Tag Archives: bacon

pasta pasta pasta. or anti-pasta if you choose.

25 Apr

photo 1I can’t BELIEVE today is the end of my second year of graduate school! Thank the universe! This is…..A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! (inside joke, I’m a weirdo, you’d get it if you knew me). Haha. This has been by far the most grueling semester in graduate school and tonight’s last class and the knowledge that I handed in all of my papers, massive papers, and projects and am officially done is really satisfying. Now onto the important stuff, internship, and more importantly, how the H-E-double hockey sticks am I going to afford to live during internship year! Aye yey yey. One more year left, one more year.

Speaking of one more year, I don’t know if you live in Chicago, or the midwest, but can you believe this weather!? Um it’s almost May for crying out loud! We need some warmth! I feel likephoto 3 not many of my recipes have been anything but warm, hot, comforting food lately because it’s so cold. That also is because I have been in graduate school hell, so something warm and comfy always helps. Funnily enough, the recipe I am sharing with you today I am actually eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning! I am a firm believer that you can eat veggies and meat at any time of the day and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a frittata or breakfast hash to be breakfast food. If you want some kale, acorn squash and sausage for breakfast, go for it! Hmm….that may be a new recipe to try and make, kale and sausage stuffed acorn squash….that sounds delicious!

Also, at the end of this recipe, I want to talk about gluten free pasta types and share some articles I found that are useful. I don’t really eat much pasta, but when I do, like the brussels sprouts and bacon pasta recipe from a week or so ago, I like to make sure it is minimally processed, gluten free pasta. BUT, most gluten free pastas are AWFUL. God awful. They get gummy and mushy in about 2 seconds flat while boiling, and just taste disgusting. So I am listing my two favorites, and also a couple resources on gluten free pasta. Now onto the good stuff, the yummy food!

RUSTIC SAUSAGE AND BACON BOLOGNESE WITH VEG AND ACORN SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 lb ground italian sausage, if incased, re move casings
  • 5 slices of super thick cut smoked bacon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • one container of sliced portabella mushrooms
  • one container of fresh spinach (or about 3 handfuls)
  • 1 jar of organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade and chopped (about 1/3-1/2 cup this equals out to)
  • salt to taste

photo 2Heat an oven to 350 degrees. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and place fresh side down on an oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender. Then you can either fork out all of the squash “meat” or you can fork it around so it’s easy to access and leave it in the shell so it can be eaten right out of the shell.

While the squash is cooking, heat a large skillet and add your ground sausage and diced bacon. cook thoroughly until the sausage is brown and the bacon is to your liking. The bacon I buy is pretty thick and meaty, so I cook it down until it is crisp, but also fleshy. Next, add your diced onion and mushroom and cook down until soft. Add your tomato sauce, black pepper, cayenne photo 4pepper and oregano and cook down all together. Then, chiffonade your basil and dice up your fresh spinach and add that. I chop my spinach up so it doesn’t cook into those long stringy spinachy things. Cook the basil and spinach until still bright green, but tender. Taste and add more salt, oregano, pepper or cayenne if needed. That’s it! SO easy!!!! Dish over your squash or into your squash “bowl” and eat up! The squash acts like the noodles. This is such a flavorful dish that noodles aren’t even really needed! You could eat this even plain or over some fresh kale. That’s how I ate my leftovers this morning, I heated up my half of squash, heated up my chunky rustic bolognese and then added some fresh kale to it. YUM!

NOW onto pasta. Gluten free pasta is a real pain sometimes. It’s taken me many messed up mac and cheese and spaghetti recipes to find the right ones that actually work. I try and make spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, but sometimes I eat pasta, and my friends ate this bolognese over pasta, so I want to make sure they are getting healthy food in them as well! Spaghetti squash is super easy and zucchini noodles are made via the link below. These pastas are minimally processed and more importantly, I’ve found that they do NOT turn into a mushy mess like other gluten free and brown rice pastas do.

photo 1Trader Joe’s brown rice penne, is THE only brown rice pasta I have found that doesn’t crumble into a mushy mess when you cook it. This is great because it can be used for mac and cheese recipes or baked vegetable ziti, or whatever have you. Pasta salads with fresh veggies, I mean any place where you would use normal pasta as a shape. Trader Joe’s corn spaghetti is also not bad. I have found that corn pasta tastes exactly like regular pasta and it also does not cook up into a mushy mess. Trader Joe’s and Archer Farms Organics at Target are the easiest ones to get. I’ve tried brands from Whole Foods and most of them are mush.

