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Cream is the Theme

Happy Sunday!  We’re enjoying a beautiful day here in Texas. The SUN has decided to grace us with its presence once again, and we’ll be seeing the 70s this week!  Let the pool party season begin.

After enjoying some Amy’s soup this past weekend, Dustin and I realized that we really love soup..a lot.  This week shall be devoted to finding lots of new soup recipes to make.  It seems like one of the easiest and most delicious ways to eat veggies if you ask me.

Today’s soup was inspired by a recipe we found on Taste of Home, called Garden Chowder.  We wanted to be a little adventurous and make our first “creamy” soup from scratch.  We took the original recipe and adapted it to make a healthier version with some added flavors.  Definitely check out the original recipe, where you’ll also find about 22 more pages of vegetarian soups.

“Creamy” Vegetable Soup

THE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup each of the following chopped ingredients: carrots, celery, broccoli, red potato, onion, bell pepper
  • 2 T of olive oil
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 T pre-mixed garlic and herbs blend (sesame seeds, black pepper, dehydrated garlic and green onion, lemon peel)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • Colby jack cheese (optional topping)

1. Chop the carrots, celery, potato, onion, broccoli, and peppers into bite-size pieces.

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2. Heat your soup pot on high and add 2 T of olive oil.  Then add the peppers and onion.  Add 1 T of garlic and herbs blend.  Sauté for about 3-5 minutes or until the onion is browned.

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3. Once the peppers and onions are sautéed, throw in the rest of the chopped vegetables.  Mix together.

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5. Add 4 cups of water.  Mix.  Bring to a boil.

DSCN3568 6. Add 2 vegetable bouillon cubes.  Mix.

DSCN3569 7.  Put in one dry bay leaf, 1 T of dry parsley, and 2 T of garlic blend.  Mix.

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8.  Once it reaches a full boil, add 1/2 cup of brown rice.  Bring to a simmer and cover for about 35 minutes or until rice is tender.

DSCN3578 9. While soup is simmering, prepare your “cream” mixture to the side.  Pour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups of rice milk into a mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth.

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10.  When the soup is finished simmering and the rice is tender, slowly add in the milk mixture.  Stir until it is fully mixed in.  Cook on medium-high heat for another 5 minutes or until you reach your desired thickness.

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11.  In the final 5 minutes, throw in 4-5 thyme sprigs and 3 chopped green onions.

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12.  After about five minutes, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.  Your soup is ready to serve and eat!

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We cut up some little cheese cubes and added a DROP of habanero hot sauce.  Delicious!!

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Honestly, we were extremely nervous about how this would turn out, as we chose whole wheat flour over white flour and rice milk over whole milk.  It turned out so great!  Obviously, the appearance won’t look as “creamy” as traditional cream-based soups,  but the flavors were phenomenal.  I highly encourage you to try it or create your own adaptations of it.  We were satisfied, but not stuffed.  It also didn’t leave me with an icky feeling after eating it, as most dairy dishes tend to do.

And finally, a new green smoothie recipe!

BLUEBERRYSTRAWBERRY CREAM GREEN SMOOTHIE

We experimented with some new flavors in our green smoothie today.  Vanilla coconut milk was on sale this week (plus $1 OFF coupon I had). I snagged a carton for $1.99!  Blueberry pints were also on sale for $1.77!  Hellooo, antioxidants!

THE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana (frozen if you can)
  • 3 frozen strawberries
  • 1/8 cup blueberries
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 T vanilla yogurt
  • 3 ice cubes

Throw in a blender (or Magic Bullet), blend, pour, and enjoy!!

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This may be my new favorite green smoothie.  That is, until the price of blueberries goes up.  Then, I’ll be getting creative again.  The combination of blueberries and coconut is out of this world!  🙂

Have you ever had a green smoothie?  If so, what is your absolute favorite recipe?  We’re always looking to try new ones!

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Mele Kalikimaka Chicken with Fried Rice

Hawaiian Merry Christmas Chicken!  We couldn’t think of what to call the dinner we made tonight.  It was marinated in a Hawaiian sauce, and I couldn’t get the song from National Lampoon Christmas out of my head.  So it works, right?

We had a Sous Chef to help us out.  He’s just a seasonal employee.  😉

Here’s the recipe and step-by-step guide to what we made tonight:

1. Gather the necessary ingredients:

  • Fried Rice
    • 1 cup cooked brown rice
    • 1 cup peas
    • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
    • 1/4 cup chives (more or less to taste)
    • 1 egg
    • Minced garlic
    • Soy sauce
    • Olive Oil

  • Hawaiian Chicken
    • 1 lb breast
    • 3 T Hawaiian marinade (brand of your choice)
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (we used orange)
    • 3 T crushed pineapple (fresh or canned)

2.  Combine Hawaiian marinade with chicken; let sit while you prepare the rice.

3. FOR FRIED RICE

  • Bring skillet to medium-heat and add 1 T of olive oil

  • When oil is hot, add the peas, carrots, chives, and garlic into the skillet.  Saute for about 2 minutes.

  • Next, add the cup of brown rice.

  • Mix all of the ingredients well.

  • Now create a hole in the center of the mixture.  This is where the egg will go.

  • Crack an egg into the center hole.

  • Stir in the center to create a scrambled eggs mixture.

  • When it is just about done, mix it with the rest of the ingredients and add a splash of soy sauce.

4. FOR HAWAIIAN CHICKEN

  • Put 1 T of olive oil into the skillet.  Bring it to medium-high heat.  Then add the chicken.  It should take about 5 minutes per side.

  • While that start cooking, start a separate small skillet with 1 T of olive oil.

  • Add the onions and peppers with salt and pepper to taste.

  • To speed up the cooking time for the chicken, we cut it into smaller slices while it was on the skillet.  Then, we added the onions, peppers, and pineapple.  Stir it all together.

5. Put on a plate and enjoy!


Mmmm…

Dustin’s wasn’t quite done until he added his Siracha sauce…

Now it should hit the spot!