organic broccoli soup

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Our friends at Red and Honey have a fun feature called Sunday Night Soups. Given that it’s a football Sunday in November, please enjoy this re-post from Cashmere Apron and check out the link to Red and Honey for their super yummy soup suggestions.

Soup is one of those meals that warms your heart and soul. When the human body gets sick, it is soup that it craves. It is a true “comfort food” that makes you reminisce of cold winter nights and family meals together. I love how you can make this soup so quickly and fill your loved one’s stomachs with loads of pureed vegetables. I try my hardest to purchase organic products when making this soup and have replaced the original heavy cream with fat-free cream. It is a simple recipe that can help you get through the middle of a busy week. Let’s face it, we are all making our Thanksgiving To Do lists and no one has time for burdensome meals. If you have an extra hungry mouth to please, just add a chopped salad or a nice piece of crusty bread.

Ingredients
4 Tb butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh, organic broccoli, small chop
1 large organic onion, medium chop
1 large organic carrot, small chop
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tb all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cream (I used fat-free)
Garnish with sliced scallions, bacon bits, cheddar cheese

Directions
Melt buter in a heavy-medium pot. Add broccoli, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and sauté until onion is transparent. Add the flour and cook for one minute or until the flour is a blonde color. Add stock and bring to a boil.

Simmer uncovered until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Pour in cream. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Can add more cream if you want. Serve with the garnish of your choice. Serves:4

 

soppressata and cheese in puff pastry

Soppressata Lead PictureIt’s the day before Thanksgiving which, in my house, means we are probably ordering Chinese take-out or indulging in Mexican food. If you have a house full of guests, you might have the same idea. Or, you may want to serve something quick and easy, curl up in front of the fireplace and have a movie night.

I’ve made this dish several times and it’s always delicious. Cut the pieces smaller and you have an appetizer. Cut the pieces a little bigger and you have a main course. Serve with a side of tomato bisque and create the perfect comfort meal.

Ingredients
1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm, defrosted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
12 thin (not paper thin) slices soppressata salami (3 1/2 inches in diameter)
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Soppreseta collage

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Lay one sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and lightly roll into a 10-inch square. Place it on the sheet pan and brush the pastry with all the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the soppressata in overlapping layers on the mustard and sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on the soppressata, also avoiding the border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

Lightly roll the second piece of puff pastry into a 10-inch square. Lay the pastry directly on top of the first square, lining up the edges. Brush the top with the egg wash, cut three large slits for steam to escape, and chill for 15 minutes.

When the pastry is cold, trim the edges with a very sharp knife to make a clean edge. Bake the pastry in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once while baking, until puffed and brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes, cut in squares, and serve hot or warm.

Serves 8 for cocktails or serves 6 for main course

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Recipe from 2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?

 

kale salad with currants and feta cheese

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When did kale get so popular? I don’t remember it ever being on the menu or the dinner table when I was growing up. Is it a cross breed of some sort? Did one farmer’s cabbage get planted with another farmer’s spinach (remind me to look that up!). I remember the first time I ate kale. It was on a road trip up the coast of California to San Francisco. We stopped at this cool little hipster lunch spot/coffee bar/henna salon (don’t laugh…..that’s what it was) outside of Santa Cruz, and Kale Salad was the special of the day. I’m not sure that it was love at first bite, but I did find it interesting enough to make my own version when we returned home. I can honestly say that after much experimentation, I am a kale fan and maybe even a kale fanatic!

This gorgeous plant is one of the healthiest foods on our planet and has only 33 calories per cup. It can be eaten in a variety of salads, soups, and casseroles. I love to roast this veggie and make kale chips. It’s said this super star vegetable will lower your cholesterol and is a cancer fighter when eaten on a regular basis. I am sharing this kale recipe with you because it is one of my favorites. I hope you will love this salad as much as I do. I’m off to do some research on this interesting plant and hopefully, answer my questions.  Stay tuned……..

