Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beef, Potato & Quinoa Soup

I love soup and probably have over 100 recipes I've printed out to try. I found this one over at SkinnyTaste and knew I had to make it vegan. This is my version. It was yummy! Thanks for the recipe Gina.
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Badia Sazon with Annato
  • 1 package Gardein Beef(less) beef tips, slightly thawed and cut in half
  • 5 cups water
  • enough no beef bullion for the water above
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons bell pepper, diced (red, yellow preferred but green will work)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 6 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pot, add scallions and garlic and sauté until soft over medium heat, about 3 minutes.

Add tomato, cumin, sazon, 1/4 cup cilantro and cook another 2 minutes.  

Add water, bullion, carrot, bell pepper, potato, salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low about 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.

Add cooked quinoa and beef and cook an additional 6-7 minutes. Cook until everything is hot.

 Add remaining chopped cilantro and serve. 

NOTE: This was delicious, but the when we heated the leftovers the beef tips were a little spongy. Next time I make this I will saute them to get some brown crust on 'em. Hopefully they will stand up better in the broth as leftovers then.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade Pizza

First let me go on the record stating: I love pizza and for some reason I had forgotten how easy this crust is to make. Yes, it requires you to think ahead since there is a total of 1 1/2 hours of rise time. BUT it is so easy to make just plan ahead and you'll have two delicious crusts to top however you like.

Secondly let me go on record to apologize for the lack of pics and the ones I do have aren't that great. But without further ado, here we go.

My favorite Basic Pizza Crust is from a Sept/Oct 1991 Cooking Light Magazine and yes I still have this mag solely for this crust. I only used one crust and made it into the shape of my cookie sheet and frozen the other crust.

I used this recipe from AllRecipes for a basic pizza sauce, however I did put it in a small saucepan and let it simmer on very low to help with melding flavors since I only had 1 1/2 hours until I needed it.

For the topping we stay vegan and use lots of fresh veggies, but you should use what you like and have on hand. In the pic below you will see: sliced and then quartered tomatoes, sliced and then quartered and separated sweet onion, bell pepper slices and sliced black olives. What you don't see is approximately 4 ounces of organic baby spinach that I sauteed in a tiny bit of water with 2/3 a package of sliced baby bellas.

So, roll out the crust; top with sauce; add veggies of choice and then top with Diaya Mozzarella shreds. I baked according to the crust directions (but moved it from the bottom shelf to the middle after about 8 minutes.)


Sunday, February 5, 2012


Evey one knows today is the big day - Super Bowl Sunday! We are going to a friends house to watch the game. No game is complete without a big bowl of Chili. I combined several recipes I had to come up with this version. I made this yesterday so the flavors could do their thing. I'm also making stuffed sweet and jalapeno peppers and a Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Let's get this party started (as my favorite 5-year old granddaughter says)!!
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oi
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 3 28-ounce cans beans of your choice (try a combination of beans: kidney, cannellini, and black beans, pintos, etc.), drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 can water 
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion sauté over medium-low heat until translucent.

Add the garlic and sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender and the flavors have melded.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. I like to make my chili the day before we plan on eating it so the flavors marry. If you don't have time for that give it at least a few hours. If it's too thick add a little more water or broth. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with any of the following: cheese shreds, fresh chopped onion, scallions, pickled jalapenos, sour cream and/or cilantro.