Broccoli Cheese Soup

27 March 2017

This soup is perfect for a cold day, especially served in bread bowls.

Ingredients

6 cups broccoli florets (about 2 heads)
1 cup butter
1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
5 cups milk
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/3 teaspoons salt

Directions

Steam cook broccoli by microwaving in a small amount of water. In a large soup pot melt the butter. Wisk in the flour until blended. Slowly add milk stiring constantly and cooking until smooth and thick. Add cheese and salt and stir until melted and blended. Stir in cooked broccoli.

Garlic Herb Pizza

18 March 2017

This is a quick and easy pizza recipe, with no tomato sauce.

Ingredients

1 10 ounce refrigerated pizza crust
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 475°F. Coat a pizza pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough into pan. Combine olive oil and garlic and drizzle over the dough. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Cook for 13-16 minutes.

Yields 3 servings.

Why All The Recipes

15 March 2017

I had someone ask me off line “why are you posting recipes all the time?” I promise it’s not because I am trying to become the next great “mommy blogger”. I don’t take enough pictures for that…

The reason is a bit of a story, so hang in there.

I am embarrassed to say that back at the beginning of February, even though I had started run/walking in January, I hit the highest body weight I have ever recorded - nearly 280 pounds (or twenty stone for the anglophiles). I had been trying to both exercise and eat better, but something wasn’t working.

In the past what has worked for me is to weigh myself every day, and then track the “exponentially smoothed moving average” to track my trend weight. This gives a picture of your true weight, adjusting a bit for the daily fluctuations that happen. In addition I have used a small notebook to track what I eat.

This time it wasn’t working. Given that I had increased my exercise it had to be my diet. So I bought a digital kitchen scale and was shocked! Turns out I am horrible at estimating portion sizes. On top of that I have discovered that often measuring by volume ends up with significantly more food than measuring by weight. Almost always I was hugely underestimating how much of each particular food I was eating (I’m looking at you Cinnamon Life). So I have started weighing and measuring almost everything I eat.

Rather than write everything in a notebook, I broke down and signed up for MyFitnessPal to track my intake. MyFitnessPal has a huge database of existing foods, and if you are making something only once, you can add individual ingredients and it will figure out the nutritional information per serving. If you are going to make things more than once, you can save a recipe. Even better, you can import a recipe from another website and it will try to figure out all the ingredients for you. This feature is fantastic.

So, that’s why all the recipes. By adding them here, I can link them directly into MyFitnessPal. I also have them available on my phone or tablet, and the kids can find and share them too.

I promise there will be biking, hiking and running updates coming… And so far, measuring and keeping track has helped me lose 2 pounds a week for 6 weeks now.

Cauliflower Soup

14 March 2017

I had cauliflower left over from the Cheesy Cauliflower Bake, so I found a recipe for Cauliflower Soup that I modified a bit and tried tonight. It was another hit.

Ingredients

6 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon dried minced onion - reconstituted
1 tablespoon flour or wondra
1.5 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1.5 cups 1% milk

Garnish

4 teaspoons parmesan cheese Dash of nutmeg each serving.

Directions

In a large pot simmer the cauliflower in the water with the salt until tender. Let cool slightly. Using a blender, puree the cauliflower and water in small batches until the pot is empty.

Using the same pot, return to medium heat and melt the butter. Add the onion and saute’ until tender and translucent. Wisk in the flour and bouillon. Slowly add the milk, strirring constantly. Cook until slightly thickened and heated through. Add the cauliflower puree’ back into the pot. Simmer until warm and ready to serve.

Serve with a garnish of parmesan cheese and nutmeg.

Yields approx 4 1.5-2 cup servings.

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

05 March 2017

Another family favorite recipe. This originated from an old slow-cooker book called Crockery Cookery, but we’ve adjusted it to our taste and preference (more vegetables, no macaroni, and half the meat). We also doubled everything in the original but the ground beef. So you can make a smaller batch by keeping one pound of ground beef and halving everything else, or you can add another pound of beef to this recipe below for a more ‘meaty’ soup.

One of the best things about this recipe is that, even though peeling and chopping the vegetables can take some time, you don’t have to brown the beef first.

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 envelopes onion soup mix
6 cups boiling water
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 cups sliced celery (about 6 stalks)
2 cups sliced carrots (about 1 lb)
4 cups diced potatoes (about 2-3 lbs)

Directions

Crumble beef into a large slow-cooker. Add pepper, oregano, basil, seasoned salt, and dry soup mix. Stir in water, tomato sauce and soy sauce. Add celery, carrots, and potatoes. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Yields approx 12 1-1.5 cup servings.