Monday, November 5, 2012

Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup

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Hi Friends! Lately I’ve been going soup crazy. I just can’t get enough. The trees have finally started to change and the air is getting cool. Perfect time for a warm cozy bowl of soup.

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Who doesn’t love a good tomato soup and grilled cheese? The best part of this soup is the sharp cheddar. I really think it makes it!

I started out by sautéing onions in olive oil in a large pot. ( you will use this same pot for the soup)

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Then I chopped up some basil. I love the way basil smells. mmm..

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This tomato soup is so simple. Just add your tomatoes, veggie stock and seasonings.

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I used freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese. I’ve been hooked on sharp cheddar lately.

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After all of your ingredients are added you will then use your emersion blender to puree just a little. This step is up to you, you can puree until there are no clumps or leave a few clumps for texture. I like to leave a little chunkiness.

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I’m getting hungry just typing this up. This is a vegetarian meal but I promise, you won’t miss the meat.

Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup

  • 2 28-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until tender. Add in chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Pour in the two cans of tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Stir in the basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and allow to simmer ten minutes. At the end, stir in the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese until well blended. Use either an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mexican Style Spaghetti Squash

The other day I was in the grocery store waiting for my meat at the deli and this lady came up to me and ask what that yellow thing that was in my buggy. At first I had no idea what she was talking about and then realized she was pointing at the spaghetti squash! I preceded to tell her about spaghetti squash and she said she had never tried such thing. I couldn’t believe it and encouraged her to try it sometime. I love introducing new vegetables to interested people!

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I was buying the squash that I used to make this Mexican style spaghetti squash. I’m so excited to share it with you because I wasn’t real sure how it was going to turn out. It ended up being my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash. This squash is used in so many ways; as a side, as a healthy version of “pasta” and in casseroles. I guess you could call this a mix between healthy “pasta” and a casserole.

I started out by scooping out all of the seeds. Just like deseeding a pumpkin! I find that a spoon works great.

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Bake your squash face down on a cookie sheet with 1 inch of water at 375 for 40 minutes or until you can poke the outer skin with a fork easily.

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When you have have 15 minutes left on the squash, start browning your ground beef. Add 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning to your meat.

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Add 1 can of drain black beans and 1 cup of corn.

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Sauté until heated through.

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Once your squash is nice and tender. Scrap the noodles out by using a fork and starting at one end and scraping to the other.

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Mix the squash in with your filling and add 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.

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Spoon filling back into the squash and bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

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Mexican Style Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash

1/2 pound of lean ground beef

1 T taco seasoning

1 can black beans, drained well

1 cup corn

1/4 cup of cheddar cheese plus a sprinkle more for the top

Preheat oven to 375. Cut in half and deseed squash. Place squash face down on a cookie sheet with 1 in of water in pan. Bake squash for 40 minutes or until skin is easy to poke with fork.

When you have have 15 minutes left on the squash start browning your ground beef. Add 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning to your meat. Once meat is browned add beans and corn.

Once your squash is nice and tender. Scrap the noodles out by using a fork and starting at one end and scraping to the other.

Mix squash and filling together plus add 1/4 cup of cheese. Spoon back into squash and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

 

Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chili with Ground Sausage

I have a hearty chili recipe for you today. Its supposed to get cool here tonight so I figured it would be a good time to make some chili. Soup, pumpkin spice lattes and Fall squash are all favorite Fall food items of mine.

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How about mixing up the chili and adding sausage instead of beef? I’m telling ya, it’s pretty good.

I started out by chopping up a small onion and 3 garlic cloves.

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Brown your sausage and add your onion and garlic once the sausage is almost cooked all the way.

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Add the rest of your ingredients. I used my first jar of tomatoes that I canned this Summer!

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Simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

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Top it with cheddar and a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream if you prefer)

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Chili with ground sausage

1 Lb  Ground Sausage

1 Small Onion, chopped

3 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Cup Corn

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Kidney Beans

1 6oz can Tomato Paste

1 Can whole tomatoes

1 8oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tsp, Oregano

1/2 Tsp. Chili Power (Plus more if you like a little more spice)

1/2 Cup Beef Broth

1. Brown your sausage. Once sausage is just about cooked all the way through add your onion and garlic. Cook until onions are cooked down.

2. Add the rest of your ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

You can brown your sausage all in the same pot you plan to cook the chili in.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pear Pancakes

Happy Fall yall! I can’t believe Fall is here. I love this time of the year when the weather starts turning cooler (but not too cold) and the leaves start to change. I also LOVE the Fall fruits and vegetables. I got my first Acorn squash at co-op  this weekend! Today I have a fun Fall fruit item for ya.

