Fried Rice and Soup

Well, it’s the season for sniffles and coughs, and we have definitely been getting our share. After a long cold day, this just hit the spot. For anyone unfamiliar with Asian style soups – give this a shot! It may look a little different than you’re used to, but it will surprise you how tasty it is 😉

Fried Rice:

Saute onions, carrots, broccoli and garlic in light olive oil for 7-8 minutes or just until tender. Add an egg or two and saute 2 minutes more. Season with cayenne, onion powder and salt. Add in white rice (and gochujang if desired). Serve with a smile!


Jjigae (Soup)

Boil chopped onion, garlic, and cabbage until tender. Stir in mushrooms, tofu and seasonings (cayenne, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt). Simmer until flavors have blended (approximately 5 minutes). 

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Homemade Tomato Soup

Ever get tired of paying an arm and a leg for tiny cans of soup that never quite measure up to expectations? Well, that’s what happened to us. To be more precise, we went to Noodles and Company, where my husband ordered a bowl of their delicious tomato soup – I was sold. Problem is, we can’t afford to eat out every day —- so —– I looked up a few recipes online, modified them to our particular taste, and Voíla! Here you have it – Tomato Soup!
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 med onion

2-3 garlic cloves

2 small carrots

4 cans diced tomatoes

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cayenne

Basil

Bay leaf

Salt
Saute onions, garlic and carrots 8-10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and seasonings. Boil on med-high heat for 40 minutes or until carrots are tender. Blend until texture is creamy. Yum, yum!
(If desired, blend and set aside a portion for baby leaving out the salt and cayenne). 

Empanadas

Today I was balancing my baby on my hip while unloading my buggy at the grocery store before checkout (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, “buggy” is the southern word for “grocery cart” 😉 ). When I was about halfway through, the woman behind me came up and asked, “May I help you with this?” Of course I was surprised, but I gave my consent, and she proceeded to help me unload the rest of my groceries. After I paid, she also helped me bag them up, and gave me a smile as she left. I’m sure she won’t think much of it, but I can assure you, it brightened my day tremendously, and I will definitely remember her act of kindness. I hope that I will be a blessing to others in my life as she was to me. 

On that note, here is a nice little recipe I’m sharing with you – I hope you can make it yourself and brighten a loved one’s day!

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, diced finely

1/4 green bell pepper, chopped

1/3 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 bag of Morning Star vegetarian crumbled burger 

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Taco Seasoning

Salt
Directions:

Heat skillet on med-high heat.

Sauté onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, add green bell pepper and sauté 3-5 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Add crumbled burger and seasonings. Lower heat slightly and add seasonings to taste. Sauté 4 minutes. Turn off heat.

Roll out premade biscuits into flat 4-5″ diameter circle. Place small spoonful of sautéed mixture on one side of dough. Fold dough over and seal closed with fingers or fork. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Enjoy! 

Tropical Orange Sorbet

Nothing like a cold treat on a summer night after the noise quiets down and the lights are lowered. Tasty, fresh and sweet; this little evening splurge was right on target. (Romantic, too, if I might add 😉 ).

1 Orange

3/4 c frozen fruit punch concentrate (I like the 100% juice, but use whatever you have)

2 tbsp white sugar

2 c ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender (VitaMix work great for this). Start on lowest setting and gradually speed up. Blend until the consistency is smooth, but be careful not to blend for too long or the sorbet will melt. Serve with a touch of romance!

Servings: 2

Mediterranean Pasta

It was a busy day for me today! I had cleaning, laundry and dishes to catch up on, not to mention watching my ever active baby trying new tastes (furniture, the cat, his blankie, etc) every chance he gets. Needless to say, I didn’t have time for a huge meal, but this dish was simple and fairly quick – and the best part: my husband says I’m the best at making zucchini taste great (he usually doesn’t like it). Try this recipe for yourself and let me know if he is right or not 😄.

Ingredients:

Few tablespoons light olive oil

1/2 med onion, cut lengthwise and sliced into 1/4″ wedges

2 cloves finely diced garlic

1 med zucchini, chopped

1 chopped roma tomato or 1/3 can diced tomatoes

Onion powder

Salt

Heat oil in skillet or frying pan on med heat (just a tad higher). Sauté onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add zucchini. Sauté for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and seasonings and sauté 2 more minutes. Serve over seasoned spaghetti noodles (I like to stir olive oil, salt, garlic powder and parmesan into it). Top with crubled feta cheese. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Tip: This recipe goes great with a light salad

Veggie Lover’s Patties

Ok, so I admit it: I am partly a “dump cook.” That is, I enjoy following recipes, but who doesn’t like improvising – and if the occasion calls for it, just putting ingredients together until it feels right?

With that said, I will do my best to give directions for this recipe. 🙄

Directions:

In large saucepan boil 3-4 cups of water, 1 med chopped carrot, 3 chopped celery sticks and 1/4 onion, and seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, salt) for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. (You can adjust the seasonings to your taste – it should be a little salty.

Turn off heat and stir in quick oats until thickened (similar to the texture of thick breakfast oatmeal). Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes until stiff.

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a well greased pan/cookie sheet place heaping spoonful (approximately 3-4 tbsp) of mixture. Mash into shape (I like mine nicely rounded) about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 30 minutes on bottom rack, flip and bake 10-15 minutes more.

I served the patties on buns with feta cheese, tomato and mayo, but they also work great with gravy or however you prefer.

Enjoy!

Makes 6-9 patties

Breakfast of Color

Do you ever wake up on the weekend in the mood for something different, but don’t feel like spending all morning in the kitchen? If so, here is a great recipe to try out!

My mom always told me meals should be colorful and appetizing – and this one fits that description perfectly. If you prefer, add a few slices of tomatoes on the side for a few bonus vitamins. I like to salt mine 😉

Ingredients:

1/2 block of med-firm tofu

Small handful of greens (well cooked kale or raw baby spinach are my 2 favorites)

1/4 onion, chopped

1/2 roma tomato, chopped

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cayenne

Salt

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet on med-high heat (I prefer iron skillets). Saute onions for 1 -2 minutes then add tofu, greens and tomatoes. Allow to slightly brown without stirring for 2-3 minutes before flipping with spatula. Season with a few dashes of cayenne, garlic and onion powder. Salt to taste. Place on toasted english muffin with 1/2 slice of swiss cheese. Yum!

Servings:4

(You can adjust the recipe to your liking. It is always fun to try new tastes. Also, if you prefer eggs to tofu, just mix all the ingredients together and scramble on medium heat).

Apple-Pear Crisp

Today the weather is warm and windy, just perfect for a sweet bite and sitting on the swing outside. Enjoy!


Ingredients:


3 med apples

1 ripe pear

A few tablespoons sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon
Directions:


Core and slice fruit. Mix with cinnamon and sugar. Place in pie plate or 9×9 baking dish. Top with crumbled dough. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Dough Recipe:
3/4 c all purpose flour

1/2 c quick oats

Few tablespoons sugar

Cinnamon

A few tablespoons melted butter
Directions:


Mix all ingredients together until butter combines evenly with flour (the dough should be dry and crumbly).