Saturday, February 27, 2010

Red Lentil Soup

This was very much like a chicken and rice soup since I used chicken stock.  Hunter didn't like it because of the feta but other than that everyone liked it:)

Found the recipe here:

Red Lentil Soup Recipe
Be sure to pick through your lentils carefully. I somehow always find pebbles or clots of dirt hiding in their midst. Better to catch them on the front end, before you chip a tooth. And to make this soup vegan, just skip the feta at the end i bet some chopped avocado would be a good alternative.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed
as much fine grain sea salt as you needslivered almonds, toasted
black oil cured olives, chopped
feta, crumbledIn a big soup pot, over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Let them brown, and caramelize a bit, stirring occasionally.Stir in the broth, bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and rice. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is very tender, and not at all toothsome. By this time, the lentils will have collapsed into a thick slop of sorts. If you need to add more water/broth at any point do so a splash at a time, until the soup thins out to the point you prefer.Unless you used a salty broth, you will likely need to salt generously, until the the soup no longer tastes flat. Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, and a slight drizzle of olive oil if you like.Serves 4 - 6.

Bumblebee Soup

Loved the name of this and the questions from the kids;)  After being assured no bumblebees were harmed they liked it!  I didn't mash at the end but it'd be good that way too for sure!

Bumblebee Soup - A Bacon, Black Bean and Corn Chowder

Makes about 10 cups

4 strips bacon, sliced in 1/4" pieces
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken broth
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained
2 cups fresh corn, or frozen sweet corn, thawed
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder, optional
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Add bacon to a cold saucepan, and over medium heat, cook until the bacon is
crisp. Reserve bacon, and leave 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the pan. Over
medium heat sauté the onions with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, or
until it becomes translucent.

Add the garlic, sauté for 2 minutes, and then pour in the broth, and half
the reserved bacon. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer,
stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 20 minutes.

If a thicker soup is desired, take a potato masher and carefully mash some
of the black beans against the bottom of the pan. This will thicken the
soup. The more you mash, the thicker the soup will get. After mashing some
of the black beans, let it simmer for another 10 minutes to achieve the
desired texture.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot with the remaining bacon over the
top as a garnish.

Sausage and beans with potatoes

I was in a huge hurry putting this together and totally forgot the onions...think it would have helped keep the potatoes white but they did okay anyways and all cooked well.  I think a sauce would have pulled it together even better but I liked this...the kids didn't complain:)

Serving Size  : 4  

1 pound Smoked sausage
6 Potatoes
2 Onions
1 1/2  pounds  Green beans -- fresh

      Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. (Similar to the chunks you would
  place in stew).   Put the potatoes into the bottom of your crockpot.
  Peel and slice the onion and lay onions on top of  potatoes.   Wash and
  prepare the fresh green beans.  Place on top of the  onion.  Add
  approximately 1 cup of water to the crockpot.  Slice the  smoked sausage
  into slices or four large portions and place on top of  green beans.  Turn
  the crockpot on a medium setting and cook all day.   Approximately 8
  hours.  This turns into a delicious one pot meal for a  busy day.

Black bean soup

This came from the food network site and is SO good!  It made a good sized pot and I am totally happy to have some leftovers:)  I loved the cilantro flavor in it!

10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed (I cook a pound of dry beans overnight)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish
Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread 2

This is another whole wheat bread recipe but this one is supposed to hold up better in a lunchbox.  Hunter's only complaint with the last loaf was it crumbled before he got to lunch.   It sunk in the middle so next time I'll be decreasing the yeast to 1 1/4 tsp but that is all in the brand of bread machine(this worked perfectly!).  Once cut you really can't tell how much it actually sunk so it won't affect sandwiches thankfully.

1 1/4 cup warmish water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten(this is supposed to help it not be crumbly)
2 Tbsp powdered milk
1 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Put into bread machine in the order listed.  Choose whole wheat setting.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Yeast Cornbread

This was one of Mandi's recipes for her week on recipechallenge and it originally came from here.  I decided to do it in the breadmaker...put in all the ingredients called for (liquids first, yeast last) and put it on the quick setting.  It came out perfectly!  Now to make this by hand would NOT be hard but I'm lucky if the kids give me enough time to thrown ingredients in the breadmaker:)  I'd like to add a little more sugar or maybe some jalapenos next time!

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 cups warm water, divided
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
3 Tbs. butter, softened
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups flour
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water in a mixing bowl.  Add all the other ingredients, except the flour and beat until smooth.  Gradually mix in enough flour to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 6-8 minutes.  Work in extra flour if needed.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it to bring up the oiled side.  Cover lightly with a clean towel and let rise about an hour.
Punch the dough down and shape it into a loaf.  Put it in a greased loaf pan and cover it with the towel again.  Let it rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.