple of little hot chile peppers I snagged off a plant at work, half of a green pepper I had in the refrigerator, and a zucchini (because it's my chili and if I want to put a zucchini in it, I will!). Once that stuff was all nice and softened, I added a large can of crushed tomatoes, a little bit of tomato juice, a heaping tablespoon (or more) of cumin and an equal amount of chili powder. Once the beans were done, I dumped them in the pot and left the whole mess to cook for a couple hours.

It was way too hot for chili, really, but it kind of worked.

Monday was hot. (Yes, I'm a broken record - I HATE this weather and I can't wait for it to pass.) I couldn't think of anything except a salad to have for Meatless Monday, but the idea for a taco salad didn't pop into my head until late in the day. Luckily, I had most everything on hand though I had to get the Boy to pick up some corn chips. A very easy, tasty and filling salad. I used romaine lettuce, a big ripe tomato (finally able to buy some decent ones!), a handful of frozen corn (it was thawed well before serving time), a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), some crispy fried onions, a few bite-sized chunks of pepperjack cheese, corn chips for crunch and Catalina dressing (or whatever the red stuff is called).
I found my favorite little boneless beef shortribs on sale again (almost a pound and half for around $3 - I love grocery store bargains!) and I wanted to make them very simply, seasoned and grilled. It was too hot for the outdoor grill, so I fired up the electric gizmo, threw some of my favorite steak seasoning on the little fellows and cooked them up to a nice medium rare (with a half pound or so left over for another meal, as you will see). In the meantime, I steamed some potatoes (in the fabulous Pasta Boat!) and put together another salad.
To use up the leftover beef (and to completely avoid any sort of heated cooking) I made another salad, this time with spinach, carrots, another big ripe tomato, slices of the beef, a little shaved asiago cheese, croutons and honey mustard dressing. I love a steak salad so much.


Gaylan said...

You keep praising this Pasta Boat. I'm beginning to think that I need one.

Cat Pick said...

You do. Everyone does. It's magic.