Summer nights are coming to an end. Get ready for cooler temperatures with this hearty slow cooker minestrone soup.
While I like to use my slow cooker year round, now is the time of year when slow cookers typically are used most. Not only has school started for those of you who are students or have kids but the temperatures are starting to decline. As such, the demand for easy weeknight dinners has increased and warm soups/strews are becoming more appealing. I may no longer be a student and do not have kids, but I can still appreciate a comforting soup on a cool night (whenever those decide to get here in TN).
Red Gold was nice enough to send me some of their tomatoes to play around with in my slow cooker. I figured since we are on the verge of summer and fall why not make a soup that takes advantage of the remaining summer produce? This minestrone is almost like the kitchen sink of soups, made with cannellini beans, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, spinach, rosemary, pesto, and a can of Red Gold’s petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Just wait until those aromas smack you in the face upon arriving home after it cooked all day, you’ll want to dive right in there.
I also happen to have a Red Gold Apron to giveaway to one reader. To enter use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and answer the prompt in the comments section. But wait, there’s more!
Red Gold is hosting a “Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way” running from today September 17 through October 8 on their Facebook page. As the promotion title suggests, they will be giving away two Red Gold branded Crock-Pots every day during for three weeks. Click over to their Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/RedGold.
One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas
This colorful vegetarian taco salad comes together in minutes. Quinoa, black beans, corn and kale will fill you up while the spicy avocado dressing satisfies the taste buds
I go through phases with my food cravings and lately it has consisted of arugula, kale, Mexican food, and ice cream. So why not combine two of them in this healthier taco salad? Other than the quinoa, this vegetarian salad requires no cooking and comes together very quickly making it a great salad for lunch or a weeknight dinner to beat the lingering summer heat. It’s made even healthier by serving it in a bowl of purple cabbage leaves. Crunchy like a tortilla without the guilt. As a bonus it even looks pretty!
One year ago: Mixed Berry Slab Pie
Sweet, spreadable black garlic is the star of this pizza. The whole wheat thin crust is also topped with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and baby arugula.
I should be in Memphis today. Weezer is performing at Snowden Grove tonight and a few months ago I swore I would find a way to get there but as time ticked away I realized it was not fiscally responsible to buy tickets for a band I’ve already seen 3 times – even if it’s been over 7 years since I last saw them. Of course that’s not all, there’s also a Dishcrawl event in Memphis today for bacon lovers. To compensate you might find me jamming out to Weezer all day while eating bacon.
While this pizza does not have bacon, it does have prosciutto which is basically fancy bacon. It also has a bunch of other fancy things such as fresh mozzarella, arugula and black garlic. What the heck is black garlic? It is caramelized garlic which is the result of being heated at a low temperature for about 40 days. So yea you can make it yourself if you feel like leaving a hot plate/slow cooker on for 40 days straight or you can just buy some like it did (I found it at Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, OH). It has the spreadable consistency of roasted garlic but a sweeter flavor. In other words you’ll want to spread it on everything like butter.
One year ago: Blue Moo Cookie Dough Ice Cream
It is possible to whip up a salad in under 30 minutes and have it be both healthy and fun. Try this roasted pear, parmesan & spiced pecan salad.
Last month for the Secret Recipe Club, JJ (84th & 3rd) was assigned to my blog and she made her own version of my bagel for one recipe which looked even better than mine. Shortly afterwards I received the next month’s assignment and lo and behold I was assigned to JJ’s blog this month! After reading her “about” page more she sounds like someone I can relate to: thinks about lunch while eating breakfast, loves to travel, practices yoga, runs, and does both in order to eat cake. I’ve always said that I work out not because of what I eat, but for what I want to eat!
That being said, I do try to eat healthy outside of my dessert fetish and am always looking for fun recipes which are also healthy. Guess it was meant to be that I would be paired up with JJ this month because she really does know how to make even healthy food fun with things such as vegan salted caramel truffles, 5 minute chimichurri sauce, and ombre key lime popsicles. And this salad was anything but boring. A bed of baby spinach and arugula topped with sweet roasted pears, salty Parmesan cheese, and spiced pecans. The sticky spiced pecans are pure gold.
One year ago: Potato Nachos
Skip the rice and go meatless with this vegetarian cauliflower fried rice topped with crispy tofu and a peanut-soy sauce. With all that flavor you won’t notice that it’s not real rice!
What a crazy World Cup game yesterday! I had my bets on Germany but was expecting a close game, as I am sure most people were. After the 4th goal I was completely at a loss for words. By the 6th goal I stopped paying close attention and was attending to other things, therefore missing the final two goals making it a 7-1 win for Germany. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a score that high ever in soccer, even when playing on my own club teams growing up. What a sad way for the hosting country to be booted out of the race. At least they get to play in the third-place game. On the up side, I’m even more impressed with the USA team keeping Germany to one goal in our game!
But moving on to this stir fry. After seeing a couple recipes for cauliflower rice I was sold. All I needed was to get my hands on some cauliflower, and after my broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage U-picking adventure that mission was completed. The texture of the cauliflower may not exactly resemble rice but it was close enough that neither myself nor my dad were overly aware of the substitution. As for the tofu, it was so sufficiently drained and dried that it sucked up all the flavors from the peanut-soy sauce, resulting in some of the best tofu I’ve ever had. If you’re been looking for a super-vegged out meatless meal, I highly recommend trying this.
