Feb 192013
 

It snowed (again!) and I made a big pot of soup (again!)  I found the original recipe through Pinterest, but changed quite a few things. First, I haven’t had sweet potatoes in a while and missed them.  I cut the potatoes into 1″ chunks to make this recipe go faster.  The recipe also called for some fantastic fresh herbs, but those were nowhere to be found around here.  You can use either fresh or dried rosemary, sage, and/or thyme, but I decided to use my Penzey’s Mural of Flavor spice.

The lighting is not great in this picture, but it was so nice to see the bright orange sweet potatoes and green kale.  This soup has a simple flavor that I really enjoyed.  It kept me warm during the weekend and made lunches for the week.

 

 

Kale, White Bean, and Sweet Potato Soup

1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1/2 c. chopped onion, fresh or frozen
10 baby carrots, diced
6 celery stalks, diced
4 c. vegetable broth
2 t Mural of Flavor
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 oz.) package frozen kale  (or 1/2 of a 16 oz. bag)

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute for 10-15 minutes, until lightly brown.  Add broth, seasoning, sweet potatoes, beans, and kale.  Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Feb 132013
 

My cooking club theme this month was “Things you Cook in a Muffin Tin”.  I was really bummed that I had to cancel because of the storm.  But since I was already in the muffin tin mindset, I went ahead and made these BBQ Chicken Meatloaves.

I was inspired by this recipe from Rachel Ray, and my BBQ 3000 spice from Penzey’s.   The spice contains salt, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, mustard, allspice, garlic powder, ginger, sage, thyme, white pepper, cinnamon, and natural smoke flavor.  I thought I was going to have to wait until summer grill season to try the BBQ 3000, but it worked perfectly here.

The mini meatloaves came out great!  They’re perfect to take for lunch, or heat up for a quick dinner.  If you have little hands in your household, they would probably love to pick these up.

The mini-meatloaves really do have a nice BBQ flavor.  You could serve them as-is, or topped with spicy BBQ sauce for even more kick.  I enjoyed mine with some homemade slaw – details tomorrow!

 

 

BBQ Chicken Mini-Meatloaves

1 lb. ground chicken
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 egg
3/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 T BBQ 3000
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Shape into 12 balls, and place them into a muffin tin coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, or until done.

Feb 122013
 

Big snowstorm = Big pot of soup.

This week, I decided to try Pepperoni Minestrone, loosely based on this recipe from Eating Well.  I normally make vegetarian soups, so this was a nice change of pace.  The (turkey) pepperoni is really just an accent, but it does add flavor.

I thought I didn’t have any pasta left in the house after my Tuna Noodle Casserole, but I had some leftover lasagna noodles from the Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna project.  I broke them up, and while they weren’t as pretty as elbow pasta, they worked.

Even using low sodium broth, this soup was just a bit salty for my taste.  Of course, I could also blame that on the pepperoni!  But it was still a good bowl of warm soup, and will make lunches for the week.

 

 

 

Pepperoni Minestrone

1 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion (fresh or frozen)
4 c. low sodium fat free beef broth
1 t thyme
3 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
1 (16 oz.) package frozen zucchini
1 (12 oz.) package frozen peas, carrots, and green beans
1 (28 oz.) can plum tomatoes in juice, tomatoes coarsely chopped
2 oz. diced turkey pepperoni
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, and saute until tender and lightly brown.  Add broth and thyme and heat until boiling.  Add pasta pieces, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add vegetables, tomatoes with juice, pepperoni, and beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.

Dec 032012
 

I featured plenty of sweet treats on the blog last week, so I thought we’d start off the new week with a simple, healthy recipe.  A dish with a lot of vegetables, but still warm and comforting.  Sometimes you just need a BIG pot of soup.

I was initially inspired by this Spinach, Tomato, and Orzo soup recipe.  But when I was strolling down the pasta aisle looking for orzo, I spotted these adorable little stars.  They aren’t whole grain, but I couldn’t resist.  I do think they make the soup a little more fun!

The soup is very thick, more like a stew, but the consistency makes it quite filling.  You can easily add another few cups of water or broth to thin it out if you like.  I added Parmesan cheese, and then swirled it in the soup with a spoon until it melted.  It was exactly the kind of recipe I needed, and I will be digging into this pot all week long.

 

 

Spinach, Tomato, and Stars

1 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 (16 oz.) package frozen spinach
4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 c. stelline, or other small pasta

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add garlic, and saute for 1 minute.  Add onions, and saute for 10-15 minutes, until soft and lightly brown.  Add tomatoes, spinach, broth, and water, and bring to a boil.  Add pasta, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender.

Oct 292012
 

Although it seems like everyone in the Northeast is preparing for a hurricane, I am just trying to prepare myself for a hectic week.  I sincerely hope that everyone stays safe, and feel lucky to live pretty far inland.  I do have candles, matches, and a flashlight, and I guess if the power goes out I’ll be eating a lot of soup!

This soup was inspired by a Betty Crocker recipe I saw on Pinterest.  It’s thick, creamy, and packed with vegetables and plant based protein.  It reminds me of something you’d make with those condensed soups in the red and white cans, except this has all real ingredients and a lot less sodium.

The recipe requires just a little more work than my usual “throw everything in the crockpot and go to bed” routine.  You saute onion and celery prior to starting the crockpot, and add some additional ingredients towards the end.  But it’s still a lot easier to make this soup on Sunday than it is to stare into your fridge at 6am Monday morning, trying to figure out what you’re going to bring for lunch.  🙂

 

 

Crockpot Lentil, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup

1 T vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 stacks celery, chopped
1 c. lentils
1 (8 oz.) package of sliced mushrooms
1 c. long grain and wild rice
1 t thyme
1/4 t black pepper
6 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 c. frozen peas and carrots
1 (12 oz.) can fat free evaporated milk
2 T flour

In a small frying pan, heat oil.  Add onions and celery, and saute for 15-20 minutes, until soft and lightly brown.   Place in crockpot, and add lentils, mushrooms, rice, spices, broth, and water.  Cook on Low for 6 hours.

Add peas and carrots.  If soup appears very thick, add 1-2 cups of water or broth.  Cook for additional hour.

Whisk milk and flour in a small bowl, and add to crockpot.  Cook for 30-60 minutes until soup is thickened and heated through.

-Inspired by Betty Crocker