Chicken Soup with Avocado and Lime

After months of heavy eating in the name of ‘comfort food’ and the winter season, I needed a break. The light, tasty broth of this soup hit the spot! Add lime juice, garlic, cilantro…flavor packed! This soup comes together in about 30 minutes for your busy week night and gives you another reason to #dumpthedrivethru. I’ll take it!

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Chicken Soup with Avocado and Lime

1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into thin strips

32 oz. of low sodium chicken broth

3 cloves minced garlic

1 Tablespoon cilantro paste (or more to your taste)

1/4 cup of lime juice

1 drained can of Original flavor Rotel (can substitute the flavor you prefer)

salt and pepper to taste

1 peeled and diced avocado (peel and dice into bite size pieces once soup is about done)

Tortilla strips to top it all off

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat, Once you see that the chicken is cooked, let soup simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the avocado that you’ve diced into bite size pieces and stir to mix it in. Simmer for another 5 minutes to heat through the avocado.

Taste to adjust salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowl and top with tortilla strips.

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You say Cottage, I say Shepherd’s Pie

So I started a debate on a food related site regarding the difference between Cottage and Shepherd’s pie. When the dust settled, many agreed that to be a true Shepherd’s Pie, it requires lamb vs beef. I just call this recipe delicious, stick your face in the plate and lick it clean, cheesy overload, goodness.

I had no leftovers…it’s just the three of us.

Shepherd's Pie pic

Cottage/Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic
1/4 chopped yellow onion
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons ketchup/catsup
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
1 small jar beef gravy
2 cups frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
4-6 servings if using instant or 2-3 cups if using homemade mashed potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Colby jack
Salt and pepper to taste.

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Salmon with Nuts and Pesto

Salmon fish from the sea,
How satisfied you make me
Is it weird to love thee?
-An Ode to a Salmon by Athena Hood

I love salmon and it really does love you back! Salmon is a very good source of easily digestible proteins (amino acids), and fatty acids like Omega-3 in the form of triglyceride, as well as vitamins like vitamin-D, vitamin-A and some members of the vitamin-B family. It also contains minerals like selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

I love au naturel salmon as much as the next person, but when I want to dress it up and feel fancy, I add pesto, nuts and parmesan to the mix. Think of it as salmon in a tuxedo…ok, that might be a bit much. Better if you think about this recipe the next time you decide to cook salmon, deal?

Salmon with Nuts and Pesto

Salmon with Nuts and Pesto
Serves 4

4 salmon fillets (6 oz portion seems to work the best)
2-3 Tablespooons of pesto
2-3 Tablespoons of mayo
1 cup of crushed pecans or walnuts
Grated Parmesan cheese (shredded gave it a weird consistency)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spray rimmed sheet pan with non-stick or line pan with non-stick foil.
Combine pesto and mayo to make a paste.
Place salmon on sheet pan and spread paste on fillets.
Sprinkle crushed nuts on top, taking care to push them into the paste.
Sprinkle parmesan, to your taste.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes. If it flakes, it’s done.

Gnocchi and Sausage Soup

Winter has unofficially arrived! Ugh! This calls for some good ole comforting soup. I wanted to make something different and try out gnocchi at the same time. I mean, can you go wrong by adding pillowy potato noodles to ANYTHING? I googled “gnocchi soup” and got quite a few responses. Below is my recipe that combines about 3 of the recipes into one. See how the spinach is hugging the gnocchi tight? Oh, to be in that bowl! Mange!

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Gnocchi and Sausage Soup

1 pound of hot spiced Italian sausage (better for flavor or can add red pepper flakes to mild Italian sausage when cooking it)
1 32 oz container of good quality chicken stock
1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped with stems removed (if desired) OR 6 oz bag of spinach
1 pound box of DeLallo brand potato gnocchi (comes vacuum sealed and takes minutes to cook)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
grated or shredded Parmesan cheese to top it off

Brown the Italian sausage in a large stockpot, taking care to break up the sausage with a spoon. Drain the excess grease when fully cooked.

Add in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in kale or spinach along with the desired amount of gnocchi. Stir to combine. Continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes or until all of the gnocchi float to the top and are tender.

Stir in the heavy cream. You may need more than 1/4 cup, it’s totally up to you. Season to taste. You can serve with either grated or shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.