New and Improved Mushroom Risotto

Boy, did I get risotto wrong for all these years, I am so embarrassed! About a year ago we invited some friends over for dinner and I made the mushroom risotto recipe I have on this site, and just cooked it forever, until it was mush. Luckily the flavors were still good, but the consistency was all wrong — I now know!  I always read in recipes here in the US to stir the risotto constantly which also I now know to be untrue. So there I was stirring continuously for what seemed like hours while our guests stood in the kitchen drinking and hungrily watching the risotto that seemed like it would never finish cooking. Not good. 

This summer we vacationed in northern Italy and took a cooking class. The chef taught us to make risotto the real way, the Italian way. What a difference. It turns out that risotto is a quick little side dish that requires very little stirring or care! Who knew?

Give this a try. Add whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand, it is a terrific blank canvas for seasonal ingredients.  

New and Improved Mushroom Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

A simple and basic risotto recipe that can be personalized with vegetables or proteins of your choice.

Ingredients

  • About 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 sweet onion, cut into a small dice
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • about a Tablespoon fresh sage, cut in a chiffonade
  • about a Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing

Procedure

  1. Warm the broth in either a pot or if you are lazy like me in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (one less pot to clean).
  2. In a large deep dutch oven or skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, until softened.
  4. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. You should see a little white dot in the rice when it has been toasted enough.
  5. Add the wine, give it a little stir and let it cook over medium heat until the wine is absorbed, about 2 or 3 minutes minutes.
  6. Add about 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture, give it a good stir and cook until nearly absorbed (don’t constantly stir while the rice mixture is absorbing the broth). Repeat adding the stock about 1 cup at a time and just giving it one stir after each addition of broth to get the broth and the rice mixed until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, for about 12 minutes (you may not use all the stock). Taste the risotto at this point. If it is cooked al dente (fully cooked but still slightly firm to the bite) at this point, you are finished cooking it. If not, add a little more broth and check again after it is absorbed.
  7. Turn off the heat and add fresh spinach, a little black pepper and parmesan. Taste and add salt and more pepper to your liking.
  8. Serve immediately, topping each potion with a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Note:  I has some small cherry tomatoes lying around, so I added them half-way during step 6. My husband also sauteed a little lobster tail in olive oil, butter, sage and garlic, and we mixed that in during step 7. Other times we have kept it simple and subbed in  some tomato sauce for the last cup of broth. The possibilities are endless.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 7, 2019

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Turkey Vegetable Chili

So yesterday was mushroom barley soup and today is turkey chili, I am full-fledged into autumn now…except this is Northern CA and it will feel like summer again in a few days, but that keeps things interesting. I have made this chili recipe a few times and it is dramatically different from my beef and chicken sausage chili I posted a few years ago. I think this is lighter and brighter, not quite a rich as my other chili recipe, although both are pretty light calorie-wise. I lightened-up this Food & Wine recipe by omitting the lager (didn’t want to buy a 6 pack of beer to use only one bottle to make this chili), using two pounds of ground turkey breast meat instead of three (!) pounds of turkey, added some additional vegetables among other small tweaks. I hope you enjoy it!

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Turkey Vegetable Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
  • Print

Adapted from Food & Wine's Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili - a light and vegetable-laden chili for a cool autumn day.

Adapted from Food & Wine’s Turkey and Pinto Bean Chili  

Ingredients

  • Safflower oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut in a small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in a small dice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut in a small dice
  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of low-sodium chopped tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cans of low-sodium cannellini beans (or great northern or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed

Procedure

  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot on Medium-high. Add a small amount of oil and coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onion, carrots, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle chile powder, black pepper, and salt  to the mixture and stir for one minute until well-mixed and fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock/broth, cider vinegar, and the beans. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally.
  4. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or onions if desired.

NOTE: This also works well to follow recipe up to step 3, then once you add the beans put the mixture into a slow cooker, set on medium and leave it to cook for the day. I do this in the mountains, so it is about 45 minutes preparation and then dinner is ready when I come home from skiing! 

