Creamy Vegetable Soup with Pancetta

I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store yesterday so I rummaged through the pantry to make dinner and decided to make soup with what I had. This was super easy to make and delicious! You can add or take out anything you don’t like.

Creamy Vegetable Soup with Pancetta

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4-5 stocks of celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 1 sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 handful of parsley (chopped)
  • 3-4 peeled potatoes (I used baby dutch yellow potatoes) (cubed)
  • 1 package of cubed pancetta or 5 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 cup of your favorite cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot melt the butter, pancetta and chopped onions together
  • Add celery, carrots, parsley and stir for a couple minutes
  • Add chicken stock
  • Add potatoes
  • Bring to a boil and cook until cooked (soft)
  • In a food processor take 1/3 of the soup mixture and pulse until almost smooth. Place in bowl and continue with the rest of the soup
  • Return into the pot and bring back to a boil
  • Add cream, cheese and salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with crispy bread or sandwich

Cheesy Potato Casserole

I’ve been making this dish for almost 25 years. To all my healthy eaters out there, this is not a dish you would admit to eating but it could be your dirty little secret to enjoy. This is my go to dish for any potluck, holiday meal or a side dish to a great steak. The most important thing to remember is to use high quality cheese. Don’t skimp and use cheap cheese! You can use whatever flavor combination you like it doesn’t have to be what I used.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (bags) of refrigerated hash browns (you can find these typically next to the eggs in the grocery store. If you can only find frozen, let them thaw first)
  • 1/2 stick of good quality butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion (chopped up)
  • 2 tablespoons of chives (chopped up)
  • 1 pint of organic sour cream (don’t use light)
  • 1 cup of sharp good quality cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup of gouda cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Jarlsberg cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup of Le Gruyere cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can of campbell’s cream of mushroom soup (you can use cream of chicken if you want)
  • 1/2 bag of any plain potato chips (crushed)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400
  • Spray casserole dish with non stick oil
  • In a medium pan heat the butter and onions together and cook until soft
  • Add mushroom soup and mix well
  • Add all cheese and mix well
  • Add sour cream and mix well
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Add chives
  • In a casserole dish dump the hash browns in and mix in the cheesy mixture
  • Mix well and pat down into pan
  • Top with potato chips
  • Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and hot

Mix butter with onions
Mix butter with onions

Add soup
Add soup

Add cheese
Add cheese

Add sour cream
Add sour cream

Hash Browns
Hash Browns

mix well
Mix well

Pat down mixture
Pat down mixture

Add potato chips
Add potato chips

Thai Glass Noodle Stir Fry with Vegetables – Pad Woon Sen

Recently I’ve discovered that glass noodles are very low in calories and a great diet food. These noodles are quick  to make and your kids will love it!

Thai Glass Noodle Stir Fry with Vegetables - Pad Woon Sen

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

  • 4 bundles of Chinese vermicelli noodles
  • 1 cup of chopped green beans
  • 2 carrots (mandolin sliced into ovals)
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3-4 chopped pieces of garlic
  • 1 handful of beansprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of golden mountain soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of thin soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet black soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut oil

Directions:

  • In a medium saucepan bring 4 cups of water to a boil
  • Turn off heat and add the noodles
  • let soak for 3 minutes and make sure all noodles are submerged into the water
  • Remove and drain and cut with kitchen scissors into small pieces and set aside
  • In a large pan or wok heat peanut oil
  • Add garlic and onions and stir for 1 minute
  • Add beans and carrots and stir for 3-4 minutes
  • Add noodles
  • Add all sauces and pepper
  • Stir well until all combined
  • Make an area in the pan clear of all noodles and crack 2 eggs and scramble them until it almost looks like scrambled egg and add then mix through the noodles
  • Add bean sprouts and cook for another 2 minutes stirring and mixing well
  • Serve immediately

Add noodles to hot water
Add noodles to hot water

Drain noodles and cut with scissors
Drain noodles and cut with scissors

Vegetables
Vegetables

Fish Sauce, Golden Mountain Sauce, Thin Soy Sauce, Thick Sweet Soy sauce
Fish Sauce, Golden Mountain Sauce, Thin Soy Sauce, Thick Sweet Soy Sauce

Stir vegetables in oil
Stir vegetables in oil

Add noodles and sauce and stir well
Add noodles and sauce and stir well

Add bean sprouts at the end
Add bean sprouts at the end

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes and Pine nuts and Dijon Dressing

I make Arugula salad almost every night. I find that this is such a great complement to many savory dishes I make, due to the pepperiness to the arugula. You can add any other vegetable you want, it’s so simple.

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 handfuls of washed fresh baby arugula
  • Tomatoes (any kind you want chopped up)
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of shaved parmesan cheese

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Directions:

  • In a medium size bowl mix all salad ingredients together
  • In separate bowl, mix red wine vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper
  • Add olive oil and whisk until combined
  • Drizzle over salad and toss

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Garlic Truffle Edamame

This is one of my favorite dishes I order at our go to sushi place. I needed to eat this more on a regular basis so I experimented at home with this recipe. It is so easy to make and you can adjust the taste to your liking by just adding more of each ingredient if you want, you can’t go wrong!

