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Spinach White Bean Minestrone with Zoodles

Monday, August 4th, 2014

If you bother to read my silly little musings on my blog, you probably notice that I mostly talk about food. I don’t get into the nitty gritty of my family life because I figure if you’re here for the food, that’s probably what you want to read about. Of course there are bloggers that spill the beans like an open book, but I view my family life as sacred and it’s something I mostly like to keep to myself. I’m sure you can all appreciate that.


Ah, who am I kidding? The truth is, I like to keep up the facade that my life is all about eating fabulous food and taking cool pictures, when in fact, I’m really balancing my baby on one hip while trying to find my spatula in a sink full of dirty dishes and trying to fit my tripod somewhere between a mountain of toys in the playroom (where my “studio” is).

That’s really what a photoshoot is all about anyway – setting the scene. You’d never imagine this beautiful bowl of soup was sitting on a tray next to a white board held up by a gigantic firetruck, opposite shelves of board games with missing pieces and legos scattered by my feet. THIS my friends, is the real Busy In Brooklyn :)

Now back to our regular programming – the food! This chock-full-of-flavor soup is a lightened up version of my original minestrone, which includes pasta and potatoes. In this white bean version (the original used chickpeas), I used my spiralizer to create “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) to take the place of the pasta, and I omitted the potatoes and celery. I also made things easier with frozen spinach, instead of fresh, for a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl that’s not as heavy as the original. If you’re a fan of my minestrone (and lots of you are!), then go ahead and try this one and let me know how it measures up!


Related Recipes:

minestrone soup
tuscan white bean with spinach
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup

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Crockpot Mushroom Barley Stoup

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

It was Rachel Ray who first coined the phrase stoup, and this is a perfect example of what it is: thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew. It’s surprising that I’m posting a hearty dish like this when the weather is finally starting to warm up, but when I made this on a cold and chilly day earlier in the week, my Facepage page went gaga over it. I don’t know if it’s the whole slow cooker thing, but I definitely wasn’t expecting this soup to go viral. Not that it’s not delicious. Because, my, is it ever. With fall-off-the-bone flanken, two types of mushrooms and hearty root vegetables simmered in a thyme-scented chicken broth, this is good enough to make purely for the smell that will waft through your house for hours.

Serve with crusty bread for a whole meal in one bowl!

Related Recipes:
fire roasted tomato rice stoup
wild mushroom barley soup

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Minestrone Soup

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I don’t just live in Brooklyn. I was born here too. In fact, I live around the corner from my childhood home. Why am I telling you this? Well it’s got something to do with the weather. Most of the time, the cold doesn’t bother me. Really. I grew up making snow angels in my front yard every winter, and having snowballs thrown at me from the big boys down the block. The cold is just in my blood.

I have to admit though, that every now and then comes one of those bone-chilling winter days where even I want nothing more than to snuggle up under a cozy blanket and wrap my hands around a warm cup of soup. Last week, we had one of those days. As bundled up as I was, the wind just crept it’s way in, stinging my fingers and toes. My kids came home all red-nosed and shivering and I just knew I had to put up a big pot of soup.

And not just any soup. It had to be a stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup that’s a meal in itself. I decided on minestrone because #1, it’s awesome and hearty. #2, it’s pretty quick, and #3 with all the veggies in there, there’s at least something each of my finicky kids will eat. Plus, it’s got pasta, and who doesn’t love pasta?!

Minestrone soup is basically a thick soup of Italian origin, usually consisting of vegetables (especially tomatoes), beans and pasta. You can use whatever beans you like and play around with the veggies to suit your taste. With beans, veggies and pasta, it’s a whole meal-in-one that comes together in no time. Serve with some crusty bread to really take it over the top! It’s sure to keep you warm all winter long.

Related Recipes:

white bean minestrone with zoodles
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup

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Veal Shepherd’s Pie with Celery Root Mashed Potatoes

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

I love shepherd’s pie, especially in the fall, when the weather is turning cold. Warming up to a hearty one-dish meal is the perfect end to a chilly night. I was getting a little bored of the classic beef sherpherd’s pie, so I decided to reinvent it with lighter and tastier ingredients.

For inspiration, I went to my local produce store and looked around for some seasonal ingredients to help take my shepherd’s pie to the next level. The knobbly celery root (also known as celeriac) caught my eye and I was determined to find a place for the humble root vegetable. Celery root adds a delicious hint of flavor to mashed potatoes, and lightens up it’s texture. Of course, it also helps deguiltify the whole mashed potato thing altogether :)

To go along with my lightened up topping, I replaced the beef with veal – a tender calf meat that’s lighter and lower in fat than beef.  This nontraditional shepherd’s pie recipe turned out extraordinary. It might be even better than the original!