I know its been some time since I’ve posted. A lot has been going on in my neck of the woods. Kyle proposed 2 weeks ago and we’ve been planning planning planning!377658_10151006594236179_1987364812_n

So far it’s been fun but there has already been some bumps in the road. I want to enjoy this time and not worry about the small stuff. I have to keep reminding myself that. Kyle and I have been together for 4 years so it’s been a long time coming for us. We couldn’t be happier about planning our wedding. Yes, Kyle has been helping too. He really does like to help pick out the details and have opinions about different things. I’m thankful that he wants to be involved in the process.

Ok, so back to the food. The other week I picked up some pears at the Locally grown co-op. I wanted to try something fun to incorporate them into a meal. So I decided on pancakes! I’m so glad I did.

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I started by chopping up a pear into bite size pieces.

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I then sautéed them in a teaspoon of butter and added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

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I sautéed them until they were nice and soft.

I added them to my normal pancake batter.

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I heated up the pan and cooked them till done.

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They ended up being thicker than normal due to the pears.

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Yum, these are so delish!

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How do you incorporate Fall fruits and vegetables into your diet?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

I don’t know about you but I LOVE nut butters. I have never made my own because I didn’t realize out easy it was. I’m telling ya, everyone can make nut butter as long as you have a decent food processer and there's not turning back.

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I’ve had some left over vanilla beans from the vanilla I made a while back and wanted to use them, so I decided to use them in the almond butter.

I made this about a week ago and it’s already half gone! It’s like a yummy creamy dessert. Once you try fresh pure nut butters you will never go back to store bought. Only 3 ingredients and no added oils!

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So here it goes:

Start out by toasting your almonds until they start to smell yummy.

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Pour your almonds in the food processer and start to process. You will need to process for 8 to 10 minutes and stop several times to scrape down the sides, so be patient.

Stage 1

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Stage 2- Powder

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Stage 3-The natural oil starts to come out and its starts to ball up.

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Stage 4-Almost there, just a few minutes longer to be that nice and smooth butter.

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Stage 5- Just right!

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Slit your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the beans. Its easy to just use a spoon.

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Add your beans and brown sugar and blend until mixed well.

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Pour into container. The small mason jars work really well. You can store this in room temperature.

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Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

1 1/2 Cup Almonds

1 Vanilla Bean with beans scraped out

2 tsp Brown sugar

1. Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 350 until they start to smell toasted. About 10 to 15 minutes

2. Pour you toasted almonds in your food processer and start the processer. It will take about 8 to 10 minutes to fully blend into butter. you will need to stop several time to scrape the sides down.

3. Once your butter is at the consistency that you would like, add your vanilla beans and brown sugar. Blend until mixed well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken- Crock pot Style

Who likes Chinese food? I love it with all my heart, but I don’t like all the MSG they use in their meat. Why not make your own? I tried a new recipe this week and was very satisfied with the outcome. AND I wasn’t even hungry 2 hours later. Why is that? You could eat and eat at a Chinese restaurant and are hungry 2 hours later.
Check out this tasty dish
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I made the chicken in the crock pot which I highly recommend because it cooked for 1/2 the day and the chicken was so tender and flavorful. This can also be done on the stove top.
I started out by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. I also chopped up 1/2 of an onion.
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Place your chicken in the crockpot once its seasoned. To make your sauce, mix together your onion, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, olive oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
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Pour your sauce over you chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.
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After 4 hours remove your chicken and chop into cubes.
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Mix up a mixture of cornstarch and water and pour into the crockpot with your sauce.
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Cook this on high for 10 minutes or until your sauce starts to thicken. You can then add the chicken back to the crockpot and toss to coat.
Now you have your honey chicken ready. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds.
I added edamame and an egg roll and called it a meal!
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Honey Sesame Chicken
2.5 lb Chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
4 Tbsp. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
3 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in water

1. Season both sides of your chicken breasts with salt and pepper, place in crockpot.
2. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Mix together well and pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove chicken from crockpot and leave sauce. Chop your chicken into cubes.
5. Dissolve 3 tsp. of cornstarch with 4 Tbsp. of water and pout into crockpot. Stir, replace lid and cook sauce on high for 10 to 15 min or until sauce starts to thicken slightly.
6. Return chicken to crockpot and toss.
7. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Enjoy!