bean soup

This is a delicious bean filled soup that gets a kick from a Chipotle Pepper and a little sweetness from a can of baked beans. You won’t miss the meat in this chunky and full flavor Taco Soup!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Cup Corn, frozen or cut off the cob
  • 1 Chipotle, minced (Seeds removed)
  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp each Cumin and Paprika
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Beef Stock or broth
  • 1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Can Kidney bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16oz Can Bush Original Baked Beans
  • Optional Toppings: Cilantro, Lime wedges, Sour Cream, Cheese, Avocado

Directions:

  1. Place oil, onion, pepper, corn, chipotle, cumin, paprika, and chili powder in large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute for 8 minutes, until veggies are softened.
  2. Add in beef stock and scrape brown bits off of the bottom of pot with spoon or spatula, allow mixture to come to a boil.
  3. Next add in the tomatoes and beans, bring to a boil again, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes and soup is ready!
  4. Top with “taco toppings” of your choice.

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Date posted: February 17, 2014 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Main Dish Vegetarian

spag squash

I don’t know about you but I love creamy pasta dishes!  The bad part is they aren’t too good for you, so I only get to indulge in them on occasion.  However, I have a much lighter dish that is almost as good, and you won’t believe how easy it is to prepare.  This spaghetti squash dish is absolutely delicious and is sure to cure those cravings without the guilt!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Regular Spaghetti Squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 of 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 oz Low fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock or Broth
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese (or Parmesan)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place spaghetti squash flesh side up on a baking sheet and bake 20 min, turn squash over and bake another 20-25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place sliced onion in a skillet over medium heat with 2 tsp olive oil and caramelize for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once squash has cooked and cooled, scrap “spaghetti” into the skillet with the onion, then add cream cheese and chicken stock.
  5. Cook over medium heat while stirring until cheese has melted and squash is warm.
  6. Finish by adding the Feta Cheese and enjoy!

I may just have to order these serving bowls, the spaghetti squash would look beautiful in one of these!

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Date posted: February 13, 2014 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Sides Vegetarian

hummus

This recipe for Roasted Garlic Hummus is surprisingly super simple to make, and I have a short cut for quick roasted garlic!  When the garlic is roasted it gets a sweet, mild flavor as opposed to the sharpness of raw garlic.  Also, if you buy a jar of the Tahini Pasta, which is basically Sesame Seed Butter, it will last forever!  Then you can just stock up on cans of chickpeas and whip up some hummus in no time.  Of course pita chips are great for dipping, but I also like to serve this with carrots, celery, and cucumbers.  This snack full of protein and fiber and a great way to get more veggies in your diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of Chickpeas
  • 1 Tbls Tahini Paste
  • 3-4 Roasted Garlic Cloves (see below)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Oregano
  • 3 Tbls Extra Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbls Water
  • Carrots, Celery, Pita Chips, Cucumbers, etc

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat, place unpeeled garlic cloves in the dry skillet and toss occasionally for 6-8 minutes.  The skins should be lightly browned on all sides.  Remove from skillet and peel skins.
  2. Place Chickpeas, Tahini Pasta, and roasted garlic in a food processor, pulse until finely ground.
  3. Next add salt, oregano, olive oil, lemon juice, and water.  Pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Such a great deal on this food processor, check it out below!

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Date posted: February 13, 2014 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Snacks Vegetarian

confetti

This is one of the first dishes I began bringing to family gatherings.  It’s so fresh and looks really pretty!  This is great for a picnic since there is no mayo you don’t have to worry about keeping it cold.  Enjoy!

Confetti Corn and Black Bean Salad

  • 1 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Corn, fresh or frozen
  • ½ of 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ of 1 Jalapeno, minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • ½ Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime juice
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over high heat add oil then add corn and onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until corn is slightly browned.
  2. Next turn heat to medium and add in bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until peppers have softened.
  3. Next add in tomatoes, beans, cumin, lime, salt, and pepper.  Stir to coat everything in seasonings.
  4. Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature.  Serve as a side dish or with tortilla chips.

*Picture is from “I Believe I can Fry” Blog

Check out this handy citrus squeezer on Amazon, I love mine!

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Date posted: February 13, 2014 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Sides Vegetarian

me and straw salad

It’s that time of year, we are all trying to slim down and most of us are eating more salads.  This fresh strawberry salad is sure to excite your taste buds, and it certainly doesn’t look or taste like “diet food.”  By making your own salad dressing you can control the sugar and sodium, and it is so simple to do!  Be sure to check out Cooking with April McKinney on Facebook for a giveaway of the delicious, local Strawberry jalapeño jam from the The Nashville Jam Company to make the dressing in this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Strawberry-Jalapeno or Strawberry Jam
  • 1 1/2 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 2 Tbls White Balsamic
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt and pepper
  • 5-6 oz Mixed Greens
  • ½ Cup Blue Cheese
  • ½ Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 2 Cups Strawberries

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together Jam, Mustard, and White Balsamic Vinegar.
  2. Slowly Drizzle in Olive Oil while constantly whisking.  Season to taste with salt and pepper
  3. Add greens and half of the strawberries to the bowl, toss with tongs until dressing is coated on greens.
  4. Top tossed salad with blue cheese and walnuts.

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Date posted: February 13, 2014 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Main Dish Uncategorized Vegetarian