Prep2eat

January 13, 2016

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.

image

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.

image

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 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.

April 17, 2014

Ground Turkey Vegetable Stew

Filed under: Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 5:13 pm

Ground Turkey Vegetable Stew

Manchego Cheese tops Stew

March 25, 2014

Chicken Salad

Filed under: Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 2:37 pm

Image

Photo of Chicken Salad by The Souper at Prep2eat

Lunch today is Chicken Salad on a toasted English Muffin, whole wheat, of course. What makes this chicken salad a little more special? Cut vegetables, spicy mayo and pumpkin seeds are mixed all together. I also added some diced avocado to enhance a creamy texture to this chicken salad.

The preparation of this hearty meal started with using a left over baked chicken breast, a split, bone-in with skin on chicken breast from dinner the evening before. I was able to increase the amount of this chicken salad by cutting vegetables, dicing avocado and adding pumpkin seeds. Rounding out lunch with a toasted English Muffin to support this loaded chicken salad and/or making lettuce boats to eliminate the carb, made this lunch extra special and very filling.

i enjoy creating meals using left over food from the refrigerator to keep the cost of meal prep more reasonable and challenge myself to prepare flavorful, healthy options.

What you will need:

Two cutting boards, one for cutting cooked chicken and one for cutting vegetables on.

Two kitchen knives

One large bowl

One large spoon

Two small spoons

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Toaster

Serving plates

 

Chicken Salad Ingredients:

One cooked, split bone-in chicken breast, deboned, skin off, cut in small pieces.

One-half red pepper, washed, cut into small pieces.

One celery stalk, washed and peeled, cut into small pieces.

1/2 avocado, diced.

1/4 cup Miracle Whip.

1/8 cup Koops mustard with horseradish.

One small stalk of fresh tarragon, cut off stem into small pieces.

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt.

1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper.

1/4 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds.

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Serve portions on toasted English Muffin halves or in lettuce leaves, washed and dried.

 

 

March 17, 2014

Vegetable Soup With Cheese & Kale

Filed under: Prep2eat, Soup — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 12:36 pm

Image

Photo by “The Souper” at Prep2eat

This Vegetable Soup Recipe differs from others I have prepared. I was inspired by a basic recipe posted online by Williams-Sonoma. I decided to throw the rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano into the cooking soup. The recipe did call for a topping of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano so I was grating the end of my cheese.

Another personal change to the posted recipe by Williams-Sonoma was to add diced red new potatoes (a few) rather than the suggested Cheese Tortellini. I had the potatoes and no Tortellini in the house. The potato exchange proved to compliment the cheese.

Here is the original recipe from Williams-Sonoma
http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/tortellini-and-vegetable-soup/

Enjoy healthy soups!

January 3, 2014

Vegetable Beef Rice Soup

Filed under: Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 2:57 pm

Image

 

Photo by “The Souper” at Prep2eat

Today’s project for an extremely cold day in New England.  This recipe is a combination of a Minestrone and Beef Barley Soup. Brown rice was added in place of barley, which for me is difficult to digest. Canned crushed tomatoes added to a hearty beef soup recipe.

This is a rich soup with lots of flavor. Meat plus a beef shank with marrow enhanced the texture of this soup.

Hope you give this soup project a try. It is very rewarding.

November 8, 2013

Baked Turkey Balls with Sides

Filed under: Brown rice, Cook, Food, Food blog, Healthy, Homemade, Meals, Turkey — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 7:38 pm

Good basic dinner

Good basic dinner


Photo by Prep2eat

Our meal tonight is a basic go-to healthy, no fuss dinner. We are trying to eat simply just before the big eating holidays. Lean protein, vegetables and brown rice.

My ground turkey balls recipe has been posted on this blog. One special ingredient is horseradish mustard among other mix-ins. These rounds are baked to keep calorie count down, less fat.

The brown rice is a good grain, no white flour as in a pasta. It is easy to prepare by following directions on package or jar of Organic Texmati Brown Rice.

The salad of baby spinach and assorted cut vegetables is dressed with my go-to simple fresh dressing made right in the bowl: juice of one half lemon, sprinkle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the salad, add a bit of Kosher salt, ground black pepper and optional pinch of sugar. Toss salad to coat all greens.

The simplicity of this meal is providing a well-rounded nutritional offering, not too heavy in any food group. There is balance eating this way.

October 28, 2013

Chicken Stew With Chicken Sausage

Updated recipe photos of Chicken Stew with Chicken and Cheese Sausages
(By The Souper at Prep2eat, 2014)

image image

 

Photos by Prep2eat 2013

New England is bursting with color now that we are well into autumn. At this time of year it is normal to see orange trees, yellow trees and red trees.  Crisp cool days followed by colder nights signal leaves to change from their summer green to bright autumn glow.

This photo was taken in late afternoon with part of the sky grayish and some sunlight just before dusk was shining upon this beautiful tree with bright orange leaves. Enjoy.

>OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA</a

The cool brisk air begs my taste buds to bring on some heat.  I decided to play around with my go-to Chicken Paprika Stew and take the recipe to a more intense level to satisfy my craving for something spicy. While watching one of my favorite cooking shows on The Cooking Channel called “Extra Virgin” about husband and wife, actress and Tuscan farmer, cooking together, I was inspired to cook with sausage.  While at the market to buy my chicken thighs, I also bought some Italian sausage with peppers and onions.  This proved to be an excellent choice in a very tasty way.

Food photos and recipe continued below:

> (more…)

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: