Monday, December 30, 2013

Carrot Ginger Soup

Good grief I've eaten more tender beef and gourmet cheese than any one girl should. Not to mention the case of red wine I probably consumed singlehandedly. In other words, I had a great holiday! But after all the fun, I need a nap and some serious vegetables.

I alway find soup's a good solution when you're wanting to go healthy, but aren't necessarily in the mood to chomp on a salad. This carrot soup delivers on the fresh factor and its flavors are anything but Christmas-y. Nothing like ginger and curry to cleanse the holiday palette!

Carrot Ginger Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1lb carrots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 pinch saffron
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
Fresh chopped cilantro
Plain Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until softened. Add ginger and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

Add carrots, salt, turmeric, curry powder and saffron and cook until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add chicken stock at bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until carrots are softened; about 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Serve with cilantro and yogurt. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baked Banana Oatmeal

For a food blogger, I eat a pretty boring breakfast every day. Something about Cheerios and blueberries never gets old to me, but I recognize that this isn't the most appetizing option for guests and on the weekends I like to get a little jazzy. When we had houseguests at Thanksgiving I whipped up a fabulous baked banana oatmeal that was healthy and hearty.

Only 5 minutes hands on and 25 minutes in the oven for a warm-you-from-the-inside breakfast. Easy enough to become a weekday option for those cold winter mornings.

Baked Banana Oatmeal
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pinches cinnamon
2 spoonfuls brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Combine oats, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine egg, bananas, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with oats and stir to combine. Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle brown sugar over oats and turn on oven to broil. Watch closely and remove once brown sugar is melted.

Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!

Adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Entertaining Recipe Roundup

It's that time of year. The weekends no longer belong to you. No, the parties and potlucks now own you. It couldn't be more fun, but the same old party foods can be such a drag. Let me rescue you from hors bores.

Below are a few of my favorite party foods. Whether you're entertaining in your own home or crashing someone else's party, these are quick and elegant. Now put on some sparkles, you've got parties to attend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup

What is it about meatballs that makes them so comforting? So tender and filling. I especially love them in soup, since they give you something to literally dig in to. After the crush of Thanksgiving cooking, party planning and the official settling in of Midwestern winter, I needed some comfort. The tiny dog tried, but he's no meatball.

My version of Italian Wedding Soup delivers on comfort, without excessive calories or heaviness. Turkey meatballs and spinach keep it light.

This recipe gives you a double serving of the good green stuff, with spinach in both the meatballs and the soup. I love frozen chopped spinach for meatballs, since it gives them both volume and keeps them moist.

Traditionally meatballs are sauteed in a pan, but I like to bake them to avoid excessive oil. Since these are going into soup, you don't need to be too concerned about them drying out.

While your meatballs are baking, you'll get your soup base going. It's as basic as they come -- onions, carrots and celery. 

In goes the pasta and you're getting oh so close to a warm bowl of cozy.

And a bit more spinach right before serving time. Look how healthy you are.

Ladle the good stuff over your gorgeous green-flecked meatballs and add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Comfort express.

Italian Wedding Soup
For Meatballs
1 lb lean turkey
1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted
2/3 cups bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten

For Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup white wine
1 cup orzo pasta
10 oz fresh spinach
Grated parmesan cheese, enough to sprinkle on top of the soup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by squeezing all of the liquid from the spinach. Combine spinach, turkey and all remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Take care not to over mix or squeeze too tightly. Gently roll into 1-2 inch balls and back in the oven until golden, about 30 minutes. 

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wind, bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Once pasta is tender, add spinach and cover. Cook for 1 minute just until spinach is wilted. 

Place 3-4 meatballs in a bowl and ladle soup over, garnishing with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

I've been cooking...

... blue glass. You know what I'm talking about, bitch!

Confession: I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been binge watching Breaking Bad every night. I can't get enough.

I know I'm a little late to the party, but this is seriously one of the best shows I've ever watched. Bless you Netflix for putting it on Instant. I'm about to start the last season, so I'll be back to blogging soon.

Monday, December 2, 2013


So thankful for family, friends and a full table. It all went wonderfully and I'm tired enough to prove it. What a blessing to be tired from celebrations. I'm truly a lucky girl.

Now back to the gym and vegetables without cream sauce...