Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer! Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal. This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!
We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work. As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.
Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end. We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets. The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice. Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking. Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.
Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot. I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor. Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy. However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top. For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.
Thai Corn Soup
Welcome to my first of five posts for #FreshTastyValentine! I’m starting things off with a simple and delicious soup that’s delicious hot or cold, so perfect for the insane weather that has been happening here on the East Coast. This soup also works well with my New Years resolution to keep things quick and simple as it comes together super quick – partially because of the fantastic herb pastes from Gourmet Gardens. Inspired by a vegan soup I made years ago from a cookbook Joe had, one that apparently did not make the move to Baltimore, I knew that that lemongrass paste would be the perfect addition. I also used the Thai Seasoning paste in place of the curry seasoning (tho I think the original original recipe called for paste) – always better to go organic and natural!
As a bonus, this soup is super easy to clean up from as the pastes mean no cutting board and the soup is made in one bowl. Perfect recipe for a crazy weekday (or weekend) night. I love that with these pastes all I have to do is unscrew the lid – one less step is always welcome. Huge THANK YOU to Gourmet Gardens for sending me such incredible items. For your chance to win the Gourmet Gardens herb package (or one of the many other prizes) be sure to check out my intro post to Fresh Tasty Valentine!
Quick note that the Gourmet Garden pastes do contain whey so they aren’t vegan but they are gluten free. However, their dried herb are just that making them vegan, gluten free, and perfect.
Hello again! It seems I’m only around for Secret Recipe Club reveals but I’m hoping that with my third trimester quickly approaching I’ll finally be back to regular posting. We were hoping that my HG would let up in the second, and it did for a bit, before coming back with a vengeance. Still, I had rather be dealing with that then back at the RE figuring out another infertility treatment.
With that said, once again my SRC buddy gave me the inspiration I needed to get back in the kitchen. This month I was partnered with the incredible Vicky of Things I Made Today and WOW! is her blog incredible. I was blown away by all the incredible options, and the blog’s crisp clean style made it oh so easy to find tons of delicious treats. Given my constraints, I had to limit myself to things that were quick and easy – and seasonal so that I could do the bulk of my shopping at my office’s Farmer’s Market. That still didn’t narrow things down as I tried to focus in on my top 5: Cauliflower Fritters, Roasted Vegetables, Baked Ricotta, Carrot Fritters, and Corn Blinis. In the end the corn won out thanks to a delivery of fresh Eastern Shore corn from my fantastic MiL.
While VIcky topped hers with some mango salsa, I mixed up a quick topping of peaches and feta which worked perfectly. These delicious little treats were a huge hit and can only imagine how well they do at a party. In our case, they were a great pre, during, and post dinner treat.
Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie
Welcome to May’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club and what I hope is the start of a lot of new blog posts. I wound up taking the last month off in order to deal with our kitchen renovation and a fantastic little stomach bug. Now I’m back – with an awesome new kitchen that can’t wait to be used! Today’s recipes is one of the first I did in the new kitchen, and was a great way to “break it in” since it required the stovetop as well as the oven. The interesting part is that the recipe I wound up using from BCmom’s kitchen was not one on my original list. My first plan was to make her delicious sounding Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup but then the weather decided to warm up, so I needed a new plan. It was in my second search that I saw her Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie. I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian, essentially dropping the meat and doubling the vegetables!
There are more ingredients, and steps, to this than most of my recipes but it still comes together rather quickly. I served this with some avocado, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips in order to ensure every last drop was enjoyed. Another fantastic dish thanks to the SRC!
Potato Corn Chowder
I first started to “really” cook when I was in college, thanks to the lack of a meal plan and a dorm room that included a full kitchen. Most of my dishes were the results of experiments, tossing various ingredients in to a pot to see if the results were edible. Then I started getting serious, picking up recipe books in the clearance department of Barnes and Noble and using those as the basis for continued experiments. One such clearance book was all about using canned vegetables – and for a fair amount of time I was convinced that the potato chowder in that book was the be all, end all potato corn chowder recipe. Then I left college, went up north, and realized what potato chowder really was. Which is why this is the perfect recipe for /r/52weeksofcooking “screw ups revisited” challenge. Once I had real chowder, I cut the cord on the recipe which required, no joke, 7 different cans. It wasn’t horrible by any stretch, but it wasn’t good and the sodium level was insane. My first attempts to improve this dish involved me switching out some of the cans for fresh ingredients, replacing more and more as my skill level increased. As a bonus, the recipe wound up being dairy free as well as gluten free.
I’m sure this recipe will continue to evolve, but thrilled to say that my potato corn chowder is no longer a canned screw up. This recipe can also be easily adapted for the slow cooker, just cook the onion and garlic in advance then toss everything in on low for 7 hours. This chowder can also easily transition to a sweet potato corn chowder by swapping out the potatoes – for a real treat add some curry powder for a samosa like taste!
Sweet Potato Corn Stew
I mentioned in a post last week that I recently received a LARGE amount of tomatoes from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm. Today’s post shows were the vast majority of those tomatoes wound up – in a delicious stew perfect for /52weeksofcooking’s stew theme. Since the tomatoes were all seconds I knew that I had very limited time to use them, and while the sauce took care of a fair amount, I still had a few pounds left. With the clock ticking I decided to improvise and figure out what I could make with the little produce left in my fridge. A sweet potato, the last of our Eastern Shore Corn, and a bunch of fresh herbs – perfect for a hardy soup. Plus the weather has taken a clear turn for the cold so no worries of overheating the kitchen! I debated roasting the tomatoes before hand, but decided that one-pot clean up was the right answer.
I served this stew with some French Honey bread, which is staple this time of year – along with my favorite Apple Cider Bread. This stew also included a variety of tomatoes, including the green zebra variety I mentioned the other day!
Note: For all my Jewish friends (and family), L’shannah Tovah!