Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew with Kale

Winter’s almost here, so it’s time to break out the recipe for one of my favorite cold weather meals…this Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew from Cook’s Illustrated. I think it’s best when made with kale (pictured here), but a mixture of greens is also great. This is one of those simple, inexpensive, healthy, pretty much foolproof recipes that seems to come out perfect every time …the secret is cooking it in a good (yet inexpensive), heavy duty dutch oven. If you’re more into soups then stews, just add another cup of chicken broth and 3/4 cup of water when you add the greens. A big bowl of stew, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and served with a toasted piece of crusty garlic bread makes an amazing meal. I also always add a couple of squirts of Sriracha sauce for a little spicy, garlicky kick.

Another great thing about this stew is that it freezes perfectly. Just divide it into serving size portions, freeze, and on a cold winter’s night, when you get a craving, just pop it into the microwave on high, and in a few minutes you’ll have a steaming bowl of stew that  tastes as good as (or, I think) even better than the day it was made.

Please click here for a printable copy of the Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew recipe.

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Tip of the Day – Fresh Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in 12 Minutes

Chocolate Chip CookiesWhen making chocolate chip cookies, prepare an extra batch (or two) of cookie dough, roll the unused dough into logs, wrap them well in plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. Next time you get that craving for freshly baked cookies, just slice off 1″ rounds, place them on a cookie sheet and bake…fresh hot cookies in about 12 minutes!

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