Family · New Favorite · New Traditions · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Roasted Fennel…another new love!

Fennel was a target buy at Trader Joe’s for daughter Megan and I this week. My husband, Karl, used to love to cook Fennel as was prepared for him on business trips to Italy.  It’s been years since I’ve prepared it. Megan suggested we roast it and it was fantastic. I have to say that eating it raw was delicious, too.

The fennel was prepared the same evening as the Zuppa Tuscana (recipe to post next week).  We decided to put some of the fennel in our soup and loved the addition.  I even added cold roasted fennel to a roast pork and goat cheese sandwich…love it!

Next time I’ll try roasting the fennel with other vegetable, perhaps white and sweet potatoes and a bit of rosemary?

 ROASTED FENNEL

2 heads fresh fennel
olive oil
salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Rinse fennel.  Slightly trim bottom and top of fennel bulb.
  • Cut each bulb in half lengthwise.  Cut out core and set aside.
  • Slice fennel thinly and place on baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 15-20 or until brown on edges and tender.
Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup…surprisingly delicious!

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup, with only 5 ingredients, sounded too easy to be good. I was wrong.

It was full of flavor and, depending on your taste buds, could be enhanced with additional vegetables and spices. I think I will add a bit of curry next time.

What would you add?

 SWEET POTATO AND CAULIFLOWER SOUP

1 head cauliflower
3 sweet potatoes
1 sweet onion
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
7 cups water
Salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut up cauliflower and lay out on a cookie sheet, drizzle with oil, and bake for 25 minutes.
  • In a large pot bring water, sweet potato, onion and garlic to boil.  Cook until sweet potatoes are tender.
  • Remove half of soup and puree in food processor.  Return to soup pot.
  • Garnish with green onion, salt and pepper, parsley.

Recipe adapted from Living Paleo Cuisine

Garden · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spring Garden Vegetable Soup

Can you tell I’m in the mood for spring? My past two recipes have been all about it! This Spring Garden Vegetable Soup has also been in my ‘must make’ stack.  I like the versatility of this recipe, easily adapting to Vegan or Vegetarian (using vegetable stock and omitting the cream and chicken) and it is Gluten-Free.

This soup is light and, oh, so healthy.  Daughter Sarah served a small bowl to 10-month old grandson, Evan, and he really liked it!  I served the soup with the not-so-healthy baked Red Lobster Biscuits (which Evan DEVOURED) but a hearty whole-grain bread would be wonderful paired with this soup.

SPRING GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP with ASPARAGUS, ARTICHOKES, PEAS & SPINACH


6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4-6 cups water (to reach desired thickness)
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, cut into half circles
2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
3 carrots, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
1 15-ounce can artichoke bottoms, tough bits sliced off and discarded, remaining parts cut into lengths
16 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (from Trader Joe’s)
8 ounces asparagus, woody ends snapped off, skin pared off if tough, spears cut into one-inch lengths, tips set aside
8 ounces frozen peas
8 ounces frozen spinach
Generous salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Cream to taste (1/4-1/2 cup)
Optional: 2-3 cups chopped chicken
  • In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the leek, stir to coat with butter and let cook until just soft.
  • Add the celery and carrots to the pot, stirring to coat with butter and cooking until soft.
  • Add the artichoke bottoms, artichoke hearts and asparagus lengths (leave the tips aside).
  • Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through. (Optional: Add cooked chicken at this point).
  • Stir in the asparagus tips, peas and spinach and let cook through. Add water to reach desired thickness.
  • Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream to taste. Best if left to rest for 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from ALANNA’s TIPS

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · Health · New Traditions

Sweet Potato Chili (aka Paleo Chili)

When the temperatures drop and the snow flies, my mind races to a great bowl of chili. My oldest daughter, Megan, has been raving about the Paleo Chili, that I will refer to as Sweet Potato Chili. She is on a Whole-30 and Paleo diet, and she referred to this chili in her post on Life Love and Garlic.

