Mushroom Lovers Dream – Zucchini Mushroom Soup

I’m back!  I huge apology for being MIA the past week.  I usually get extremely busy around this time in the semester and this spring is no exception!  But I have a few great posts for you so keep checking back.  This soup turned out amazingly good.  I got the recipe out of my Hungry for Change cookbook but I did a few things differently.  First, I used Japanese mushrooms instead of wild mushrooms because I LOVE them! Also, this soup is supposed to be pureed but I left it chunky because I love the consistency of Japanese mushrooms so much.

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

6 cups roughly chopped mushrooms

1 medium-size yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons

1 bay leaf

Water

2 cups chopped cauliflower

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Saute the mushrooms in the oil with a sprinkle of sea salt until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the onion, garlic, and zucchini and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the bay leaf and enough water to cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot, bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and let everything continue to simmer until the cauliflower is soft.    At this point you can puree it in a blender if you want to go that route but I really loved it chunky!

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I made a double batch of this and I ate it all week.  If you like mushrooms then this is definitely the dish for you!  Happy cooking!

A Hearty Lunch – Sausage Skillet Stew

I lieu of my potential Paleo transition, today’s recipe was found on fastpaleo.com.  I love this recipe because I love to take soup to work for lunch but it often doesn’t keep me full.  Not so with this soup.  Its very hearty and keeps me full until late afternoon.  I don’t love that it uses canned tomato sauce because commercial canning uses a lot of preservatives and if it doesn’t go bad I’m not so sure it’s good for you (except honey of course), but it’s still a pretty good recipe.  I just need to look up the recipe for tomato sauce in my Vitamix!  Next time I make this I’ll do that but this time I just used organic canned tomato sauce.

16 oz sausage of your choice

1 onion, sliced

16 oz mushrooms, sliced

4 zucchini, sliced

3 cups tomato sauce (2 cans)

4 cups spinach leaves

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

2 tsp garlic powder

Red pepper flakes to taste

IMG_1724Using a large, deep skillet, brown your sausage over medium heat.  I used pork jalapeno links.  If using sausage meat, break up with the back of a spoon into crumbles, then remove from pan and put aside.  If using links, brown evenly and also set aside until cool enough to slice.

Remove any extra grease from the pan other than what is needed to saute the onions, if necessary.  Add them to the pan over low-medium heat and soften slightly before adding the zucchini slices.  Saute a few minutes before adding the mushrooms.

Add the tomato sauce, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.  Add the sausage back to the pan; slice links first if using.  Bring almost to a boil, then cover (with a little gap to let steam out).

Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables have released their juices.  Uncover the pan and add red pepper flakes to taste.  Let simmer about 10 minutes until it is slightly thickened, then add the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt.

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This is such a tasty, yummy stew and it’s packed with healthy veggies.  I will definitely be making this again.  Happy cooking!

 

Cold Weather Meal – Chicken, Yam and Chard Soup

It was a beautiful 80 degree weekend this week but I knew it was gonna be cold and grey like it is today so I searched and found this interesting soup recipe at http://www.paleoplan.com.  I wasn’t sure sweet potatoes were actually Paleo but turns out white potatoes are the only root veggie that isn’t.  So here it is!

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

4 cups chicken broth

6 cups water

1 bay leaf

2 jalapenos, diced

1 large yam, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced (greens and whites)

Juice of 1 lemon

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Heat large pot over medium heat.  When hot, add oil, onion, garlic, carrot, thyme and oregano, and saute until onion is softened and slightly translucent (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl.  Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch cubes and toss in sea salt and black pepper mixture.  Add chicken to the pot and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, add broth, water, bay leaf, jalapeno, yam, chard,and green onions and simmer for 20 minutes.  Just before serving, season with remaining sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice (I forgot this step but it’s still yummy).

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This one is very hearty and I love the consistency of it.  It feels so nutritious!  In other news, I figured out why my pictures were coming out so dark so no more dark ugly photos!  Slowly but surely I will learn to use this camera 🙂 Happy cooking!

Slow Cooker Wednesday – Granny Butternut Soup

Have you ever been running around in the morning trying to get out the door and in your car on your way to work you realize you forgot to start the slow cooker?  Not with this recipe!  This soup cooks for EIGHTEEN hours!  You can put it on the night before and pretty much forget about it (except for a temperature change in the morning).  It turned out crazy good but very spicy so watch the cayenne if you’re sensitive.

