Category Archives: Soups and Salads

Non-dairy Creamy of Anything Soup

veggie soupDairy has been an ongoing struggle in our house for a few years now. Mostly because we love it and can’t digest it. Unfortunately, it looks like half of our family is lactose intolerant. So this summer’s mission #1 is to find healthful snacks and substitutes to lead a dairy-free lifestyle. For me, an avid cheese lover this is a challenge to put it lightly. We’ve been eating low-dairy for about four years, but now it’s time to cut it out entirely. While I spent a solid hour in Whole Foods looking for easy-to-send-to school snacks, it really hit me that dairy is in everything! If you’re in the same boat as me, just learning how to eat dairy-free, check out the link here to a wonderful resource with plenty of reviews of products as well as recipes. Continue reading Non-dairy Creamy of Anything Soup

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Curried Carrot Bisque

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With the new year in full swing and keeping with my resolution of eating more veggies, I thought I would post this lovely soup recipe today.

It’s been a while since I have posted a soup dish, and as a result since I have extolled the virtues of this simple meal. Yes, soup can be a meal!

I could fill my belly with the endless warmth that soup provides for days on end. Especially in this chilly winter weather we are wading through. To come home to a simple soup to soothe the soul sounds simply satisfying and stupendous to me. Wow! That was a lot of alliteration.

I’m not sure what it is about soup, but it really does cure all! When I’m feeling a bit under the weather a simple bowl of tomato bisque with a grilled cheese makes me feel sooo good.

And on a busy night where I don’t have time between kids activities to cook a big dinner, throwing together a quick chicken noodle with leftover vegetables from the week is how I survive.

I hope you enjoy this spicy twist on Tomato Bisque inspired by Chobani’s #MadeWithChobani project!

Shopping List:
3 cups carrots roughly chopped
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2-3 teaspoons curry powder, a little less if you don’t want it too spicy
2 cloves garlic, whole
Juice of 1 lime, about 1 tablespoon
1 5.3 oz. container plain Chobani yogurt
One pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. In a medium stockpot bring to a boil the carrots, stock, curry and garlic. Let this summer for about 20 minutes or until carrots are super soft.
2. Transfer to a blender and purée (with steam vent open) for about a minute until it is a smooth consistency throughout.
3. Return the purée to the pot and stir in the yogurt and the lime juice. Then warm it back up and serve it garnished with cilantro and croutons if you like.

Serves: 4 appetizer portions or 2 meal portions

For more recipes with Chobani click here.

Double Duty Meal #2: Lemon-Mustard Chicken and Israeli Couscous Spa Salad

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We eat a lot of chicken around here. As you might guess if you are a frequent visitor to my blog. Chicken, in my opinion, is a perfect double duty food element.

You can easily whip up a big batch of chicken on the weekend, and stock pile it in the fridge for quick fix meals later in the week. My favorites are to use it in a soup, a salad or a pasta dish. It is so versatile that all you need to do to reinvent it is to mix the chicken with some new flavors.

I’ve come into a pretty good routine in the past year of cooking meals that do double duty.  So, here’s another of my favorites.

 

Shopping List:

CHICKEN MARINADE:

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 garlic clove, sliced

2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts

 

Instructions:

1. Mix together the marinade in a ziptop bag and place the chicken inside. Make sure that all sides of the chicken is covered before you leave it to do it’s thing in the refrigerator. Marinate it between 1-3 hours, longer than this will cause the chicken to become mushy.

2. Drain the chicken and either grill it on a hot grill for 6-7 minutes per side or cook it  in a saute pan on medium high heat for the same amount of time. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan as the chicken will steam, rather than caramelize.

3. Save 1 1/2 chicken breasts to shred for the salad below.

 

Israeli Couscous Spa Salad
Israeli Couscous Spa Salad

For the second dish of the week you will need the items below. Check out the original posting of this recipe here.

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (see above)

1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous (or other small pasta)

1 apple diced

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup dried cranberries

4 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles (hey: by all means if you hate blue cheese a good substitute is feta here, or you could leave it out altogether)

1/2 loosely packed basil

1/3 cup olive oil

Edamame Sesame Salad

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The other night it was blazing hot, and I was dreading making dinner. That’s where this refreshing salad came into the picture. I had tried a similar one at Lemonade over the summer, and my daughter and I both loved it. It just so happens that I found this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Shopping List:

1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, cooked
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds (I used more than that)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Place edamame and carrots in a medium sized bowl, then drizzle in oil and vinegar.
2. Sprinkle with seeds, cilantro and salt. Give it a good stir, and viola! It’s ready. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main dish.

Roasted Peppers with Goat Cheese and Balsamic

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I feel like sometimes I get stuck in a side dish rut. I pick up the same veggies (depending on the season, really) and those are my weekly veggies, for a month or two. During summer it tends to be green beans, corn, carrots and red peppers. Of course, I add to my list cucumbers and tomatoes and avocados for salads, but as far as an accompaniment to a meal I get stuck sometimes with serving the same side dish for too long. Most of the time it doesn’t really bother me because I’m always just trying to get something on the table that we all like to eat.

Of late my go to side dish has been corn on the cob. Everyone in our family likes it. And it’s so easy to prepare; it really is no brainer when I’m prepping another dish too. I’ll be honest though and sometimes I avoid the whole side dish issue by making a one pot meal like paella or something else, so I don’t have to monitor two pots at once.

But this complacency is what leads to the inability to try new things in our family. So, every couple of weeks, (ok, whenever I think of it) I try a new side dish or try an old one in a different way. Thus, the fancy new pepper recipe.

So with this revamping I figured I’d take my chances with red peppers. My kids have like sweet red peppers for a while now, but roasting them and filling them with cheese made them go from snack to side dish pretty easily. The nice thing about this side dish is that it’s sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party while also accommodating a few of our more selective family members (sic kids).

What’s your go to side dish?

Shopping List;

3 medium-sized red peppers

2 ounces softened goat cheese

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped basil

Instructions:

1. Cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Try to keep the stem in tact. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Lay the peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and divide the goat cheese evenly amongst the 6 halves.

3. Roast the peppers with the cheese about 5-7 minutes, until the edges of the peppers begin to turn black and the cheese is melted.

4. Remove the peppers from the oven and drizzle with balsamic and basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 4-5 for a side dish

Five Favorite Soups for a Chilly Week

IMG_3824I rarely meet a soup that I don’t like. They are a bit like people, you know. Some are smooth and refined, while others are rough around the edges, and yet others are just too darn spicy for me. To me soup is always just a bowl of comfort, really. And, it’s such a non-threatening way to introduce an unfamiliar veggie to kids that I made it my Fall/Winter Mission to get my kids to eat a small bowl of soup at dinner time. Continue reading Five Favorite Soups for a Chilly Week

Dinner Plan Week #1: Man-I-Need-a-Beer Chicken and Chicken Enchilada Soup

All ready for the first day of Pre-K!

There’s nothing like starting a week that you know will be hectic (like the first week of school) let alone worrying about putting food on the table for the family. That is why I’m trying to be a bit more organized with my menu planning for the week.Oftentimes I fall into standard patterns where I buy the same old stuff when I make a trip to the market. Although I do actively try to only make one trip per week, but that doesn’t always work out. And, I bring along the kids to the market so that they can each pick a veggie and/or fruit of their choice. But this also doesn’t always go as planned either, ie doughnuts. Continue reading Dinner Plan Week #1: Man-I-Need-a-Beer Chicken and Chicken Enchilada Soup