Creating comfort food

With winter in full swing, try some of these hearty recipes that need minimal preparation.

Shepherd’s Pie (photo credit:
Shepherd’s Pie
(photo credit:
This is the time of year for comfort food – it’s wet and gloomy and spring seems far away. When you get home at night you want cozy and hearty. Hopefully some of these dishes will fit the bill.
Shepherd’s Pie
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 cups mashed potatoes
½ cup margarine melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, sauté onion, carrots and celery over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until meat is browned, stirring to break up along the way. 
Whisk flour into broth and stir into meat mixture. Stir in salt and pepper and remove from heat. Pour into 3-quart baking dish. 
Mix potatoes with melted margarine and salt and spread over meat. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for ½ hour.
Sausages and Peppers over Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 zucchini, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
6 spicy Italian sausages, sliced
2 teaspoons basil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (16-ounce) package rotelle pasta, cooked and drained
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. 
Add garlic, zucchini, onion, peppers and sausages and sauté until browned. Drain fat. 
Season with basil and pepper and pour warm mixture over just cooked pasta.  Dig in!
Chicken with White Wine and Mushrooms
2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
4 tablespoons margarine, divided
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
3/ 4 cup flour
½ teaspoon pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups dry white wine
¼ cup lemon juice
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons margarine and sauté mushrooms and garlic. 
Mix flour and pepper and dredge chicken in mixture. 
Melt remaining margarine and brown chicken; about 2 minutes per side. 
Add wine and lemon juice to pan. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over rice or egg noodles.