24 April 2017

Cabbage Soup




This soup is great for weight loss. My wife has been eating this for suppers for the past few months and she has lost over 20 pounds. It is a very filling soup and can also provide a "cleanse" to the digestive system (your results may vary). Even if you don't use this soup to lose weight, it is very good and makes a great comfort meal. This goes well with Naan Bread or a roll. You can also add crumbled sausage (which defeats the weight-loss portion), tofu, or any other type of veggie you may wish to add. Be warned, this recipe makes a HUGE portion, so you will need a large stockpot or two.  
photo of cabbage soup ingredients
Ingredients for Cabbage Soup
 What you need:
  • 1 Large head of cabbage (shredded) (or 2 small heads of different colors)
  • 8 Carrots (peeled and diced) 
  • 4 Onions (diced) 
  • 3 (16 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes 
  • 2 green bell peppers (diced) 
  • 2 heads of celery (chopped) 
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans 
  • 1 can of beef broth (use vegetable broth to keep this a vegetarian dish)
  • 1 package of Lipton's Onion soup mix (recipe is here: Lipton Onion Soup Mix recipe
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil (for sautéing) 
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (more or less to your taste) 
  • 3 Tbsp: Worcestershire sauce (more or less to your taste) (use a vegan substitute, such as Annie's Homegrown to keep this a vegetarian dish)
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp Dry mustard 
  • 3 tsp Turmeric 
  • 2- 46oz cans tomato juice (just under 3 quarts)
    • In case you have to divide the soup into an additional pot, you might want to grab an extra can of tomato juice. This way you can add juice instead of water (I explain about this later in the recipe)
  • Salt (to taste) 
  • Pepper (to taste) 
Putting it together:
  • Dice onions and place in large bowl 
  • Peel and dice carrots and place in bowl 
  • Chop celery
  • Dice peppers
  • Shred cabbage and set aside

photo of the diced and shredded veggies
The diced and shredded veggies
  • In large stockpot, add the olive oil and when heated, add onions and garlic
  • Season onions with salt and pepper and sauté until soft
  • Add celery and lightly season with salt and pepper
  • Sauté for 5 minutes
  • Add carrots, peppers, green beans, and sauté for another 10 minutes or until fragrant
  • Add beef broth and onion soup mix
  • Add diced tomatoes
  • Add tomato juice, remaining seasonings (dry mustard, turmeric, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder), and mix

photo of veggies and spices in the pot
Veggies and spices in the pot
Now, there are two ways to do the part with the cabbage: you can add it now or wait until the carrots are tender and then add the cabbage. Why the choice? Well, there are some who say that the cabbage gives off a sulfur smell and they do not want that smell in their house for hours on end, so they wait until the soup is about done and then add the cabbage. I don't think it smells so bad, so I add mine now.

In addition, there is a good chance that once you add the cabbage, you might have to break out an additional pot. If this is the case, divide the contents and add the cabbage into the two pots. In the new pot, do not add any additional water, just use the liquid from the first pot. This way, you will only have to adjust seasoning in one pot. In the original pot, add any additional water, better yet, tomato juice, and season to your taste. In my case, I usually add a teaspoon or two of chili powder and some tomato paste. The photo below  shows the second pot I had to add.
photo of second pot of soup
I had to divide the pot, so here's the second one.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer until carrots are almost tender
  • Add cabbage (if you haven't done so already) and simmer until cabbage is tender-another hour or so

Photo of the soup ready to simmer
Soup's on :)
  • Once done, allow to cool and then portion into storage containers 
These containers, once cooled, can then be moved to the freezer for later consumption. As stated, this recipe makes a large batch and will supply you for dinners for quite some time.
Photo of soup in containers ready for the freezer
Soup packed and ready for freezer

18 April 2017

Slow Cooker Farina (Cream of Wheat)

This farina recipe will make anywhere between 5-10 servings, depending on how large a breakfast you like :)  Once cooked, you can place into portion-sized containers, take to work, and then heat in the microwave. Making this on the weekend can save you valuable time during the week.

