Tag Archives: Vegetables

Earth Day: Celebrate Mother Earth with Veggie Loaded Recipes

Today is Earth Day and millions of people around the globe are engaging in activities to help lower our carbon footprint.  In Argentina, volunteers from the Surfrider Foundation are cleaning up the local beaches and planting evergreens and Tamarisk shrubs to help prevent wind and water erosion. In Milan, Italy, thousands of people are gathering for the Earth Day Italia Festival to learn about environmental issues and spur action on local green initiatives. In Veracruz, Mexico, Tortugas Fundacion Yepez is mobilizing volunteers to protect the habitat of sea turtles by cleaning up the local beaches and organizing a reforestation campaign.  What are you doing on Earth Day?

To celebrate this day, we’re posting our list of recipes featuring vegetables and fruits:

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Freezer Method & Slow Cooking: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Browsing through Pinterest (isn’t it addictive?!) I saw quite a few pins on slow cooking meals and frozen meals.  I could certainly use the help this stew freezer method of cooking brings to someone with a tight schedule, like me.  I tried a couple of recipes and let me tell you, this method IS a lifesaver.  And not only that, the recipes are really delicious. I wouldn’t do this every day, but I do like to prepare them at least once a week,  especially for my busiest day which is Monday.

First thing to do, is defrost your meat. I do that on Sunday, at noon. Prepare the recipe, which in my case, yields for two meals because you divide the whole thing into 2 resealable freezer bags and each bag is enough for 4 servings. Mark each bag with the cooking instructions (see my photo).  At night I throw all the ingredients from one of the bags into my slow cooker, I turn it on Low at about 10pm before I go to sleep, and on Monday morning my meal is ready. I can forget about it and not worry about how I’m going to squeeze in the time to make lunch between house duties, office duties, picking Kristen up from school and taking her to swim class.  (I have to get to all that before lunch time, which on Monday’s is at 2).  I know a lot of us have hectic days like those, so I hope you will give this method a try.

The key is to organize yourself.  Pick out at least 2 recipes and get the ingredients you need for one day of chopping and mixing. You’ll have a month’s worth of once a week freezer meals ready to help you out on your busiest days.

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Freezer Method: Beef & Vegetable Goulash

Recipe adapted from Mama and Baby Love

Ingredients
Yields: 2 freezer bags, 4 serving each.

3 cups chopped onions
2 cups coarsely chopped green bell peppers.
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup of cooked peas (fresh or frozen)
2-3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch cubes
2  500 gram cartons of crushed pureed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of  paprika
2  tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Note: When you’re ready to cook, and you have transferred your prepared meal to your slow cooker, add some fresh herbs: 1 bay leaf and 1 spring of thyme.

Procedure:

  1. Mix everything and divide  into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.
  2. Day of cooking, defrost your bag ahead of time. dump it into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or low 6-8 hours, depending on your specific slow cooker.
  3. I make white rice to go with this, but cooked noodles are also a great choice.  You can add a little sour cream on top before serving.
  4. Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Soup

With the Holiday Season behind us, as we start the New Year we want uncomplicated comforting recipes and better yet, healthy ones that will help us with what I am sure most of us have made one of our resolutions: eat healthier meals.

This Cauliflower Soup is a breeze to make, and with the cold weather still very much upon all of us it is a comforting recipe indeed.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Yields: 8 cups of soup
Recipe from About.com

Ingredients:

 1 Tbsp. butter, plus 2 Tbsp. for optional garnish
1 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups low-fat milk

Preparation:

  1.  In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so onions are cooking but not browning, until onions look starchy and a bit creamy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add cauliflower, stir to combine, cover and cook 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
  3. Purée soup with a hand-held blender. Or, whirl in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth (place a kitchen towel over blender to prevent potential burns).
  4. Stir in pepper and nutmeg. (Note: At this point the soup may be cooled, covered, and frozen for up to 4 months.)
  5. Add milk and cook over medium-low heat until hot.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup