Tag: kale

Love in a Bowl White Bean & Fennel Soup {Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free}

The cold weather we’ve been having lately has put me in a serious soup/stew/chili-making mood.

And since my husband gave me this cast iron Dutch oven for Christmas, making these one pot meals has been easier than ever!

Atwater’s, Great Sage, and Zia’s Cafe are my favorite places in Baltimore to buy soups for lunch or dinner when I’m out on the road, but I also like making them myself.

Today’s recipe is for a hearty, colorful White Bean & Fennel Soup that is bursting with flavor. It’s full of powerful, anti-inflammatory veggies like onions, garlic, fennel, and kale, along with fiber-filled beans and a tasty blend of Italian herbs.

When you eat it, it’ll make you smile and warm your soul. That’s why I call it Love in a Bowl 🙂

crockpot bean soup ennel bean souplove in a bowl

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb (stalks removed) and thinly sliced (see how to pictures below directions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
1 box or can no/low-sodium fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes, with juices (don’t drain)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
4 cups dino kale, destemmed and shredded
1 (15-ounce) BPA-free can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (We love the brand Eden)
Juice from half a lemon, more to taste

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven or 8-quart pot, saute onion and fennel in coconut oil until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, herb blend, pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes with juices, broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Discard bay leaf. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and kale, and continue simmering until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in beans, and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Finish with lemon juice. Serve & enjoy!

In case you missed it, make sure you check out this post for the easiest and cheapest way to make your own vegetable broth from scratch.

How to chop fennel

Breakfast To Go: Mini Make-Ahead Frittatas! {Paleo, Gluten-Free}

Many of us are looking for simple solutions to make meals that are quick, affordable, delicious…and, if possible, healthy.

This recipe for mini frittatas will become a staple at your house if you’re looking for any of those things! It’s great for breakfast or brunch and is super kid-friendly, too.

Loving all of our fresh ingredients!

Loving all of our fresh ingredients!

This recipe includes a variety of super healthy foods, including kale, mushrooms and shallots. As I’ve written before, kale is a superstar vegetable and one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Mushrooms and shallots also have tons of health benefits, including being potent cancer fighters, like other anti-cancer, anti-fat storage GBOMBS foods.

We get our eggs from Hometown Harvest, and they’re from pasture-raised chickens that aren’t crammed in pens and injected with a bunch of antibiotics like most chickens. The eggs are delicious!

I ended up with 12 mini egg frittatas (make a double batch to save time if you want!). You could easily make this on a Sunday and have them for the week for meals.

These should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and foil and store them in the freezer for a few weeks. I find that reheating them in the oven or toaster oven works best so they don’t get rubbery, but you can try reheating in the microwave, too. From frozen, try 30-60 seconds and from the fridge, try 15-20.

Mini Make-Ahead Frittatas

YUM! These mini egg muffins are bursting with flavor and SO yummy

YUM! These mini egg muffins are bursting with flavor and SO yummy!

Ready for breakfast!

Ready for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs (we get ours pasture-raised from Hometown Harvest)
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped and tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (we use the unsweetened full fat version)
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and coat the muffin tins with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  2. In a medium skillet (we used a cast iron skillet), saute the shallots until translucent. Then, add in the garlic, mushrooms and herbs, and saute until the mushrooms start to shrink (4-6 minutes). Add in the kale, tossing it until it starts to wilt. Turn off the heat and set veggies aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl with the coconut milk, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the cooked veggies in with the eggs and pour the mixture into muffin tins, filling each about 75% of the way to allow room for puffing up.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping and rotating the tray halfway through, until the muffin edges turn golden.
  6. Let cool before serving. They will puff up during cooking and shrink down once cooled. ENJOY!

Feel free to change it up by adding YOUR favorite veggies! Try any combination of the following vegetables, or make up your own combo. I like using broccoli, onions, peppers, scallions, sundried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, or even Swiss chard. Get creative with it 🙂

How to Make Quinoa Taste Delicious: My Favorite Recipes!

In my post the other day, I shared the secret to cooking perfect quinoa every time. No more overcooked mush!

Knowing how to cook quinoa by itself is great, but for many of us, eating it plain has been our only experience with this little super seed. When we think of quinoa we think “bland, boring, and tasteless.”

It doesn’t have to be this way! Today I’m going to share how we make quinoa dishes taste delicious.