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

October 3, 2019

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chopping the onion
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cooking the turkey and the vegetables
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Chili simmering
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finished product!

Ginger Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

It is officially Fall, but since the temperature hit 96 degrees today I really wasn’t feeling it! I went to the market with only a vague plan, cook something that requires little heat, fairly light and easy. I was thinking some juicy late summer tomatoes would be nice, maybe with some fresh mozzarella and add some pasta for my son. It was just the two of us tonight, so I was trying to make both of us happy and avoid the oven. Turned out my market had a terrible selection of heirloom tomatoes, so I had to come up with a new plan on the fly…I bought some shrimp, baby bok choy, and snow peas. Smallest market trip in a long time! I am really excited about this recipe since it was pretty fast and easy and you can put in any vegetables you happen to have in the fridge if you don’t feel like shopping. And the flavors are simple but delicious! Thank you again Woks of Life for the inspiration for this. I love your recipes!

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Ginger Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and healthy Chinese shrimp and vegetable dish.

Credit: Scallion Ginger Shrimp Recipe from The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • light oil such as safflower or canola
  • 1/2 sweet onion, large slices
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 large mushrooms, cut in large slices
  • 2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of broccolini, cut in large pieces
  • 1 cup of snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • small pinch of sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Procedure

  1. Brine the shrimp by mixing 2 Tablespoons salt with 1 cup of water. Stir well and add shrimp. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare vegetables while shrimp is brining.
  3. Drain shrimp and dry on a paper towel.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add 1/2 the ginger and stir for about 30 seconds in the hot oil. Add the onion and carrot to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, add the bok choy and broccolini, cook another minute and then add the snow peas and cook another minute or two or until the vegetables are all tender but still a bit crunchy. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add a little more oil and when heated add the rest of the ginger. Add the shrimp and let sear for 30 seconds, then stir and add the vegetables and the wine, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until well combined and coating the ingredients. Remove from heat and place stirfry in a bowl.
  6. Serve with rice in bowls. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • I bought bok choy and snow peas for this and then used the vegetables in my refrigerator – carrots, mushrooms, onions, and broccolini, and it was delicious. I think the vegetables you use are pretty flexible, good dish to make to clean out the produce drawer.
  • The pictures are 1/2 recipe since I was only cooking for two people when I photographed the recipe, so don’t be alarmed if you have a lot more vegetables.
  • Brining the shrimp is optional, but I find that it makes the shrimp a lot firmer and less fishy when you are using generic farmed shrimp because that is all one can access.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

September 25, 2019

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Heirloom Tomato, English Pea and Farro Salad

I went to the farmer’s market this past Sunday and there were piles of beautiful plump english peas. I kept looking and commenting on them even though they were not on my shopping list. Finally my husband suggested I just buy a bag of them and figure out what to do with them in a day or two –what a good idea! Sunday I made the fresh corn soup with crab for my mother-in-law’s birthday because she really likes that soup, therefore Monday was my day to use the peas. I searched the Internet for a good recipe for them but couldn’t find anything. So what to do now….they were calling me, you know? I had two ripe heirloom tomatoes on my counter, and a big bunch of basil from the farmers market as well so I eventually came up with this salad and added some farro to make it a little more filling for my family. We all really enjoyed it, the flavors were just bright, fresh and summery. I hope you enjoy it!

Heirloom Tomato, English Pea and Farro Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Best of summer's sweet heirloom tomatoes combine with fresh sweet english peas and nutty farro for a filling but healthy summer vegetarian salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked farro (whole grain)
  • 1 pound of fresh english peas, shelled (about a cup when shelled)
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into a large chunks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus a little more for garnishing
  • handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

