Shepherds Pie Stew

Is it cold where you are?  Here is a hearty and healthy stew to warm your bones. Those of us in the Northern hemisphere have varying degrees of cold weather and north Florida isn't an exception.  This version of Shepherd's Pie Stew is a snap to make.


This gnocchi was found in the refrigerated section of the market.  Chop and measure your ingredients ahead of time and it's a quick meal to prepare.  This is the first time we have had a soupy/stew version of Shepherd's Pie.  Usually we have beef or lamb or chicken with the massive amount of veggies and cover it all with mashed potatoes. 


I added more peas than it called for, by accident, not because I love them.  I mean, I don't hate them either but when I add more of anything it's usually mushrooms or tomatoes or corn.


Shepherd's Pie Stew
adapted from SkinnyTaste: One and Done

1/2 TB olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (I used ground chicken)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 TB all-purpose flour, wheat or gluten free
2 teaspoons tomato paste
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce - I always use more!
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 pound fresh or frozen potato gnocchi, gluten free
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas

In Dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil.  Add carrots, onion and celery and cook until they start to soften.  Now add garlic, turkey, salt and pepper - brown meat and break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, getting smaller pieces in the stew.

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring.  Once that is mixed in add tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and thyme.  Stir well.  Bring to a low boil and immediately reduce heat t simmer.  Cover and let flavors meld, about 10 minutes.

Stir in gnocchi, corn and peas, cook uncovered according to gnocchi package directions.  This is usually 4 minutes or under. 

We served this with a fresh loaf of bread and it was incredibly filling. Pity I didn't snap a photo of the soup in a bowl.  It's a pretty presentation, if I may say so :-)

Sharing this yummy stew with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen this week.  
Check out Deb's Pinto Bean Soup this week.

Zoe's Kitchen - Kabobs and Fruit Salad

I'm not sure why we have waited so long to go back to Zoe's Kitchen for a meal.  This small restaurant located in Tallahassee has an extensive Mediterranean menu.  Salads, soups, kabobs, pitas, Mediterranean family dinners and bowl meals.

When we dined there last week we both ordered kabobs and falafel.  I added the fruit salad because I knew it would be fresh fruit instead of the sort some restaurants give you, you know what I mean - crunchy under ripe cantaloupe?  Not this place.  Freshly cut orange segments and sweet cantaloupe, crisp green apple slices and sweet grapes.


When we eat out, or grab takeaway, there are times I want to recreate the recipes or dishes at home. Sure, fruit salad isn't exactly rocket science but for some reason I don't bother at home.  We buy the pre-cut, well we used to buy the pre-cut fruit salads from Publix but they were disappointing.


Checking out the menu I may get a Cauliflower Rice Bowl next time.  It's packed with goodies.  They have vegetarian dishes as well as vegan and gluten free.  Last time I had the chicken kebob and Doug had the steak kebob.  Both were marinated and tender. If you are in the area I can recommend Zoe's Kitchen for a healthy fresh meal.

Sharing a healthy fruit salad side with Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen this week.  Looking to share my own version soon.  Today check out Deb's Eggplant Soup Parmigiana!

Tandoori Chicken from SkinnyTaste

Lately I seem to be on a SkinnyTaste cookbook kick. Here is another chicken recipe from the book One and Done using a sheet pan. I love a tray bake, everything is on one cooking sheet and it's so easy.


Here are the veggies chopped, seasoned and ready for the pan.


It looked better than my photos. Next time I am using more cauliflower. This is an old pan with large high sides to accommodate liquid and lots of vegetables.


Next time I will scale the recipe down as it's only the two of us.  Reheating it dried out the chicken a bit but still, it was delicious.l  Love the burst of flavors in this one.

Tandoori Chicken
a Sheetpan recipe from SkinnyTaste

1/4 cup whole-milk yogurt not Greek
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (3 1/2 ounces each), trimmed of fat
Olive oil spray

For the Vegetables
1 1/2 pounds rainbow carrots halved and cut lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups medium cauliflower florets about 1 whole head
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Chicken

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, smoked paprika, and salt. Place the chicken thighs in a gallon freezer bag with the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour up to overnight. (I this marinated overnight)

When ready to cook, adjust an oven rack in the center and another 4-6 inches from the broiler. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large rimmed sheet pan with oil.

