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Archive for the ‘Soup and Salad’ Category

My 6th and last Newman’s Own Family Bites recipe is one of my personal favorites.  It’s Chicken Vegetable Couscous Salad which is loaded with veggies, fresh herbs, lemon zest (and juice), chicken, and Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing.  Here is a little fact of the day: Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing was the first product that Paul Newman and writer A.E. Hotchner launched with back in 1982 on the shelves of a big supermarket in Norwalk.  In two weeks time, 10,000 cases were sold and that was the start to Newman’s Own.  This salad dressing started it all….

The best part about this couscous salad is you can add any vegetables you prefer.  So play around and decide what veggies you think works for your salad. 

It’s been a fun 6 days of sharing the Foodbuzz and Newman’s Own Family Bites recipes with everyone out there.  If you haven’t stopped by Foodbuzz go here and you can see little ole’ me featured.  A big thanks goes out to Foodbuzz and Newman’s Own for giving me this great opportunity!!

Just a side note for all of you following the 10 in 10 Healthy Challenge, another week has past and I have to admit it’s been hard to wake up early to head to the gym but I have kept it up!  A couple times this week I woke up and did weights here at the house.  It was nice to be able to stay home and get a quick workout.  I logged in another 15 miles this week too.  Today I actually got to get outside with the girls in tow for a long run.  It was so nice to have warmer weather to get out and enjoy.  The wind on the other hand was another story.  It was fun to see the wind surfers out as I ran along the beach.  Next week will be interesting since I’ll be traveling.  The good news is the hotel has a really nice gym so I’m hoping to take advantage of it.  Have a good week all of you who are taking part in the 10 in 10 Healthy Challenge!

Chicken Vegetable Couscous Salad

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous

1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp minced garlic

Fresh ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 ½ to 2 cups cooked chicken, diced

 ½ cup thawed, frozen peas

½ cup green onion, thinly sliced

½ cup red bell pepper, diced

½ cup English cucumber, diced

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

3 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

3 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

Zest of half a lemon

 

Instructions:

Bring the 1 ½ cups of low-sodium chicken broth to a boil.  After bring to a boil remove from the heat and add the 1 cup of couscous.  Cover and let set 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil & vinegar salad dressing, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and a couple grinds of pepper and blend well.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, peas, green onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest. 

Combine the couscous, vegetable chicken mix, and dressing mixture and stir until well incorporated.  Serve immediately or place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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It’s Friday!  This week has been quite a week!  Husband is out of town, Mom’s in town (thank goodness), work is crazy, 5:30am wake-up calls to go to the gym (not so fun), and I have been posting a recipe every day.   All this explains why this week has felt so darn long.  We made it though!  Tomorrow will be the last of the posts for the Newman’s Own Family Bites Challenge.  I hope some of my recipes are helpful to all of you out there reading….at least I hope you are out there reading?  That’s the one thing as you write posts, you wonder who out there is reading and who out there really and truly likes hearing from me.   I love hearing from you!  It makes my day!   Ok, now it’s your time to say ahhhhh!!!  Honestly though it really does!  But I really hope I don’t bore you with my rambling thoughts.  Most of the time that’s how my brain works.  I often tend to jump around too.  That’s what happens when you become a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, and full-time worker I guess?  You have to jump to one task to another with those so it’s only normal that your thoughts do the same.  Ok, here I go I’m going to jump again….

So it’s the weekend!  Yeah!  No plans here as I try to prepare for next week.  Heading off to Salt Lake City for work.  I have never been but I’m really looking forward to it.    Not so much the cold weather as it is finally warming up here in South Florida.  We had two weeks of super cold weather.  I know, you’re probably laughing at this comment but it was really cold!  My mom is down from Atlanta and before she came I was telling her how cold it was.  She gets here this week and says to me it’s really cold here!  Well duh mom!  I told you that!  She turns to me and says well I didn’t believe it was really this cold, after all it was in the teens in Atlanta.  Ok, here I go again.  So it’s warm again and I’m heading to Salt Lake.  I’ll be sure to try to take my camera along so I can capture some pictures.  It might actually snow too and I can’t remember the last time I physically saw snow.  Crossing my fingers if it does snow that my flights in and out are not affected.  After all I have to get back to see my little munchkins.  Speaking of that!  It will be my first trip away from them since they were born!  We’ll see how we all do without one another. 

Ok, enough rambling and onto the 6th recipe in the Newman’s Own Family Bites Challenge.  Today’s post is a slight revision to my Spicy Turkey Vegetable Soup.  This version is the no spice version since some little ones don’t like the spice.  There are a couple more revisions, but it is still a nice treat on a cold day.  Since we’ve had many of those lately trust me when I say that this soup was a nice treat.  It’s packed with vegetables too.  Top with the topping of choice such as grated cheese or what my mom does, crushed up cornbread muffins.  In the soup I used Newman’s Own Sockarooni Pasta Sauce which was a perfect addition.