DO NOT BUY TINKYADA pasta. That stuff is crap. Pure crap. It goes from not cooked to complete gummy mushy nastiness in literally 3 seconds. So if you need and want to eat pasta, get these brands! BUT my ALL TIME FAVORITE gluten free pasta is the Quinoa brand blended pasta. It is in an aqua box and there are a large variety of shapes. It is a quinoa blend and they sell it at Whole Foods, Mariano’s, I’m sure other grocery stores as well. It is absolutely the best tasting and best made pasta.

I’ve heard Cappellos gluten free pasta is good and even a couple people in the paleo world havephoto 2 tried it and liked it. It’s crazy expensive, though, and I’ve found in Chicago that nowhere sells it so I’d have to order it online. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard it’s fantastic. Below are links to some gluten free pasta options, a guide to cooking gluten free pasta and the Cappellos website. Eat well, healthy and enjoy! We all indulge sometimes, so make sure it’s at least gluten free and healthy! Eat up, buttercup!

http://cappellosglutenfree.com/home

http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/consciouscook/2010/01/top-3-gluten-free-pasta-brands.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/67786-glutenfree-pasta/

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/5695132949/zucchini-spaghetti-zoodles-meatballs

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shaved brussels sprout and bacon gluten free pasta

21 Apr

photo 1Isn’t it crazy how time escapes you!? This insanely grueling semester is FINALLY over. (Well…..it’s over next week, but I am 97% done with my massive paper due, just have to edit it and turn it in, so I mean I consider myself done haha!) This semester has taken over so much of my time that I haven’t exactly been amazing with the blog. I have so many recipes sitting in the wings and this is one of them! This is amazingly easy and would actually probably even been good if made with spaghetti squash or zucchini noddles. If anyone has a good idea or tool they use to make zucchini noodles, send it my way because I’ve been looking for one for a while!

I am so pumped this semester is over. I can’t WAIT to intern and be done with grad school. There are lots of little infants and toddlers who need my help! (Entire superwoman Developmental Therapist with a hot pink cape and aqua knee high boots). I mean that’s the plan, right?! Do what you love and I am finally almost there to be finally doing what I love. The universe is amazing.

So anyways…the good stuff, the food. Here is a really yummy recipe that I know you’ll love and it’s super easy! I made it for lunch one day and ate it for a couple more meals. You know me…. with with and graduate school, I seriously need to make sure I have food that is versatile for many meals! Also, have you ever heard of shaved brussels sprouts!? I got a bag of them at Trader Joe’s. You can use them for salads and for this recipe! So awesome and then you don’t have to chop and shred them yourself!

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT AND BACON PASTA

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 6 slices bacon, cubed (or use pancetta if you’d like)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti GLUTEN FREE (the quinoa corn blend is amazing)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese, fresh grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season generously with salt. Grab your bag of brussels sprouts, if you want to use regular ones and shred them yourself, trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and remove the toughest outer leaves. Shred them in a food processor, using the slicing attachment (not the normal chopping blade). You can also slice them as thin as possible with a knife.

Heat a large skillet pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil or coconut oil. Add the bacon and cook until fairly crispy and cooked through.photo 2 Clear some space in the middle of the pan and add the shallots and garlic. (If you don’t have enough room in your pan to create space, you can remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add it back in when you add the sprouts.) Cook until the shallots are soft.¬†While the shallots are cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Add the brussels sprouts and the chicken broth to the large skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss all of the ingredients together. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are tender but not too soft, about 5 minutes.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and add it to the skillet. You can add a splash of the pasta water (or more broth) if the mixture seems dry. Add the pine nuts, toss everything together, salt and pepper to taste, and serve. NOTE: You can certainly add some freshly grated parmesan on top. We also think a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (added with the brussels sprouts) would be nice.

lots of spring veggies and a big ol’ ham

14 Apr

photo 2Easter Sunday was one of my favorite holidays this year. I got to spend it with my “family” away from my family. My best friend, her parents, and others all came over for dinner, after church, and I cooked a giant spread. It has been really nice having a family away from my family. I’ve always considered my friends my family and I am super grateful for them, the far and near ones. Holidays that I get to spend with them are even more special. This is the first Easter that really felt like Easter in a long time and it was so awesome. Nothing better than cooking a bunch of yummy veggies and big fat old ham to fill everyone’s tummies and to just sit and laugh and share stories. I couldn’t have asked for a better Easter.

NOW, onto the GOOD stuff. The food. I made a honey and orange glazed ham, roastedphoto 1 asparagus with coconut oil and lemon zest, glazed carrots, cheesy potatoes (which I WON’T post on here because they are NOT totally healthy and people will kill me haha ūüėČ if you want the recipe, just ask), and fresh green beans with bacon and balsamic. Don’t ask me HOW everything came out on time, but it did. BOO YAH! (and yes, I just said BOO YAH…..screw all that BOOM! stuff!) All of these recipes are REALLY easy. You can make these separately as side dishes as the season goes on and produce becomes fresher and more abundant!

