How to Make Quick Corn Chowder

Delicious with a capital “D” and incredibly fast and easy to make. I like to have a variety of frozen veg on hand to make quick soups. Even though I use frozen veg, which are just as nutritious as fresh if not more so, you would never know the difference. Frozen stays good for along time, you don’t have to worry about using it quickly so it doesn’t go bad and the best part is that there is no prep time! I love that! When I am in a hurry, I can throw a bag of frozen veg in the pot with a few other ingredients and have a delicious hot bowl of soup in less than 15 minutes!

This particular soup also looks beautiful when it’s done because of the 4 different colors of peppers. This won’t take you more than 10 minutes from freezer to stove to bowl – and will cost under five dollars! Kids will love it too.

Corn is usually thought of as a vegetable but the corn plant is actually a grass and the kernels are the grain. It’s nutrient-rich and has 10 times more zinc than wheat germ and has a much longer shelf life. Key nutrients are protein, fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Corn also contains many phytochemicals.

Ingredients:

1 16oz  bag frozen sweet white corn, bread/butter corn, or yellow corn   (1.50)

1 12oz or 16 oz bag frozen mixed peppers                                                        (1.50)

3 cups h20 (roughly)

1 tbsp vegebase (dry, low sodium veg soup base) 26 servings per jar       (3.99 )

dried thyme to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp)

garlic powder to taste (or fresh, 1-2 cloves)

black pepper and a scant amount of sea salt (1/8 tsp)

1/2 cup or so of soy milk

Directions:

Put everything into the pot except the soy milk, bring to a boil and simmer until veg are heated thru, approx 5 minutes or so. Using your immersion blender, blend until roughly creamy. Add in soy milk, stir. Taste and adjust your seasonings. I “eye-ball it” with seasonings, going with my gut, and adjust as I go along.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you must get one! They are indispensable. I have a cuisinart stainless steel immersion blender which I couldn’t live without! It saves so much time because you blend in the cooking pot. You don’t have to transfer into a blender, then dump back into your pot and you also won’t have to clean the blender or your counters from all the splattering when doing the transfers!

As you can see, the total cost is barely over $3.00!

Please try it and let me know how you like it and any modifications you made!

How to Make Homemade Healthier Pizza in Minutes

IMG_2596This is crazy! You can be eating this pizza faster than you can find your phone and call in your order – and for a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the sodium, and a fraction of the fat to boot.

I love to make this on occasion when I am having friends over or when I am just dying for the taste of good za. Don’t hesitate, get what you need, invite some friends over, open a bottle of  Cadetto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. And that’s all you need – except for a nice fresh crisp salad!

Ingredients:

Ezekial Whole Grain Tortillas

Tomato Sauce (no/low sodium) seasoned w/garlic powder, oregano, blk pepper and any other pizza seasonings you like – be creative

Shredded low fat/part skim mozzarella or mozzarella alternative

Directions: Toast the tortillas in your toaster oven (or in the oven) until it just starts to toast and becomes slightly firm.  Take it out of toaster oven. Turn oven to bake at 400 degrees. Spread your sauce leaving about a 1/4 inch of tortilla edge dry. Sprinkle some cheese to cover the sauce. Add some oregano, black pepper, garlic powder on top of cheese. Using a spatula, put the pizza back into the toaster oven. Bake for a couple of minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Note: Experiment with mushrooms and onions or what ever you like on pizza. Once you do it, you’ll see how fast and easy it is. Bon Appetite!

How to Make Immune Boosting Pea Soup

This is not your everyday ordinary pea soup. This is my super dooper split pea soup with a bangin good twist! Best part is – you can throw all ingredients into a crockpot, leave for work, and when you come home you will have the most delicious soup waiting for you. The secret is to add in lentils, sweet potatoes (not yams) and green zucchini… oh boy!

Benefits: Wow! Peas are a storehouse of vitamins and nutrients. They have tons of vitamin C that boosts your immune system, lowers cholesterol and controls blood sugar! Excellent for losing weight too….so don’t be shy.

Ingredients:

16 oz pkg green split peas (rinsed)

1/3 – 1/2 bag lentils (rinsed)

1 large sweet potato (or 2 small) chopped

1 medium/large sweet onion halved or chopped

1 chopped carrot

1 small/med green zucchini whole or chopped

1 bay leaf,  1/2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt

22 oz low sodium veggie broth

7 cups H2O

Directions: Throw everything into a crockpot. Cover, cook on high for 6 to 8 hours or until peas are soft. Remove bayleaf.

Blend with your immersion blender (hopefully you have one! If not, get one today! I highly recommend a cuisinart stainless steel) or blend part of it in your blender.

Eat!

 

How to Make Butternut Squash Dip with Homemade Baked Chips

Butternut squash (also known as winter squash) isn’t just for soup. It also makes a really delicious, golden colored  dip or spread that is easy and quick to make, loaded with beta-carotene. It also may minimize risk of cataracts and helps to preserve normal eyesight. If you smoke or are exposed to second hand smoke, you should eat butternut squash several times a week to prevent the risk of lung cancer. It also prevents against cancer, stroke and heart disease; and keep the right balance of fluid and electrolytes in your body.

Interestingly, unlike summer squash, butternut gets sweeter the longer it stays on the vine. You don’t have to refrigerate it and it will stay good for 3 months if you store it in a cool, dry place. Another good tip is that you can substitute it for pumpkin in pie, bread or soup!

Ingredients:

6 cups cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen)

2 Tbsp evoo

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

1 tsp finely grated ginger

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or (1 tsp dried)

1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)

sea salt (very little) and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook squash according to the pkg if using frozen. Drain the liquid, reserving it for a vegetable broth or to water your plants with!

If using fresh, peel squash, cut in half lenghthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Put into a med-large size saucepanand cover with water plus 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer 6-9 minutes or until tender and can pierce easily with a fork.

While still in the pot, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth with your immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender (you have to get one today!) then put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Serve with: Toast pita pockets, then cut into triangles. I love to use Ezekial pita pockets because they are whole grain and low sodium. They make great dipping chips. Another idea is to toast Ezekial whole grain tortillas and cut tham into triangles. And of course you can always use crudite veggies as well. Or, don’t make anything, buy your favorite healthy chip.

Dip will stay fresh in fridge for 3-4 days.

Cool tip: Turn leftover dip into a delicious soup! Just add 1 cup of vegetable broth to 1 cup of squash, heat, mix and eat! Wowza!

How to Make Hearty Lentil Stew

This is one of my favorite meals when I’m in the mood for rich, hearty, comfort food. The good thing is, it’s comfort food with high nutritional value, very low fat, low calorie and low sodium. You might be thinking to yourself, “how can this possibly be good?”  I assure you it is well worth trying it out.

It’s fast, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious and requires only a few ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 small onion

2 carrots finely chopped

1/2 bag lentils

4-6 cups veggie broth (no/low sodium)

4-5 tbsp tomato paste – no sodium

garlic powder, salt , pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute onion until translucent. Add in 2 finely chopped carrots. Add a little water and saute fora few minutes. Add in 4-5 tbsp tomato paste. Add in 1/2 bag of rinsed lentils. Cover with approximately 4 cups of vegetable broth. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 tsp garlic powder and cook for roughly 45 min to one hour until lentils are done.

If need be, add in remaining vegetable broth as it’s cooking. I usually do use about 6 cups give or take.

I love this over brown rice with a healthy serving of steamed green beans on the side. Or over a bed of finely chopped romaine lettuce. If you aren’t a fan of brown rice, this is phenomenal over mashed potatoes or under mashed potatos as a vegetarian version of Shepherds Pie!

Note: You can always use fresh garlic, I am showing you how to put together something delicious without a lot of effort.By all means, use fresh where ever I use powder if you prefer – can’t deny the benefits of fresh garlic!

Facts: Lentils are part of the pea family. The red, brown and green are the most common here in the US, but theydo come in many different colors. They were a staple food in Biblical times and they are still a favorite in Middle Eastern, Indian, and North African cooking. They don’t need to be precooked and you can buy them already cooked to save time. They have a wonderful creamy texture, a delicate flavor and they cook quickly! They make a great base for purees and soups, they’re really good cold in a salad or as a salad.

Key Nutrients: Protein, fiber, potassium, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, copper, vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium and phosphorous.