Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White Bean and Kale Soup

You will want to eat this soup for breakfast, it is that good.

Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed, and leaves chopped
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion begins to soften. Add red pepper, carrots and celery and cook until all the vegetables soften. Add in 1 can of the beans and two cups of the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, working in small batches) blend the soup until it has thickened and become smooth (blend more or less, depending on your preference). Add remaining broth, second can of beans, kale, and cayenne pepper. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes until kale is soft. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

When my husband was deployed the first time and I moved into our first apartment by myself, I looked for easy things to make for one person. I love to cook, but I don't cook for just me, so I ate a lot of Lean Cuisine and easy boxed dinners like Zatarain's. While Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice is quite yummy, I realize now that the amount of sodium I took in was outrageous, and there is no way I will feed my little boy salty food like that. So I developed this yummy, cheap, and healthy dinner that is as good, if not better than the boxed stuff!

1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked brown or white rice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on heat preference)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
2 15 oz cans low sodium chicken/vegetable broth

In a large sauce pan with a lid, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion, carrot, peppers, and garlic and saute until veggies soften. Add spices and rice and stir for about a minute, until coated. Add beans and broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has greatly reduced.

Serve with green onions, sour cream, tortillas, corn bread or whatever your little heart desires.

My Favorite Smoothie

Don't be frightened by the "special" ingredient in this smoothie. You don't even taste it and with all its added benefits, it makes this smoothies especially healthy!

Serves about 2

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup nonfat milk

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Use more or less liquid depending on how thin or thick you like your smoothie.