Hearty Hot and Sour Soup

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My gosh this soup has so much flavor! With this recipe you’ll expect tons of veggies, tons of spice and such a savory broth. Don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping up every last drop of this stuff. I had started getting tired of the traditional vegetable soups. You know the usual culprits – barley vegetable, summer vegetable, root veggie puree. We desperately needed something different so I turned to my recipe companion, Pintrest. I fall so hard into the Pintrest web but have climbed my way out with some killer recipes, this being one of them. The original recipe does include tofu and mushrooms, but there are just some things I cannot stomach and those are two of them. So if you want to make this soup even more hearty then you will want to visit the original recipe posted at http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com.

Serves: 8     Calories: 200/serving     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (Add an extra one if you really like it hot)
  • 1lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 6-8 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, ginger, and jalapenos Cook for a few minutes, stirring.
  2. Add in the carrots, and cabbage. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, cold water, and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the zucchini, and bell peppers to the pot. Simmer until the veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the soy sauce mixture and stir until the soup thickens, about 8 minutes. Add in the bok choy and tomatoes and bring the soup back to a simmer. Stir in the sesame oil.
  5. Dish and Enjoy!

*Photo and video are originals belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com

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Spinach and Mozzarella Meatloaf

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This is not you mother’s ketchup and brown sugar topped meatloaf. This is a flavor packed cheesy meatloaf. I’ve had fails with meatloaf before that left me with a brick of dry beef but this recipe made such a juicy loaf that I doubt I’ll ever use a different one again. It is really hard to describe just how good this meatloaf was! I was able to prepare this ahead of time which was great as I had a busy afternoon planned with the kids. We got home in the late afternoon and all I needed to do was preheat the oven and cook this baby up. It does take an hour and 15 minutes to bake so be sure to allow yourself that time.

Serves: 1 loaf about 8 slices     Calories: approximately 444/ slice     Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups of finely chopped spinach
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl mix together ground beef, spinach, bread crumbs, 1.5 cups of the mozzarella cheese, onion, garlic, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well but do not over-mix as you run the chances of drying it out.
  3. Transfer this mixture to a loaf pan.
  4. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the top of the loaf.
  5. Make a tent over the pan with foil. Don’t let the foil touch the cheese on top of the loaf because it will just stick to the foil and peel off.
  6. Bake for 1 hour
  7. Remove loaf from the oven and take off foil.
  8. Place loaf back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.simplifylivelove.com

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

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Give me a sticky sauce on anything and I’ll devour it. These meatballs were dripping in a wonderfully sticky and sweet sauce. I didn’t find these unbearably spicy but they do pack a delightful kick. The heat in these guys is more of an aftertaste then a knock you out kind of spicy. I paired it up with some crunchy veggies and rice. I do think it would taste great alongside some grilled veggies or even in a sandwich to switch it up for lunch. The process was very simple and straightforward making it a great weeknight recipe. There were plenty of left overs that kept really well. I will be making this one again and again! I found the original recipe at http://www.littlespicejar.com and have to tell anyone reading this how beautiful that blog is. They have so many yummy recipes over there and I definitely recommend that you give them a look.

Serves: 18-22 meatballs     Calories: 100 calories per meatball     Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 lbs of ground chicken
  •  6 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2  tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Adjust your oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the ingredients of the firecracker sauce over medium high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, panko, paprika, and onion powder. Mix well but don’t over mix.
  4. Roll the mixture into 18-24 meatballs and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the oven and brush them with a bit of the sauce. Place them back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove and top with the remaining sauce and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from www.littlespicejar.com

 

Grilled Jerk Wings

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I tend to make major leaps after a small success. I pulled off a grilled romaine salad so I got cocky and took my grilling challenge to wings. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little terrified. Additionally I’ll be honest and admit that the emergency water bottle was used a handful of times to put out small rack fires.. However I pulled it off and these wings were yummy. Who knows what’s next in my grilling adventure. Tri-tip anyone?

These wings are spicy and tangy. The original recipe called for a Scotch Bonnet chile pepper which is reportedly much hotter then the habanero pepper I used. If you like really really hot wings then I suggest finding said pepper and using it in this recipe. Our grocery store does not carry it so I had to substitute. I also shared some wings with my neighbors who are connoisseurs of all things chicken wings and they suggested rounding out the sauce with something sweet such as honey. I will certainly heed this advice and cannot wait to make these again. As for the grilling process, this recipe is pretty easy to follow. You season the wings, grill them, and toss them in sauce. Done deal! These will be great for the upcoming Super Bowl and quickly approaching summer barbecues.

