Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese – The Perfect Comfort Meal

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If you are looking for a tasty, simple and comforting meal then look no further. This is a great adaptation to the classic tomato soup. This meal screams sophistication and comfort that it would  even pair nicely with a glass of white wine.  Making everything from scratch will impress any guests you decide to have over.  I attribute the inspiration for the soup to Ree Drummund of Food Network Channel.  The recipe that she has was similar to others, but I made a few additions and deletions to come up with my own version.  Six of us ate and there was soup left over for about 3 additional meals.

Products Used Worth Buying
“>Dutch Oven 
“>ROASTED GARLIC BOUILLON 

[mpprecipe-recipe:5]

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Clementine Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad is that one dish that most restaurants will have on the menu since there are so many ways that you can make it. I was experimenting and happened to have clementines in my fruit bowl and thought that it would be a great addition to my chicken salad. As the seasonal fruits and vegetables change, it’s fun to incorporate the different flavors into dishes that you usually make to give it new flavor profiles. I am sure that I will be making several different flavored chicken salads on my blog in the very near future.

Also with chicken salad, you can serve it as a salad and place it on top of some mixed greens with typical salad toppings (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and a light lemon vinaigrette; or you can serve it on some whole wheat Texas style toast with some home made potato chips (I will make these and blog the recipe at a different time) or you can serve with some tomato slices or a separate side salad.  You can even serve it as an appetizer with some crackers and veggies. No matter how you serve it, it is delicious and quite healthy for you.


INGREDIENTS – Serves 4-6
Per Serving (1 cup)  Calories 316 Fat 10g  Carbs 13g Protein 34g 

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (white and dark meat)
  • 1 cup celery (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup scallions (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 clementine (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a juicy lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I like orange blossom)
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Chop chicken into bite size pieces and throw into a large bowl
  2. Add to the bowl celery, scallions, raisins, pecans and clementine and mix all together
  3. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper and mix very well so that the entire salad is covered
  4. Add the flat leaf parsley at the end and toss all together

Ideas: You can replace the clementines with apples or you can add cranberries instead of raisins or walnuts instead of pecans.  You can also remove the dark meat and only make it with white meat if you prefer.

Broccoli & White Cheddar Quiche

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I love to make quiches of all flavors. I think it is such an easy way to always have something in the fridge that is healthy and bite size to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many varieties of quiches…some with a small number of ingredients and others with a bunch of ingredients, it’s up to you. Either way, they are simple to make and they are always a crowd pleaser.

This quiche that I made has a small amount of ingredients and was probably the most popular have made thus far, go figure. It was practically gone in one sitting by my husband.  In another post, I explained how I always season my eggs prior to cooking them so that the entire dish is well proportioned with the seasonings that I choose.  If any of you make this dish, please let me know what you think and make any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

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INGREDIENTS – Makes 8 slices
Per Slice – Calories 246  Fat 26g  Carbs 16g Protein 10g

  • 9 inch pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 medium onion (small dice)
  • 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. With a fork poke wholes at the bottom of the pie crust and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes and then let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, saute the onions with the olive oil on a non stick pan until translucent or lightly browned (your preference).
  4. Layer the bottom of the pie crust with the onion and then add the broccoli and on top of the broccoli the cheese.
  5. In a bowl beat the eggs and the egg yolk with the salt, pepper and oregano until well mixed and then pour over the entire pie. Pour slowly to make sure that all of it stays in the pie.
  6. Place in the oven (still on the baking sheet) and bake for 35- 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven when the egg is cooked through and let cool for about 5 – 10 minutes to let everything settle.
  8. Cut in 8 slices and enjoy!

I usually provide additional ideas, but the cooking instructions will probably change, so stay tuned and I will make other quiches and post them for you to enjoy.

