Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vermont Cheddar Apple Soup

A good friend of mine and I are doing an Autumn Soup Exchange and I couldn't be more excited. She is also vegetarian, which works out really well. This recipe is my first of the exchange. I will be posting all of my soups on here (and she might guest blog too!), so you'll see one or two soup recipes every two weeks.

This recipe makes about six cups of soup. When I made this recipe last week, I didn't have a food processor (but that has all changed now!), so it was more of a boil down and strain thing, but you can process all of the veggies to make a thicker broth (the original recipe using the food processor is here). I hope you enjoy!

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

One (1) stick of unsalted butter
One (1) large leek, chopped finely -- use the white part only
One (1) medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
Two (2) medium celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
Four (4) cups of veggie stock -- Whole Foods also sells a "Chik'n" stock, which is vegetarian chicken-flavored, and that works well too.
One (1) cup of soy half-and-half creamer 
1/2 pound of Vermont white sharp cheddar, shredded
One (1) teaspoon of dry mustard
One (1) teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
One (1) apple, peeled, cored and finely diced -- I used a Honeycrisp apple because they're in season and delicious!
Pepper to taste

Melt three-fourths of the butter in a pot over medium heat.
Add the leeks, carrot and celery and sauté for about 3 minutes.
Add the flour into the mixture and stir for 3 minutes. Cook evenly.
Whisk in the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil.
Once you've reached a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
Strain the vegetables out of the soup and keep the broth in the pot. Simmer.
Add the cream, cheddar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until the cheese is melted.
Season with pepper. Set aside.
Melt the leftover butter in a separate pan and sauté the apple pieces. Make sure that they are slightly crisped on each side.
Add the apples to the soup. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Goat Cheese, Tomato & Pesto Pizza

This pizza is easy, delicious, and a great serving size for one. Of course, there is ample opportunity to make this more homemade (by making the pesto or naan yourself). My way is, obviously, a little faster, so you can get that pizza into your mouth more quickly! Enjoy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes

One (1) piece of naan bread -- I used garlic naan
1 1/2 tablespoons of basil pesto
2 1/2 tablespoons of goat cheese
A small handful (3-5) cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Place naan on a baking sheet.
Spread basil pesto over naan. Trust me, get all the way to the outer edges!
Sprinkle goat cheese in an even layer.
Slice cherry tomatoes into halves or thirds and place in an even layer across naan.
Bake for six minutes.
Remove, let cool, and devour.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pasta topped with Asparagus & Egg

This is a flavorful, quick dinner. This recipe is great because, even though you're dealing with pasta, you won't need any sauce, because the egg yolk serves as the sauce. This recipe makes enough for one person.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

One (1) cup of fettuccine noodles
1/2 bundle of asparagus
Two (2) cloves of garlic, minced
One (1) egg 
One (1) tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

Cook pasta according to directions on box.
About ten minutes before pasta is done, heat oil and garlic in frying pan.
Toss in asparagus and saute until slightly soft.
Set asparagus aside on a plate.
In same pan, without cleaning the oil and garlic out, fry one egg.
Strain pasta and place on plate with asparagus.
Once the egg is fried soft, place it in the middle of the dish.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Black Bean & Pineapple Tacos

I just started a Biggest Loser-style competition in my workplace. You may have figured by reading this blog that, while I don’t eat meat, I don’t always eat healthy (see the beer mac & cheese or all of the homemade biscuits I've been devouring). This program will be a great opportunity to start eating better. This lunch was filling and high in protein. This recipe makes two tacos, which are served at a cool temperature.

Prep Time: 10 minutes (if pineapple is already prepared)
Cook Time: None

Two (2) small fajita-sized soft flour tortillas
Two (2) tablespoons of black beans, drained and rinsed
One (1) tablespoon of tomato, chopped
One (1) tablespoon of fresh pineapple, in chunks
1/2 tablespoon of goat cheese

Heat tortillas on the stove.
While tortillas are heating, mix black beans, tomato, and pineapple in a mixing bowl.
Once tortillas are warm, spoon mixture into tortillas.
Top with goat cheese.