Dinner For Two: Tom Yum Soup

In an effort to throw some vegetarian meals into our ongoing healthy lifestyle I picked up some soup bases that were recommended by a friend. Last night’s experiment: Organic Tom Yum Soup!

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I followed the directions on the box except for I doubled the mushrooms and onions. I like lots of “stuff” in my soups. It pretty much consists of soup base/broth, sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, salt, and pepper. My husband is not a huge vegetarian fan and likes his meals to be filling. Solution, I steamed some rice!

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This way we could pour some soup over a portion of rice to add fiber and something filling. I thought it also needed a bit of color and crunch, so I quick chopped some green onions as a garnish!

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And tah dah, dinner!!!

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The broth was slightly spicy and gingery. The mushrooms were okay but I’m not sure I cooked them correctly (I don’t use them often). The sautéed onions were sweet and heavenly. And the green onions were a nice and fresh pop to the soup.

It was a good dinner. The husband and I both felt full and satisfied. Will we cook it a lot? Probably not, but it was a nice change up from our normal meal routine.

Happy Monday (and no April fools here…it’s snowing!)

Smothered Steak n Rice

The hubs and I have been on the road A LOT lately. This had led to eating a lot of junk and a poorly stocked kitchen at home. This week I have been absolutely craving vegetables and good home cooked food. But alas, when opening my pantry I didn’t have a lot to work with. I did manage to find:

– tenderized beef minute steak (frozen)
– cream of mushroom soup
– brown gravy mix
– half a bag of long grain white rice
– some beef stock
– frozen bag of green beans

And dinner was born! I mixed two cans of the cream of mushroom soup with the gravy mix powder and a little fresh ground black pepper and salt. I pulled out my thawed steaks and pounded them out extra thin and laid them in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. I poured the soup combo over the meat and slid into a 350 degree oven to bake.

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I put the rice in my steamer and used the stock instead of water to infuse flavor. Kinda came out looking like brown rice!?

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The meat was done in about the same time as the rice (not sure exactly how long, sorry!) I served the meat and sauce over the rice and added steamed green beans for a complete dinner. All in all this cook/prep time took less than 40 minutes!

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It was hearty and satisfying and according to my rough calculations, under 400 calories for the whole meal! I even got a thumbs up from my hubby! Not mention I made dinner without going to the store or drive through lane! The dogs were disappointed I didn’t spill…and they keep really good watch!

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Eating Better (or at least trying to)

Between my full time job and the husband working full time AND going back to school, we aren’t home much at night. But our waistlines shouldn’t suffer. So I have a plan!

Cook ahead Sundays! I spend a few hours in the kitchen on Sunday and fill the fridge for the week. This week we have Baked Beef N Macaroni and Spicy Salsa Chicken.

First the beef! I browned 2 lbs of lean ground beef with one large white onion. Drained and put in large bowl. Cook 1/2 of large box of macaroni noodles to al dente and drain. Add to beef. I then mixed in an extra large container of spaghetti sauce and 1 cup mozzerella. Stir to combine and pour into 9×13 pan. I then topped with 2 more cups of shredded mozzerella. Threw in the oven at 350 to bake for 15 minutes (or until cheese is baked and the whole thing bubbles)!

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Now the Spicy Salsa Chicken! I steamed 1 1/2 cups white rice with 3 cups water. After the rice was done and tender I transferred to a large mixing bowl. I added one can of green beans, one can of sliced carrots, large can of chicken breast pieces, and finally 2-3 cups of homemade salsa. Stir to combine and pour into 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted)!

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This way we have home cooked meals to pack into our lunches AND ready to heat meals when we finally get home. Nice big pans of yumminess that keep us out of the drive thru lanes. Our favorite this week was definitely the salsa chicken! (I mixed in a little sliced fresh avocado to mine and it was to die for!)

It’s takes some time and I dirty a lot of dishes, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s hoping to win the battle of the bulge!

Scandinavian Rice Pudding and The New Year

One of my favorite holiday dishes is something my family simply calls “rice”. It’s simple rice pudding with four ingredients:
– white rice
– milk
– sugar
– cinnamon
(Raisins if you are so bold, I am not!)

Scandinavian tradition holds that families make this rice on the new year and if the rice is thick the new year will be blessed. If the rice turns thin then gird your loins for a rough year. I didn’t get to spend New Years with my family so I made a batch of rice to make myself feel better.

Step one: steamed white rice in my rice cooker.

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Step two: add milk and sugar (I don’t measure, just use my best judgment and taste until its delicious!)

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Step three: simmer until thick and wonderful

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Step four: serve warm with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top and a cup of cold milk for dipping (not pictured)

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There are a thousand ways to make this dish, just google it and you’ll see what I mean! And it varies from country to country and family to family. I just wanted to give you a peak into mine. It’s a simple dish and not terribly fancy but on a cold snowy winter day…..it makes me feel closer to my family and heritage. Plus, my rice was thick and creamy so I’m looking forward to a good year!

I’m off to enjoy the snow! Happy New Year to all!!!!

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Rainy Saturday Indulgences

It’s rainy day here in Kansas, a much needed rain I might add!

To me this means couch time with my knitting and puppies, listening to thunder, and delicious rainy day food. I picked up a new crock pot recipe on Pinterest the other day, Beef and Broccoli.

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I made a few changes to recipe:

– I doubled all the liquids and the broccoli but not the beef.
– I used stew beef because that is what I have in the freezer.
– I thickened my liquid but not to the point of sauce or glaze.
– I used low sodium soy sauce to cut down on the salt.

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So in my version it’s more of beef and broccoli soup but it’s still delish! Soup just felt right today. Husband thought it was a little sweet but he still loved it!

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We poured the beef and broccoli over steamed brown rice and paired it with a mixed green salad and cottage cheese for a heavenly warm, filling, and nutritious lunch. This is another Pinterest find that’s going to stay in our permanent kitchen files!

In knitting news, I finally cast off my Stockinette Shrug! I gave it a nice bath in Soak and blocked it out to dry on our guest bed. Should be able to seam it up tomorrow after its dry tomorrow! For now I’m going to cast on some matching boot cuffs for my sweater.

Happy Knitting and Eating!!