Garlic Truffle Edamame

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen (not cooked) Edamame
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup of Ponzu sauce (I prefer Mizkan brand)
  • 1 tablespoons of Chili Oil (you can use less or more depending on spice profile)
  • 1 tablespoon of black truffle oil
  • 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl mix all the sauces and garlic together and let sit for 30 minutes on the counter to marinate.
  • Steam Edamame per the instructions on the bag and then add to the sauce mixture.
  • Stir well and serve hot!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Chives

I love mashed potatoes but I don’t eat them often. While taking the class on pumpkin and pork stew, our teacher taught us this very simple recipe for amazing potatoes. I think I’ll make these for thanksgiving this year!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Chives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of Golden Yukon potatoes
  • 8 oz of heavy cream
  • 4 oz of milk
  • 20 pieces of garlic (pealed)
  • 1 tablespoons of chopped fine chives
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 sprig of thyme

Directions:

  • In a sauce pan, simmer the milk, cream, thyme and garlic pieces for 45 minutes until the garlic is soft. Mash the garlic into small pieces or push them through a wire strainer and add butter and a pinch of salt.
  • In a steam pot add potatoes and steam until soft (about 20 – 25 minutes). Steaming will make the potatoes less watery and fluffy.
  • Remove potatoes and push through a ricer into a bowl. (this is important)
  • Add the milk mixture and blend well.
  • Add chives and mix thoroughly
  • Add more salt or milk if needed for taste and consistency

Baked Butternut Squash Fries

My friend Clifford shared this recipe with me this weekend. I’ve been trying to cut down carbs so this was the perfect solution to go with our southern meal. It’s easy and healthy!

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Baked Butternut Squash Fries

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 425

  • Remove the skin from the butternut squash and cut into slices.
  • Place in bowl and toss evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper, make sure its all coated well.
  • Chop parsley and mix half in bowl and save the other half to sprinkle after cooked.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Place evenly on sheet and place in oven
  • After 20 minutes check and turn and toss on the pan, make sure they are still even and spread out.
  • Bake for 40-55 minutes until cooked through and brown.
  • Sprinkle with left over parsley and serve hot!

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Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

I’ve been making this recipe for 22 years. Its always a hit at any party! I typically make this for the holidays. The trick to serving these is when you remove them from the oven and plate them, walk around the party and serve them. They taste best right out of the oven.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Three Cheeses

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients –

  • 2 packages of white or brown button mushrooms
  • 1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 packaged of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter

Directions –

  • Clean mushrooms carefully and remove the stem from the middle
  • Set them in a casserole pan
  • in a medium bow, mix mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of half and half, if it needs a little more so you can mix gradually add another tablespoon.
  • Add the chopped chives
  • Stuff filling in each mushrooms, make sure you heap and pack in the filling.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave
  • Dip each mushroom bottom in the butter and place back into pan
  • Drizzle the tops of the mushrooms with any remaining butter
  • Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes until gold brown and soft
  • Serve immediately!

Enjoy!

Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.
Clean mushrooms and place in casserole pan.

Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms
Cheese ingredients before stuffing into mushrooms

This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom
This is how the stuffing should look for each mushroom

Dip each mushroom in melted butter
Dip each mushroom in melted butter

Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.
Mushrooms are brown and cooked through.

Vegetable Frittata and Arugula Salad

Who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? I started back at the gym this week and I find it very difficult to get the amount of protein needed and keep my carbs down low. This healthy dinner provides lots of protein from eggs and 6 different types of vegetables. You can use any veggies you like or even throw in meat. I just used all my fresh vegetables I picked up at the farmers market. YUMMY!

Vegetable Frittata and Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Vegetable Fritta and Arugula Salad
Vegetable Fritta and Arugula Salad

  • I cup of chopped mushrooms (any kind is fine)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup of sweet onions
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of half and half
  • 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Stir together the butter or olive oil in a cast iron pan with onions. Cook until translucent and then add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms cook down, add the spinach and asparagus and sauté for about 1 minute. Whip the eggs in a bowl and add the salt and pepper and cheese. Add to the pan and stir for about 1-2 minutes. When you see the eggs start to form, put in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 1 – 2 minutes.

Arugula Salad

  • 1-2 handfuls of arugula
  • 1 cup of chopped baby tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Toss together the arugula and tomatoes add vinegar and olive oil.

Enjoy!

Mushrooms, Spinach, Asparagus, Onions
Mushrooms, Spinach, Asparagus, Onions

Vegetables for the frittata
Vegetables for the frittata

This is what the egg and vegetable mixture should look like before you put it in the oven.
This is what the egg and vegetable mixture should look like before you put it in the oven.

Frittata out of the oven.
Frittata out of the oven.