Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spill-the-Beans Minestrone Soup

I found this vegetarian recipe in a Light & Tasty magazine and have been making it for a few years.  Thanks to Reuben Tsujimura for this one!  It is as easy as spilling the ingredients into the pot and cooking for fifteen minutes.  The only modification I make is omitting the kale, so my children will eat it.


1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP olive oil 
1 32 oz carton Swanson Certified Organic Vegetable Broth 
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes (cut up)
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta shells
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste (1/2 tsp is pretty spicy.)
6 tsp freshly shredded parmesan cheese (NOT grated)

1. Saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender.
2. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, shells, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.  (I usually work on breaking down the tomatoes with my spoon while waiting for it to boil.)
3. Add pasta. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until pasta is tender.  
4. Sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Fall is coming and with it comes my favorite foods!  These sweet potato biscuits (a Paula recipe) are a perfect compliment to stews and soups.  They are good with a smear of Country Crock Honey Spread.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato ( 1 medium or 2 small)*
3 1/2 TBSP of milk (I ended up using 4 1/2 TBSP)

*Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork.  Put them in a Corningware (with lid) filled with a skim of water. Microwave high 10-15 min or until soft.  Peel off skin and mash.  Let cool a bit (warm is okay).

1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.
3. Add sweet potato and milk.  Stir with a fork.  
4. Turn out on floured surface and kneed lightly 4-5 times (just until it comes together...I do this in the bowl).
5. Roll dough a little.  They don't rise much so keep it thick.
6. Bake on ExoPat Mat or lightly greased sheet at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

They are best warm.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chai Tea Mix

This creamy spiced tea is a perfect fall comfort food and is one of my favorite simple pleasures.  I modified the original recipe to make it lower fat/reduced calorie, and I also cut out the cloves and cardamom.   This makes a very large batch!


1 cup Nonfat Dry Milk Powder
1 cup Nonfat Non-dairy Creamer
6 oz Fat Free French Vanilla Non-dairy Creamer
1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Dry Tea (I prefer Lipton's)
2 cups Splenda
4 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Ground Ginger

1. Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Blend a few cups at a time in a food processor to a fine powder.

This doesn't last long here, so I'm not sure how long it stores.  I make mine one cup at a time, adding about 3 TBSP per mug, but depending on the size of your mug, you may have to add more. It's also great with a drop or two of Kahlua, but be careful not to make it a habit.