Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Fresh Tomato Soup

In Cooking, What's for dinner? on September 15, 2012 at 3:33 am

Last night I decided to finally make something with all of the tomatoes we had harvested from our tiny garden.  There weren’t quite enough to make a big batch of marinara sauce, so I opted for tomato soup.  I chose the following recipe based on the unusual inclusion of clove as an ingredient.  Maybe it’s not so strange.  But I had never heard of it.

So here’s the ingredient list: (original recipe)

  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 slice onion
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar, or to taste

I basically followed the recipe except that I had to make a couple substitutions based on my family’s food intolerances.  Instead of butter I used coconut oil.  In place of sugar I used honey (though very little, maybe a teaspoon).  And I used coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour to create the roux.  Of course this roux is not quite like a flour roux, but it worked just fine.  I also added some fresh basil leaves from the garden and sautéed about a ¼ of an onion with 2 cloves of garlic.  This soup turned out to be one of the lightest tomato soups I have ever had and was absolutely delicious.  The kids both ate theirs all up and they didn’t even have a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it!  Mmmm, that sounds good.


The nasturtiums are simply for “plating” purposes.  The kiddos wanted to make the soup look pretty so they picked a bunch.  Yes, they can be eaten, but they are extremely peppery for my little ones.


Salmon patties and Green bean medley

In Cooking, What's for dinner? on August 27, 2012 at 2:33 am

I stumbled upon a recipe for salmon patties as part of a post on a blog I read regarding budget meals.  I have to be honest with you all, the idea of canned salmon has never really been all that appealing to me.  However, our grocery budget was crying out for something simple and inexpensive to be added to the list.  With all the dietary needs in our family, groceries can get pretty pricey.  Not to mention that I am pretty much a stickler when it comes to eating organic fruits and vegetables. And, yes, I prefer grass fed beef, etc.  Since I have grown to trust the author of the blog, Nourished Kitchen and have enjoyed many of her recipes, I decided to take a chance on the salmon patties.  Amazingly they were a hit right away.  I still do not love making them.  Something about all the vertebrae bones that have to be discarded, the odor, etc. that just gets me every time.  But they couldn’t be more simple to make and and so tasty.  Couple them with a nice salad, soup or whatever veggie you happen to have around and you’ve got a very budget friendly and healthy dinner.  Who knew that the little soft bones in the salmon added calcium to the meal?  Ok, I am sure some of you would have thought that.  But… that idea had never crossed my mind.  Needless to say salmon patties has become one of our stand by meals; served about every other week.

This week instead of my typical salad of romaine lettuce, strawberries, onion, ruby red grapefruit, slivered almonds and farmer’s cheese, with a grapefruit vinaigrette, I went for the green beans in the veggie drawer.  I chopped up all the fruit in the house that was on the verge of going bad (plums, apples, pears and pineapple), then sauteed it all with the grapefruit vinaigrette I had previously frozen.  I simply added a little extra honey and that was that.  My husband and I ate it all up, of course.  The kids were funny.  My daughter picked out and ate all the green beans first.  Then she went back for the fruit.  My son, even though I know he likes green beans, decided he would pick them out and not eat them.  At least he ate the fruit. I rounded the meal out for my husband and children by adding a small side of rice noodles.  All in all it was a success.

If you are interested in the recipe here is the link to the original post: Salmon Cakes. I have personally found that using only 1 or 2 eggs, depending on their size has been better for us.  The patties are simply too wet and sloppy to form with 3 eggs (at least for me).  And once in a while I dust them with coconut flour seasoned with salt and pepper to add a little crispness to the outside.  However, be advised the extra coconut flour in the pan can burn easily which gives the patties a darker color.  Doesn’t harm the flavor, though.



In Cooking, What's for dinner? on August 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

One of the breakfast for dinner meals I make is pancakes.  Usually I wing it.  They have to be gluten free because of my son.  And if I am going to eat any of them they have to be grain free.  So I typically play around with the proportions of almond and coconut flour.  That is until I visited Elana’s Pantry (http://www.elanaspantry.com/flapjacks/).  Her recipe for flapjacks is amazing.  It’s not far off of what I have come up with on my own.  It’s just perfected.  And using our BlendTech helps make the batter smoother.  The flapjacks come out looking just like flapjacks!  Now I’d love to try her “gluten free” pancakes (the updated version) (http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-pancakes-revisited/).

Along with pancakes I typically serve some fresh fruit sliced up with avocado as well and a small serving of scrambled eggs.  Magically it all disappears!

Breakfast for Dinner

In Cooking, Motherhood, What's for dinner? on August 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  There are simply some days that do not go as planned.  My husband and I plan out our meals on Sundays and then hit the grocery stores.  With all the best intentions, we plan on having beautiful and scrumptious dinners 7 days a week.  And then, life happens.  The kids are crazy, a play date went longer than planned, we’re missing one ingredient.  You name it, it can happen and the result is breakfast for dinner.  The kids love it.  And it is such a relief sometimes to simply know that dinner won’t be a big deal and that they will eat it all up with no prodding.  We refuse to be short order cooks, so the kids to eat what we eat for dinner.  Some nights are more difficult than others.  But breakfast for dinner… that is a piece of cake.


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