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Southwest Chicken Soup

Southwest Chicken Soup

This recipe came about from a “once around the kitchen” dinner night.  I threw in everything I already had that I thought might work together.  I really like southwestern flavors, and you can easily add some chopped jalapeño and cayenne pepper if you want it spicy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery,chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • Rotisserie chicken, picked
  • 1 can pinto beans with just a bit of liquid
  • 1 sweet potato/garnet yam, chopped
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 4-5 big spoonfuls of your favorite salsa
  • Dried oregano (about 2 tbls. or more)
  • Ground cumin (start with 2 tsp. – I usually add a bit more)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lime

Directions:

Sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add rest of ingredients except for lime. Bring to boil, then simmer for awhile till combined. Swish in lime juice at the end and check seasonings.

Notes:

Try it with cilantro, avocado, and dairy free mozzarella-type cheese on top.

Chunky Tomato Soup

Chunky Tomato Soup

This recipe was inspired by the Potassium Balance Broth in the Hungry For Change cookbook.  I wanted more of a tomato soup, so this is my variation.  It’s a great, simple soup that is easy to digest and is super good for you.  I always seem to want more of this one!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sping water
  • 4 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 15 ounces green string beans, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 26 ounces crushed tomatoes (see note)
  • Fresh herbs – Oregano, basil, or your favorite combination

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients, except crushed tomatoes, in a pot. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and then simmer very gently for 30 minutes, with lid on.

2. Strain and use as a broth. Alternatively, leave vegetables in, or even blend to create a thicker soup.

Notes:

The original recipe calls for the 3 tomatoes, but I found I wanted more tomato flavor (especially when tomatoes are out of season and not so yummy), so I added about 26 oz. crushed tomatoes (I use Pomi brand). I used one of those “boat motor” immersion blenders and blended it (didn’t strain it – I wanted all the fiber from all the good veggies!) until it was a little bit smooth, a little bit chunky.

Then I added some fresh herbs  and I ate several bowls of it! I thought it was good – really light and tasty and my body seemed to really love it as well!

 

Squash!

What a fun Healthy Priorities get-together!  I’m so glad everyone could come and learn a bit more about the amazingly versatile squash.  Here are the recipes I used:

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos – click here

Spaghetti Squash Casserole – Click here

White Bean, Kale and Roasted Veggie Soup – click here

Paleo Pumpkin Bars – click here

Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeno – click here (it is included with the fish taco recipes, so just scroll down and you’ll find it).

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

from Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie & Charles Mayfield

2 acorn squash

1 tbls. olive or coconut oil

1 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 lb. ground turkey or turkey sausage

2 tbls. chili powder

3 tsp. cumin

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400º.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, removing the seeds and pulp.  Place facedown in a baking pan with about 1/4” of water.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until squash is soft.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add in oil, and when hot stir in onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent, being careful not to burn garlic.  Stir in peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes longer.

Add in turkey and spices and brown until turkey is cooked through.  Stain off any excess liquid from the turkey and stir in tomatoes, heating through.  Place squash face up and fill with turkey mixture and serve.

Notes:  Serve with your favorite salsa or dairy-free cheese on top.  I also took the leftover turkey mixture and served it with some leftover spaghetti squash and it was great!

Zucchini Pizza Boats

I’ve seen lots of recipes for these, but I took my inspiration from Paleo Indulgences by Tammy Credicott

Preheat oven to 400º.  Clean the zucchini, then split in half lengthwise and scoop out part of the center and seeds to make a shallow well.  Place the zucchini on a baking sheet lined with parchment with the hollow-out side up.

Fill the hollowed-out center with pizza sauce, your favorite marinara sauce or bruschetta  topping and then start layering all your favorite pizza toppings.  I used turkey sausage and mushroom and I’ve also made some using turkey canadian bacon and caramelized onions.  (Just make sure that the toppings, like sausage, are already cooked).  Top with your favorite dairy-free cheese (I used Daiya).

Bake about 20-30 minutes or until toppings and sauce are bubbling and zucchini is soft.

 

Amazing Bone Broth

 

I can’t believe I haven’t posted information on bone broth before now.  Ok, it is a gazillion degrees outside and it might seem like an odd time to talk about broth, but it’s really not.  Bone broth is one of the best ways to get nutrients into our bodies, and we should all be looking for ways to get more nutrients in!  It can be enjoyed as is, or as the base of all kinds of soups, stews, etc.  In the picture above, I just threw in some celery, carrots, and leeks (they were in the crisper and needed to get used, but an onion works just as well), then added some rotisserie chicken and fresh herbs.  It is yummy, and even on hot days like we’ve had lately, it’s light and soothing. Besides that, it makes the house smell great when it’s cooking!   Click here for a great article on how to make it and its benefits.

