My Pretty Apron: Cookbook to the Rescue

Last week’s cooking marathon for Thanksgiving really tested my wits in the kitchen which is always a good time, but it left me a bit high and dry for this week’s My Pretty Apron. What could I make that wasn’t going to break the bank (or my head) while offering something nutritious and easy to cook?

There are three things I turn to when I’m confronted with this kind of culinary crisis: Pinterest, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon (to save on what I like at the bookstore!). I found myself standing in front of the cookbooks table on a lunch break earlier this week, holding a copy of Dr. Andrew Weil’s new cookbook, True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure. It’s a beautiful edition with loads of amazing recipes, but I put the book down and filed it away in my mental shopping list (just imagine a massive Pinterest board) for my cookbook collection.

I made my way over the magazine section, picked up the December issue of Whole Living, Martha Stewart’s publication focused on wellness and healthy eating, and found myself looking at Dr. Andrew Weil’s face again. Several recipes followed his impressive bio and after taking the time to read more about his food philosophy, I took it as a sign that I’d tackle one of his recipes this week.

Dr. Weil is a major celebrity in the health and food world and has garnered support from notables like Marion Nestle (my personal hero), along with running a very successful restaurant business in the southwestern US. He’s proven that there is a market for healthy food and that people are willing to eat nutritiously as long as the meals are prepared well. He’s pioneered his own meal plan by created an anti-inflammatory food pyramid depicting a diet heavy in organic vegetables, fruit, fish, and whole grains. Coupled with his integrative medicine theory, Dr. Weil’s goal is to improve the mind and body through both mainstream and alternative means. It’s a fascinating concept and something I’d like to spend more time researching, especially as I continue to shape my own nutrition philosophy.  For now, I have another great source for recipes which means more excitement in the kitchen!

What’s even better is that it’s coming out of an actual real-life cookbook and not from a website which I find kind of nice after spending hours clicking away online. Do any of you actually pick up a book off the shelf and use it in the kitchen or are you like me where you have dozens of printed recipes pinned messily to your fridge? Or even better, do you drag you computer or tablet to the kitchen for easy access? There’s nothing wrong with either method, but its funny to think about how we’ve changed the way we cook with the introduction of all this technology…..and I’m getting dangerously close to tangent territory here! Ok, back on track.  Cookbook or not,  I’ve included a link to the recipe online just to keep the best of both worlds, digital and print, alive and kicking. 🙂

Let’s begin with the nuts and bolts and then get into this week’s recipe.

FOOD4THOUGHTNYC’S NUTRITION FACTOIDS

Fennel

Fennel, often associated with Mediterranean cuisine, is nearly entirely edible. The bulb, stalks, leaves, and seeds can be used as both an herb and vegetable and is closely related to parley, carrots, coriander and dill. It has an anise or licorice flavor and is rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory benefits which makes this a tasty and healthy addition to your recipes. When buying fennel, be sure the bulbs are clean and firm and that they are white or pale green in color. If the bulbs still have the stalks attached, check that there are no flowering buds as this will indicate an overly mature vegetable. You can store fennel for up to four days, however it should really be eaten within a day or two of purchase while its still fresh.

Some of the major nutritional and health advantages of fennel include:

  • Low calories and fat: With only 27 calories and less than 1g of total fat in each serving of raw fennel, this vegetable will help maintain a healthy body weight while pumping up the flavor of your dishes.
  • Vitamin C: Fennel is an excellent source of Vitamin C with nearly 18% of your DV in a 1 cup serving. Vitamin C helps promote wound healing and the normal growth and repair of body tissues.
  • Potassium: A serving of fennel yields about 360mg of potassium or 10% of your DV. This mineral helps regulate blood pressure and heart beat.
  • Fiber: 3g of dietary fiber or approximately 11% of your DV can be found in a serving of fennel. Diets rich in dietary fiber can not only aid digestion, but help protect against coronary heart disease.
  • Women’s Health: Tea made from fennel seeds may help alleviate menstrual cramps and abdominal bloating (among other ailments) due to its antispasmodic properties which help relax uterine muscles.

This versatile vegetable has so many applications that can really allow for some fun experimentation for your taste buds as well as some positive side effects for your health. We are in a prime time for fennel as it’s in season from Fall through early Spring. Even if you can’t find fresh fennel bulbs, consider investing in fennel seeds for your spice pantry. It’s definitely worth it to use as a seasoning or for your herbal tea.

For more information on how to use fennel and some basic recipes, take a look at Cooking Light’s great profile here.

