Sausage, Kale and Chickpea Soup

Sausage, Kale and Chickpea Soup
This hot and hearty soup makes for a cozy weeknight supper - serve it with crusty bread.
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Ingredients
  1. Vegetable oil
  2. 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausages 500 g
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced 3
  4. 1 onion, chopped 1
  5. 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole tomatoes, 1 with juice
  6. 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed 1 and drained (2 cups/500 mL)
  7. 6 cups Chicken stock (page 286) or 1.5 L? ready-to-use chicken broth
  8. 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme 2 mL
  9. Pinch hot pepper flakes Pinch
  10. Salt and black pepper to taste
  11. 1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped 1 (about 1 lb/500 g)
  12. I’m going to retire and live off my savings. Not sure what I’ll do in the second week.
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Squeeze sausage out of its casing into the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, for 3 minutes. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring, until sausage is browned and onion is soft. Scrape into a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, thyme, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper. (If the stock doesn’t fully cover the other ingredients, top it up with water.) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until soup is slightly thickened. Stir in kale, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until wilted.
  3. Serves 6 to 8.
  4. Tip: Change the taste of the soup by varying the type of sausages you use. Sweet Italian sausages or bratwurst will give the soup a mild taste, whereas spicy Italian sausages or chorizo will completely transform the flavor. If you’d like something lighter, try turkey or chicken sausages.
  5. Variation: For an even more substantial meal, cook up about 8 oz (250 g) of dried penne or other short pasta and add it to the soup before serving.
Notes
  1. I’m going to retire and live off my savings. Not sure what I’ll do in the second week.
The Best of Bridge https://www.bestofbridge.com/

Our New Favorite Flatbread

Our New Favorite Flatbread
This is really fun to make on family night. Yes, the salad goes on top - use your fingers!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 mild Italian or herb-flavored 4 pork sausages
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil, divided 45 mL
  3. 4 6-inch (15 cm) Greek-style pitas 4
  4. (no pockets), naan or
  5. other flatbread
  6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 red-skinned apples, thinly sliced 2
  8. 4 oz mild blue cheese, such as 125 g
  9. Cambozola, sliced, or Stilton,
  10. crumbled (see tip, opposite)
  11. 3 cups packed arugula or baby spinach 750 mL
  12. 1⁄4 cup chopped toasted pecans 60 mL
  13. (see tip, opposite)
  14. 2 to bottled honey Dijon 30 to
  15. 3 tbsp salad dressing 45 mL
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Remove sausages from casings and crumble. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes or until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Place pitas on 2 large baking sheets. Brush tops with the remaining oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange apple slices on pitas, followed by a layer of cheese. Scatter sausage on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and edges of pitas are browned.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss arugula and pecans with salad dressing. Cut each pita into quarters, then place on serving plates and push the pieces back together. Top each pita with arugula mixture.
  6. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Notes
  1. Tip: Toasting nuts, seeds and shredded coconut helps to bring out their flavor. Although you can toast them in the oven, we have more success - and fewer burnt nuts - on the stovetop. Spread nuts, seeds or coconut in a dry nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking or stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Tip nuts onto a cold plate to stop the cooking process and let cool completely.
  2. Variation: For more kid appeal, replace the blue cheese with shredded sharp (old) Cheddar. You can also substitute canned peach slices, thoroughly drained, for the apples.
  3. Variation: Mango, tangerine, pear or other fruit-flavored salad dressings also work well with this recipe.
  4. Variation
  5. Orange Dijon Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, 1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar, 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss with the arugula and pecans instead of the bottled dressing.
The Best of Bridge https://www.bestofbridge.com/

Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake

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It’s January. It’s cold. It’s time for some good old fashioned comfort food.  This soul-satisfying classic is reassuringly familiar and easy on the budget – which  in the face of skyrocketing food prices and holiday Visa bills, is welcome in our kitchen any time.  Our  modern rendition of tuna fish casserole includes a nutritional boost of broccoli in a creamy basil sauce but still has all the comforting goodness you remember. Feel free to substitute  low sodium chicken broth and low-fat mozzarella to make this even healthier but if you can,  treat yourself to some good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano. It’s complex flavour will take this to a whole new level of gourmet comfort food. And if you can’t find fresh basil, dried is just fine. We’ve included the substitution for it below the recipe.Read More

Pulled Pork

 

 

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Whether you’re cooking for two or serving a busy family, slow cookers make easy work of creating delicious and soul-satisfying meals. We love being able to switch on the slow cooker in the morning, head out the door and then arrive home to a house filled with the mouthwatering aromas of dinner. 

