Stuff that I Make Up

There are those days, and I’m sure many moms will agree, that when that dreaded questions is asked…You feel like running and hiding under your blanket. What question is that? “Mom…What’s for supper?” You hear the background music of a horror movie in your mind and you haven’t the foggiest as to what you will throw together tonight. The fridge is full of miscellaneous stuff… So what did I do? Cacciatore.
I have made cacciatore in many ways, including Kate Gosselin’s version from ‘Love is in the Mix.’ I had the basic idea that it’s meat cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, peppers, and other vegetables. I had only a very small package of chicken strips, maybe not even a pound. I had a drawer full of veggies, luckily a few tomatoes gifted to us from a volunteer from the relief effort (Thank you! They were so yummy!).
Here’s the stuff that I made up:
⦁ Chicken Breast Strips (I used about a pound, don’t be afraid to use more.)
⦁ A pound or two of tomatoes
⦁ 3 banana peppers (If you don’t like you’re food fire hot spicy, use one or half.)
⦁ One yellow onion
⦁ Zucchini cut into thin noodle like slices. Use your veggie peeler the full length of the zucchini.
⦁ Red, Green, Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers (A good way to add a different color.)
⦁ A small chopped carrot (Carrots blend in very well and add to the nutrition of the dish.)
⦁ Feel free to throw in anything and everything you have laying around.
⦁ Garlic
⦁ Salt and Pepper

The hardest part is getting all of your veggies out on the counter and chopped up. I watch plenty of cooking shows and have found it’s the best way to learn faster ways of making such a hard job, much easier. Separate them all into different bowls. (Yes, plenty of dishes tonight!)
Add some olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil is really great because it doesn’t evaporate as fast) to the bottom of a big soup pot. Add things such onions, peppers, and carrots first. They take much longer to cook. Keep stirring this hot pot until the veggies soften, then add all of the remaining vegetables into the pot. Keep the seeds and juicy parts of the tomato with the tomato because as it cooks, it creates the sauce. Add any seasonings now such as basil or bay leaf and of course my favorite garlic. I believe I read somewhere that garlic can be just as good for your heart as a glass of wine!
Let this simmer away and let all of the veggies turn into a lovely sauce of awesomeness. Drop your chicken into the sauce and let it simmer away. I didn’t have that much and the pieces were fairly thin so it only took 10 minutes! Yes, I was shocked too. Remember? I was making it up! Pour this all out into a bowl. This goes well with rice if you eat rice, but could be great on it’s own. My husband even asked me to make this again, only not as spicy.
I hope you enjoy the stuff that I just make up. Out of my brain and into the pot! Make sure you come back next week to see what else I can make up, from my crazy Common Sense test kitchen to yours.
The Common Sense Cook,
Ami M. Lee

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