Chicken and Vegetable Stew

This Chicken and Vegetable Stew is both light and hearty, full of in-season vegetables and fragrant with fresh herbs. A nice weeknight dinner that’s also easy on your wallet.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 chicken thighs (about 1.8 pounds in total)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 heaped teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 large zucchini, rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach

In a marge Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, 1 minute. Add carrots, and cook, 3 minutes, until softening. Tear leaves of basil and parsley off from stalks and save them for later. Chop stalks finely, and stir into the Dutch oven along with garlic. Cook, 1 minute. Add chicken thighs and brown on all sides. Stir in red bell pepper, before seasoning with sea salt flakes, black pepper and red chili flakes. Stir in tomato paste and cook out, 1 minute. Deglaze with red wine vinegar and cook out, 1 minute as well. Finally, stir in tomatoes, and cover with Chicken Stock and boiling water. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice and add to the Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and simmer, 30 minutes.

Chop reserved basil and parsley leaves. Just before serving, stir basil, parsley and baby spinach into the stew, until spinach’s just wilted.

Serve Chicken and Vegetable Stew warm.

“In my movie, Mija’s favorite food is chicken stew. I didn’t make this film to oppose meat. Whether one is vegan or not is a matter of individual choice,” Bong explained, adding that he wanted audiences to “witness and understand” how meat was being mass produced.

“We coexist with animals and we should take time to consider their perspective. How we treat them today is a very recent phenomenon and came to be only after we included them in mass production,” he said.

“This is the state of capitalism today and this is what I wanted to convey.”


(Bong Joon-ho’s Okha)

I was tweeting a few minutes ago about how grateful I am for this perspective. I feel like I don’t always see a public person share my own viewpoint on animals, meat consumption, and capitalism, so this was refreshing.

Organic chicken meals from Beetnik

I found this organic chicken meals at Safeway. The calories are different for each meal. I chose the lowest one. The other ones – meatball and Moroccan chicken stew – are around 270 calories per meal. I can’t wait to try this chicken meal. 23g protein for 160 calories! The sodium level is also low. What’s interesting is that the first ingredient is organic tomato.


Chicken & Shrimp Fajita Soup 

A personal favorite that I recently came up with. It’s spicy and spice-filled. It’s absolutely perfect on a cold winter day. 


1 ½ lb chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces 

½ lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-off

½ large onion, finely chopped 

½ of one yellow, green, orange, and red bell pepper, cut into strips and then halved 

6 large cloves garlic, minced 

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1 can black beans, rinsed 

3 cups chicken broth 

2 tbsp tomato paste 

3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped 

1-2 tbsp adobo sauce 

Seasoning blend: 1 tbsp granulated onion, 1 tbsp hot paprika, 1 tbsp ground black pepper, 1 tbsp dried cilantro, 2 tsp ancho chili power, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp granulated onion, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper

NOTE: You will not use all of the seasoning blend unless you want your soup heavily spiced. Save the remainder of the spice blend in a small glass jar or airtight container  

1 serrano pepper, chopped with seeds, optional 

Kosher salt to taste 

Olive oil 

Fresh cilantro for garnish 

Directions for Dutch Oven 

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat for 10 minutes. 

In a small bowl, toss the chicken thighs in a few tbsp of olive oil and season generously with the spice blend. Season with kosher salt to taste.

Once the dutch oven has come to temperature, add in a few tbsp of olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides for about 3 minutes. 

Once the chicken has browned, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a clean plate/bowl, leaving behind the juice. 

In the same juice, sweat your onions, garlic, and bell peppers until they have slightly softened. 

Once the vegetables have softened, add in the chicken, crushed tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste, and chicken broth. 

Season to taste 

Raise the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid to cook for 1.5 hours. 

After 1 hour, reduce the heat and vent the lid to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

After 1.5 hours, season to taste and add in the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, shrimp and cilantro.

Allow to cook with the lid vented for 5-10 minutes. 

During this time, the soup should thicken considerably but still have liquid. 

Adjust the seasoning to your preferred taste and serve. 

Directions for Crockpot 

Heat a pan over medium heat for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the chicken thighs in a few tbsp of olive oil and season generously with the spice blend. Season with kosher salt to taste.

Once the pan has come to temperature, add in a few tbsp of olive oil and brown the chicken on all sides for about 3 minutes.

Once the chicken has browned, place the chicken and its juice into the crockpot. 

Add in all ingredients except the shrimp and cilantro and cook on high for 4 hours. 