Procedure

  1. Cook the farro according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the farro cooks, saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil. Add the peas and a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the peas soften and sweeten. (Optional to add a little butter if you want some extra richness. A splash of white wine would probably add some dimension as well).
  3. Remove the peas and set the pea mixture aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and turn the heat to low. Add the tomatoes and a little salt and pepper and just warm them up a bit. A few minutes and a stir or two will do. Turn off the heat, add the basil and stir.
  4. When farro is cooked add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup of the parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  5. Spoon a layer of the farro on a plate and top with tomatoes and then the pea mixture. Garnish with a little cheese. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    August 20, 2019

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Fresh Summer Corn Soup with Crab

I have made this recipe all summer and it is really delicious! It is like summer in a bowl. It is a recipe from the New York Times Cooking site and I have modified it slightly by leaving out the cream, butter and jalapenos, and adding crab. It has a pretty short list of ingredients and is very light and healthy. I will say that shucking 12 pieces of corn can take some time, so it isn’t quick, but healthy natural food is often not quick, but worth the extra time.

Fresh Summer Corn Soup with Crab

  • Servings: 6+
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Fresh corn, crab and summer in a bowl

Credit: The New York Times Cooking – I can’t post a link because you have to pay for their website now, so I no longer have access to it 

Ingredients

  • 12 ears of corn
  • 1 sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, small dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of fresh crab, shelled
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade them

Procedure

  1. Remove the husk from all of the corn.
  2. Cut the corn off the cob and put the cornless cobs in a large stockpot. Fill the stock pot with 16 cups of water, bay leaf, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to medium and lightly boil for 30 minutes.
  3. While the corn cobs are boiling, cut the vegetables.
  4. Saute the onion and bell pepper with a little oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot until it is soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the corn and saute for 10 more minutes.
  5. Add 6 cups of the corn stock to the corn mixture (avoiding the peppercorns and bay leaf). stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Puree about half the soup, so it turns creamy, but you still have a lot of vegetable chunks. Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh crab and basil. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    August 19, 2019

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Vegetable Lo Mein

 

Mid-March and it is like spring here in the SF Bay area! I am really loving the weather since we have had a very rainy winter here, yes, we needed it, but I am really over it by now. Since it is so warm and beautiful I started to plan a salad for dinner, but then I decided a vegetable stir fry dish is similar, lots of fresh vegetables, but more likely to be accepted by my teen.  I made this last week with shrimp, like the original recipe was written, but today I feel like something vegetarian, maybe because we celebrated my son’s birthday yesterday and had a very meat and pasta-centric dinner out? Thank you The Woks of Life for the recipe, it is delicious! I made a few changes, such as doubling the sauce, using shirataki noodles  instead of traditional lo mein noodles, and lastly adding more vegetables, 2 eggs and some tofu. If shirataki noodles are not your thing, and I am still learning about them, then use lo mein noodles or whatever noodles taste good to you. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Lo Mein

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and healthy Chinese vegetable and noodle dish.

Credit: Shrimp Lo Mein Just Like Chinese Takeout by The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 2 – 7ounce packages of shirataki konjac pasta (I used Miracle Noodle brand that I bought at Whole Foods)
  • 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or whatever you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of white pepper
  • oil of choice for cooking (a neutral oil is best, like safflower oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin
  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 8 ounces extra firm high protein tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 2 scallions, split and cut into 2-inch long pieces

Procedure

  1. Rinse the noodles in water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil and white pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the two eggs with a dash of soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add the egg and cook. I like to make it a flat omelet and then slice it into long strips. Set the egg aside.
  5. Turn the heat up to high, add a little more safflower oil and cook the garlic for about a minute.
  6. Add the mushrooms, carrots and water chestnuts and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Pour in the mirin and add the cabbage. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
  8. Add the noodles and stir it into the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.
  9. Add the sauce mixture and stir for 30 seconds.
  10. Add the tofu, egg, snow peas, bean sprouts and scallions. Mix well for about 2 more minutes.
  11. Serve in bowls. Good with a little chile sauce!

