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Archive for February, 2012

Broccoli-Carrot Soup

Adding carrots reduces the heavy flavor of broccoli and gives a lighter, sweeter, taste.

Ingredients for 4 Adult servings

  • 1lb. broccoli cut into florets
  • ¼ lb carrots, peeled and roughly cut into pieces.
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 Tablespoons white unsalted butter / olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or one garlic clove crushed
  • 1 bayleaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk or 6 ounces soft Silken Tofu
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Place saucepan on medium heat. Add butter/oil, bayleaf and thinly sliced onions.
  2. Saute onions for a couple of minutes, till golden. This converts the raw onion ‘smell’ into an aroma!
  3. If using fresh garlic, add at this stage.
  4. Add carrots. Saute for half a minute, lower heat, add ¼ cup water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli florets, then add the remaining water. Cook till fork tender.
  6. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. (if fresh garlic has not been added)
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. When cooled, add milk/ tofu and blend in food processor on high speed till smooth.
  9. Warm, pour into bowls and garnish each serving with grated cheddar cheese.

FACT FILE

Broccoli is rich in calcium, vitamin A and antioxidants One cup of cooked broccoli contains as much calcium as 4 ounces of milk and gives us 10% of our daily iron requirement. It is also a good source of folic acid. though dairy products are rich in calcium, they offer very little of the other element that is required for calcium absorption—magnesium. Broccoli contains magnesium.

Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene and the protective antioxidants. Beta carotene is better assimilated by the body when carrots are cooked, but there is some goodness in raw carrots too.

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Kids love this mildly sweet taste.  These potatoes are an excellent accompaniment with pork and poultry entrees

Ingredients

  • 20-24 small new potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter/olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or 1 heaped teaspoon dry mint flakes.

Method

  1. Place in a large saucepan of cold water with just enough water to cover potatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium high heat, lower heat to medium, cover and cook till potatoes are cooked and fork tender.
  3. Drain water.
  4. In a large skillet melt butter or add olive oil.
  5. Gently toss in the potatoes.
  6. Add orange marmalade
  7. Shake pan to coat potatoes with butter/ oil and marmalade.
  8. On medium high heat, stir potatoes gently till golden brown and caramelized
  9. Add mint, and remove from heat.
  10. Serve warm.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • (I prefer to use skinless chicken to minimize the fat)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion cut into quarters
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 4 cups water

Method

  1. Place chicken quarters in pressure cooker. Add all the other ingredients and water.
  2. Follow manufacturer’s directions to cover, cook and bring to high pressure.
  3. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat Allow pressure cooker to cool or follow directions for slow release of pressure.
  5. Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and strain the broth and solids through a sieve into a bowl. Press solids to release any liquid (I prefer to press down on a sieve to obtain maximum liquid)
  6. When chicken has cooled, remove meat from bones. The meat may be used to garnish soups, add to stews, rice etc. But generally meat that cooks for a long time till it is very tender, may lose some of its taste as the juices and goodness have been released into the broth.

Broth can also be made in a large saucepan on a stovetop.

Put in all the ingredients and an extra cup of water. After it comes to a rolling boil, lower heat and cook on low for 35-40 minutes, till the meat is very tender and is partly loosened from the bones.

Chicken broth can be used in many delicious ways

  • Make Chicken Noodle Soup with flat rice noodles and thinly   sliced vegetables of your choice.
  • Make a hearty soup from leftover veggies and,chicken chunks. Add pinto/kidney beans and a handful of cooked pasta or leftover rice.
  • Use broth to add to other soups for enhanced flavor.
  • Use as additional liquid in white sauce.
  • Use in place of any canned soup that a recipe demands—just add a level teaspoonful of corn-starch mixed with cream or water and add to one cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil till it thickens.

This is a great substitute for canned Cream of Chicken soup required in any recipe.

Fact File

Chicken Soup is the best comfort food ever—both for body and soul! For centuries,much before Grandma’s days, it has been a favorite remedy for colds and asthma. Recent scientific studies support this belief. Chicken soup helps to clear congestion. The blend of nutrients it contains is said to slow down the activity of certain white blood cells, reducing the pain and inflammation which occurs when these cells fight infection, thus relieving cold and flu symptoms. Also the spices in this soup, garlic and pepper for instance, help to clear mucus, make breathing easier, and boost the immune system.

Whatever the factors, chicken soup is delicious, and this basic broth will help you create yummy varieties.

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