Salad Ingredients
6 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped small
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Arrange all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour salad dressing on top of salad and massage dressing into the kale. This salad tastes better if it sits about 5 minutes before serving.

Salad Dressing Ingredients
1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tb agave nectar
1 tsp salt
1 large shallot, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

eat-more-kale

 

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roasted butternut squash soup with leeks

Butternut Squash Soup LeadIngredients
2 to 2 1/2 pounds roasted Butternut squash
3 Tb butter
2 leeks; white and soft green parts, diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cut up Granny Smith Apple
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
sprinkle of thyme

Optional toppings
sour cream, chives, basil and bacon

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and string (you can speed up the process at this point by placing squash cut side up in a microwave safe dish and cooking on high for 12 to 15 minutes).

For roasting, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast uncovered for about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, remove skin and cube.

Butternut Squash 2

In a stockpot, melt butter and sauté leeks for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and puree with an immersion blender. Let simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with condiments.

To save time
1. Purchase bag of Butternut squash already cubed and ready to be roasted or microwaved. I like the Butternut Squash found at Trader Joe’s.

2. Roast Butternut squash in advance so it is ready to be pureed when you are ready.

This recipe is compliments of our Gluten-Free friend Sarah!

 

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grilled shrimp over coconut rice with mango salsa

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Here is a fast, fresh and fabulous meal for you to prepare for your family. Turn up your grill or quickly cook these shrimp in your oven. This marinade is one of our favorites and is delicious on chicken and fish as well.

Shrimp Ingredients:
32 medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined
Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Marinade
8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for about 15 minutes

Shrimp Directions:
Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes, drain and thread onto the wooden skewers. Grill the shrimp for 3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serves: 4

Coconut Rice Ingredients:
2 cups jasmine rice
1-1/2 cup water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp. kosher salt

Coconut Rice Directions:
Rinse and drain the rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with the water, coconut milk, and salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and serve. Compliments: Sandra Lee

Mango Salsa Ingredients:
2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, remove seeds and mince
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped small (about 1 cup)
3 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tb fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
Honey

Mango Salsa Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with honey, salt, and pepper.

 

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peanut noodles with spicy grilled shrimp

spicy shrimp leadPeanut Sauce Ingredients
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter ( I used Peanut Wonder)
1/3 cup water
2 Tb soy sauce
1-1/2 Tb rice vinegar
2 tsp chile paste with garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt, divided

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cooking spray

Pasta Ingredients
4 cups cooked linguine (8ounces uncooked)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin julienne strips
3/4 cup chopped and seeded cucumber
1/4 cup green onion cut on a diagonal
3 Tb chopped roasted peanuts
2 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges (optional)

Directions
To prepare the sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients and 1/4 tsp. salt; stir with a wire whisk.

To prepare the shrimp, spray with the cooking oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Grill over medium high heat for about 3 minutes or until slightly pink (be careful to not overcook).

To prepare the pasta, combine peanut sauce, shrimp, noodles, bell pepper, cucumber, and onions in a large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, if desired. Yields:4 servings.  Adapted from Myrecipes.com.
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wednesdays on a whim

WOW4We all have reminders and To-Do lists. I set reminders on my iPhone to remember my To-do’s. It’s a busy world. By the middle of the week, activities are usually in high gear and my “taxi-cab” is in full swing – socks in the back seat, bagel crumbs in the front, permission slips neatly tucked into side pockets and the requisite coffee mug filling up with extra change from after school snack runs. There’s a reason Wednesday is called Hump Day.

Christi and I created “Wednesdays-on-a-Whim,” to get you through Hump Day with an easy homemade meal. The ingredients are fresh, the recipes are time efficient and you will be able to bring a meal straight from your heart to your family’s dinner table (not that you can’t use these recipes anytime you are looking for something quick and easy). Look for our feature every Wednesday and feel free to share any recipes that would fit the bill for “Wednesdays-on-a-Whim.” Scroll down to discover today’s recipe. Happy Wednesday!
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