Creme of Cauliflower Soup

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I adapted this recipe from one that I heard from a fellow food online. I love creme of broccoli soup and thought that this would be an excellent low calorie choice and wanted to try something different. You may want to double the recipe, the only problem is there was not enough!

  • 1 head of cauliflower, diced in 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 quart water
  • Italian Herb Blend (Homemade or Store Bought)
  • 1/3 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of half and half or milk
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan
  • salt, pepper, cayenne as desired

Dice up the cauliflower with the herb blend and boil for about 20 minutes. Remove most of the water leaving about a cup of water. Remove from heat when soft and blend in a food processor or blender.

Meanwhile, keep the pot hot and add butter, Parmesan and milk. Add back the pureed cauliflower and add salt, pepper, cayenne as desired.

Holy Cow! Check out these Nutritional Facts, this is lower than my cabbage soup!Serving size 1 – 1/2 cup

  • 46 calories per serving
  • 3.43 g Carbohydrate
  • 2.39 g Protein
  • 2.85 g Fat
  • 6.91 mg Cholesterol
  • 175.46 IU Vitamin A
  • 51.6 mg Calcium

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Golden Pea, Barley, Vegetable and Ham Soup

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I love Bob’s Red Mill Grains and Beans. I found that the Big Lots near my house sells these high quality soup bean mixes that are great for making soup. I purchased the Vegi Mix which is Golden Split Pea, Barley, Lentil and tiny Vegetable pasta. http://www.bobsredmill.com/entrees/

I also wanted veggies and meat in my soup, so I used the following to make this hearty soup last night.  I used Neiman Ranch Ham which is lean, yet adds flavor.

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 5 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • Herb Blend or Italian Herbs
  • 1/2 large container of Vegetable Broth
  • 2 quarts of water
  • Bag of Bob’s Red Mill Vegi-Mix Soup Bean Mix
  • 1/2 pound to pound of Neiman Ranch Ham Steak, diced
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne as desired

First sautee the onion in butter, add the celery, herbs and carrots, stir and cook for a few minutes. Add Vegetable Broth and let simmer, then add water and beans. (The bean mix will take about an hour from that point). About half way through add your ham and cover.  Once the beans and peas are soft, I remove from heat and add the salt, pepper and cayenne. So much flavor is pulled out of eveything else, that it is best to do at the end.

Remove from heat and let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Makes about 14 servings (see picture below).

Here is the nutritional breakdown, per serving (about 1-1/2 – 2 cups):

  • 115 Calories
  • 14g of Carbohydrates
  • 5.71 grams of Protein
  • 4.18 grams of fat
  • 14.8 mg Cholesterol
  • 1303.89 IU Vitamin A
  • 25.25 mg Calcium

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Crab and Shrimp Boil

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The Crab and Shrimp boil is easy, delicious and a favorite for cooking for groups of people. Here is how I did it.

  • 1 crab, quartered and cleaned, about 2 pounds
  • 1 pound of Tiger Prawns
  • 10-12 small red potatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 ears of corn, chopped into 4 pieces
  • 1 package of beef links
  • McCormick’s Crab and Shrimp Boil OR do it yourself*

I found that on the first boil, the spices in the packet are not as fragrant as adding your own. (Here’s where the basic spice wheel comes in handy) I put a tsp of Mustard Seed, Corriander Seed, Dill Seed, Bay Leaves, Red Pepper Flakes and Black Pepper. If you dont have it, I suggest ripping open the package to let the flavors mix more. (Note: I did not use Zataran’s, it has artificial flavors and doesn’t compare to actual spices).

Everything has timing (cook time) so you have to do these in order. Helps to prep all items first and dump in one at a time, stirring between ingredients 😉

  1. Add 1 -1/2 quarts of water (or 3/4 full pot of water) on high heat
  2. Add spices or crab boil packet, then
  3. Add red potatoes, then let boil for 15 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, chop beef links or brats and add to pot
  5. Chop corn and add to pot
  6. Add lemon juice to raw crab and dump that in the pot,
  7. Stir and add in Prawns, these will cook fast
  8. About 7 minutes later, everything should be cooked.
  9. Drain (save a cup or two of broth) and place on a large plate.

Now make some butter sauce, by combining the spiced broth with butter, Parmesan and a little bread crumbs.  Makes a perfect dipping sauce to serve with your crab boil.

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Meatball Marinara with Tortellini

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Since I already had my meatballs, making something with them was easy. I had some spinach cheese tortalini, garlic and a can of plum tomatoes and dinner was served!

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Italian Herb Blend (I used my homemade but store bought is good)
  • pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne if you like a little spice
  • 1 large can of plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Meatballs
  • Pasta of your choice

First I chopped the garlic and added it to a small sauce pan with the olive oil and sauteed the garlic.  I added my herb blend (which is rosemary, sage, oregano and a hint of mint), you can use Italian Seasonings or get creative here.

Cook this for a minute or two and add the plum tomatoes.  Break them up with a wooden spoon while cooking and stir in about a half cup of water.  Add salt, pepper, cayenne. Once this starts to get a boil on, reduce the heat to medium and add the meat balls so that they heat up and flavor your sauce a little.  Cook for about 10 minutes and toss with pasta.

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Italian Wedding Soup with Meatballs

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This is one of my favorite soup, so when I purchased a packet of Stelline (Stars) pasta I set out to try it for myself. The results were great! This is a light soup base with a hearty homemade meat ball.

  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, about 2 tsp each
  • organic chicken broth (one large box)
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 4-5 cups of chopped kale
  • 1 small package of stelline pasta (stars or small pasta)
  • about 25-30 meatballs, 3-4 per bowl
  • salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as desired

Melt butter in a large stock soup pot over high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, herbs. Cook about 5 minutes, add chicken broth and then water, fill your pot but don’t water down your base too much. I add about 2 quarts slowly.

Let boil and add kale. Let cook until it wilts and falls apart, then add stars. The pasta will cook quickly, so the soup may be hot enough to overcook them. Make sure your veggies are done before you throw in the pasta.

Remove from heat and add meatballs to bowls, 3-4 each bowl. You can mix them all together. The meatballs will stay together, yet very moist because of the soup base.

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Classic Meatball Recipe

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Homemade meatballs are easy and inexpensive to make. I am going to use these meatballs in a soup and pasta dish, so I wanted to make them small and make a lot of them.

I make them differently all the time, but this recipe had both lean ground beef and lean ground pork.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • couple springs of parsley diced
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups bread crumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Italian Herbs

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing thoroughly – don’t be afraid to use your hands. Then use a tablespoon to scoop out and your hands to roll into a ball. You can roll them in breadcrumbs before cooking if you want.20120206-213003.jpg

Heat a pan with butter or olive oil on about medium high, add each meatball with room in between to roll them. Roll each meatball over as it cooks the side it’s on. Once all sides are browned, remove from pan and place into a baking pan.

Arrange meatballs in baking pan, so that they have room to cook. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Let cool.

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Honey Hefeweizen Cornbread Muffins

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I love corn muffins, it’s one of the first recipes my grandfather taught me.  I’ve come so far and would probably make him proud with these.

  • 1 box Jiff Mix
  • 1 egg
  • instead of milk, add part cream, part Hefeweizen beer
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 pat of butter melted
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • sprinkle of salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring for about 3 minutes. Batter will be a little lumpy but smooth. Pour into buttered muffin tins and bake for 10 minutes until golden, fluffy and delicious.

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