Hope you all had a great weekend.
Today we start a Vegetarian Week Challenge. I asked my meat loving husband to join me and eat meat free for a week. While he didn’t receive the idea with enthusiasm he loves me too much to say no. Since I do all the cooking around here, he kind of has no choice. Sometimes us girls have to use “the powers” to get things done around here. :0) I then threw in another bombshell. I informed him that we might have a vegetarian Week once a month, but that didn’t go too well.
Oh well!!! At least I tried…
Although we don’t eat much meat to begin with, poultry, especially wings, is something Kurt loves this time of the year. I am hoping that with recipes from some of my favorite vegetarian bloggers, a few cooking magazines and a combination of my own skills I can make this week a tasty meatless experience for him.
To kick of the week on Sunday night I made my version of Ribollita, the Italian bean and cabbage soup, minus the bread and chicken stock. To my satisfaction Kurt LOVED it.
Success!!!! This is going to be a breeze or I maybe just jinxed myself. Wish me luck.
VEGETARIAN WEEK MEAL PLAN
|Monday||Mixed Greens Salad with roasted vegetables and cottage cheese.||Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, served with baked potato fries.|
|Tuesday||Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Stew (prepared Sunday)||Rosemary Mushroom Chickpea Ragout over toasted Garlic Sourdough.|
|Wednesday||Leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner||Falafel Burgers served with Roasted Beetroot Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles|
|Thursday||Loaded Salad, romaine lettuce topped with tomatoes, cucumbers and egg salad.||Mushroom Barley Soup with Kale & Gruyere Cheese Panini|
|Friday||Mushroom Barley Soup||Vegetarian Gyoza with Ponzu Dipping Sauce|
- 8 ounces dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight or boiled for 5 min and let stand for 1 hour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ head cabbage, sliced into ½ inch slices
- 1 vegetable bouillon
- Half 14.5-ounce can chopped diced tomatoes, organic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- Rinse and drain the soaked cannellini beans and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute carrots, celery and onions until well-cooked, 8-10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, bouillon and the beans. Add enough hot water to cover the ingredients in the pot, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 1 to 1½ hours adding more water if needed. You want the mixture to be soupy.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
These days when it’s bone chilling cold outside I especially enjoy a good bowl of soup. Pumpkins on porches, shorter days and frigid temperatures bring soup to the menu. In anticipation of the big meal this week soup can be an inexpensive, nutritious and healthy dinner option.
My Roasted Fennel & Butternut Squash Soup is delicious and only takes a few ingredients to make, most of which you already have on hand. Any dish I can make with only a few items is a winner in my book. I loved it so much that I decided to add it to the Big Dinner as well. The bright orange color from the squash adds lots of earthy decor to the Thanksgiving table as well as make a great appetizer.
It’s amazing what roasting fennel and butternut squash does to this recipe. The caramelization of the vegetables adds a level of sweetness and the smell that fills the house is insanely comforting. Roasting the veggies first is a necessary step so don’t skip it. I spend good part of the afternoon trying to come up with other combinations that I can roast and turn into soup. Stay tuned! More delicious recipes coming your way.
By the way, this soup is kid approved as well. My now six year old loved it and that my friends, is the best reward. When Briana eats her veggies I am one happy mama.
With a belly full of delicious Roasted Fennel & Butternut Squash Soup I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb, green part removed and discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ tsp thyme
- pinch of nutmeg
- ¼ cup fat free half & half
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash and fennel with 1 tbsp of olive oil, season with a little salt, spread on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 min.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in a heavy soup pot, add onion, garlic and thyme. Saute until the onion is softened.
- To the soup pot add roasted vegetables and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Season with nutmeg.
- Transfer vegetables with some stock to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Return to the pot and stir in half & half.
Happy Fall & Happy Friday!
The season of oversized sweaters, skinny jeans and warm boots is in full swing. It’s also the season of the Crockpot dishes, stews and lots of pumpkin recipes. Fall is the season of comfort.
We’re making soup today and not just any soup. We are making a creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. The fragrant aroma of lemon and thyme will fill your home with a pleasant scent yet unlike a traditional chicken soup it won’t take hours to prepare. Dredging the chicken in flour prior to cooking gives it a creamy consistency. That alone is a huge comfort factor.