April’s Cooking Class – Fish

I’m so glad we could all get together and explore some new fish options.  I hope you guys try some of these recipes and report back – I’m sure you’ll come up with lots of  variations in additions to these ideas.  Fish is a great starting place and its fun to add all kinds of side dishes, relishes, sauces, etc. to go with what can be a simple (and healthy!) protein.  Don’t forget to make a big batch of the “Pink Mayonnaise” – it goes great on everything!  (you could put it on a car bumper!)

NOTE:  Don’t forget to let me know if you want to join the Eat Up! facebook group.  Let’s encourage each other to make health-promoting food choices, and learn how to feed our bodies, not our emotions!

Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad Tartines from Ina Garten  – click here for the recipe.  I adjusted it by using Udi’s GF bread, cutting off the crusts, and brushing with a little olive oil (you can add some chopped garlic to the oil if you are feeling fancy).  Put on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees – about 10-12 minutes or so, depending on your oven (just keep your eye on it).  I used smoked salmon from Trader Joe’s.  Assemble just before serving.

The Dueling Salmon Salads:

What an interesting experiment!  The olive oil/vinegar based salad is from Ina Garten – here is the recipe.  The mayonnaise based salad is from Paula Deen, recipe is here.   I followed both recipes pretty closely, although I left out the capers in Ina Garten’s recipe.  Just as a reminder, if you use canned salmon for these or other recipes, remember to save a few minutes to pick through for bones, skin, etc.

Fish Packets:

Ok, how easy are these?!  I used a combination of recipes for these, so I’ll give you the basic instructions, then go crazy with the variations you and your family members can come up with.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or fire up the grill.  Put a bit of olive oil or cooking spray on the foil, then start layering. Putting very thinly sliced potatoes at the bottom (sprinkled with a little salt and pepper), fresh spinach or other veggies cut into small pieces, then fish with a few slices of lemon and dots of butter or compound butter. Or start with the fish on the bottom and just add mixed veggies on top.  Gather the foil to make a packet, put on a baking sheet and bake for anywhere from 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.  No, there’s no secret to figuring that out – you just have to take the packets out and take a peak.   This is such an easy recipe and you can get really creative with the combinations of flavors.  Try different fish, veggies, add some onion or shallots, fresh or dried herbs – endless possibilities.  The really great thing – they go together quickly and you can make them up ahead, then pop them in the oven (or on the grill) when you get home from a busy day and dinner will be done in no time.

Fish Tacos:

I’m so excited you guys liked the fish tacos!  They are favorites of mine, and a great choice when you have a bunch of people to feed.  Like the fish packets, so many possibilities of how to build them.  Along with the following side dishes, make sure you serve with some salsa (homemade or your favorite store bought brand), shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro and lime wedges for squishing over the whole mess.  Fish tacos are only great when they are really messy and sloppy, so grab some napkins and enjoy!

Bake the fish (I used Mahi Mahi but any firm white fish works fine) at 350 degrees (just oil a baking sheet, then put a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of the fish).  Bake them for approximately 6 minutes on one side, then 4-6 minutes on the other.  (Keep an eye out so they don’t overcook).  Warm the corn tortillas either in foil in the oven or toast on a grill pan on the stovetop.  (Put in foil to keep them warm).  

 

Mango-Radish Salsa (Tyler Florence’s recipe)

  • 2 limes
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 4 to 5 red radishes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the peel and pith from the limes and cut between the membranes to remove the segments. Put these “supremes” into a bowl and squeeze over the juice from the membranes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Season and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also place all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree for a smoother salsa.

Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeno (from www.epicurious.com)

  • 1 red onion (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, cut thinly crosswise
  • 5 whole small jalapeños
  • 2 cups seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

Place onion and jalapeños in heatproof medium bowl. Mix vinegar, lime juice, and salt in small saucepan. Bring just to boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour over onion and jalapeños. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

“Pink Mayonnaise” – Actually called Red Pepper Sauce (from Rachael Ray)

  • 1 (8-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, or 1 large freshly prepared roasted red pepper (I used jar of roasted red and yellow pepper from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup prepared chili sauce (I used Trader Joe’s seafood sauce)

For red pepper sauce, combine drained red peppers in a food processor bowl with mayonnaise and chili sauce. Pulse/grind the ingredients into a smooth sauce. Transfer sauce to a small serving dish.