I modestly adapted the originally recipe and the result was amazing. I’m not on a Paleo diet, but I LOVE this recipe. I could see this recipe easily adapted to Vegan by browning mushrooms (with a dash of olive oil) instead of beef and substituting vegetable broth for beef broth.

SWEET POTATO CHILI (AKA PALEO CHILI)

1 pound ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon paprika
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice (optional)

  • Chop onions and bell pepper and place in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat with ground beef. Using a spatula or wooden spoon to break up the meat, as it browns, into small pieces.
  • Once the meat is browned and the onions are soft, drain fat if needed.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, and all spices except hot sauce and lime juice. Stir well.
  • Add peeled and diced sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Optional:  Add hot sauce and lime juice. Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Recipe adapted from Sweet Potato Chili from The Lucky Penny Blog

Gluten Free · Health · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spinach Tomato Lentil Soup

In the New Year, many of us have vowed to lost weight (5% for me) and eat healthier. This recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen grabbed my attention with the healthy vegetables and protein of the lentils. It’s an easy soup to make and full of nutrients. It makes a large batch and I found I added more and more water since the soup gets quite thick. I’ve shared some with a vegan friend and frozen some for a later treat.

SPINACH TOMATO LENTIL SOUP

1 lb. dried lentils
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots, diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 large cans diced Italian tomatoes, with liquid
2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon (or replace some of water with vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
12 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag fresh spinach

  • In a large pot, heat olive oil and add vegetables, garlic, bouillon, spices and pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté vegetables in oil for about 7-10 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, water (or broth), and lentils to vegetable mixture.
  • Bring soup to a slow boil for a few minutes, then back down to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until soup starts to thicken.
  • Taste for seasoning as its cooking, add more water if it gets too thick.
  • In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add fresh spinach leaves to soup and gently stir to combine.

Recipe Adapted from Aggie’s Kitchen

Family Favorites

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

My earliest recollection of Chicken Tortilla Soup was at Tijuana Tilly’s in the ’80s.  The soup was flavorful and came with a bevy of accoutrements.  During weekend trips from Scottsdale to San Diego, we always tried to fit in a trip to Tijuana Tilly’s and take in a game of Jai Alai.  Sadly, the days of Jai Alai at the Fronton Palace are gone, but Tijuana Tilly’s survives.  We visited again, with our girls, in the 90s and it was equally as yummy.

On cold winter days, I long for a yummy soup and Chicken Tortilla Soup was on my mind.  I adapted a few recipes to come up with this version and it hit the spot!

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 ounces diced green chiles
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 pound boneless chicken breasts (halved)

  • Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • About an hour before serving, remove chicken and chop or shred into smaller pieces and return to crockpot.  Stir.
  • If soup is too thick, add additional water and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls with sides of shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. You can also try sides of chopped green onions, radishes, avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream.

Family Favorites

Seafood Chowder for a cold winter’s night!

Seafood Chowder is so easy and so delicious! I love recipes that are easy to prepare and contains items in your pantry and freezer.  This Chowder fits the bill. My friend and former co-worker, Cyndi, shared this with me a few years ago and it’s a regular on my winter menu.

Hope you enjoy as much as I do!

 

SEAFOOD CHOWDER

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large potato chopped small (or 10 or 12 red new potatoes)
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chicken broth (equals 1 can plus some water)
1/2 cup cream (or evaporated milk)
1 can corn (drained)
1 can chopped clams with juice
1/2 lb. Tilapia – cut into bite size pieces (
1/2 lb. Shrimp peeled and cut into bite size pieces

  • Sauté onion, celery, potato in butter for 5 min. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken broth, Worcestershire, and thyme and cook until potatoes are tender (about 15 min)
  • Add clams with juice, fish and shrimp.  Cook over med heat about 10 min
  • Add can of corn and cream, season with pepper to taste, heat to serve immediately.

It serves 4 smaller serving bowls or 2 large servings as main meal.

New Favorite

Chicken Quinoa Soup…Yummy!

Colorado weather is typically wonderful but as the locals say, ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes’.  Last week we were blessed with much-needed rain that left a chill in the air and a craving for soup.  My sister-in-law, Betty, has told me about the Chicken Quinoa Soup recipe she makes regularly, compliments of Iowa Girl Eats.  It sounded like the perfect soup to satisfy my craving, and indeed it did.

