Meat Lovers Potato Soup

This recipe was the result of an experiment, as usual. I wanted to make potato soup for the whole family, but I just have a hard time sticking to recipes that I find, not to mention, I like a lot of meat in my soups. So, I originally planned to make this potato soup recipe, but I changed it quite a bit.

This soup is actually more of a Cajun version. I was born in Lafayette, LA to a mother who passed down gumbo and other Cajun recipes that are my favorite recipes to cook (I will be adding a gumbo recipe soon).  But my uncle, who was raised in southern LA, made a soup just like this, although I don’t know the name of it. I actually did not realize I was replicating it until my mom told me that it tasted just like his!  So, Cajun potato soup, meat lover’s potato soup; whatever you would like to call it, here is a nice fall/winter soup to enjoy in this cold weather!

A few helpful notes: I did forget to add the onion in the picture, so please don’t leave that out of your ingredients list! It will change the flavor.  Also, if you are making this for the whole family, try adding a little more rice milk for the little ones (you can add it in their bowl). It makes it more “creamy” and a little more sweet. My daughter LOVES it this way; she loves the “juice”!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 TBS avocado oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup GF all-purpose flour (I use a garbanzo flour mix)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 small stalks (or 3 large stalks) of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 half slices of bacon (4 long slices straight from the package), cooked lightly and cut into small pieces
  • 6 medium/large red potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups original, enriched rice milk
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly chopped
  • Seasonings:
    • a pinch of saffron
    • 1/2 teaspoon basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for at least 1 minute. Add the avocado oil and heat for another minute.

Meanwhile, mix the flour with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and set aside.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery and 1/2 teaspoon of salt** to the heated skillet. Saute for at least 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and the onions translucent.

Now add the minced garlic and bacon pieces and saute for about 3 minutes, until the garlic sends off a nice aroma and the fat begins to seep out of the bacon.

Add the potatoes, turkey sausage, the remaining chicken broth, the rice milk, the chicken broth/flour mixture*, and the seasonings.

Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

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NOTES:

* The original recipe says to add the flour mixture after the potatoes cook. I made this in a hurry and accidentally added it first, but the soup came out really good, so for this recipe you will want to add it with the rest of the chicken broth and let it all cook together.

** There will be a total of at least 1 teaspoon of salt. Some added to the vegetables and some with the seasonings. You can also add more to taste. The sea salt that I use is very flavorful, so I do not need to use as much as I would if I were using regular iodized salt. If you are using regular salt, you will need to add more.

 

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Winter Comfort Soup

This is a recipe for the whole family (including those with food allergies). It is dairy, soy, nut, wheat, and egg free, packed with vegetables and fats for those growing little ones (or for comfort for us adults in the winter time :-D), and it is actually really easy to make.

This recipe came about because I went into the grocery store hungry.  Yeah, bad idea, I know.  I thought soup sounded nice and I wanted to add more of a variety of vegetables to our diets, so I wandered around and ended up with what I am calling Winter Comfort Soup!  My family and In laws all loved it!  Most importantly, my toddler LOVES it!  It is very rare to find something that she actually loves to eat, so when I do, it is a huge victory!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large parsnip, chopped
  • 1/2 large daikon radish, chopped (2 piled up cups)
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bag of mixed mini potatoes quartered (see picture above for size reference)
  • 1/2 large head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard leaves, chopped
  • 15 cloves of garlic sliced (about half a garlic head)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 4 slices of uncured bacon
  • 2 lbs ground pork sausage (I used “Country Style” flavor)
  • 12 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 cups unsweetened rice milk

Seasoning Mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (or cayenne)
  • 4 big pinches of Saffron
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 1/2 TBS onion powder
  • 1 1/2 TBS garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

Add the parsnip, daikon radish, and garlic into a 10 quart pot with the chicken broth. Heat on medium-high heat until boiling, then reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes before adding more ingredients.

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In a large sauce pan (I used a wok-style pan), cook the bacon until it is no longer pink (do not cook until it is crispy). Remove the bacon, slice into small pieces, and set aside.

WITHOUT draining the bacon grease, add the onion to the same saucepan and saute over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes, or until semi-translucent.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes, cabbage, Swiss chard, and seasoning mix to the 10 quart pot and mix well. Continue to cook on medium or low-medium heat.

Add the ground pork sausage to the pan with the onions and cook until the meat is almost browned. Then add the slices of bacon and continue cooking until the sausage is completely browned and thoroughly cooked.

Drain the meat in a metal strainer, and add to the 10 quart pot, along with the green onions.

Continue to cook until potatoes are tender, but not mushy, and until the greens are soft (about 10-15 minutes). The total cooking time should not be more than 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner and add the rice milk. Stir to combine, wait about 2 minutes, and serve.

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If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please let me know and please share! Check out more recipes using the tabs on the right. Thanks for visiting!

The BEST Dinner for a Picky Toddler

If your toddler is as picky as mine, you know it can be really hard to get them to actually eat AND enjoy their dinner. My daughter will eat fruits all day long, but nothing else really makes her just enjoy what she is eating mike fruits do.  Until I found the following recipe: Moroccan Style Lamb & Chickpeas.

As I mentioned in a previous post, our dietitian stressed the importance of zinc and iron in a child’s diet who has as many dietary limitations as my daughter does and she thus recommended adding lamb to her diet.  Well, my daughter does not really like meat… unless it’s bacon, or turkey in broth smothered in Tony Chachares.  So I wanted to try something new with the lamb; something sweet.

