Warm, comforting and healthy too? This Rustic Mushroom Soup is all that and more.
Vegan, nutrient dense and low calorie, this superfood packed soup is perfect as an appetizer or a meal in itself.
Visit Zester Daily for my recipe for fast and easy Rustic Mushroom Soup.
Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is my favorite winter squash. Ever since they became readily available in local supermarkets I have been enjoying them.
But as much as I love them, it took my family a minute to jump on the kabocha bandwagon.
One Thanksgiving, about five or six years ago, I decided to add a kabocha squash recipe to my dinner. Every year I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family. This is usually very traditional fare, featuring turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green salad, maybe a Jell-O mold fixed by my mother, and rolls. My sister would always make the candied yams and sweet potato pie, and bring them over.
Interested in bringing slightly healthier fare to my Thanksgiving table, I wanted another option to balance the buttery sugary overload of the candied yams.
To find out my family’s reaction to my kabocha squash recipe, and to get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale please click here.
This soup would be a stand out on your holiday table, or just may become a staple on your dinner table.
Some days all you want to cook is something simple and easy. Something that tastes good, but only takes you a few minutes to throw together. This is that recipe.
This is basically a one dish meal (if you don’t count having to cook the pasta beforehand.) And there are only 5 ingredients, some even already prepped for you! Such as the pancetta, which you can buy already diced. And the greens, which are salad greens but are also wonderful cooked. And practically every market has fresh packaged pasta.
You know what? This is barely a recipe! I really just tossed a few high quality pre-packaged ingredients together, and made a fabulous meal! But what’s really important is that the six year old asked for seconds.
If you can’t find pesto tortelonni, use a plain tortelonni or tortelinni. The only difference between tortelonni and tortelinni is size. Tortelonni are bigger.
This pasta would be just as good using only baby spinach, or even arugula. Try different variations until you find the one that you like the best.
Recipe: Pesto Tortelonni with Pancetta and Greens
- 1 4 ounce package fresh pesto tortelloni
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 10 ounce package organic mixed baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach
- ½ cup Pinot Grigio wine
- 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the pancetta until crispy and cooked through. Remove the pancetta from the pan, set aside.
- Drain all but a tablespoon of fat from the pan.
- Add the greens, stirring often. Cook 1 – 2 minutes, until wilted.
- Add the wine, reserved tortelonni and pancetta. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter pieces.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.
Mother’s Day has just passed here in America. It was my first without my mother, and the void she left was felt. But it was also the first one that my daughter really understood. She made me a small bouquet of tissue paper flowers in a painted cardboard vase. They are the most beautiful flowers I have ever received. She drew a card with a heart tree on the front, wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day inside. I didn’t need or want anything else.
Which is good, since one of my sisters admitted she just forgot it was Mother’s Day. The other sister came over with a lovely card. . .and a pack of Mega Stuff Oreos. In a Walmart bag.
Oooo, I am SO spoiled!
Mega Stuff Oreo’s aside, I have actually started trying to get back on a healthier eating routine. When my mother passed away, people were kind enough to bring over lots of food. At times like that you really aren’t thinking about cooking dinner. Unfortunately you don’t always get the healthiest choices. (Shout out to Holland for bringing me salad, because she remembered dealing with the same thing when her mother passed.) You do get a lot of comfort food, which is just what your soul needs. Fried chicken, baked goods, macaroni and cheese. So many calories, so much comfort!
So here I am, 10 pounds heavier. And when you’re my age it goes on fast and easy, and comes off slowly, if at all! Dammit!
Part of my healthier eating routine now includes smoothies for breakfast. I am a bad breakfast eater, most often having coffee only until I stop long enough to realize I am hungry. And by then I am not just hungry, I am ravenous! Meaning I eat too much, or make bad choices. So to stop that cycle I am making smoothies.
I’m trying all sorts of combinations of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. This one is a favorite because it is so refreshing, and packed with nutrients from the Superfoods kale and mango. To keep it light I use coconut water instead of juice or milk.
Recipe: Mango Ginger Green Smoothie
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced or 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 cup (packed) torn kale leaves
- 1 cup coconut water
- In a blender puree all the ingredients until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Preparation time: 6 minute(s)
Now that its cold here in Southern California (you know, 60 degrees) I have been making soups and stews again. I know it doesn’t have to be cold to enjoy them, but something about walking inside to get out of 80 degree weather does not inspire me to sit down to a steaming bowl of something!
While visiting my friend Holland (and her lovely organic garden) she gifted me with a small bunch of Tuscan Kale. While I would usually saute it with a load of garlic and enjoy, I decided to use it as an ingredient for a stew. The thing I love about soups and stews, you can make one easily from whatever you find in the kitchen. I had some Italian sausage, I always have canned beans and tomatoes in the pantry, and deep in the freezer was some turkey stock I made from my Thanksgiving turkey carcass. I was set.
Like any stew, it was even better the next day. Serve it with some crusty bread to sop up the juices and enjoy!
Sausage and Kale Stew
This hearty stew is full of antioxidant rich kale, chickpeas and tomatoes, balanced with soul satisfying Italian sausage and pasta.
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons roasted garlic
- 8 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock, or store bought broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked until al dente
In a large pot over medium heat, brown the sausage well. Remove the sausage and reserve.
Add the onion, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper to the pot, stirring to coat the onions with the spice. Cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and cook an additional minute.
Return the sausage to the pot. Add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the kale and cook for about 10 minutes, until the kale is softened.
Stir in the pasta, and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour Yield: 8 cups