Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

This was inspired by some leftover coconut milk, zucchini in the fridge and the “Cooking Canuck” blog. I served it hot as a first course for a dinner party.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) grated zucchini (about 2-3 depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and  and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. I used a Vitamix but a blender will do the job.
  5. Process the soup in a blender, in two batches, until the soup is almost smooth, but with a little bit of texture. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
  6. This soup can also be served chilled.
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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

 

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Life has been busy with work so I have not posted a blog in a while. BUT I have been cooking! This is the perfect soup for a cold, rainy day. I promised my friend Monica I would get this on my blog… This can be made totally in the crock pot but if you have the time I sauté the onion and carrot first before adding to the crockpot. I served with some homemade croutons.

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Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup julienned or chopped carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Directions

In a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until peas are tender.

 

Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Heat through in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Yield: 8 servings.

 

Caribbean Peanut Chicken

Caribbean Peanut Chicken

I love anything in a peanut sauce and the spicy/sweet combination in this dish is just right.
I served with fried plantain and seasoned black beans. I might have to try this with Tofu for a vegetarian version. This makes 4 servings. I found this recipe in “The Complete Mexican, South American & Caribbean Cookbook” by Jane Milton, Jenn Fleetwood and Marina Filippelli and made a few tweaks of my own. This is simply a wonderful book that had been forgotten on the shelf and rediscovered. I have made this several times and it turns out a little different each time but just a wonderful meal. Makes good leftovers.

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Ingredients

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsps fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped in half and sliced thin
6 grape tomatoes, chopped in quarters
3 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Directions

Put the chicken in a large bowl and stir in the garlic, thyme, pepper, curry powder, lemon juice and salt. Cover and marinate for 3-4 hours. (I did not marinate mine that long and it was still tasty).

In a small bowl blend the peanut butter with a little of the chicken broth to make a smooth paste.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine.

Add in the peanut butter mixture and then add in the remaining chicken broth. Simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce gets to dry.

Serve over rice with black beans and fried plantains.

For the plantains: I like to use good ripe ones. Split down the middle. Heat a skillet with about 2 Tbsp of butter. Add the plantains and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and turbanado sugar (optional). Cook until golden.

 

Red Curry Tofu and Vegetables

Red Curry Tofu and Vegetables

I love red curry. I like it best with chicken and shrimp but my husband does enjoy a vegetarian meal occasional so i made this with tofu. This was fast and easy on a week night. I am not a purist on south asian food – sometimes I just go with what works. Yummy

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Ingredients

1 block Extra Firm Tofu, drained* and cut into large chunks
3 Tbsp Olive or peanut oil, divided
1 onion sliced thin
2 Zucchini, Julienne slices
1 can light coconut milk
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp Red Curry paste
2 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce

Directions

In a medium sized bowl combine Coconut milk, fish sauce and Red Curry Paste. Mix well.

In a wok or skillet heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (or peanut oil) and over high heat add the onion, stirring often about 10 minutes, add red pepper and stir quickly for a few minutes, add the zucchini and stir fry for another minute. Remove from heat to a bowl.

Heat the remaining oil and add tofu. Over high heat stir fry for a few minutes so tofu gets golden on each side. Add the soy sauce and continue to stir until golden brown. Add the Vegetable mixture back in and add curry, coconut mixture.

Serve over rice.

  • I drain my tofu, wrap in a paper towel and place a plastic covered brick on top for a few hours to make sure all the moisture is out.
Fresh Berry Cobbler

Fresh Berry Cobbler

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I first made this using fresh Bing Cherries and  we liked the recipe so much I made it again using fresh blueberries. Peach will be next! I prefer tart cherries so I want to make this again using tart cherries if I can find them next month. Cherry and blueberry are both wonderful. I adapted this from a recipe on a blog called “Busy at Home”. I cut back on the sugar but if you like it sweeter you can add more.

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INGREDIENTS

For the fruit:
  • 3 lbs pitted sweet cherries (or 3 pints of blueberries)
  • juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 T. cornstarch
For the Biscuit Topping:
  • ¾ cup cold butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Stir together the cornstarch, 2 cups of sugar and lemon juice. Pour over the fruit and stir to be sure the fruit is evenly coated. Pour into an ungreased, 9×13 baking dish.

Mix up the cobbler topping by first combining the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Cut in the butter until it is incorporated and creates coarse crumbs.

Stir in the cream with a fork, stirring only until all the dry ingredients are moistened and a loose shaggy dough has formed.

Plop pieces of dough, evenly, over the fruit in the baking dish, until all the dough has been used.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and the juices are bubbling around the edges of the biscuit topping.

Serve with vanilla ice cream for added yumminess!

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn “Grits”

Creole Shrimp and Creamed Corn “Grits”

This is one of the best things I have made all year!!! It is summer in a bowl and full of all of my favorite things. This is Shrimp and Grits but with fresh corn instead of the grits. You can use all 1% milk but the cream really adds to the flavor. This was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. 

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Ingredients

7 ears fresh shucked corn
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tbsp butter
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)

Directions

Heat oven to 400. Place the grape tomatoes on a baking sheet and line with foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with corse sea salt. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place into a bowl until ready to use

Cut kernels from corn. Set aside 1/4 cup kernels. Pulse remaining kernels in a food processor until almost creamy, 7 or 8 times. In a medium saucepan add the processed kernels, milk, cream, and cornstarch to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

In a large skillet heat olive oil and cook onions and garlic over medium heat, stirring often. Cook about 20 minutes until golden and caramelized. Combine with roasted grape tomatoes.

Combine shrimp, Creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add remaining olive oil to skillet. Add shrimp; cook about 3 minutes until opaque. Add onions, tomatoes, thyme, and garlic, stir to combine. Remove shrimp mixture with a slotted spoon and  place in a bowl. Add wine to the skillet; cook, stirring and scraping pan to loosen browned bits, 30 seconds. Serve shrimp mixture over the creamed corn. sprinkle each bowl with the reserved fresh corn kernels.

 

Quinoa with Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts with Honey Peanut Butter Dressing

Quinoa with Swiss Chard and Pine Nuts with Honey Peanut Butter Dressing

I served this as a side dish with grilled chicken. My husband wants to eat greens but he does not actually LIKE greens… so I find ways to disguise them. This was perfect. I used Rainbow Swiss Chard but you could use spinach, too. This is a great way to use up leftover quinoa.

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Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa, cooked as directed
1/2 a bunch of Swiss Chard or other greens stems removed and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup of dried cherries
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (peanuts or cashews are also good)

Dressing

3 Tbs peanut butter powder, combined with 1 1/2 Tbs water*
(or 3 Tbs creamy peanut butter)
1 Tsp honey

Directions

Combine peanut butter and water in a small bowl. You may need more water, should be a smooth paste. Add honey and stir to mix well. Microwave for about 15-30 seconds or until soft and easy to stir.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan. Add the red pepper and sauté until tender. Add the greens and stir until wilted. Add pine nuts and quinoa, stir well.  Add the peanut butter and honey mixture to the mixture and mix well to coat. Remove from heat and serve warm or cold.