Lemon, Wild Rice & Meatball Soup

This is a light and very tasty soup that you could make just about any time of the year, but is perfect for a chilly Fall night. Serve it up with some Rosemary Grilled Cheese sandwiches, or a salad, or just some yummy, crusty bread of your choice.

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Lemon, Wild Rice & Meatball Soup

1 lb. ground chicken or turkey

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup panko or other fine bread crumbs

1 tsp salt, plus additional to taste

4 tsp lemon zest, divided

1 tsp rosemary, divided

2 T EVOO

1 medium onion, chopped fine

3 carrots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

64 oz. chicken broth

4 T lemon juice

3 cups wild rice blend, cooked

1. To make the meatballs combine the ground meat with the egg, panko,1 tsp salt, 2 tsp lemon zest, and 1/2 tsp rosemary. Roll into 1-inch balls and bake on lined cookie sheet at 350* for 20-30 minutes.

2. Heat EVOO over medium-high heat and saute onion, carrots, and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft. Add in remaining zest and rosemary and cook a minute longer.

3. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, salt to taste, and meatballs to the veggies. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Longer is fine.

4. Add in the wild rice. You can continue to simmer until ready to eat, or serve immediately.

5. Top with some Parmesan cheese and additional rosemary, if desired.

*A great addition: Oven Roasted Okra. Seriously. It. Was. Awesome. Try it 🙂

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Chicken Enchilada Soup #2

Yes, it’s another recipe for chicken enchilada soup. This one has fewer steps than the other one, but I still must clarify that both are delicious and worth the effort!

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Chicken Enchilada Soup (#2)

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained

10-oz. package frozen corn

1 T EVOO

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles

1 10-oz. jar enchilada sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup (healthy alternative)

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1) In large skillet over medium, heat oil and add onion and garlic. Add in chiles.

2) In bowl whisk together milk, broth, enchilada sauce, and cream soup. Pour into skillet and combine well with veggies.

3) Add in beans, corn and chicken. Set on low and simmer for as long as possible (it will be ready in 10 minutes if you can’t wait).

4) Stir in cheese and let melt.

5) Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, or whatever you desire. *I made simple cheese quesadillas and served them on the side as dippers.

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Crock Pot Swiss Chicken

I love Swiss Chicken. It’s one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and I especially like to make it in the winter. It’s an easy weeknight meal but also special enough to serve to company. One of the best things about my swiss chicken recipe is that it can easily be halved, doubled, or even tripled. I’ve been making this for years and was pleasantly surprised to find how simple it was to make in the crock pot. So here’s a staple recipe of mine simplified for you even more.

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Crock Pot Swiss Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

5-6 slices swiss cheese

*1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

1 box Stove Top chicken stuffing

1 stick butter, melted

Spray crock pot with cooking spray and place chicken at the bottom.  Cover chicken with the swiss cheese.

In a bowl combine soup and milk. *Get the recipe here for a chemical-free cream soup alternative. Pour and evenly spread this mixture out over the chicken and cheese.

In a larger bowl mix the melted butter into the dry stuffing until combined well. Top the chicken and cheese with this stuffing.

Place lid on top and cook for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high.

*If you have a slow cooker where the crock is removable, put it in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes or until the stuffing on top is a bit crispy. Awesome.

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Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder

You probably are thinking this would be a great recipe for the Fall and I agree, but the weather here has been cold and rainy for nearly a month, so it feels pretty Fall-like. Besides, comfort food is welcome in my house anytime of the year and I’d bet you’d agree if you try this lovely chowder. Just serve with some crusty bread and enjoy.

southwest chowder

Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder

1 T EVOO

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin or diced

1/2 cup celery, sliced thin or chopped

1 small to medium potato, peeled and cubed

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 mini bell peppers, red & orange, chopped (optional)

jalapeno pepper, minced

4 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

3 cups chicken broth

 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2 T flour

1 1/2 cups frozen corn

2 tsp southwest seasoning*

salt & pepper

1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with southwest seasonings. *This is just a combo of chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika. Cook in EVOO in skillet heated over medium heat.

2. In soup pot place the chicken broth and the chopped carrots, onion, garlic, jalepeno, bell peppers and celery. Allow time to soften and simmer in broth before adding the chicken, corn and potato. Cook for at least 20 minutes.

3. Fry up your bacon, drain and crumble into the chowder pot. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Taste.

4. Using a small whisk, combine the flour with the heavy cream in a bowl to make a roux. Add to the chowder and stir in well.

5. Let simmer another 20 minutes or more until potatoes are tender and all the flavors are combined.

I will share a few secrets with you: First, I used the crock pot, in stages, which made the chowder awesome. If you have the time I’d recommend this. Just follow the recipe with longer cooking intervals. After several hours the chicken is extremely tender and the overall flavor is amazing. Also, I used leftover chicken from my Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake since there was so much leftover and I didn’t want to waste all that chicken or fantastic flavor. If you have any leftover dishes in your fridge, don’t be afraid to dig your hands into it and find a way to use it. 

