Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Minestrone Soup

Everyone has their own version for Minestrone Soup. Its such an easy soup to customize based on what veggies and meats that you have. Its also very hearty and freezes really well!!! I decided to make this soup a couple of weeks ago when the weather was still pretty cold and we needed something to warm us up! I also had a big bunch of Swiss chard that needed to be used!
In a large heavy bottomed pan fry up about a half cup of chopped panchetta until crispy. Remove the cooked panchetta and set aside.

In the same pot add 1lb of ground sausage (no casing). Brown this as well and remove, set aside with the panchetta.

Again, same pot (with the panchetta and sausage drippings still in it) add 1 Chopped Onion, 3 Celery Stalks chopped, 3 Carrots chopped, and 3 cloves of garlic, minced. Season with salt and pepper. Saute over Medium high heat.

Once the Onions start to turn a light brown add 3 cubed potatoes and a generous couple of handfuls of chopped Swiss chard.

Add 1 large can of chopped tomato's, a bay leaf, and 1 Tbsp each of Basil, Oregano and Thyme.

Lower the heat to Medium low and add 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock and 6 Cups of water plus 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Add back your Pork and Panchetta and throw in a Parmesan Cheese rind. Allow to simmer for about 30 Minutes or until Potato is cooked through. Add your pasta and turn off the heat. The heat of the soup should cook the pasta in about 10 Minutes. Test for seasoning and add more salt/pepper if needed

Serve with fresh shaved Parmesan cheese!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chicken & Brie Mini Panini's

I have been eating a lot of grilled sandwiches lately (read: Grilled Cheese) mostly due to busy evenings with all the training I have been doing lately for some big races. I also make grilled sandwiches because they are a great way to use up leftover protein and lettuce hanging around in the fridge. This sandwich was made with leftover roasted chicken and the combo of chicken and brie is one of my favourites!!

First I found some mini panini buns at the local bakery.

Slice the buns and spread a nice thick layer of sundried tomato pesto (Also found at the same Italian Bakery)

Add some fresh baby spinich

And top with a generous helping of the cooked roasted chicken.

Lastly add a few thick slices of Brie cheese. I am obviously a cheese monster and added A LOT of Brie.

Throw your mini-paninis on the grill and drizzle some EVOO on top. Grill until the brie is all melted.

 I am pretty positive I am having these again tonight for dinner. And maybe lunch tomorrow too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breakfast Banana Bread Muffins

One of my favourite fruits is the Banana. Mostly because it is super easy to eat on the go and is a runners go to snack before, after and even during runs.

Because of this my husband and I always have bananas in our home...but sometimes we forget. Or are just not in the mood for them. And then they start to turn black. And no one wants to eat the black bananas. So what do I do? I throw them in the freezer! Black Banana's freeze really well and are very very good in banana bread and in these muffins!

You will need 2 bowls, one for your dry ingredients and one for your wet:
Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
(Optional-1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts)
Wet Ingredients:
3 Very Ripe (Or frozen ripe bananas-defrosted), mashed
1/4 Cup Balkan Style Greek Yogurt
2 Eggs Slightly Beaten
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Make sure both the Wet and Dry ingredients are combined, then gently fold the wet into the dry. Do not over mix. You want it mixed to the point where there is no visible white flour.

Scoop your batter into a greased muffin tin (I use more butter to grease them).

Top each muffin with some pecans and a pinch of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Mixture. Bake in a 350F Oven for about 20-25 Minutes.

This recipe makes about a dozen or so muffins. I usually double it and eat these all week for breakfast or for snacks. So yummy!