Tag Archives: onion

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

1 bunch broccoli
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium red-skinned potato, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (gluten free if needed)
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
One 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

Separate the stems and the florets from the broccoli. Trim and discard the bottom of the broccoli stems and peel the tough outer layers. Finely chop the stems and coarsely chop the florets and set aside separately.

Mist a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the broccoli stems, onions and potatoes and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the reserved florets and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to steam until the florets are bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the entire contents of the pot with the florets to the soup along with the nutmeg. Stir to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the Cheddar, Worcestershire and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the scallions.

Serves 6

 

Nutritional Information

Per serving: Calories: 230; Total Fat 8 g; Saturated Fat: 4.5 g; Protein: 16 g; Total carbohydrates: 26 g; Sugar: 10 g Fiber: 4 g; Cholesterol: 20 mg; Sodium: 360 mg

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Tofu Fried Rice

What a great, healthy option to have to satisfy the craving for Chinese take-out. I like to add extra veggies to mine, typically whatever I have on hand which tends to be bell peppers and broccoli. I also like to add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts or baby corn if I have some of them handy. Keep in mind if you do add any of these, they are not calculated into the nutritional information so you’ll want to add them yourself.

Tofu Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked instant rice (or quinoa)
2 tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Thinly sliced green onions

Directions

  1. Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions.
  2. While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove tofu from pan, set aside until needed later. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until done, breaking egg into small pieces. Remove from pan. Add the other tablespoon of grape seed oil to the pan. Add onions, peas and carrots, garlic, and ginger; sauté 2 minutes.
  3. While vegetable mixture cooks, combine rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. Add cooked rice to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tofu, egg, and soy sauce mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Garnish with sliced green onions (I like to use my kitchen shears to cut them quickly and easily); serve hot.

Nutritional Information

4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 376
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 5.1g
  • Protein: 15.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 50.6g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Cholesterol: 106mg
  • Iron: 3.8mg
  • Sodium: 629mg
  • Calcium: 79mg

adapted from cooking light

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Hamburger Healthier

I must admit, I have a soft spot in my heart tummy for hamburger helper, but it’s not exactly the healthiest thing to eat. I love this recipe because you have control over the amount of sodium that goes into it, as well as all the fresh veggies that help make the sauce! And the best part about the veggies in it (in case you have picky veggie eaters at home) is that they get pureed in a food processor and mixed with all the other stuff, so you can’t even tell they’re in there!

Servings: 6

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, chopped
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces dry elbow noodles (use protein enriched or gluten free if needed) (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten free all purpose flour)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish

Directions

  1. In a food processor, process the garlic, carrots, celery and mushrooms until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.
  2. Cook beef in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until no longer pink. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired.

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 326 calories; 10 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 54 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 4 g fiber; 431 mg sodium; 644 mg potassium.

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Meatless Monday Double Feature

Ok, folks, I’ve got a double feature for you this week to make up for missing last weeks meatless Monday. These quinoa bites get whipped up pretty quickly and they freeze well which is why I make them on a pretty regular basis.

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

adapted from soveryblessed.com

(click the link to see the original recipe and better pictures)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (*see note at bottom)
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 stalks green onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash (original flavor)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, green onion, garlic, cheese, flour, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper.
3.  Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each).
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

*regarding the quinoa- I cook it a day ahead of time as doing this seems to help it all stick together a little better. I also cook the quinoa in Chicken broth to add more flavor. You could also cook it in Beef or Vegetable broth.

