Chorizo Lentil Soup

“Hmmm….how do I photograph lentils to make them look appetizing?” Another item to file in the “shit I never thought I’d hear myself say” folder.  But, seriously. How?

 ChorizoLentil1

I guess you are going to have to take my word for it.  In the winter I am often obsessed with an italian sausage and lentil soup created by that genius Beth at Budget Bytes.  It was cold. Any rainy. And a hearty bowl sounded just perfect! Plus, I’ve been trying to find that “just right” bread recipe……it was destiny.  (More on the bread next week…)

ChorizoLentil4

Billy bought some chorizo for our breakfast mini omelettes, and I started to think how good that would taste with lentils. (The chorizo, you guys, not the omelettes.) So, poof! Soup!  Make some. It’s fairly quick and easy. Himself can’t have carrots anymore, so the base is stock, onion and celery only.  Feel free to add two peeled carrots sliced for soup.  And, this does work with Soyrizo – you just have to add it at the end with the spinach.

ChorizoLentil2

This is made with Mexican style chorizo, by the way, not the Spanish kind. Although that would also be very tasty. And, for chrissakes, get the pork.  Unless you go the soyrizo route – but we’ve already talked about that.  As a reformed vegetarian, I can’t bitch now.

 This soup is awesome. And easily serves four very hungry people, add some good bread and salad and it’s show time.
Ingredients
½ # pork chorizo, cooked. Use the good kind that’s lean. It makes a difference. (or, use Soyrizo)
½ # lentils. I used green, but yellow or orange would be tasty if creamier.
½ white onion, in ½” dice
3 stalks of celery, sliced in soup chunk size
2 quarts chicken or pork stock
½ package frozen chopped spinach
S&P to taste
Instructions
Wash and pick through the lentils. Rocks and bad bits are rare these days, but not impossible.
In a large stock pot, brown the meat. If you didn’t listen and got greasy chorizo, drain it. Toss in the veg and sauté with the meat for a couple minutes. Pour in the lentils and the stock. Simmer about an hour. (Or on low in the crock pot while you’re at work. If you use a crock pot, only use 1.5 qts stock). Ten minutes before serving, take the stick blender to half the pot. This breaks ups some of the lentils and thickens the soup. Then, add the spinach give it a stir and set the dinner table. (If you’re going the Soyrizo route, add it now.)
Notes
Serve with lime and hot sauce. Or a sprinkle of smoked paprika and sliced bitter olives. Or with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You get the idea. You are going to LOVE this.

Servings 4
Calories 228
Fat 9 g
Sodium 830 mg
Carbs 21 g
Protein 16 g

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette; or, Keeping Your Resolutions with Leftovers

So, yeah. The holidays. Finally our season of overindulgence has ended. But, I still have stuff hanging about: blue cheese, cranberry sauce, glazed pecans. … …. Mmmm, that would be really yummy in a salad. 

Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette

 

This is pretty simple stuff:

Cranberry and Orange

 

Toss the leftover cranberry, orange juice and zest, some dijon, cider vinegar and olive oil in the blender and away we go!

Cranberry Vinagrette and Salad
Ingredients
1/3 c. leftover orange cranberry sauce
Zest of half and orange
Juice of one orange
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2/3 c. olive oil
dash S & P
Sugar, to taste.
Instructions
Put everything but the olive oil in the blender.
Purée until smooth.
Taste, add sugar if you’d like it sweeter. (or honey, or agave, etc.)
Leave the blender on, and drizzle in the olive oil until you have a gorgeous hot pink emulsion.
Stores in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Servings 8
Calories 189
Fat 18 g
Sodium 12 mg
Carbs 7 g
Protein 0 g

Butternut Squash Purée with Chipotle

bnut9BC

 

So, we all know about Billy’s diet restrictions.  Coming up with a starch-resembling food item at dinner is a challenge. He can eat winter squash, so lately it’s been 101 ways to eat butternut.  This is one we like. And it is literally three-ingredients and ten minutes. 

ButternutCollage

 

The biggest pain to this is peeling the squash.  Sometimes Sprouts will have it already peeled and cubed at essentially the same per-pound price, but not always.  So, when I have to (gasp) prep my own, this is what I do: Slice the knob off the top and the bottom, so it will stand up  on the cutting board. Then, I just take a veg peeler in long strokes down the length of the squash. (There is nothing pervy about this, unless your husband is watching you do it so make him leave the room.)

bnut2

Once the peel’s off, it’s just a matter of slicing it in half longitudinally and then cubing.

So – to make it. For the two of us, I put half the cubes in a microwave-safe bowl. That’s about a pound of squash. Cover it with Saran, and microwave it.  Do NOT add any liquid of any kind, or you will wind up with squash soup instead of puree.  If you don’t have a microwave, roast it. Do not steam or boil because that will add too much moisture and again you’ll have soup.

 

bnut8

Take it out, drain it if needed, add a tablespoon of butter and one half of a whole chipotle in adobo. Dump all that in the cuisinart and pulse til it’s gorgeous. Then it’s ready to go!

This is a new favorite at our house. It is fantastic with some grilled pork chops and collard greens, or a nice chicken breast and roasted broccoli.