 Shredded, or “pulled,” pork is the perfect slow cooker food and we think the BBQ flavours taste extra special in January when we all need a reminder of warm summer days. Enjoy!Read More

Peas and Greens

Peas and Greens
This delicious slow cooker recipe is a combination of black-eyed peas and greens and it's a great dish for busy weeknights. Just add some whole-grain bread and dinner is served
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp vegetable oil 15 ml
  2. 2 onions, finely chopped 2
  3. 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and 1
  4. thinly sliced on the vertical
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced 4
  6. 1⁄2 tsp salt (or to taste) 2 ml
  7. 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 ml
  8. 1⁄4 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground 1 ml
  9. (see tip)
  10. 1 can (14 oz/398 ml) diced tomatoes, 1with juice
  11. 2 cups drained cooked black-eyed peas 500 ml
  12. (see tip)
  13. 1 tsp paprika, (see tip)) 5 ml dissolved in 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  14. 4 cups chopped spinach or Swiss chard 1 L (about 1 bunch), stems removed
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and cook, stirring, until fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and fennel seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer to a medium to large (31⁄2- to 5-quart) slow cooker. (Mixture can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point.)
  2. Stir in peas. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until peas are tender. Stir in paprika solution. Add spinach, in batches, stirring after each to submerge the leaves in the liquid. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes, until spinach is tender.
  3. Serves 4
Notes
  1. Tip: To prepare fennel, before removing the core, chop off the top shoots (which resemble celery) and discard. If desired, save the feathery green fronds to use as a garnish. If the outer sections of the bulb seem old and dry, peel them with a vegetable peeler before using.
  2. Tip: Toasting fennel seeds intensifies their flavor. To toast fennel seeds: Place in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind.
  3. Tip: For this quantity of peas, use 1 can (14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 ml) drained and rinsed black-eyed peas, or cook 1 cup (250 ml) dried peas.
  4. Tip: You can use any kind of paprika in this recipe: Regular; hot, which produces a nicely peppery version; or smoked, which adds a delicious note of smokiness. If you have regular paprika and would like a bit a heat, dissolve 1⁄4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper in the lemon juice along with the paprika.
  5. Tip: If you choose to halve this recipe, use a small (11⁄2- to 31⁄2-quart) slow cooker.
The Best of Bridge https://www.bestofbridge.com/

Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Glazed Apples

Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Glazed Apples
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Ingredients
  1. Marinade
  2. 1⁄3 cup apple juice 75 mL
  3. 1⁄4 cup liquid honey 60 mL
  4. 2 tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
  5. 2 tbsp vegetable oil 30 mL
  6. 1 tsp Dijon mustard 5 mL
  7. 4 green onions, chopped 4
  8. 2 cloves garlic, minced 2
  9. 1 tbsp grated gingerroot 15 mL
  10. 2 lbs pork tenderloin 1 kg
  11. Glazed Apples
  12. 1 tbsp butter 15 mL
  13. 1 tbsp liquid honey 15 mL
  14. 1 tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
  15. 2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2
Instructions
  1. Put marinade ingredients into a large sealable plastic bag and mix. Add pork. Seal and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours. Remove pork and place in shallow dish. Pour marinade over.
  2. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40 to 50 minutes. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. To glaze apples: In frying pan, heat butter, honey and lemon juice together. Add apples and toss to coat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Slice pork and spoon glazed apples over top. Enjoy!
  4. Serves 4.
The Best of Bridge https://www.bestofbridge.com/