Sunday, November 16, 2014

Curried Onion Soup

Curried Onion Soup
If you live in the North like I do and have a backyard garden, this is the time of year when you have to watch helplessly as mother nature claims the last of whatever you might have been growing and you are forced to pull up the remnants of your once fruitful plants in anticipation of watching your land be covered in snow.  But if you tended your garden well and stored certain produce correctly, you may still have a few precious root vegetables lying around.  To be honest, I made this soup back in September when the last of my onion crop looked past its prime and  I figured I had better pick them before they began to rot.  But I know of a lot of local gardeners with fresh onions still being picked or brought out of storage.  Obviously, you can purchase all that you need for this soup at your local grocery store as well, but when I made this, I was lucky enough to have a lot of fresh produce still available right out my back door.

Everyone has heard of French Onion Soup, which is a hearty, and often buttery, beefy soup smothered in toast and cheese.  Onions are one of the most healthful foods on the planet and have been consumed and revered for their medicinal properties since ancient times, so in my opinion, the more you can include them in your diet, the better.  Even if you have to cover this soup with bread and cheese, at least you are getting the onions into you first.  What is so great about this recipe is that by adding the flavor of green curry and coconut oil, you transform a traditional soup into something exotic and surprising.  The addition of the chick peas adds some protein and the kale adds a boost of antioxidants and texture.  So as the weather turns and you are craving something to not only nourish your body, but warm your soul, give this soup recipe a try.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Creamy Broccoli and Pea Soup

Creamy Broccoli and Pea Soup

Having just finished a bowl of this soup for the second night in a row, I knew I couldn't wait any longer to share the recipe.  It is honestly my new favorite soup, not only because it is healthy and filling, but because it is so easy to make.  I know when my meat and potato loving husband asks me "what is in this... it is really good!" that I am on to something.  Usually when you order Broccoli and Cheddar "Soup" in a restaurant you get some glorified cheez wiz and chicken broth concoction with tiny pieces of broccoli in it.  Not exactly nutritious, or appetizing, in my opinion.  While most of the ingredients in the following recipe are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, there is a considerable amount of cheese as well, which you could easily reduce if you are watching your weight or your heart health.  I divided this soup into five hearty servings and the nutrition information (listed below) is still not that bad.  And it is an easy way to get yourself and your family to eat their greens, and some fiber, which is always a good thing.  I love that I was able to sneak in a whole block of organic tofu for some extra protein... no one would ever know it was in there, just that this soup is extra creamy without the addition of any actual cream. Best yet?  It uses frozen vegetables, so you can make it year round, it's affordable and really easy to throw together.  You can even make it ahead and let it simmer on the stove for an hour or two which is great on a busy weeknight with kids getting home at different times and needing help with homework.  So when the weather turns cool this week, why not give this soup a try?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nutella Cake

Nutella Cake
I love Nutella.  I know it isn't good for me, but it is delicious, and so every once in awhile I have to let go and make something incredible out of this addictive food.  I got the idea for this dessert after making both my Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Brownies and my Almond Butter Birthday Cake, and wondering what it would taste like if I substituted Nutella for the healthy nut butters and maple syrup in these recipes.  The result is this cake, which tastes as good as it looks and had my daughter exclaim that it is "the best cake you have ever made mom, ever!"  I think I actually cooked mine a few minutes too long and if you were to slightly undercook it, so it was gooey in the center, it might be even better.  But if you like fudge, and brownies and chocolate, and of course Nutella, then you have to try this cake.  It has to be better for you than simply eating spoonful after spoonful straight from the jar as I have sometimes found myself doing!