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Here is my favorite way to prepare quinoa. It’s not super technical (i.e., no measurements – AHH!), but that’s okay. Part of the FUN of cooking is experimenting and giving yourself permission to not follow so many stinkin’ rules 🙂

  1. Cook one cup of it. It expands to 3-4 times its size so 1 cup dry = 3-4 cups cooked.
  2. Chop & roast some veggies (I love using red and vidalia onions, garlic, carrots and sweet potatoes or butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are great, too!). A few pinches of thyme, rosemary, and/or sage give roasted veggies great flavor. Use whatever veggies, herbs and spices YOU like!
  3. Chop up some greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, etc.).
  4. Put the quinoa and roasted veggies in a large skillet or saute pan on the stove and turn heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the greens. Toss everything together for a few minutes with tongs until the greens cook down but are still bright. Add a few splashes of water or veggie broth to prevent sticking/drying out.
  6. Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of 1/2 – 1 whole lemon or splash raw apple cider vinegar over the mixture and stir (acid = bite/flavor!).
  7. Top with toasted nuts/seeds (I like pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pine nuts), and for something sweet, dried cranberries or raisins.
  8. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (you may need more) as well as sea salt and pepper to your liking.
Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

For anyone who likes to follow recipes with numbers in them, check out the yummy ideas below for some seasonal quinoa dishes! We made the first one this week for dinner 🙂

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Quinoa Skillet – This is a perfect, warming winter dish. We cooked it in our cast iron skillet and made a few changes to the recipe. Roasting whole sweet potatoes in the oven took a long time, so next time, we’ll chop them up, toss them in some coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400F. Also, we added a few squeezes of lemon juice and some toasted pumpkin seeds to the dish just before serving, and it was delicious!

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts – These are a few of my absolute favorite things 🙂

Quinoa Fried Rice – Bill and I prepare variations of this all the time. We throw in whatever veggies we have on hand, so don’t feel like you’re stuck with this recipe as is – modify it to include your favorites!

Super Simple Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili – Is it time to change up your chili recipe? Give this one a try!

I have lots of other quinoa recipes on my Pinterest boards, so check them out!

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet. Yum!

Soup’s On! My Favorite Cookbook & A Soup You Have to Try {Vegan, GBOMBS}

I was eagerly anticipating a long weekend away to the southern coast of Portugal with several friends from my program in Spain…until something awful happened.

IMG_0281

I got food poisoning.

After all, who doesn’t want to deal with embarrassing GI issues in a foreign country hours away from home and everything familiar? I’ll be honest, it was a pretty miserable and uncomfortable week, and aside from the temporary weight loss, nothing good came of it.

I told my Spanish mom, Matilde, that all I wanted was crushed ice and “cookies without sugar” because I didn’t know how to say “Saltine crackers” in Spanish.

Well, I was told that ice is “dirty” so I shouldn’t eat it, and I didn’t get anywhere with my description of Saltines.

Bummer.

So, aside from some physical discomfort, embarrassment, and frustration, since I had to delay my trip to Portugal, what did my illness mean?

Several days of clear fish broth until I felt better.

Since I had never really eaten any soup other than Campbell’s less-than-impressive and rather sparse chicken noodle soup and didn’t like seafood, eating fish broth was a real treat.

Fortunately, over the next few months, Matilde redeemed the fish broth by introducing me to a variety of other soups and stews that were brimming with vegetables and bursting with deep flavors.  They were filling, warming, and comforting.

We love soups and chilis now and prepare them almost weekly this time of year.

IMG_3230

Here are a few reasons why we are souper excited about soup!

  • They’re cheap. Beans, vegetables, broth, greens, and grains are the base ingredients in most soups. They can be purchased in bulk and are really inexpensive.
  • They last for days, which saves time and money. Cook once, eat three (or more!) times. I love finding ways to save time in the kitchen, especially during the workweek. By taking some time to prepare a soup one day, we save ourselves time (and money!) preparing lunch and several dinners during the rest of the week. Now that football season is over, try to commit to making a soup on Sunday afternoon, and don’t worry about prepping dinner until Tuesday at the earliest!
  • They’re low maintenance and easy to prepare. The great thing about soup is that you can “set it and forget it” by putting it in a crock pot or just leaving it on a low simmer on the stove. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors build. Mmmm…
  • They’re healthy comfort food. Comfort food makes us happy because it is reminds us of home, family or friends and often has a very traditional and simple preparation. Soups are warming, soothing, rich and often reflective of our heritage, too, and there is something really satisfying about that.
  • They’re a great way to get in the healthiest foods on the planet, including leafy greens, beans, and onions! Check out this recipe for an amazing Tuscan Bean Soup we made the other day. We incorporated our Tuscan (AKA dino) kale from Hometown Harvest along with other GBOMBS foods like beans and onions. The addition of red wine added a sweetness and richness that I can still taste!IMG_3235

As a gift to celebrate my completion of graduate school, my mother-in-law gave me what is now one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source is written by Terry Walters, a fellow IIN graduate.

