Olga's Vegetable Soup
The simplest ingredients can yield a profound result.
What you'll need
3/4 cup olive oil (more or less)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped, thick stems discarded
2 or 3 cabbage leaves, chopped
1 bunch chard, washed and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 to 4 cups cooked white beans, such as cannellini, with their liquid if possible
How to make it
1. Put about a third of the olive oil in the bottom of a deep pot over medium heat. Add half each of the chopped onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften (about 10 minutes). Add half of the remaining oil and repeat the process, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Add the last of the oil with the parsley, cabbage, and chard, and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is softened but not browned. Adjust the heat as necessary.
2. Add the tomato paste and stir. Partially mash the beans, leaving some of them more or less whole; add them to the pot, along with any bean-cooking liquid and enough water to make the whole mixture stewy but not too watery.
3. Keep cooking, tasting, and seasoning as necessary, until all the vegetables are very tender and the soup is hot.
Serve hot or warm.
Time: 1 hour / Servings: 10Braised Chicken (or Rabbit )
Chicken, boring? Not in this savory broth of white wine and rosemary.
What you'll need
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole 3- to 4-lb chicken or rabbit, trimmed of excess fat and cut up, including legs (or use any combination of parts), rinsed and dried
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup dry white wine
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
How to make it
1. Put the oil in a deep skillet or casserole that can later be covered. Turn the heat to medium high and wait minute or so until the oil is hot. Add the chicken or rabbit, skin side down, and brown the pieces well, rotating and turning them as necessary. This will take 10 to 15 minutes; don't rush it.
2. When the pieces are nicely browned, remove them from the skillet and turn the heat to low. Pour or spoon off all but a tablespoon or two of the fat. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Stir in the wine. Return the meat to the skillet and turn it once or twice in the liquid. Adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently but steadily, and put the lid on. Cook, turning once or twice, until the meat is cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes; it's done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155Â° to 165Â°F.
3. Remove the meat to a serving platter and squeeze a little lemon juice into the broth. Pour some of the broth over the meat and pass the rest around at the table.
Time: 30 to 40 minutes / Servings: 4Fruity Kebobs
It's one of life's snack mysteries: Putting food on a stick improves the flavor. This sweet kebob alternates fruit and marshmallow.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 1 large red apple, cut into 8 wedges 6 marshmallows 1 small jar of creamy peanut butter 1 large banana, cut into 1-inch slices1. To make a kebob, carefully push a skewer through the ingredients, starting with a piece of apple, then a marshmallow, then banana, then another marshmallow. Spread a dollop of peanut butter on top of the marshmallow. Now, skewer a piece of banana and another marshmallow (with more peanut butter) and finish with a piece of apple. Repeat with a second skewer. Makes 2 kebobs.Taco Munch
This delicious snack can be addictive!
RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 6 cups popped, unsalted popcorn 3 cups toasted corn cereal squares 1 cup mini-pretzels 2 tbsp. butter, melted 2 to 3 tsp. dry taco seasoning 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese 4 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes1.Combine popcorn, cereal and pretzels in a large bowl. Combine butter and taco seasoning and drizzle this over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
2. Store in an airtight container. Toss with cheddar cheese just before serving. Makes 10 servings. marshmallow (with more peanut butter) and finish with a piece of apple. Repeat with a second skewer. Makes 2 kebobs.Stuck inside on a wet, windy day? Whip up a batch of Monkey Mix, a combination of some of our curious cousins' favorite foods.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 1 1/4 cups dried bananas 1 cup each dried papaya and dried mango 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup coconut 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (a tasty substitute for bugs!)1. Combine ingredients and enjoy!Meatballs have universal appeal. Maybe that's why NASA's original logo, a round, star-strewn design, came to be referred to as the meatball instead of the planet it was meant to depict. Here's another use for them that's out of this world: an alphabet and mini meatball soup to warm up any cold winter day. RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Meatballs 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 2 tablespoons onion, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 2 teaspoons dried basil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 pound ground beef Soup 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 celery rib, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 5 cups chicken stock 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes in puree 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste 1/3 cup alphabet pasta, dry1. First, make the meatballs. Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, onion, garlic, herbs, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix in the egg, then add the ground beef, mixing well with your hands. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should get about 4 dozen).
2. Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray or a small amount of vegetable oil. Place the meatballs in the skillet and cook them over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them often so they brown evenly, until the centers are only slightly pink. (If you have more meatballs than you want to use, freeze the extras after cooking and you'll have some to toss into your next pot of soup.)
3. For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or medium soup pot. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Partially cover the pan and cook the vegetables over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, and spices. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium-low heat, then add the pasta.
4. Keep the soup at a gentle simmer until the pasta is almost cooked, then transfer the meatballs to the pot and simmer gently for 3 minutes more to finish cooking the meatballs. Makes 6 servings.Try this quick and delicious variation on an old favorite when time is short.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 1 pound elbow macaroni 3 cups milk or half-and-half 12 to 18 slices American or Cheddar cheese 12 Ritz crackers salt, pepper, and paprika to taste1.Cook and drain elbow macaroni and let it cool slightly. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13- by 9-inch baking pan or a large casserole dish with butter.
2. Now have your child spoon a third of the pasta into the pan, then pour in 1 cup of the half-and-half and cover it all with 4 to 6 slices of American cheese. Add two more layers of pasta, half-and-half, and cheese in the same manner.
3. Next, crush a dozen Ritz crackers in a ziplock plastic bag. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika, shake to mix, then sprinkle the crumbs over the top layer of pasta and cheese.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 6 to 8.Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a perennial kid favorite, are easy for a parent and child to prepare together. In this simplified version of a comfort-food classic, store-bought pasta sauce shortens the prep time.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each) 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons milk 1/2 cup flour 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil for frying 3 cups pasta sauce 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella\a 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan1.Rinse the chicken breasts under running water, then place them on a double layer of paper towels and blot them dry. (Be sure to wash your hands well in warm soapy water immediately after handling raw chicken; do the same for any cutting boards or utensils that the meat comes into contact with.)
2. Place 2 of the chicken breasts inside a large, heavy-duty plastic freezer bag. Partially seal the end of the bag, leaving a slight gap so air can escape. Using the smooth head of a tenderizing mallet or a rolling pin, pound the meat in even strokes, working from the center out (be careful not to tear the plastic), to a uniform thickness of about 1/3 inch. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken in a new plastic bag. Put the pounded cutlets on a plate and set them aside.
3. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a shallow medium-size bowl. Stir them to mix. In a separate shallow bowl or pie plate, beat together the egg and milk. Set both of the bowls aside.
4. Spread the flour on a plate. Arrange the breading ingredients in assembly-line fashion in this order: cutlets, flour, egg mixture, crumb mixture, empty plate. Working one piece at a time, dredge both sides of the cutlet in the flour, knocking off the excess.
5. Dip both sides of the floured cutlet in the egg mixture.
6. Coat both sides of the cutlet with the crumb mixture. Set the breaded cutlet on a clean plate and repeat the process with the remaining pieces.
7. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Heat the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cutlets. (If your pan isn't large enough to cook 4 chicken breasts at once, cook them in batches rather than overcrowd the pan.) Fry each side for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. (To test, make a small cut in the center of the meat; there shouldn't be any traces of pink.) Remove the cutlets from the heat.
8. Heat the oven to 375°. Oil a shallow 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Pour 2 cups of pasta sauce into the pan. Add the chicken cutlets. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the cheeses over the top, then cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Fettuccine with Fresh Vegetables
Brought to you by Mrs. Dash®
POINTS® Value: 4
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 5.3 oz. (150.8g)
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 12 min to 15 min
- 8 oz uncooked fettuccine
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin strips
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into thin strips
- 2 cups chopped asparagus
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup shredded fat free Mozzarella cheese
Fruity Spinach Salad
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add Mrs. Dash® Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend and vegetables. Sauté until tender about 8 minutes.
Toss together hot pasta, vegetables and lemon juice. Mix in cheese and serve. Yields 6 servings.
Brought to you by Mrs. Dash®
POINTS® Value: 1
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 0 mins
- 1/3 pound spinach leaves, washed
- 8 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 large kiwi, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp slivered almonds
- 1 tsp Mrs. Dash® Lemon Pepper
- 1 Tbsp SugarTwin® Granulated White
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- Place salad ingredients in attractive bowl. Make dressing by mixing remaining ingredients together. Toss spinach with dressing and serve immediately. Yields 4 servings.