Fall in Love with Soup

For some reason, making soup is not one of my culinary gifts. I find that my soups always end up bland, so I end up throwing out the majority of the batch. After this cool autumn weekend, I thought I’d give soup-making another try. I came across this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, Danielle Walker at www.againstallgrain.com. This soup combines the savory flavors of roasted chicken with the richness of seasonal vegetables. When I make it again, I plan on increasing the vegetables by 50% so I can create a larger serving of vegetable puree, to give the soup a thicker texture. Of course, I always add extra garlic too! This soup was so delicious, my husband and I found ourselves fighting over the leftovers!

Fall Soup

 

Rotisserie Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • ½ yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups of organic chicken broth
  • 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken (at least ½ the chicken)
  • ¾ tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 425o. Toss cut vegetables (except spinach) in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring chicken stock in large pot to a simmer. Add the chicken, herbs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add half the roasted vegetables to soup and place other half in a blender or food processor. Add water and blend until pureed.
  4. Add pureed vegetables and fresh spinach to soup and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

My Top 2 Kitchen Shortcuts

1. Cutting Fruits

We all know that consuming fresh fruits and veggies is healthier than consuming canned and sometimes frozen varieties; however, one of the downfalls of purchasing fresh produce is that you have to cut it yourself. Most grocery stores offer pre-cut varieties but these items are more costly due to the labor cost factored into the price. I always purchase whole fruit, but sometimes cutting these items can be quite timely! This short tutorial will give you tips on how to decrease your time spent cutting fruit in the kitchen.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_wDZnypJTA]

 

2. Separating the Eggs

I’m not a big proponent for cutting out the yolks in eggs. The yolk is a nutrient powerhouse (choline, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A and D for example) and research finds that the cholesterol found in egg yolks really have no effect on our serum cholesterol levels. However, if you are someone with Chronic Kidney Disease (specifically with stage III or stage IV), you may be recommended to cut back on consumption of egg yolks due to their phosphorus content (a mineral that the kidneys help filter in the blood). They do make egg products without yolks such as Egg Beaters; however this product now contains food dyes and preservatives. In general, the fresher the food item is, the better it is for your body. Here is a quick tip on removing egg yolks from whole eggs.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAp8pEaWB1Y]

Greek Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

Looking for a great sandwich recipe? Watch my fellow dietitian, Jessica Harris, as she leads you in this scrumptious sandwich tutorial that’s sure to take your taste buds on a mini-vacation!

Check out all our Farmers’ Market recipes here!

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Greek Roasted-Vegetable Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 eggplant (about a pound)
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 1 large, sweet onion (Vidalia, Spanish, or red)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Fresh oregano to taste
  • 4 thick slices of a dense, crusty bread

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and cut eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and onion into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Slice pepper into 1/2-inch strips. Halve the tomatoes. Lightly brush olive oil on cookie sheet and arrange vegetables in one layer. Sprinkle oregano on vegetables. Bake 10 minutes. Turn vegetables and bake 10 minutes more. Potatoes and pepper slices may need more time. Let cool slightly for easier handling.

Create four open-faced sandwiches by layering vegetables with a little feta cheese. Return to warm oven to melt cheese and toast bread, about five minutes.

Serves 4

Each serving contains about 430 calories, 71 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 10 g fat, 775 mg sodium, and 13 g fiber.

 

Super Food: Turmeric

Some of the newest food trends involve incorporating foods into the diet that have healing powers. I always educate my patients that no single addition of a healthy food or single elimination of a poor food choice from the diet immediately makes one healthier. Rather, we should focus on consistent healthy changes overall. Incorporating power-foods in the diet such as coconut oil, kale or chia seeds will not hurt you; however you may not get the full benefits of these nutritious foods if you continue to eat McDonalds and pizza throughout the week.

