Sausage and Bean Soup

recipe

We love this super easy soup. It’s ready in 30 minutes so it makes a great week night meal.

Ingredients:

1lb sweet Italian sausage 1 14 ounce can adzuki beans 1 14 ounce can navy beans 1qt vegetable broth 2 14 ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes 1 clove garlic, smashed 8 ounces of fresh baby spinach, 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram salt and pepper to taste garnish with grated Parmesan

Directions

Slice casing of sausage and remove. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to sauce pan, heat on medium heat Add sausage, breaking up pieces with the back of a fork. Cook all the way through. Add broth, beans, garlic and marjoram to saucepan. Add sausage. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add spinach stir gently until wilted. When spinach is completely wilted, remove from heat. Season with salt […]

Found at the Farmers Market: Strange New Vegetable

Last week when I was at Phoenixville Farmer’s Market. I happened upon these little cuties when visiting Jack’s Farm, a regular produce vendor at the market. Thinking myself pretty knowledgeable in my ability to identify fruits and vegetables, especially locally grown ones, I was surprised to see is the West Indian Gherkin. Tasting like a lemony cucumber, the West Indian Gherkin, also known as a Burr Gherkin came to the US in 1793 from Jamaica. The skin is a little tougher that a regular cucumber and soft spikes on them. No need to worry about injuring yourself though, the spikes don’t hurt.

What to do with West Indian Gherkins? They go great in salsa, can be pickled, put in a salad, as I did, used in soups and stews or eaten by itself.

What is the American Paradox? Find Out This and More

I first read Omnivore’s Dilemma when it first came out in 2006 and it and Fast Food Nation are two of the big reasons I have changed what I buy when I am shopping for food. I hope you will make the time to watch this. Michael Pollan explains the American paradox, cultural eating vs nutrient eating, basic food rules and more.

What is Healthy Anyways?

The more I learn and talk to people the more I realize that we all have different ideas of what healthy eating is. For me healthy eating means eating primarily organic whole foods, lots of veggies and sustainably raised, pastured meats, and sustainably caught fish. I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet, but I don’t see myself becoming a vegetarian or vegan. I have friends that are both and they are happy and living well. I seem to need more protein..

I also don’t really deprive myself of anything either, so when I want dessert I eat it. The same with french fries. The key for me is moderation. Most of the time I eat really well and I enjoy what I’m eating.

What is healthy eating for you? What makes you feel great? Or not so much? And what is your favorite indulgence?

Stir Fry Rice with Vegetables

This is one of my go to meals when we need something quick during the week. Usually I will make the rice ahead of time, when we are having rice with another meal and just double up the amount I need. […]

Seared Scallops with Saffron Risotto

pan-seared scallops

Even though it’s officially spring, the weather in PA has been far more winter like and I always want to make more comfort food when its cold and wet out. Risotto takes a while, and requires a little tending too, but it’s not that hard. I tend to keep my risotto on the al dente side as I’m not fond of mushy stuff!

Ingredients:

1 quart vegetable broth 1/2 cup white wine 1 cup brown arborio rice 1/2 lb sea scallops (mine were huge and I sliced them in half) 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 onion diced 1/4 of red pepper sliced handful of snap peas, cut in 1/2 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 1/2 Saffron threads, crushed ground pepper

In a saucepan add vegetable broth and wine, heat at medium low until warm and then turn off. Keep a lid on the sauce pan Add rice to large saute pan, put […]

Recipe of the Week: Tuscan Spinach, Bean and Sausage Soup

This super easy, super fast soup is great for a weeknight meal. It’s ready in 30 minutes. Serve with rustic bread and a salad if you desire.

1 link hot Italian sausage1 19 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed2 cups of chicken broth1 14 ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes1 clove garlic, smashed8 ounces of fresh spinach, washed and stem removed1/4 teaspoon dried marjoramsalt and pepper to tastegarnish with grated Parmesan

Bring sausage and 1/4 inch of water to simmer in a large sauce pot over medium heat.  Cook uncovered until water evaporates, approximately 8 minutes. Cook until sausage until is browned. Remove sausage to a cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch pieces when cool enough to handle. Add broth, beans, garlic and marjoram to saucepan. Add sausage. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add spinach stir gently until wilted. When spinach is completely wilted, […]

All About GMO’s

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Click on the link above. This is a great article about GMO plants, how they have come to be and their environmental impact. Have patience the link takes a minute to open as it is from an e-zine, but it is worth the read.

Recipe of the Week: Super Easy Sauteed or Grilled Chicken

This is my go to marinade for chicken and as a quick vinaigrette for salads, both green and pasta. I made it last week and added sliced almonds and dried cranberries to the rice and grilled the aspargus with a little salt, pepper and dried lemon peel.

Marinade:Juice of two lemons1/2 cup olive oil1/2 teaspoon parsley1/2 teaspoon thyme1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Mix everything together and whisk, stir or shake until everything is very well mixed.

Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes and up to a couple hours. Place the chicken in a saute pan or on the grill and cook. Don’t flip until the edges of the face side are starting to cook.

Note: Other options for the marinade could be rice vinegar instead of the lemons, chopped rosemary, sage, lemon zest, limes, limes zest. Play with the recipe and see what you like best. 

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Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato Chili

 I have been reading about benefits of eating a plant based diet and while sustainably raised meat and poultry always be part of our diet, I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals.

We also have a ton of sweet potatoes from our CSA and it’s time they were used, so I made this for my meat loving family. Everyone was surprised how satisfying this chili was even though there was no meat.

4 medium sized sweet potatoes1 cup of vegetable broth 2 smashed garlic cloves 1/2 onion diced1/2 red pepper, diced (green pepper is ok too)1 32oz can diced tomatoes1 15oz can black beans1 15oz can cannelli beans 2 tablespoons Worcestershire  2 tablespoons chili powder1 tablespoon cocoa powder1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon paprika1/4 teaspoon or more of cayenne 

Add diced onion, pepper and smashed garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in to large sauce pan and […]