Sunday, November 22, 2020

Giada's Lentil & Pasta Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was craving lentil soup this week, especially since the weather has cooled over the weekend. I mean we are still talking mid-high 70s during the day, but the mornings and nights are cool  so it's all relative, but it made a warming lentil soup even more appealing. I like the addition of pasta in this recipe from Giada. 


Lentil & Pasta Soup
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
(Makes 6 Servings)

2 Tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 3 large cloves)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 lb lentils (about 1 1/4 cups)
11 oz low salt chicken or vegetable broth (I used veggie no-chicken broth)
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs
2/3 cup dried elbow pasta
1 cup shredded Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate  a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir, then add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and simmer until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes, Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.


Notes/Results: An excellent comfort food soup--hearty, nourishing and full of good flavor. I like the pasta and lentil combination and with the not-too-soft vegetables, it's a good mix of textures. If you use veggie stock and leave out the Parmesan, it's a delicious vegan soup but the Parmesan is an excellent addition with it's nutty richness, so i highly recommend it. This is a simple soup to make and really tasty, I would happily make it again.


Linking up this Giada recipe to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week.


Now let's check the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here! 


Crafty Gardener is back with a hearty Tomato-Potato Soup and says, "It is a stormy Sunday with rain and wind. The perfect day for some delicious tasty chunky tomato potato I like soups and stews the day after they are cooked, as they are always thicker and tastier. So this soup was made yesterday but will be eaten today. Of course the cook had to taste test it a few times!"


Thank you for joining me this week Crafty Gardener!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Have a happy healthy week!
 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Donna Hay's Creamy Potato and Sauerkraut Soup with Hot Smoked Salmon for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I wanted to change up my potato soup game a little and when I saw a recipe for Creamy Potato and Sauerkraut Soup with Hot Smoked Salmon on Donna Hay's website, I knew it was the one I wanted to try. 

I happen to be a fan of sauerkraut and this soup blends it with potatoes, leeks, black pepper and broth then add a creamy cup of crème fraîche at the end. You top it with extra sauerkraut and crème fraîche, and crumble hot smoked salmon and dill at the end. 


Donna Hay's Creamy Potato and Sauerkraut Soup with Hot Smoked Salmon
Recipe from DonnaHay.com
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
600g (about 1 1/2 lbs) starchypotatoes, peeled & chopped
1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock 
1 cup (180g) store-bought sauerkraut, plus extra to serve
cracked black pepper
1 cup (240g) crème fraîche
370g (13 oz) hot-smoked salmon, flaked
finely chopped dill, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the potato, stock, sauerkraut and pepper and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until the potato has softened. Remove from the heat and, using a hand-held stick blender, blend until smooth. 
 
Return the mixture to the pan over medium heat and stir in half the crème fraîche. Divide the soup between serving bowls and top with the remaining crème fraîche, extra sauerkraut, the hot smoked salmon, dill and pepper to serve.

Notes/Results: This soup is so good! I love how there aren't a lot of ingredients and how both the sauerkraut and crème fraîche make it tangy while the salmon adds a smokiness that adds to the depth. It is easy to put together and is really delicious and pretty in the bowl too. It was great with some soft sourdough today and I look forward to enjoying it for lunch this week and I would happily make it again. 


Linking up this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is "Roots!"

Now let's check the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here!

Crafty Gardener is here with a BBQ'd Fried Egg Sandwich saying, "Fried egg sandwiches are a favourite stand by for lunch in our house. And when the November weather gives you an unexpected warm spell you take advantage of it it and make bbq’d fried egg sandwiches. We have a grilling mat that converts your bbq into a grill. Just perfect for cooking eggs."


Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared her Easiest Black Bean Soup recipe and said, "I enjoy soup all year round but when the weather starts to get cooler, I start to crave heartier soups made with beans. This hearty black bean soup is thick, delicious, and satisfying and one of the easiest soups I make." 

 black bean soup

Thank you for joining me this week Judee and Crafty Gardener!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

 Have a happy, healthy week!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" by Ann Druyan, Served with a Recipe for Apple-Cranberry Cosmos

Sometimes, when this world we live in gets too crazy, I wonder what other worlds and dimensions are out there. That makes me very happy to be on the TLC Book Tour for Cosmos: Possible Worlds by Ann Druyan, a new book from National Geographic that lets me explore earth and space and civilization from my couch. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a refreshing and fall-flavored cocktail, the Apple-Cranberry Cosmopolitan, Inspired by the book's title.

 

Publisher's Blurb:

This sequel to Carl Sagan’s blockbuster continues the electrifying journey through space and time, connecting with worlds billions of miles away and envisioning a future of science tempered with wisdom.