Spoon of Turmeric Powder with fresh Turmeric RootThe super food in today’s recipe is turmeric. I recently began researching turmeric and its beneficial effects on the GI system, specifically in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The health benefits actually come from the compound curcumin that is found in this Indian spice. Curcumin is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body, when consumed as a part of a healthy diet. The downfall of turmeric is definitely its ability to create a nasty stain on clothes (just like mustard), so be careful not to spill it on clothing! The meat mixture in this recipe was so darn delicious; it can be used as an Indian-themed taco dish or simply enjoyed on its own.

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 pound chicken chorizo
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium-large zucchini, diced
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 bell peppers
  1. Heat oil in large pan for several minutes. Once oil is heated, add turkey and chorizo and cook until browned over medium heat.
  2. Once meat is brown, add onion, zucchini and spices. Continue to cook on low-medium heat until vegetables become tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the tops of peppers off and remove the white ribs of the pepper from the inside. Once, meat mixture is cooked, spoon mixture into each pepper until filled to the top.
  4. Pour about 1 inch of water in crockpot and place peppers upright in water. Cover and set crockpot on high and cook for 1.5-2 hours until peppers are tender. Serve warm with your favorite green vegetable.

*Tip: For a quicker and similar meal, you can always slice peppers up and sauté them in some coconut oil and then serve meat mixture over sautéed peppers.

Chorizo Stuffed Peppers

Dad’s Choice

Serious Senior ManFather’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate those special men in your life than with a little bacon! There is always a big debate on if we should consume regular bacon or turkey bacon.

Turkey bacon is generally considered a more heart healthy substitute primarily because it contains less fat; however, you will also find that turkey bacon often contains a lot more sodium than regular bacon. Personally, I’m about flavor and moderation so I stick to regular bacon. Bacon is certainly not a regular part of our meals so it’s perfectly fine to indulge every once in a while, especially if it’s celebrating a special occasion!

This recipe requires only a few ingredients and is easy enough for the kids to help out with. Be sure to serve these with some green veggies for Dad too!baconwrappedchickenskewers

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers

• 3-4 chicken breasts, cut lengthwise about 1 1/2 -2 inches thick
• 1 slice of bacon for each chicken skewer
• 1 tbsp Garlic powder
• 2/3 cup Brown sugar
• 2 tbsp Cumin
• 2 tbsp Chili powder
• Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes
1. Pre-heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, mix all seasonings together in a small, shallow bowl.
2. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise. Take a skewer and thread it through the long part of the chicken breast or you can fold the chicken back and forth over the skewer like an accordion.
3. Wrap one slices of bacon around each chicken on the skewer. Dip bacon-wrapped chicken into seasoning mix and generously coat all sides.
4. Place skewers on grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning chicken once half-way through. *Skinnier/smaller chicken skewers will require less cooking time.
This recipe also doubles for a great appetizer. Cut bite-size pieces of chicken and wrap a small portion of bacon around each bite. Secure with a toothpick, coat in seasoning and prepare on grill.

Trying New Things With Chicken

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a chicken recipe. We’ve been eating chicken all right, but I’ve had a handful of recipe fails lately that did not make the cut to be featured on the blog. For weeks, I have been craving a solid honey mustard chicken recipe. It took me fives tries before I came out with this one, but that didn’t stop me from continuously trying to make the perfect chicken recipe. Whether your challenge is training for a ½ marathon, making strength gains at the gym or, like me, cooking new recipes… remember, taking on any new challenge can have its own set of triumphs and letdowns. It’s important to not let those set-backs get in the way of you achieving your goal and boy, am I glad I didn’t quit. My husband has already asked me to make this recipe again since finally nailing it! It’s quick, simple and can be served by itself or prepared in a salad.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken

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  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup (not the generic syrup we’re most accustomed to)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of fresh rosemary or 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and lay in cooking dish.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together mustard, syrup and red wine vinegar. Pour mixture over chicken breasts and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle rosemary on top of cooked chicken and serve warm.