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Thai Curry Vegetable Soup

 

I love all the foods served up at Christmas time. The week or two leading up to the big celebration though, I often find myself craving other tastes that won’t be on the holiday table. Recipes that are fairly healthy, simple to make and will last for a few days are my favorites, since I already have so much to do.

Thai Time

This recipe for Thai Curry Vegetable Soup fits my requirements perfectly. I’ve adapted the recipe just a bit to suit my own personal tastes from the original by Beth at  budgetbytes.com. Budget bytes is a fantastic food blog. The recipes are wonderful and she also gives you the cost breakdown. Mouth watering photos of the recipes will convince you to make them. I definitely recommend  checking out this blog, you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of my new favorites!

Turning Up The Heat

Other than chopping all the vegetables before hand, this soup goes together quickly and easily. For those of you that worry about Thai food being too spicy, this soup is pretty low on the heat scale. You can turn up the burn by offering Sriracha sauce along with the other garnishes when you serve it. If you want a heartier version of this soup you can put in some cooked, cut up chicken at the end just until it’s heated through. Shrimp would be great too, but add them at the end and simmer just a couple of minutes to cook through. Simmer just until the shrimp turn pink so they won’t be tough.

Recipe~Click here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe

THAI CURRY VEGETABLE SOUP

Serves: 4 (about 2 cups each)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp. neutral cooking oil such as canola

3 cloves garlic-minced

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger root-peeled & finely grated or minced

2 1/2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste (I use Asian Creations Thai Kitchen brand, which can be found at Albertsons and other major grocery stores)

1 small sweet potato(about 1 lb.)-peeled and cut into small cubes, about 1/2 to 1 inch

2 bunches baby bok choy-wash and chop into strips, separating the white stalks from the green leafy tops

1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach leaves ( I use the pre-washed bagged spinach)

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 (13oz.) can coconut milk (I used Trader Joes reduced fat coconut milk)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce (I use Asian Creations Thai Kitchen brand, which can be found at Albertsons and other major grocery stores)

1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 box Thai thin rice noodles (I use Asian Creations Thai Kitchen brand, which can be found at Albertsons and other major grocery stores)

GARNISHES:

4-5 green onions (scallions) chopped or 1/2 of a red onion thinly sliced

1 lime cut into quarters

l large handful of fresh cilantro (washed and roughly chopped)

Sriracha sauce to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare all of the vegetables for the soup and garnish. Mince garlic and grate the ginger using a fine holed grater or mince finely with a knife. Peel and cut up the sweet potato into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. Cut up washed bok choy (slice end off of stem base and discard) into strips about 1 inch. Separate white stalk part from green leafy tops. Chop green onions into small pieces or if using red onion, slice thinly. Roughly chop the washed cilantro.Thai Curry Vegetable Soup-Chopped Vegetables

In a large soup pot heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Saute those ingredients over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Add the cubed sweet potato, chopped bok choy stalks (white part, save green part for later) and the vegetable or chicken stock to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until sweet potato is tender when tested with a fork.

While the soup is simmering, bring another pot of water to a boil for the rice noodles (cook according to package directions) or once water is boiling add noodles and remove pan from heat, stir noodles lightly with a fork to separate and let sit for 4 minutes stirring once or twice. Drain the noodles into a colander when time is up and set them aside.

When sweet potatoes are tender, add the coconut milk to the soup along with the fish sauce and brown sugar. Stir, taste, and add more fish sauce and or brown sugar to taste. Finally, add in the bok choy greens and spinach and let them wilt in the hot soup a minute or two.

