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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Curried Pumpkin Soup

I have been wanting to try a pumpkin soup recipe this year. Every fall the girls and I choose several great pie sized pumpkins. This year, the last pie pumpkin has been designated for soup!!! Needless to say, the one who picked out this pumpkin was quite disappointed.
But, it is I who does the cooking!!! So, I get to say what goes in the pot and today it's the last of the pumpkins!!!

Some time back I tried a great recipe for Thai sweet potato soup. I found the recipe in a veggie cookbook from the library and was quite perturbed when I realized I had not copied the recipe before returning it! But, I will get it back and be sure to post it! I was fantastic...but that's for Sweet Potato Soup post... However, that soup had some ingredients I really liked together. Lime, coconut milk and curry. I know, what a combination! I would have never put that together...but it works.

So, when I found this Curried Pumpkin Soup recipe with those ingredients...I jumped on it.

I found this recipe in the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook. Special edition for Dillard's on page 151. I altered it very little...

1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
2 (15-oz.) cans unsweetened pumpkin ( I used about 3 cups fresh pumpkin)
1 cup water
32-oz. container vegetable broth
1 (13.5-oz.) can lite coconut milk (I used regular coconut milk and it was fine,I guess calories are the difference between the two kinds)
Juice of 1 lime.
2 1/2 tsp. salt

If using fresh pumpkin: cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and stringy things, bake or microwave until pulp can be spooned out easily--all this should be done ahead of time.

Saute onion in hot soup pot over medium heat until tender. ( no oil is needed) Add garlic and next 4 ingredients; saute 1 minute. Add pumpkin, 1 cup water and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; add coconut milk, lime juice, and salt, and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and process mixture in blender or hand mixer/blender until smooth. Return to soup pot and heat until warmed.

I served with whole wheat Naan. Yummy!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe

Just today it was mentioned that this was the absolute best way to eat spinach. Spinach was actually requested in her smoothie. All this came from our 7 year old!

Here's the recipe:

Start with blending some spinach and water
Add 2 bananas
some fresh ginger
juice of one lemon or lime
and apple cider to top it off.

Kale is also a green we have not yet tried in our smoothies, but the taste is mild enough to not have that 'green' taste. It's coming along nicely in the garden, so that's next. Arugula is another mild tasting green. Haven't tried that yet either.

This is the first time I have used fresh ginger and it could easily become a staple in my smoothie cabinet. A hint on peeling it: use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the peeling. I found that freezing then thawing makes it soft. Another hint is to keep it in dry scotch, for those who have that just lying around the house.

We are open to different ingredients to your green smoothies. Preferable with out scotch.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saturday morning pancakes

Saturday mornings are my favorite! I love getting up late and moseying into the kitchen to fix breakfast for my family.

I am usually the last one up, and the first one to the coffee...rather the only to the coffee.

The kids and daddy are patiently awaiting mommy to get up and get moving, while passing the time playing games or snuggling together with a good book.

Here is my favorite pancake recipe. Some days I add more or less, but here is the basic recipe:

Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat
1/4 cup milled flax
1/4 cup wheat germ
maybe some bran if you have
1 snack cup of apple sauce
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
dash of cinnamon
1 egg (or can use flax and water as a replacement)
1 cup water (or rice milk or OJ)
bluberries, pecans or choco chips

Mix all ingredients. Add more liquid as needed. Add berries, pecans or choco chips. It varies with the quantity of flour added so, I don't know how many pancakes it makes. I usually have to make several tiny cakes for the kids and normal size for us adults.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our Garden Bouquet

What can make up a very pretty bouquet? Anything you can find! I picked the last Gerbera Daisy by the mailbox, added a few stems of rosemary,

and a few stems of periwinkle flowers in pink and white,

and a few stems of snapdragon blooms,

and a few stems of mint and sage.

Presto! You have a beautiful bouquet full of character.

Easy Vegitarian Corn Chowder

I pulled this recipe out this morning from my recipe cards and altered it somewhat to our taste. I used evaporated Goat's milk and added an extra can of corn, beans and took out the ham and bacon.

