If you are doing a little last minute Super Bowl menu planning, you need to look no further. Here are a few recipes you can make for the masses that are tried and true delicious group pleasers. Don't miss the Trader Joe's shortcuts in Ronit's Lentil Soup recipe. Everyone should have these in their back pocket for simple soup prep.
Chef Nicole brings us healthy recipes for Vegetable and Meat Chili, and of course the ever-popular...Mini Potato Skins. Enjoy the game and the food.
Cozy (and Addictive) Lentil Soup by Ronit Tarshis
I'm all about time-savers when it comes to making soups because all that chopping and dicing is a major deterrant. One of my favorite shortcuts is Trader Joe's Mirepoix: a perfect soup base combination of 1 cup chopped onions, 1 cup chopped carrots, and 1 cup chopped celery. Another favorite is Sabra frozen garlic cubes, also available at Trader Joe's... the closest thing to fresh garlic, unlike those god-awful jarred varieties.
Cozy Lentil Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Can substitute 2 containers Trader Joe's Mirepoix for the following 3 ingredients:
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
4 cloves garlic, finely minced (or 4 cubes Sabra frozen garlic)
2-3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili pepper or black pepper will do
4 quarts chicken broth (I like Swanson's low sodium-- you can always add your own salt to taste)
1 lb. green lentils
In a large stock pot, saute onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and leeks and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper and saute another 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Simmer partially covered for 2-3 hours. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Serves 10-12
Chef Nicole's Vegetarian Chili
1 large diced onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 C. diced button mushrooms
1 can black beans
2 cans pinto/red beans
3 cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
2 C. frozen roasted corn (from Trader Joe's, if you can't find it, regular frozen is fine)
4 Tbs. chili powder (or 1 packet chili seasoning)
1 diced zucchini
1 large peeled and diced sweet potato
kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. cornmeal
Saute onion for 2-3 minutes in olive oil in a large pot. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for another minute. Add drained beans and tomatoes. Stir to combine and add frozen corn and chili powder. Finally, add zucchini and sweet potato, and a good pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on medium low for 25 minutes. Season to taste, add cornmeal and continue cooking until ready to serve
I served this with a side of jalapeno corn bread and homemade guacamole. If you like it spicy, add a little Tabasco sauce before serving.
Chef Nicole's Beef or Turkey Chili
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 C. diced onion, fresh or frozen
1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
1 C. frozen roasted corn
1 can pink beans rinsed (12oz)
1 can kidney beans rinsed (12oz.)
1 can diced tomatoes -I found fire roasted ones today and they were yummy. (32oz.)
3 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. cumin
a good pinch of 2 of kosher salt
optional- red hot sauce
Heat olive oil on medium high in a deep pot. When it begins to sizzle, add onions and saute for 3 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown. Add beef and break up in pot with a wooden spoon so you don't have big chunks. Saute for 5-6 minutes until beef is almost cooked through. Add corn and 2 cans of beans and tomatoes, stir to combine. Add chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine, lower heat to medium, cover and cook for at least 25 minutes to let flavors combine.
You can add a handful of frozen roasted corn, you can serve the chili over rice or pasta, or just eat it in a bowl with a little shredded cheese and a handful of chopped scallions on top. It's perfect for cold winter afternoons.
Chef Nicole's Mini Potato Skins
3-4 Tbs. Olive oil
8-10 baby yukon gold and/or red new potatoes
Smoked sea salt or Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Drizzle olive oil on an aluminum foil lined or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Wash potatoes and slice in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, gently scoop the inside out of each potato, leaving a good portion of each side and the bottom in tact. Save the little potato balls to roast as well. Toss the potatoes (and balls) in olive oil, smoked salt and pepper. being sure to coat both the inside and outside of each potato.
Place the potatoes skin side down on the cookie sheet so they are not touching and add balls in remaining areas.
Roast for 15-20 minutes until skins are crisp and golden brown.
Before removing from oven, sprinkle potatoes with shredded cheese and broil for 30 seconds.
Remove and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of chopped scallions.