TO SERVE:

Divide the rice noodles between four bowls. Ladle the soup and vegetables over the noodles. Put vegetable garnishes in small bowls so everyone can top their soup with onions, cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a drizzle or more of Sriracha sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

From the Kitchen

High Protein Snacks You’ll Love To Eat

Finding snacks that are healthy and taste good isn’t always easy. My eating habits tend toward the grazing type; eating more small meals throughout the day. Having high protein, low calorie snacks on hand when I get hungry stops me from reaching for the empty calorie, high sugar, high salt, overly processed kind. That’s not to say that I never eat those bad but oh so good tasting snacks once in a while, but I believe moderation is the key. I had to become very aware of my diet years ago when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It was a lot of trial and error to determine what foods caused problems for me. When my daughter started having digestive issues in her teens, I was afraid she might have Crohn’s as well. After many doctor visits and tests, we discovered she has a sensitivity to gluten. To support her I decided I would stop eating gluten for awhile and see if I noticed any difference in the way I felt. Gluten was something I hadn’t tried omitting from my diet before and I was curious to see if it would have any effects on me. After three to four weeks of eating gluten free I had lost around 8 pounds and wasn’t having the afternoon blahs everyday, where I felt like I needed to take a nap. I also had fewer headaches and muscle tightness. Needles to say my diet is still gluten free, except for those moments  of weakness when there is just no substitute for a croissant. Of course that little slip is quickly followed by a three day headache with knots in my muscles and tightness gripping my upper back and neck, with the inevitable proclamation “I swear, this time I’m never eating gluten again”. So this is how I roll, but I digress. Back to the snacks. A lot of my friends ask my advice about diet and nutrition since they know it’s a integral part of my life. I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who asked me for some ideas on high protein snacks she could keep on hand to help here steer clear of eating bad stuff when she gets home from work. I had a brain fart and couldn’t come up with anything, big help right? All I could say was I would think about it and text her with some ideas. The brain fart turned into a brainstorm and I decided it would make a good post, I’d be helping my friend out and others who might be facing the same challenge. This list of high protein snacks are tasty and relatively easy to make. I’ve also included a couple of packaged items and two protein based salad recipes. Be sure to click on the links provided to see even more smart and nutritious eating choices and informative articles. Enjoy and stay healthy.


High Protein Snacks - Farmhouse Soul Blog

Nut Butter Boat

Any vehicle for nut butter is perfection in our book. Try loading a few celery sticks with a serving of any nut butter (like almond, cashew, walnut) topped with a few whole almonds or raisins. If you’re not a fan of celery, try scooping out the middle of an apple and filling it with your nut butter of choice.

2 tbsp natural nut butter with 1 cup apple or celery slices: 8.3 grams protein


Deli Rollups

Consider it a sandwich without the bread! This Paleo-friendly savory snack packs in almost double the protein of a hardboiled egg, and sneaks in a few vegetables to boot! Remember to stick to a lower-salt variety of meat to keep those blood pressure-spiking sodium levels in check.

We like the Columbus brand of deli meats. Many of their selections, like the herb roasted turkey breast are reduced sodium, 99% fat free and no added nitrites. Costco carries the brand or click on the link above to go to their website for a list of other stores.

You can also choose a low fat variety of cheese if you’re watching the calorie count.

2 slices deli turkey rolled up with 1 slice cheese and 1 slice tomato: 11.9 grams protein


One Kind Plus Bar

We’re not huge supporters of prepackaged bars, but we make an exception for KIND Plus bars thanks to their all-nut base. When you’re really in a pinch but are reaching “hangry” status, keep one of these stashed in your bag as a quick, nutritious way to quell that grumbling tummy.

1 Almond Walnut Macadamia with Peanuts KIND Plus Bar: 10 grams protein


 Mini Bean-and-Cheese Quesadilla

It might take an extra minute to prep, but combining these two high-protein treats is totally worth it, especially when the result boasts both fiber and calcium too. Cook it in a dry nonstick pan until the cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly browned, then wrap it in foil and stick in a plastic baggie for easy transport.

1/2 cup black beans, 1 tablespoon salsa, and 1 slice cheddar cheese in a small whole wheat tortilla: 17.9 grams protein


Edamame Poppers

The only thing more fun than how much protein you can get from a serving of edamame is getting to eat these little beans out of their bright green pods. Buy them fresh and steam, or use the pre-cooked frozen variety and briefly microwave to defrost before chowing down.