 

 

Crockpot Quinoa and Lentil Soup

https://i2.wp.com/media-cache-ec2.pinterest.com/upload/182888434839324128_jODz8Oxv.jpg

1/2 cup quinoa

3/4 cup uncooked small red lentils

2 large carrots

2 stalks celery

1 small head cauliflower (can also use 1 med. zucchini OR 1 small butternut squash)

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 inch piece cinnamon stick (optional, see note*)

2 thin slices fresh ginger (I used 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground ginger since I didn’t have fresh)

6-8 cups chicken stock (start with 6 and add more to get desired consistency, I used 8)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground fennel seed

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dried thyme leaf or 1 sprig fresh

1 tsp dried basil or 1 Tbsp minced fresh

1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves or 1 sprig fresh

1/2 tsp salt or to taste and fresh ground black pepper

4 Tbsp minced fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro or basil

2 cups chopped fresh greens: kale, chard, or spinach (optional)

Crockpot Directions:

  1. Rinse the lentils in a bowl or pan, then drain into a colander
  2. Peel carrots and cut into thin pieces
  3. Wash and trim the celery stalks, then slice into thin pieces
  4. Break or cut the cauliflower into medium-large chunks (they will break up into smaller pieces as they cook)
  5. Combine quinoa, lentils, herbs & spices and fresh ginger in the crockpot
  6. Add the vegetables (except for the greens) and cover with the 6 cups chicken broth
  7. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or more if needed
  8. 30 minutes before serving, turn the heat up to high and stir in the greens
  9. Just before serving, add the minced fresh parsley, basil or cilantro, salt & pepper, and serve, removing the ginger slices, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, as you come across them

*I thought the cinnamon stick was too much so next time I make it I’ll either leave it out completely or take it out after 15-20 minutes. I also made my soup on the stove instead of the crockpot. If you want to do that start by sauteing all the vegetables (aside from optional greens) for about 10 minutes, then add spices and seasonings, followed by chicken stock, lentils (rinsed) and quinoa. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa and lentils are fully cooked. Remove bay leaf, ginger and cinnamon stick before serving.

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Broiled Tilapia Gyro

Here’s a different way to try your traditional lamb Gyro.

Broiled Tilapia Gyros
from Cooking Light

Ingredients

Fish:
1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Tzatziki:
3/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

Remaining ingredients:
4 (2.75-ounce) Mediterranean-style wheat flatbreads (Pitas)
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion (about 1/2 small onion)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 12 thin slices
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 small English cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

Preparation

Preheat broiler.

To prepare fish, brush fish with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or desired degree of doneness.

To prepare tzatziki, combine yogurt and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor or blender; pulse until smooth.

Spread 2 tablespoons tzatziki in the center of each flatbread. Divide fish evenly among flatbreads. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons onion, 3 avocado slices, 2 tomato slices, and about 6 cucumber slices; fold in half.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 filled gyro)

  • Calories: 479
  • Fat: 16.8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 9.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Protein: 46.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 39.7g
  • Fiber: 9.4g
  • Cholesterol: 88mg
  • Iron: 3.5mg
  • Sodium: 538mg
  • Calcium: 120mg

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Meatless Monday – add some variety to your side dishes!

I LOVE veggies. A lot. I’ve never had problems making sure I eat enough of them a day. If anything, most days I eat more than the recommended amount. With the help of the fruit and veggie calculator that I found here (thanks to the CDC) I was able to find out (according to my age, sex and activity level) that I should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. Now, because of my already mentioned love of veggies, this not a difficult task for me to achieve. What can be difficult, though, is the rut that I sometimes find myself in after days upon weeks upon (sometimes) months of eating the SAME veggies over

and over

and over

and over, yet again.

Come on, people, you know what I’m talking about, right? I mean, how many times can you cycle between green beans, carrots, peas, corn and mixed veggies?! They can get SO boring, right?

Because I love veggies so much, the last thing I want them to become is boring. They deserve to be SO much better than standard after all the good that they do for our bodies! So I’m going to start posting more Vegetable Side recipes, starting today (not necessarily always to be posted on Meatless Mondays, though, just an FYI) to hopefully get everyone more excited about eating vegetables and to get you out of the same rut that you may find yourself in from time to time as well.

To find out what you and your family should be aiming for as far as veggies are concerned, check out the link I posted above and find out using that handy calculator, it only takes 1 minute, if that!

and a CHALLENGE to you…

-find a way to love your veggies. I’ve heard many a veggie-hater say, “I really don’t like veggies, but man, when you make them like this they’re great!” Try different veggie recipes one after the other, after the other until you find some ways that you can truly enjoy them. You’ll never find a way until you experiment with different flavors and seasonings!