I love chicken soup. It’s comforting. It’s satisfying. It feeds the entire family. Best of all it only takes one pot to make. Since no one volunteers to do dishes in my house, the less I dirty up, the less I have to wash.
Next time you’re in a hurry or craving a bowl of chicken soup try making this version. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven. To a shallow bowl add flour and dredge the chicken pieces, shake off the excess flour and add the chicken to the pot. Do this in two stages and don’t overcrowd the pot, otherwise the chicken won’t brown. Cook about two minutes on each side until slightly golden. Remove the chicken, repeat with the rest. Set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pot along with carrots, onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Season with a little salt and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5-6 minutes.
- Return chicken to the pot, add chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add orzo and simmer another 10 minutes, until it’s tender.
- Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy
Growing up my mom made Cabbage Soup otherwise known as Borscht all the time. I remember sitting down for dinner and easily polishing of two bowls of Borscht without even realizing it. I loved the stuff then and I won’t lie, I still love it just as much. Lucky for me, Hubby loves it as well, although he does something somewhat strange for my russian family to understand. He adds hot sauce to it. Strangely it tastes amazing.
All of us have a special dish that we relate our childhood years to. This might not be an extravagant dish, but for me Cabbage Soup is very special. It’s the first thing I ever cooked. It’s what my mom uses as bait to try to get me to drive 45 minutes to her house at 9pm on a weekday. It’s what reminds me of her cooking. It will forever remind me of my kid days. Yet it’s not a dish my daughter likes. Hopefully one day she will.
Did I mention it’s good for you.
How? Well, let’s see. Fiber, antioxidants, good source of sinigrin (cancer prevention), magnesium, iron, zinc, bunch of vitamins and minerals, natural body cleanser. Must I go on? Oh yeah, its low in calories, about 240 per serving.
The trick to making good tasting Cabbage Soup is to make the stock first, adding the rest of the ingredients at the end to preserve their nutritional value. I also like using both red and green cabbage. Makes a huge difference. There are many variations of this dish. My recipe is a combination of how my mom made it with my own twist on it. After all, what fun would there be if I didn’t put my own twist on it.
What is your favorite childhood dish?
What’s the one recipe that reminds you of that special someone?
- 1 lb package of organic grass fed lean beef stew meat
- 2 beef bouillons
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 2 medium or 3 small beets, peeled and shredded
- 1 tbsp organic tomato paste
- ½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- sour cream for serving (optional)
- hot sauce for serving (optional)
- Fill a tall soup pot about ¾ of the way with water, add stew meat and bring to a boil, skimming the fat along the way. Allow the meat to simmer for about 1½ hours.
- Add onion, potatoes and bouillons to the pot. Cook another 10 min.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet, add carrots and beets and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and the sliced tomato.
- Transfer the mixture to the pot.
- Add cabbage and cook another 10-15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with sour cream or hot sauce
Is it that time of the week already? Is it really Wednesday?
That means it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday.
Except I have been so swamped with work and everything else I forgot to take any pictures of what I ate yesterday.
So what should we talk about? Oh, I know. I do have a few pictures after all. Monday night, after an exhausting day of work, I needed to make a quick dinner. Guess what? I did it under 30 minutes. I made a delicious creamy Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup and a Grilled Veggie Panini.
Soup!? You may ask. She gives us soup? I know what you’re thinking. But… this simple one pot meal is sure to please the entire family and is loaded with broccoli, potatoes and cheese. Personally, I can eat soup all year round.
I also made a meatless Grilled Veggie Panini with leftover grilled zucchini, onions and eggplant topped with chardonnay Dijon mustard and creamy light havarti cheese. This Panini should not be under estimated. The meaty grilled eggplant and gooey havarti made this into one satisfying sandwich.
Thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting our weekly WIAW party.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, small dice
- 1 medium carrot, small dice
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp flour
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2½ cups organic chicken stock
- 1 cup 2% organic milk
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onion, celery, carrot, garlic and thyme until slightly soft.
- Add flour and stir. Cook 1 minute.
- Add diced potatoes, chicken stock, milk and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook about 10-15 minutes.
- Add broccoli and cook another 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a blender and blend. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one.
- Transfer back to the pot, add both cheddar and parmesan cheese. Stir until melts.
- Serve and enjoy