This recipe is much different than anything I would normally cook for myself because it is a sweet type of meal, but sweet is what toddlers usually like, right? Not to mention, it’s packed with nutrition. It’s a complete meal (just add a grain, like rice).  And it’s actually really easy to make.

So I tried it. The only differences were that I used:

Avocado oil instead of olive oil to add some extra fat

Sliced grapes instead of raisins (I was out of raisins)

Regular chicken broth instead of fat-free

And I cooked it a little longer at the end so the cilantro would cook down and not be a noticeable texture

Here is how mine looked:

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After I made this dish mostly according to the recipe, I mixed in a little bit of white rice, and served it to my one and a half year old, and sure enough, she LOVED it! She ate this dinner like it was the best dinner she has ever had!  Of course, I was gleaming at this point with utter excitement because this NEVER happens!

So, for those parents whose kids have food allergies–that have as hard a time trying to find good, enjoyable food for your little ones as I do; try this recipe! It’s easy to make, and I hope your child will enjoy it as much as mine did!

 

Thanks for visiting, and if you need more ideas on what to make for that sensitive little one, please check out my recipes and ideas tabs to the right. Thanks!

Grape & Veggie Muffins (GF, SF, DF, NF, EF)

These muffins are a modified version of this recipe. I usually have a hard time making the same thing twice… I like to experiment :-). But I also wanted to add some veggie content to these, so I changed it up a bit, and these came out so fluffy, and SOO moist!

They are packed with protein and nutrients from the fruits and veggies. As usual, if you enjoy these, please let me know! I want to hear about it! And please share, thanks!

 

INGREDIENTS:

Veggie Blend- 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup chopped zucchini blended with 2 TBS of avocado oil (should be roughly 1 cup of liquid when blended)

2 cups GF all purpose flour (garbanzo and fava bean flours w/ tapioca, sorghum, and potato starch)

½ cup Garbanzo flour

2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup honey (I use local, raw honey for more flavor)

1/2 ripe banana (heating up frozen bananas works best)

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 cup avocado oil

1 cup rice milk

1 1/2 cups small grapes (concord? I used some that were given to us from our friends’ vine; I’m not sure what they are exactly. I used mostly the purple sweeter ones and only half a cup of the more sour green ones)

1/2 cup blackberries, sliced in half

 

DIRECTIONS:

Blend the veggies and oil together until they become a fairly smooth liquid (I use my blender).

Pour in a medium size mixing bowl and add the honey, vanilla, avocado oil, and banana (mashed) to the veggie mixture. Mix with a handheld mixer until smooth. Then add the rice milk and mix again until blended.

Pour both flours and the baking powder in a separate, larger bowl and mix well.

Now add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix well with a handheld mixer. (the key here is actually to OVER mix, NOT under mix. GF flours need a lot of mixing).

Add the grapes and mix gently to combine it all together.


NOW preheat your oven to 375 (F). The batter needs to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Meanwhile, line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups or do what I do and grease it with canola oil. Then after 30 minutes, add the batter until each cup is about 3/4 full.

You will most likely have extra batter–I did–so I took a loaf pan (9×5-ish), greased it, added a thin layer of batter to the bottom of it, and baked it with the muffins. It made a nice little flat cake.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown (30-32 minutes with my oven)
Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pan. DON’T check to see if the insides are still moist. They will be until they sit out for a while and the dough fluffs up. That test doesn’t work with the GF flour that I use.

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These were our favorite grape muffins by far!  They came out so moist and do fluffy! If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please let me know and please share! Thanks!

Allergy-Friendly Grape Muffins (GF, DF, NF, EF, SF)

These muffins are SUPER allergy friendly! They are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, and soy free (Whew!) for my daughter who has some intense food allergies. I am no expert cook, but I have performed many experiments trying to make nutritious food that my daughter can enjoy. These are a result of that.

They’re are packed with protein (I use a garbanzo and fava bean GF flour mix, and add more garbanzo flour) and fats, which little ones need for development (avocado and canola oil, or oil of your choice).

I do not have any pictures yet because I made these as an experiment and I wasn’t sure if they would turn out. When I make them again, I will add pictures. If you make them and like them, please leave feedback for me! I want to hear about it! Thanks!

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Gluten-free all purpose flour
½ cup Garbanzo Flour
2 3/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ cup honey (I use local, raw honey for more flavor)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ cup avocado
½ banana (heating up frozen bananas works best)
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup rice milk
1 ¾ cups small grapes (concord? I used some that were given to us from our friends’ vine; I’m not sure what they are exactly)

DIRECTIONS:

Pour both flours and the baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl, mush up the banana and avocado together until it becomes a mushed up soupy, glob of slop, then add the canola oil to the slop and mix some more.

Measure out the honey and vanilla and pour into the flour mixture. Add the oil, avocado, banana mixture also and mix into the flour with a handheld mixer.

Add the milk and mix very thoroughly with a handheld mixer (the key here is actually to OVER mix, not under mix. GF flours need a lot of mixing).
Add the grapes and mix gently to combine it all together.

NOW preheat your oven to 375 (F). The batter needs to sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you add it to the muffin pan.
After 30 minutes, either use paper muffin cups or do what I do and grease your muffin pan with canola oil. Then add the batter. I fill it almost to the top of each cup.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown (30-32 minutes with my oven)

Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.   DON’T check to see if the insides are still moist. They will be until they sit out for a while and the dough fluffs up. That test doesn’t work with GF flour.

 

This recipe was adapted from the original recipe here, Grape Muffins

To see a different version of this recipe with added veggies click here.