Healthy White Bean Dip

No need to spend a lot of money on fancy store-bought bread spreads or dips when you can make this at home yourself. 


Ingredients:

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 15-oz canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (you could substitute this with red wine vinegar, sherry wine or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Sauté the garlic in olive oil in a pan over medium heat for approx 10 minutes. Be sure to not burn it. 
  2. Transfer garlic and oil to a food processor. Add the beans, vinegar, and salt. Purée until the mixture is smooth. 
  3. Spoon the mixture in a bowl and serve with toasted pita, crackers, vegetables, toast or crostini. 

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Lemon Poppyseed Bread

This bread has the perfect balance of flavors! It’s one of my family’s favorites! The tangy lemon flavor is balanced with a sweet glaze that’s poured on the top. It’s easy to make!


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Zest of one lemon and its juice 
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Mix sugar, eggs and butter. 
  3. Add in flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. 
  4. Add in milk and mix well. 
  5. Add in poppy seeds and lemon zest. Mix well. 
  6. Pour batter in a greased 9″ by 5″ loaf pan. 
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. 
  8. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes before popping it out. 
  9. Mix together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar to make a glaze. Remove the bread from the pan. Pour the glaze over the warm bread (make sure you poke holes in the bread first so it can absorb more of this delicious glaze). 

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Potato Leek Soup

I love having a bowl of this simple creamy potato leek soup especially during the cold winter months. It’s very easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 leeks (white parts only) sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Put everything except the heavy cream in a large pot. Bring it to boil and keep cooking for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. 
  2. Remove the bay leaf from the pot. 
  3. Use an immersion blender and blend everything inside the pot. 
  4. Add 1 cup heavy cream and let it simmer until the soup has thickened, approximately 20 minutes. 

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Borscht Soup

Borscht soup is a staple in my home. What’s a borscht? It’s a Russian beet soup! I’ll have to warn you, it’s really yummy and healthy. You’ll need an extra large soup pot since this recipe can easily serve 10-12 people. I usually make a very large batch of this soup because my family loves it that much!


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef (can use any kind sirloin, stew meat, etc. You could replace with pork) 
  • 14 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp salt 
  • 2 large or 3 medium beets, washed, peeled and grated
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • small cabbage, cored and sliced
  • Large can diced tomatoes (28oz)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Vegeta All Purpose Seasoning (you can use your favorite kind of all purpose seasoning instead)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Sour cream

Directions:

  1. Wash meat in cold water, cut into small 1″ pieces and and place in a large soup pot with 14 cups cold water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring it to a boil and remove the foam crud as soon as it boils (if you wait, it will be hard to get rid of the crud). Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 45 minutes – 1 hour. 
  2. Place grated beets in a large skillet with 4 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp vinegar. Salute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. Mix well. Sauté until beets soften (approx 10 mins). Remove beets from pan. 
  3. In same skillet (don’t need to wash it), sauté diced onions in 1 Tbsp butter for few minutes. Add grated carrots and sauté for another 5-7 minutes until it’s soft. Add oil if it’s too dry. 
  4. Once meat has cooked for 45 minutes to 1 hour, you can add diced potatoes. Let it cook for ten minutes. Then add cabbage, diced tomatoes, beets, carrots and onions to the pot. Let it cook for 15 minutes. 
  5. Add Vegeta (all purpose seasoning), garlic, bay leaves, pepper and dill. 
  6. Let it cook for another 15 or so minutes. 

To serve, add a dollop of sour cream on top of the bowl. 

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Chicken Lombardy

This chicken will quite possibly be the BEST you’ve ever eaten. First of all, I love cooking chicken with wine. For this specific recipe, we use Marsala wine. And who doesn’t like cheese? This recipe is worth the try and you will not regret it!

chicken-lombardy

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Parmesan and Panko

This is something I can’t get enough of. The parmesan panko mixture forms a crunchy coating that is delicious with the mildly sweet squash. You could also substitute the lemon zest for minced garlic if you prefer it to be garlicky.    Read the rest of this entry »

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Easy Pickled Jalapeños 

New to my vegetable garden this year are those jalapeño peppers. I had to find a way to use up those hot peppers and pickling them is a good way to use them all up.
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