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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Minestrone Soup with Ground Beef

This soup was a HUGE hit when I made the recipe. I didn’t get a photo, but I’ll be making it again very soon! My sister who was visiting and my mom both loved it, and my toddler said it was MMMMMM.

I do so love soups, and even my husband (not quite as much a soup lover) found this hearty enough with noodles and beef and tons of veggies to be a “real meal”. I’m not so interested in eating many grains, especially not much pasta, so he cooks the noodles separately for him and anyone else who wants them (our toddler cannot resist!).          

This makes a huge batch, so go ahead and freeze meal sized portions of soups in recycled glass jars. When you need a quick lunch or dinner thaw in the fridge then heat through in a small pot on the stove just like you would with canned soup. You’ll never want to buy canned soups again once you have a freezer stocked with some homemade soups that taste better and are better for you.  

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced (if they’re small use 8 carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1lb ground beef, preferably grassfed
  • 1 large can or jar of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small jar tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup red wine (less if desired, or omit)
  • 3 cups beef broth (more if needed)
  • 3 cups water (more if needed)
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
  • 1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup seashell pasta or similar, my husband prefers egg noodles
  1. Sauté onions, peppers, carrots and garlic in olive oil in cast iron, put into soup pot. Brown beef and liver in pot, add to soup pot then reduce tomatoes, wine and some broth in cast iron.
  2. Combine all ingredients except spinach and pasta, bring to boil, simmer 20min. add pasta and spinach, cook 15 minutes. alternately, add spinach, cook pasta separately or omit to keep the soup grain free.
  3. Serve or cool and store. Reheat on stovetop.

Chicken and Veggies with Marsala Sauce

I was able to test this recipe with company during the holidays, and it was a big success! Everyone loved it, and as is always a good sign, the recipe was requested.

I doubled this to feed 6 adults, two boys and two toddlers. A regular batch should feed a family of 4-6, depending on ages and appetites.

This meal uses the same yummy marsala sauce I love, but has baked chicken instead of pan-fried with breading, and has plenty of flavorful veggies to replace the pasta. If you want a thicker sauce you can add a bit of a roux (equal parts melted butter and flour, cooked over low heat to form a paste), but I enjoyed the thin sauce and the grain-free/gluten-free meal.

• 1 stick butter, halved
• 1 lb Brussels sprouts, stems cut off and halved or quartered if large
• 2 cups mushrooms sliced (using good mushrooms like creminis is best, but buttons will do)
• 1lb carrots, cut into thick slices
• 1 cup onions, julienned
• 2 cloves garlic, sliced
• 1 cup Marsala wine
• 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
• 1 tsp poultry seasoning
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1.5lbs raw bone in chicken pieces (we prefer thighs and legs, but you could use breasts if desired), lightly seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper

1. Saute Brussels sprouts in ½ of butter over medium high for 5 minutes, lower flame to medium and add mushrooms, carrots and onions, cook 5 minutes, then add garlic. Cook until mushrooms are browned. Season veggies to taste, remove from pan.
2. Raise flame to high, Add the Marsala wine, chicken stock and spices, boil for 10 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to get yummy brown bits into your sauce. When reduced and slightly thickened add in remaining butter, season to taste and stir in veggies then remove from flame.
3. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and put chicken into it, top with veggie and sauce mixture and cook at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, test chicken to make sure it has fully cooked. To make ahead, refrigerate before putting into oven and cook in oven before serving.

****If desired you can serve with pasta or rice, but it doesn’t need it to be a good and filling meal.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I haven’t yet tried this recipe, but it should make a very large pot of soup, perfect for freezing half or more for busy nights.

high in iodine, antioxidants, protein and minerals, use a good homemade bone broth to add even more nutrients

• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 cup diced onion
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• 1/4 teaspoon dried poultry seasoning
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup finely chopped celery
• 2 cups diced or shredded carrots
• 2 quarts chicken stock (8 cups)
• 1 small jar of cream soup (I use leftover “creamy” potato/leek soup) (1.5-2cups)
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1.5 tsp kelp flakes
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 3 cups cooked wild rice
• 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté onion, garlic, poultry seasoning, turmeric, mushrooms, celery, and carrots in small amt. olive oil for 5-10 min on medium (in stock pot).

2. Add stock, leftover cream soup and wine; boil 10 min

3. Add chicken, rice, kelp and parsley, cook 2 minutes

4. Serve or cool and store.