Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This version is from the Whitewater Cooks: At Home cookbook. I couldn't find it on Amazon but the other Whitewater cookbook is on my list on the right. -->

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
28 oz can tomatoes, drained (I didn't drain them)
2 tbsp masa harina (I had to use regular flour)
4 cups chicken stock (veggie stock would be ok too)
1 cup water
1 lb chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
I also added cumin, coriander, chili powder, a tbsp taco spice mix, and oregano to taste.

Saute onion, garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, until brown.

Put sauteed mixture in food processor, add tomatoes, and puree until smooth.

Add 2 tbsp more oil in the pan and return the onion/tomato mixture to the pan.

Add flour and spices and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock and water and bring to boil.

Add raw chicken and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Check seasonings, salt and pepper.

Serve with the following toppings.

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, diced
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
Juice of two limes

2-3 corn or flour tortillas, cut into thin, 2" long strips and then fried in small batches in 1/4 -1/2 cup oil, in deep frying pan. Drain on paper towel.

Serves 8.

Tuscan Harvest Soup

Here's another wonderful recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking For Health cookbook. This recipe is just a teaser - please go buy the book by clicking on the link to the right.

I followed this recipe fairly closely but I added more spices (see italics).

2 cups chopped onion
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground fennel seed (I didn't add this - I don't like fennel seed)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fennel bulb, chopped
2 cups green cabbage, chopped
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (I used buttercup squash)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup water
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained (white kidney beans)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced thyme (I had to use dry, 2 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped fennel leaves (or parsley)
3 tbsp lemon juice

I also added ground cumin, ground coriander, and oregano.

In a covered soup pot on medium-low heat, cook the onions and salt in the olive oil for about five minutes.

Add the garlic, ground fennel, and celery and cook for about three minutes.

Stir in the carrots and cook for about three minutes.

Add the chopped fennel bulb and cabbage, and cook for about five minutes.

Add the squash, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the squash softens but does not fall apart, five to ten minutes.

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the beans with 1 cup of the soup. Stir the puree into the soup pot.

Add the remaining beans, black pepper, thyme, and fennel leaves. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender and flavors have melded.

Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. If desired, place a piece of toasted bread in individual soup bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Ladle the soup over the bread and drizzle a little more olive oil on top.

January 23rd addendum

I have made this soup many times and right now it is my absolute favourite. 1 cup is only about 150 calories and has chock full of nutrients.

I change the recipe almost every time I make it - adding in or substituting various vegetables as well as herbs and spices. I've used different types of squash, I often skip fennel although I love it, but it's pricey right now, I've thrown in parsnips and other root veggies. And almost always, I added chopped greens near the end, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard.

One of the keys to making this soup yummy, is pureeing part of it. It really gives substance to the broth so don't skip that step.

I make a big pot every weekend and freeze it in 1 1/2 - 3 cup containers to take to work during the week. 1 1/2 cups is the perfect amount for lunch for me, add a few pieces of fruit and I'm good. If I want more protein, I sometimes cook up from barley or quinoa and throw in 1/2 cup cooked grain into the soup just before I heat it up.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

I picked up a couple of Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks, popular with the vegetarians out there, and made this delicious stew. Even Erik liked it!

The recipe can be found online here so I feel ok reprinting it for you. I followed the recipe fairly closely but I doubled the spices and added at least one teaspoon of cumin as well. My changes are in italics.

Serves 4-6 (I made half the recipe and had one cup left over)

3 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp ground coriander (I used about 1-2 tsp)
1/2 tsp thyme (I used 1 tsp)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups water
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cups chopped butternut squash (I used buttercup squash from my garden)
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
5 cups chopped kale (not stems)
1 T chopped fresh basil
2 tsp red wine vinegar (I actually forgot the vinegar and it was still good but it would have been a nice addition)

Saute onions and salt over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until onions are soft and beginning to carmelize.

Stir in garlic and spices.

