Category Archives: Farmers Markets

Tomatillo Chicken Chili

Hi there, it has been a couple of years (it’s true, I checked).

I made a tomatillo chicken chili thing in my Instant Pot pressure cooker last week that turned out great so had to share on Instagram. (The #VVAcooks hashtag on Instagram is getting some action again!) So when a friend asked for the recipe, I had to think about what I did, and where I was going to type it out, and oh hey I have a little blog! I have been thinking about writing recipe posts, so decided to renew the site and here we are.


Tomatillo chicken chili packed in jars for the office.

This is a recipe for one of the laziest meals I have ever made. Everything was in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. The base was a tomatillo and jalapeño salsa that I made and froze over the summer. I used dried beans, but added an option for canned beans which significantly reduces the cooking time. I thought about chopping a carrot and an onion, but like I said, this is the LAZIEST meal. You can add whatever is in the fridge, honestly. I think a little frozen corn would have been great. Next time.


Tomatillo Chicken Chili
Makes 5-6 servings
Times listed are for an Instant Pot pressure cooker.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts cubed or cut into large pieces (to be shredded)
2 cups tomatillo salsa (made with tomatillos, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup kale, chopped
1/2 cup dried Great Northern Beans rinsed (or a can of beans*)
1/2 tbsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken with cumin, salt, and pepper.

Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot/pressure cooker and press the sauté function button.

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and sear. Turn and sear on all sides.

Add the salsa, chicken stock, water, and dried beans (do not add canned beans at this point) to the pot. Lock the lid, close the valve, and press the Cancel/Keep Warm button.

Press the Manual button and set to cook at high pressure for 40 minutes (12 minutes if using canned beans).

When the time is done and the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Open the lid and taste the stew. Add salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the kale (and canned beans, if using*). Put the lid back on and let sit for 5 minutes.

Open the lid, give the chili a stir, and use the spoon to shred large pieces of chicken. Ladle into a bowl and enjoy!

* Add 1 minute of manual high pressure cooking time if using canned beans.

Farmers Market Find: Turkish Eggplant

Last week’s visit to the Minneapolis Farmers Market felt like cheating when I came home with bagfuls of produce. I loaded up on so many fresh (and dried) items which is a bit rare this late in the season, but this warm Minnesota fall has treated us well. I picked up carrots, kale, Brussels spouts, lettuce, potatoes, onions, herbs galore, and more!


Turkish Eggplants hanging out at the farmers market.

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Bitter Melon: What is that thing?

IMG_4828Yesterday’s chilly weather called for oven-dried tomatoes, so I popped into the Minneapolis Farmers Market for a bucket of Romas. “Just ONE bucket of tomatoes!” I told myself.  Of course I wandered around and ended up purchasing a bunch more produce. I really can’t help myself.

The most exciting find was bitter melon, that bumpy, cucumber looking, vegetable thing that is actually a gourd. In researching recipes, I learned that bitter melon is used widely in Asian cooking, including beverages. The most surprising detail was that it is used in beer as a bittering agent in place of hops in China and Japan. Not surprising, after tasting a raw piece. Continue reading

Stuffed Jalapeños and Squash Blossom Appetizers

I’m making this one short and sweet. The market is out of control so you have to cook fast or that produce will go bad! I found these great squash blossoms and had a ton of jalapeños so thought “appetizers!”

I am convinced that frying things in the house is not for me so I decided to bake stuffed  jalapeños wrapped in prosciutto (inspired by Amanda Paa) and breaded squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese. Here is a visual guide.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Slice and seed the jalapeños. Slice the cheese into long pieces. I used smoked Gouda. IMG_4356

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