Butternut Squash Purée with Chipotle
Serves 2
Tasty, easy, fast side dish with only three ingredients.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
52 calories
0 g
15 g
6 g
0 g
4 g
11 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
11g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 52
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15mg
5%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
7%
Calcium
0%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 # cubed butternut squash (or pumpkin)
  2. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 whole chipotle pepper
Instructions
  1. Put the squash in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 4-6 minutes until soft. Do not add any liquid or seasoning to the squash before cooking it.
  2. Put the cooked squash, butter and hot pepper in the food processor and pulse til puréed.
  3. Serve.
Notes
  1. We've tried this with Sriracha, and although it was delicious, my mouth was on fire for a long time. Wait until it is done to see if you need any salt or pepper - that chipotle adds all the seasoning we needed, but you may want some more.
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calories
52
fat
6g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/
  We hope you like it. 

Carrot Salad with Ginger Clementine Vinaigrette

A carrot recipe! Just in time for Easter! 

Shredded carrot salad is my favorite – remember the one grandma used to make with mayonnaise and raisins?  Me, too.  This one is a little lighter, with some asian ingredients. 

Carrots, sesame, ginger. Yum.
Carrots, sesame, ginger. Yum.

 

 CarrotSaladSteps

This is pretty quick….as long as you have a Cuisinart.

Clementine Ginger Dressing

 This recipe makes a whole batch of dressing – it’s really good on a crispy lettuce salad with some chicken, or in a shredded broccoli salad.CarrotSalad3C

 

Carrot Salad with Clementine Ginger Vinaigrette
Serves 8
Light, crunchy salad - perfect with a sandwich or barbecue.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
188 calories
11 g
0 g
16 g
1 g
2 g
80 g
101 g
7 g
0 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
80g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 141
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 101mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
127%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Salad
  1. 5 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  2. 1 Tbsp. toasted white sesame seeds
  3. 1 Tbsp. toasted black sesame seeds
  4. 1/4 c. Clementine Ginger Vinaigrette
For the Dressing
  1. 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  2. 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  4. 1/4 c. clementine juice (the juice of one)
  5. 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  6. 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  7. 1/4 c. sweetener (honey, agave syrup, corn syrup)
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 c. canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
For the dressing
  1. Mix everything but the oil in a bowl until homogenous. Then, slowly stream in and whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. This makes about two cups of dressing - so if you only want enough for the salad, cut it in 1/4.
For the salad
  1. Toss everything together. Serve immediately. Will keep in the fridge for a couple days - after that, they carrots start to get soft.
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calories
188
fat
16g
protein
1g
carbs
11g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/
CarrotSalad3C

Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf

ML8Bill is full of catchy little sayings – “What’s the word, hummingbird?” and “Don’t let your meat loaf.” They make me groan and laugh at the same time.  He also decided we should call these duchess potatoes, “tater titties”. Despite all this I love him, Pa. And I’d rather have duchess potatoes than tots any day.

That being said, meatloaf is a popular dish at our house. For dinner and then sandwiches the next day (With mayonnaise -something else Bill taught me. I always thought ketchup was best, but I was wrong!)

We’re partial to ground turkey in our house – the old beef/pork combo is just too rich for us.  

 Want to try it?

picture of ground turkey, bread crumbs, sriracha, ketchup, egg, onion and chopped bell peppers
The usual suspects
Egg, chopped peppers, grated onion, bread crumbs in bowl
Mix
Mold.
Mold.
ML3
Glaze.
Bake.
Bake.
Rest.
Rest.
Slice.
Slice.

 

Meat Loaf, Don't Let Your
Serves 4
Easy turkey meatloaf with a spicy sweet tomato glaze, served with a chunky tomato sauce.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
235 calories
20 g
74 g
13 g
11 g
3 g
174 g
550 g
11 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
174g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235
Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 74mg
25%
Sodium 550mg
23%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 11g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
51%
Calcium
7%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1.25 # ground turkey (Jennie-O 93/7 is best!)
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/3 c. dried bread crumbs
  4. 1/3 c. diced bell pepper
  5. 1/4 c. grated onion
For the glaze
  1. 1/4 c. tomato ketchup
  2. 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
  3. (Ok, ok - I just totally made up those glaze measurements because I just squirt them both on and then smear them about.)
For the sauce
  1. 1 14oz can diced tomatoes with onion, celery & bell pepper
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 1&1/2 tsp worsteshire sauce
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 1Tbsp sugar
  6. 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  8. 1/8 tsp ginger powder (or better yet, a quarter-size piece of candied ginger slice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375*. Line a small cookie sheet with silver foil and spritz it with non-stick spray.
  2. Grate the onion in the mixing bowl. Chop the pepper, add to bowl along with the egg and bread crumbs. Mix with a fork. Add the ground turkey. Mix gently with your hands. In the bowl, form the mixture in to a general loaf shape. Invert the bowl on to the prepared cooking sheet and touch up the loaf shape.
  3. Squeeze the ketchup and sriracha on to the loaf, and using your fingers since they're already dirty, mix the two sauces and spread them evenly on the top, ends and sides of the loaf. Slide a meat thermometer in to that bad boy and in to the oven he goes. Should be done (165* ) in about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Let it rest for five minutes before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Once the loaf is in the oven, put all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan on low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatloaf is done. Serve with the slices.
Notes
  1. You could cook this in a loaf pan, but cooking it "open style" on the cookie tray makes for that yummy crust and glaze on three sides of the loaf instead of just the top.
  2. Be careful with your ground turkey selection - read those nutrition labels because some can be 80/20. If you're going that route, may as well do a ground beef meat loaf!
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calories
235
fat
13g
protein
11g
carbs
20g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/