Fat-Free Cream of Broccoli Soup

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Fat-Free Cream Of Broccoli Soup

source: ex.libris

This super easy soup has absolutely no fat,  and takes just a few minutes to throw together.

Ingredients

2 10-oz packages frozen broccoli

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2-3 cups water

chicken bouillon powder, to taste (vegetarian)

1/2-1 cup skim milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

In a large  pot,  cook broccoli, bouillon and onion in 2 cups water, till tender.  Add 1/2 cup milk. Using hand blender, puree, while being extremely careful to avoid scalding yourself. Add salt, pepper and additional milk to taste.

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Orange Knots

January 24, 2014 / No Comments on Orange Knots
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orange-knotssource: clotho98

Orange Knots — A New Kind Of Donut

3 tbsp Crisco                                                 4 cups sifted flour

3/4 cup sugar                                               1/2 tsp salt

1 egg and 1 yolk, beaten light                      1  1/2 tsp cream of tarter

grated rind 1 orange                                    1/2 tsp soda

1/4 tsp mace                                                 1/2 cup milk

Cream the Crisco, beat in the sugar, the eggs, orange rind and mace.  Sift together the dry ingredients; add the first mixture and the milk and mix to a firm dough.  Cut off bits of the dough and roll under the fingers to strips the shape and length of a lead pencil, tie in a knot or shape like an 8 and fry in hot Crisco; drain on soft paper, and dredge with confectioners’ sugar.

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Broccoli With Easy Mustard Sauce

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Broccoli-With-Easy-Mustard-Sauce2source: Pinot & Dita

I’ve been loving the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook lately. The recipes are quite simple and very tasty. One of my favorites is Broccoli With Easy Mustard Sauce.

Because of my own needs, cooking style, flavor preferences, etc, I made a few small changes to the original recipes.

I removed the flour, reduced the amount of water and added a bit of salt.  The recipe is still quite similar to the one in the book.

Ingredients

3 cups frozen broccoli

2 tbsp water

2 large pinches chicken soup mix

2 pinches thyme, crushed

3 tbsp drained low-fat cream cheese

1/2 tsp sharp mustard

salt

Directions

Microwave the broccoli till tender. Drain well.

Combine all ingredients except for broccoli in a shallow saucepan. Stir well. Heat till mix starts to bubble around the edges.

Pour sauce over broccoli and serve immediately.

Get your own copy of the American Heart Association Quick & Easy Cookbook at Amazon. Sadly, this book is out-of-print so you will need to purchase an inexpensive used copy.

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Delicious Low-Fat Herb Spread

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Delicious Low Fat Herb SpreadSource: anemoneprojectors

Since I’m currently on a very low fat diet, I spend a lot of time perusing the pages of healthy cookbooks for exciting new recipes. My new favorite comes from the pages of the American Heart Association Quick And Easy Cookbook. The original recipe is called Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese Sandwiches.

As usual, I’ve changed the recipe quite a bit to suit my own tastes.The original recipe called for tarragon, which I’m not always crazy about. Instead I substituted oregano and salt, plus upped the red pepper slightly. The result is yum!

Ingredients

8 ounces low fat cream cheese or other spreadable cheese product (examples listed below)

1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 small pinches red pepper, crushed

salt, to taste

skim milk, if needed

Instructions

Drain or whip in skim milk to spreadable cheese product till you get the consistency you desire. Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve with healthy low fat crackers or toasted bread.

Examples of spreadable cheese products are low fat cream cheese, nonfat cream cheese, drained low fat yogurt, drained and blended low fat cottage cheese, Israeli white cheese, etc.

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Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich

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Cheese And Vegetable Sandwichsource: Jennifer

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich for several months. The problem is,  every time I get a green pepper in the house, it gets used within hours for a stir fry or Sloppy Joes. Yesterday, my husband purchasing two peppers instead of one, so today I finally got to try out this easy recipe from the Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook.

As usual, I made a couple of changes to the ingredient list. I only had American cheese, so that is what I used. Also, since pita was the freshest bread in the fridge, that also got added to the mix. I think the original ingredients would probably be better for this dish than my alternates.

Nonetheless, even with my substitutions, the sandwich came out nice and I enjoyed eating it.

Will I add the Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich to my regular rotation of recipes? I’m not sure.  Though I definitely enjoyed my meal, combining cooked green peppers and onions with cheese is a new taste for me and might take some getting used to.

Cheese And Vegetable Sandwich

2 large green or red peppers

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion

Hot pepper sauce (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

4 large sandwich buns

1/4 – 1/2 pound Havarti or Cheddar cheese

Core and slice peppers. Heat oil in a wide skillet and add peppers. Cook over medium heat as you prepare the onion. Slice onion about 1/8 inch thick and add to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are limp and beginning to brown. Season with hot pepper sauce (if using), salt and pepper.

Split sandwich buns in half horizontally. Divide cheese among bottom halves of buns. Top with some vegetable mixture.  Close up sandwiches, cut in half and serve.

Optional: Though not in the original recipes, vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and sprouts can be added for additional crunch.

Serves 4

Get your own copy of Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook: Hassle-Free, Healthful Meals for Really Busy Cooks (affiliate link) at Amazon.

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Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions

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amazing-leonardo-da-vinci-inventionsI’m a big fan of technology books written for kids. I first discovered them when I homeschooled my son for 7 years. Even though those days are now long past, I still read and use this genre of books constantly.

These books have been the source for some of my most innovative projects. Books from these books have inspired me to make  a pantograph (a type of drawing tool),  a flower press, cardboard furniture, sprouts, flicker books, a bird feeder and homemade cheese.  I loved all these endeavors,  but I would never have tried them without the  “push” that children’s books gave me.

Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions is the newest addition to my book collection. The book starts off with a history of the Renaissance and then goes on to a biography of da Vinci. After that, the project section begins.

The project section is divided into five parts: art, machines, water, flight and war. There are anywhere from 2-6 projects in each category.

For me, the projects are the “meat” of the book. Each project has very easy-to-follow directions, accompanied an abundance of illustrations. In addition, each of the projects is put into historical context, with an accompanying photograph of Leonardo’s work.

As I flipped through the projects,  I mentally made a note of those I would enjoy trying on my own, and those that would be fun to do with the kids.  The projects for me to try include building a perspectograph,  learning two-point perspective, plastic making and paint making.  Projects for the children are a camera obscura, a hygrometer and trebuchet.

If, like me, you’re a crafter who enjoys bringing a bit of technology into her projects, take a look at Amazing Leonard da Vinci Inventions. It’s available inexpensively on Amazon, or at most public libraries.

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Red Bean Soup

January 6, 2014 / 2 Comments on Red Bean Soup
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Red Bean Soup

source: Renee Suen

This very healthy and tasty Red Bean Soup is my variation on Nava Atlas’ recipe in Great American Vegetarian.  My version uses canned beans and thereby cuts cooking time down dramatically.  I’ve also  skipped some of the steps in the original Red Bean Soup recipe, but without sacrificing the flavor.

Ingredients

1 can red or kidney beans

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 large stalks celery, diced

1 can chopped tomatoes

3 cups water

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon olive oil

few grains cayenne pepper

salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat, till light golden. Add the celery and cook till celery begins to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add beans, tomatoes, water, bay leaves and thyme. Add cay­enne pep­per, black pep­per and salt to taste.

Lower heat and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for at least anoth­er 30 – 40 min­utes.

Add more water if needed, but don’t overdo it. This version of Red Bean Soup is so chunky,  it’s almost  like a stew.

Note:  The original recipe suggests you puree the Red Bean Soup, but I usually don’t, and my soup is chunky instead of smooth.

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