Based on National Geographic’s internationally-renowned television series, this groundbreaking and visually stunning book explores how science and civilization grew up together. From the emergence of life at deep-sea vents to solar-powered starships sailing through the galaxy, from the Big Bang to the intricacies of intelligence in many life forms, acclaimed author Ann Druyan documents where humanity has been and where it is going, using her unique gift of bringing complex scientific concepts to life. With evocative photographs and vivid illustrations, she recounts momentous discoveries, from the Voyager missions in which she and her husband, Carl Sagan, participated to Cassini-Huygens’s recent insights into Saturn’s moons. This breathtaking sequel to Sagan’s masterpiece explains how we humans can glean a new understanding of consciousness here on Earth and out in the cosmos–again reminding us that our planet is a pale blue dot in an immense universe of possibility.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: National Geographic; Illustrated Edition (February 25, 2020)

 

 My Review:

Cosmos: Possible Worlds is tagged as "The Sequel to Carl Sagan's Beloved Classic", and so it couldn't have a more perfect author than the late Scientist and Astronomer's wife, Ann Druyan. Druyan is an author, producer and director who co-wrote Sagan's 1980 PBS documentary series, Cosmos and married him in 1981. Cosmos: Possible Worlds is the companion book to the National Geographic series and is a gorgeous look at science, explained clearly for the layperson. Full disclosure here--I didn't read Sagan's Cosmos, although I did watch the series, and I am only about half-way through Cosmos: Possible Worlds. (It's been a busy week, month, year and I struggled to find time to read the past couple of weeks.) What I have read, I have enjoyed; Druyan writes passionately and evocatively about space and science in a way that is exciting and explores the philosophies behind it. The book is full of the most gorgeous photographs and it is a treat to pick up and immerse myself in a chapter. I am looking forward to the long Thanksgiving weekend to catch up on my reading, including finishing this book. If you are a science buff you'll enjoy this book and if you know and love a science buff, it would make a great holiday gift!

 -----

Author Notes: ANN DRUYAN is a celebrated writer and producer who co-authored many bestsellers with her late husband, Carl Sagan. She also famously served as creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, sent into space 40 years ago. Druyan continues her work as an interpreter of the most important scientific discoveries, partnering with NASA and the Planetary Society. She has served as Secretary of the Federation of American Scientists and is a laureate of the International Humanist Academy. Most recently, she received both an Emmy and Peabody Award for her work in conceptualizing and writing National Geographic’s first season of Cosmos.

I think there is really only one logical pairing for this book a Cosmopolitan. After all you can't beat cosmos for Cosmos. Since it's fall, I wanted my cosmo to have strong apple vibes, so I made a few substitutions from the usual vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec or Cointreau and lime juice.

This recipe is pretty loose, so add more or less of ingredients based on what you like or have on hand. If you don't have calvados (apple brandy), use the liquor you do have.You can also add more vodka if you want it boozier--I just don't drink alcohol very much these days, so I keep it on the lighter side. ;-)

Apple-Cranberry Cosmos
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen 
(Makes 2 Large Cocktails)
 
3 oz vodka of choice (I used a citrus vodka blend)
3 oz cranberry-apple juice
3 oz apple juice
1 1/2 oz calvados (apple brandy
1 1/2 oz lime juice

Combine vodka, cranberry-apple juice, apple juice juice, calvados and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Pour into glasses and serve with apple slices if desired. 

Notes/Results: Crisp, refreshing, sweet but not too sweet and nicely apple-flavored, I really like this cosmo! It takes me back to the Sex and the City watch parties I used to have with my friends when cosmos were in their heyday. The only downside of these is that they are a bit too easy to suck down which makes them a little dangerous. ;-)  I will happily make them again.

 
I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event  being hosted by Marg at The Adventures of An Intrepid Reader. It's a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. Here's a link to this week's post.
Note: A review copy of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.

 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

One Flew Over the Couscous Nest Middle Eastern Minestrone with Chickpeas & Israeli Couscous for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays and #BlendsBash2020

It's a bit of deja vu this week as last Sunday I was experimenting in my kitchen with a Book Blend from the The Book Club Cookbook's Lord of the Fries Garlic Seasoning Blend (you can see my Lord of the Fries Seasoned Pan-Fried Gnocchi in Creamy Garlic Soup here) and this Sunday finds me back in my kitchen and experimenting with another Book Blend; One Flew Over the Couscous Nest and creating another delicious soup inspired by it. Oh well, in my book you can never have too many soups or too many punny seasoning blends!

One Flew Over the Couscous Nest; Couscous Seasoning is of course named after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a novel by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, I think it was a rule that you had to read it at some point in the upper grades high school if you lived in the state, and watch the movie along with it. Wikipedia says that, "the narrative serves as a study of institutional processes and the human mind as well as a critique of psychiatry and a tribute to individualistic principles."

One Flew Over the Couscous Nest spice blend is hand blended from cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and parsley and can be added to dry couscous to be steamed. I like the note on the side of the bottle: "Nurse Ratched would disapprove, but this earthy North African blend is a distinctive match for your couscous, adding a dose of individuality."  I'd also add this blend to eggs, rice dishes, any vegetables and fish or meat skewers.  

