Prep2eat

April 13, 2016

Cauliflower

Filed under: Prep2eat — prep2eat @ 3:37 pm

Reblogging with resized photos.

Prep2eat

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Cauliflower is now the vegetable to add bulk to many meal creations. I waited too long to be daring to try this scary vegetable. It is not colorful or visually inviting to my palate. Oh, but it is a filler to many dishes now that I strive to add more vegetables to mo my meals.

Instead of automatically reaching for rice or potatoes for a side dish, I now grab cauliflower to slice or chop to cook with. Cauliflower is added to my baking sheet of assorted vegetables to roast. Roasting vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkle of salt & pepper brings out sweetness to vegetables.

Stirfrying vegetables to serve with a choice of stir fried protein is bulked-up with chopped cauliflower. Add low sodium soy sauce or low sodium broth and a delicious creation is prepared.

A quick steaming of cauliflower followed by a quick pulsing in a…

View original post 46 more words

April 9, 2016

Cauliflower

Filed under: Prep2eat, vegetables — Tags: — prep2eat @ 9:17 am

 

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Cauliflower is now the vegetable to add bulk to many meal creations. I waited too long to be daring to try this scary vegetable. It is not colorful or visually inviting to my palate. Oh, but it is a filler to many dishes now that I strive to add more vegetables to mo my meals.

Instead of automatically reaching for rice or potatoes for a side dish, I now grab cauliflower to slice or chop to cook with. Cauliflower is added to my baking sheet of assorted vegetables to roast. Roasting vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkle of salt & pepper brings out sweetness to vegetables.

Stirfrying vegetables to serve with a choice of stir fried protein is bulked-up with chopped cauliflower. Add low sodium soy sauce or low sodium broth and a delicious creation is prepared.

A quick steaming of cauliflower followed by a quick pulsing in a food processor produces a texture similar to rice. Use “cauliflower rice” to compliment a stew, a stirfry, and even a soup.

Experiment and create dishes with a healthy vegetable choice. Cauliflower is not scary for me anymore.

 

Leftover vegetables including roasted cauliflower in my scrambled eggs.

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January 13, 2016

Pizza Soup

Filed under: Prep2eat — prep2eat @ 5:33 pm

Fully uploaded post now.

Prep2eat

Happy New Year 2016

My blog has been a place for me to archive my recipes and food photos for the past four years.

It is my intention to save favorite recipes here as well as inspire and share the passion of homecooking with you. It gives me pleasure to prepare and serve a flavorful meal to my family and friends. The process of choosing quality produce, meats and grains is the start of a magical dining experience. Building textures and flavors round out a multi-sensational taste-bud awakening. The cooking process is total involvement, in-the-moment pleasure for me. Paying attention to details and timing is the creative flow of preparation.

Now cooler weather has finally arrived in New England, so I am returning to my hot soup creations. Just after the new year celebration, I wanted to “cook from the refrigerator” also known as using the leftovers from earlier meals…

View original post 441 more words

Pizza Soup

Filed under: Cook, Food, foodblogs, Healthy, Homemade, Prep2eat, Soup, vegetables — Tags: , — prep2eat @ 4:23 pm
Happy New Year 2016

My blog has been a place for me to archive my recipes and food photos for the past four years.

It is my intention to save favorite recipes here as well as inspire and share the passion of homecooking with you. It gives me pleasure to prepare and serve a flavorful meal to my family and friends. The process of choosing quality produce, meats and grains is the start of a magical dining experience. Building textures and flavors round out a multi-sensational taste-bud awakening. The cooking process is total involvement, in-the-moment pleasure for me. Paying attention to details and timing is the creative flow of preparation.

Now cooler weather has finally arrived in New England, so I am returning to my hot soup creations. Just after the new year celebration, I wanted to “cook from the refrigerator” also known as using the leftovers from earlier meals. This is how my Pizza Soup was created. I had small amounts of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese left over from a delicious Chicken Parmesan with Rigatoni meal. Oh my, the basic tomato-based vegetable soup was elevated to “The Pizza Level.” A genuine upgrade to an already favorite soup that I have posted in my blog previously.

