Ingredients Archives: garlic

Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

It has been rainy, cold, and pretty miserable in New York City lately. The upside – perfect soup weather! I have been throwing together this simple Crock Pot Vegetable Soup recipe for the longest time, I think I could recreate it with my eyes closed. Until recently I made this soup exclusively on the stove top, but I couldn’t resist the set-it and forget-it ease the crock pot brings.Β When I start this recipe however, I do caramelize the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic on the stove first and then transfer it into a crock pot with the remainder of the ingredients – it’s hard to emulate the flavor and coloring a little browning can do. I cook this soup for three hours on low in my 4 quart crock-pot.

This recipe is simple, healthy, and great to serve to little ones – the mild flavors work well for beginners’ palates!

Simple Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Crock Pot Vegetable Soup – What You Need:

1 large carrot {peeled, chopped}
2 celery stalks {chopped}
1/2 white onion {chopped}
1 clove garlic {peeled, minced}
3 tbsp olive oil
2 {15 oz} cans of garbanzo and/or cannelloni beans
5 1/2 – 6 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
1 28oz can of fire roasted tomatoes {and the juices}
1 1/2 – 2 cups loosely packed kale {stems removed}
3 bay leaves {why bay leaves?}
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 cups whole wheat pasta or rice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese for garnish {optional}

{scroll down for full recipe instructions}

Simple Crockpot Vegetable Soup

In terms of seasoning, I salt, pepper, and taste along the way. When I caramelize the vegetables in the first stage with olive oil, I add in a few turns of salt and pepper. Next, I transfer those vegetables to the crock pot and add in the remainder of the ingredients, minus the pasta. I will add a little more salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil before I shut the lid, and then taste it half way through {1.5 hours} and either add more S/P or leave it be. While it might seem like there is a lot of flavor going on in the soup, the primary ingredients are pretty mild and flavorless {I’m lookin’ at you beans}. If you are truly setting-it and forgetting-it, you can always add additional seasoning at the end of the three hours.

As for the pasta, I normally cook it entirely separate from the soup and add it in when I’m serving. If you are planning to consume the entire soup at once, it would be fine to add the pasta towards the end of the cooking process. The issue comes into play if you are planning for left overs – the pasta will drink the brothΒ while you’re sleeping. Scary, right?Β My mom shared this little trick with me and I totally didn’t believe her, but she was right.

The best part about this recipe – it’s totally customizable – you can add in your favorite vegetables, beans, and pasta. Lately I’ve been serving this soup with some delicious homemade honey wheat bread.

Enjoy!
Anna

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Simple Asian Salad with a Ginger Honey Vinaigrette

Simple Asian Salad with a Ginger Honey Vinaigrette

I told you I am on a salad kick, right?

My latest obsession is a protein-packed asian inspired salad: Simple Asian Salad with a Ginger Honey Vinaigrette. The ginger in the dressing will seriously knock your socks off and probably settle your stomach at the same time.

I am a vegetarian, but you can easily add some grilled chicken or shrimp to the recipe to increase the protein even further – it already contains edamame and almonds.

Simple Asian Salad – What You Need:

For the salad {serves 4 people}:
2 cups mixed greens
1 cup cooked edamame {cook according to package}
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 large carrot {shave 1/2 cup worth of long peels}
1 cup cherry tomatoes {sliced in half}
1 small can of mandarin oranges in natural juices

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic {minced}
1 tsp peeled/chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chopped green onion
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

{scroll all the way down to see a printable recipe card with full instructions}

Simple Asian Salad with a Ginger Honey Vinaigrette

The dressing for this salad is really delicious and my favorite part of the recipe. The ginger, garlic, and green onions really pack a punch and enhance the flavors of the soy sauce and honey.

If you are feeding little ones, prepare extra portions of the edamame, chopped tomatoes, carrots, mandarin oranges and use the dressing as a dipping sauce – two dinners in half the time!

Simple Asian Salad with a Ginger Honey Vinaigrette

The vibrant colors in this salad make it perfect for entertaining or simply cheering up your day!

Enjoy!
Anna

 

 

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Kale Polenta Lasagna

I am SO excited to share this Kale Polenta Lasagna recipe. It has quickly become a household favorite, only my husband asks me to add more cheese. This recipe is ideal for busy weeknights when time and patience is limited. At times I will make the entire lasagna during my daughter’s nap and then throw it in the oven closer to dinnertime. Additionally, you can easily prepare the kale mixture the night before and store in the refrigerator until mealtime.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

As with most of my recipes, this one doesn’t contain a lot of fat, added salt, or heavy seasoning – my daughter does not yet appreciate the taste of pepper. When searching for ingredients, I generally follow the dirty dozen list for when to buy organic – this meal includes organic polenta, cherry tomatoes, tomato sauce, kale, and mozzarella cheese. The recipe is gluten-free {polenta is naturally gluten-free}and vegetarian, but you could easily brown up some ground turkey or dice up chicken sausage to add in some additional protein.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

The kale mixture includes 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 an onion chopped, 3 cups chopped kale, 1 cup diced/chopped tomatoes {I used cherry tomatoes}, and 1 clove of garlic.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Line the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Slice the 18oz organic polenta roll into 16 even pieces, laying 8 down over the sauce. Cover the polenta slices with the kale mixture and top with half the mozzarella cheese.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

 

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Cover with the remaining 8 slices of polenta to create a “polenta sandwich” πŸ™‚

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Top with remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes uncovered.

Kale Polenta Lasagna

And, ta-da! Kale Polenta Lasagna, so delicious and easy!

Kale Polenta Lasagna

Creating one healthy meal at a time!

Anna

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