This weeks recipe is a bit of a departure from the paleo lifestyle I’ve been exploring this past month. I’ve sort of gone back and forth with some of the aspects of paleo and I really wasn’t looking to over think my cooking this week after all the work I put in the kitchen last week.

My objective will always remain the same: to eat clean, healthy, nutritious food that can be sourced locally as often as possible while limiting my carbon footprint by consuming sustainably. Oh and it must also taste yummy-obviously! I hit the target this week with Dr. Andrew Weil’s Sweet Potato Poblano Soup.

Not only are you already getting a hefty dose of vitamin C, fiber and potassium from the fennel, but you are now getting a major boost of those same vitamins and minerals from the addition of sweet potato.  Remember that one cup of sweet potatoes have about 38% of your DV in Vitamin C, 15% DV of potassium and 15%DV of fiber along with being a vitamin A superstar, providing a whopping 384% of your DV. Add this to the fennel and you have a serious powerhouse in a small bowl. Although there are a few non-Paleo ingredients in this soup, I find the nutritional profile here to be more than enough to compensate. Also, it’s delicious.

Here’s the recipe (which can also be found by clicking the link above, or in this month’s issue of Whole Living by Martha Stewart OR in Dr. Weil’s cookbook, True Food ):

Ingredients- serving 6

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed*
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 poblano chile, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine*
  • 1 14-oz can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

*Notes and Alterations: The corn and white wine are the culprits keeping this from being fully Paleo. You can choose to omit these altogether and replace the wine with a stock and the corn for tomato or even a leafy green like kale (I had that brainwave after I was done while washing the dishes). Also, I used canned corn. Yes, CANNED corn. I don’t normally eat corn and it seemed silly (and wasteful) to buy a bag of frozen when I have cans stored in my cupboard. In the meantime, this is vegan-friendly and gluten-free! If you don’t like things too spicy, you can cut down the chili powder and cayenne like I did. The poblanos are a must however, and do give the soup a nice round kick.

Special Tools:

  • Mortar and Pestle
  • 5 quart pot or dutch oven
  • Baking Tray

Put your apron on and get started!

1. Turn on your broiler and preheat.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato, carrots, fennel bulb, and onion and place in a large bowl.

3. Peel and mash garlic in your mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one of these (although I’ll keep saying it: BUY ONE!) , use a garlic press to mash up the cloves as much as possible. Add to the bowl of veggies and mix together with the olive oil.

4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the veggies in a single layer. Put it in the broiler and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway through. The vegetables should be browned when done.

5. While the veggies are in the broiler, set up your spices. Measure out the oregano, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, turmeric, salt and pepper in a small prep bowl. It’s a time savor and you can also adjust here according to your taste. I actually increased the amount of salt from the original recipe and used fresh ground sea salt for added flavor.

6. Once veggies are done, remove from the broiler and put them into the big pot, along with the spices, wine, and water. *Note:  I used less water (about 1 1/2 quarts) than what’s advised in the original recipe. This was just for me, but even with the reduction there was enough soup left over for four people. If you’re cooking for lots of people, then keep the quantity the same.

7. Mix well over a medium-high heat and allow it to boil. Once it reaches this stage, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

8. Chop up about 2-3 scallions and a big handful of cilantro and set aside.

9. Taste the soup throughout for salt and seasonings. Adjust as necessary.

10. After 45 minutes, remove pot from the heat and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Then whisk in the coconut milk and mix well into the soup.

11. Ladle yourself a bowl and garnish with a generous helping of scallions and cilantro. Finito!

Here’s my pretty bowl, all dressed and ready for you. 🙂

I really love this recipe and found it to be a simple and delicious soup that can be adapted pretty easily to suit your tastes. I’d actually love to give this another go with some winter greens and maybe some root vegetables like squash or turnips. One quick tip to consider is swapping out the water for a vegetable stock to give it a richer flavor. There was a nice bit of heat that was just enough to make it interesting but not so spicy that I couldn’t enjoy the soup. All in all, a great recipe that I’d recommend whether you’re a paleo-file or not.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. Are you planning on trying this out?? If so, tell me all about it and show me your pics! I’d love to hear more about your fun apron adventures as well. Until next Thursday, keep it clean and keep paying it forward. 🙂

My Pretty Apron: Breakfast of Paleo Champions

My butt just got kicked into a brand new shape. Did that grab your attention?

