Creamy Tomato And Rice Soup With Kale

There's nothing quite like a creamy and chunky soup this time of year. As much as I love summer and am still missing those days and nights by the beach eating the abundance of bright and fresh produce, there's something to be said for a big pot of soup. It's SO easy to toss a bunch of things in a pot, let it simmer and not have to babysit it. Also, you can get multiple meals out of it, making it a great choice for prepping meals for the week ahead. 

This creamy soup doesn't actually have cream in it! It gets its rich creaminess from cashew cream, so it's perfect if you're sensitive to dairy or simply trying to consume less of it, like we are. We always enjoy soup in chilly weather, but it's not a meal we are eagerly taking seconds. The first time I made this, we both enjoyed it so much that seconds were a given.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1/2-1 lb of ground dark turkey
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups stock (I use veggie+bone broth)
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, or whole peeled tomatoes crushed with your hand
  • 1 cup of rice (I've used wild and brown) (avoid white as it's not very nutritious)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • A couple dashes of cayenne pepper if you like a lil' spice
  • For cashew cream you'll need 1/2 cup of cashews and filtered water.

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Heat a soup pot to medium heat.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil and ground turkey, break it up and let it brown.
  3. Add in garlic and onion and season with a couple pinches of salt, pepper and cayenne.
  4. Once onion has just softened, add in grated carrot, canned tomatoes and stock, and season a bit more with salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer soup for 10 minutes with lid on.
  6. Add in rice and cook until soft. You can add kale once the rice is cooked either now or when reheating before eating so it doesn't get overcooked.
  7. Add cashew cream after rice has cooked.

CASHEW CREAM:

  1. Soak cashews in water for 10 minutes(if you're short on time)-4 hours 
  2. Drain water from soaked cashews and add to a blender or food processor if you don't have a blender.
  3. Add enough water just to cover cashews, start with about a 1/2 cup. It should be very thick so not to dilute the soup.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!

Mexican Style Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 Green Bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 Red Bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 big or 2 smaller yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lb Shredded chicken (I roasted chicken for the week and used breast and leg meat)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 densely packed cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2-1 chipotle in adobo (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic depending on size
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra olive oil for drizzling
  • 6-8 corn tortillas

 

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet to medium and drizzle with olive oil.  Add the peppers and sauté, then add the onion after about 5 minutes, stir every so often so everything can get a little color.
  2. Add in the chicken after about 10 minutes to heat through, add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the butter and olive oil, add the flour once the butter has melted.  Stir to mix and cook for about a minute.  Add the milk slowly and whisk to avoid clumps.  Bring the heat to medium stirring with a spoon until the sauce thickens to coat the back of the spoon.  Allow to cool for several minutes.
  4. In a food processor, add the garlic clove(s), chipotle pepper, white sauce, spinach and salt to taste and puree until it is fully blended.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a baking dish, put a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom.  Place 2 corn tortillas to cover the bottom, layer 1/3 of the pepper/chicken mixture, then a layer of monterey cheese, then drizzle 1/3 of the sauce.  Add two more layers like this.  For the top layer, I added more of the cheese so it could get extra brown and bubbly in the oven.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the top is browned!
  7. Allow it to cool a bit before serving and enjoy!

Asian Noodle Bowl

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These, highly customizable, asian style noodles are one of best things you can make for a quick, healthy and exciting lunch or dinner. You can easily throw in almost anything you have on hand, I used carrot, radish, red pepper and scallions but bok choy, greens, broccoli, sautéed onions, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, etc. would taste great too. For those nights after a busy day, when you're exhausted and ravenous but have no idea what to make, keep this one in mind! 

Recipe for 2 servings.

