Not only is a warm bowl of homemade soup a fantastic end to a winter day, there are a lot of health benefits that can pack into a soup and it is one way we make sure to get in a lot of good broth and veggies. There are a lot of benefits to upping your intake of bone broth, and with my son dealing with severe autoimmune and gut issues we are trying to make sure that the broth and soups are a regular part of our diet. Of course our soup recipes are always gluten, dairy and nut free thanks to our sons’ food allergies. (the only dairy would be an optional cheese on the top).
This week I chose to try a ham and bean soup. I had saved the ham leg bone from our Christmas ham and had it in the freezer. The base for a lot of my soups starts the same. I chop up a bunch of onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, then start branching out on my flavors from there. Here is the recipe that I ended up with for this soup and it was absolutely DELICIOUS! One of my favorites yet and even the kids gobbled it up quickly and asked for more.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch of organic celery, chopped
2-3 cups of organic carrots, chopped
64 oz of organic chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp organic minced garlic
rosemary and thyme infused olive oil
1 ham bone (optional for flavor)
2-3 cups organic spinach leaves, chopped
1 bottle angry orchard crisp apple gluten free hard cider
2 – 15 oz cans of organic navy beans
2 – 15 oz cans of organic cannelini beans
2 packages of aidells natural chicken and apple smoked sausage (browned and chopped)
Add chopped onion, celery and carrots into a large stock pot with some rosemary & thyme olive oil (or oil of your choice) and cook on high until they begin to soften
Add in ham bone if you have one
Pour in the chicken broth and turn heat down to a low simmer
Add in the hard cider to flavor your broth (this is a delicious flavoring), salt, pepper and garlic
in a separate pan, brown the chopped chicken and apple sausages until thoroughly cooked
add the sausage into the soup
allow to simmer for 30 min – a few hours (I personally think the earlier in the day you make them the better the flavor)
about 15 minutes before serving, add in the beans. I like to add them at the end so they are not too mushy, but still have a chance to get warm
remove the ham bone and discard
pour into bowls and top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese (if you can do dairy)
I have been making quiche a LOT lately – mostly due to my husband\’s love of it that has only increased after our recent trips to France. The quiche in France is a must-have. The French have a way with cooking that I would say can not be replicated, but it may only be that in order to replicate it we would not want to eat it seeing as how there’s no way to get all that flavor without a LOT of bad-for-you ingredients : )
Quiche is one of my favorite ways to use up random ingredients in the fridge, especially veggies that aren’t going to last if they don’t get used ASAP but the last thing you feel like eating for dinner is a random steamed veggie medley. Some may think quiche is a breakfast food, but we usually make it for dinner and then have it for breakfast or lunch the next day! It reheats well and is good ANY time of day.
I have settled into this recipe that we love and hope you will enjoy it too. I apologize for vague quantities, but it is quite forgiving which gives you plenty of room to play around and experiment. You can make quiche 1000 ways – this one is my preference.
I use an 11″x 2″ deep round stoneware dish so all quantities are appx for that size
1 lb roll Jimmy Dean HOT sausage OR appx 2 cups diced spiral cut ham
You can use any type of meat, but the stronger the flavor the better
appx 1 cup chopped onions
2-3 cloves garlic
5 or 6 whole mushrooms, chopped
2 handfulls of spinach leaves
1 medium tomato, diced
*1 zucchini, squash (I only add if making veggie quiche w/out meat)
1 – 8oz block of cream cheese
appx 1 cup shredded white cheese (I use a white jack mexican blend, but you can use swiss, gruyere, or whatever suits your flavor preference)
appx 1/3 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbsp heavy cream (optional, but helps cheese melt smoothly)
6-7 eggs, lightly beaten
1 – 9 in pilsbury pie crust roll
Preheat oven to 350
If not pre-cooked, COOK meat it thoroughly and chop into small pieces. In a separate pan, sautee onions and garlic in pan until softened. Dice mushrooms or other veggies into bite sized pieces and cook thoroughly. Remove from heat and add spinach leaves and stir in until wilted. Add chopped tomato.
In another pan, combine all cheeses and cream and melt over med heat until smooth. Remove cheese mixture from heat immediately after melted and let cool. I prefer to break the eggs into the cheese mixture one at a time to incorporate for smoother texture. **MAKE SURE the cheese has been removed from the heat and cooled enough that it will not cook the eggs.
Place pie crust into your quiche or deep pie dish. Stir cooked veggies & meat into egg/cheese mixture until well incorporated. Pour entire mix into the crust and bake at 350 for appx 45 min or until center of quiche has set.
In my obsession to save money and be as thrifty as possible I decided there’s not much out there we can’t do ourselves or make ourselves so why not apply that to our fru-fru coffee? I got to the bottom of my fave – the caramel macchiato. Turns out there’s not much caramel in it. They should probably call it a vanilla macchiato but oh well. So here’s what I’ve found, and after a few attempts my husband even agrees the taste is spot-on. You should try it for yourself…
Ingredients: double shot of espresso (or a really strong cup of coffee) + 4 pumps of Vanilla flavored syrup + hot frothy milk or cream + caramel sauce
Caramel macchiato recipe
Step by step method without having a big fancy machine:
1) make espresso using a french press or you can make a really strong cup of coffee
2) add 4 pumps Torani (or any other brand) vanilla syrup
3) pour about 1/4 cup of milk or cream into a separate cup and microwave it for about a minute or until hot
4) use a nifty gadget like the aerolatte to froth your milk
4) pour frothed milk on top and drizzle with caramel sauce