Check out the creative uses of other root vegetables in the Kosher Connection October Link-Up below!

1 year ago: leftover turkey pot pie

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Kid-Friendly Dirty Rice

Monday, June 11th, 2012

First off, let me start by saying that I am posting this as per the facebook vote! I asked my fan page if they prefer a one dish meal, protein, vegetarian dish, muffin, drink or craft and the majority voted for the one dish meal, so here you have it!

Now, onto the recipe. Let me tell you how this happened. I went shopping to my local supermarket and picked up a package of chicken for dinner. Then I got home and opened said package. It wreaked. I’m talking seriously stinky chicken. I quickly called the store, who aptly credited my account and I dumped the chicken in the garbage. It was 4:30 PM, my kids were hungry and I had nothing. So I did what any desperate mother would do: I rummaged through my freezer and found 4 lonely hot dogs in a bag. Then, I scoured the pantry and the fridge and put all my ingredients out on the counter. I twiddled my thumbs while I thought of how I could turn rice, hot dogs and peppers into a satisfying dish with minimal time and effort. And then this happened. This delicious, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish that is so easy to make, so budget-friendly, and easily customizable! Feel free to load this up with other veggies, beans, or any type of protein. You can also use chicken or turkey hot dogs for a healthier option.

After I fed my kids, I could not resist topping off my plate with a poached egg. The silky egg yolk coated my rice with a creamy layer of heaven and the scallions gave it the perfect bite. Don’t be intimidated, poached eggs are fairly simple and take just a little practice. View my tutorial here.

And by the way, in case you were wondering, dirty rice is a traditional Cajun dish made from white rice cooked with small pieces of chicken liver or giblets, which give it a dark (“dirty”) color and a mild but distinctive flavor (thanks Wikipedia! I couldn’t have said it better myself!). I simplified the traditional recipe by using seasoned salt and hot dogs, making it kid-friendly and super easy!

 

1 year ago: quick easy & tasty chicken

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Meat Lasagna

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Growing up, we weren’t big dairy eaters. I think it had a lot to do with the milk allergies around the house. There was the occasional pizza, and the once-in-a-blue-moon fettucine alfredo. But on Shavuous, my mother went all out. She made the most delicious cheese blintzes, eggplant rollintini and her famous mouthwatering lasagna. We couldn’t get enough of it. The situation seems to be repeating itself in my house, having a daughter who is severely allergic to milk. We too have the occasional pizza, macaroni and cheese and cheese latkes. We reserve the other delicacies for that once-a-year milchig binge. But no-one can make lasagna like Ma’s, so I haven’t even tried. We always make sure we are free for her milchig meal so we can savor her delicious recipe!

Why am I rambling on about Ma’s milchig lasagna in a meat lasagna post? Well, since we absolutely LOVE the dairy recipe, I basically adapted it into a meat one that we can eat all year round! Of course nothing will ever replace the original, but this version is really delicious, and worth the effort (you’ll need a lot of pots to make it!) My kids just gobble it up, without even noticing the spinach!

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Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I’ve got to hand this one over to my favorite facebook page, “whats for supper” (introduced to me by my sister-in-law CR), which was started by two sisters, Chava and Naomie (from what I gather anyway). As the name suggests, each day, they post what they are making for supper, and invite all their followers to do the same. Naomie sometimes suggests interested cooking tips, and the health benefits of various foods. They’ve created a family atmosphere, a place to shmooze about more than just food! Recently, they awarded the 1000th person to join their page a pearl necklace from ICE.COM. They even posted a picture of her wearing it!

Now back to the food. In one post, a little while back, they offered suggestions of what to do with leftover chicken soup. I always have leftover soup, and it kills me to throw it away! Only one of the recipes appealed to me, and that was chicken pot pie. The delicious, creamy comfort food that we all love (and you thought it couldn’t get any comfier than chicken soup) is surprisingly easy to make. Making chicken pot pie using leftover chicken soup seemed a bit “off” at first, but once I tried it, I couldn’t help but make it again the next week. And it just keeps getting better. If you don’t like the sound of it, you can go ahead and boil up some chicken and carrots from scratch.

A few notes:

If you have other vegetables in your soup, like celery, parsnips etc. feel free to add them. (Almost) anything goes!

Although the original recipe calls for parsley, I love the way the herbs thyme, sage, and rosemary compliment poultry. In my adaptation, I use rosemary in the pie and thyme on the crust.  Feel free to experiment with different herbs, or go ahead and leave them out altogether. They have a very distinct flavor so I only use a small amount in the dish.

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