ORANGE AND HONEY GLAZED HAM

  • one large ham, spiral cut, organic if possible, depends on your pricing because they can get expensive
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, or squeeze your own
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Turn your oven onto 275 degrees, or follow the packaging instructions for your ham. Most spiral hams are fully cooked already, or partially cooked sophoto 2 you are basically reheating it and cooking it some more. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for your glaze, and slice one of your oranges into thin slices, then zest the other and juice it into the glaze mixture. Place the slices of orange in-between the ham slices every few cuts, then pour some of the glaze onto the meat. Place in the oven in a roasting pan and cook for an hour and a half, or per your instructions. Every half hour, reglaze the ham until it is nice and bright pink, cooked through, and ready to eat!

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH COCONUT OIL AND LEMON ZEST

  • 2 bunches of fresh asparagus, green, white or purple (I used green)
  • one lemon
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted

photo 4Heat your oven to 350 degrees, (this can be done after the ham is cooked since the hame is still hot and the asparagus will cook fast. Or if making this as a side dish for another meal, and this is good with EVERY meal, then rock on and just go for it! Rinse and trim your asparagus. The easiest way to do this is to bend one piece of asparagus and see where it snaps. Then place them all on a cutting board and cut them all across that line so the ends are removed on all of them. I find no need to snap each one separately, they all tend to snap in about the same spot, easy peasy. Put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle the coconut oil over them. sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and toss around to coat evenly. Roast in the oven for about ten minutes and then watch them. I like mine where they are bright green, the tips are a little roasted and they are nice and snappy still. After they come out of the oven, juice the lemon on top and then zest the lemon on top. SUBLIME.

GLAZED CARROTS

  • 2 lbs of baby carrots, or regular carrots washed and cut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 stick of grassfed butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat a pot full of salted water and toss your carrots in. Boil until they are al dente. Drain them. Next take the same pot and add your coconut oil andphoto 1 butter, melt it down, then add the brown sugar and pepper. This will make a nice glaze sauce. Toss your carrots in and cook them a couple minutes longer in the glaze to coat them. Growing up, we always made these with just butter, but I decided to twist it and use coconut oil as the main base, they were delicious and coconut oil is SO good for you. There are so many amazing benefits of coconut oil so adding it into your cooking is a really great idea and adds lots of flavor.

NOTE: There are a lot of articles going on about baby carrots and how they are washed in chlorine before they are packaged. Sometimes, when trying to save money and time, baby carrots are the way to go, but most of the time, I try to use real carrots. Give real carrots a try. You know what I mean….those long orange ones you have to cut and peel yourself….go for it. AND you don’t even need to peel them. Keep that peel on them. It’s good for you! Just scrub them down well!

GREEN BEANS WITH BALSAMIC AND BACON

  • 1 lb fresh french cut green beans
  • 1 lb bacon, you know what I use, that dang good stuff from Whole Foods, but use what you like
  • splash of balsamic
  • black pepper

photo 3Heat up a large skillet. Cut your bacon into cubes and toss in the skillet. Cook the bacon until nice and cooked through and crisp, leaving all of that amazing bacon fat behind. Toss in your green beans and give it all a nice stir. Tongs are amazing for this as you can grab and toss things together. Add the pepper, to your eye ball, about a pinch, but do not ADD salt because you will be adding the vinegar, and the bacon is salty. This will be way too much salt if you add extra salt to this recipe. Cook the beans until BRIGHT green and still crisp. Serve.

sweet potatoes and the sweet life

13 Mar

72311_508145305898207_447231074_n I need to be better about this blog writing! Thank goodness I am back to cooking again. I semi-fell off  the wagon, but dude, grad school is literally killing me this semester. AND NOW РI have people to cook for! New roommate, new friends, lots of new and lovely things that just add sparkle to my life like my old friends do. Its crazy how things change in a matter of months. Life is funny that way, and amazing.