Did I tell you how fast this soup is prepared? Oh, about under one hour. Please treat yourself and others to this foodie experience.

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What you will need:
cutting board
kitchen knife
vegetable peeler
can opener
large pot with matching lid
wooden spoon
cheese grater or box grater
measuring spoons
measuring cup
small spoon for tasting
soup ladle
serving bowl
soup spoon

Ingredients:
canola oil, 2-4 tablespoons. Amount depends on quantity of vegetables using.
onion, small or half of large, peeled and cut into small pieces
celery, one stalk, washed, peeled and cut into small pieces
carrots, two large or three small, washed, peeled and cut into thin slices like discs.
optional: zucchini, washed, cut into small pieces
canned crushed tomatoes size 28 oz. low sodium
box of chicken broth, low sodium, (4 cups)
cold water, 1-2 cups (personal consistency and flavor)
assorted spices and seasonings of choice:
kosher salt, a tablespoon or more depending on personal taste and flavor of canned tomatoes.
crushed black pepper, one teaspoon or more for personal taste.
cinnamon, one teaspoon ground
turmeric, one teaspoon ground
sage, one teaspoon dry ground
thyme, one teaspoon dry ground
optional: sugar, a teaspoonful at a time to correct for bitter tomato flavor at end of cooking the soup.
mozzarella cheese, sliced
parmesan cheese, grated
optional: pasta of choice for serving in bowl of soup.

Cooking process:
In the large pot, heat canola oil on the stove top, medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
Add onions, celery, carrots, zucchini to the heated oil and stir with wooden spoon until vegetables are softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes to the cooking vegetable mixture in the pot. Continue to stir the mixture until it bubbles, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the four cups of chicken broth and the water, continue to stir until soup bubbles, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper and seasonings, continue to stir.
Lower temperature under the pot to low setting, cover slightly to continue cooking for approximately 30 minutes.
With tasting spoon carefully taste the soup, adjust flavor by adding additional salt and pepper to taste.
Add sugar to adjust soup flavor of tomato base of soup.

Serve the soup in a bowl with a slice of Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Another add-in is a pasta noodle of choice.

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April 8, 2015

Spring Green Smoothie

Filed under: Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 10:53 am
Fresh, refreshing, healthy Breakfast.

Fresh, refreshing, healthy Breakfast.

Spring is popping up here in New England. Snow piles are melting to reveal little green shoots soon to bloom with colorful flower bulbs. Trees will soon blossom with color and landscapes will turn from brown to lush green. Nature’s symphony is wonderful to experience visually.

The inspiration from nature blooming carries over to my palate. Craving fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy grains awakens my culinary creations. Meals take on lots of color. Morning breakfast shifts from eggwhite-veggie scramble to a fresh, liquid smoothie packed with greens and fruit. A sprinkle of flax seeds and chopped ginger root enhance this vitamin nutrient mixture. A splash of fresh lemon juice rounds out this truly satisfying blended meal to start the day.

Ingredients today:

Ice cubes

Water

Washed greens of:

Baby spinach

Kale

Parsley

Cucumber, 1/2 small cucumber

Small banana

Sliced ginger root

Flax seeds

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

Preparation:

In a blender, add a handful of small ice cubes and 1/4 cup cold water. Add washed, dried chopped greens, cucumber, ginger root, banana. Add fresh, squeezed lemon juice and small amount of flax seeds, about 1-2 tablespoons.

Put top on blender and turn on high until all mixture is fully blended. Makes one tall glassful plus a little extra.

December 14, 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup

Filed under: Prep2eat — prep2eat @ 11:36 am

Added new soup photo. This vegetable beef soup has rice instead of potatoes.

