Jenna Weber
February 22, 2012

Gather your family around the table this week and enjoy delicious meals together! Make the Arroz con Pollo on a Sunday afternoon, when you have some extra time to spend in the kitchen, and treat your loved ones to classic comfort food—Latin American style. The kids with love it, and you'll be eating the leftovers all week long when cooking just isn't an option. The noodle bowls and acorn squash are flavorful vegetarian dinners that open kids up to new tastes and cultures. Enjoy!

Grocery list
2 red bell peppers
1 small heads green cabbage
2 cucumbers
1 box rice noodles
3 green onions
one orange
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 garlic cloves
1 whole 4–4.5 lb. chicken
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 green bell peppers
1 large onion
1 small jar pimento stuffed green olives
1 small bag frozen green peas
paprika
saffron
bay leaf
white rice
1 quart chicken broth
16 oz. extra firm tofu
roasted peanuts
4 acorn squash (about 2-3 lbs. each)
1 cup bulgur wheat (look for it in the bulk bins at your local health food store)
1 quart vegetable stock
cumin
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel)
1 can black beans
1 package grated cheddar cheese
fresh mint
2 bunches fresh cilantro
bean sprouts
soy sauce
fish sauce
sesame oil
1 large knob fresh ginger
sriracha
maple syrup
Mexican Stuffed Acorn Squash
A simple and delicious vegetarian meal that reheats wonderfully.

Serves 4

4 acorn squash (about 2-3 lbs. each)
1 cup bulgur wheat
1.5 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cumin
1 cup diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup black beans
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
fresh cilantro, minced, for serving
hot sauce (optional)
salsa (optional)

1. Slice the tops off of each acorn squash, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Toss seeds in the garbage and lay the squash cut side down on a greased, foil-lined sheet tray. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until very tender when pricked with a fork.

2. While the squash are roasting, prepare the filling. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a medium sized pot. Once boiling, add the bulgur, salt, cumin, and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Add black beans and hot sauce to taste.

3. Fill the inside of the squash with the bulgur mixture and top with cheddar cheese. Broil on high for about 3-4 minutes until cheese melts.

4. Top squash with fresh cilantro, and more hot sauce and salsa if desired.

Next page: Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls with Pan Seared Tofu

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bowls with Pan Seared Tofu
A great way to get the kids to eat tofu! These crispy tofu "fingers" taste great nestled in thin rice noodles.

Serves 4

2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cucumbers, sliced into half-moons
1 box rice noodles
3 green onions, minced
16 oz. extra firm tofu, sliced into small triangles
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
handful of roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
fresh mint, minced
fresh cilantro, minced
bean sprouts (about a handful per bowl)

For sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2 tsp. sriracha
2 tbsp. maple syrup

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the rice noodles and turn off the heat. Let noodles sit in hot water for about five minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Squeeze excess water from the noodles and set aside until serving.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.

3. Combine the cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Dip each tofu triangle in the cornstarch then place in the hot skillet. Fry triangles for about four minutes per side, or until golden brown. Once done, remove carefully and place on paper towels to drain.

4. Now, make the sauce! Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well.

5. To assemble rice noodle bowls, place a mixture of rice noodles and cabbage in the bottom of each bowl. Top with bell pepper slices, cucumber, two tofu triangles, bean sprouts, green onions, mint, cilantro, and chopped peanuts. Drizzle sauce over top or serve sauce on the side.
Arroz con Pollo
This classic Latin American comfort food is perfect for cold, snowy nights!

Serves 6

For marinade
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about one orange)
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola oil

For chicken and rice
1 whole 4–4.5 lb. chicken
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cups diced yellow onions (about 1.5 small onions or 1 large onion)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup green peas
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. saffron, crushed
1 bay leaf
1.5 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups white rice, uncooked
3 cups chicken broth
hot sauce for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread the cherry tomatoes out on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Roast tomatoes for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly charred and bursting. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Cut up your chicken into six parts (I don’t like to include the wings, but you can if you want). Place chicken parts in a large shallow dish.

4. Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour in the fridge.

5. After an hour, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat in a heavy 5.5-quart ovenproof pot. Once the oil is hot, add half of the chicken pieces and brown on both sides (about six minutes). You just want to brown the chicken here, not actually cook it through. After that half of chicken is done, remove and set on a plate then brown the remaining pieces of chicken.

6. After all your chicken is browned and on a plate, add the onions, diced green pepper, and garlic to the hot oil. Saute veggies for about five minutes.

7. Add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and crushed saffron to the veggies and mix well. Add roasted cherry tomatoes and diced tomatoes and mix. Add bay leaf.

8. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then and add the rice, stirring well to combine.

9. Lay the chicken pieces in the pot, cover tightly with a lid and place in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. After baking, rice should have absorbed most of the liquid and be fluffy. The chicken pieces should be completely done.

10. When the arroz con pollo is done, stir in the peas and chopped olives and serve with lots of hot sauce on the side!

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