I really should have put this on the food blog…so many people are asking. I also made it the other day and added bacon, SO MUCH BETTER with bacon! You can make this for one person, I do it all the time lately. Just use less kale and like 1-2 slices bacon and less goat cheese…clearly.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH KALE, BACON, GRAPES AND GOAT CHEVRE
Ingredients:
  • one large bunch kale, rib stems removed
  • 6 slices (per potato) of bacon
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1¬†tablespoon¬†balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • one bunch red grapes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle sweet potatoes and rub the oil in. Prick them with a fork. Wrap them in tin foil and place n the oven. They should bake for about an hour until soft and bubbly. You also could cut that time and use the microwave for 7 minutes for each sweet potato, but you can judge by how soft they are. You want them nice and soft. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash your grapes and drizzle them with olive oil, and salt. Coat them all evenly and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast the grapes until they burst and ooze, they will turn a little brown as well. Take the grapes out and let them cool; it takes about 20 minutes for them to roast.¬†OH, and for the bacon….there is some amazing bacon out there. At Whole Foods, the SUPER thick, smoked, pepper, applewood smoked bacon with no nitrates is seriously to die for. I mean any bacon super thick cut that is applewood smoked basically is. Try it! It’s so meaty, it’s delicious.¬†Next, chop your bacon into cubes. Add to a hot pan and cook¬†thoroughly¬†until all that lovely fat comes out. Add your kale, a little pepper, and your balsamic
554869_510464205666317_792789098_nvinegar. Sautee until the kale is just bright green, cooked and still has some bite. Now, take your sweet potatoes and remove the skin. Mash them in a bowl with a little pepper. Plate them with goat cheese on top, then the kale and bacon and then the grapes. DELICIOUS! The bacon adds a lovely saltiness to the sweet and gives you some good protein! This also would be good with Greek yogurt instead of goat cheese. The tang really adds something! Enjoy!

bacon and kale, a heavenly combo

17 Oct

What is better than KALE and BACON!? Nothing really. The flavor combination, good for you ingredients and just the amazing versatility is the BEST! Kale and bacon on their own, sautéed together is yummy, but add other yummy veggies and you have a breakfast flavor explosion!

This week I’ve been trying to make meals that I can eat for a few days. It’s just easier that way to get home around 7pm and heat up something yummy. Today I decided to make a breakfast with the massive amounts of kale I had. May as well use it right!? Because I definitely have more in the¬†refrigerator!

On a random note, can you believe how much it is to get your nails done!? I got a mani/pedi today, the no chip mani for my little brother’s wedding, and for that, the pedi and tip it was $90! Sheesh! This mani better look good for WEEKS! It does look nice though, and my toes look good and your brother only gets married once, so may as well go all out! But wow. But all this beauty prep is fun. I’m a total tomboy. Hoodies and leggings. Hoodies and leggings. So I’m excited I got my nails done and I am super pumped to get my hair done for the wedding! I haven’t had “semi long” hair in a long time! So it’ll be fun. It’s going to be a great weekend and I can’t wait! It’ll be so fun to see my family all together and see my little brother get married!

So anyways, enough beauty prep talk. Let’s talk breakfast!

KALE AND BACON FRITTATA WITH ZUCCHINI

  • 9 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 lb bacon (about 8 slices)
  • an entire container of organic pre-washed kale (about 4 cups or so total)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped and cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized cast iron skillet, or pan, cube your bacon and toss in the pan. Cook until crispy. Add your zucchini, hotsauce and garlic and make sure it cooks through a bit.

Next add your kale, in 3 batches,¬†saut√©ing¬†down until just dark green and more can fit in the pan. Whisk your eggs with 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper. Turn heat off of your burner and pour egg mixture over the veg and bacon. Mix a bit then top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese and toss in your oven.¬†Cook until the middle is set. Next, turn your broiler on high and crisp the cheese and top “crust” until bubbly and golden brown. Let cool a bit and serve! You can eat this as breakfast, lunch OR dinner! YUM!

for bean’s sake and some life lessons

23 Sep

Who is ready for FALL!? This girl. I love cold weather. I like big fluffy vinyasa scarves, hoodies, pumpkin EVERYTHING, runs that you aren’t dripping with sweat, walks in the leaves…..I love everything about Fall. I love that soups, stews and baking are now the thing and yummy warm food coating your tummy. Fall is where it’s at in my book.

This week has been amazing, hard, fun, eye opening and crazy all at the same time. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons this week and honestly. I’ve had a GREAT week with the little ones I nanny for and they are the joy of everyday, that’s for sure. I have no qualms about my childcare and cooking abilities! But, it’s those little other things in life that I sometimes am too hard on myself for. Take running, I’ve kind of taken a step back from it so I need to get back at it in full gear for the 15K and then the Disney Half so….basically…get it, girl! It’s amazing how a surgery can change your life. I used to be a eensy weensy teeny little runner and gymnast, now I am trying to get back there after being not able to workout for 6 months due to my surgeries last year. Oh well…. I LOVE running, so it’ll happen!!!

