20-Minute Coconut Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

Well. It’s here. Long sleeves. Jackets even. A deep desire to wear sweatpants and snuggle under blankets and watch movies all day. Leaves changing colors. Cool weather. Yep. It’s here. It’s comfort food season. My love of curry dishes grew exponentially when I started making my own. The belly warming game is on point. And they’re actually very simple to make, quick, infinitely modifiable, and fill your kitchen up with warm delicious smells almost immediately. This one is no exception. The fact that there are leftovers to enjoy for lunch tomorrow is the bonus of all bonuses. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* vegetable oil
* 3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, about even in thickness, cut into small chunks
* 1 sweet onion, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* few handfuls of green (or different varieties) beans, trimmed
* 4T curry powder
* 1T Thai red curry paste
* 2 13.5oz cans coconut milk
* 2t sugar
* juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
* handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

WHAT TO DO
Drizzle a large pan or skillet with oil over medium heat.

Add the chicken, onions, peppers, and beans to a large wok or sauté pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the curry powder over the pan and cook about 6 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Add the red curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, and lime juice to the pan. Stir until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Serve in a bowl over rice, garnished with a big pinch of the chopped cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over the bowl before diving in (but don’t *actually* dive in!).

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Chicken Sausage, Peppers, and Onions in Tomato Sauce

Oh man. I don’t know why I ever try with other comfort food. Sausage, peppers, and onions wins every time. Tell me something about this classic dish that doesn’t totally satisfy? You can’t. It’s so good. And you can go super simple-traditional, or you can get fancy and creative and it’s still going to hit the nail on the head! This version is warm and balanced with sweet and savory, and works great in a sub roll, over rice, topping creamy polenta, or even on its own. And bonus: one pot wonder! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 4-5 precooked chicken sausage links, whatever flavoring you prefer
* 2T olive oil
* 3 bell peppers, whichever colors you prefer, sliced into 2-in. strips
* 4-5 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thin
* 1 large sweet vidalia onion, halved and then sliced into thin half rings
* 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
* 1T dried oregano
* 1/2C Marsala wine
* 1t salt

WHAT TO DO
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large high-sided pan. Add the sausage and brown lightly for a few minutes, rotating frequently.

Add the peppers and onions and sauté several minutes, tossing often and allowing the vegetables to soften and begin to seat slightly. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

Add the Marsala wine and scrape the pan to pick up any bits stuck to the bottom. Reduce the liquid by half, then reduce heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Cover and simmer on low 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Individual Zucchini Parmesan

I actually planned to make a Zucchini lasagna for dinner tonight, but only realized when I got home that I’d neglected to pick up ricotta. So I whipped out my best culinary Tim Gunn and I made it work. I looked around and in a moment of clarity decided to make a zucchini parm (of sorts). It came out better than expected. I think I’ll be making it a lot. It’s a bunch of steps, so it’s not the most weeknight friendly meal ever, but it’s worth it! Please let me know if you give it a try! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED 
* 2 large zucchinis, cut lengthwise into about 4, 1/4-1/2-inch strips
* 1/4C flour
* 1 large egg
* 1/2C Panko breadcrumbs
* 1T dried parsley
* 1/4C grated Parmesan cheese
* olive oil
* shredded cheese (mozzarella or a blend)
* marinara sauce
* crushed red pepper flakes for topping (optional)
* additional Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

WHAT TO DO
Slice the zucchini and set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Place the flour in one shallow dish, beat the egg in a second, and mix together the Panko, parsley, and Parmesan in a third.

Heat oil in a large pan (enough to cover the bottom of the pan completely) over medium-low heat.

Working in batches, coat each slice of zucchini first in the flour, then the egg, then the Panko mixture, and then place into the oil and fry 3-4 minutes per side, until just crispy-golden. Remove from the pan and place on the prepared baking sheet.

When you’ve initially fried all of your zucchini, turn off the stovetop and turn on the broiler. Sprinkle each piece of zucchini with a think layer of shredded cheese and then place under the broiler for no more than 30 seconds to let the cheese melt.

Remove the pan from the oven. Spread a layer of sauce over each piece of zucchini, and then another layer of cheese, and place back under the broiler for another 30 seconds, letting the cheese bubble and brown.

Serve with pasta or rice, topped with some fresh Parmesan and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Parmesan Chicken and Zucchini

This meal was inspired by this recipe. It’s easy, it’s quick (about 30 minutes total), and it’s so straightforward that I really can’t see anyone at my table objecting to it. Except that I mentioned it to My Tiny Sous Chef and she said, “DON’T YOU REMEMBER I ONLY EAT ZUCCHINI RAW?!” So I added broccoli. And while I’d love to cook with 8 tablespoons of butter every night, I thought I oughtta maybe tone it down a bit. So I modified and ended up with something easy, quick, and straightforward enough that nobody objected–they loved it! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 2 chicken breasts, cut into thirds
* 8T okive oil
* 1/2C seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
* 1/2C, plus extra, grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4C flour
* 2t (heaping) minced garlic
* 2 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
* 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets

WHAT TO DO

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.

Prep the chicken:

Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a small bowl. Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and flour in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken pieces into the olive oil, and then in the Panko mixture. Place the chicken in the skillet, and cook about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil into the same skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the zucchini (and the broccoli, if you need it like I did) and saute until tender. Sprinkle in some more Parmesan, and then return the chicken to the skillet to heat back up, just a few minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!