Have a great weekend everyone and I will be back tomorrow with one more post in the challenge.

 

Turkey Vegetable Soup

 Print Recipe 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 pound ground white turkey meat

1 medium onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup celery, diced

1 jar Newman’s Own Sockarooni Pasta Sauce

1 ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp salt

2 cups of frozen vegetables of choice, such as peas, carrots, and corn

1 (16 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes

 

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat cook the first 3 ingredients until turkey is done and no longer pink. 
  2. Add the jar of tomato sauce and next 6 ingredients (through to pepper).  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, simmer stirring often, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Stir in tomatoes and mixed vegetables and return to boil.  Cover and simmer 10 more minutes.

 

Special Notes

Great when served with homemade cornbread muffins!

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I have been lucky enough to be asked to participate in the first family challenge put forth by Newman’s Own® and Foodbuzz.  If you’re not familiar with Foodbuzz, it is a great site for food bloggers to connect and share their recipes, restaurant reviews, and so much more.  And if you’re not familiar with Newman’s Own, it was started in 1982 by the beloved and late actor Paul Newman and his good friend and write A.E. Hotchner.  Newman’s Own is now a major brand in supermarkets and health food stores, and has given all its profits to charity along the way.  They established the Hole in the Wall Gang, camps for kids with serious diseases.  Newman’s Own is not only a great company with wonderful products, but gives a great deal back to the community.

Foodbuzz sent me a delicious assortment of selected Newman’s Own products to inspire convenient main dish and salad recipes.  The challenge was to create a total of 9 recipes which consisted of 3 lunch recipes, 3 dinner and 3 salad/snacks.  My goal was to create recipes that were convenient and family-friendly.  I am happy to announce that I was chosen to be the launch blogger for the Family Bites Challenge.  This week I will be posting a recipe a day using some of the following delicious Newman’s Own products:

Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Sockarooni Pasta Sauce

Light Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Olive Oil & Vinegar Salad Dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Medium Chunky Salsa

To start off the week, here is one of my husband’s favorites of the recipes I submitted.  It uses the Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. 

 

Another thing I forgot to mention, all their products are all-natural!  Another great benefit about Newman’s Own product line.  In this recipe, I marinated the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette and also used the dressing to toss the finished pasta.  The pasta is a great dish which has been eaten in my house as a side dish and as a main dish.  I hope you find it as delicious as my family does!  Enjoy and stay tune to the other Newman’s Own recipes of the week!

 

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta Salad

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini

1 pound  skinned and boned chicken breasts

1 ½  cup  Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, divided

1 teaspoons  Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 ½ cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2  cup yellow bell pepper, diced

Instructions:

1. Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pour 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette in bag with chicken.  Marinate for at least 2 hour, but best if marinated overnight.  Take chicken out of zip-lock bag and discard marinade. 

2. In a grill pan, grill chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Place yellow bell pepper slices in grill pan and grill about 2 minutes on each side.  Once cooled, dice chicken up in small bites.

3. Whisk together remaining ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mustard in a small bowl.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Let cool 10 minutes.

5. Toss together pasta, chicken, balsamic mixture, spinach, and remaining 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill 1 hour before serving

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Couscous Salad

 

My mom requested my couscous salad recipe shortly after I started my blog, but as you can tell it took me awhile to post it.  Sorry mom!  I made this salad a lot when I was pregnant with the girls.  Once I found something that I could keep down I would make it all the time until basically I was tired of it.  It’s taken me a long time to eat these “things” that I ate when I was pregnant.  Other examples are peanut butter and cereal.  I have just started to eat those again and it’s been over 2 years now since I was pregnant.  Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to post this mom? 

Couscous makes an excellent salad when tossed with a mixture of vegetables and chicken.  I have made this salad on several occasions for potlucks in the office or for a summer BBQ.  It’s a refreshing salad that can be enjoyed as a side or even as a main dish.  Take it from me because tonight it was my dinner.  It also tells you something when my mom requests a recipe from me!  I do have to warn you it is a lot of chopping of vegetables and chicken but it’s worth it in the end.  For the chicken, I used a rotisserie chicken that happened to be on sale at Whole Foods.  It’s always great when that happens!

 Hopefully you fine this salad as enjoyable as I have!

 

Chicken and Vegetable Couscous Salad

Print Recipe

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • ½ cup thawed, frozen peas
  • ½ cup green onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup English cucumber, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

Bring the 1 ½ cups of low-sodium chicken broth to a boil.  After bring to a boil remove from the heat and add the 1 cup of couscous.  Cover and let set 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ tsp salt, 1 Tbsp water, and a couple grinds of pepper and blend well.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, peas, green onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, and basil. 

Couscous Chicken Salad

Add dressing and parmesan to mix and toss well.  Then gradually add in the couscous and toss again until well blended.

Serve alone or as a side.  I love it because it’s great to pack for my lunch.  Easy and quick!  Enjoy!

 

couscous veg chik salad

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Tomato Soup

I don’t know what it is about a nice warm bowl of tomato soup that makes me happy.  It always happens this time of the year that I crazy a nice bowl of soup.  Tomato soup is one of my favorites and I usually like a grilled cheese sandwich with it, but this time I decided to make cheese straws.  There are a lot of different recipes out there but I really liked The Lee Bros. version of cheese straws because they aren’t loaded down with butter.  I tried the red pepper that the recipe calls for but I think next time I would leave it out.  Just the little amount that the recipe called for has quite a bite.  It’s up to you and if you like spicy or not.  I also used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose and they turned out great.  Again, it’s what you prefer.  I like this tomato soup because it has just the right amount of milk/cream so it isn’t overly creamy.  This is a nice treat for a fall night.  Of course, you can always have a nice grilled cheese sandwich with your soup if that’s what you prefer and save the cheese straws for an appetizer for a dinner party.  I guarantee they will be gobbled up.

On another note, I hope everyone had a nice Halloween!  Here are my little munchkins in their first trick or treating outing around the neighborhood.  We went along with the other set of twins in our neighborhood.  Can you believe we have three sets of twins and another set on the way!  We only have about 30 homes in the neighborhood too!  Must be something in the water!!

Halloween 2009 130

 

Now for the recipe….enjoy!

Cream of Tomato Soup

Print Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced.
  • 2 Tbsp flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, juices reserved
  • 2 cups reduce-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil or ½ tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup light cream or milk (I used 1% milk)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large nonreactive saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes with their juices, broth, tomato paste, basil, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low cover, and simmer stirring frequently, 15 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf.  In a food processor or blender, puree soup until smooth.  Return to pan and stir in cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

 tomato soup 2

Cheese Straws

Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

  • 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • ¾ cup flour, plus more for dusting (I used white whole wheat)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick.  With a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel; both work), cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each ¼- to 1/3-inch wide.  Gently transfer the strips to an parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least ¼ between the strips.  The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t worry.

Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends barley browned.  Remove from oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

Serve at room temperature.  Cheese straws will keep in refrigerator in an airtight container for two to three days.

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Turkey Veggie Soup

Since a cold front has moved in everywhere else besides South Florida I thought I would post a soup recipe to help those of you battle the first cold weather.  I know when the weather changes the first thing I want is a nice hot bowl of soup.  This recipe my mom passed along to me and it has quite a kick to it.  My husband likes the extra spice but I prefer the milder version.  Whatever you prefer it’s easy to control by either opting for the Regular or Mild Rotel diced tomatoes.  The girls like this soup so more than often I make it with the Mild Rotel tomatoes.  You choose what is best for you and your family.  Stay warm and enjoy the soup! 

Spicy Turkey Vegetable Soup

  • 1 lb ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken)
  • 1 cup medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar chunky tomato sauce (I used Ragu Chunky Vegetable)
  • 1 – 10oz can of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 can Rotel diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (regular or mild)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables (mix of peas, carrots, corn or vegetables of choice)
  • 1 cup frozen diced potatoes

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat cook the first 3 ingredients until turkey is done and no longer pink.  Add the jar of tomato sauce and next 6 ingredients (through to pepper).  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, simmer stirring often, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in Rotel tomatoes, mixed vegetables and potatoes return to boil.  Cover and simmer 10 more minutes.

Great when served with homemade cornbread muffins!

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DSC_0297

 

I like chicken salad and I especially like my mom’s, but it is loaded with mayonnaise….which I don’t like!  I’ve tried several recipes in the past and finally came up with my own healthy version.  I find it super yummy!  What’s even better it’s got veggies in it, and no mayonnaise!  I’ve made this chicken salad the past two weeks and I still can’t get enough of it.  I make it on the weekend so I can have it for the week to make sandwiches or even by itself with a couple pita chips.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water, or maybe it’s because it’s lunch time and I’m hungry.  I like to think it’s just that good and I can’t get enough of it.  Too bad I finished up the last of the batch last night!  I guess I’ll have to make some more soon.  Here’s the recipe and I hope you find it as delicious as my house does.

Chicken Salad with Peas and Herb Mustard Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup tightly packed fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • ½ Tbsp Honey Mustard
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • ¾ cups finely chopped celery
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3  cup shredded low-fat mozzarella

For the Herb Mustard Vinaigrette:

Combine first 11 ingredients (through garlic), in a food processor; process until smooth. Set aside.

For Chicken Salad:

Combine herb mixture with chicken, celery, peas, and cheese in a large bowl, tossing well.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Enjoy!

Store in an air tight container and place in the refrigerator.

KID CONVERTIBLE NOTE:  To make this chicken salad appealing to kids, wrap it up in whole wheat wrap instead of placing in between bread.  Or put out a bowl with some pita chips so they can dip into the salad like they would salsa.  If your child has a nut allergy, simple strike the almonds from the ingredients list.  You can always do half the salad with almonds and half without too.

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