I’m tired and sore and most importantly, I’m STARVING. I can thank my new trainer, Natalie, for putting me through my paces today during a great session. I have to say that I never thought I’d seek out a personal trainer, but after following Natalie’s work for the last couple of years, I thought I’d give it a try. No regrets-she’s awesome! I’m now in love with kettlebells (but I hate you jumping split lunges!) and pushing to keep up with her program. Check her out on IronCaliberHers on WP or follow Natalie Vera on Facebook, especially if you’re in NYC and looking for a trainer.  🙂

Gushing aside, let me get back to my point here. I’m freaking hungry. And I’m tired. With Thanksgiving due in about a week, I’m taking it easy in the kitchen for now. So I decided to fall back on my favorite dinner, and that’s breakfast. That’s right. Breakfast for dinner. If it were up to me, I’d eat breakfast foods all day long. Of course, now that I’m following (or attempting to follow thanks to recent setbacks) a paleo lifestyle, I have to get creative. I’m more a fan of the savory than sweet, but no bread, potatoes or cheese make for some interesting challenges. No problem, when you’ve got sweet potatoes, eggs, and avocado handy. And the best part of making breakfast for dinner (other than eating it of course) is that it takes less than half an hour to prepare. Let’s get to it!

FOOD4THOUGHTNYC’S NUTRITION FACTOIDS

Hass Avocado

There are over 500 varieties of avocado from all over the world varying in size and color. My personal favorite is the Hass avocado. It’s dark green pebbly skin and creamy flesh stands out from the rest and on any given day, you’ll find at least one or two in my fruit bowl. Aside from its incredible flavor and versatility, avocados pack a mighty punch on the nutrition end. Here are some of those benefits:

  • Sodium and cholesterol-free, but densely packed with approximately 380 calories, 35g of fat, 16g of fiber and 5g of protein in an 8oz serving. Despite the high fat content, these fats are mostly monounsaturated (MUFAs) which are healthier and mainly found in avocados.
  • Speaking of fat: Perhaps the biggest health benefit of eating avocados is oleic acid, an omega-9 fat which helps decrease blood cholesterol by increasing the production of HDLs, or high-density lipoproteins.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: In a 1oz serving of hass avocado (about 1/5 wedge), there is 152mg of potassium (4%DV), 6.3mcg of Vitamin K (8%DV), and 27mcg of Folate (6%DV). Avocados are also rich in Vitamins B6, E,C, and Riboflavin each accounting for 4%DV.
  • Fiber: Avocados are high in fiber with approximately 40% of your DV in one serving. Fiber improves digestion and can help reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

These little guys are an amazing addition to any diet and as I mentioned earlier, they are really versatile. From guacamole, to sauces, to smoothies, and even desserts, avocados can be used in just about anything.

Since I was so tired and my brain was processing things more slowly than normal (“Must. Eat. Now.”), I didn’t go nuts with photos here. The meal is fairly simple. I’m a huge fan of home fries, but since white potatoes are a no-no for paleo, I’m using my new standby, sweet potatoes. A side of chunky guacamole with a sunny-side up egg rounds out the meal.

PALEO SOUTHWESTERN HOME FRIES WITH CHUNKY GUACAMOLE AND FRIED EGG

Ingredients- Serving 1 very hungry person

Home Fries:

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato or yam, any variety is fine
  • 1/4 cup of chopped veggies, divided evenly: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and red onion
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp of organic Apple Cider vinegar, preferably Bragg’s
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • couple cracks of ground sea salt
  • couple cracks of ground black pepper
  • dash of ground chipotle pepper (add more if you like it on the spicy side!)

Guacamole:

  • 3/4 ripe Hass avocado, roughly chopped
  • 10 small grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tbsp of red onion, minced (I’d say 2 slices of a medium-sized onion)
  • generous handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground sea salt (about one crack, but be careful!)
  • couple cracks of ground black pepper

And the eggs of course:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tbsp of cilantro, finely chopped for garnish

Notes: You can add jalapeno to the guacamole if you prefer some heat; keep the seeds in for even more heat. This is a pretty big helping of avocado so this is high on the calorie side. But like I keep saying, I was HUNGRY! You can halve this recipe for just yourself or make more for a party. But note that the fresh garlic gives it a good kick and you shouldn’t be heavy-handed with the salt, especially freshly ground sea salt. I prefer a chunky guacamole, but you can also toss these ingredients (minus the tomatoes) into the food processor and create a smooth dip.

Special Tools

  • Steamer Pot (or steam basket)
  • Mortar and Pestle (or garlic press)

1. Prep all of your ingredients by chopping and dicing the sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and onions. Leave the avocado for later so that it doesn’t oxidize.

2. Peel and mash both cloves of garlic with your mortar and pestle or by garlic press. If you don’t have either of these tools, you can also use a grater. I think the pulp from the garlic works better in guacamole than pieces that you’ll bite into. If you’re using a food processor to make a smooth dip, than ignore me completely!