 

Ingredients:

For the noodles:

  • 2 portions of noodles (use any noodle, wheat angel hair pasta is pictured) (rice, soba, shirataki would be great)
  • 2 portions of cooked shrimp (I sauteed in a bit of butter and soy sauce)
  • Chopped peanuts, a good handful
  • A couple sliced radish
  • 2 carrots, peeled with a peeler
  • Red pepper, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Serrano chili (spicy!) thinly sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup low sodium Tamari
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • A bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • The juice of a lime (start with half and taste to see if it needs more, lime juiciness varies)

Directions: 

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients together and stir.
  2. Cook noodles as per cooking instructions.
  3. Toss cooked noodles with dressing.
  4. Then add all other ingredients, as you choose!

Sausage and Pepper Frittata

It's understandable, you need a little new energy in your healthy breakfast rotation. It's hard to always come up with exciting and easy breakfasts during the week. When you're sick of grabbing a yogurt as you run out the door or racing through your bowl of cereal only to be hungry an hour later, try this frittata and you'll find it's a keeper. 

I love to pack exciting meals for my husband to enjoy during the work week. He works hard and endures a pretty stressful commute, so I feel like I'm helping to make his day more pleasant by packing delicious food that he enjoys but I know is nourishing and healthy.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs/serving (I made this for 8 servings)
  • 1/2 lb of spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 vibrant green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *optional* cheese of your choice (I used a little cheddar)

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium with a light drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Saute the sausage until browned and cooked through. Then add the pepper, onion and garlic with a little salt and pepper and cook through, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Then stir in sausage mixture.
  4. Preheat the over to 375F.
  5. Rub a baking dish with a little olive oil. Add the egg mixture to the baking dish. (I topped it with cheese at this point)
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top of golden brown and the egg is cooked through.

 

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Seared Salmon with Pea Pesto Risotto

You can stop searching for a new exciting, delicious, healthy and easy dinner! It's the perfect "go-to" meal for the end of a long workday or to impress guests on the weekend. The vibrant green color of the creamy risotto is just as delicious in taste as it is on the eyes. It can be easily modified for dietary needs (vegan, dairy free) and is naturally gluten free. The recipe below is for 2 servings and takes about 45 minutes (less if 2+ people cooking).

Ingredients:

For Salmon (can pretty much sear anything for the top):

  • 2 filets of wild caught salmon
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Olive oil to drizzle pan
  • 1/2 lemon (to juice top after cooking)

For Pea Pesto:

  • 1 cup of thawed, frozen peas
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic clove (more if you're a garlic lover)
  • A bunch of basil (I'm a basil lover, so I added a generous amount)
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • Olive oil to drizzle 
  • Salt and pepper

For Risotto:

  • About a 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 cups of stock (I used beef bone broth, can use veggie or chicken stock)

Directions:

Pea Pesto: (make day before if you can so the flavors marry, but it is still delicious freshly made)

  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients except for olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is combined in a fine and uniform texture. It can be helpful to scrape the sides a couple times if needed.
  2. Empty mixture into a bowl and stir in or top with a drizzle of olive oil, it will help to maintain vibrant green color.

Risotto:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat, and melt the butter with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Add in the onion and garlic with a little salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent, 3-4 minutes and stir often so it does not burn.
  3. Add in the arborio rice and cook until it has a nutty aroma, about 2-3 minutes.  
  4. Add in stock to just cover the rice, and stir frequently.
  5. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked through and creamy, about 15 minutes (you may not use all of the stock).
  6. Off the heat, stir in the pea pesto. You can add freshly grated parmesan cheese at this point, but it is not necessary.

Salmon:

  1. While the risotto is simmering in stock, you can prepare the salmon. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (you can bake the salmon if you do not wish to pan sear it, or substitute the salmon for virtually any protein)
  2. Heat a small skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Add the salmon to the pan, seasoned side down and cook for 6-8 minutes. If the pan seems dry, it is ok to add a little water so the salmon does not burn.
  4. When the bottom side is golden brown appears cooked, it is time to flip it.
  5. Cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes. Cooking time may vary due to varying filet thickness. 

 

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