Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homemade Veggie Soup

Nothing says "First Day of Fall" like a slow cooker full of homemade soup.   Between the smells coming from my Scentsy (currently obsessed with Fried Ice Cream - order yours HERE!) and the soup cooking - and the sounds of football on TV, it was a perfect fall Saturday.

Now, to make this soup, I needed more veggies....I went to a local Asian Market - Lotte Plaza - and it was like a veggie jackpot.  Check this out!   I spent under $24.   And I splurged on a $4 bar of dark chocolate - so all the veggies and fruit was really under $20.

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 green peppers
a bag of yellow, orange and red mini bell peppers
8 bananas
a pineapple
2 boxes of strawberries
5 peaches
a bag of carrots
a bunch of cilantro
and a box of artisan organic variety leaf lettuce.
PLUS that delicious bar of dark chocolate from Green&Black

Wow!  That is where I'm going from now on - but not on the weekend.  It was SOOO crowded!  I will go on weeknights.  I've gone a few times on school nights and it's not that bad.

So anyway, to make this veggie soup - add about 2 TBSP coconut oil and some seasonings to the bottom of your crockpot on high.   I used salt and pepper and oregano for this one.

Then start cleaning and cutting your veggies.  As much as I make fun of Rachel Ray, I like her idea of a garbage bowl - and it really works.  So cut your veggies, I cut up 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini, 2 green peppers, a big handful of mini peppers, a bag of carrots.  

Add them to your crockpot.   My BF doesn't like onions, so we leave them out, but they are good in this too!  Fill up that crockpot!  They will cook down.

Add your tomatoes - you can use meat broth if you'd rather - but I like to make it vegetarian so I used 2 pints of tomato basil simmer sauce and 1 pint of stewed tomatoes.  The stewed tomatoes are a mix of red and yellow, so they are a light orange sauce.  :)   If you don't have home canned tomatoes to use a big can of chopped tomatoes or stewed tomatoes will be delicious too.  Also, you can add ro-tel to add a little heat!
Then, just let it cook.  YUM!   I will probably get some nitrate-free sausage to add to this tomorrow.  Probably something a little spicy...but I've eaten it as veggie soup many times!   Also, you can change your seasoning to chili seasoning to make this more like a veggie chili.  Also, browning a bunch of chopped up beef or ground beef first to add to the bottom of the crockpot is a great additive.


Easy and Yummy Frittata

This morning I needed something easy and delicious and nutritious for breakfast.  I wanted to use up some leftover items that I used earlier in the week.  

An easy fritatta was the best choice!  An oh was it yummy!

I used 4 eggs (last of my big carton), about a half a bag of carrots, snowpeas and broccoli, a little handful of broccoli slaw, and a few oz of sharp cheddar cheese.  You could easily leave out the cheese if dairy doesn't agree with you.

I was so excited to make this that I didn't take step by step pictures - oops!   Here are the easy steps.

  • Crack eggs into a bowl, beat with a fork.  I added salt and pepper.  
  • Preheat a small skillet and lightly grease the pan with coconut oil.  Heat over medium heat.
  • Chop up your veggies.  I cut my carrots, broccoli and snow peas into bite size bits.
  • Add the eggs to the hot pan, let it cook for a few minutes.   
  • Add the veggies and cheese to the eggs - at this point the eggs should be set up on the bottom, but still very runny on top, so your veggies will sink down into the eggs. 
  • Let it continue to cook.   Many recipes say to put the skillet in the oven to finish cooking.  I let mine set up on the stove top, then covered the pan to cook it nearly all the way through.   Finally, I used that lid to help me flip the frittata over to finish up the last little bit of cooking.  
  • All together, this breakfast took me about 15 minutes to cook from start to finish.

I would like to make this again and use more eggs - this should be a little fluffier and fill up the pan more.   As it was, this 4 egg made a bit more than a full serving, but not quite enough to feed two (or for two meals) however, it used up the leftovers!   :)   I was able to slice it like a pizza and eat each little slice with my fingers or my a fork.   Delicious. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eggs Poached in Tomatoes

Late last week, I came across this blog post  from Mark's Daily Apple and I was intrigued!   It sounded absolutely delicious....and I had just spent the weekend canning tomatoes so I was prepared to make this recipe even easier!

It turned out delicious and couldn't have been easier!

First, prepare your tomatoes - Mark has a great method if you need to start from scratch.  I was short on time this morning so I grabbed a pint of stewed tomatoes (no additives, just tomato chunks and juice) and added some salt and pepper.   I let this simmer in my small (metal handled) saute pan.  Perfect for a healthy meal for one.  I let it simmer till the sauce had reduced by half, and kept the temperature on med, low bubbling simmer, not hard boiling.

Next, crack your eggs into a small bowl - so much easier (from everything I've read) to gently slide them into the tomatoes without breaking them apart - and slide them into opposite sides of the pan of tomatoes.   Sooo I took a picture of my eggs, and my little bowl, but forgot to take a pic of the eggs in the bowl.  Oops!

Let them simmer and begin to set up at the edges before you move the pan.   Start pre-heating the oven to 350.  It's so hard to be patient, but don't stir or move the pan at all.  
 I was having trouble being patient so I added some mild pepperdew peppers.  These are semi-sweet, semi-hot and added just the right heat.  I had 4 I plopped them in to the tomatoes.

Finish up by putting this pan into the oven for about 6-8 minutes until the whites of your eggs are set.
Tada!   Aren't they pretty?  Ok, so not so pretty....but delicious!
 Poured into a bowl about to be devoured.  What did you have for breakfast today?