3. Place sweet potatoes in the steamer. Cook until a fork can go completely through easily without resistance. About 8-10 minutes.

4. While potatoes are steaming, dice up the avocado, remove the peel,  and place in a small bowl. Tip: To remove the core, take a heavy chef’s knife and carefully bang the heel of the blade through the center. When it’s secure, gently twist the knife handle counterclockwise and the core should slide right out.

5. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro (reserve some for the garnish), salt, and pepper into the bowl with the avocado. Mash it up and mix with a fork until you reach the desired consistency. Squeeze the juice of  half a lime over the top and mix. Taste for salt and set aside.

6. Heat half a tbsp of avocado oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions and peppers for a couple of minutes.

7. Add sweet potatoes to the pan and add salt, pepper, oregano, and ground chipotle and stir to mix thoroughly. Raise the heat to medium high. You want the potatoes to develop a nice outer crust, so be sure to keep an eye that it doesn’t burn. About 4-6 minutes.

8. Once the potatoes have started to brown, pour the apple cider vinegar into the pan and scrape off all the bits on the bottom to stir it in with the potatoes.

9. Throw in the spinach and cook with the potatoes until it starts to wilt. About 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

10. Heat a small nonstick frying pan with 1 tsp of avocado oil. Once hot, crack an egg over the top and carefully pour into the pan without breaking the yolk. Fry until the whites are cooked through.

11. Assemble the home fries, guacamole, and egg on a plate and garnish with leftover chopped cilantro.

Thank goodness this was a quick meal otherwise I might have completely passed out from starvation. Dramatic? Yes. But like I keep saying: I was hungry damnit! 😉

This was quick and filling and most importantly, yummy.  It’s an easy meal if you don’t want to fuss too much over a stove and you’ve got some leftover avocado to use. This would be great for a brunch or if you’re cooking for lots of people because it’s really easy to make more and it’s not an expensive meal. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for something quick and paleo-friendly.

Stay tuned next week for a very special post because it’s Thanksgiving! How the heck am I going to keep it paleo??? Until next time, keep it clean and keep paying it forward! 🙂

My Pretty Apron: Bringing Comfort to Those in Need

This week’s special edition of My Pretty Apron shines a light on the incredible men and women who are working hard to provide relief to those devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week. I recently posted my own experiences as a New Yorker coping with the challenges of getting through a week without power, heat, or hot water while taking in the impact this storm had on the spirit of the city. But my story is nothing compared to the devastation wrought in the communities on the eastern shores of Staten Island, the Rockaway peninsula, Red Hook, Long Island, and New Jersey to name a few. They’ve lost homes, their memories, entire communities, or members of their families.  There are people struggling to find shelter and basic supplies as the city’s recovery efforts are  hampered by a major winter storm currently barreling through the tri-state.

Also, let’s not forget the destructive path this hurricane took through the already ravaged country of Haiti still trying to get back on its feet after the massive earthquake two years ago followed by Hurricane Isaac last year, adding to the long list of troubles of an ailing population. They need our help too, as do many others in the wake of this terrible storm.

The amazing Barb Kiebel at Creative Culinary had this incredible idea to help spread comfort and support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy by initiating this food-blogging event today. You may have come here for the recipes I post every Thursday, or maybe the badge above caught your attention. Either way, you’re here, and now you have an opportunity to put your thoughts and prayers for those you’ve seen on your television screens and in your newspapers into action. By clicking the badge at the top of this post, you will go to the Hurricane Sandy page by the American Red Cross and you can donate whatever you can to help the relief and recovery efforts. Any donation, big or small, will help provide the essentials to assist many of those still suffering without food or shelter.

If you’re in New York City and looking for other ways to help, you can use these resources:

  • Follow OccupySandy on Twitter or go to their site for up to date information on current projects mobilizing across the city.
  • Donate a gently used coat to the New York Cares Annual Coat Drive at a collection site near you. New York Cares launched their annual initiative early this year to help provide coats to Sandy victims as soon as possible. **If you’re in lower Manhattan and looking for a collection site, please contact me at food4thoughtnyc@gmail.com. I’m currently hosting a site near City Hall through December 10th,  and I can coordinate with you to collect your coats.**
  • Make donations (both monetary and supplies) to The Salvation Army who will help provide food, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care all along the East Coast.

There are many different organizations that are operating all kinds of projects in various areas, so there are many ways you can help from wherever you are.

This is a food-blogging event, so let’s get to the food part! I’m featuring a comfort dish that as Barb puts it,  is “something that you would take to a neighbor in crisis or a friend in need; you know, those dishes that are warm and homey and just make a person feel good all over.” Given the snow pounding against the window and my penchant for anything that can be spooned out of a bowl that’s hot and tasty with lots of chunky vegetables and goodness that can be soaked up with bread, I knew a beef stew was in order.