The Perfect Snack

perfect snackSo this is not the best picture, but I can promise you that it tastes delicious! It is so simple and filling that you can’t go wrong. You can also make this the night before and the tomatoes will marinade in the oil. I will give you some ideas also, in case you do not like tomatoes and/or feta cheese.I am having 2 snacks a day, one 3 hours after breakfast and the other 3 hours after lunch. I am also trying to have one savory and the other sweet so I can get a little of both. However, you can play around with the snacks to make sure that your daily nutritional count doesn’t go over. I am trying to do under 1500 calories, 60g fat and 100g of carbs per day. I am hoping to loose between 1-2 pounds per day with a total of 20 pounds in total.This is my second day only (Tuesday, July 10, 2018) so at the end of this week I will let you all know how much weight I lost. Please also feel free to ask me for suggestions to make sure you get to eat what you like and still stay under your target. I also want to add, that I am trying to exercise 3 times a day with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength.

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 1 PERSON
Calories 221  Fat 20.3g  Carbs 7.2g

  • 1 cup of tomato (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • pinch of salt/pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Add the oregano to the oil, along with the pinch of salt and pepper and let sit for a bit
  2. Place the tomato and the feta in a bowl and then pour the oil all over and stir well
  3. Add a little more salt and pepper if you like

Ideas:

  • Change the Tomato for Cucumber (Calories 201.8/Fat 20.1g/Carbs 3.1g)
  • Cut the olive oil in half and add the difference with lemon (Calories 163.5/Fat 13.3g/Carbs 7.9g)

Guava and Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Guava and Cream Cheese Ice CreamSo this is the recipe that I feel took me over the top in creations and is one of the first inserts to my Cookbook –  Buy Cookbook Here

A very popular dessert in Cuba is too serve casacaras de guayava con queso crema en galletas cubana (guava shells with cream cheese on Cuban crackers). It sounds different, but it is delicious! It has that really sweet with some salty and definitely creamy flavor. So if you decide not to attempt this recipe, you should give the true dessert a whirl.

So after I created the recipe, I entered it into a Paula Deen contest for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I didn’t win, but I keep telling myself it’s because I did not follow the rule that the recipe had to take under 30 minutes ; ). There are certain people that have attempted to create this recipe in Miami, FL after me, but I can assure you, this recipe is #1. Try it out and you tell me…

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6 PEOPLE

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¾ cups of sugar (extra fine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of guava marmalade (I use Conchita)
  • 4 ½ guava shell (small dice) (I use Conchita)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients, except the guava shells and blend together
  2. Place the frozen tub on the ice cream maker and turn on
  3. While the machine is running, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let run for about 30 minutes until ice cream thickens
  4. After 20 minutes, add the diced guava shells to the mixture and let mix for the last 10 minutes
  5. Pour all the ice cream into a freezer safe container and place in freezer for about an hour

 

Delicious & Healthy Egg Muffins

Tasty Egg Muffins
Tasty Egg Muffins

My daughters 16th birthday party is slowly approaching and every time you realize you have to get into a dress you say to yourself, I have to loose those 10 pounds. Well… the party is on April 6th and I wanted to have a recipe that would be easy to make, tasty to eat and would be a go-to for snacks and in-between meals. This is it! I made a large batch and everyone in the house is eating them, even my son’s girlfriend that doesn’t like eggs. This is a great recipe to make with the kids for Easter also as you can change the ingredients to what appeals to them – see my additional ideas below.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want in it, as long as it tastes good with eggs (LOL). You can also change up the base of the muffins if you do not like the potato and don’t want carbs in your diet. However, I do have to say, there is a mis-conception that when you diet you need to remove all carbs from your life. Well that is just not true. According to studies, eating carbs are important when you are trying to change your eating habits. You want to make sure that you eat well and that you do not ingest an over abundance of carbs, but you do not want to eliminate them all together.

Here are a few things that carbs will do for you according to (http://www.health.com/weight-loss/8-reasons-why-carbs-help-you-lose-weight):

  • Eating carbs makes you thin for life
  • Carbs fill you up
  • Carbs curve your hunger
  • Carbs control your blood sugars and diabetes
  • Carbs speed up your metabolism
  • Carbs blast belly fat
  • Carbs keep you satisfied
  • Carbs make you feel good

The reason I say this is because I would hate for you to miss out on some of the recipes that I am sending to you because of any carb that may be part of the ingredients; but do not worry, this recipe is low carb, but not carb free.
Remember everything in moderation! 

