Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Every Sunday I make a big batch of soup and portion it in the freezer for my lunches for the week.  I love soup since you can fit so many fruits & veggies into them, they fill you up, and they are warm and comforting.  You can imagine how excited I was when I found The Soup Chick website.  This site houses a collection of the best soups and stews found on the web - fantastic!  I have been copying out recipes daily and tweaking them to my liking; I can't wait to try them all.  For this one, the apple lends a slight sweetness to the soup but isn't overpowering, so don't be turned off by the ingredients.  I have the original recipe below, as well as I what I did to change it.  Enjoy!

Broccoli & Apple Soup
1 T butter (I left this out)
1 onion chopped (I did 2 red onions, it's all I had on hand)
2 apples chopped (I used Royal Gala)
1 medium bunch of broccoli, ends of stems removed & remainder chopped (I used 4 small bunches)
1 quart chicken or veg stock (I used homemade stock...see notes below)
zest of 1 lemon (I left this out but I bet it would have been fantastic)
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
sliced almonds (I left these out)
I also added chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne.  I like heat, and the chipotle powder gave it a great smoky flavor

Heat oil and butter over medium heat & add onion.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  Stir in apples and broccoli and cook 1 minute.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes (I didn't lower the heat because I had used so much broccoli and wanted to be sure they got very soft).  Stir in zest, salt & pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside 5 minutes.  Toast almonds in a dry pan.  Puree soup with immersion blender and top with almonds to serve.

For the BEST stocks EVER.....
Call me crazy but I'm a pretty frugal person and I love love love finding ways to save in the kitchen.  I always have homemade stock in the freezer and you can too, by using your scraps!  Every time I cut or peel a fruit or veggie, I throw the scraps in an accumulating large ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer.  The same thing goes for meat bones & carcasses.  When the bag gets full, I throw it all into a soup pot, peels and all, and boil it for about an hour.  I than strain it off, and voila!  What's left is a nutrient-dense homemade stock made from everything you would have thrown out anyways.  I use the stock to boil my cauliflower for my infamous mashed cauliflower, I used it to saute veggies, to flavor rice can use it in so many places to sub in for fat when cooking, the possibilities are endless!  I usually keep my bones/meat scraps separate from veggies in case I want to make a strictly vegetarian stock, but feel free to mix them up in your own home.  You will never waste your money buying pre-made, sodium-filled stock again, promise!

Seafood Night! Buffalo Style Salmon & Bangin' Good Shrimp

Last night was seafood night in our home.  I'm not a very big fan of salmon (it's just too fishy for me) but we had a big beautiful piece in the freezer that wasn't going to last much longer.  I decided to make this as well as a shrimp recipe I've been dying to try, so that way the whole family was happy.  Both recipes were simple & quick and they went together well.  I ate my portion with only the Buffalo Salmon salad, but the other family members had rice with theirs to make it a heartier meal.  I left the salad from the shrimp recipe out, but did add cabbage to my salmon salad.

The salmon recipe is from the Food Network Magazine and the fabulous shrimp recipe is from (GREAT website for low-fat and low-cal recipes, by the way!). 

Everyone in my home thoroughly enjoyed this meal - hope you do as well!

Bangin' Good Shrimp
5 T light mayo (I used fat free)
3 T Thai chili sauce
1 tsp Sriracha (I used 2)
Other seasonings, see below
1 lb large shrimp peeled
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp oil
3 c shredded iceberg lettuce (I used the greens mix at the grocery store - I don't like iceberg at all)
1 c shredded purple cabbage (I used the coleslaw mix)
4 T scallions chopped (completely forgot about these, so they were left out)

In a medium bowl combine first 3 ingredients and set aside (I added garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, black pepper and some smoked paprika to this.  Feel free to add whatever seasonings you like),  Combine remaining ingredients up until scallions, divide among bowls and set aside.  Coat shrimp with cornstarch (I also added much more seasoning to the cornstarch - pretty much the same as what was added to the sauce) and heat a large pan over high heat.  Add oil, then shrimp (once the pan is hot).  Cook, tossing a few time, until cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the pan and combine with the sauce, coating well.  Place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.  So good.

If following the above original recipe exactly, your nutrition per serving (makes$) is as follows:

215.7 calories
7.6g fat
23.8g protein
11.9g carbs
1g fiber

And now for the salmon...

Buffalo Style Salmon
2 T butter (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - 4 T)
2 T hot sauce (I used Frank's Buffalo Sauce - 4 T)
1 T maple syrup (I used 2 T)
3 T crumbled blue cheese (I used a bit more)
2 T plain yogurt (I had none, so I used fat free mayo - 4 T)
1 T lemon juice (I used 2 T)
1 5oz package baby arugula (I used the mixed greens)
3 stalks celery thinly sliced (left this out - had none)
2 carrots thinly sliced (left this out - had none)
4 x 5oz salmon filets

Make the sauce - combine first 5 ingredients & pinch of salt in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute.  Whisk to combine.  Preheat pan to medium.  Whisk next 3 ingredients plus 2 tsp prepared sauce & salt in a large bowl.  Add next 3 ingredients & set aside (don't toss it at this point).  Brush pan with oil.  Season salmon with salt.  Cook, brushing with sauce, 4 minutes per side.  Toss salad & add salt & pepper to taste.  Serve with salmon & remaining sauce.

If this is made exactly as stated in the original recipe above, below is the nutritional value per serving (makes 4):

410 calories
27g fat
10g carbs
2g fiber
32g protein

Until next time!