Healthy Main Dish Recipes Made Simple

Sausage & Vegetable Ragu with Creamy Polenta

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
Applegate Organic Sweet Italian Sausage (gluten free) ~
Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines ~
Melissa's Italian Herb Organic Polenta ~


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Sausage & Vegetable Ragu with Creamy Polenta

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
Applegate Organic Sweet Italian Sausage (gluten free) ~
Sobon Estate Zinfandel Old Vines ~
Melissa's Italian Herb Organic Polenta ~

Ingredients
For Ragu
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 large organic carrots, sliced on a diagonal
1 link of organic Italian sausage*, casing removed and small diced or crumbled
2 cups mushrooms, quartered and thick-sliced
1/2 teaspoon each of organic oregano, basil and thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Splash of red wine* 
 
1 15oz can organic tomatoes, diced or crushed

For Polenta 
See Creamy Polenta Recipe or use this:
Creamy Polenta Quick-Pick Method:
1 16oz. Precooked Organic Polenta* 

1 cup of water 
3 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese or chévre cheese 
Reconstitute with a approximately 1 cup of water add cheese and heat through for creamy consistency.

Preparation
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add a couple of splashes of olive oil and swirl around pan. Add onions and carrots and cook to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and brown with vegetables. Add mushrooms, seasonings and garlic and cook just until liquid released by mushrooms has evaporated. Add a splash of red wine and scrape up brown bits from pan. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil (can add more tomatoes or a little broth if more liquid is needed). Lower heat, cover and barely simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Plate using wide shallow bowls. Start with polenta and layer with ragu, repeat ending with a small dollop of polenta on top.
Servings: 2-3 large servings or 4 small servings


Appalachian Gumbo

A lovely, comforting family recipe called Bamia (okra) revamped for a little Sephardic Southern soul food.

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
~ Organic Prairie Whole Chicken -- why Organic Prairie? ~
~ Applegate Organic Andouille Sausage -- 
why Applegate? ~
OR find your local meat sources


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Appalachian Gumbo

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
~ Organic Prairie Whole Chicken -- why Organic Prairie? ~
~ Applegate Organic Andouille Sausage -- 
why Applegate? ~
OR find your local meat sources

Ingredients
Salt and pepper
Organic chicken*, any 4-6 pieces, bone-in, skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 link organic andouille sausage*, chopped

1 1/2 cup onions, rough chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup red wine (a fruity Beaujolais or similar works well)
3-4 cups fresh organic tomatoes, rough chopped (or canned organic tomatoes, undrained)
2 cups whole fresh okra
Savory Grits Recipe

Preparation
Salt and pepper chicken. Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and chicken. (You can toss in a few onion pieces, laying the chicken over them to brown for additional flavor.) Brown chicken on all sides and remove from pan. Add sausage to pan and brown. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, add garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes. De-glaze pan with wine. Return chicken to pan. Distribute tomatoes evenly around and atop chicken. Layer on okra and press everything down with a large spoon to nestle in together. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil cover and simmer low for 30-40 minutes. Serve over grits.


Hoppin' Joy

I like my black-eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day as much anyone; however, after the indulgences of the holidays, I'm eager for something different than what often becomes a bowl full of drab, mushy peas and greens loaded with bacon fat. So enters...Hoppin' Joy -- a fresher, brighter, healthier version of Hoppin' John and/or Skippin' Jenny. It's a bibimbap style dish that makes a great meal for any day of the year.

