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Tuscan Beans and Spinach Soup with Homemade Croutons

I made this soup because it was actually below freezing here in Florida. I know that is just W.R.O.N.G. – WRONG. If I wanted to be in the cold, I would go up to New Hampshire. Actually I do go up there once a month, but not because I like the cold. Anyway, this soup just sounded perfect for the day.

The homemade croutons are a must. They take this soup to the next level of comfy, cozy goodness. The creaminess is easily done by pureeing part of the beans with broth. The lemon adds just a hint of zip to keep the soup from being boring. This recipe makes 4-6 servings. Oh, and it only takes 30 minutes to make. Here is another quick and tasty meal in 30 minutes flat to your table.

  • 2 15 oz cans cannnelini white beans, rinsed, drained, divided
  • 3 c vegetable broth, divided, 1c/2c
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, zested, juiced
  • Homemade Croutons

In a food processor or blender, blend together 1 can of cannelini beans and 1 c of vegetable broth until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

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In a large dutch oven, heat oil and saute onions with all-purpose seasoning until soft.

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Add garlic, red pepper flakes. Stir. Add spinach and stir. Cook until spinach is wilted.

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Add remaining beans and broth along with the tomato and lemon.

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Stir thoroughly. Bring soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until heated through.

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Serve with homemade croutons. Eat. Enjoy.

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Saffron Chickpeas and Spinach Soup

I was inspired to make this soup when I saw a similar recipe in a magazine. I knew when I saw it I was going to make this within a day.  What was nice is that I had everything in my pantry or refrigerator. I love it when a plan comes together.

This soup is creamy by blending half of it in the blender. Yet, it still has a chew from the unblended part. It is bright from the addition of lemon. The lemon works really well with the chickpeas and spinach. There is a special ingredient too – Saffron. The saffron can be pricey, but it is so worth it in this dish.

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 8 oz, mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oz cauliflower rice
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 4 c vegetable broth, divided in half
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped

In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat add about 2-3 tbsp of the vegetable broth onion, mushrooms, cauliflower, saffron, bay leaf and lemon zest to the the pan. Cook until onions are translucent and softened; stirring occasionally. Add chick peas. Stir until heated through. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Blend until mixture is creamy. Return blended mixture to dutch oven and stir. Add remaining vegetable broth and spinach. Stir and cook just until spinach has softened.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Black Bean And Forbidden Rice Bowl

This meal came about by combining two delicious ingredients with a few toppings. I first made the Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup. The next day I made a Black Rice and Roasted Vegetable Bowl. This is the mashup of the two. This meal is packed with nutrition, fiber and total goodness. I added some fresh avocado, coconut yogurt and fresh herbs to make it the perfect bite. The yogurt adds a tang and creaminess; while the herbs add freshness, and of course the avocado is just plain good. I am really liking the combination of the two meals.

Since all the ingredients are already made it is just a matter of assembling. However, I will add the links from the two separate meals so that you have the recipes.

These are the portion sizes I used for this serving. Assemble in order of ingredients.

  • 1/2 c Forbidden Rice
  • 1 c Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup

Warm in microwave until hot. Add remaining ingredients in order.

  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut yogurt
  • 2 slices of avocado
  • Cilantro for garnish.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Black Bean Soup

I had been planning to make this soup for days. The day before I did all my dicing and mincing so that while we were out and about the following day we could have a hot and nutritious soup cooking away in the slow cooker. Every few hours my husband would say, “It smells so good.” I love hearing that from him.

Serve this with a slice my Gluten Free Sandwich Bread and you have a filling nutritious meal. This makes enough to have some for lunch the next day and freeze some for a future meal. That is what I plan on doing.

Sine I did all the prep work the day before all I had to do was put all the ingredients into the slow cooker, set it, and let it do its work.

  • 3 cans Black Beans, low sodium
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can tomatoes, low sodium, diced
  • 2 c corn, frozen
  • 15 oz butternut squash, cubed, frozen
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • plain coconut yogurt, garnish
  • cilantro, garnish

Into a slow cooker (crock pot) add all the ingredients, except the yogurt and cilantro. You will be using those to garnish each bowl of soup. Make sure you generously season with the smokey southwestern seasoning.

Set slow cooker to low and let it go all day. Stir occasionally, and taste for seasoning. I added more seasoning when I did a taste test.

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Serve with a dollop of plain coconut yogurt and some fresh cilantro. Eat. Enjoy.