Prep2eat

Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice

Several ways to enjoy a meal-in-a-bowl by using potatoes or rice in this vegetable beef soup. A popular choice is to use barley if you prefer.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

On cloudy, cool autumn nights, it feels good to prepare and enjoy a hearty bowl of soup. This recipe is a wonderful one-bowl meal. A large pot of this Vegetable Beef Soup makes about four quarts of soup. We freeze a couple of quarts to have an easy meal through the cold winter months here in New England.

The meat came from beef short ribs. Browning them in the soup pot first enhanced the depth of flavor in this rich soup. The costly meat is a reasonable price when divided into four quarts and the many people you can serve.

This recipe included cut potatoes and carrots. One could also add other vegetables of…

View original post 511 more words

December 10, 2014

Vegetable Soup With Turkey Meatballs & Rice

Filed under: Food, foodblogs, Meals, Meat, Soup — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 10:54 am
Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

Hearty, Spicy Vegetable Soup

My spicy vegetable soup is a tomato base with vegetable options of the day, but usually begins with a  sauté in canola oil on medium-high heat of onions, celery and carrots.

In the photo above, I added 1/2 cup of brown rice, stirring along with the vegetable sauté,  following with a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (low sodium), two cups chicken broth (low sodium) and 2-1/2 cups of cold water. Stirring often with a wooden spoon, I bring the mixture to a rolling boil with the lid on the pot and then turn down the heat to a low setting.

Adding flavor begins after the soup boil with about one tablespoon of Kosher salt and one-half teaspoon of crushed black pepper. This is the time I add dry spices of choice, optional for using all, such as a quarter-teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, quarter-teaspoon each of smoked paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. Choose spices and amounts for your soup depending on personal taste.

Cooking the soup covered on low heat setting for about 30 – 45 minutes allows flavors to blend and the rice to cook. Most times, more Kosher salt is added after tasting at the end of cooking. Add small amount, stir, taste and repeat until the soup is pleasing for your tastebuds. Sometimes, a small amount of sugar added slowly takes a bitter taste from the canned tomatoes. This is all personal taste at the finish of the soup.

The protein of choice for this meal in the photo is ground turkey meatballs. The meatballs can be baked on a lined cookie sheet with a rim or cooked in a large frying pan with some canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over a medium heat on the stove or at 350 degrees F. in the oven until the meatballs are cooked fully and browned.

Serving the vegetable soup with rice included and adding the small turkey meatballs completes a hearty, spicy meal-in-a-bowl. Adding small soup crackers and/or a toasted piece of crusty bread turns this meal into satisfying comfort on cold winter days.

Option: if dairy is tolerable, shave some melting cheese on top of your bowl of soup, such as fontina or gruyere. Delicious.

November 5, 2014

Vegetable Beef Soup

Filed under: beef, Food, Meals, Meat, Soup, vegetables — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 12:57 pm
Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice

Vegetable Beef Soup & Brown Rice

Several ways to enjoy a meal-in-a-bowl by using potatoes or rice in this vegetable beef soup. A popular choice is to use barley if you prefer.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

On cloudy, cool autumn nights, it feels good to prepare and enjoy a hearty bowl of soup. This recipe is a wonderful one-bowl meal. A large pot of this Vegetable Beef Soup makes about four quarts of soup. We freeze a couple of quarts to have an easy meal through the cold winter months here in New England.

The meat came from beef short ribs. Browning them in the soup pot first enhanced the depth of flavor in this rich soup. The costly meat is a reasonable price when divided into four quarts and the many people you can serve.

This recipe included cut potatoes and carrots. One could also add other vegetables of choice as well as beans to add more protein.

My recipe is based on “The Lady and Sons Beef Vegetable Soup” courtesy of Paula Deen

It is best to make this soup recipe when you have time for the multiple steps for this cooking process and allow refrigeration to bring the fat to the top of a large container. Skim the fat off the top of the cooled soup, discard the fat. Divide the cooled soup into four quart containers with matching lids.

Heat as much as you want for a meal, freeze the other quarts of soup for other times.

This hearty, rich Vegetable Beef Soup will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings.

