Tag Archives: Spinach

A Lemony Transition to Spring Soup

18 Mar

As much as we are craving Spring, it’s just not here yet; there is snow on the ground and it’s cold. Now today was beautiful and sunny, it did get up to 42 degrees, but that’s not exactly Spring. During the winter months we eat a lot of soups and stews which I love but I’m ready for lighter and brighter foods, so I went on the hunt for soup that was just that, and I found it! Thanks to the blog Cup of Jo I found the perfect recipe for a soup that warms the body but is light and bright; a Lemony Soup with White Beans and Kale.

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This soup is delicious, especially since I changed it up a bit to make it mine. I used spinach since I’m not a fan of kale and I used orzo instead of Ditilini pasta (not a big deal but that’s what I had in the house). I also used canned beans instead of dry, the last time I tried to use dried beans I ended up with cement not soup…something I need to work on.

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I think that other than the fact that this soup tastes so good, is that it is souper easy to make; the flavors of the lemon and garlic are just so good together and it comes together in less than hour.

Ingredients

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 small potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes

6 to 8 cups vegetable stock

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked

2 cups fresh spinach

Salt and pepper

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Directions

In a large dutch oven or pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat, add onions and potato. Stir and cook until onions are translucent then add garlic. Cook for another minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Add 6 cups of the vegetable stock, lemon juice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat till boiling then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

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While the soup is simmering cook the pasta. I like to cook the pasta and add it to each bowl as I serve it, otherwise I feel like it gets to mushy and soaks up the liquid. So cook it and put it aside to add as you serve.

Once you feel the potatoes are done, add the spinach. At this point add more stock if you think it needs it, it’s up to you how “brothy” you like it. I did use all 8 cups.

When it’s ready serve with grated parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated black pepper. Mangia!

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Now if you want to, which I may do the next time I make it, is to leave out the potato and add a second can of beans. And of course if you want to keep it vegan, no cheese. One more suggestion for the gluten-free folks, keep the potato and omit the pasta. Once again one of the reasons I love cooking is that you can always make it your own, there are no rules. So keep on cooking and keep on enjoying!

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The Summer Beet

31 Aug


Once again I am writing about doing something I’ve never done in the kitchen before, roast beets. I just love beets, that earthy sweet flavor that is packed with goodness. Beets are something that I order when I eat out but have never made them at home. I saw them at the farmer’s market and decided I would give it whirl.IMG_6370

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut off greens and the little pointy tip off the beets, scrub well. Coat lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place beets on baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 1 hour. To test for doneness a fork should pierce it smoothly, if not cook for another 15 minutes or so, it should not take more than 1 1/2 hours.

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Remove top cover of aluminum foil and let cool. When cool enough to handle you can peel the skin right off. It is a bit messy so you may want to use rubber gloves.  The beets are now ready to use!

I decided to make a salad with mine that I served with chicken breast, absolutely delicious, low-fat, low-carb and nutritious.

3 medium beets, chopped

4 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1 Tbs minced red onion

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs white wine vinegar

1 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place spinach and beets in a large bowl. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and red onions. Pour over spinach and beets, toss to combine. Top with goat cheese. And enjoy!

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Summer Veggie Lasagna

20 Jul

Lasagna is comfort food which usually means winter, it is cheesy, hot and gooey. Well, this is my vegetable lasagna made from lots of summer veggies, because sometimes you need that ooey, gooey, comfort food in the summer. And I know most vegetable lasagna is made with a white sauce but I make mine just like the traditional with a red sauce and it is delicious!

Homemade sauce with fresh from the garden herbs!

Homemade sauce with fresh from the garden herbs!

Sauce:

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 Tbs freshly chopped parsley

1 Tbs freshly chopped basil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan over medium heat add olive oil and chopped onions, cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, salt and pepper, stir until combined. Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer and cook for another 30 minutes. While the sauce cooks you can get the vegetables ready and cook the lasagna noodles.

Noodles:

10 lasagna noodles (I cook one extra just in case…)

Olive oil

Bring large pot of water to a boil, add about 1 Tbs olive oil and add noodles, cook according to package directions, you will want them to be al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Cooking up the veggies.

Cooking up the veggies.

Vegetables:

1 large zucchini, cut into small cubes

1 large yellow squash, cut into small cubes

1 8 oz container baby bella mushrooms, cut into small cubes

1/2 bag baby spinach

1 Tbs olive oil

*You can also add some red or green peppers if you like that flavor.

Heat olive oil in large saute pan, add zucchini, yellow squash and cook for about 4 minutes then add mushrooms. Cook vegetables till soft and tender. The vegetables will release quite a bit of liquid, drain this so that the lasagna isn’t too watery. When the vegetables are cooked and drained add them to the sauce.

To assemble the lasagna you will need:

1 16 oz block of mozzarella, sliced thinly

1 8 oz container ricotta cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9″ x 13″ pan cover the bottom of the pan in thin layer of sauce, place 3 noodles length wise in the pan and cover with the vegetable sauce, add a layer of baby spinach, spoon ricotta cheese over the spinach and then the mozzarella cheese, repeat. You will have 3 layers of noodles with the top being the mozzarella cheese.

Cover with tin foil and place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until slightly browned. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread…you’re all set. Enjoy!

Finished product...I left it in the oven just a tad too long.

Finished product…I left it in the oven just a tad too long.

 

Winter Salad: Pears, Pomegranates & Spinach

2 Dec

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we have to stop eating salad, especially when pomegranates are in season. Pomegranates can add a clean, sweet burst of flavor and are super healthy. I love this salad and it’s a great one to serve at a dinner party.

Now, I like to make the dressing first so that it’s ready when the salad is done and ready to be dressed. I also like my salad not to be too cold, I take the ingredients out a bit before so that they “warm” up.

Winter Salad Goodness!

Winter Salad Goodness!

Dressing:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 Tblsp honey

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and blend well.

Salad:

9 oz. baby spinach

2 bartlett pears (firm but ripe, cored, sliced)

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

3/4 cup pomegranate arils

*2/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans if you like nuts in your food

Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve and enjoy!

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