Now, I normally make a big effort to focus on the nutritional merits of my dishes on My Pretty Apron by honing in on one particular ingredient and breaking down all the health benefits in my “Nutrition Factoids” section. But this is about comfort. Nourishing the soul, not just our bodies. And sometimes you just have to let it go a bit to enjoy a meal and not make it about a checklist of nutritional must-haves. That said, I did adapt this recipe from Cooking Light, so at the very least there’s a bit of effort here to keep things on the healthy side since that’s always my goal. 🙂

Without further ado, the recipe adapted by Cooking Light’s Beef Daube Provencal

Ingredients

  • 2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsps, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 10oz package of white mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup less-sodium beef stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can NO SALT ADDED diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Chopped fresh thyme (optional)

NOTES AND ALTERATIONS:

I made a few minor changes from the original recipe. I prefer using stocks as opposed to broths in soup. If you have your own homemade stock, then definitely use that. The canned tomatoes should be “No Salt Added” if you can find it, to help control your salt intake. I also added Herbes de Provence to the seasoning because it goes well with the rest, and anything to deepen the flavor falls in the plus column. The mushrooms were a last minute add because I had them handy, and I LOVE mushrooms in stews. I’d suggest using Porcini mushrooms if you can find them. Just be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before you use them. I omitted the noodles suggested with the recipe, but you’re more than welcome to add that to your dish. I really just wanted the stew without the trimmings. The red wine I used was a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from California because that’s what I had on hand. I’d go for something a bit richer because of my personal tastes, but you can opt for the traditional and pick a nice Burgundy from France or a Pinot Noir. You’re the chef – pick what suits your palate!

Special Tools

  • Mortar and pestle (or garlic press)
  • Dutch Oven (or slow cooker)

You can make this stew with either a Dutch Oven or a slow cooker. I made this with a heavy-duty metal pot since I don’t have an oven and I didn’t want to pull out the slow cooker for this one. If you plan on using a slow cooker, then prepare the beef first in a separate pan and then add all of the ingredients together, set on high, and cook for 5 hours.

Here’s how to prepare the stew with a Dutch Oven/Heavy Pot.

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Prepare all 12 cloves of garlic by removing the skins and mashing in a mortar and pestle. If you’ve followed my blog at all, then you know I’m a die-hard fan of this method as its how my mother taught me, and I plan on continuing this tradition way into the future. If you don’t own one, then you can use a garlic press.

3. Heat the olive oil in the pot over a low to medium heat, and then add the garlic once hot. You want the garlic to cook, but not burn, so give it about 3-5 minutes or until you can really smell the garlic. Remove it from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl.

4. Sprinkle the beef with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper and then add the meat to the pot. Raise the flame to a medium-high heat. Brown the beef ensuring that you get all the sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.


5. Add the red wine and scrape off any bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan. Those little morsels are packed with flavor and they’ll add lots of dimension to your dish! Allow the wine to boil.

6. Now you can add everything else to the pot including the veggies, herbs, tomatoes and paste, and the stock. I did all of my chopping prep earlier, and I highly recommend you do the same. It was a lot easier to just add everything all in one shot then waiting to peel and dice carrots, onions, herbs and mushrooms.

7. Stir everything together, cover with the lid, and place in the oven. Allow it to bake for at least 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is completely tender. Discard the bay leaf. Serve and garnish with thyme or parsley. Fin!

I had this crusty multi-grain baguette that was just made by the bakery at the Whole Foods in Tribeca which was hit by Sandy last week. Part of the store was still trying to come back online when I visited, but their bakery was churning out some delicious bread and it was hard to resist when I knew a stew was on my agenda.

This bread was the perfect accompaniment to an AMAZING (I mean, seriously ah-MAZING) stew that hit me right in the spot. The beef melts on your mouth and hearty broth and vegetables was just so rich with complex flavor. There’s nothing like sitting with a bowl of soup as the weather gets colder. It’s like wrapping yourself up with a cozy blanket. And really, what’s more traditionally shared with others as an offer of warmth, support, and comfort than a bowl of soup ladled out of a big pot? There’s always plenty to go around. Unless you make this stew, which is so good that you may need to double up on the ingredients just to be on the safe side. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you take the time to see what some of the other food bloggers are offering today by following the hashtag #FBS4Sandy on Twitter. Please take time to click on the badge and pledge your support to the American Red Cross by donating OR by checking out the links I posted, including the NY Cares Coat Drive. Always remember to keep paying it forward any way you can. ❤

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