Smokey Loaded Potato Soup
This is most certainly the season for snow, considering there is snow on the ground with more forecasted for tomorrow afternoon – fun times! However this means lots of time at home messing around in the kitchen – which is perfect considering the awesome blog event I’m taking part of starting Feb. 2nd! As part of this I got lots of goodies, one of which I already mentioned, and a few more that I’ll be talking about over the next week or so. One of the more interesting items that arrived was a container of mixed spices thanks to VooDoo Chef – I knew that testing it would be a bit difficult as a single whiff indicated that this stuff was good and POTENT. I had been toying with the idea of a loaded potato soup for a few days at this point, and decided that this package of Red goodness would be a great way to add a smokey taste to my potatoes – allowing me to skip the roasting step.
Perfection! The spice had the perfect balance of smokey and cheesy without any one ingredient being too overpowering. This soup also gave me an idea for another dish that I’ll be sharing next week during TripleSBites. By the way, this blog challenge will also include my first (!!!) giveaway! More details coming Monday February 2nd so be sure to check back!
Note: I received VooDoo Chef’s Red Spices as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts February 2nd. I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.
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!
Mustard Potatoes with Chickpeas
It’s September!!! That awesome month filled with birthdays, cooler temperatures, and Renaissance Festivals. Since today is the first Monday in September, in addition to being the 1st of September, that means the month is starting on a high note with September’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned Easily Good Eats, which is stuffed to the brim with delicious recipes – ranging from the sweet to the savory. I had a rather difficult time figuring out what recipe to pick, at one point I had “narrowed” it down to 10 before realizing that two of the recipes I was drooling over would not be well received by the other member of this house (silly people who don’t like coconut!). This left me with lots of bean recipes, which isn’t so surprising cuz vegetarians do love their beans. I debated back and forth between her tomato chickpea pilaf and her spiced mustard potatoes with chickpeas before deciding on the mustard – it was so different from anything else I had tried that I had to give it a whirl. Since the recipe is already vegan all I wound up doing was adding a bit more curry powder, which could be due to the variety used in her version vs. mine. I also double the recipe since this was for two instead of one – which still resulted in enough for two dinners and two packed lunches!
This recipe was fantastic! Not that I had any doubts as anyone who has over a dozen polenta (!!!!) recipes obviously has fantastic taste. For more fantastically delicious treats be sure to check out the rest of the recipes featured in this month’s Secret Recipe Club!
For my regular readers, I’m in the process of writing up a post to go with my vagueblogging from last week – and it should be up shortly. I’ve also been busy in the kitchen, so hopefully that will prevent any more 3 weeks absences. August was a rough month but (fingers crossed) September will be better.
Creamy Garlic and Potato Soup
A garlic challenge?!?! It seriously does not get much better than trying to figure out the perfect garlic recipe, at least for this garlic addicted Italian 😀 Of all the allergies in the world, an allergy to garlic would probably have the biggest effect on my life as I have it in almost every savory dish – garlic makes my world go round. I thought about making a vegetarian friendly version of 40 Clove Chicken but I really wanted to focus on the garlic and not have a protein overshadow it. So I decided to recreate one of my favorite vacation dishes: knoblauchcremesuppe (trying saying that three times fast!). When Joe and I went on our honeymoon, this is THE dish I was most looking forward to – and with that introducing it to Joe. This dish screams garlic – and it’s also insanely delicious and comforting which is perfect for this dreary time of year.
Traditionally this would be served with cream but since I’m trying to keep my doctor happy I used Greek Yogurt. I topped mine with some homemade croutons, but crusty bread would be a great alternative – anything to help soak up every last drop!
Potato and Mushroom Soup
Welcome to December’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club! I sat November out due to the move, which made me twice as excited to see what blog I would be assigned after my break. I was beyond thrilled to see I was assigned Shelby’s outstanding Life&Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch blog – one that I have been following for years. I knew that finding a single recipe to focus on was going to be a challenge, and bookmarked a good dozen recipes (a few of which will be part of my New Years Eve menu). In the end I “narrowed” it down to four final recipes before deciding to go with her almost vegetarian Potato & Mushroom Soup. By following her awesome notes in red I was able to go full vegan with this recipe – while keeping the original flavor and taste. I knew this was a total hit when my husband brought it up in conversation with his parents, bragging about the insane soup we had for dinner. WINNER!!!!
This dinner came together so quickly, and I have a feeling that it could easily be adapted for a slow cooker. So to answer the question posed in Shelby’s original post, this is easily vegetarian – and now vegan – love!
Potato Beet Salad
Okay, I promise this will be the last beet recipe for the near future but when a coworker brought in a bag of beets from his local garden I couldn’t pass! I decided to recreate a potato salad that I frequently have with Joe’s family, after asking his Aunt and Uncle to share their secret. I had to make a few changes since I try to avoid mayo as much as possible, but that’s what Greek yogurt is for so wasn’t a problem at all. The best part is this is one of those dishes were parts can be made in advance, in fact this dish tastes even better when it has time to sit and embrace all the flavors going on.
This dish might be an interesting shade but it’s delicious, and probably one of the healthier picnic salads out there. For a twist stuff the salad inside of a cabbage leaf for a different type of taco – one with all the crunch and half the guilt!
Vegetable Gnocchi Soup
It’s hard to believe that April is here with the cold weather we have been having. Normally the trees are in full bloom and flowers are everywhere, instead I’m waking up to frost on the windows and the chill of winter STILL in the air. The only positive I have found about this dreary weather is that it has extended soup season, which is pretty awesome. Since being told to cut back on my dairy intake I’ve been doing more and more broth based soups. This soup is the product of not wanting to go to the grocery store and being forced to come up with something based on what was in my pantry and fridge. The gnocchi is based on this recipe, since I had originally made the gnocchi during Passover however they are vegan friendly so win-win situation! I didn’t have enough to make two full servings of gnocchi but in combination with spinach, broth, and tomatoes I had more than enough for some delicious soup.
I’m still working on cutting back on my waste, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying the various leftover dishes I’ve come up. They might not be as creative as those featured on Chopped (which I might have been watching while making this dinner), but they are simple and filling which is really all that matters.