Spicy Chorizo Chili

Chili is the perfect comfort food and with the addition of extra veggies and chorizo, it's your favourite classic with a spicy kick!

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Seriously who doesn't love chili! it’s one of those meals that is such a classic, and so versatile. Vegetarian, meat filled, basically it’s a meal you can make work for any crowd.

My only issue with chili is that often it’s not a very veggie-forward meal, but the great thing is that you can sneak veggies into it without most people even noticing. This recipe has peppers, corn and zucchini but you could add in grated carrots, mushrooms or even spinach. Anything you and your family love throw it in, the flavours are strong enough on there own that adding extra veggies in isn't going to compromise how delicious it is.

I also really love the extra spice with the addition of chorizo but if spice isn't your thing feel free to leave it out. You can also sub the beef for chicken or turkey to switch it up.

What I love most about cooking these kinds of meals is that you can customize it to your liking and make it what your family will love!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 2 hours 30 minutes

total time 2 hours 45 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

1 onion

1 tsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 jalapeno

1 yellow pepper

1 zucchini

1 lb ground beef

1 lb chorizo

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayanne

2 tbsp cumin

1 cup of water

1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 - 15 oz can black beans

1 - 15 oz can kidney beans

1 - 15 oz can of corn

sour cream and shredded cheese (optional)

Instructions

In a large pot add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add in chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes then add ground beef and chorizo. Saute until meat is fully cooked and no pink is remaining. Drain any excess grease than return to heat.

Add in finely diced jalapeno, chopped yellow pepper and zucchini. Saute until veggies are tender. Add in all remaining ingredients and spices except the corn and simmer for 1 -2 hours. With 10 minutes remaining add in corn and allow for it to heat through. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese.

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Veggie Packed Shepherds Pie

A veggie filled take on a classic shepherds pie. With the substitute of cauliflower mash rather than potatoes, it’s a guilt-free meal that feels super indulgent.

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So I think everyone I know enjoys a little some comfort food from time to time right? It’s one of those things that you want on a cold night or perhaps even a tough day, but the biggest challenge with the classic comfort food is that it is often packed with all the things we often try to stay away from. That’s where my version of shepherds pie comes in! This version is filled with zucchini and topped with cauliflower, so you're getting 2-3 servings of veggies without even realizing it!

Now, if you haven’t tried cauliflower mashed potatoes you seriously need to get on the bandwagon. They are so easy to make and honestly, are just as good. Now, if you have sceptics in your house next time your making mashed potatoes sub half your potatoes with cauliflower, I guarantee they won’t even notice, and bonus, you can cook them all in the same pot and mash just like you always would. The end result is fully light potatoes with sneaky veggies mixed right in.

While you can certainly mash your cauliflower you can also throw it in the food processor and let it do all of the work for you. Simply blend with a bit of butter, milk and seasoning and you have the easiest side dish ever and you don’t need to worry about them getting overly starchy like potatoes can.

So go ahead and enjoy some comfort food tonight - maybe even have seconds!

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prep time 15 minutes

cook time 1 hour

total time 1 hour 15 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 white onion

2 medium zucchini

1.5 lb ground beef

2 cups beef stock

2 tbsp Worcestershire

3 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tbsp fresh rosemary

1 large head of cauliflower

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp milk

salt + pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a large oven-safe frying pan heat oil then add chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until onions are softened and translucent. Add in finely chopped zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the ground beef to the vegetable mixture and cook until no pink is remaining (be sure to drain excess grease as necessary).

Once meat is cooked through add in beef stock, Worcestershire, tomato paste, garlic salt and finely chopped rosemary. Stir until combined then simmer for 5 minutes or until the stock has reduced and tomato paste has thickened the mixture. Season to taste with salt + pepper.

In a large pot place cauliflower florets and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain water then place in a food processor with butter, milk and salt + pepper. Blend on low until puree is smooth.

Scoop cauliflower mash over the meat and place frying pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

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Lazy Pirogies with Crispy Prosciutto

This is one of the easiest ways to get the wonderful flavours of pirogies without all of the work. This goes perfectly with a light and fresh salad to balance out the richness of this potato and cheese filled dish!

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So here is the deal, at least a quarter of me is Ukrainian, which means all of that good Ukrainian food always shows up at every big family function! Now, if you don’t love pirogies and cabbage rolls, you really can’t be welcomed into our family wholeheartedly (kidding, sort of).

So while you really can’t beat homemade pirogies, sometimes you just want all of those good flavours without all of the work. In walks this dish, which, while it may be slightly less work than rolling out the dough and stuffing with your filling, it is still a bit of work. Now, if you have leftover mashed potatoes that you are needing to use up you are literally golden and have just saved yourself a ton of time.

Now when I was a kid we use to make something very similar to this which was also super yummy, but I felt like it could use a little bit of an upgrade so my own version was born. The addition of the crispy prosciutto on top gives that hit of saltiness and crunch which I think is exactly what the dish was missing before. Now, if you’re not a meat eater you could certainly omit that part.

Lastly, this dish is quite rich so I would highly recommend serving this with a big salad to add an element of freshness to your meal!

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prep time 60 minutes

cook time 45 minutes

total time 1 hour 45 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

4 large potatoes

2 shallots finely chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

4 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cups milk

3 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

2 cups cottage cheese

6 lasagna noodles

8 pieces prosciutto

salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with cold water and add in potatoes that have been chopped into 1.5 inch pieces. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer on low until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and add in 2 tbsp of the butter and 1/2 cup of milk. Season with salt + pepper and mash until smooth and no lumps remain.

Meanwhile cook your lasagna noodles according to the package (I recommend using lasagna noodles your need to boil rather than no boil as your do not have enough liquid to cook the no-boil noodles directly in the dish). Once cooked set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter and add in shallots, cooking for 2-3 minutes or until shallots are translucent. Add in 4 cloves or garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute then slowly add in remaining milk whisking frequently to avoid lumps. Once sauce begins to thicken add in 1 cup of your mozzarella cheese then season with salt + pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350. While oven is preheating assemble your pirogies.

In the bottom of a 9x13 square pan add a small amount of your cheese sauce, a layer of noodles, mashed potatoes then 1 cup of cottage cheese. Repeat layers then top with remaining mozzarella. To finish top with small “piles” of prosciutto. Bake for 45 minutes then broil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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