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 large red onions, sliced

6 cups of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

4 celery stalks, sliced

2 large Granny Smith apples, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Turn the slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.  On the stove top, use a large saucepan and melt the coconut oil.  Place the onions, squash, and celery into the pan and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 10-15 minutes.  Transfer veggies to the slow cooker.  Add the chopped apples, chicken broth, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.  Cook on high for 7 to 8 hours and low for 10 hours.

Turn your slow cooker to the warm setting.  Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until it is all the desired consistence (or if you have a stick blender you can use that in the actual slow cooker).  Taste and add seasonings as desired.

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This is definitely different than other butternut soup I’ve made.  It’s very good though and super filling!  Happy cooking!

 

Belated Mardi Gras Meal – Seafood Gumbo

I promised you all Slow Cooker Thursdays and then promptly got so busy I couldn’t find time to cook! So I give you slow cooker Tuesday! I didn’t have time to do my normal Sunday dinner this week so I filled in with this gumbo.  It’s very easy to make and turned out so good!

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2 tablespoons coconut oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped

14 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp

1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen crab meat

10 oz sliced okra

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Turn your slow cooker on high while you get your ingredients ready.

In a large frying pan, heat up the coconut oil.  Saute the garlic, onions, celery, and bell peppers until tender.  Transfer the cooked vegetables into the slow cooker.  Pour the diced tomatoes and chicken broth in the slow cooker.  Add the Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and bay leaves.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn the temperature to low.  Cook on low for four hours.

Add the shrimp, crab meat, and okra to the cooker and cook for 1 more hour.  Serve.

IMG_1647Rob told me this was one of the best gumbos he had ever had, and he eats a lot of gumbo.  That made my night since he’s usually pretty honest about whether or not he likes something!  I hope yours turns out!  Happy cooking!

 

 

Veggie post! – Red Lentil and Coconut Curry Dahl

I’ve been MIA for a bit and I apologize.  In the past 10 days I’ve had two weddings, my anniversary, the Super Bowl, layoffs at work (I’m still employed yay!) and several events for school.  I’m pooped!  But I did whip up this soup last week and I’m finally getting around to posting it.  It’s a little something different for lunch.  My camera has been taking pictures very dark for some reason.  I’m not sure whats up so apologies for the less than stellar photos.

IMG_16222 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

3 tablespoons finely minced ginger root

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon red curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

12 oz tomato sauce

2 cups dried red lentils

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

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Melt the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onion and saute slowly until it is translucent and soft.  Then stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, and curry paste, mixing everything together well.  Add the coconut milk, reduce the heat, and let mixture simmer for 2 to 3 minutes covered before adding the tomato sauce, lentils and stock.

Remove the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often to keep the lentils from sticking to the bottom.  As the lentils cook, they will break down and thicken the soup.  Add more liquid as needed.

When ready, add additional seasoning to taste and serve.

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This is a pretty easy soup to throw together if you don’t have a lot of time and it’s different than your every day lentil soup.  Happy cooking!

 

On a Quinoa Binge – Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad

I liked the quinoa salad I made last week so much that I decided to make a different variation of it this week.  The first couple of steps are the same but I was smart this time and bought already sprouted quinoa so I’ll omit the directions on how to sprout quinoa.

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1 1/2 cups quinoa

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 cup wakame seaweed, soaked for 20 minutes, strained and rinsed

1 cup grated carrots

3/4 cup thinly slices zucchini rounds

1 red bell pepper, seeded and stemmed, cut into medium sized chunks

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

FOR THE DRESSING:

1 tablespoon minced ginger root

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Wheat-free tamari

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Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pot, then pour in the quinoa and lower the heat.  Simmer covered for 12 to 15 minutes.  Around 5 minutes into cooking, add the turmeric to the water.  Once done cooking, turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes before emptying the quinoa into a bowl.

While the cooked quinoa is still warm, stir in the wakame, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

To make the dressing, gently whisk all of the dressing ingredients until well incorporated.  Stir enough dressing into the quinoa mixture to evenly coat everything, then serve.

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I don’t think this one is as good as the one I made last week but it’s still quite tasty.  These photos are shown without the sesame seeds cause I forgot to add them until the last minute.  This is a great lunch salad and it’s veggie and super easy.  Happy cooking!