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 oil1 onion, chopped2 carrots, peeled and chopped2 stalks celery, chopped2 pounds ground beef2 tablespoons flour1 cup beef brothSalt and pepper to taste2 tablespoons ketchup4 cups mashed potatoes½ cup margarine melted1 teaspoon salt1 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 oil2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic2 zucchini, sliced1 onion, chopped1 red pepper, chopped1 yellow pepper, chopped1 orange pepper, chopped6 spicy Italian sausages, sliced2 teaspoons basil½ teaspoon pepper1 (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 mushrooms4 tablespoons margarine, divided2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic3/ 4 cup flour½ teaspoon pepper8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts2 cups dry white wine¼ 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.