From the Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette (you will never want store-bought salad dressing again!), Three Bean Chili, and Roasted Kabocha Squash and Creminis to the Ginger and Pear Crisp and Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, we have enjoyed over a dozen of the wholesome, nourishing recipes from Terry’s Clean Food cookbook.

Clean Food

Also, for anyone who has food sensitivities or allergies, this cookbook will give you tons of new inspirations and alternatives, and you will not feel deprived or slighted in the least!

The Tuscan Bean Soup was the most recent recipe we prepared from Clean Food and is one we will definitely be making again.

You can check out other delicious soups posted on my Pinterest boards!

Do you have a favorite healthy soup recipe? Feel free to share below! 

Soup’s On! My Favorite Cookbook & A Soup You Have to Try {Vegan, GBOMBS}

I was eagerly anticipating a long weekend away to the southern coast of Portugal with several friends from my program in Spain…until something awful happened.

IMG_0281

I got food poisoning.

After all, who doesn’t want to deal with embarrassing GI issues in a foreign country hours away from home and everything familiar? I’ll be honest, it was a pretty miserable and uncomfortable week, and aside from the temporary weight loss, nothing good came of it.

I told my Spanish mom, Matilde, that all I wanted was crushed ice and “cookies without sugar” because I didn’t know how to say “Saltine crackers” in Spanish.

Well, I was told that ice is “dirty” so I shouldn’t eat it, and I didn’t get anywhere with my description of Saltines.

Bummer.

So, aside from some physical discomfort, embarrassment, and frustration, since I had to delay my trip to Portugal, what did my illness mean?

Several days of clear fish broth until I felt better.

Since I had never really eaten any soup other than Campbell’s less-than-impressive and rather sparse chicken noodle soup and didn’t like seafood, eating fish broth was a real treat.

Fortunately, over the next few months, Matilde redeemed the fish broth by introducing me to a variety of other soups and stews that were brimming with vegetables and bursting with deep flavors.  They were filling, warming, and comforting.

We love soups and chilis now and prepare them almost weekly this time of year.

IMG_3230

Here are a few reasons why we are souper excited about soup!

  • They’re cheap. Beans, vegetables, broth, greens, and grains are the base ingredients in most soups. They can be purchased in bulk and are really inexpensive.
  • They last for days, which saves time and money. Cook once, eat three (or more!) times. I love finding ways to save time in the kitchen, especially during the workweek. By taking some time to prepare a soup one day, we save ourselves time (and money!) preparing lunch and several dinners during the rest of the week. Now that football season is over, try to commit to making a soup on Sunday afternoon, and don’t worry about prepping dinner until Tuesday at the earliest!
  • They’re low maintenance and easy to prepare. The great thing about soup is that you can “set it and forget it” by putting it in a crock pot or just leaving it on a low simmer on the stove. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors build. Mmmm…
  • They’re healthy comfort food. Comfort food makes us happy because it is reminds us of home, family or friends and often has a very traditional and simple preparation. Soups are warming, soothing, rich and often reflective of our heritage, too, and there is something really satisfying about that.
  • They’re a great way to get in the healthiest foods on the planet, including leafy greens, beans, and onions! Check out this recipe for an amazing Tuscan Bean Soup we made the other day. We incorporated our Tuscan (AKA dino) kale from Hometown Harvest along with other GBOMBS foods like beans and onions. The addition of red wine added a sweetness and richness that I can still taste!IMG_3235

As a gift to celebrate my completion of graduate school, my mother-in-law gave me what is now one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source is written by Terry Walters, a fellow IIN graduate.

From the Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette (you will never want store-bought salad dressing again!), Three Bean Chili, and Roasted Kabocha Squash and Creminis to the Ginger and Pear Crisp and Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, we have enjoyed over a dozen of the wholesome, nourishing recipes from Terry’s Clean Food cookbook.

Clean Food

Also, for anyone who has food sensitivities or allergies, this cookbook will give you tons of new inspirations and alternatives, and you will not feel deprived or slighted in the least!

The Tuscan Bean Soup was the most recent recipe we prepared from Clean Food and is one we will definitely be making again.

You can check out other delicious soups posted on my Pinterest boards!

Do you have a favorite healthy soup recipe? Feel free to share below! 

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