Note: You can make a chile sauce with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon each of Chinese chile sauce, hot water, rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

March 18, 2019

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Shirataki noodles
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sauce on the right and the eggs with soy sauce and sesame oil

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Cooking the vegetables

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Soboro Donburi – Gingery Ground Beef and Mushrooms with Fresh English Peas

I am going to Japan soon and have become a bit obsessed with cooking Japanese food lately. My most recent find is this crumbled beef and vegetables over rice dish. Pretty quick and easy to make, and the flavors are really nice how they work together and add quite a bit of depth to this simple dish. It passed the family test, everyone liked it and said I should add it to the cooking rotation, so that is good. This dish is traditionally crumbled chicken or beef or any kind of meat , sometimes with eggs and served over white rice. I made it more healthy by adding mushrooms for some of the beef, and adding kale and fresh english peas. I also used a wild rice and whole grain brown rice blend instead of white rice to boost the nutrition.  I actually came up with the idea for this dish when I was shopping and I came across fresh local english peas, and I thought, what can I make with fresh peas… then I found a Food & Wine recipe that this is based on.

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Soboro Donburi (Gingery Ground Beef and Mushrooms with Fresh English Peas)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and simple Japanese rice bowl with added vegetables to make it lighter and more healthy.

Credit: Soboro Donburi by Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon palm sugar (or whatever you have)
  • 1/4 cup dashi (or beef broth if using beef, chicken broth if using chicken, etc)
  • oil of choice for cooking
  • 3/4 pound lean grass-fed ground beef (or ground chicken)
  • 8 ounces chopped mushrooms (either cremini, shiitake or white button)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh peeled and grated ginger (or jarred)
  • fresh lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup fresh english peas shucked from pod (or frozen if that is all that is available)
  • hot cooked wild and whole grain brown rice
  • chile sauce if desired on the side

Procedure

  1. Mix together the sake (if you don’t have any, just use mirin), mirin, soy sauce, dashi or broth and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to pan and spread. When oil is hot add the ground meat to the pan and cook through.
  3. Drain grease from cooked meat and then add the chopped mushrooms, ginger and kale to the meat in the pan, cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add the peas and the sake mixture and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is greatly reduced, but meat is not dry.
  4. Serve in bowls over rice and garnish with chile sauce on the side if desired.

Note: You can make a chile sauce with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon each of Chinese chile sauce, hot water, rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

February 22, 2019

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Healthy Ramen Soup

This is not Ramen from my college days, thank goodness! I remember a roommate I had in college who seemed to eat nothing but pre-packaged ramen (a serious sodium and fat bomb) and Kraft macaroni and cheese. I don’t know how he lived on this combination, but I guess he was young…but there are long-term health consequences… I won’t preach.

Well Ramen is back and getting quite gourmet from what I have read. There is a new ramen restaurant here in Palo Alto that has daily lines snaking around the corner. So popular, but I have not tried it as (1) I don’t want to wait in line to get in and (2) I am pretty certain that restaurant ramen will be loaded with fat and sodium. But curious, as I can be about a new food trend, I decided I would make this myself and add vegetables. I found this recipe on a site called Damn Delicious (catchy name). I have made this a few times with great success. So easy and so delicious! I have only modified it slightly, mostly adding more broth, miso and sometimes changing out the vegetables. It was really good with bok choy instead of spinach, but today I used what was in my refrigerator and that was mushrooms, a carrot and fresh spinach.

Healthy Ramen Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Finally, a Ramen soup that is healthy and easy.

Credit:  Easy Homemade Ramen by Damn Delicious

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, soft or hard boiled (to your liking), sliced in half
  • Safflower seed oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (I only had some dried shiitakes so I used mostly cremini mushrooms today- but I think the shiitake are better in this soup)
  • 6 cups unsalted vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Soba noodles or Shirataki noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons light miso
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (or baby bok choy, or whatever green vegetable you have)
  • chopped chives for a garnish

Procedure

  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little oil to the pot and heat another minute. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger to the pot and stir for about 1 minute. Add carrot slices and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add stock, water and soy sauce, stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. While soup simmers, cook your noodles according to package instructions. (I made vegetable-based, zero calorie shirataki noodles for myself and more traditional soba noodles for my son). Set cooked noodles aside.
  4. Add the spinach to the soup and stir.  Turn off the heat, add the miso and stir with a whisk to blend the miso in.
  5. Place noodles in bowl, ladle soup in and garnish with two egg halves and chives. Enjoy!