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Peasant Soup with Rosemary Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Number Two: “What’s for dinner?”

“Peasant Soup.” (Sounds better than cabbage and lentil soup, right?)

His response: “You mean like what they ate in the Middle Ages?!” (We had just watched Time Bandits a few days earlier.)

“Uh…yeah. Exactly.”

“Cool! Can we eat by candlelight, too?”

“Sure, kid.”

And he ate it. One point for mom for getting all the vegetables into the child- Yay!

Traditionally this soup would use a ham hock, but ya’ll know me….blech. So of course I had to tweak it a bit and make it my own recipe. It was also a lot faster my way, but if you fancy a ham hock then by all means go for it.

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Peasant Soup

2 quarts chicken broth, divided

2 bay leaves

1 cup lentils, rinsed

salt & pepper to taste

2 T EVOO

1/2 onion, diced small

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small

1 tsp thyme

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large celery stalk, diced small

1/2 head cabbage, shredded thin

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1. Combine lentils with 2 cups broth and bring to a light boil. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until lentils are soft.

2. Dice up the vegetables and heat up the EVOO in a large skillet. Saute the onions for 2 or 3 minutes before adding in the carrots. Cook for a few minutes longer. Add the garlic, thyme and celery. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the soup pot with the lentils.

3. Add the remaining 6 cups of broth and the bay leaves.

4. Put in the cabbage, reduce to a simmer, then cover and allow the cabbage to wilt into the soup. Salt & pepper to taste.

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I served this soup with delicious little grilled cheese sandwiches on sliced French bread, grilled with rosemary butter.

Make sure you use a sharp cheddar (or even a cheddar-swiss blend) to get all the flavor from the melted cheese. Simply add some rosemary to your melted butter then using a small brush, paint the butter onto the bread slices. Place into hot, oiled skillet and place thick slices of cheese in between bread slices. Flip and brown on both sides, sprinkling a little extra rosemary on if needed.

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Mexican Stew

Here’s another awesome crock pot meal for you. This one is full of great flavors and gluten-free ingredients. You can easily adjust the heat to your liking and even swap out the meat with black beans for a vegetarian meal.

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Mexican Stew

1 lb. ground turkey (or 15 oz. can black beans)

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

2 large white or gold potatoes, peeled and diced

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup roasted green chiles, chopped*

1 quart (4 cups) chicken or vegan broth

sea salt & pepper, to taste

1 lime, juiced

2-3 T fresh cilantro, chopped

1 -2 tsp organic sugar, as needed to balance the spice

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1. Brown the meat in a skillet. Put the cooked meat (or beans) into the crock pot and combine with the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, squash, potato, carrots (I used bagged matchsticks), green chiles (*I used 1 large jalapeno), salt & pepper, and the broth. Set on low and cook for 7 or 8 hours. Stir occasionally.

2. About 20 or 30 minutes before serving, add the lime juice, cilantro, and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may also need to add a bit more of broth. Heat through.

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December Menu ~ 2012

Whoa! December is here already??

Because it’s party time I’ve got lots of new things I will be making this month. I can’t wait to share them with you 🙂

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Entrees

Creamy Ramen with Chicken & Spinach

Dijon-Dill Salmon

Ultimate Baked Beans

Beans & Rice

Chicken with Basil-Artichoke Sauce

Garlic Tilapia

Crab Cakes with Aioli

Whiskey Chicken with Penne

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Beef Stroganoff

 Black Bean Soup

Meatball Minestrone

Chicken Enchilada Chili

Baby Portabella & Wild Rice Soup

Fish Tacos

Chicken Mushroom Sage Casserole

Crock Pot Meatloaf and Gravy

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken and Rice

Chicken Pasta Milano

Apps, Sides & Salads

Carrot Mash Bake

Chopped Salad

Chicken Salad with Grapes & Pecans

Sweet Potato Latkes

Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Hummus

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Green Beans

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Bacon & Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Breakfast & Other Sweets

Quiche Lorraine

Blueberry Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Pizza

Apple Pancake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Triple Chocolate Leche Trifle

Peppermint Cupcakes

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate Pudding

Marshmallow Pops

Ginger-Molasses Cookies

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

Potato and Leek Soup

At a dinner party not too long ago this was the second course of our meal, and I had to stop myself from licking the bowl clean. Seriously, this soup is awesome!

And yes there is prosciutto on top in this picture, and yes, I did eat it! All toppings are optional of course, but if you like prosciutto you sure won’t be disappointed by adding it. The greenery in the picture is pan-fried parsley, so you can see that there really are no limits to what toppings you can add to this soup.

Potato and Leek Soup

2 pounds Potatoes, some peeled and all diced

1 pound Leeks, washed and sliced thin

1 Onion, chopped

1 Carrot, chopped

 Celery Stalk, chopped

5 cups Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock)

4 T Butter

Salt And Pepper

1/2 cup milk

Garnishes

 Sour Cream

1/2 cup chives, chopped

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add potatoes, leeks, onion, carrot,and celery; cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.

