Slideshow


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Slow Cooker Skinny Loaded Potato Soup


I love fall, it's my favorite season -- but now that we've in between fall and summer losing the natural light long before my dinner time makes taking photos for the blog really difficult. These two photos are the only good ones out of probably about ten. Seriously, when it comes to photographing food natural lighting is everything.

I'm currently back to counting calories/on what I'm calling my wedding diet, during 2015 I lost quite a bit of weight and during 2016 I was pretty...well.. lazy. This slow cooker potato soup is easy to make and really cuts down on the calories of traditional potato soup. It has enough dairy in it to make it seem rich, but in actuality it's not loaded with cream and cheese.

Recipe from the Cookie Rookie.

Ingredients:
-6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
-40 ounces vegetable broth
-1-teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
-1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
-2-3 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon basil
-1 teaspoon dill
-1 1/2 cups fat-free half-and-half
-1 1/2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese,
-2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

For Garnish:
-6 pieces vegan bacon, cooked and crumbled
-green onions, thinly sliced
-chives, chopped

Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray and set the temperature to HIGH. Add the diced potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, vegetable stock, salt, pepper and red pepper into the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or until potatoes have softened.

Using a potato masher, mash part of the cooked vegetables while they are still in the slow cooker. Only mash down on the vegetables a few times, you want there to be some whole vegetable pieces. Add herbs, half-and-half, cheese and chives. Mix well.
Once the cheese has melted ladle into a bowl and enjoy with additional chives, cheese, and vegan bacon. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Curried Beet Soup with Tandoori Chickpeas



We ended up with a bunch of beets from my parent's garden again this year and I was intrigued by using them to make a curried soup. Although this is probably more appropriate for winter or fall since it's a hearty soup and relatively warm due to all of the spices. I made four large portions out of it, but you probably could easily do six smaller portions.

If you're not worried about keeping this vegan, we found that it was very tasty with a large helping of sour cream. It was also very delicious served with naan.

Recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Ingredients:
Chickpeas
-1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained + dried in a clean towel
-1 tablespoon olive oil 
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-2 tablespoons tandoori masala spice blend 

Soup
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 shallots, thinly diced 
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon minced ginger
-6 small-medium beets, quartered
-Pinch each sea salt + black pepper, plus more to taste
-1 1/2 tablespoons green curry paste 
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 14-ounce can light coconut milk (optional: more for serving)
-2 cups vegetable broth

Chickpeas:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and add rinsed and dried chickpeas to a small mixing bowl. Top with olive oil, salt, and tandoori masala. Toss to combine. Spread onto a bare baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Soup: Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, shallots, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add beets, salt and pepper, curry paste, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Stir everything to coat the beets in the spices, then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, and coconut sugar.
Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until beets are fork tender. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it is creamy and smooth. 

Serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk and one fourth of the tandoori chickpeas.




  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Zucchini Risotto with Goat Cheese



We're dealing with an overload of zucchini, last year it rained too much and the zucchini in my parent's garden couldn't thrive. This year they're giving us more zucchini than we know what to do with. We've been trying to come up with new recipes to use the zucchini in fun and different ways. I wouldn't have thought to include zucchini in risotto, but we were very happy with how this recipe turned out.

Recipe from A Family Feast


Ingredients:
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-4 cups vegetable stock,
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-1 pound zucchini, trimmed and cut into ¼ inch pieces
-4 medium garlic cloves, thickly sliced
-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to your preference)
-1/2 cup yellow onion, diced fine
-1 cup Aborio rice
-1 cup white wine
-1 tablespoon each of fresh basil and parsley, minced
-2 plum tomatoes, seeded, cored and diced small
-4 ounce package goat cheese
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium pot, heat the vegetable stock until it's warmed through, you'll want it to be hot, but not boiling.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add zucchini -- cook for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Next add the garlic slices and pepper flakes and cook one minute. Add onions and cook for 6-7 minutes until soft.

Add rice and stir to coat with the oil. Add wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Once the wine is almost absorbed, add herbs and one cup of the hot stock and cook and stir until absorbed. Repeat by adding the tomatoes and one more cup of stock, cook until almost absorbed.
Repeat this for two more cups of stock, one cup at a time and letting that absorb before adding the next. All of this hot stock absorption is where the magic of risotto happens.

The last two cups of stock should be added one quarter cup at a time, cooking between each addition. You'll want the rice to be creamy, but not drowning in liquid. If the rice is cooked and creamy, you may not need to add the last cup of stock -- I find that almost always when making risotto that I do not use the last cup of stock.

Remove from heat and stir in the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs



I made this pasta recipe for dinner a few weeks ago and loved how easily this dish came together. The layers of flavor are fantastic and the use of a large portion of colorful tomatoes makes this dish look stunning. Overall, even though there are a lot of ingredients, it's very easy to multi-task with this dish. 

Recipe from a Beautiful Plate

Ingredients:
Roasted Tomatoes
-2.5 lbs small heirloom tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-6 large cloves of garlic, smashed
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium shallot, finely chopped
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper

Spaghetti
-3/4 lb dried spaghetti pasta 
-2 ounces fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
-extra virgin olive oil
-parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving

Bring a large pot (8 quarts or larger) of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
First you'll want to roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes and smashed garlic cloves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Make sure the tomatoes are spread out in a single layer so they will cook evenly. Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping them every 5 to 10 minutes or so, until they are soft and have just begun to collapse.

While the tomatoes are roasting prepare the breadcrumbs, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots have softened. Add the panko breadcrumbs and chopped garlic. Reduce the heat to low and toast the breadcrumbs, stirring constantly until they are golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

Once the water is boiling add the dried pasta and cook until al dente. -- drain the pasta making sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta back into the pot and drizzle with olive oil. Add the warm, roasted tomatoes and toss gently. Add reserved pasta water as necessary.

Garnish each pasta serving with basil, a generous amount of toasted garlic breadcrumbs, and serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Quinoa + Zucchini Pizza Fritters


This recipe has a lot of cool things going on -- this was my first time using my new waffle iron, the zucchini came from my parent's garden (and there's an over abundance of it), and the spiralizer which is my favorite kitchen tool.

Don't let all of the kitchen tools intimidate you, this recipe was very easy to make and the ingredients are all simple. I thought this was a really fun recipe to prepare for a weeknight dinner and a pretty light summer recipe.

Recipe from Kelly's Ambitious Kitchen.

Ingredients: 
-2 eggs
-1/3 cup flour
-1 large zucchini, spirialized
-1 cup quinoa, cooked
-1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
-1 teaspoons italian seasoning
-pizza sauce, for dipping

Plug in your waffle iron to get it hot and ready to make the pizza fritters. In a large bowl add the eggs and beat until frothy. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add zucchini, quinoa, both cheeses, and seasoning to the egg mixture. Combine fully, it might be easiest to use your hands.

Once the mixture is ready, spray the waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray. The rest takes a little bit of guessing, each square of my waffle iron fit about 2-3 dollops of the zucchini mixture, yours may fit more or less.

Cook the fritters for 4 minutes and raise lid to see if they're cooked, they should be perfectly crisp around the edges.  Add more time until they reach a golden brown.  Use a rubber spatula to easily lift the fritters up  and out of the waffle iron.

Serve your fritters with pizza sauce for dipping.