1 cup edamame pods sprinkled with sea salt: 15 grams protein


Hummus Dippers

How’s this for an unconventional use of a travel coffee mug? Put a few dollops of your favorite hummus in the bottom of the container, stick a handful of vegetable sticks (carrots, celery, and snow peas are a great mix) vertically in the hummus, screw on the top, and throw in a purse or gym bag for an easy, on-the-go, super-healthy snack.

1/3 cup hummus with 1/2 cup mixed vegetable sticks: 6.7 grams protein


Greek Yogurt and Granola

Picture sitting on a Greek isle with this snack in hand. Along with a higher level of protein than regular yogurt, the Greek stuff provides plenty of calcium and probiotics to fight inflammation . Now soak in that (imaginary) view and enjoy!

1 single-serving container yogurt with 2 tbsp granola: 16 grams protein


Tuna and Crackers

Along with protein, canned tuna adds some vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids to your mid-afternoon munchies. Scooped up with a few whole wheat crackers, it’s a mini-meal that’s both simple and satisfying.

1 single serving (3-ounce) pack of wild albacore tuna salad (try the Starkist brand) plus 11 Wheat Thin crackers: 12 grams protein


Toasted Quinoa

Try this unconventional way to enjoy the gluten-free superfood: lightly sweetened, and toasted to crunchy perfection. Pack it in a container on top of yogurt, or like we tend to do with our favorite granola, eat it by the handful!

1/3 cup quinoa mixed with ½ tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, and 1 tbsp maple syrup, toasted at 425 degrees for 10 minutes: 9.4 grams protein


Protein Bites

No baking required, only four ingredients, portable, and tastes like dessert? This is our kind of quick-fix treat! Nut butter acts as the binder as well as the source of most of the protein in this recipe, while oats and dark chocolate chips give it its cookie-like quality while adding both fiber and antioxidants.

1 1/2 tbsp nut butter, 3 tbsp oats, 1/2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, rolled into balls: 8 grams protein


“Cheesy” Popcorn

When it’s not doused in butter and artificial flavorings, popcorn can be a super healthy snack, thanks to being a fiber-rich, satiating whole grain. Ratchet up its protein content by dusting the kernels with nutritional yeast, the vegan, B vitamin-packed answer to Parmesan cheese.

3 cups air-popped popcorn coated with 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of salt: 8.9 grams protein


“Cheesy” Kale Chips

The ultimate in salty cravings, potato chips are one of the easiest snacks to overdo it on (seriously, who eats just one serving at a time?!). Next time you need a big pile of something crunchy on the go, swap out the store-bought spuds for a baked bunch of homemade kale chips instead. While just as crisp as regular chips, this two-cup serving comes with the added benefits of giving you over 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin A and C, plus a hefty dose of protein from the nutritional yeast topping.

2 cups kale leaves coated with 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, baked at 325 degrees for 15 minutes: 9 grams protein


27. Homemade Chia Pod

This one requires some advance planning since it needs to be chilled for at least 4 hours, but we promise the effort is minimal and the wait is well worth it. Soak the chia seeds in non-dairy milk right in a portable container so that all you have to do is grab and go for a snack that’ll give you more than 30 percent of your daily value for calcium, iron, and magnesium.

1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 tbsp honey: 7 grams protein


 

All recipes are from greatest.com  | 27 Healthy and Portable High-Protein Snacks BY KATE MORIN AND ANISHA JHAVERI


 

Packaged Snacks

Dry Roasted Edamame

Available at most health food stores and Walmart.

High Protein Snacks-Farmhouse Soul Blog Post

RD, Elizabeth M Ward MS author of My Plate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better, chooses dry roasted edamame. Snacking on just half of a cup gives you 28 grams of protein.


 

Lentil Chips

High Protein Snack Ideas-Farmhouse Soul Blog Post

Fair warning, even though these are a healthier snack than other kinds of chips and definitely higher in protein, the calorie count can creep up on you. We love The Daily Crave Himalayan Pink Salt Lentil Chips (3g Protein, 0g Sugar, Non GMO, 0g Trans Fats or Hydrogenated Fats, No Artificial Flavors or Coloring). You can buy them at Costco but visit their website for other stores. These chips are really good and go with lots of different things. You can crumble a few on salad to add crunch. They are delicious with hummus too.