-Use that calculator, find out how much you should be eating every day and eat AT LEAST that much! No more teeny tiny, barely there veggie sides on your plate – your side of vegetables should take up at least 1/4 of your plate.

-Try the veggie recipes as I post them on here if they appeal to you or look for more varieties online and try them; then share them with me! If you found an awesome way to eat your veggies, I wanna know about it so I can try it too! Don’t be greedy with your new veggie finds 😉

Well, folks, here is the first of many veggie sides to be posted. I still have a lot of cucumbers to use up from the garden so I thought this would be a great and different way to use them up!

Cucumber Gratin

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 garden cucumbers – peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 2 x 1/2 inch strips (4 cups)

1 small onion – diced small

1 tsp. salt

1/4  tsp. sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

2 tsp. tarragon

2 tsp. dill

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use Ezekiel bread to make breadcrumbs but any kind would do)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, til it begins to brown.
2. Toss chopped cucumbers and onion in a baking dish (13×9) with 1 Tbs. browned butter, salt, and sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.
3. Remove dish from oven, and preheat broiler. Add chives, tarragon, dill, and lemon zest to cucumbers, toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste.
4. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 1 Tbs. brown butter in bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over cucumbers. Broil 2 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown. Be sure to keep a close eye on the dish while it’s under the broiler, it does not take long for it to burn if you’re not paying attention to it.

Nutrition

Per 1/2-cup serving:

Calories: 85, Protein: 2 g, Total Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Cholesterol: 13 mg, Sodium: 355 mg, Fiber: <1 g, Sugar: 2 g

 

 

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Giving it a Go – Meatless Mondays

I’m pretty sure I’ve done Meatless Monday before. Matter of fact, most of my week days tend to meat free. I’m not a vegetarian, it’s just that most of the time I would rather eat salads, veggies, fruits and legumes (beans). I’ve considered going vegetarian, but I know it would be a commitment that, for me, would fail. Probably not right away, though. I can go without meat for awhile. But eventually, the immense craving for a delicious cheeseburger or beer brat would invade my brain and never leave until satisfied. And I’m perfectly ok with that. Truth be told, very rarely do I even eat red meat. I would say that 80% of the year I’m a pescatarian (someone who’s diet allows seafood but not any other animal meat). I suppose I’m kind of a mutt when it comes to labeling what I am ‘diet-wise’. I’ll be sure to post some Tilapia recipes soon for any fellow fish lovers like myself, but until then…

Back to Meatless Monday!

I had several garden fresh veggies begging to be used.

Sweet Potato, Walla Walla Onion (the SWEETEST onions you could ever give your taste buds the pleasure of discovering), Sweet Corn and Kale to be specific. With some other essential ingredients that I always have on hand this recipe was destined to be made (and the fact that it all comes together in one big stock pot makes dishes a breeze – great for Mondays)! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

adapted from http://www.milkfreemom.com

Image

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

1 Tbsp. Grape seed oil (or olive oil)

1-2 Onions, chopped (I use 2 because I love onions but be sure to adjust per your preference)

1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 can tomato paste

32 oz. chicken or vegetable stock

1 Tbsp. Chili powder

1 Tbsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Oregano

1/2 cup Kale leaves, finely chopped (about 1-2 leaves depending on size of leaf)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup white quinoa (dry, not cooked)

1 1/2 cups corn (frozen or cut off the cob)

salt and pepper to taste

Optional to Garnish with:

Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Avocado slices

Directions for Deliciousness:

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and bell pepper, cook until slightly tender (make sure they’re not mushy, they’ve got quite a bit more cooking to go through). Add the garlic, and cook for another minute or two. Then add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add the beans, stock, potatoes, kale and corn and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. The quinoa should have expanded and thickened the chili by the time it’s done. It should not be crunchy, so be sure to check.  Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and Greek yogurt or sour cream if desired.

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