After 1.5 hours, season to taste and add in the shrimp and cilantro and cook on high for another 15-20 minutes until shrimp have cooked through. 

Adjust the seasoning to your preferred taste and serve. 



Yuzu speaking Korean is too cute.  I need to save it here. ^^

@0:46, Yuzu: (in Korean) “Hello everyone.  I am Yuzuru.  Thank you for the support/cheers.”  

(in English) “I want to try ‘samgyetang’, ‘soondubu’.”  

[samgyetang= ginseng chicken soup;  soondubu= tofu stew]

BONUS (learning to say support/cheers) 


A gordita  in Mexican cuisine is a double sided tortilla made with masa and stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings. It is similar to a pasty and to the Colombian/Venezuelan arepa. Gordita means “chubby” in Spanish. There are two main variations of this dish, one which is typically fried in a deep wok-shaped comal, consumed mostly on center and south Mexico, and another one baked on a regular comal, prepared as a thick tortilla.

A gordita is typically prepared as a thick tortilla. The dough is most commonly made of nixtamalized corn flour, as also used for tortillas, but can also be of wheat flour, particularly in northern Mexico close to the U.S border. An old variant of corn gorditas uses masa quebrada (broken dough) where the corn meal is coarsely ground, leaving bits of broken grain. Gorditas de migas is a version in which fried pork is mixed with the dough.

After cooking, the gordita is allowed to stand to drain excess grease. Then a slit is cut into one side and the gordita is stuffed with additional ingredients. These are usually guisados (meat stew) and salsa. Variations of the gordita include fillings of pork or chicken stew, shredded beef, chicharron, nopalitos, carne al pastor, beans, cheese, rajas (sautéed strips of chile), potatoes with chorizo sausage or picadillo. Gorditas are often eaten as a midday meal and accompanied by several types of salsas.

The most common and representative variation of this dish is the “gordita de chicharrón”, filled with chicharron (a spiced stew of pork rind) which is widely consumed throughout Mexico.

Puppy steps

This is to fill a prompt from @tibean2992. I have one more prompt I’m working on, but if anyone has any other zimbits prompts, please send them along!

Also, it got pretty long, so most of it is under a cut.

It hit Bitty’s nose first.

He unlocked the door to the condo, picked up the reusable grocery bags from his feet and shouldered the door open and was assaulted by the smell.

He groaned and put the bags in the kitchen, barely pausing to note the empty dog crate that stood there, and followed the odor to the guest bedroom. Whose rug was now decorated with a literal steaming pile of crap.


“Belinda!” he called.

No response.

He went looking and found the dog sitting in the master bedroom, facing the door, just waiting for him. Her brown eyes were warm and her forehead was furrowed slightly, as though she was worried or confused.

Bitty forced himself to take a deep breath. Through his mouth.

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This striking mural – some 80 feet long – covers the wall outside a Yemeni restaurant in Hamtramck, Mich. It represents Yemeni Muslim culture and history, and was painted by the Chilean artist Dasic Fernandez over the course of a winter month in 2013: “during the freezing cold and snow,” according to the civic group OneHamtramck.

I keep coming back to the intense gaze of the young girl veiled in turquoise (top photo). When the mural was unveiled, Fernandez remarked, “The child whose face is covered, look what she is wearing. She is wearing the sky, which represents freedom.“

Yemenis are one of the largest demographic groups in formerly-Polish Hamtramck; they now make up about 20% of the population. In Hamtramck streets, it’s common to see women fully veiled, with only their eyes exposed. The Muslim call to prayer rings out five times a day from more than a dozen mosques around the city.

By the way, Elissa and I highly recommend Sheeba Restaurant, which is on the other side of that mural. Above, you’ll see some of our Yemeni feast. We sampled maraq (lamb broth soup), creamy baba ghannouj, fassolia, fattoush salad, chicken stew with vegetables, and a fragrant lamb fahsa, which came to the table bubbling and steaming in that black casserole. Oh, and that delicious flatbread, which was the size of a hubcap before we tore into it. With admirable restraint, we abstained from dessert. 


Photos: Melissa Block/NPR

How to Eat Paleo as a single person on about $5/day

This is super off topic for this blog, but…

I did this for about a year in college. Last night at the LGBTQ center we were talking about healthy eating and I mentioned it, and was challenged to bring in a shopping list/meal plan detailing what I had done.

What I consider Paleo: I lived on my own version of paleo, which I called “Functional Paleo.” I defined this as “no grain, no dairy, no legumes, no refined carbs, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.” It is not organic, the meat is not free range, and I did not use coconut or other substitute flours for anything (except when cooking for my parents or special occasions). I bought very few things that had multiple ingredients, but didn’t concern myself too much with small amounts of soy or sugar (like in the tuna, stewed tomatoes, or condiments).

