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!

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Minestrone

21 02 2015

This is a healthy and comforting Italian soup, sure to wrap you in warmth even on the coldest of winter days! It’s loaded with veggies and is a great option for meatless Mondays, or to enjoy during Lent. Mangia!

Minestrone

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes – if you don’t have crushed on hand, puree a can of diced tomatoes in a high-speed blender until smooth
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, or fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of green beans cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry ditalini pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, dry herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring around, for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until nearly evaporated.

Next add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green beans and cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add the pasta and cook 10 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with lots of cheese and parsley for garnish.





Roasted Cauliflower, Celery Root and Apple Salad

17 11 2014

This was my first time working with celery root, and I must admit I wasn’t sure how to feel about the funky looking veggie. But it pairs wonderfully with roasted cauliflower, fresh apple and a tangy vinaigrette! Thanks Fresh Fork Market, for continuing to introduce me to produce I wouldn’t otherwise buy.

Roasted Cauliflower, Celery Root and Apple Salad

The following serves 4 (adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen):

  • Small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • 1 celery root, trimmed and cut into matchsticks (to trim, cut the entire rough outside off using a sharp knife, leaving just the white flesh of the inside)
  • 1 medium apple, cored and trimmed into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pecans, halved and toasted

I recommend roasting the cauliflower ahead of time, or at least make sure you have enough time to cool it to room temp if you roast it the night you want to use it.

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower florets with a little olive oil, salt and granulated garlic to taste. Roast in a single layer on a baking sheet for 20- 25 minutes, or until beginning to brown, turning half-way through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Either store the roasted cauliflower in a sealed container in the fridge, or move onto making the salad.

In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, olive oil and salt to taste. I give a range for the olive oil, use less if you don’t like dressing as acidic or use more if you prefer the vinegar flavor to be at the forefront (which is how I prefer it!). Start with less olive oil, taste, then add more if you like.

Add the apple and celery root matchsticks to the vinaigrette, along with the cooled or previously roasted cauliflower and toss well. Add the parsley and pecans and mix. Season with pepper before serving if you like.

Enjoy this salad for lunch, or serve along with a protein of your choice for a healthy dinner.





Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

13 11 2014

Are you a sucker for cheesy fries or anything buffalo chicken? Who isn’t! Here’s a healthy rendition of a riff on both, featuring leftover chicken and sweet potatoes. Using Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cheese helps keep this dish lighter, while still offering the classic creamy flavors we all love in our less-healthy favs.

Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bake

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

  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce like Frank’s
  • 1-1 and 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1-2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • Reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, toss cubed potatoes with just a little olive oil along with salt, garlic and paprika to taste. Toss well. Spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with a silpat or foil sprayed with non-stick spray.

Roast potatoes until browned, about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and buffalo sauce together in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix well. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool slightly. Using your hands or a spatula, move the potatoes to the center of the baking sheet until they’re all touching. Top with celery, a little cheese and then spread the buffalo chicken mixture evenly on top. Finally, top with another layer of cheese.

Bake until hot and cheese melts, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and top with parsley or cilantro before serving. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired and serve with a side salad. Pictured above is shredded cabbage tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.





Cabbage and Apple Salad

7 10 2014

Here’s a crunchy, healthy and super flavorful salad which I like to serve as a side dish. You can quickly whip it up and let it hang out in the fridge while you cook dinner – which will allow the flavors to combine. Don’t worry about the measurements, just wing it and adjust to your taste as you go. If you like salad a little on the tangy side, add more vinegar. If you don’t like it as dressed, don’t add as much liquid. Just have fun with it! 🙂

Cabbage and Apple Salad

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

  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
  • Apple, cored and sliced thin
  • Shallot, sliced thin
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Whisk a little Dijon mustard with some apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Add shredded or sliced cabbage, sliced apples and sliced shallots. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, vinegar or oil as needed. Add sunflower seeds and fresh parsley before serving.





Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

13 05 2014

I indulge in a lot of salad. So naturally, I’m always on the hunt for new and healthy dressings to try! This vinaigrette was inspired by Food Network Magazine, and packs a punch of flavor. You won’t miss any store-bought dressing with this recipe, that’s for sure!

Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

The following is enough for 2 salads (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add garlic. Cook on low a few minutes. Add the shallot and sun-dried tomatoes and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, until garlic browns.

Transfer cooked oil mixture to a small food processor, add vinegar and pulse until chunky. Continue to pulse and slowly stream in more olive oil until the vinaigrette reaches your desired consistency, between 2-4 more Tbsp worth of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve vinaigrette over salad. The salad pictured above includes:

  • Organic arugula
  • Sliced grilled chicken
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced baby yellow peppers
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese
  • Walnuts




Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

25 02 2014

Have a craving for greasy bar food like buffalo chicken wings but trying to eat healthier? Try this quick and tasty buffalo salad! This meal, which offers a nice buffalo kick but isn’t drowning in sauce, is packed with protein and fiber, quite obviously healthier than a fried chicken wing. And the creamy blue cheese yogurt dressing is a perfect complement to the tang of the hot sauce, but lighter than anything you’ll be served up in a bar. Winner, winner…buffalo chicken dinner! 🙂

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Girl Makes Food):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp diced green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread the cauliflower evenly in one layer on a lined (or sprayed with non-stick spray) baking sheet. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is brown and crisp on the edges.

Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute until cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Next add the drained chickpeas and a couple of dashes of Frank’s hot sauce. Continue to cook the chicken and chickpeas a few more minutes, until chickpeas toast slightly.

While the chicken and cauliflower are cooking, make the dressing. Add yogurt, blue cheese, vinegar, parsley, green onion and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. If the dressing seems too chunky and sticking to the sides of the food processor, add a little oil, a tsp or so while the machine is running to help it keep moving. Set aside until you’re ready to serve. This Girl’s tip: I don’t mind the light green tint of the dressing, which comes from the parsley and green onion. However if it bothers you, leave the parsley and green onions out while you process the other ingredients until smooth, then lightly toss in the herbs after.

Add the celery and hot sauce to the same large bowl you used earlier. Add the roasted cauliflower, cooked chicken and chickpeas and toss everything until well coated. Taste, and season with salt if needed (although you probably won’t need it).

Divide the chicken-cauliflower mixture among plates and top with the blue cheese dressing to taste.