An Easy Weekly Plan Your Whole Family Will Love!
It’s my night to take dinner for my daughter’s YoungLife leaders. A big pot of weeknight chili with cornbread muffins and arugula salad will be easy to make for a group. If I had the time, I’d make my honey butter to serve with the muffins, but we’ll be shooting new recipe videos all day. If you make a double batch of the chili, freeze half for another dinner this fall. You’ll be winning!
I’ll be on HoustonLife today at 1pm to show you some of my favorite fall soups. We’ll make Pumpkin, Apple and Squash soup, a veggie chili packed with protein and fiber and roasted red pepper and tomato soup (which is perfect for dunking pesto grilled cheese). For dinner, my son has a crosstown game tonight, so I want a slow cooker dinner. Add 2 pounds of bone-in pork shoulder, half a jar of Bone Suckin’ BBQ sauce, a thinly sliced onion and a bay leaf to your slow cooker and cook on low all day or on high for 5 hours. Remove the bone, shred the meat and serve on buns with pickles, or bake a sweet potato and stuff it with some of the BBQ pork. Red cabbage salad on the side!
Tomato confit with whole wheat penne for an easy and delicious dinner! Serve roasted green beans on the side — just keep them in a single layer on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil and salt and roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes. I’m speaking at St. Luke’s Day School today about meal planning and easy dinner hacks, and then heading to the MS Luncheon. The tomato confit takes about 45 minutes to roast. Use your favorite type of gluten-free or whole grain pasta.
Tomato Confit Pasta
- 1 pound organic vine ripe tomatoes, halved top to bottom
- 1 head garlic, halved around the middle
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 stems thyme
- 4 chives
- Kosher salt
- 16 ounces dried pasta
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 10 basil leaves, torn or cut in a chiffonade
- 2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan, or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a ceramic baking pan, add the tomatoes cut side down, halved garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, herbs and salt. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and slightly charred in spots. Remove the tomatoes from the stove and set aside.
- In a medium pot, boil 6 cups of water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Stir in the dried pasta and stir occasionally; cook to package directions or until al dente. Remove one cup of starchy water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return to cooked pasta to the pot.
- To the pasta, add about two cups of tomato confit and some of the olive oil from the pan. Toss the pasta to coat in the sauce, breaking up the tomatoes while you stir. If the pasta looks at all dry, add a little of the starchy pasta water and stir to combine over low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and basil and taste for salt.
- Plate the pasta topped with fresh Parmesan, an extra pinch of red pepper flakes and crunchy sea salt or kosher salt.
I’m teaching a Mediterranean class at Central Market tonight. Chipotle-lime shredded beef will be waiting for my crew in the InstantPot. Everyone can make their own taco and call it a night! Use the ingredients for my chicken tinga, but substitute about two pounds beef chuck roast. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Quick pickled red onions and avocado slices would be delicious with this!
We’re headed to the Homemade Hope auction tonight. For an easy dinner, grab some of the pre-made pizza dough at Trader Joe’s and let your people make their own pizzas. We use pesto or tomato sauce, throw out a ton of chopped peppers, fresh basil, red onion and mushrooms and let everyone compile their own pie.