Monday, October 31, 2011

broccoli cheddar soup

OK, last soup recipe until it actually is cold in Houston!  I lightened up the traditional broccoli cheddar soup recipe by removing the heavy cream and excessive amounts of cheese.  I think you'll find this to be equally delicious and heart-healthy :) 

broccoli cheddar soup

1 broccoli head, cut into florets
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt
4 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon (can use veggie broth instead)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Over medium high heat, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.  Add broccoli florets and saute for a few minutes.  Add water and vegetable bouillon, simmer for 5 minutes and add nutritional yeast.  Season with s&p and simmer covered for 10 minutes.  Then, blend with an immersion blender until just a few pieces of whole broccoli remain intact.  Stir in greek yogurt and sprinkle cheese and serve.

Serves 3 people

ps- not the greatest picture but tastes great!

tomato soup

Because A, had his procedure a few days ago this allowed me to dive into my soup recipes again.  Before me, my lovely husband only knew canned tomato soup with a can of green beans and a can of corn mixed together and served.  I must admit he has made this for me a few times after we got married, but never again after I learned from my mom how easy it is to make fresh tomato soup.

tomato soup

8-10 tomatoes (i had frozen tomatoes from my mom)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into a few pieces
ginger, 1 tbsp shredded
1 cup, greek yogurt (for extra protein!)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp jeeru (cumin seeds)
1 tsp red chili powder or garam masala
2 tsp dhanajeeru (cumin powder)

With a pressure cooker, cook the tomatoes and carrot with a 1 cup of water for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Turn off heat and let the cooker release pressure for about 10 minutes.  In another large pot, over medium high heat, place the butter and jeeru until fragrant.  Add ginger.  Then add the tomato/carrot mixture into the pot.  Add 4 cups of water and blend with an immersion blender.  You can choose to drain the soup through a sieve to remove the seeds and fibers, but I opted not to.  Add s&p and rest of the spices, let simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add greek yogurt, mix well and enjoy.  I made grilled cheese sandwiches on the side to dunk into the soup.

Serves 4 people  

mashed "potatoes"

A, had a dental procedure last week and has been on softer foods for a few days.  He had a craving for mashed potatoes but I usually don't have potatoes in my pantry.  After a quick google search, I found a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.  Substitute fresh cauliflower for potatoes!  He actually loved it and had a second serving.  Everything tastes good with some garlic and cheese :)  Try this side dish during Thanksgiving and your family will not notice the difference.

 mashed "potatoes"

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Boil or steam cauliflower for 8-10 minutes.  Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Place cauliflower into food processor with garlic, s&p and olive oil.  Pulse until smooth.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese and serve.

Serves 3-4 people. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

tortilla soup

My mom used to make this soup during chilly evenings in Austin.  There's something about the blend of indian spices with the mexican tortilla soup that just warms your heart. Although it's called tortilla soup I prefer to just add cheese and eat.  Plain and simple, but delicious.

Tortilla Soup
learned from my mom

1 poblano pepper
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp jeeru (cumin seeds)

shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
cilantro, finely chopped
crushed tortilla chips
avocado, diced

In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil, jeeru, garlic and green onions.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.  Then add diced peppers After a few minutes add the peppers and saute for an additional minute.  Add diced tomatoes can and vegetable bouillon to vegetable mixture.  Pour 2-3 cups of filtered water and corn.  Bring to a soft boil for 5-10 minutes.  salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into individual bowls and top with your favorite toppings!

Serves 4-5 people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

roasted beet and arugula salad with pomegranate seeds and feta cheese

I have had this salad in restaurants before so decided to recreate it at home for a fraction of the price.  You can use any type of salad green but I prefer arugula because of the peppery bite.  A, drizzled on italian dressing but I don't think it needs anything because of the natural juicyness from the oranges and beets.

Arugula Beet Salad

1/2 bag arugula, rinsed and spinned
1 beet, can use red or yellow
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mandarin oranges, fresh or bottled
2 tbsp feta cheese or goat cheese
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and scrub the beets.  Pour olive oil on beets and double wrap in aluminum foil.  Place in oven for an hour.  Check after 40-45 minutes to assure even roasting.

Meanwhile, wash the arugula and place in salad spinner (love this thing!). 

Remove beets from oven, allow them to cool for 10 minutes. 

Plate the arugula on plate and top with mandarin oranges, sliced beets, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese and salt/pepper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

spicy chana masala with naan

spicy chana masala (chole) with naan
learned from my mom

2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tomatoes, finely diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
dash asofeotida (hing)
1 tsp red chili powder (marchu)
3 tbsp cumin powder (dhanajeeru)
1 tsp tumeric (hardar)
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp chhole powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
cilantro, finely chopped

In a large sauce pan, add oil and saute mustard seeds until fragrant.  Add onions, ginger and garlic until translucent then add tomatoes. Saute for 1-2 minutes.  Then add spices and salt, and saute for a few minutes until you see tiny bubbles forming on the pan.  Add garbanzo beans, 2 cups of water, tomato paste and 1 tsp paprika to sauce pan. Place on medium high heat and simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the water has evaporated and sauce has thickened.  Taste for seasoning, add lemon juice if necessary.

Sprinkle the top with cilantro.  Serve with naan and homemade yogurt.

Serves 3-4 people.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

spinach and mushroom stuffed shells

Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Shells

1 box - large pasta shells
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cremini mushrooms, finely diced
1 bag fresh spinach
1 medium onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried italian seasoning
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta (I use low-fat)
2 tbsp milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 bottle marinara sauce (I use Prego - Healthy Heart)
finely shredded parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top after baking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta shells in boiling water to al dente.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add the onions and garlic until translucent.  Add mushrooms, s&p and cook until browned.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.  In a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, milk, italian seasoning, red chili flakes, egg and mozzarella cheese and mix well.  Once spinach/mushroom mixture has cooled, combine with cheese mixture in large bowl.

Pour pasta sauce to cover the bottom of a large baking dish.  Stuff each shell with 2 tbsp of mixture and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble.  Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

veggie chili & cheddar corn bread

Ok, so it's not quite autumn here in Houston (more like a Seattle summer) but I saw this recipe on The Chew a few days ago and had to try it!  On the side we baked up a Jiffy cornbread, definitely not my favorite but was great for a quick weeknight meal.  I added some cheddar cheese and chopped chilies to the cornbread mix.