Veggie ragout with creamy cheese polenta

ragout

This Veggie Ragout & creamy polenta makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder.

By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar.

Make a double batch and freeze half to keep for another day. It will always make you happy when you are scrambling to figure out dinner and you remember you have a delicious homemade meal in the freezer waiting for you.

As for leftovers – I ALWAYS eat any extra polenta with my eggs in the morning. YUM!

The Polenta can be made with vegetable stock and no cheese to make this a yummy vegan dish as well.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don’t like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable – Go for it! You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Ragout
  1. Chop all your vegetables to the same size and set aside Keep onion & garlic separate from other veggies
  2. Heat a pan to with olive oil using low heat. Add onion, garlic with salt & pepper. Cook until soft.
  3. Add all other veggies (except spinach & parsley)
  4. Season with paprika, gr. coriander, salt & pepper & cook for about 3-5 min. until the veggies begin to soften.
  5. Add red wine to deglaze the pan and cook down for another 3-5 min.
  6. Add canned tomato and crush tomato with spoon or hands (I like to use my hands :)) Let cook for another 3-5 min.
  7. Add bay leaf & chick peas and re-season with spices and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Cook down at a simmer (uncovered) for about 20min. You want the vegetables to be soft, but not mushy. The ragout sauce should be a bit thick & have a deep flavor, similar to that of a stew.
  9. Finish with chopped spinach & parsley
Cheese Polenta
  1. Add 3 cups of milk & 2 cups of water & stick of butter to a medium sauce pan and warm.
  2. Once liquid is warm, season with salt to taste & add polenta
  3. Allow to cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. As the polenta thickens and cooks you will need to stir more often.
  4. As the polenta cooks, it will likely need more liquid before it is completely cooked through. Add more milk as necessary throughout the cooking process.
  5. Taste the polenta as you go and it will begin to soften. Once cooked, add cheese. *The cheese will thicken the polenta more, so if you need to add a bit of milk to it to thin it out a bit, go right ahead!
  6. Re-season with salt & black pepper and enjoy Your final polenta should be smooth and creamy.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepared ahead:

  • chop vegetables
  • polenta

*Essentially, this is a great meal to make a few days ahead and the flavors will just get better as it sits.

To make this dish vegan - use vegetable stock instead of milk & leave out the butter. If you like coconut flavor, you can finish the polenta with some coconut butter (not oil).

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Thai Marinated Chicken with Coconut Rice & Thai-Inspired Slaw

The marinade for this Thai chicken allows you to get a little creative in the kitchen, and the accompanying slaw is the same!

Use the proportions of the marinade ingredients below according to how much chicken you should make, and think about the final flavor of the dish; since this is both a marinade as well as the sauce the chicken cooks in, you have some room to wiggle a little with amounts and measurements.

Try to remember the balance of acidity (lime juice), salt (soy sauce) and sweetness (honey), with just enough fresh cilantro to open up the flavor and zingy ginger and garlic to add bite.  As with all Connected Chef recipes, we encourage you to use all your senses as you cook!

The coconut rice that goes with the Thai marinated chicken and slaw is also easier than it looks, especially when you think about the process of rice cooking. Cooking the rice in coconut milk gives it a creamy flavor that’s hard to beat, and it rounds out the entire dish nicely.

Toss the slaw together using whatever crispy, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Each of the different textures of the different vegetables will work well together, especially when you tie them together with a garlicky vinegar dressing.

This Thai marinated chicken and sides is one of my favorite recipes to teach in my classes, since it covers so many different aspects of the kitchen and requires you to use each of your senses throughout the entire process. It’s a great recipe to get kids cooking along with you!

Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
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This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
Print Recipe
This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
Coconut Rice
Thai Slaw
Servings: people
Instructions
Thai Marinade
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk: Start with soy sauce as the base, and then add each ingredient one at a time, tasting as you go.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and set aside for at least 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. When chicken is ready to be cooked, sear in batches with marinade & season with salt & pepper
Coconut Rice
  1. Fine chop garlic, onion, ginger & sauté in pan with a heavy amount of oil.
  2. Add rice & toast (make sure there is enough oil to coat the rice)
  3. Once rice is toasted brown, add coconut milk & water
  4. Season heavily with salt & some pepper
  5. Once boiling, stir & bring down heat
  6. Stir occasionally until cooked through.
  7. **Be sure to be tasting rice as it cooks and adjusting seasoning. You can always add a bit of water if you need more liquid throughout the cooking process.
Thai Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies (cut into thin strips).
  2. Pick herbs from stem & tear into slaw
  3. Dress with some lime juice, salt & pepper to taste.
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Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

These chili braised pork tacos are one of my family’s all-time favorite recipes, and one that I’ll often make in my cooking classes as well!

Chili braised pork tacos are practically foolproof and very popular – making this the perfect party meal, make-ahead dinner option, or simple Sunday dish. The chili-braised pork tastes better the longer it sits, too, so make a big batch and freeze some for later if you get the chance.

The base of this dish, the pork shoulder, follows along the guidelines I’ve laid out in the braising section. Remember that the perfect braise builds a flavor that works along with the rest of the ingredients it’s paired with; turn a cheap cut of meat into the star attraction with just a few simple tricks!

Chili-braised pork tacos and salsa are great on their own, but if you’re looking for a different side, I really recommend this simple corn salsa.

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
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Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Chili Braised Pork
Pico de Gallo
Spice Rub
Servings:
Instructions
Chili Braised Pork
  1. Coat pork in spice rub & salt, pepper. (You will have left over rub. Keep it in a jar for another dish/time!)
  2. Sear pork in a dutch oven or saute pan until dark, golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork and add all veggies. Cook until charred and slightly cooked
  4. Deglaze with bottle of beer
  5. Put pork back into dutch oven & add enough water until pork is ¾ covered. (If you don’t have a dutch oven & have seared your pork & veggies in a sauté pan, place everything in an oven safe pot & cover.)
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid.
  8. I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.
  9. Shred pork and strain braising liquid. Then, add pork to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat everything slightly if it has cooled completely. (Don't boil when reheating, you will toughen the meat)
Pico de Gallo
  1. Dice tomato, avocado, onion jalapeno & cilantro
  2. Mix with lime juice & season generously with salt/pepper
Recipe Notes

There are no quantities for the PICO DE GALLO. That is because you can make it to your own liking.

I typically like my Pico de gallo heavy on the lime and cilantro, but it's a personal choice.

TASTE AS YOU GO and remember you can always add more of an ingredient!

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Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies

Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
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This will be your go to dinner recipe. MINIMAL prep & so delicious. You can also use whatever veggies you like, the mentioned are just ideas.
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
Print Recipe
This will be your go to dinner recipe. MINIMAL prep & so delicious. You can also use whatever veggies you like, the mentioned are just ideas.
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1-2 heads garlic cut lengthwise
  • 1 Onion cut in 4
  • 1/4 bunch Thyme
  • 1/4 bottle White wine
  • Turnips no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
  • Sweet Potatoes no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
  • Carrots no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Dry skin of chicken with a paper towel & season liberally with salt & pepper
  3. Stuff chicken with chopped onion, garlic, thyme & 1 lemon
  4. Chop veggies (cut them large; be sure they are around the same size)
  5. Season veggies liberally with salt & pepper and add to a roasting pan
  6. Place chicken on roasting pan & pour a small amount of white wine (or beer) at the bottom of the pan (approx. ½-1 cup, just eyeball it)
  7. Cook chicken in the oven until the flesh is firm & skin is brown. (approx. 40min) If the skin is browning too fast, you can cover the chicken with some foil to stop the browning, while it continues to cook.
Recipe Notes

Remember: Your meat must rest before cutting.  Let the chicken sit on your countertop for at least 15min before cutting into it!

How do you know when your chicken is done? The juices should run clear. Take your knife and cut the chicken between the thigh and breast.  You won’t be cutting through meat, but mostly breaking the skin between the dark and light meat of the bird.  If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.  If the juice is still pink, keep it in the oven for another 10-15min.

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