Saturday, January 28, 2017

Savoring the Season: Moroccan Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Chickpea Croutons


This morning I woke-up to a chill in the air.  The bone chill jumped started my winter weekend with an outrageously comforting healthy winter soup.  With heaps of seasonal vegetables, and rich sources of antioxidant spices like turmeric, cumin, ginger and cinnamon, provided incredible flavor and reduced the need to add additional fat or salt.

Who says soup toppings have to be boring when you can enjoy fiber rich chick peas tossed in warm spices and slow roasted.  Save the extra!  They are perfect for enjoying as a healthy snack.

This soup is easily doubled and tripled. Can serve a crowd or batch frozen to enjoy another day.



Moroccan Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Chickpea Croutons
Serves 4-6
Recipe from Clean Eating


Ingredients:

Chickpea Croutons
1-15 oz. can cooked chick peas, drained and rinsed, patted dry
1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
Pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger

Soup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1-1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 
3/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground black pepper
1-18 oz. unsalted diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 teaspoon sea salt + additional to taste
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 lb.)
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or as needed
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup each chopped fresh cilantro and flat leaf parsley
3 cups lightly packed fresh spinach leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:
1.  Prepare chick peas:  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Place chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet; remove any loose skins.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Add 1-1/2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt; toss.  Return to oven; roast for 15 to 20 minutes more, until golden brown.

2.  Turn oven off.  Toss chickpeas with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch ginger.  Return to oven with door closed and heat off for 1 hour, or until crunchy.  Set aside to cool.

3.  Meanwhile, prepare soup:  In a medium stockpot on medium, heat 2 tablespoons oil.  Add celery, carrots and onion.  Cook until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add turmeric, 3/4 teaspoon each ginger and cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and black pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring.  Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt.  Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 20 to 25 minutes, until potato is tender.

5.  Add chicken, cilantro and parsley and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add additional broth to thin out as desired; season with additional salt as needed.  Stir in spinach.  Top servings with chickpeas and serve with lemon wedges.




Monday, January 9, 2017

Fresh Buttermilk Dressing with Herbs

Never underestimate the power of a dressing to transform the most simplistic of salads into something memorable.  I have been unwavering with my family and friends to throw away bottled salad dressings.  Take a few minutes and make something real.  So, if you are willing to step-out and make a great salad dressing, here is a recipe for you.  Takes only a few minutes and you will never look back.

This dressing serves beautifully with a simple wedge salad,  blue cheese and crumbled bacon.  Finish it off with a few good cracks of black pepper and only good things will happen. This dressing also makes for a beautiful dip to serve with fresh cut vegetables.



Fresh Buttermilk Dressing with Herbs
Makes 2 cups
Recipe from My Recipes



Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 small minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake vigorously until well combined.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate in jar for up to a week.

Enjoy!