Add chicken stock or vegetable stock, ½ cup milk, salt, and pepper. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook till potatoes are falling apart. You can then mash the potatoes in the pot and serve. If you want to puree the soup, let it cool and put in blender or food processor. Then back to pot and reheat.

Serve with the garnish of choice or all of them, and a big, crusty, buttery crouton 🙂

Recipe by Yvonne

October Menu ~ 2012

Fall is without a doubt my favorite season. I love the crisp air and the fresh smells. Apples and pumpkins make their many appearances from dishes on the table to decorations around the house and in the yard. While this month I’m not focusing on the before-mentioned ingredients just yet, I am switching my menu to include more hearty soups and belly-filling meals. Below is my menu plan for the month with links for the recipes already posted. There are a lot of recipes I intend to try for the first time this month, and so as always, stay tuned for links 🙂

Week 1 ~ October 1st – 6th

Spinach Tomato Feta Frittata

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Mexican Pizza

Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Herb Matzo Crust

Friday – Pizza Night

Chicken Schnitzel with Spaetzle

Week 2 ~ October 7th – 13th

Sunday Dinner – Roast Chicken, Carrot Mash Bake, Pesto-Parmesan Green Beans, Roasted potatoes & Biscuits

Muffaletta Calzone (with turkey pepperoni– optional)

Cheeseburger Salad

Taco Pizza (new recipe!)

Mexican Tilapia with Crock Pot Pinto Beans and Rice Fritters

Friday – Pizza Night

Ultimate Baked Beans (this is a meal!) with Corn & Wild Rice Muffins

Week 3 ~ October 14th – 20th

Sunday Dinner – Hearty Taco Chili

Black Bean Taquitos with Cucumber Salsa & Garlic Sour Cream

Turkey Salisbury Steaks with White Bean Mash

Quesadillas

Creamy Risotto and Shrimp with Green Peas

Friday – Pizza Night

Cheeseburgers

Week 4 ~ October 21st – 27th

Sunday Dinner – Roast Beef, Roasted Green Beans, 7-Grain Mix, Herb & Cheese Biscuits

Pasta and Lentil Soup with Homemade Crackers

Meatball Sub Cups with Butternut Squash Bake

Lime Chicken Tacos

Piccata Style Fish with Pasta and Lima Beans

Friday – Pizza Night

Romano-Crusted Chicken

Week 5 ~ October 28th – 31st

Sunday Dinner – Beef Stew with Biscuits

Zucchi Noodles with Turkey Meatballs & Marinara

Chicken Gyros and Salad

Cheese Enchiladas with Refried Beans and Salad

Breakfast:

Turkey Bacon & Egg Puffs

Eggs & Grits Bowl

Crock Pot Oatmeal

Jimmy Dean Delights (turkey sausage, egg white, and cheese breakfast sandwiches on a wheat english muffin)

Cheese Omelet with Whole Wheat Toast, Beef or Turkey Sausage and Banana slices

Other Sides:

Rosemary Sunchoke Chips (If I can find sunchokes!)

Homemade Crackers

Cheesy Rice Fritters

Pesto-Parmesan Green Beans

Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Refried Beans

Herb and Cheese Biscuits

Desserts:

Double Dark-Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread (I may use an Almond Butter instead of the Hazelnut)

Caramel Pear Pudding

Caramel Praline Tart

Oatmeal Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars

Go-To Granola Bars

Meatball Soup

What is it about a meatball that just makes me smile? Does anyone else feel this way, or am I weird? I just really love meatballs. There really are so many ways to make them and eat them. This soup, for example, is yet another awesome way to enjoy meatballs.

This soup is pure comfort food and I am sure that you will think so, too. I found this recipe in Deceptively Delicious and it has remained one of my favorites. Even though I don’t normally keep purees in my freezer, this soup is still a sinch to throw together because the carrot and sweet potato can easily be steamed or cooked in the microwave and then pureed. An alternative is also to just finely chop up the two vegetables, raw, in a food processor, and then throw it into the soup (separately, of course.) That works just as well 🙂

Meatball Soup

3 ounces whole-wheat pasta shapes, such as bowties or wagon wheels

Nonstick cooking spray

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 small onion, chopped

1 (28 ounce)  can whole peeled tomatoes, with the juice

1/4 cup carrot puree

1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups beef or chicken broth

MEATBALLS:

3 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 lb. lean ground turkey

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Coat a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil and then the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Puree the tomatoes and their juice with the carrot puree in a food processor or blender, then add to the pot along with 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the broth, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, put the bread in a large bowl. Add the egg, sweet potato puree, milk, parmesan, 1 tsp. salt, the pepper, and paprika, and let soak until the bread is very soft. Stir to break up the bread, add the ground turkey, and mix until smooth. Form into *mini-meatballs 1/2-inch in diameter. {*Or you can cheat like I sometimes do and use pre-made turkey meatballs :)}

5. Add the meatballs to the pot. Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the pasta when ready to serve and eat. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

6. Enjoy all that yumm,y wholesome goodness!
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