I am reading a new book, that you all should, called DARING GREATLY by Brene Brown. She is amazing. It’s all about vulnerability and how to basically love ourselves and not worry about being vulnerable or too hard on ourselves. This book totally came out at the right time.

With that being said, curling up in bed, with a hot bowl of stewy soup and this amazing book with brownies cooking in the oven….I mean sounds like heaven right!? So here goes, some yummy, gooey almond butter swirl brownies, navy bean, spinach and bacon soup and then kale salad. I wanted to post this kale salad because it is simple and I eat it quite a few times during the week. It’s a great way to get lots of vitamins in and just some yummy veg!

KALE CARROT BEET AND PEA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • beets, however many you’d like (I have about 3)
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is SUPER easy! In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from your orange, add your olive oil, salt and pepper and wisk to emulsify. Set aside. Take your kale and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil and orange liquid, set aside. Then, take your frozen peas and run them under hot water until defrosted. Take your shredded carrots from your fridge, or shred your own carrots, about 1-2 carrots will be great. Next, either you can roast your own beets, or buy them, already roasted, peeled and cut from Whole Foods.

To roast your own beets:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tops and the roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2-inch chunks. (Small beets can be halved, medium ones cut in quarters, and large beets cut in eighths). Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula, until the beets are tender.

After this is done, put them in a large bowl and add the orange juice and olive oil vinaigrette you just made. Let them sit and soak up the goodness!

After the beets have cooled, assemble your salad. On a plate, Put down your kale down on the salad plate. Next add your shredded carrots, beets on top of that, then your peas. DEVOUR the goodness!

FUDGY YUMMY GLUTEN FREE BROWNIES WITH A NUT BUTTER SWIRL

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, or extremely dark chocolate, or super natural bitter chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce, unsweetened and not the cinnamon kind
  • 1/2 cup nut butter of choice

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper or spray it with olive oil cooking spray or grease it. I greased my pan with a little coconut oil. You can use whole almonds and add them to a food process with the rice flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour. Set aside.

Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the honey and vanilla. Stir in the applesauce. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly until really well combined.

NOTE: You can make these without the nut butter. You can add nuts, more chocolate chips, the sky is the limit!

Take your nut butter of choice. I use almond butter or a nut butter that has a bit of sea salt in it. You can find GREAT nut butters with sea salt at Trader Joe’s. That way these aren’t overly sweet. This is a peanut butter and almond butter mixture, but feel free to use just almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, sun butter, what have you. Place it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds so it gets a little gooey and creamy. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Spoon¬†dollops of the nut butter onto the brownie batter. Using the spoon, swirl the nut butter into the brownies. This is done the easiest by taking the spoon and bring it down the length of the batter, then across and keep doing it until you like the swirl.¬†Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist but clean. Cool and get your EAT on!

NAVY BEAN AND SPINACH SOUPY STEW

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 lb grassfed pork bacon, about 8 slices of thick cut (or regular if you prefer and don’t care about where your meat comes from)
  • fresh savory herb
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans organic navy beans
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 quart of homemade chicken bone broth or organic free range chicken broth
  • 2 handfulls of fresh spinach (or KALE!!!!)

Slice and cube your bacon. In a dutch oven, place your bacon in on medium high heat and cook until brown. While the bacon is cooking and browning and smelling lovely, you can cut your veggies. You want to have uniform cuts so that the mirepoix (fancy French word for carrots, celery and onion, the base of LOTS of dishes) can cook together and soften. Add your onions while the bacon is cooking and let them soften in the bacon fat. Add your carrots, celery, chopped savory herb (if you do not have this or can not find it, just use fresh thyme, rosemary, another type of savory tasting herb), dried thyme and the black pepper and cook until the veggies are soft, but that the carrots and celery still have a little crunch.

Drain and rinse your beans. You want to rinse off the starchy liquid that they come canned in. Add your beans and cook for about 2 minutes so the beans are warm. Add your chicken broth and simmer until bubbly. Add your salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer. With soups I’ve found that adding the salt last, and letting it cook a bit before tasting, helps out a lot. If you add too much salt, there’s no going back. So add a little at a time. Plus, for this recipe, the bacon adds a bit of a salty smokey flavor (DELICIOUS), so you want to hold off on the salt until you’re ready and the flavors have simmered. So basically, add about a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt at a time, let it simmer, taste it, then add more if needed.

Take your spinach and put in as much as you want. I used about 2 large handfull, maybe 3. Let is cook down  a bit in the soup. Bowl the soup up and eat nice and hot on a cold blustery day!

You could also add KALE to this. And for those doubting kale, and my love for it. Here’s a great infographic!

http://nutribulletblog.com/all-hail-kale/

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