I told you I was going healthy for the Superbowl. We brought this – Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup. We also brought some berries and greek yogurt with honey – plus vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes. We did splurge though because my sister in law made some awesome queso with sausage that was great with chips and they also had some Buffalo Wild Wings. It was a small gathering, but there was plenty of food and even though our favorite team disappointed, we had a good time (well most of us).
I bought my butternut squash last fall at the farmer’s market. We put them into baskets and stored them on shelves in the unheated basement. The food doesn’t freeze down there, but it does get rather nippy downstairs. Last year I tried storing them in a warmer spot, but some of my squash went bad. This year, they are in perfect condition and not even drying out. I’m thrilled that we put up a nice shelving unit to use for winter storage.
Anyway, I also have been trying to work with beans more, but dry beans not canned beans, and so that was the start of this soup. I roasted most of the vegetables in a glass pan in the oven until almost cooked. I also baked the chicken breast rather than fry it up. I wanted the broth to be clear when I served it and not muddied, which is why I did it this way. And to give it a nice bright taste, I grated lemon peel and squeezed lemon juice into it. This soup is one of my best tasting, I recommend it for family dinner, or a gathering of friends, or just the two of you.Diana
This soup is easy, semi fast and very seasonal. I made this on vacation with a microwave, a bowl, and one pot on an electric burner. The kitchen was a small not even efficiency size kitchen. One microwave, a dorm fridge, a two burner cooktop and a small sink with a tiny counter made up the kitchen. I have trouble with how small my small kitchen is and I could live with this little efficiency for the one week we were staying in Duck, North Carolina – but I think one week is the limit.
While the recipe made four bowls of soup, my husband and I both ate two bowls each for dinner. It was a vegetarian dish for us, you can add sausage to it, or chicken and it would go well. Also, you could serve it as a soup course along with a sandwich. While spelt berries were cooking in broth, the microwave was used to partially cook the pumpkin – after slicing in into pieces and cleaning out the seeds and pulp. Only one soup/stew pot was used along with one glass bowl for microwaving the pumpkin. You can easily use your oven to bake the pumpkin, or peel and cook in broth to soften it. I used a quart of chicken broth that cost me nothing because I used leftover bones to make the broth last winter. The chard melts down quite a bit, so you throw the leaves in at the end, but the stems can be thrown in with the onion in the beginning for extra veggie goodness. I used canned beans – but if you want to really make it a project you can soak the beans twice, rinse it and then simmer it on the stove for hours until they are soft.
This makes up a great hearty soup with chewy spelt, white beans, seasonal pumpkin and chard. Yummmmmmm!
- 1 cup spelt berries
- 1 quart Broth (vegetarian or chicken)
- 1 can white beans
- 1 small pumpkin
- ¼ cup diced onion
- big handful of chard
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- In the bottom of a soup pot, heat oil and saute diced onion.
- Add 2 cups of broth and cook spelt berries until they are the right chewiness.
- While the berries are cooking, slice the pumpkin open, scoop out the seeds, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until the pumpkin will come away from the skin.
- Remove skin and dice.
- Add to soup pot. Large dice the swiss chard leaves and throw into the soup pot.
- Rinse beans and add to the soup pot along with salt, pepper and allspice.
- Heat and serve in bowls.
Quick Quinoa Burgers is from The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth by Jonny Bowden and Jeannette Bessinger. When Deb, Desiree and I were younger, my dad tried the meatless burger thing. He used birdseed – or rather millet, but they were dry and not very tasty. I tried this meatless burger thinking it would end on the same note, but I really was surprised at how good they were. No, they don’t taste like burgers, not at all, but they are packed with flavor. Where the recipe said to use a quality salsa – I used my canned salsa. Where it said to use canned kidney beans, I substituted pinto beans that I made up earlier in the week, and it had a little garlic flavoring in it. I also topped the burger and sauce with chopped avocado. Deb are you listening – this meal had quinoa, avocado and salsa in it, you will like it.
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
- 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
- 2 oz grated or crumbled cheese (or 1/4 cup nutritional yeast for a vegan option)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cooked heirloom quinoa ( I used red)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 cup prepared salsa
- 2 tbs low fat plain yogurt
- 1 tbs lime juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
Place the beans, oats, cheese and salt in a food processor in that order and pulse until combined and holding together but still chunky, about ten quick pulses (I think I probably over pulsed, but it came out nicely). Turn the bean mixture out into a medium bowl, add the quinoa, and mix, with your hands just until it holds together well.
Heat the oil on a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat (or just below medium in a regular skillet to prevent sticking), and form the quinoa mixture into four patties.
Place the burgers in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side in until heated through. Patties will be soft, so handle gently.
While the burgers are cooking, place the salsa, yogurt, lime juice, syrup, cumin, and chili powder into a blender (or a small bowl, and use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. Serve burgers with a generous helping of the dressing.Diana
Chipotle Baked Beans and Kolbasz (originally Kielbasa) comes from Slow Cooker Winners – 300 Easy and Satisfying Recipes by Donna-Marie Pye. My husband and I were invited to my brother in law’s to watch a Steeler’s game. We had a bit of running around to do beforehand, but I wanted to bring something to eat. So I went to the crockpot for my contribution. I didn’t tell anyone I was bringing a pot of beans and kolbasz, but it was a good decision. My sister in law’s chicken was bad when she defrosted it, so we would have been sending out for pizza. I’m so glad I decided to bring something along, it’s always a good choice to contribute something. This recipe turned out really well. We also brought along some whole grain rolls, and butter, along with a little cheese to sprinkle over top if you wanted. It was a nice hearty, smokey, slightly spicy bean and kolbasz dish. Notice Kolbasz, not kielbasa. I used nice Hungarian Kolbasz instead of kielbasa because I wanted to – hey I’m Hungarian, my grandmother would love that I put kolbasz in it.
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 cups coooked or canned great Northern pinto or white pea beans – drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cooked or canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups tangy barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp chipotle or chile powder
- 1 lb fully cooked turkey kielbasa sausage
- In slow cooker stoneware, combine onion, great Northern beans, black beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and chipotle powder. Place sausage on top.
- Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until bubbling.
- Transfer sausage to a cutting board and slice diagonally. Serve with Beans.
Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a store bought frozen lunch I had today. It had beans, whole grain orzo, dried cranberries, spinach and a little bit of cheese. I enjoyed it quite a bit and thought I would use it as inspiration to create my own big bowl of whole grainy goodness. Even though the barley and quinoa stuck to his braces, my son thought it was delicious. My husband also liked it a lot too. I know my daughter would have enjoyed it, and that she would have grabbed the leftovers thrown salad dressing over top and had it cold for lunch the next day. One thing I would have changed would have been to add in more chard. I dug through the snow to find what chard I could from the raised beds in the garden. I found some small leaves, only about 7 or 8, but it was enough to give it a little color and flavor. I just wish I had more. It’s so cool to go dig through the snow for chard in the middle of winter, but your fingers get awfully cold and you have to be careful that they don’t stick to the door knob when you try to get back into the house. Maybe gloves would be a good idea. No gloves needed to eat it though, just a fork.
- 1/2 cup black quinoa
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 bag dried cranberries and spiced apple (I think they were dole)
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Carr Valley Apple Smoked Cheddar diced
Cook the quinoa, bulgur, orzo and barley according to package directions using vegetable broth instead of water. I took turns with two different small pots on the stove. In a separate medium size pot, pour in the rest of the vegetable broth. Simmer the onions, and celery in a shallow amount of vegetable broth. When they start to become translucent, add in the rest of the broth, the cranberries and spiced apple, the beans and chopped up chard. Heat up and add in the grains, and the herbs and spices. If it seems too dry, add a little extra liquid (water) when heating. Serve in bowls and sprinkle the cubed cheese on top.
Note: To make it vegan, leave out the cheese.
The dried fruit gives it a fruity flavor, with the smoky cheese to help balance it out. The whole meal is delicious, and very quickly comes together.Robin
This took me all of five minutes to make!
I ate this with a toasted whole wheat roll, avocado slices and some fresh corn on the cob. Bean salad is great when it’s 90 degrees out and you want something super easy to prepare. You could also stuff it in a pita and have it for lunch. It’s also a great side dish for a more ambitious meal.
1 can or drained and rinsed cannellini beans (2 cups cooked dried beans if you like)
1 TBL olive oil
1 TBL balsamic vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic (use one if you’re not a garlic addict like me)
1/2 of a small vidalia onion, finely chopped
seasoning to taste: Mrs. Dash Italian Blend, kosher salt, and shredded fresh basil or whatever you feel like. Parmesan cheese is also optional.
To prepare, stir everything in a bowl and serve. You can even serve it in the mixing bowl (as I clearly did!)