Add water and all of the vegetables except the kale. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add kale and simmer 5-10 minutes, until kale is tender but still bright green.

Adjust seasoning. Stir in basil and wine vinegar.

I served this over brown rice. Very yummy.

1 cup has:

315 calories
14g protein
53g carb
7g fat
14g fiber

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Potato, Leek, and Mushroom Soup

Here's a new one for you. But I have to be honest, when I make soup, I don't measure very carefully. I'll try to remember more or less how I made it before I forget.

2 large leeks (or 4 smaller ones)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes
6-8 oz mushrooms
1 to 1 1/2 litres (4-6 cups) of chicken stock
Olive oil
Creamo if desired
Salt and pepper
Any other dried or fresh herbs that you like

Trim leeks, use mostly the white and a bit of the light green part. Slice in half length-wise and wash under running water, fanning out the leaves to get the dirt out. Shake dry and slice in 1/4 in half circles.

Peel and cube potatoes, about 1/2 inch chunks.

Heat a little butter and oil in a pot. Saute leeks in the butter for a few minutes. Add mushrooms after a few minutes, and then potatoes a few minutes later. Leeks and mushrooms should be soft, potatoes should be coated and just starting to cook.

Add thyme and any other herbs you'd like. I have fresh thyme, rosemary, basil, and oregano in my garden so I tend to add whatever's handy. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of freshly ground pepper to make the soup 'warm'.

Add about 4-6 cups of chicken broth and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Adjust seasoning.

Add some milk (I just poured some in - maybe a cup or two? - and then I added about 1/2 cup creamo which is higher fat - you can decide)


I'm not sure if this would freeze very well - potatoes get weird when frozen, but you could try it if you want. I just put mine in a container and ate it at work every day for the week.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Once again, I found a lot of different recipes on the net and this is the version I made.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa
1 15 oz can chick peas or black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice from one lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 shake of chipotle spice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 pkg taco seasoning mix
2 chopped cooked chicken breasts

Serve with:
Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, grated
Green onion, diced
Diced avocado

Cook onion, garlic, and carrot in oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, salsa, beans, herbs and seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add diced chicken and heat through.

Stir in grated cheddar and sour cream, then top with avocado and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sundried Tomato Bruschetta

OK this is not a healthy appie but I was asked for the recipe so here it is. I make this differently every time I make it and there are no exact measurements. Just mix up to your taste.

For about 4-6 slices of bread, measurements are approximate
3-4 sun dried tomato slices, (marinated in oil), chopped.
2-3 olives, chopped (any kind, green are fine)
1 green onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp pesto
1-2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp cream cheese

I sometimes also add any of the following if I have them:
1-2 chopped mushrooms
1-2 chopped marinated artichokes
Chopped fresh or dried herbs

Thinly slice a baguette on the angle, brush one or both sides with a little oil from the sundried tomato jar, and toast briefly in the oven. Then spread the mixture on the toast slices and broil for a minute or two. If I have any, I sometimes grate long strips of parmesan cheese on top before I broil it..

If you make this and add sometime different, comment below and let us know what worked for you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kelownagurl's Falafel Recipe

I have tried a number of recipes, including the packaged mix, and this if the version I like the best, so far.

1 - 19 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, grated
1 big handful of parsley, chopped (abt 1/2 c )
Juice from 1 lemon (abt 2 tbsp)
1-2 tsp cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp coriander if desired
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp olive oil (if desired - I use a little water to thin it instead)
1 Tbsp flour (may be adjusted depending on humidity)
1 tsp baking powder

Most recipes call for 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed but my stomach doesn't like garlic so I skip that.

Other than the chickpeas, most of the ingredients can be increased or decreased slightly.

Put chickpeas, onion, carrot, and parsley in food processor and process for about 30 seconds until chunky. Add lemon juice, cumin, salt, flour, baking powder and process to mix. Add a little olive oil and/or water if the mixture is too dry.

