Posts Tagged ‘food’

Chorizo, Kale, and White Bean Soup

This is a hearty soup that will warm up your insides for the cold weather that’s coming.

* 3 oz of Chorizo, removed from casing
* 1 cup diced onion
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 4 cups of chicken broth
* 2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
* 4 cups of fresh kale, washed and chopped
* Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the Chorizo from casing and cook for 2-3 minutes. Break it up in the pan as you cook it.

Add the onion and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes more, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth and beans.  Use a potato masher and mash some of the beans to help thicken the soup.

Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the kale and simmer for a few more minutes, until the kale starts to wilt.  You want it to still have some texture.  Don’t simmer the crap out of it.  LOL!

That’s it!  Easy and delicious.

Note:   This might be a little spicy for young children.  If you want to make a less spicy version, use regular sausage or kielbasa.

Turkey Spinach Artichoke Quesadilla

These stemmed from trying to create a version of one of my favorite sammiches.  Panera has a turkey artichoke pannini that’s simply delicious!  It’s sliced turkey, an artichoke spread, and caramelized onions on a thick bread.

I always wanted to try making a spinach-artichoke dip, so
I thought, why not just try making a spread and use it on a sammy?

So, tada!  Easy-easy.

1 package of frozen spinach
2 cans of artichoke hearts
1 cup of shredded cheese (parmesan, cheddar, monterey…  use what’s on hand)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Defrost spinach and squeeze out the excess water.  Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces.  Add the cheese and Mayo.  Mix together.  That’s it.  (Well, that was my original attempt.  Last night making the quesadillas, I added a can of black beans for interest…)

If I was to make this into a dip, I would put it in the oven and heat it so that the cheese melts.  Using it as a spread in the sammy, the cheese melts when it’s cooked in the pan.

I took some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, spread the mixture on the flour tortillas, folded them, then put them in the skillet.  The golden-brown, crispy outside provided the perfect crunch to remind me of the pannini, but without all of that extra thick bread.

This version has more filling inside and less bread, whereas the Panera pannini has more bread and less filling.

This is a nice way to get some extra veggies in…

Mini Apple Tarts

Author: admin

Mini Apple Tarts

These are always a hit! 

The secret is to buy the prepared phyllo dough cups in the frozen food section.  They are already baked, so all you have to do is defrost them.

You can fill them with just about anything — make them sweet or make them savory…

This time, I made little mini apple tarts with them.  This recipe isn’t really a recipe — it’s more like a method.  I just usually “wing” all of the amounts.

Wash, peel, and dice some apples.  If you are doing a large batch, put them in a bowl of cold water with a quirt of lemon juice.  This will keep them from browning.  When you’re done with the apples, drain them well.

Add a little bit of brown sugar and add a little bit of cinnamon (to taste).  Mix thoroughly.

Put the mixture into a baking dish, cover with tin foil,  and bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the apples soften to the consistency you want.  I like my apples to still have a little “bite” to them.

Cool the mixture.

Fill the tart cups with about 1 tablespoon of the mixture.

Melt some caramels in a microwave-safe bowl.  Drizzle it over the top of the apples.

Done.  Voila!  How easy is that???

I’ve made these before using a sausage stuffing mixture, and they came out extremely well!  Get creative!

Spinach and Pasta Pesto Salad

1 bag of baby Spinach
2-3 cups of Cherry Tomatoes
1 long seedless Cucumber or 2 regular sized Cucumbers
1 12-oz. box of Acini de Pepe (or other small pasta)
1 container of premade Pesto sauce

Rinse and chop the spinach, halve the tomatoes, and cut the cucumbers into bit-size pieces.

Follow directions on the pasta box to cook to “al dente.”  Rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further.

In a large bowl, mix the pasta with the container of Pesto sauce.  Stir thoroughly to incorporate throughout.  Add the vegetables and mix thoroughly.

Serve chilled.

This makes a boatload, and you can toss in whatever other veggies you want — sauteed onions or mushrooms, or fresh chopped zucchini or summer squash.   Fast, easy, and delicious!

Easy Crockpot Pot Roast

Author: admin

Easy Crockpot Pot Roast

3 lb Beef Chuck Roast
1 sm bag Baby Carrots
4 or 5 new Red Potatoes
3 Onions
2 small cans Beef broth
1 lg can diced Tomatoes (optional)
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 Bay leaves

Clean and cut the veggies.  Place in the bottom of the crockpot.  Add the can of diced Tomatoes (optional).  Add the Bay leaves.

