Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

I don’t think I need to sing the praises of throwing food in a slow cooker and coming home from work to delicious smelling house and dinner ready. The saffron in this dish really turns this slow cooker chicken and rice into something special. Make sure to use brown rice, so that it doesn’t get overcooked and bone-in chicken thighs, which won’t get dry even after being cooked for many hours.

Slow Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage rolls are a family favorite for special occasion holidays, but who has time on a weeknight to roll out each cabbage roll? My mother, who worked full time and had to get dinner on the table, used to make unstuffed cabbage for us to satisfy our desire to have this delicious meal more frequently. This meal has all of the essential ingredients and flavors of stuffed cabbage – a sweet and tangy sauce, rice, beef, raisins -yet you can put this recipe together in no time, and work while it cooks!

Sausage, Peppers and Onions

What’s not to love about sausages simmered in a sweet and spicy sauce with peppers and onions? This is a great way to have a “hot dog night” and get lots of veggies in there at the same time. We love to eat these in hoagie rolls, with a side of our favorite baked beans from our cousin Philip.

Veggie Chili

If you are looking for a delicious meatless fall meal, try this vegetarian chili. It is packed with veggies and warm spices and the bulgur gives it a great meat-like mouth feel. The best part, of course, is the great toppings that everyone gets to choose for their bowl: sour cream, jalapenos, avocados and cilantro. And don’t forget to serve with your favorite cornbread on the side! (Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook)

Puttanesca Fish

Putanesca has all of my favorite antipasti ingredients combined into one delicious sauce: olives, roasted peppers, capers and anchovies. Most recipes call for eating this sauce over pasta, but I was inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis where she paired it with fish - and I was sold. The salty and spicy sauce tastes perfect paired with any simply seared white fish and this bright arugala and fennel salad.

Stuffed Peppers

I love a good one pot meal and this is a family favorite. My family seems to enjoy it when they each get their own stuffed pepper filled with spiced rice, meat and sauce. A bonus here is that the entire meal is cooked in a large dutch oven – and who can resist a one-pot meal? (Adapted from Jewish Soul Food)

Mom’s Spaghetti and Meatsauce

My mother made the best meat sauce. I am biased, but in this case, I have confirmation from all those who have eaten it and then turn it into their own family staple. The secret ingredient here is cinnamon –not too much that it tastes like breakfast, but just enough that it gives it a special taste. My innovation in this is that I throw all of the veggies into the food processor and grind them up to the size of ground meat. In the end, there are equal parts meat and veggies, which adds great flavor, nutrition and lightens it up. This recipe makes enough for a family dinner and then some more to freeze – which I think you’ll want to have on hand… I like to serve this with my favorite cucumber salad.