Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cold Day... Soup's on the Menu!

I wish more people would realize just how easy homemade soup is! Soup's truly a go to in my home, especially on cold days like today. It may be icy outside, but the smell of spicy garlic and sweet onions are percolating through my kitchen. Broccoli soup is definitely something I make at least once a month in the winter- I always seem to have some onions, celery and frozen broccoli on hand. This is a great way to reap the health benefits of broccoli which is chock full of nutrients including folic acid, vitamin C and fiber.

My dog, Buddy always sits right behind me as I chop the veggies, hoping something delicious will come his way- Yes, you know you are a good dietitian when even your dog eats his veggies ;) Check out my recipe for broccoli soup. I topped the soup with creamy, protein-packed greek yogurt and paired it with a grilled cheese and fried-green tomato sandwich, delish!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

2 sweet onions, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tb oil
1 Tb dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 bag frozen broccoli ( you can use fresh too, maybe about 3 heads)
32oz low-sodium chicken broth (you can use veggie broth)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup milk (I use skim)

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until onions start to become tender, about 5 minues.  Sitr in garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Mix in spices, salt and pepper and cook another minute.  Add broccoli and broth and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer about 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is tender.  Turn off heat.  If you have a hand blender, use this to blend broccoli until soup is smooth and creamy.  Alternately, you can blenderize soup in batches in a blender.  Add pureed soup back to the soup pot, turn heat on low.  Stir in milk and parmesan and enjoy!

Welcome all!

When deciding what should be the first post, I opted out of a S'more cake recipe I made for a friends birthday and choose the healthy granola bites I just popped in the oven! S'more recipe will come soon, I promise :)

I usually bake granola bars or bites over the weekend so I can have "go to" snacks during the week. Weekends are great cooking prep times to keep you from ordering food out during the week with the excuse of "I have no time to cook".  1 thing I should confess right off the bat is, I usually don't measure things. Actually, I rarely follow a recipe. I just throw things in a bowl and hope for the best! I blame my mom for this. In fact, I have a recipe book my mom wrote of all the traditional Lebanese meals we've had growing up. Each recipe says "to taste" or "a pinch" when describing the amount of cumin or tumeric or allspice to use. For this reason, No meal I make will ever taste like the ones Mom makes. I think it's a ploy to make sure I come home for a meal now and then :). Back to the granola bites...

The bites are baking away right now for the next 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven. Since I used up the last of the cashew butter, I handed the jar over to Emma and she's licking it clean as we speak!

You can find the "recipe" below or on the Recipe tab. Hope you like them! 

Granola Bites

2 cups of crushed cinnamon chex cereal
2 cups instant oats
2 handfuls of trail mix (chopped up)*
1 cup of vanilla soy milk
5 chopped apricots
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cashew butter
coconut sugar (save for end)

-Preheat oven to 350F. Mix ingredients in bowl. Spray 9x9 inch pan with cooking spray or use cupcake liners to make mini cupcake portioned out bites like I did. Press down bar mix in pan and sprinkle coconut sugar.  Bake away for 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven). 

* you can use any mix of nuts, I just used a trail mix from whole foods