I’ve become a huge fan of quinoa, kale, and sweet potatoes and the combination in the soup is divine.  The addition of the parmesan rind adds a wonderful salty/nutty flavor to the soup.

I served with a fresh pretzel roll and loved every bite!  A new favorite for my recipe box.

CHICKEN QUINOA SOUP

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 rib celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
salt & pepper
4 cups torn kale
1 garlic clove
8 cups chicken broth, divided
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2″ parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 large chicken breasts (about 1lb), cut in half
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (2 cups)
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes (1-1/2 cups)
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add kale and garlic, season with more salt and pepper, then saute for 2 more minutes. Add 7 cups chicken broth, parsley flakes, dried thyme, bay leaf, and parmesan cheese rind (if using), then bring to a boil.
  • Add chicken breasts to the pot then cook for 10 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then add sweet potato, russet potato, and quinoa to boiling broth. Place a lid on top, lower heat to medium, then cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked. Meanwhile shred chicken.
  • Add shredded chicken back to the soup, remove bay leaf, then add parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt & pepper if necessary. Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Use remaining 1 cup chicken broth to add when reheating soup, as quinoa will absorb much of the broth as it cools.

Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

New Favorite · Rheumatoid Arthritis · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Silky Squash Soup…Vegan and Delicious!

Recently, I started a 10-day cleansing/detox diet that requires that I eat primarily fruits and vegetables. I love both but don’t have a strong vegan recipe inventory. One of the bloggers I follow, Lucys Friendly Foods, recently posted a wonderful Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup.  I did not have fresh rosemary on hand so I used a wonderful spice blend from Savory Spice Shops, Cantanzaro Herbs, a mix of Garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, basic, thyme, rosemary and oregano.  The results were yummy!

SILKY SQUASH SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon Cantanzano Herbs  (originally recipe calls for 2 sprigs of rosemary)
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
32 ounces vegetable stock
salt and pepper

  • Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until softened but not browned
  • Add the squash and herbs (or rosemary) and stir well
  • Pour in the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash is cooked through
  • Remove Rosemary sprigs if you use this option
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning
  • Serve scattered with roasted pumpkin seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon Cantanzano Herbs (or finely chopped rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients and spread on baking sheet
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes until the seeds start to turn golden brown

 

Recipe adapted from Lucys Friendly Foods

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Favorite

Hearty Minestrone…winter delight!

With the frigid cold this past weekend, it was the perfect time to make Hearty Minestrone.  My good friend, Maribeth, introduced this recipe to me several years ago and it is a winter delight!  Pair it with a crusty, hearty bread, a nice glass of red wine and you can please family and friends alike.

This soup freezes beautifully!  With our busy schedules, what a treat to be able to have this soup on hand for those crazy, busy days we all have.  If you are gluten-free, eliminate the noodles.

Mmmm…making me hungry for another bowl of leftovers!

HEARTY MINESTRONE

2 pounds chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
4 quarts water
1 cup sliced celery
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
16 ounce can dark red kidney beans
15 ounce can garbanzo beans
16 ounce can pinto beans
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 small zucchini
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, sliced
8 ounce package kluski (homemade style) noodles

  • In a large kettle, combine chuck roast, 1 teaspoon salt and water. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
  • Remove meat from kettle and set aside. Remove fat from broth by letting kettle cool in refrigerator and then lifting hardened fat off top and discarding. Break meat into 1-inch pieces and combine with broth in a very large stock pot.
  • Stir in celery, onion, carrot, tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, salt, oregano, basil, kidney beans with liquid, garbanzo beans with liquid, pinto beans, spinach, zucchini and sliced sausage.

  • Simmer, covered, until vegetables and sausage are tender, about 1 hour. Soup may be frozen at this point.
  • To serve, cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse, drain and add to hot soup. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian Bread.

Yield: 8 quarts

Adapted from Creme de Colorado Cookbook 1987