What you will need

A large soup pot or Dutch Oven with matching lid

Tongs

Large bowl

Large fork and kitchen knife (to cut meat)

Large wooden spoon

Two large cutting boards

Kitchen knife (to cut vegetables)

Measuring cups and spoons

Soup ladle

Ingredients

2 tbs vegetable oil

3-4 lbs beef short ribs

3 quarts cold water

1 quart box of Beef Broth, low-sodium

1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, low-sodium

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh onions

two garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 tbs dried parsley

1 tbs Kosher salt

1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced celery

3 – 4 all-purpose white potatoes, cut into small pieces

Cooking process

Heat the oil in the soup pot on medium-high heat for 1 – 2 minutes and gently put some of the beef short ribs in the hot oil to brown on all sides. Turn the ribs on all sides with tongs. Remove the browned ribs to a large platter and repeat the process for all ribs. Turn the heat off under the pot. When the ribs have cooled a bit, cut the meat carefully off the ribs on a cutting board. Cut meat into small cubes.

Put the cut meat and the rib bones into the soup pot, add the water, tomatoes, onions, parsley, beef broth, salt, Worcestershire Sauce, celery, garlic, black pepper and bay leaves. Turn the heat under the pot to medium-high. Stir the soup with a wooden spoon and cover the pot with the lid.

When the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low setting, stir again, cover the pot and simmer the soup for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add remaining potatoes and carrots, cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low setting, stir the soup and cover the pot with the lid. Cook the soup for another 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft.

Add more salt and pepper at this time to your flavor liking. Stir the soup.

Skim excess fat from top of soup before serving. Best to cool soup at room temp, put in large container, then refrigerate overnight to bring excess fat to the top of a container. Divide into quart containers.

October 28, 2014

Trail Mix

Filed under: Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 11:48 am
Snack Food

Snack Food

A mixture of your favorite, unsalted nuts and dried cranberries.

Today’s Trail Mix includes almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. This mix is a wonderful, easy-to-pack snack to carry through the day, for a munch full of protein and flavor. If you can eat nuts, create a mix of your favorite flavors. Try to use unsalted nuts to limit daily salt intake.

Another way to enjoy a healthy Trail Mix is to include in a fresh salad to add more crunch and protein.

October 20, 2014

Paprika Chicken Stew

Filed under: Chicken, Food, Food blog, Homemade, Meals, Stew — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 11:27 am

Paprika Chicken Stew

This is the time of year in the northeast of the US when we bundle up to keep out the chill and crave hearty, comfort foods. This season of Autumn is just after warm summer temps and just before the really long, cold winter season.

Preparing this Paprika Chicken Stew each year takes on small additions or omissions of ingredients depending on the thickness of the gravy I am in the mood for. If making this dish for friends, I might add sweet potatoes and carrots or small cut new potatoes. The amount of liquid added during the cooking process will also determine the density of the gravy.

This basic recipe produces a sweet, comforting meal. The final dish is colorful as well as great tasting. I know you will go back for seconds. Since I know this usually happens, I choose butternut squash instead of potatoes and use less flour as thickener for the gravy.

My version of this recipe resembles a stew rather than chicken parts with potatoes in a skillet. I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and thin chicken breasts, no skin or bones.

Here is the original recipe I found in a magazine years ago by Joyce Litz of Albuquerque, NM titled “Skillet Chicken and Vegetables.”

Makes 4 servings

4 chicken thighs with skin and bone
1 tbs paprika
2 tbs vegetable oil
3/4 lbs red-skinned potatoes, halved
8 boiling onions, peeled
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbs all purpose flour
1 cup canned or boxed low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley to sprinkle over cooked dish.

Sprinkle uncooked chicken with paprika, salt and crushed black pepper
Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chicken and sauté about 3 min. each side until brown
Transfer browned chicken to a clean plate
Add vegetables to the heated skillet for 2 min and stir
Sprinkle cooking vegetables with flour and stir to coat all around
Gradually stir in broth and wine, bring to a boil
Return browned chicken with juices to the skillet and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to med-low and cover while simmering for 30 min or until chicken is cooked totally.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

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