Photo of ingredients for slow cooker farina
Ingredients for slow cooker farina

What You Need:
  • 2 Cups- farina
  • ¼-Cup sugar or honey (cinnamon sugar is perfect just omit the 1-tsp of cinnamon) 
  • 2-tsp pumpkin pie spice OR 
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp ginger
    • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1-tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup ground flax seed (optional) (high in fiber and has many health benefits)
  • 2-tsp vanilla
  • 2-Cups of milk OR Almond milk (if lactose intolerant)
  • 4-Cups water 
Putting It Together:
  • Spray slow cooker with Pam or other cooking spray
  • Add Farina, sugar, spices, flax seed, and salt
  • Mix everything together
  • Add Milk and vanilla
  • Mix again
  • Add water
    • If you like a creamier cereal, add more milk and less water. Just be sure you have a total of 6 cups of liquid
  • Mix together and cook on low for about 6 hours
  • Once cooked, if it turns out to not be the consistency you like, you can add additional farina or water
Once cooked, you can place in portion-sized containers.
Photo of farina in portion-sized container
Farina ready to eat :)

10 April 2017

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa

If you’re looking for a great tasting chili, but want to go sans meat, then this is the chili you need to try. While the chili is entirely vegetarian, you wouldn’t know it by tasting it.

This goes great with nacho chips, naan bread (Naan Bread recipe here), crackers, or just by itself. You can eat it heated or cold; makes no difference, as it tastes great either way. So, without further ado…

photo of the ingredients for the chili
Ingredients for chili
What you Need:
  • 1- Cup of lentils (rinsed)
  • ½ Cup of Quinoa (rinsed well)
  • 1- Onion (diced) (red for a sweeter taste or white for stronger taste)
  • 1- Bell pepper (any color, but I used red) 
  • 5- Carrots (peeled and diced. You can just slice them for a heartier texture) 
  • 3- Cloves garlic (or 1- Tbsp. minced) 
  • 2- Cans Black beans (rinsed) 
  • 1- Cup Frozen Corn 
  • 4- Cups Diced Tomatoes 
  • 5- Cups Vegetable broth 
  • 3 Tbsp. Chili powder 
  • 2 ½ tsp. Cumin 
  • 1 tsp. Coriander 
  • 1 tsp. Oregano 
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tomato paste 
  • Olive oil (for sautéing) 
  • 1- tsp. salt (in addition to salt added when Sautéing)
  • 1- tsp. pepper (in addition to the pepper added when Sautéing)
 Putting it Together:

Rinsing the lentils: 

Photo of rinsing the lentils
Rinsing the lentils
  • Put lentils into a strainer and rinse well 
  • Remove any bad lentils or other non-lentil items 
  • Put into slow cooker 
Rinsing the Quinoa: 
  • Put quinoa in a bowl and add water 
  • Mix the quinoa with your fingers, making sure you rub them together (kind of like grinding them with your fingers) The picture below shows what the quinoa looks like during the first rinse...
Photo of quinoa on its first rinse
Quinoa on first rinse
  • Pour quinoa into a strainer 
Photo of quinoa being poured into strainer
Quinoa being poured into strainer
  • Pour quinoa back into bowl, add water and repeat the process until the rinse water runs clear (this can take 10 or more times). The photo below shows how the water should look
Photo of quinoa after rinsing
Quinoa after rinsing
  • Once the rinse water runs clear, put quinoa into slow cooker
  • Rinse and put black beans into slow cooker

Photo of rinsing the black beans
Rinsing the black beans


Photo of lentils, quinoa, and black beans in slow cooker
Lentils, quinoa, and black beans in slow cooker
 Now, the other stuff: 
Quick note: You DO NOT have to sauté. You can skip the next 4 steps, put everything into the slow cooker mix well, and cook. However, by taking the extra 15 or so minutes and sautéing, you add another dimension of flavor to the dish. 

Photo of diced veggies
Veggies diced and ready to go
  • Add olive oil to a large pan and heat 
  • Add onion (don’t forget to season me with salt and pepper) and sauté for about 3 minutes or until translucent 
  • Add garlic, carrots, bell pepper, coriander, and cumin. Sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes 
  • Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes, mix. Sauté for 3-5 minutes
Photo of the contents of the pan being sautéed
Contents of pan being sautéed
  • Add contents of pan into slow cooker
  • Add oregano, chili powder, corn, and vegetable broth into slow cooker
  • Mix well
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or until lentils and Quinoa are soft 

Photo of Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa
Enjoy!

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