Note:  Shirataki noodles are a new find for me. The are a traditional Japanese ingredient made from the yam-like roots of plants in the amorphophallus family. The noodles are mostly made of water and have an interesting chewy texture. They have fiber and are either very low calorie or calorie-free.  This information and more is from:  Decker, Fred. (2017, July 20). Benefits of Shirataki Noodles. Healthy Eating | SF Gate. Retrieved from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-shirataki-noodles-11780.html

Healthy Seasonal Cooking,  February 15, 2019

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Soup with the soba noodles
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Soup with the shirataki noodles

Healthy New England Clam Chowder with Cauliflower- updated

Recipe updated Oct. 11, 2019. Added carrots, made it with chicken broth instead of vegetable for a more pleasant color and added more photos. Served it for dinner and all really liked it!

Happy New Year! When I made the Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower soup recently, my son and I decided that the same base would probably be really good as a clam chowder, and I could even make it completely dairy-free for those who prefer that. I love New England style clam chowder but it traditionally has a lot of milk and cream and butter…so I have not made it in many years and I am not inclined to order it in a restaurant because it is usually loaded with even more butter and cream than I would make at home. I am not lactose-intolerant, but I think that my morning latte and some cheese is enough dairy for me each day.  This soup turned out rich and creamy without any dairy! I am so amazed at what one can do with cauliflower, so my cauliflower obsession continues along with my squash obsession (check out this amazing Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash recipe from Skinnytaste – I can’t get enough of this — crispy like a high-quality french fry but so much better for you!).  I am giving Cooking Light credit for inspiring me to create this soup from their cauliflower soup. Let me know what you think!

Healthy New England Clam Chowder with Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower-based clam chowder soup.

Credit:  Inspired by Cooking Light

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb (white bulb only), chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or a teaspoon of dried thyme)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 large cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (or vegetable stock/broth)
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • kosher salt to taste (the clam broth will have salt, so taste before salting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon white miso
  • 16 ounce package of frozen clams, shelled
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds to garnish

Procedure

  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. When oil is hot, add onion, fennel, carrots, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock or broth, clam juice, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Ladle about 80% of the soup (liquid and vegetables) into a blender, add the miso and puree until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
  3. Return the blended mixture to the pot. Add clams cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!

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https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

January 15, 2019 – updated October 11, 2019

Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

Wow, this was really good. I ate it for dinner on Sunday and have enjoyed the leftovers for the last two days for lunch. I feel like we have been eating more meat than I prefer to eat so I was looking for a vegetarian dish (ok, it has bacon, so almost vegetarian is what I ended up with). I found this on Cookinglight.com and my son and I really liked it! Ok, he liked it as long as I added extra cheese and bacon to his… but hey, he is a growing teen! I love how the soup has a very rich and silky mouthfeel, with only a small amount of added half and half (I am considering leaving the half and half out next time and adding greek yogurt instead?). I give all the credit to Cooking Light, I cooked it pretty much as written. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato-Style Cauliflower Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Rich, creamy and still very healthy cauliflower soup with a bit of crispy bacon and cheddar cheese to make it seem decadent

Ingredients

  • 4 thick applewood bacon slices
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, florets and stems chopped
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • About 1/4 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place bacon strips on baking sheet and cook until crispy, about 15 minutes. Drain grease thoroughly on paper towels. When cool chop into small crumbles. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven on Medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat. Add Leek, celery and garlic to the pot and stir often until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover ad reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the majority of the vegetables and liquid to a blender and blend with half and half and blend until smooth. Be careful not to burn your self on the hot liquid while blending (put a towel over the blender lid).
  5. Return the blended mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheese, bacon and chives. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 23, 2018

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