Buy Cookbook Here

 


INGREDIENTS – MAKES 24 LARGE MUFFINS

  • Russet potato – 2, cleaned, peeled and shredded (you can also use a bag of frozen hash browns that has been completely defrosted)
  • Eggs – 16 extra large
  • Vidalia onion – 1 cup, small dice
  • Red Pepper – 1 cup, small dice
  • Baby portabella mushrooms – 1 cup, sliced thin
  • Parmesan Cheese – shredded, ½ cup
  • Feta Cheese – ½ cup
  • Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper – ½ tablespoon
  • Onion powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Garlic Powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Italian Parsley – ¼ cup, chopped (if you don’t have you can use dry parsley, but use ½)
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Cooking spray

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare 2 muffin pans (12 muffins each) and spray with some cooking spray
  3. Place an even amount of the potato on the bottom, about 1 large table spoon and then press down
  4. Cook the potatoes for about 12 minutes in the oven while you prepare the rest of the dish
  5. In a large skillet on medium high heat, add 1/3 of the oil and cook the mushrooms until they are somewhat browned (about 2-3 minutes) and ten remove from the pan
  6. In the same skillet add again 1/3 of the oil and cook the onions until translucent (about 2-3 minutes) and then remove from the pan
  7. In a large bowl or mixing cup add the eggs and beat them well
  8. Repeat the same thing with the red peppers (cook for about 3-4 minutes) and then remove from the pan
  9. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley and mix again well
  10. Remove the muffins that are lined with the potato from the oven and then layer as you would like with all the ingredients, use all the ingredients first and leave the egg mixture to the end… here are some ideas
    1. Red pepper with onion and parmesan cheese
    2. Onion and mushrooms with feta cheese
    3. Onion, red pepper and mushroom with parmesan cheese
    4. Onion and feta cheese
    5. Just cheese
  11. Once you have filled all the muffins with the different ingredients, fill with the egg mixture each muffin; you want to make sure not to fill to the top
  12. Bake for about 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean
  13. Let them cool a bit and then remove from the muffin pan and display
  14. Leave left overs in the fridge to eat anytime – ENJOY!

Buy Cookbook Here

Additional Ideas:

  • Try them with bacon, ham or sausage and cheddar cheese
  • Spinach, tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese
  • Tomato, basil and mozzarella
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Display them for all to eat – Great for Easter Brunch!

 

Coconut Rum Macaroons

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Coconut, Coconut, Coconut! This is such an amazing ingredient and not only is great for food, you can also use it for scrubs and fragrances. I have another blog that is titled toasted coconut, and this is great to have and top other dishes off with them. I can guarantee that I will have plenty of coconut recipes in this blog.

In the meantime, I will say you’re welcome for this recipe, OMG is it tasty. I will say that it is not dietary and for that I am sorry, but it is very worth the cheat. When I was young, my dad used to eat coco rayado, which is coconut in a syrup with cream cheese or gouda cheese. It sounds weird, but it was good. This was the start of my love for coconut and then I moved on to mounds. When I discovered chocolate and coconut together, I went to heaven (LOL).

I have had macaroons before with chocolate and without, but I wanted to make some that were different and a little inspired by the Latin culture, so I decided to add rum. Even though they do not have actual rum, boy do they taste like they do!  Any feed back will be appreciated!

 

INGREDIENTS – MAKES ABOUT 24 – 30 MACAROONS

  • Coconut – shredded, sweetened, 6 cups
  • Coconut flour – 2/3 cup
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Condensed sweetened milk – 14 ounce can
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Rum extract – 2 teaspoons

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, add the coconut, coconut flour and salt and mix well
  3. Add the condensed sweet milk, the vanilla extract and the rum extract and mix everything together well
  4. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, spoon some of the mixture into small amounts (about a tablespoon each)
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes until you see some of the coconut flakes toasting
  6. Remove from the heat and let cool
  7. If you want to add chocolate over them, melt the chocolate and with a spoon, drizzle all over the top of the macaroon