High Protein Salad Recipes

Packed with protein and nutrients, these two great tasting and filling salads are great to take to work with you or enjoy as a healthy snack between meals.

Lentil Salad

Rochelle Sirota, MS, RD, CDN, advocates for plant protein along with “good quality fats from avocados, raw, unsalted nuts or seeds and lots of vegetables.” When it comes to a protein-rich snack, she suggests a bean or lentil salad.High Protein Snacks-Lentil Salad-Farmhouse Soul Blog

Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings

ACTIVE TIME – 25 min

TOTAL TIME – 35 min

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried lentils (preferably small French lentils)
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 lb tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan with lentils, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain in a large sieve, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss hot lentils with tomatoes, scallions, dill, basil, vinegar, oil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.

 

Black Bean, Corn, Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad  (recipe via popsugar)

High Protein Snacks-Salads-Farmhouse Soul Blog Post- Photo via popsugar.com

At under 300 calories, one serving offers almost 12 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.

INGREDIENTS

1 English cucumber, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/4 cups corn
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes (I used half red, half yellow)
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the cucumber, black beans, corn, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze the fresh juice from the lime onto the salad, and stir well.
  2. Mix in the avocado, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.

 

 

From the Kitchen

Gooey Chocolate Cake Recipe + Gluten Free Version

Gooey Chocolate Cake Recipe|Farmhouse Soul Blog|farmhousesoul.comEveryone should have a Gooey Chocolate Cake for Valentines Day! This is a rich, chocolaty, and very moist cake recipe from A Taste Of Oregon cookbook from the Junior League of Eugene. For those of you looking for a gluten free version, you can simply substitute an equal amount of gluten free flour/baking mix in place of the regular flour. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill, Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour (Target sells it, as do many grocery and health food stores). I use it to replace flour in most recipes and have been very happy with the results. This cake is so moist that it’s good with just some powered sugar sprinkled on top if you want to skip the frosting…
WHAT? SKIP THE FROSTING? I can hear the frosting lovers questioning my sanity as I write. I’m just sayin’, it’s your call. Oh, and I think I forgot to mention, it’s an easy cake to make. So have yourself a Gooey Chocolate Cake and Happy Valentines! Click here to get a printable version of the recipe.

From the Kitchen

Breakfast Sausage Casserole Recipe

Breakfast Sausage Casserole Recipe-Farmhouse Soul Blog | farmhousesoul.com

Photo credit: Simplyrecipes.com

We usually do a Christmas Day brunch at our house, with this breakfast sausage casserole in the starring role. It’s so yummy, easy to make, and everyone loves it! I’ve also put it together the night before and baked it the next morning. There are a number of versions of this recipe online, but this is the one we’ve come up with which is a combo of a couple of recipes.

 

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minute Servings: 12

Ingredients:

1 pound sage flavored breakfast sausage (we use Jimmy Dean)

4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (we use Ore Ida)

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup onion finely chopped

1 (16 ounce) container small curd cottage cheese

8 large eggs

Directions:

In a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan place the frozen potatoes, 1/2 of the chopped onions (reserve the other half for the sausage-egg mixture) and the melted butter.

Toss the mixture and spread it out evenly on the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides as well. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the potato mixture is in the oven, brown the sausage in a large skillet with the remaining chopped onions over medium high heat until the sausage is evenly browned and crumbled. Drain off excess fat and set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat the 8 eggs, then add the cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, and the cooled and drained sausage/onion. Stir ingredients together until blended.

When potato/onion crust is done baking, remove from oven and pour egg/sausage mixture carefully on top and put back in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes more, or until egg mixture is set and lightly brown on top.

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

If you want to make the casserole the night before, just bake the potato crust and let it cool. Pour the egg/sausage mixture on top, cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until next morning. Remove from fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before you are going to put it in a preheated oven, bake uncovered. Since it’s been refrigerated overnight, the baking time may be a little longer. Check after 30 minutes, but it may take closer to 50-60 minutes to get lightly browned and the eggs set.

Enjoy!

Click HERE to download and print the recipe!