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Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I do not know about you , but sometimes I am amazed at my thought process. For instance, Paula Deen came to mind (I don’t know why), then that led to thinking of her chicken pot pie with the puff pastry crust – Yum. Then my thoughts went from the chicken pot pie          (because I cannot have puff pastry anymore – Sad) to making the filling into a soup – Happy again. I know it is roundabout thinking , but sometimes that is how I get some of my best ideas.

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  • 2 large chicken breasts, cooked, chopped ( I used the chicken from the sheet pan meal the night before)
  • all-purpose seasoning to taste (see website)
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 c paleo all-purpose flour (see website)
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • cashew milk (measure 2 cans, using empty coconut cream can)
  • 1/4 c chicken base (make sure it is low sodium)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 15oz. frozen peas and carrots blend
  • pinch, nutmeg, freshly grated
  • fresh parsley, garnish chopped

In a large dutch oven melt butter and slowly add flour. Stir until consistency is of paste, but do not brown. Slowly add coconut cream and cashew milk; stir. Add chicken base, garlic, onion, peas and carrots blend, chicken and nutmeg. Taste and season as needed with all-purpose seasoning. Stir occasionally, until simmering. Add chopped parsley Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: This soup would be great served with biscuits. At least that is what my husband says.

 

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Big Cooking – Creamy Chipotle Butternut Squash and Chicken Soup – Part 4

I got the idea to make this soup from the Chipotle Shredded Chicken Tacos. The tacos were so good I wanted a little more of the same flavor profile. There was a little shredded chicken leftover from the tacos, and I had 1 1/2 chicken breasts left from the initial Big Cooking. The butternut squash adds a hearty autumnal flavor and the chipotle peppers add heat. This soup will definitely warm you up.

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Warning: If you do not like spicy heat you can leave out the chipotle peppers. However, you will be missing out on some great flavors.

  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (minus 2, used for tacos)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved
  • avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1 1/2 c roasted cherry tomatoes (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 2 cans heavy coconut cream
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 c green beans, cooked, diced (these were part of the big cooking)
  • 3 c cooked chicken breast, shredded (these were part of the big cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast butternut squash on a sheet pan for about 60 minutes or until squash can easily be pierced by a fork. Set aside to cool. Cube squash.

In a large dutch oven warm avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion and seasoning. cook until onions are softened and translucent. Add chipotle peppers and cherry tomatoes. Break up peppers and tomatoes with spoon. Add butternut squash. Stir until well combined.

Blend ingredients with chicken stock. It should make a thick paste. You can blend either by immersion blender, food processor or blender. All will work well for this step. Return blended mixture to dutch oven.

Add coconut cream, maple syrup, lime zest and juice. Stir well. You can add more chicken stock if you find it is too thick. Add green beans and shredded chicken. Stir until well combined. Cook until soup is completely heated through. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I recommend serving biscuits with this soup.

2nd Note: I was able to freeze some of the soup for another time. Use this when you forget to defrost something. You can reheat it in a dutch oven on the stove.

 

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Shrimp Chowder – Round 5

This is the last of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. The carrots and cauliflower is what I will be using today.

Because I used my All-purpose Seasoning on the vegetables I have a little more versatility for this next dish. You will never know this was first made to go with something that had a Smokey Southwestern flavor profile. The vegetables are completely transformed into a sating Shrimp Chowder.

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  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Remaining cauliflower and carrots (roasted in round 1), chopped
  • 2 Apples (honey crisp, fuji) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, fresh, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 2 limes, 1 tested and juiced, 1 for garnish
  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined

Over medium heat add avocado oil, onion, celery, apples, garlic and ginger to a large dutch oven. Season with sea salt. Cook until veggies or translucent and softened. Add cauliflower and carrots. Stir until well combined.

Add lime zest and juice; stir. Add chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add coconut cream, stirring until well combined.

Meanwhile, as the chowder is cooking chop shrimp in halves or thirds. By doing this you will have shrimp in every bite.

Over medium heat add shrimp to an avocado oiled cast iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding shrimp. Cooking the shrimp will only 2-3 minutes. You do not want to over cook the shrimp. They will finish in the chowder.

Add cooked shrimp to chowder. Stir until well combined. Garnish with a lime wedge to squeeze into chowder. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Soup – Round 3

Today is Round 3 of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. I transformed this Round 1 meal into a soup. Not only did I have enough for our lunch, but I was able to freeze what is leftover for a quick meal another time.