Hoppin' Joy Bibimbap


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Hoppin' Joy

Ingredients
Olive oil
1 lb. organic black eyed peas
Water
1-2 links organic sausage for flavoring, diced or crumbled (optional) -- if skipped, consider adding some garlic and crushed red pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh organic herbs like rosemary and thyme
4 cups
organic broth*, warmed
~ *Mavenjoy Super Pick: Organic Bone Broth ~ 
2 cups water, warmed
Salt and pepper
Collard Greens Recipe
Cooked organic brown rice (optional)
Roasted kabocha squash, cut into cubes (optional)*
Poached Egg (optional)

Preparation
Rinse and soak peas overnight. Rinse, drain and set aside. Heat large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add a splash of olive oil. Add sausage to brown. Add onion and cook until translucent. Stir in herbs and peas. Add warmed broth and water. Semi-cover and simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
Serve in individual soup bowls. Generously "line" bottom of bowl with collard greens. If using, "spread" rice over greens. Spoon a heaping serving of peas to fill bowl. Top with roasted cubes of squash and egg if using.
*Most any roasted vegetable makes a good, healthy addition to this dish -- toss some bite-sized carrots, turnips and rutabagas with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, S&P, then roast and top!


Ham & Rapini "Crepes"

These "crepes" are a quickie light dinner go-to when you don't know what to cook and don't feel like cooking a whole lot. You can swap in just about any vegetable or protein to make it work for what you have on hand. See recipe under Preparation below.

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
Applegate Organic Uncured Ham ~ 
or 
find your local meat sources.


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Quick Ham & Rapini "Crepes"

*Mavenjoy Ingredient Picks
Applegate Organic Uncured Ham ~ 
or 
find your local meat sources.

Ingredients
Olive oil
1/3 cup sweet onion, rough chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 slices of organic deli ham*, chopped

1 bunch of fresh organic rapini (broccoli rabe)*
2 organic egg whites
Organic Milk*

Organic Feta*, crumbled

Salt and pepper to tast
Organic Tortillas -- try Mavenjoy's Gluten Free Tortillas

Preparation
Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Splash olive oil and turn pan to coat. Add onion and cook until just golden. Add garlic and ham pieces and cook until just browning. Toss in rapini, salt and pepper and cook until tender. Whisk egg whites and pour into pan. Stir egg to combine with other ingredients and splash in milk until desired consistency. Reduce heat to low and let mixture set -- shoot for a soft custard like texture. Add crumbled feta, gently combine. 
Wrap tortillas in foil and heat until warm. Half the egg mixture between each tortilla, place down center of each, fold and serve. 
**Mavenjoy Recipe Tweaks: You can swap in most any vegetable for the rapini, but the fresh rapini is just the right size and texture and makes this dish really shine. You could also try fresh spinach or a heartier green like kale or chard -- if you use broccoli just slice it on the long and thin side so it cooks thoroughly and folds up nicely into your crepe. This version is gluten free, but you could also use flour tortillas plus sub in cow milk/cheese or unsweetened nut or rice milk/cheese.


Sriracha Spaghetti

In search of a tomato free spaghetti, we hit on this delicious Asian influenced version. It's easily gluten free but even better made pasta-free too. The spaghetti squash more than adequately stands in for noodles maximizing whole foods over processed foods and avoiding grains altogether.


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Sriracha Spaghetti

Ingredients
 1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 small onion, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 large organic carrot, grated
1/2 lb. ground grass-fed bison
~
Mavenjoy Tip: Find your local meat sources ~
Sake (white wine or rice wine vinegar will work in a pinch)
2/3 cup organic green peas, cooked
3 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sriracha* + drizzle
2-3 oz. organic pasta, cooked (optional)
~
Mavenjoy (Gluten Free) Pick: Tinkyada or Jovial Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti and check out more of our gluten free food faves ~

Preparation
Preheat oven to 400.
Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and loose strands and place facedown in shallow baking dish with 1/4" water in bottom. Bake until soft and flesh is easily removed with a fork in strands. While squash cooks prepare other ingredients.
Heat oils over medium high heat on large saute pan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and carrots and cook 3-5 minutes. Add bison and brown until fully cooked. Deglaze with sake/liquid as needed. Add fish sauce and sriracha and cook until combined and heated through. Stir in spaghetti squash, noodles (if using) and peas. 
Serve in deep bowls with a drizzle of sriracha on top. Make 2 large servings or 4 small servings. 
*Sriracha's heat varies from brand to brand. We usually use Huy Fong Foods' sriracha which tilts HOT on the heat scale. Taste and adjust to preference.
Inspired by White On Rice Couple


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