 

 

Nothing Better Than Summer Veggies

 

Ok, it’s been crazy hot out here.  And if you’re like me, you don’t feel like eating a lot, much less preparing a big meal.  Instead of reaching for the bowl of ice cream (not that we’d ever do that!), take advantage of all the wonderful veggies that are in season.  Check your local Farmers Markets and eat locally when you can.  Cut up and serve raw or lightly steam them, and have some fun things to dip them in.  Try some homemade mayonnaise, your favorite salad dressing, even a jar of salsa works.  It’s a fun, easy, light meal and your body will be so happy to have those extra vitamins and minerals.

BLT Salad

 

A perfect meal for this hot weather, and a joyous re-uniting of flavors for those of us who are not eating grains.  I have to admit, that a great BLT is something I do miss, so luckily my sister (Dr. Cary) came up with this easy solution to solve the cravings.

Fry up several slices of bacon (nitrate/nitrite free please!  Trader Joe’s has a great one).  While they are frying, put together your favorite salad ingredients – cool crunchy lettuce, tomato (of course) then add red onion or scallion, cucumber, even avocado is great.

After the bacon is cooked and crispy, let drain on paper towels, pour out leftover bacon grease from pan but don’t wipe out all the yummy parts on the bottom of the pan-that’s where all the flavor is.  Add about two tablespoons (or more if you like a lot of dressing) of mayonnaise, either homemade or straight from the jar and let it warm up and get all creamy. You will probably have to add some water to dilute it, so start with just a bit and add in as you need to thin it out.  As you stir it around, it will pick up all the bits of flavor left at the bottom of the pan.  This only takes a few moments, so just add your crunchy bacon to the top of your salad, pour on the warm dressing and toss.  It’s a BLT in a bowl!!!  Full of flavor and makes a great summertime dinner.

For those of you who really need that bit of bread, use your favorite gluten-free (or regular if you are still eating that) bread, chop it up in big chunks, and toast in a saute pan with some olive oil and salt until crisp and crunchy. This makes the best croutons and would be fabulous mixed in with your BLT salad.

Put It In A Pumpkin!

At a recent Healthy Priorities get-together, we all brought food that we could serve in a pumpkin.  I know – how cute is that idea?!  I can say that because it wasn’t my idea at all, but thought it would be fun.  Sure enough, everything is way more fun to eat when it’s served in a surprising way, and pumpkins fit the bill.  The nice thing is that now we can find all kinds of different orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, squashes of all kinds….. be creative.

For cold food, just cut open at the top and scoop out the seeds and pumpkin goo (not sure if it has an official name) and you’re ready to use as a serving bowl.  You can use one of those mini pumpkins scooped out for all kinds of dip, and I liked what H.P. member Linda did.  She put her dip in a regular bowl, but filled a white pumpkin with all kinds of veggies for dipping and they looked so beautiful with all the different colors.

If you are serving something hot, you might want to cook your pumpkin first.  Cut open at the top, scoop out the seeds and pumpkin goo, rub insides with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on a sheet pan or in baking pan.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until done, in oven at 350 degrees.  Let it sit for a bit, then pour in your soup, chili, etc.  With the pumpkin cooked, when you scoop out some chili, you can get a bit of the cooked pumpkin with it and its really good!

Turkey Clafouti

Although this has an unusual name, it’s very much like a crustless quiche and is another great basic dish that can be used with countless different ingredients.  For years I have made a Plum Clafouti which is one of my all-time favorite deserts, but I had never seen it used with savory ingredients.

I originally saw this recipe on one of my favorite blog sites, Mark’s Daily Apple. Click over to Mark’s site to see the full explanation, and to see the original recipe which is a Chicken Curry Clafouti.  Since I’m not a curry fan, I decided to go in a different direction.  You could easily use this recipe with chicken, salmon, sausage, etc. but I am always looking for another way to use turkey, so tried this with some leftover turkey breast I had in the freezer.  I used a spice mixture that was specifically for turkey, used mostly for Thanksgiving dinners, I’m sure.  It made the house smell heavenly!  Give this a try using your favorite combinations and let me know what you come up with!

A few quick notes: I had come challenges with the clafouti getting brown too quickly, so make sure you keep a very close eye on it and start checking it at 25-30 minutes (recipe calls for a 45 minute cooking time).  I also think next time I’ll try reducing the oven temperature from 400° to 350° so it doesn’t brown as quickly but still cooks through.

Taco Recipe

Contributed by Becky

  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cans of beans (black, pinto, northern, or any kind you like)
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 cooked ears of corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. cumin (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt

Add all ingredients together and simmer for 10 minutes just until mixed and a little mushy.  Place in tortillas with lettuce and toppings of your choice and enjoy.  Also good cold as a dip or over nachos.