A Bit Of Fall Harvest


The cool morning was a great start to the food demo at the YMCA on Howell Boulevard. It was perfect weather and a great crowd for a fall stew. I’ve been on a kick using different proteins and veggies for fall stews. This version included ground round beef, fire roasted diced tomatoes, corn, green onion, garlic, zucchini, squash and kale. I flavored the dish with easy-to-find ingredients that has a spot in most pantries. This dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare including prep time since you will be chopping vegetables and adding them as you go. Find your favorite pandora station or pop in a cd for some tunes while you cook. Enjoy and share your feedback!

Serves: 4-6

1 lb ground round beef (85/15 or 80/20)
1 6 oz can of tomato paste (no salt added)
1 14.5 oz can of regular or fire roasted diced tomato (no salt added)
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 cups chopped green onion including whites
1 cup shredded kale
1 cup of fresh corn
1/2 cup of julienned zucchini
1/2 cup julienned squash
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. sea salt (optional)
1/2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups of water

1. Place a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ground beef and break apart with a fork or large spoon.
2. While the ground beef browns, rinse two green onion stalks. Cut off root ends and chop thin. Add to ground beef and stir.
3. Smash garlic cloves by laying knife flat against a clove and striking gently with the heel of your hand, chop off rough end and chop garlic into chunky pieces. Add to pot and stir.
4. Once meat is browned, stir in the can of tomato paste and add the can of diced tomato.
5. Shuck 2 ears of corn and rinse it. Cut it off of the cob and add corn to pot and a cup to a cup and a half of water. Bring to a boil then top and reduce heat to medium.
6. Cut both ends off the zucchini and squash. Cut each in half horizontally, then cut them in half vertically. You will only need half of each vegetable. Slice each half into thin strips. (If using a larger squash or zucchini, lay each half flat side down and slice in half like you would a thick burger patty or hunk of cheese).
7. Add the squash and zucchini to the pot and add seasonings and stir.
8. Rinse kale and rip into small pieces into a bowl. Add kale and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.
9. Serve by itself or with rice.


A Bit Of Lamb


Change is hard period. With change it’s easier to try baby steps instead of a complete overhaul all at once. While beef is a staple in American dining, it’s good to introduce alternatives such as lamb or bison. Both tend to be leaner and offer a different flavor to a dish. I made what I’m calling lamb stoup. As I learned from many episodes of Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals “stoup” is a cross between stew and soup. The great thing is you can reinvent leftovers. I had the stoup version with parsley pepper rice for a couple meals and then transformed some into a meat sauce for pesto ravioli by adding more tomato paste and seasoning to thicken up the sauce. Many of the veggies and herbs I used can be found in any traditional meat sauce. I hope this is one change you may find easy.

1.25 lbs of lean ground lamb
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups of rough chopped mushrooms
1 large onion diced (1 1/2-2 cups)
2 tbsp. fresh chopped garlic (6-8 cloves)
4 cups shredded Swiss chard
1 6oz can of hunts tomato paste (basil, garlic, oregano)
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. fresh mint
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
4 cups of water

1. Heat pot and add ground lamb.
2. Dice onion by cutting off ends, then cutting onion in half. Cut each have into thin strips, then cut into small cubes/squares. Add to pot.
3. Smash each garlic clove with the flat part of the knife to remove skin, cut off tough end then chop into large pieces. Add to pot.
4. Peel and chop carrots and dice mushrooms and add to pot. Stir until meat has browned, then stir in the whole can of tomato paste and add liquid and seasonings.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
6. If serving with rice, prepare rice for boil. Let steam for 15-18 minutes.
7. Rinse a bundle of Swiss chard. Remove leaves from the stems and tear into small, bite-sized pieces. With 5 minutes remaining, add the Swiss chard to the pot and let wilt.
8. Turn off stove, remove from heat and enjoy.