Here is what I came up with:
Easy Vegitarian Corn Chowder

1/2 medium onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 small red potatoes unpeeled chopped small
2 Tblsp flour
1 can vegetable broth
1 can evaporated Goat's Milk
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernal corn
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
2 Tblsp chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, bell pepper, celery in few tblsp water. Stir in flour; heat until bubbly. Gradually add broth, milk and corn. Stir until well blended. Add potatoes; bring to boil then reduce heat; cook uncovered until potatoes are tender. Stir in chives.

Tastes great with homemade whole wheat bread.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

No Fried-Fried Okra

How many different ways can you cook okra? Well, there is deep fried, pan fried, slimy cooked (no way!), and then just add to tomatoes! I love fried okra but know that anything cooked outside of oil is I gave it a try and who would have guessed......

I must give credit to Grandma. We ate it at her house first and then I tried it at home. Here's the recipe:

Cut up okra and steam in microwave for ...oh, several minutes. Until it's cooked, but still firm. Toss with cornmeal and seasonings until each okra piece is coated. Like you would before putting in to the frying pan. Then spread on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 425 degrees. Then after it is crispy (may 20 minutes or so?) broil it until the breading is nice and brown. Really, no one will know it's not fried.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blue-berry smoothie

I picked a small handful of blue berries off an early blooming tree the other day. All year we have enjoyed blue berries in the form of smoothies. I thought I'd pass along our recipe.

Fresh blue berry smoothies
2-4 fresh bananas
1-2 cups frozen blue berries
some fresh or frozen strawberries (if you have them)
a pinch of stevia
1 tsp of vanilla
2 Tblsp milled flax
1 Tblsp wheat germ
2 Tblsp rice protein
Orange juice or soy milk if needed

Blend all and enjoy. I have added sprouts and any other fruit that might blend well, like black berries.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dairy-free Chocolate Mousse

We made this chocolate mousse for Rob's birthday, in addition to yummy whole wheat brownies (Hodgson Mill). We really could not believe the mousse was tofu! We have NOT had good experiences with tofu, but when we found this recipe on the Engine 2 website, we thought we'd try it. It is so good and healthy that this dessert would be good to have every day.

E2 Chocolate Mousse
1 pkg Silken Lite Tofu
2 Tblsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar

Blend all ingredients and chill.

I think next time I will add some peanut butter for variety. It takes maybe 5 minutes to blend and a couple of hours to chill. No one would believe it's not dairy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Best Veggie Burgers I have made

Here is another great meal I just made. Once again, dairy-free, oil-free and meat-free. But not by any means good-ness free. This recipe comes from I have added some ingredients and I still have some perfecting to do...but it is definitely a keeper. You must go heavy on the seasoning.

E2 Dinner - New York Times Veggie Burgers
Makes about 8 patties

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes with or without zesty mild chilies, drained
3 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 Tbl sp onion powder
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Tbl sp flax seeds (for flavor, I tell the kids)
2 Tblsp wheat germ (for color, I tell the kids)
some splashes of Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 cup parsley or cilantro
Handfull of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
2 cups quick rolled oats
8 whole grain buns
Fresh veggie toppings and healthy condiments

Preheat oven to 450ยบ. Process the first eleven ingredients using an
immersion or a regular blender or food processor. Remove contents into a large bowl and stir in the oats. Form into patties, place on a sprayed baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes. Turn oven up to broil and cook for 2 more minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Toast the buns and pile on your favorite toppings.

These patties actually stay as patties; they are quite firm, like a meat patty, after they are cooked.

Please let me know if you added any extra seasoning to spice them up a bit. I think some Tonys or hot peppers would go well if you don't have young children to feed.

Add some roasted new potatoes tossed with fresh herbs and a splash of water and you have a nice easy meal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dairy-free, Oil-free Tortilla Casserole

I found this recipe in the book: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B. Esselstyn.

It is called Tortilla Pie, which we changed the name to Tortilla Casserole and added a few more ingredents. It is so quick and simple to put together with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Tortilla Casserole

6 no-oil Corn tortillas
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 pkg frogen corn
1 jar salsa
1 onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
3-4 cloves garlic smashed
1 tomato chopped
1 can black olives
jalepeno chopped

Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in a bit of water. In a casserole dish layer: 2-tortillas refried beans, sprinkle some of the black beans, some of the corn, some of the salsa, some of the sauted veggies. Repeat layers until all are used. Top with chopped tomato. Bake for 60 minutes at 360 degrees. Sprinkle top with black olives, cilantro and jalepeno pepper.