Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

29 04 2016

I recently posted a recipe using my son’s corn pureed baby food in place of cream in a sauce. Same logic applies here with this creamy, cream-less tomato soup! Perfect for warming your soul on a chilly spring day.

Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat): 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, (remove hard green top, sliced down the middle lengthwise and then sliced again horizontally into half moon pieces, rinse with water to remove dirt)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sherry
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn

In a large pot over medium-high heat add some oil (couple turns of the pan), saute almost all of the leeks (reserve 1/4 cup) until softened, a few minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. Saute another minute until garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with a little sherry (again, couple turns of the pan, just eyeball it) and cook for a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes and chicken stock, season again with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 3/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy.

Turn off the heat on the soup and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Mix in the corn puree and return the soup to simmer, another 5-10 minutes or so until hot and combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve soup garnished with the leeks and corn you set aside, along with grilled cheese for dunking! Pictured here is a rosemary-herb bread with provolone, yum!





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork Quesadillas With Corn Crema

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

Meal two, quesadillas, which is always a great go-to vehicle for using up leftovers!

Also, more baby food inspiration here, as I used my son’s corn puree for the corn crema. I’ve seen recipes using heavy cream or mayo added to sour cream to make homemade Mexican crema. I figured corn puree has a similar consistency so why not. Major win folks, its delicious and the perfect sauce to cut through the pork in these quesadillas!

Pork Quesadillas with Corn Crema

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 multi-grain tortillas, soft taco size
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup Pulled Pork, just eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup sliced and rinsed leeks (remove the hard green top, slice the white part down the middle lengthwise, then slice again into half moons, then rinse pieces in a mesh strainer to remove any dirt and dry slightly)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced green onions for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 1/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy. Combine the corn puree with the sour cream, zest and lime juice and salt to taste. Set aside.

To build the quesadillas, add two tortillas side-by-side on a large baking sheet (or pizza stone). Top each tortilla with a layer of cheese, pork, leeks and cooked corn (make sure cheese is on the bottom which will act as a glue to keep everything together). Add another layer of cheese and top each with another tortilla. Bake for 20 minutes until tortillas begin to brown and cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, cut each into four pieces. Divide among plates and top with the corn crema (I used a squeeze bottle if you’re curious) and garnish with sliced green onions.





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

And finally, here’s meal idea three…brunch!

It’s mother hubbard here this weekend. This is about as real as it gets folks, I’m talking down to one egg kind-of-serious. I managed to whip up something creative with just a few ingredients and leftovers though, which is what I do best! AND, I was even able to base it off a little inspiration from one of my favorite pancakes.

There’s this crazy tasty, sweet/savory pancake at First Watch made with cheddar cheese and bacon, which was the inspiration for this dish. Sounds weird, but covered in yummy maple syrup, it’s the perfect brunch bite! Making these as muffins allows you to cook them all at once, rather than having to flip a bunch of jacks individually, and I’m all about saving time!

Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

The following makes 6 muffins (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl combine the milk and eggs. Add Bisquick and stir until just combined. Fold in the pork and cheese.

Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use liners for easy cleanup like me. Divide the batter among 6 cups. Bake until cooked through and slightly browning on top, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing.

Serve pancake muffins with a side of Peach Habanero Syrup to pour all over!





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Broccoli Lo Mein

21 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

Meal one, ridiculously fast Lo Mein! This dinner is so easy it’ll practically cook itself, thanks to the pulled pork ready to go in the fridge (see link above/below for the pulled pork recipe)! You could use spaghetti noodles instead if that’s all you have, but Lo Mein noodles cook up in a fraction of the time.

Pork and Broccoli Lo Mein

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Lo Mein noodles – the 10 oz package I buy comes in 3 bundles, I used 2 bundles
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 heaping cup Pulled Pork
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or broth from the Pulled Pork
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli and Lo Mein noodles and cook according to noodle package directions (should take like 4 minutes), then strain.

Meanwhile, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and cornstarch. Add to a large saute pan and bring to a slow boil. Add the pulled pork, the cooked Lo Mein and broccoli and the green onions. Using tongs, toss everything together and cook on low a few minutes to bring it all together, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to stand a few minutes before serving.





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pulled Pork

20 04 2016

I am really into throwing a hunk of meat into the crockpot to cook all day, shredding it up and using it in several meals throughout the week. It’s such a time saver for this busy mama! In this post I’ve shared how I made a basic pulled pork, which I have divided out and will use in three different meals. Stay tuned for those recipes!

Pulled Pork

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat:

  • 3.5 lb pork shoulder/butt
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, skins removed and whole
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp Himalayan pink sea salt

Add the onion, pepper, garlic and bay leaves to a crock pot. Place pork fat-side down on top of the veggies. Add chicken stock and salt the pork. Close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours until meat falls off the bone and can easily pull apart.

Remove pork to a large cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Using two large forks (or your hands), pull the pork into pieces, discarding any visible fat, and store in a large covered container in the fridge.

Strain the broth left in the crockpot through a fine mesh strainer and store in a covered container in the fridge as well. Once the broth cools, the excess fat will settle at the top and can be easily discarded, while the broth can be used in other dishes.





Peach Habanero Syrup

11 04 2016

I’m a sucker for brunch! And for my birthday meal at my in-laws this past weekend, my MIL made a delicious sweet and savory brunch of chicken and waffles. I helped top it off with this simple and equally sweet and savory, peach habanero syrup. Bonus, leftovers are great for dinner too – thanks, Dee!:)

Peach Habanero Syrup

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 habanero pepper, chopped (Choose a pepper size based on your level of comfort with heat, the larger the pepper the more spice it will add to the syrup. Also, leave the seeds and ribs in for more heat, remove them for less heat.)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup peach puree (Easiest way is to puree thawed frozen peaches with a little water – which is also my son’s baby food recipe too!)

In a small or medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to boil over medium heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Add the chopped habanero and lower heat to simmer. Cook on low, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the peach puree and continue to cook, and stir, another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve warm, and store leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge.

P.S. The consistency of this syrup is on the thin side. That doesn’t bother me, but if you’d prefer it to be thicker, try cooking it longer or adding a bit more sugar at the beginning.





Easter Bread Baked French Toast

5 04 2016

My hubs fam makes a delicious Easter bread similar to the Italian sweetened bread, Panettone. This thick, dense bread is just perfect for baked french toast! And because the bread itself it already sweetened, you don’t need extra sugar. To make this casserole more savory for dinner, I topped it with breakfast sausage browned with a little cayenne before baking. Love enjoying breakfast for dinner, especially when leftovers can be gobbled up the next morning too!

Easter Bread Baked French Toast

The following makes a 9×13 casserole (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 8-10 cups cubed Easter bread (or Panettone or other sweetened bread)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz mascarpone or cream cheese
  • Butter
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • Cayenne pepper

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish. You could also use non-stick spray.

With a whisk, beat milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the cubed bread and toss to combine. Pour bread and liquid in the greased casserole dish and add dollops of mascarpone or cream cheese all over and in between the bread. It doesn’t have to be perfect and if the bread starts to tear and get mushy don’t worry about it! Cover with foil and store in the fridge overnight, or at least 8-10 hours.

Brown the breakfast sausage with a little cayenne pepper, breaking up in small pieces as it cooks. Store in a covered container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the casserole.

When ready to bake, top the casserole with the browned breakfast sausage and preheat the oven to 350. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes to an hour. I keep the sausage separate and only add to the top (rather than mixing it in) to keep it crispy, which adds another layer of texture to the baked french toast.

Top with your fav maple syrup before serving (my go to is organic maple agave syrup).








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