white bean & kale soup

I know all of my Midwest friends and family will think that I’ve completely lost it, but its been cold in California. (And raining. No one told me it rained here, but I kind of like it.)

And when its cold, I crave soup to warm me up! I’m a fan of all kinds of soups – from creamy and rich (my Mom makes the best Shrimp & Artichoke Soup) to healthy, chock-full-of-vegetable soups.

This time around, I wanted an extra-healthy soup. Brimming with vegetables. Free of meat. Something that would warm me up and fill me up without a ton of calories because I’m pretty sure I’d rather eat more cookies this time of year. Healthy soup = more room for cookies, right?

So I threw together a ton of vegetables, a few beans, and my favorite, kale for a light, yet hearty soup that will leave you feeling good! I added a decent amount of red pepper flakes and the Taster loved the spiciness of the soup. Season the soup to your preference!

 

White Bean & Kale Soup

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 75 min

Keywords: soup/stew gluten-free high fiber low-carb vegetarian beans kale winter

Healthy, hearty soup full of veggies and beans!

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 5 stalks celery (about 4 cups chopped)
  • 5 carrots (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp butter or oil
  • 2 cups white beans (cooked)
  • 64 oz vegetable broth (2 boxes)
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Instructions

Prep all vegetables.

Chop onion, celery, carrots and leek.

Mince garlic.

Thinly slice kale.

Heat oil in large pot and add onions and garlic.

Saute for a few minutes, then add celery, carrots and leeks.

Cook for a few more minutes.

Add beans, broth and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil.

Add chopped kale and let simmer for 30-60 minutes.

Serve hot and sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

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slow cooker recipes

I’m on my way to Wisconsin this weekend with one pair of boots and a trench coat (everything else is still in the pod!) so I’m hoping for some mild weather…and thinking about lots of warm and cozy slow cooker meals! 

I’ve mentioned before that I used to have a snobby attitude about the slow cooker. My brother gave me a camouflaged crock pot one year for Christmas and I promptly returned it to K-Mart on December 27th. I believe I said something along the lines of “crock pots are for hicks.” I know, I know, so terrible! You know what they say, karma is a bi*#$!  Now I love them. But I will say that I much prefer my stainless steel to camouflage…

A lot of the recipes for slow cookers can be a bit old-school, or midwestern (meat and potatoes) but I keep seeing new, modern, healthy and delicious sounding crock-pot recipes. And I’m all over them.

(Real Simple)

Slow Cooker Recipes

White Bean Soup with Andouille and Collards – Real Simple

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna – Real Simple

Slow Cooked Chicken Fajitas – Heather’s Dish

Brazilian Feijoada – Cooking Light

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry – Cooking Light

Chicken Curry – Martha Stewart

Spanish Meatballs – Martha Stewart 

Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken – Better Homes & Gardens

Drip Beef – The Pioneer Woman

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup – Eat Live Run 

 

What are you making in your slow cooker?

restaurant: bona vietnamese

I was long overdue for a pho trip. Close to withdrawals actually.

So when I spent a weekend on campus for yoga sculpt training, there just happened to be a Vietnamese restaurant right down the street that I had heard had delicious pho. Fate, right?

So the Taster and I headed to a local watering hole for a pre-dinner drink (no wine or cocktails at Bona) and then it was time to get serious. We both ordered the usual – pho with beef for me; pork noodle salad + shrimp for the Taster – for comparisons sake of course. We take this quest very seriously, you know.

Bona was pretty empty, but it was pretty early on a Saturday evening and we were probably there right when those crazy college kids are just waking up from afternoon naps. ;) I will tell you that being back on campus (U of M graduate!) for a weekend was wonderful. I love it there.

My pho was delicious. Thankfully our server steered me away from getting pho and sauteed veggies and suggested that I just add the vegetables to my pho. You can add veggies to pho?! Yes please!  The large pho which was $7.50 + veggies ($1.50). I only ate about 1/3-1/2 of it, the bowl was that HUGE! I’ll definitely get a small next time and be sure to add veggies from now on.

The Tasters salad was pretty blah and the shrimp that he had added for $1.50 were 2 mini ones. I think he would probably order something else next time – and with a menu of 5 pages, he’ll have no problem finding something.

Bona Vietnamese Restaurant

815 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 331-5011

cincinnati chili

I’ve never had Cincinnati Chili before and it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve even been tempted to try.

But when Bon Appétit featured a story about different regional chili recipes, it wasn’t the Squash and Black Bean California-inspired Chili that caught my eye, it was the thinner Cincy Chili, customarily served over spaghetti that had me add chili to next weeks menu. Proud? Not exactly. But totally honest.

It was delicious. And although you may scoff at the idea of adding cocoa and cinnamon (like the Taster), I promise it doesn’t taste sweet. :) I wasn’t initially crazy about serving it over spaghetti, but with all of the appropriate toppings it was an amazingly filling meal. Best served with a salad.

Cincinnati Chili - 4 hearty servings - inspired by Bon Appétit

  • 2 white onions, chopped (reserve 1/2 – 1 cup for topping)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (I used 90% lean)
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 servings spaghetti (I used a quinoa/corn pasta)
  • shredded cheese for topping
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Chop onions and garlic. Don’t forget to reserve some onions for topping the chili.


Heat olive oil in large pot…… add onions; saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic; stir for about 1 minute.

Add ground beef; cook until brown, breaking into pieces, about 10 minutes.


Add all spices, apple cider vinegar and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.


Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.


Serving Options:

In Cincinnati, there are 5 different options for serving.

  1. Plain
  2. Two Way: Chili and Spaghetti
  3. Three Way: Chili, Spaghetti and Cheddar Cheese
  4. Four Way: Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese and Onions
  5. Five Way: Chili, Spaghetti, Cheddar Cheese, Onions and Kidney Beans

But in my house, the Five Way is the only way to go. I just can’t imagine it any other way.

The real question is fork or spoon? We went with forks but any Cincy people know what it is served with? Or does it depend on how you order it?