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This soup is veggie packed, which is always good. Since most of the ingredients were already cooked, this soup is a chop, into the pot, simmer to heat through and eat. You can either make this in a large dutch oven on the stove top or you can throw everything in a slow cooker and come home from work with a delicious meal ready. Whatever is the best for you and your family. I made mine on the stove top.

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1/2 of the remaining carrots from Round 1, diced
  • 1/2  of one pork tenderloin ( I made two in Round 1), chopped
  • 2 limes, 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges for garnish
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • 4 c vegetable broth

In a large dutch oven heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and the red pepper. Sprinkle veggies with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook until softened. Add carrots, pork tenderloin and salsa. Stir well, and cook for a couple of minutes to meld the flavors. Add lime zest, lime juice, vegetable broth and simmer about 30 – 45 minutes to let flavors combine thoroughly. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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No Bean Chicken Chili

This is a veggie packed chicken chili. Anytime I can pack in a load of veggies into a dish I’m a happy girl. This is a fairly quick meal. Double the recipe and you could freeze some for a just in case meal.

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  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 16 oz. ground chicken
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 25.46 diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kombu, thumb size
  • 1 c roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour

In a large dutch oven over medium heat sauce orange pepper, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and seasoning. Sautee until veggies start to become tender. Add ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes, kombu and butternut squash. Stir all ingredients occasionally. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add tapioca flour; stir well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: You could add some jalapeño if you desire a little heat. You could also garnish with some cheese, greek yogurt, or sour cream.

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Black Bean Stew

This recipe is for my vegan friends. It has been a while since I made this dish. It is veggie packed, gluten free and delicious. This can be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker. It smells so good either way you make it. This would be good with a slice of my focaccia bread.

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  • avocado oil
  • 1 c onions, diced
  • 1 c carrots, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 c red peppers, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  •  1 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1-inch Kombu, thumb size
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 c. spinach, cut into strips
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  • cashew cream, garnish, optional

In a large dutch oven over medium heat warm the avocado oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, red peppers and garlic. Cook until veggies have softened. Add beans, vegetable broth, kombu, tomatoes and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Just before serving add cilantro and top with a dollop of cashew cream. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Southwestern Shredded Pork Soup

I made this soup with the leftovers of the Pork Shoulder and Veggies from the other night. Instead of having the same thing from the other night I transformed this into a thick and hearty soup with a little kick. The kick is optional. There is a little prep-work, but it is totally worth the effort. You can either make this in a large dutch oven or a slow cooker. Either way you decide, it is delicious.

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  • Pork Shoulder and Veggie leftovers (see website)
  • 3 c chicken stock divided 1c/2c
  • 17.64 oz. tomato sauce (Pomi)
  • 26.46 oz. chopped tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 1 tbsp siracha (optional)
  • 1 lime, zested, save juice from half the lime
  • greek yogurt, optional garnish
  • cilantro, chopped, optional garnish

Separate pork shoulder from veggies. In a blender of food processor blend together veggies and 1 c chicken stock. This will make a thick creamy base for the soup. The blended potatoes and carrots is what gives the soup its creamy thick texture.

Transfer veggie mixture to either a dutch oven or slow cooker. Add 2 c of chicken stock , tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, southwestern seasoning, siracha, lime zest and lime juice.

Shredded pork and add to soup mixture. Stir. If cooking soup in dutch oven, cook over low heat, If using the slow cooker use the low setting. Garnish with a dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Creamy Southwestern Chicken Soup

I was inspired to make this soup  because it actually got cold down here in Florida. Well, if you think 30 – 40 degrees is chilly. That is a bit chilly for down here. I made this in the slow cooker. The house smelled so good. Serve this with a side salad and a biscuit and you are set.

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  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning (see website)
  • 1 onion, medium, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c  each of red, yellow, orange peppers, diced
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked, chopped
  • 26.46 oz. diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 5 dashes of fish sauce
  • 4 c chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 c cashew cream
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot
  • Feta, garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro, garnish

Place chicken breast in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season generously with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Layer onions, garlic, peppers and bacon. Season again with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fish sauce, chicken broth,  and cashew cream. Stir.  Spoon out 1 cup of liquid; add arrowroot and stir to make a slurry. Return slurry to slow cooker and let it do its thing. Serve. Eat. Enjoy