Season the meat on both sides with salt, pepper, and Thyme.  Lay it in the crockpot on top of the veggies.

Add the Beef Broth.  Depending on the size of your crockpot and how many veggies you added, use enough of the Beef Broth to come up to just 1″ of room from the top.

Cook 8 hours on low.

That’s it — Easy, but super delicious!

Meal Planning Idea

This makes a LOT of food.  If you have a small family or are by yourself and don’t feel like eating post roast for the next week and a half, consider freezing it in containers for individual portions.  These are great Go-To’s for nights that you don’t feel like cooking or for lunch during the week.

Cannellini White Bean Dip

As much as I like hummus, I hardly ever make it myself because I just don’t cook with Tahini paste, so it’s never stocked in my pantry. 

This luscious, creamy, bean dip is so super-easy to prepare, and I always have Cannellini beans and the other ingredients on-hand. 

1/3 cup Olive Oil (about… I just drizzle from the bottle)
1/2 tsp Salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground Pepper, plus more to taste
1 large can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh, flat-leaf Parsley
2 Tbls fresh Lemon Juice (from about 1/2 a lemon)
1 clove Garlic, smashed and chopped fine

In your food processor, combine the Cannellini beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.  With the food processor running, gradually mix in the 1/3 cup of olive oil until the mixture is creamy (you may or may not need to use it all depending on the texture of the beans).  Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it!  How easy is that?

This dip is quick, but it always tastes like you spent a long time making it.  It’s delicious!  This dip is sooo delicious, you may just find yourself licking it from a spoon!

It’s definitely a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts — This so creamy, that sometimes you’re not even sure that the base is beans.

Serving Ideas:

Instead of serving with pita wedges like hummus, try serving this with crostinis made from a nice Italian bread.  Breadsticks work well, too.

Also, this dip is fantastic with any crisp, fresh, vegetable.  Try colorful and sweet bell peppers, celery sticks, baby carrots,

broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, snow peas, and any other veggies you can think of.  This is the perfect veggie dip!

Mangia!  🙂

spinach-tortellini-soupSpinach Mushroom Tortellini Soup

5 or 6 large button mushrooms
1 large Vidalia onion
1 clove of Garlic
1 tsp Thyme
1 large can of diced/petite diced tomatoes
1 large can of chicken stock
1 12 oz. package of frozen spinach (thawed) or fresh equivalent
1 small package frozen tortellini
Salt and pepper

Slice the mushrooms. Cut in half into bite-size slices if necessary. Chop the onion. Finely chop the garlic.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Cook the onions until translucent and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Add the sliced mushrooms. Add a little more oil if necessary. Cook until they get a little color. I like my mushrooms to have a good bite to them — meaty — so I don’t cook them down too much.

Add the can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to incorporate and heat through.

Add the chicken stock and bring back up to a simmer. Add the Thyme and continue to cook.

Add the spinach. Season to taste. I usually add a little more pepper at this point.

Once the soup comes back up to a boil, add the package of frozen tortellini. Keep the soup at temperature and stir in well.

Lower heat to simmer.

Remove from heat and cover.   Check and stir every few minutes or so until the tortellini is done.  It shouldn’t take too long to cook the tortellini through, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Once done, remove the cover and let cool.   It’s done.

This soup is easy, fairly quick, very healthy, and clean.

What’s really nice about this soup is that the base is just onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. You can add anything else you want to it — tortellini, other pasta, Cannellini beans… Red, white, and green. What could be more molto bene?   🙂

Meat is not necessary in this soup. By not cooking the mushrooms too much, they retain a nice texture and act very “meat-like” in this dish. You don’t even miss it. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if you want a completely vegetarian version.

For a little more flavor, sprinkle with some grated Parmesan on top.

Add a nice crusty bread to sop up the broth, and you have a very easy, healthy, yummy meal.

Perfect to keep you warm in this wonderful New England weather!

Important Tip:

When I make this, like today, I always make a double batch.  If you decide to make a double batch, please note that you will need a 12+ qt stock pot or larger.  This will NOT fit into an 8 qt soup pot.  I know first-hand…  😉