Saturday, March 26, 2011

Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1 bunch broccoli
2 potatoes
1/4 yellow onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp italian seasoning
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cups sharp white cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

In a medium pot or deep pan; saute onion in olive oil, add italian seasoning and let bloom about 3 minutes.  Cut broccoli into florets and potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.  Add garlic, potatoes, broccoli and vegetable stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are tender.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Finely shred cheese and set aside.  Fill a blender or food processor no more than half way and blend until smooth.  This should be about two batches.  Return soup to pot and heat one medium low stirring in cheese until melted.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Low fat doesn't have to mean tasteless!  I've created a low fat, flavor packed, simple banana bread recipe that has a hint of sweetness.

Tip: I feel it's important to use ripe frozen bananas to get the absolute best flavor possible.  As they begin to ripen more than I prefer for eating I store them in the freezer for recipes like this.

3 mashed bananas
1 egg white
3/4 cup agave syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup pecans

Thoroughly combine all of the wet ingredients.  Stir in cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour.  Last, mix in pecans.  Pour into a greased loaf pan or muffin tins and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caramelized Onion Gruyere Toast & Tomato Soup

Caramelized Onion Gruyere Toasts

1 large vidalia onion
1 large yellow onion
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
salt & pepper to taste
any rustic sour dough or multi grain bread

Start by cutting onions in half then slicing.  In a large non-stick pan on a low flame heat olive oil and melt butter.  Add dried spices and let bloom for 2 minutes then add onions, worschestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir onions to coat, I found using tongs works best.  Cover and let onions soften stirring every 5 minutes for 1 hour making sure heat remains low and onions do not brown too quickly.  Once onions are translucent remove lid and allow to color for another 30 to 45 minutes.  Onions will caramelize and amazing flavor will develop.  Stay patient and do not rush to brown the onions.

Slice bread and drizzle with olive oil.  Put under a low broiler until lightly golden.  Take out, spread with caramelized onions and top with gruyere.  Put back into broiler until cheese has melted.

Tomato Soup

I took inspiration for this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis' Quick and Spice Tomato Soup.

2 15 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 orzo pasta or broken spaghetti
1 can cannellini beans
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion
6 fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil

Saute onion, carrots and red bell pepper in olive oil until almost tender.  Add orzo and red pepper flakes, let toast about 2 minutes.  Tear in basil leaves, add tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until pasta is cooked and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.