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settling potato leek soup

8 Jan

37548606_e4462264d1Winter is the time for soup to shine!

There is nothing simpler and more satisfying than a creamy (dairy and gluten free) potato leek soup. The combination simply soothes the soul.

Here’s how to make this rich soup in just 20 minutes:

Inspired by epicurious 

Prep Time: 3 minutes Total Time: ~20 minutes

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Handful of red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C water (or stock)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Prep: Rinse potatoes and leek. Cut potatoes, remove the top (where it starts to diverge), and the bottom root of the leek, cut down the middle, then into half moons. Take out your pan, wooden spoon, food processor, or immersion blender.

2. Cook: Add olive oil to a deep pan, over medium-low heat cook the leeks with a dash of salt, and cover for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add in water, cover and bring to a simmer. Add in potatoes, cover and simmer for ~10-20 minutes, or until soft.

3. Blend: In your food processor, puree 1/2 of the soup mixture. Place soup mixture in a big bowl, then mix in the other 1/2 of the soup from your pan. Mix well, then serve. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Photo courtesy of sethoscope

a wish for the holidays

20 Dec

6737778905_b26dbf7dd0With the holidays coming up, we wanted to wish you all a peaceful, and enriching time with family and friends.

Here is a fun way to share with your loved ones: think of someone who will be at your holiday festivities, and has made an impact on your life. Write them a gratitude letter, then read it to them in person. This exercise will not only set the tone, but will also foster a deeper connection to your loved ones during this time of togetherness.

Take a step back from all of the holiday craziness, and try to remain present and positive when celebrating with family and friends, no matter what they bring to the table.

Happy holidays, see you in 2014!

Photo courtesy of Roger’s Eye

simple taco salad

9 Dec

IMG_2459Tacos are a great go-to dinner when time is of the essence.

But what if you don’t have any tortillas on hand?

Pull out some tortilla chips and make a taco salad!

Feel free to use beans vs. turkey, make your favorite salad dressing, and season with the right amount of spices to suit your palate.

You’ll have a delicious dinner in no time!

Prep Time: 2 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • A few handfuls of arugula (or any lettuce you have)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 package of ground turkey
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced (or bell pepper, add jalapeño if you want)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. cayenne
  • 1 t. paprika
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1/2 lime (or your favorite salad dressing)
  • Handful of cilantro

Directions: 

1. Prep: Place lettuce on plates. Dice pepper and onion, pluck cilantro leaves.

2. Cook: Add oil to a pan, sauté onions for 5-10 minutes then add in pepper, and cook until soft. Add turkey meat, and spices, salt and pepper. Let cook for 8-10 minutes.

3. Assemble: Place ground turkey mixture on top of your lettuce bed. Squeeze lime juice on the meat, or your favorite salad dressing. Top with crushed tortilla chips and cilantro.

PS: If you have avocado, tomatoes, or red onion on hand feel free to add!

the beauty of a garlic press

4 Nov

photo (31)The small things really matter when it comes to cooking (and many things in life).

Is there something that you can change in your kitchen that will make an impact on your daily cooking activities?

For example, do you use lots of garlic in your recipes, but are not that thrilled when you need to mince it, resulting in smelly garlic fingers?

Then pamper yourself with a garlic press, honestly, it will change your world!

If you haven’t yet ventured onto a garlic press, you will be amazed at how efficient and helpful this tool is. You don’t even need to peel the cloves! All you do is place your garlic clove(s) into the press and squeeze, and you’ve got yourself some fresh pressed garlic in no time!

Not only is this device a convenient cooking tool, research has strongly suggested that “using fresh garlic would provide maximal and added benefits” to cardiovascular patients, meaning it’s great for your heart. Due to its hydrogen sulfide contents, garlic relaxes blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through when eaten raw.

What cooking tools help you in your daily life?

weekly family dinner plan

1 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.03.06 AMThis week’s family dinner plan is inspired by: pantry items!

While I was cooking last week I noticed I have several items in my cabinets that I have been overlooking that could go to good use. So this week’s grocery list is inspired by what I already have on hand.

If you have a bunch of items that you need to use as well, you can take the same approach and substitute a couple of nights of my menu items with what you are trying to use, so that you can save at the checkout line.

I am also inspired by superfoods again this week, making sure we have fish at least once during the week, and I am including my son’s suggestions on Kid’s night so he feels included in the process, and is then more open to my choices on the other nights.

Feel free to share your children’s favorite dinners on our Facebook page and we will include them in future menus.

Our menu this week is:

risotto2Monday Butternut squash risotto and black bean salad

Tuesday: – One pot:  Red bean salad served with bulgar wheat with dried cranberries and side salad  (Note – this is a more adventurous menu. My son preferred the black bean salad and had that from leftovers from Monday in place of the red bean salad.)

Wednesday – Kids’ Choice Night:  Turkey tacos with pico de gallo and a side of corn

Thursday:  Baked fish with pan seared garlic and olive oil (or butter) and rice noodles with a side salad

Friday: No noodle zucchini lasagna 

Click here for this weeks grocery list for a family of four.  

Here is your personal Sunday prep list for the week as well as your nightly prep and cook steps that will take the guess work out of every night.

Photo courtesy of zestycook.com