Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anna's Perfect Green Soup (Readers' Digest)

Anna's Perfect Green Soup
(From Readers' Digest)

2 Tbs. Extra-virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish1lb. Greens: Green Chard, Kale, Mustard Greens, or Beet Greens
2 Yellow Onions, chopped14 c. Gently packed spinach (about 12oz.)
1 tsp. Salt, divided, big pinch of Cayenne Pepper4 c. Vegetable Broth
1/4 c. Arborio Rice1 Tbs. Lemon Juice, or more to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add 2 tbs. water, and cover. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are greatly reduced and have a caramel color, 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 3 c. water, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and rice in soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boel. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Trim ribs and tough stems from the greens and spinach; discard. Coarsely chop greens and spinach.
When rice has cooked 15 min. stir in greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook 10 min. When onions are caramelized, stir a little greens' simmering liquid into them; immediately add them to rice along with spinach, broth, and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 min. more.
Puree soup in pot with immersion blender until perfectly smooth, or in regular blender in batches. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with olive oil.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

**Susan's Note: This is delicious and comforting for a winter night.  NOTE: I did not steam the butternut squash, I roasted it for 40 min. at 425 degrees with a little olive oil.  I also omitted the olives.  Add a topping of sour cream to this soup and it gets even better.  I doubled the recipe and froze half to save for later!**

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

***Susan's Note:  Quinoa is a seed full of protein, easy to cook (although messy if a toddler eats it).  After my friend Anya made this for me when I had my second baby, I tried it for myself and found it delicious!  My husband likes it with a little added oriental sauce from a jar (like General Tso's or Duck Sauce - just watch the MSG).   There are many variations including a cold salad here and a modified version of this recipe here.**

QUINOA Directions
You will need about 2 cups of liquid (water, vegetable broth or chicken broth) per 1 cup of quinoa.

1. Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer if possible.
2. Put quinoa and cooking liquid in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove from heat.

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Chop a variety of veggies - whatever you wish.  I used baby carrots, onions, red bell pepper, yams, and yellow and green zucchini.  You want enough to be spread on a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet / jelly roll pan.
3.  In a blender, puree the following as a marinade for the veggies:
     5-6 garlic cloves
     5 tablespoons olive oil
     1-2 lemons and a little bit of the lemon rind from one lemon
     sea salt and pepper to taste

4. Toss veggies in a large Ziploc bag with this marinade and then spread on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or coated with olive oil.

5. Bake at 425 degrees for at least 35 minutes.  Check on tenderness of veggies and add time if necessary.

Mix with quinoa and enjoy!