Form into patties and fry in a little oil, on medium heat until golden brown on each side. The recipe said to fry them in 1/4 inch of olive oil but I used a non-stick pan with just a glazing of oil. Also, lately, I've been dropping them by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper and baking in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until sort of firm. They break apart pretty easily but they taste great. :)

You may have to play around with the amount of water you add until you find the right consistency. This mixture should be chunkier than hummus.

Serve hot or cold, with tzatziki. May be eaten in a pita with raw veggies and tzatziki.

You can also spread the "raw" falafel mixture onto toast or use like you would any hummus.

Friday, July 23, 2010

KG's Hummus

OK there are lots of good hummus recipes out there but several people have asked, so here's mine. First off, you will notice there is no garlic. Raw garlic and I do not get along so I don't put any in and I'm happy that way. Roasted garlic would be nice but I rarely have any laying around so... Feel free to added a clove or two of crushed garlic if you like.


1 540 ml (19 oz) can of chick peas, drained, save some liquid
1-2 T of tahini (in a pinch you can also use peanut butter but it's better with tahini)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2- 1 tsp cumin (to taste)
Salt (and pepper if desired)
(Most recipes call for olive oil but I don't use any and don't miss it.)


Dump chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and S&P into food processor. Add 1-2 T of reserved liquid. Process until smooth, adding more liquid if needed.

Can be eaten with pita, raw veggies, or my favourite, a spoon.

Store in fridge if you don't eat the whole thing at one sitting. :)

If you want to use dry chickpeas, COOK THEM FIRST! (Right Gordon? ;)

Quite a few calories, but I figure they're good ones.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Whole Grain Veggie Salad

I made this for dinner tonight, taking ideas from a number of different recipes I found.

Earlier today, I cooked 1 cup each of cracked wheat and barley. Simmer each in boiling water (cracked wheat about 12 minutes, barley about 20 minutes)until tender but chewy then drain and cool.

To assemble salad, measurements are very approximate.

1/3 cup cooked barley
1/3 cup cooked cracked wheat
1/2 cup chick peas (drained and rinsed)

Add chopped vegetables to your taste. Today I added:

* red pepper
* green onions
* avocado
* fresh chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil)

I also added a large handful of dried cranberries and walnuts.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and the juice from 1/2 lemon

Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe is so adaptable. You could any kind of cooked whole grain, raw or cooked vegetable, cooked beans, dried fruit and nuts, fresh herbs.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
6-8 large mushrooms
8-10 baby potatoes
1/3 bottle red wine
1/2 - 1 cup beef stock (or water and oxo)
Montreal Steak Spice
6-10 cloves of garlic
garlic salt if desired
1-2 T olive oil

I made this tonight and it was pretty good so I want to write it down quickly before I forget.

Cut a pork tenderloin into about 5-6 chunks. Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Spice, garlic salt, and thyme. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and brown meat on all sides.

Toss in about 6-8 large mushrooms, halved or quartered.

Pour some red wine in and let it simmer for awhile, scraping the bottom. Add 5-6 cloves of garlic.

Add more wine and/or a little beef broth as needed.

While it simmers, partly cook (boil) some new red potatoes. Drain well. Toss into pan. Add more thyme to taste.

Cover and cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 20 mins or so till the liquid boils down a bit and thickens.

Next time, I would like to take the potatoes out near the end, toss them with a bit of olive oil and thyme, and cook them a little longer to brown them a bit more, make them a bit crispy.

Anyway, this recipe could be tweaked a lot, but it was pretty darn good for a first attempt on a busy school night.

This recipe served 3 of us for dinner.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chicken Chili in the Crockpot

4 chicken breasts, cut in pieces
1 19 oz large can of black beans
1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
2 cups of salsa
1 package of taco seasoning
Other seasoning to taste (I added cumin)

Mix ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for ?? hours.

Shred chicken in your bowl when you serve it if you want.

Tastes good with a dollop of low fat plain yogurt (or sour cream).

Can add all sorts of other stuff. Different beans, different kinds of canned or fresh tomatoes, additional seasonings, onions, mushrooms, celery, corn.....