Serves: 4     Calories: 460 per serving     Time:25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken wings, we bought party wings already cut
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • *optional* any chicken rub you like, I used garlic powder, onion powder and a pinch of poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large habanero pepper, minced (wear gloves when handling these hot peppers)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • scallions, chopped for topping

Directions:

  1. Light your grill and heat to medium, approximately 350 degrees F
  2. Rub your wings with olive oil, salt, pepper and optional chicken rub.
  3. Put chicken on the grill and turn them occasionally cooking for 25-20 minutes. Times vary depending on the size of your chicken and how often you lift the lid of your grill to turn the wings. Do not open too much as it releases the heat and takes longer to cook your wings. You will know the chicken is done by cutting into one of the wings and finding that there is no redness near the bone.
  4. While your wings cook prepare the sauce by mixing together the vinegar, habanero, mustard and oregano in a large bowl.
  5. Once wings are done and have a nice char add them to the bowl with sauce and toss coating them evenly.
  6. Top the wings with chopped scallions and enjoy!

*photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from:

Schlesinger, Chris.  Willoughby, John. “Jerk Wings from Hell.”  Grill It!. Ed. Louise Abbott, Marek Walisiewicz, Kati Dye. New York: DK Publishing, 2008. 165. Print.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

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I am good at cooking. I am scared of baking and terrified of grilling. If you frequent this blog you know of my experiences with the grill. If you don’t frequent this blog I’ll clue you in quickly. I have been known to set a grill to flames and even when the gas is turned off the grill is still engulfed by fire. Up to this point I have not had the finesse to master the grill. Now that it is 2016 and I’m feeling quite comfortable in the kitchen I’m taking it outside and learning to conquer my fears.

This salad is my first attempt and I am happy to report that so far I am pulling it off. I quite enjoyed the charred bits of romaine and would liken the wilted bits to spinach. The entire thing does not wilt or char, but the enfolded parts stay crisp leaving this salad with a lot of texture. The grilled corn and tomatoes with feta add a sweet and creamy taste. The star of this show, however, is the Dijon vinaigrette. It is the perfect tangy addition to this salad. The onion and garlic gives you a little bite but the vinegar and Dijon really stand out and balance out the sweet creaminess of the corn, tomatoes and feta. I am certainly going to make this dressing and try it on other salads. For someone who does not grill this was extremely easy to pull off. If you’re a beginner like me and are looking to learn the craft of grilling I highly suggest you start here.

Serves: 4  Calories: approximately 220 per serving  Time: 1 hour soak, 15 minutes prep, 30 minutes grill

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn with husks on
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, depends on how large your lettuce is
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Soak corn with the husks still attached in a bowl of full of enough water to cover them. Let soak for an hour
  2. Prepare dressing by combining 3 tbsp of the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, chives and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Once an hour has passed place the corn (still in husks) on your grill rack over medium heat, approximately 350 degrees F. Cover and grill for 20-30 minutes or until the kernels are tender. Turn the ears of corn once to get an even char. Once kernels are tender remove corn from the rack and set aside to cool enough to handle.
  4. While corn is cooling brush the romaine with remaining 1 tbsp of oil. You may need a little more oil if your romaine is bigger. Depends on the size of your lettuce really. After they’re all oiled place them on the grilling rack over medium heat (again approximately 350 degrees F). Let them grill for about 3 minutes until they are charred to your liking and slightly wilted. Plate the romaine chunks.
  5. Corn should be cool enough to handle by now. Strip off the husks and the silk. Using care, cut the kernels from the ears of corn into a large bowl. Add the tomato halves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle this corn and tomato mixture with about a tbsp of the dressing and toss. Top the each romaine chunk with a bit of this mixture. Sprinkle feta over the salad and drizzle the whole plate with more Dijon Vinaigrette.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from:

Better Homes and Gardens. “Grilled Romaine Salad with Tomato and Corn Tumble.”  Fresh Grilling. Ed. Jan Miller. Iowa: Meredith Corporations, 2014. 215. Print.