Oven-fried eggplant parmesan stays extra crunchy when topped with cheese and marinara only just before serving. Served alongside orzo seasoned with parsley.
For how much I enjoy eggplant there seems to be a shortage of eggplant recipes only my blog, only five to date and now the sixth today. Most of the recipes are pretty creative though with things such as eggplant veggie burgers, eggplant stuffed shells, and also eggplant manicotti. I do also already have a recipe for the classic eggplant parmesan but the one I am sharing today is a little different. The first version was layered in a casserole after the eggplant was breaded. This time it is served separately in order to preserve the crunchiness of the breading. Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese are thrown on at the end and placed under the broiler just long enough to get all gooey. Served with warm marinara and orzo seasoned with parsley.
This dish is a garlic lover’s dream. Mini gnocchi (gnocchetti) and asparagus are tossed in a garlic-gorgonzola cream sauce made with enough garlic to keep the vampires away.
Today is National Garlic day and to celebrate I joined up with a bunch of other food bloggers to share recipes that predominantly feature this beloved food enhancer. There’s even a stellar giveaway to go along with it!
When thinking of what to make for the occasion, I immediately thought of a garlic restaurant in San Francisco at which I once ate, which takes pride in how much garlic they use every day. We had garlic seeping out of our pores afterwards and I relished in it, refusing gum afterwards. This pasta dish is my recreation of what I ordered – mini gnocchi (gnocchetti) and asparagus tossed in a garlicky-gorgonzola cream sauce. I used 8 cloves of garlic (which amounted to 1/4 cup minced) in the sauce. In other words, this is not for the faint of heart when it comes to garlic.
Check out all the other garlicky goodness happening today:
- Black Garlic Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream from girlichef
- Caesar Tartlets with Sweet Garlic Butter Crusts from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Easy Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
- Garlic and Herb Lamb Chops from Healthy. Delicious.
- Garlic Bread from My Catholic Kitchen
- Garlic Dill Roasted Potato Wedges from From Gate to Plate
- Garlic Fried Rice from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Garlic Soup with Cheese & Garlic Olive Crunch Bread from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Garlic Trifecta with Quinoa Pasta and Spinach from Peaceful Cooking
- Gnocchetti with Asparagus and Garlic-Gorgonzola Sauce from The Spiffy Cookie
- Heart Healthy Roasted Garlic Chicken Recipe from It’s Yummi!
- Roasted Garlic Butter from Basic N Delicious
- Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza Pockets from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Slow-Roasted Lamb with 40 Cloves of Garlic from Food Lust People Love
- Vampire Garlic Dip from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
One year ago: Strawberry, Mango, and Yogurt Smoothie
Two years ago: More Fudge Less Pudge Brownies
Change up your quiche routine with a crispy hash brown crust baked in a cast iron skillet. Fill it up with broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, and cheese or any of your favorite quiche add-ins for a great way to start the day.
This post is a bit delayed but better late than never! While in LA Kate requested that I make a quiche one day for breakfast which was perfect because I had been wanting to try out a hash brown crust. Since my nephew Luke loves broccoli I knew I had to incorporate that into the quiche as well, which lead to the creation of this broccoli and cauliflower quiche with a hash brown crust! Instead of baking it in a pie pan, the quiche is baked and served in a cast iron skillet. Food is more appealing when presented in a cast iron skillet, don’t you think? If you don’t have a cat iron, use an oven-safe skillet or a 10-inch spring-form pan.
One year ago: Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal
Spaghetti with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts proves that that winter squash and vegetables transcend the seasons. Especially when paired with a Greek yogurt cream sauce.
The weather was finally showing signs of spring sticking around but has suddenly revived its pesky habit of dropping to nearly below freezing today. Here I was getting into the groove of spring attire only to be denied once more. As a result I continue to crave roasted winter vegetables/squash such as Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. With this cold front sweeping the nation I figured a pasta dish with some season-transitioning flavors would help comfort the cold away, especially when paired with a creamy Greek yogurt sauce. I even put some fried sage on top, in all its crispy and falvorful glory.
One year ago: Creamy Pesto with Mini Ravioli, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Creamy wild rice and fresh asparagus come together in this baked side dish. Serve it alongside your favorite cut of meat – it’ll go with just about anything.
Let’s talk plastic bags. I try to use reusable shopping bags wherever I go and have already told my story about them confusing retail but not grocery cashiers, yet sometimes they like to wait in the car instead of coming into the store with me. Such occasions result in a double dose of annoyance because not only do I have to get plastic bags but the cashiers have a habit of using excessive amounts of them. Yesterday I had one bag with a single can of black beans and another with just a block of cheese and container of sour cream. Apparently those three items would not get along if placed in the same plastic bag. I understand they don’t want the bags to break but that’s just silly. My milk was also bagged, which is not a light item and conveniently already possesses a handle. This is why I prefer self-checkout. Alas, I will just bring them back for recycling.
In other news (I need a new transition phrase because that one gets used a lot), I made a side dish! They appear so infrequently on this blog that I get excited when there’s one to share. Especially when it is something that pairs so well with a variety of things. Grilled steak? Definitely. BBQ chicken? You bet. I served it with apple jelly-glazed pork chops and it was wonderful. Wild rice and fresh asparagus are mixed together in a creamy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until bubbly.
One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan