KEY to Mealtime names.
Our family uses five different names for mealtime depending on the time of day. Most of these should be familiar to everyone, but we do have one odd one! See if you can spot it when it comes up. Breakfast is the first meal of the day, generally eaten shortly after sunrise. Lunch is the meal eaten at noontime. Brunch is that fancy, midday meal generally at a restaurant that combines the best of breakfast and lunch menus. Lupper is a meal served mid afternoon, generally on a Sunday during football games or summer cookouts. Supper is what we call the meal around 5pm or so. And finally, dinner is usually a dressed up affair at a restaurant where some serious $ will be spent. Or, at our house, it could also be the evening meal when our friends all crowd into the kitchen with glasses of wine to watch my husband cook whatever will be devoured later at the dining room table.
Similar to a famous Seinfeld episode, our family has a friendly competition about who can go the longest without cheating. And now one family member has dropped out of the competition…. My husband had a couple of Ruffles potato chips while working in the kitchen. Ah… potato chips don’t qualify as a vegetable! He was admonished and the remaining chips fed to the birds outside.
Eggs. A wonderful food, but I still don’t want to eat too many of them. High cholesterol runs in my family so while I enjoy them, I limit the number I eat. But after a week of smoothies, I have decided to temporarily return to a breakfast that uses a fork instead of a straw. Collette purchases organic eggs, claiming they are brighter and better tasting. My son took it one step further and brought home a dozen eggs from a friend. These eggs were laid Monday morning and about 1/2 were hard-boiled last night in preparation of my breakfast. The other breakfast item today was applesauce, a knockoff of Collette’s recipe.
Susan’s Simple Applesause
* one bag of apples (you know, those bags with the flimsy paper handles at the market that are full of small, bruised apples)
Place peeled, cored apple pieces in a pan over low heat. Stir in a few shakes of cinnamon and cover pan. Over the course of an hour or so, stir the apples frequently as they will soften and break down. Let cool, cover and store in fridge.
So to pull it all together, my breakfast this morning consisted of 2 hard-boiled eggs (my sister refers to this as ‘smashed eggs’), applesauce, and (gasp!) 1/2 a purchased chicken sausage.
For the first time in about, hmmmmm, 11 days (!) our family was able to eat before 6PM. Now this is amazing simply because I am usually still walking around the supermarket looking for ingredients needed for supper. So, why were we able to sit down and eat so quickly tonight? The answer – My husband cooked it last night and it only needed warming tonight. Tonight’s dinner is the second item we are copying from Collette – vegetable chili! This recipe is a little different from her acorn squash chili; it is made with butternut squash. The true, unadulterated recipe is called Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans (http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/974460-Simple-beef-chili-with-kidney-beans). We had to make a few changes to meet Whole30 requirements. Those changes are included below.
Beef Chili with Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes , with juice
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
2 limes , cut into wedges
4 baked sweet potatoes
avocado slices, optional
1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.
3. Slow Cooker Option: At the end of step 1, transfer the cooked beef mixture to a slow cooker; add the rest of the ingredients as directed in step 2. Cook the chili on the high setting for four hours.
4. While the chili is cooking, prepare the sweet potatoes. Slice each potato in half, lengthwise. Scoop out most of the potato and add to the chili. Set skins aside until the chili is ready to serve.
To serve: Spoon hot chili into a sweet potato skin and serve. Slices of avocado take the place of sour cream.
Wow ! I’m done with this installment and I still have an hour or so before bedtime! Back to that damn ‘to do’ list.