For the Vegetables
In a large bowl or on a plate, toss the carrots and cauliflower with olive oil. Sprinkle with the garam masala, salt, and pepper to taste and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables onto the pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade, scrape off the excess, and nestle the chicken thighs in with the vegetables. Lightly spray with oil.

Roast on center rack until the vegetables are tender  and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Taco Chili for Souper Sunday and new goals

This is my first submission for Souper Sunday in 2019. I hope to participate most Sundays and try new soups, stews, chili, salads and sandwiches. That's a good goal for the new year and will keep me on track eating healthier.

This year I also planned to do a few Wordless Wednesday posts again (that fell to the wayside a year ago) and go back to monthly updates which focus on books, movies, camping and life.  Here is one post, it simply wraps up a month. So we will see how well I adhere to a schedule in 2019.

On to the chili with all the delicious fresh toppings I had on hand.  This is a Taco Chili that was inspired from Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook.  Lucky me, I won a copy from The Book Club Cookbook.  Thank you!


I modified the recipe to suit our taste and also for what was on hand in the fridge.  This can be made vegetarian by substituting tofu for the beef.  Or of you'd rather use chicken, go for it!  I was actually planing on chicken but we had ground beef so - a true Taco Chili it is.


Taco Chili
modified from Everyday Dorie

1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes with chilies
1 1/2 cans black beans 
roughly 1 pound ground beef (or use ground chicken or tofu)
1 cup broth (I used vegetable) and add more to adjust for the amount of liquid you like
as much chili power as you like
1 package Taco seasoning mix
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced avocado
chopped fresh tomatoes
sour cream

Simple directions

I sauteed the onion and bell peppers.  Then I added the beef and drained after it cooked. Tip in the canned tomatoes and black beans, add the chili powder and taco seasoning mix.  Stir gently.
Now add broth, as much as you like per your taste.

When it's done you may top with tortilla chips (alas, we didn't have any), chopped tomato, avocado, shredded cheese and sour cream.  It's hearty and warms you up.


Sharing with:

Deb in Hawaii for Souper Sunday. (check out her Carrot Coconut Soup)
Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking Series
Heather's 2019 Foodies Read for January

2019 foodies read6957178455_souper sundays2

One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta from SkinnyTaste

January 3rd already.  My 10 days off work flew by.  I'm considering it retirement training and I can tell you, I excelled at it!  Camping and lots of cooking, lots of walking and wonderful company.  Life is good.

Today let's talk about healthy meals and cookbooks.

I checked the SkinnyTaste One and Done cookbook out of the library as I’ve been a fan of the website for quite a while. I’m thinking I may need to buy this book!  Checking cookbooks out of the library is nice as you can preview the book.  Have you ever looked forward to one and only found a few recipes you'd actually like?

So far we’ve tried three recipes from One and Done and every single one has been incredible. It's divided by topics such as pressure cooker, slow cooker, stove top, Dutch oven, Air Fryer and sheet pan.


My favorite so far - One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is a winner! This is another recipe which most certainly will be on the meal rotation.

fajitaCorkscrew Pasta

from the SkinnyTaste website and cookbook

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 large white onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 (10-oz) can Mild Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
7 oz pasta corkscrew pasta
1/2 cup sour cream
1 scallion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I left this out)
diced avocado 


Season chicken with 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp chili powder and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
In a large deep nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken and cook until browned, stirring about 5 to 6 minutes.Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet.
When the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp chili powder and 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt. 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and transfer to the plate with the chicken.

In the same skillet, add the broth, diced tomatoes and uncooked pasta. 
Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.

Add the chicken and veggies back into skillet, stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Mix in the sour cream and top with scallions and cilantro. Serve with avocado.

Coming up I will try the Tandoori Chicken from the sheet pan section.

Sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

Happy New Year!!!

Impressive dancing and fun old videos set to Uptown Funk.

I'd definitely injure myself on some of these maneuvers!  Hoping everyone had a safe and fun new year's celebration.  Here's to 2019 being spectacular!

Wordless Wednesday / 3