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Hearty Tuscan Soup with Creamy Poached Egg

Chicken sausage is an overlooked yet delicious meat that is lean, easy to cook, and flavorful! This hearty soup is packed with veggies while also being filling due to the chicken sausage and beans. The creamy poached egg adds beautiful color and another layer of flavor. It can easily be omitted if poaching eggs isn’t in your skill set! This recipe makes about 8 bowls.

Hearty Tuscan Soup with Creamy Poached Egg

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups broth/water with bouillon
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz canned cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 4 fully-cooked chicken sausage links (favorites are Al Fresco Roasted Pepper & Asiago OR Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style), sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of kale, ribs removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar to garnish

Instruction:

  1. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and carrots, seasoning with salt & pepper. Cook until onion is soft & translucent. Add garlic and sauté for a few more minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add broth/water with bouillon to deglaze and get brown bits off the bottom of pan. Add tomatoes, rinsed beans, sliced sausage, seasoning, pepper flakes, and salt/pepper. Bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped kale. Cook for additional 5 minutes until kale is bright green and wilted. Keep soup warm until eggs are cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a small sauce pan with water. Add 1 tsp vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer. Crack egg into a small heat-safe dish. Take a spoon and stir water briskly so it swirls. Pour egg into swirling water and cover with lid. Let cook ~3 minutes and gently remove to a paper towel to drain. (Swirling water keeps egg compact and stops it from “growing legs.”)
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning in soup if needed. Ladle into individual bowls and place poached egg on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup

The weather is starting to change as we get in the full-swing of fall. While we may not like the lower temps, we can all agree that it’s great for soups! This was our first soup of the season, and boy was it a good one. The color was gorgeous and it made the whole house smell like a cozy cottage. We served it alongside cheese melted onto buttered Cottleston Italian bread and topped with a bit of garlic powder, perfect for dipping. You could easily swap in fresh spinach or chicken shredded from a store-bought rotisserie.

Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups broth/water with bouillon
  • 2 raw chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste/concentrate
  • 5 oz spinach (half frozen brick)
  • 20 oz fresh refrigerated tortellini
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instruction:

  1. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic and sauté for a few more minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add broth/water with bouillon to deglaze and get brown bits off the bottom of pan. Add whole raw chicken breasts and seasonings. Bring to simmer.
  3. Cover. Simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Return to pot.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, paste/concentrate, and spinach. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add tortellini and cook till done, according to package.
  7. Add heavy cream. Serve once heated through.

Eggplant Parmesan Bake

Nothing beats a meal showcasing fresh summer vegetables and lots of cheese! Try this eggplant parmesan bake for an interesting meat-free meal. I like to serve the bake with a side salad and spaghetti tossed in oil and balsamic vinegar. You can easily use canned sauce, homemade sauce, or a mix between the two, like this recipe does.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs (or regular crumbs with a tsp of Italian seasoning added)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese mix
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella (1/2 log)

Instruction:

  1. Peel and slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and layer into a colander, covering directly on top with plastic wrap. Place a heavy bowl or cans on top of plastic wrap. Let sit in sink for 45 minutes to pull out bitter liquid. Uncover and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup bread crumbs with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese. In a separate bowl, crack egg and lightly whisk. One by one, dunk eggplant slices into egg, coat in bread crumb mixture, and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip slices, and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. While eggplant is baking, add chopped tomatoes, minced onion, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, chopped oregano, minced garlic, and cayenne pepper to a small sauce pan. Cook on medium-low until heated through, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a little water or stock.
  4. When eggplant and sauce are ready, reduce oven heat to 350º. Pour olive oil into a small casserole dish and swish around until surface is covered. Put about a 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with a single layer of eggplant slices. Cover with a sprinkle of each cheese (Italian cheese mix, fresh mozzarella, and remaining parmesan). Continue sauce-eggplant-cheese layering until it’s all used up. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Crockpot Taco Dip

Crockpot Taco Dip

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 lb Velveeta, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 lb shredded chicken breast (or 2 cans of chunk chicken, drained)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons southwest/taco seasoning of your choice (We used 1 tablespoon each of spicy chili lime and chipotle parmesan corn on the cob seasoning from Urban Accents.)
  • 1 can black beans, drained

Add all ingredients to the crockpot besides the beans. Cook on high until heated through (about 1 hour), stirring every 20 minutes or so. Stir in beans and let cook for about 20 more minutes. Turn to low/warm before serving. Best served with tortilla chips and Day of the Dead Salsa.

Spanish Style Gazpacho

Prep Time:  30 Minutes

Cook time:  0 minutes!!

Chill Time:  Up to 6 hours
Total time:  Up to 6 hours, 30 minutes

Difficulty Level:  Easy
Serves: 4-6
Modified from this recipe on Epicurious

 

INGREDIENTS:

Soup:

10 oz. of day old bread, crust removed
21 oz. of fresh summer tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
1 tsp Ellbee’s Original Garlic blend
1 medium sweet onion chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground Cumin
8 tablespoons of good Spanish Olive oil, extra virgin
2 tablespoons of good Spanish Sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons cold water, or more as needed

Garnish:

1 cucumber, peeled and finely diced, for garnish

Sour Cream, for garnish
Croutons (preferably homemade, optional) or crostini (grilled bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil)

Cracked Peppercorns

 

DIRECTIONS:
In a bowl, soak the bread in 1/2 – 1 cup of water for 10 min. Squeeze out, by hand, as much water as possible from the bread.

In a food processor (a Vitamix purees everything quickly and like a dream!) puree all the chopped vegetables.  Add the cumin, garlic, the soaked bread, sherry vinegar, olive oil and 2 Tbsp cold water. Puree in the food processor until the mixture is entirely pureed and smooth. Add more cold water if needed to get the right consistency; it should be slightly thick but should pour easily. Add salt to taste (start with 1-2 tsp).

Refrigerate at least 2 hours and re-taste for salt.

Serve chilled with garnish of chopped cucumber, cracked peppercorns, and/or croutons as desired.  You can also serve with crostini.

Spinach, Chicken, and Tomato Salad

Congratulations to Rachel Roe for winning our giveaway contest! Rachel submitted this salad recipe for us all to enjoy.

Recipes

Spinach, Chicken, and Tomato Salad

Congratulations to Rachel Roe for winning our giveaway contest! Rachel submitted this salad recipe for us all to enjoy.