Tips: You can add some edible glitter or sprinkles on top for a more festive look; you can also try some white chocolate or candy melts in different colors depending on the occasion

Buy Cookbook Here

Cheesy Creamed Spinach

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Spinach is absolutely one of the most versatile ingredients and it may be due to the lack of flavor that it has when eaten alone and it will adjust to the flavors that are added. I use spinach in shakes, desserts, salads, breakfast, etc. It also is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. I remember when I was pregnant with my son (1997 – long time ago) and there was no Google, so I relied on a little book my doctor provided me with and it had every month of pregnancy, along with the important foods to eat during those months. Guess which food was repeated most of the time, if not all? Yup, SPINACH! If you have been pregnant, you’ll now that folic acid is very important, especially the last trimester when the baby’s brain is developing the most. I ate so much spinach during both my pregnancies that I think some part of me turned green (LOL). If you go on this site, you will see all the nutritional value in spinach.

Anyway, since spinach is quite boring alone, this recipe makes it taste better than you could have ever imagined. I made the recipe with frozen spinach, because it is easier to always have some handy that way, but you can definitely make this recipe with fresh spinach. Just note that you will have to at least double the fresh amount since the frozen kind already comes wilted. This is also a great dish to make ahead of time and then warm it up or have for left overs. Don’t forget to look at my tips for some other ideas.

 


INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6

*Spinach – 2 bags of frozen spinach (15 ounces – defrosted and drained)
*Vidalia onion – 2 cups, small dice
*Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
*Butter – 2 tablespoons
*Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
*Heavy cream – 1 cup
*Kosher salt – 3 teaspoons
*Pepper – 2 teaspoons
*Onion powder – 1 teaspoon
*Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
*Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon
*Parmesan cheese – 5 ounces, grated (I used Sargento)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  • In a large non-stick saute pan on medium high heat, add the butter, oil and onion and let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the onion is translucent
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • Add the spinach and mix well with the onion and garlic mixture
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the heavy cream, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and nutmeg and mix well
  • Let the mixture reduced for about 3-4 minutes then add the Parmesan cheese; the cheese will melt while you stir it in
  • ENJOY! 

Tips: You can add this mixture to an empanada dough and baked them; you can add some shiitake mushrooms and completely up the taste profile 

Mediterranean Egg Wrap

I am not the biggest fan of eggs and it is definitely an ingredient that I have to be in the mood for. I know that you would never think that with the number of egg recipes that I make and post, but it’s true. This is why it is so important to season the eggs as much as possible so that they take on the flavor that I am inspired to create. Since eggs are almost a blank canvas when it comes to flavor. it makes it a little easier to season them up the way that I want.

In this dish, I actually do not scramble the egg first, but I do scramble it somewhat in the pan as they cook. This actually gives the egg a different consistency that I happen to like a lot better than pre-scrambling the egg first. Either way, the flavors are great and I am sure you will like it no matter what!

This dish is also fantastic alone or with a side of potatoes or tomato slices, however, I actually served it on a low carb whole wheat wrap and it was delicious and quick.


INGREDIENT – SERVES ONE PERSON
*Eggs – 2 large eggs
*Spinach – 1/2 cup julienned spinach (I like to remove the stems and slice as you would basil)
*Mushrooms – 1/4 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms (you can use any you like)
*Fetta cheese – 2 tablespoons crumbled
*Kosher salt – 1/2 teaspoon
*Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
*Oregano (dry) – 1/4 teaspoon
*Onion powder – 1/4 teaspoon
*Butter spray – enough to cover the bottom of the pan (you can use butter or oil if you like – about 1 tablespoon should be more than enough)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. In a small non-stick saute pan on medium high heat add the spray and the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes so the mushrooms start browning
  2. Add the spinach and lower the heat to medium and cook until the spinach is wilted
  3. Add the spices, salt, pepper, onion powder and oregano and mix well
  4. Add the eggs and then mix the yolk and the white together until they are blended to your liking
  5. Add the feta and cook until desired consistency (3-4 minutes)

Tips: Add the egg mix to some toasted bread with and spread some hummus. You can also add some Kalamata olives and take the flavor profile up a notch