Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup

If there's one thing I never tire of, it's soup.  Luckily, my kids are almost always on board and my husband kindly doesn't complain when we're having yet another soup for dinner.  This one is healthy and delicious and definitely hit the spot for me!

Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup
(adapted from Real Simple)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 1/4 inch thick halves
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
6 cups water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch kale, thick stem removed and leaves cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
1/2 cup lentils, sorted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1) In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, breaking them up with a spoon.
2) Add six cups water and bring to a boil.  Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, salt, and pepper.
3)  Simmer until the potatoes and lentils are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning, if needed.  Serve into bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Minestrone Soup

I first tried this recipe about four years ago and loved it, but for some reason thought there must be another recipe out there that we would like better.  I've made a multitude of minestrone recipes since then, but I keep coming back to this one.  Honestly, I don't know I bothered trying those other recipes at all.  This one always satisfies!

Minestrone Soup
(adapted from The Sisters Cafe)
Printable Recipe
Serves 8-10

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery (including leaves), chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup small shell pasta
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped (a few large handfuls)
shredded parmesan

1) Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onion until tender; stir in garlic and stir until fragrant.
2) Add carrots, celery, potatoes, oregano, basil, salt and black pepper and cook together for several minutes.
3) Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, vegetable broth and 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4) While vegetables are cooking, in a separate pot, bring water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until pasta is done; drain.
5) Stir spinach and pasta into the soup during the last five minutes of cooking.  If desired, serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baked Chicken Fajitas

I like fajitas.  My husband loves fajitas.  And up until recently, I don't know if my kids had ever had fajitas.  So when I came across this recipe, it sounded perfect.  I mean, think of it!  Fajitas without all the fuss over the stove!  That's my kind of dinner.

Baked Chicken Fajitas
(adapted from Real Mom Kitchen)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1)  In a large bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.  Add chicken and stir until well coated.  Set aside.
2)  Place tomatoes, green chiles, onion, and bell peppers in a greased 13x9 pan. Place chicken on top. 
3)  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Stir chicken and vegetables together before serving.  Eat with tortillas and desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Everything Chili

Chili is a weekly affair at my sister-in-law's house, so when they went vegan several years ago, a vegan chili recipe became a necessity.  She was kind enough to make her chili for our entire extended family the last time we all got together and it is delicious!  As well--and this is coming from a proclaimed TVP-hater, so hear me out--this chili is so good you won't even know that it's not meat.  As in, when I ate this for the first time, I thought I was eating beef instead of TVP.  So if you've always been curious about using meat alternatives, this is a good place to start.  Of course you could always use ground beef or turkey, if you want, or make it without using either meat or TVP.  (So many choices!)  Because this chili is great any way you choose to make it.

Slow Cooker Everything Chili
(adapted from Kim the Health Nut)
Printable Recipe
Serves 8

1/2 pound cooked ground turkey or beef, or 1/2 package TVP crumbles
1 bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chiles
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

1)  Put all ingredients except cilantro in the crock pot and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
2)  Stir in cilantro, if using, before serving.  Garnish with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, or your toppings of choice.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chunky Spiced Pear Syrup

I rarely make a real breakfast in the morning.  In fact, the last time I made an actual breakfast for everyone on a weekday resulted in me becoming a cranky grouch of a mother, which negates the whole "showing my love through food" thing.  So any real breakfast cooking usually happens on the weekend or at dinnertime.  However, if I'm going to make breakfast for dinner, I try to add a little bit of creativity.  This recipe was me trying to make pancakes for dinner seem a little healthier (because of the fruit--duh!) and interesting.  We loved pouring this syrup on our pancakes--just the right amount of fruit and sweetness, without being overpowering.  I can't wait to make this one again the next time we have pancakes for dinner!

Chunky Spiced Pear Syrup
(adapted from Cuisinart)
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons butter
2 pears, cored and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash allspice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1)  Melt butter in a wide nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the pears. Stir until pears are well coated with butter.  
2)  Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; continue to cook about 3 minutes until pears begin to soften. Pour in maple syrup; cook until bubbly.  Allow to boil 1 minutes then remove from heat.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


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