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smoky split pea soup

8 Feb

This recipe was conceived because it’s forkin’ cold outside, naturally I wanted a rustic soup. Maybe, I really just wanted to eat green food tonight, because I also had a serving of crispy, toasted, brussel sprouts. I served the soup with a buttered mini-marbled rye slice. This soup was really comforting and a perfect companion to the below zero temperatures.

Split Pea Soup

serves 4.

  • 1 1/2 cup dried split peas, washed and sorted for gross bits
  • 1/4 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 or 2 celery ribs diced
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 TB olive Oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 TB nutritional yeast
  • S & P to taste

Heat olive oil in a medium stockpot. Add onions and celery, saute until onions are tender. Add paprika, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. When the paprika becomes really fragrant (about 1-2 minutes), add vegetable broth, split peas, and nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil, check for salt and pepper, and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until the split peas are tender, about 40-45 minutes.

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(vegetarian) buffalo chick’n dip

8 Feb

We watched the Super Bowl, which is highly unusual. Last year was actually the first time I had even seen an American Football game, and of course, it happened to be the Super Bowl. The last few years I have become increasingly more interested in watching sports, but this hasn’t really expanded to the NFL. Alas, I bring you this updated, less saturated with grease or fat, dip. Oh, it doesn’t look super pretty when it comes out, but it is mighty tasty!

    buffalo chicken dip-serves 8

  • 8 gardein crispy tenders
  • 1 12 Frank’s Red Hot (feel free to use less if you are sensitive to spicy foods
  • 13 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 8 ounce packages low-fat cream cheese softened
  • 12 cup skim milk mozzarella.
  • 12 TB Earth Balance or butter
  • Preheat oven to 420. Cook Chick’n Strips to package requirements, make sure they are crispy. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients, mix well until sauce is smooth. Put sauce and strips in a baking dish. Lower Temperature to 350 and bake for 20-30 minutes, until set.


    While this might not be the most healthy thing to eat, this version (per serving) has 188 calories, 9 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein. It makes a whole mess, so the serving sizes are much bigger than the typical 2 TB.

tomato soup with grilled cheese

3 Feb

Last night I promised you new upcoming recipes, which I am going to be much more diligent to post. Or at least take snapshots of at least 1 meal daily.

We had a really great tomato soup served with balsamic caramelized onion and crimini grilled cheeses. If I had any adjustments to make, I would have used fresh roma tomatoes and roasted them in the over for about an hour. That is my absolute favorite way to make tomato soup, it adds an intense burst of flavor. Also, I would have used a multigrain or whole grain bread, but the boyfriend came home with a white sourdough. Alas, that is what he wanted and requested!

Tip: It is not super important to get all the vegetables uniform or chopped up small, because you will blend this at the end.

creamy tomato soup

serves 6.

  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, plus the green leafy bits at the top diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • dash of sweetener of choice (i used sugar)
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth (with 1 TB nutritional yeast)
  • 1⁄2 cup skim milk
  • 2 TB cream


In a stock pot heat the olive oil, add onions and celery–about five minutes. Sauté until onions are translucent, add carrots, spices, and garlic on medium heat. When garlic is tender and the spices fragrant– about 2 minutes, add diced tomatoes and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes; add three cups of broth. Cover and simmer for twenty more minutes, taste for sweetness (should have a nice balance) and add salt. Using either a blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth. If you used a blender, return to pot. At this point, check for consistency, and add more broth if needed. Add cream and milk.


As previously mentioned, we served this with a delicious grilled cheese consisting of balsamic caramelized onions, baby portobella mushroom, and swiss cheese. (this is for two sandwiches) I caramelized 1⁄2 thinly sliced onion adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, added 4 ounces sliced mushrooms, another splash of basalmic and when those were cooked, I lightly buttered the bread. Put each slice butter-face (hah!) down in a pan, arrange 1 slice of swiss cheese on one slice and the mushroom/onion mixture on another. When cheese is melted, bread toasted, put the two together!