My other caveat is that I had (and continue to have) an Aldi near me. All prices cited are Aldi prices as they exist today (though prices can be similar at other value food stores like Marc’s and Save a Lot). You can actually do paleo significantly cheaper than this if you have to, but this level provided enough variety for me to not flip my kitchen table on a regular basis. This is what I did personally.

***Items listed are “Per Week” unless otherwise specified***


  • Eggs- 2 dozen, about $1 (Aldi eggs cost anywhere from 20c to $1.29/dozen, usually on the lower end of that with a limit of six dozen per costomer. I used 50c/dozen here as a good average)
  • Meat- 2lbs of either chicken breast, stew meat, or chorizo, about $8 (get the middle-range (Never Any! brand) chicken, its the same price as the low range if you factor in that the low range has 15% broth in it by weight, which will cook out anyway).
  • Tuna: 2 cans, packed in water, about $1.40


  • Sale veggie- 2 pkg, about $3 total
  • Cauliflower- 1 large, 1.79
  • Broccoli- 1 bag, 1.50
  • Stewed tomatoes- 2 cans, $1 total
  • 3lb Onions- $1.50 (every other week)
  • 3lb Sweet potatoes- $2
  • 10lb Russet potatoes- $3 (once per month)


  • Sale fruit- 2 or 3 pkg, about $4 total
  • Canister Prunes or Raisins- $3 
  • Frozen fruit of choice- $2


  • Whole raw almonds- 1pkg, $5


  • Dark Chocolate- 1 large bar, $1.50
  • Tea- 100 tea bags, $2 (once in a blue moon)
  • Instant Coffee- 120 cups worth, $3 (once in a blue moon)
  • Olive or sunflower seed oil- $3 (once per month or so)
  • Salt- one large canister iodized or box kosher, $2 (literally once per lifetime)
  • Condiments (I excepted these from paleo rules for my own sanity) mayo, ketchup, pickles, mustard, etc…- $1-$2 per item (once in a blue moon)
  • Dried spices- $1 each (get a good blend for about $2-$3 at Wal Mart or collect them separately and make lots of your own $1/spice) (once in a blue moon)
  • Vinegar of choice- $3 (once per month or longer, depending on how much you like vinegar)
  • Bouillon cubes- $2.50 (once in a blue moon)

Assuming you’re starting with an utterly bare cabinet and you buy all of the “once in a blue moon” and “once per month” items on your first trip (including condiments and spices), your initial investment will probably be about $50-60. After that first week, assuming you keep to the intervals outlined here, it should average a little less than $35

Meal Prep Tips:

  • Boil most of the eggs, leave a couple for if you like fried eggs occasionally or want to make banana-egg pancakes. You can easily take boiled eggs in a lunchbox or eat them with prunes or raisins for a quick breakfast.
  • The prunes/raisins and almonds were and still are my go-to easy breakfast.
  • Grate the cauliflower- steam it with salt, oil and spices as a side later or mix it with the crumbled chorizo for a 1-bowl meal
  • Cook the sweet potatoes and regular potatoes ahead of time. There are lots of ways to do this and they are all delicious. They are also easy to pack in a lunch box.
  • Hard veggies like carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and broccoli are AMAZING when tossed in olive oil, salt, and spices and roasted or broiled.
  • Cook and pull the chicken (easiest in a pressure cooker but you can also boil the crap out of it too). Makes it super versatile. You can make like 10 different things with it and they will all feel different. No more plain chicken boob for you!
  • Stew with the stew meat, any veggies (including onions and potatoes) and spices will give you many easy future meals and can be made with just about anything you’ve got (throw the stewed tomatoes in this too).
  • Tuna salad (with oil and vinegar and spices if you’re really feeling paleo or mayo, onions and pickles if you’re me) and leftover roasted veggies make a great lunch.
Numbers (1/1)

Rating: M

Summary: Emma can’t help but wonder where she ranks. Killian reveals.

Warnings: Mentions of bigotry. 

It’s not like she’s kept track, per se.

Emma Swan has never cared about black books or numbers: for herself or her partners. After her first (and rather disastrous) relationship, men had been a one-and-done sort of deal. No sordid swapping of past tales. No coffee and eggs in the morning. And definitely no numbers (she had donated a fair amount to the Save Haiti Hotline when one guy was persistent about her digits.)

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