Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Coconut Sweet Potato SoupThis soup may look simple but it’s bursting with flavor! A coconut milk base with sweet potatoes and lots of spices makes for a delicious meal. This recipe makes about 4 larger sized bowls, but will easily double if you’d like to make a bigger pot.

Ingredients:
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 large lime, juiced

thaisoup2

In a large pot bring the coconut milk and broth to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes, shallot, ginger, curry paste, and cilantro. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 20 minutes. When tender place into a blender and blend until smooth. This may take two rounds, be careful to not burn yourself. Place back into the pot. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

The first time I had this delicious meal was in Mexico. There’s so many variations of it – and really there’s no wrong way to make it. As long as my chicken isn’t dry and it’s spiced nicely I’m going to enjoy my dinner. This is another one of those meals that reheats fantastically, so I can have a hot lunch the next day.

.chickenwithriceIngredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 pound boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron
2 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn, etc) I use whatever I have frozen and let it unfreeze.

chicken3

In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and chicken. Salt and pepper both sides to your liking and add the cumin. Cook until lightly browned on both sides and no longer pink. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, onions, and pepper. Sautee for several minutes, allowing to soften. Add rice, broth, saffron, mixed vegetables and chicken back to the pan. Stir well and continue to cook over the medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes allowing the rice to soften. Serve hot.

Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Fresh Berries

quinoasalad1I’ve been a bit burned out with the cold and dreary weather as of late – and I wanted something cheerful to pick me up and give me that warm summertime feeling. Plus, I’d been craving fresh berries for the past couple of weeks, so I caved in and bought some. Besides just snacking on them plain, and using for oatmeal and a few other things – I wanted to make a delicious salad.

quinoasalad2Ingredients:
5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
3-4 tablespoons crushed walnuts

for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

quinoasalad3

In a bowl mix together all of the salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a smaller bowl and pour overtop the salad and toss until evenly coated. Makes 3-4 larger salads. Enjoy.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Tomato Basil Parmesan SoupWho doesn’t love a delicious creamy tomato soup? This soup has that wonderful tomato taste along with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Yummy! I was so excited to be back in the kitchen today – I’d had surgery on my hand last week and I’ve mostly been eating finger foods and simple meals. This filled me up and gave me a nutritious dinner – and it really hit the spot.

tomsoup2

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large celery stalks
5 large carrots
1/2 large white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
28 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups milk
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet rice flour

extra Parmesan cheese for garnish

tomsoup3

In a food processor place the carrots, celery, and onions and finely mince. (You can also finely chop by hand if you prefer.) Place into a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil and garlicĀ  and allow to cook for about 5 minutes and let the vegetables soften. Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes and their sauce, the fresh basil, and 3 of the 4 cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

In a smaller pot over medium heat melt the butter. Slowly add in the flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Add in that 1 cup of vegetable stock that was set aside, and combine well. Add this into the larger pot of soup and mix well. Now add in the milk. salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and stir that in well. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes.

Feel free to top off with a bit more cheese and basil if you like. I really like basil so I sprinkled just a bit more on top of my bowl. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!