Coconut polenta with Sriracha glazed carrots, coconut creamed collards, and Thai herb sausage. I entirely stole the idea for this meal from Jeff at Short Creek. He makes the most incredible sausage, and suggested this meal to go along with the Thai herb variety. If you don’t live in MA or NH, I think the best substitute would be making your own with ground pork. I haven’t had sausage anywhere else like this, and Jeff told me it was inspired by a recipe in Pok Pok. The carrots I just sauteed, doused with Sriracha, added water to cover, and cooked until tender (lid on for 5 min, off for the rest). I used coconut milk in the polenta instead of regular, and didn’t add anything else in.
Olive oil braised chickpeas with feta. This probably should not have counted as dinner. It was too easy and too good. The only change I made was to cook my onion in a cast iron skillet, and then dump the rest of the ingredients in alongside for baking. It was hearty, simple, and covered in feta.
Tortilla soup (from The Thug Kitchen Cookbook). I’ve made other tortilla soups but I always come back to this one. And full disclosure, I had to work late so Will made this for dinner and it was ready when I arrived home (!!!), but I wanted to mention it because it is so easy and delightful. We used black beans in place of the chickpeas which I like way better.
Ma po tofu (from Every Grain of Rice). Quick to put together, but I think I added a bit more chili bean paste than I should have. I also stir fried some chard and a red pepper to go alongside, and ended up mixing it in with the tofu and rice (there was enough sauce on the tofu for everything).
Wagon wheels. My mom probably made this once a month when I was growing up. Though the original recipe called for wheel pasta (rotelle), I’ve made it with other short shapes like penne with much success. You cook spicy Italian sausage, remove it from the pan, and then saute onions, peppers, garlic, and some red pepper flakes. Cook the pasta, toss it in the pan and add the sausage back in. A much more appropriate après-ski meal.