My One Flew Over the Couscous Nest Middle Eastern Minestrone with Chickpeas & Israeli Couscous is my Middle Eastern take on an Italian classic soup minestrone which basically translates to "big soup." This is a big soup in terms of flavor and ingredients as it's I have replaced the more traditional white or kidney beans with chickpeas and the Italian pasta with Israeli or pearled couscous. I added in eggplant and zucchini and of course the warm and exotic One Flew Over the Couscous Nest seasoning.

One Flew Over the Couscous Nest Middle Eastern Minestrone with Chickpeas & Israeli Couscous
By Deb, Kahahkai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Servings)
 
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp One Flew Over the Couscous Nest Seasoning Blend, or similar flavor profile
1 tsp chili pepper flakes, or to taste (I used Aleppo pepper)
1 large zucchini chopped
2 medium Japanese eggplant, chopped
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes + their juices
1  (24 oz) jar of your favorite brand of marinara or garlic pasta sauce
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dried Israeli  couscous
sea salt and black pepper to taste
 
To serve: chopped fresh parsley and  yogurt or labni if desired. (If you want to keep it vegan, use a non-dairy milk version).

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook about 10 minutes, until veggies have softened. Add garlic, One Flew Over the Couscous Nest seasoning blend and chili pepper flakes and cook another minute or two until fragrant. Add the zucchini and eggplant and stir to coat in the spices. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, pasta sauce, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Raise heat until soup is bubbling and stir in the Israeli couscous. Cook about 8 minutes, until couscous is tender. Taste and add sea salt and black pepper as desired.

Serve in bowls garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a spoonful of yogurt or labne on top. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: A stomach and soul-warming soup, rich and full of exotic flavor and a little bit of heat. It's thick and chunky and almost stew like, so if you want brothier soup you can reduce the couscous or add more broth to get the consistency you like. I love the One Flew Over the Couscous Nest blend as it is aromatic, warming, slightly smoky and has a little touch of almost sweetness from the cinnamon--it's a blend that makes you take a step back and wonder what's in it. It transforms the soup and takes it up a level. I would happily make it again. (BTW: if you can't find Israeli couscous, you could use regular couscous or even bulgur wheat.)  

This soup is my third recipe created for for #BlendsBash2020. If you missed my Dukkah Earl Grilled Eggplant Toasts with Whipped Feta & Dukkah post, go take a look and see my introduction to Blends Bash, 2020 hosted by The Book Club Cookbook, purveyor of delicious seasoning blends cleverly named after books, television shows, and music. 

Many thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for providing me with this fun and delicious seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the virtual 2020 #BlendsBash party and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.

I'll be sharing at least  one more recipe between now and December as will more than 30 other bloggers as part of the 2020 Blends Bash!  You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here.

Here's a sneak peek the blends i'm featuring from October to December in their adorable packaging. These blends are so delicious and fun--they make wonderful gifts for your foodie friends and fans of the many book, TV and song blends they feature. Check out a list of blends here.

Speaking of soup, let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here this week!

Crafty Gardener is back with some warming Chilly for Chili, saying "When it gets chilly out it is time to cook a pot of chili. I make lots and freeze it for later, as you never know when you need some comfort food. Once the chili is done, serve with some nice crusty bread and freeze portions for later." 

Thank you for joining me this week Crafty Gardener!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

 Have a happy, healthy week!

 

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The What to Eat When Cookbook" Served with a Recipe for Carciofi E Pepe

Happy Friday! Another long and crazy week, that still isn't over and one that had me wanting to stuff food in my mouth like it was going out of style, looking for a little comfort. Since I was still sneaking leftover Halloween candy at work all week, I am happy to have a new healthy cookbook in my collection and I am happy to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour for The What to Eat When Cookbook: 135+ Deliciously Timed Recipes by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., Michael Crupain, M.D., M.P.H., and James Perko, Sr., CEC, AAC. Accompanying my review is a recipe from the book for pasta, one of the ultimate comfort foods.

Publisher's Blurb:

This inspiring cookbook/strategic eating plan–sequel to the wildly popular What to Eat When–offers 125 delectable recipes geared to longevity, weight loss, and success.

In their acclaimed lifestyle guide What to Eat When, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Michael Crupain revealed when to eat foods for healthier living, disease prevention, better performance, and a longer life. The key, they assert, is eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Now, in this mouthwatering sequel, they deliver 125 recipes to put these lessons into practice. From a fiber-rich pasta dish loaded with healthy and fresh tomatoes and a creamy lemon dip and homemade crackers to satisfy your snack cravings to a salmon burger you’ll love to eat for breakfast (yes, breakfast!) and a healthier, decadant chocolate mousse–a treat that also offers hormone-boosting ingredients before you hit the gym. Each dish is paired with practical information about the nutrients and benefits of the ingredients, plus expert cooking tips, what portion size to eat when, and helpful subsitutions. Covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert–and the best times to eat all four–this highly anticipated sequel to Roizen and Crupain’s best-selling eating guide offers a plethora of meals that will get you through the day, and extend your life by years!

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (October 20, 2020)
 

Author Notes:

DR. MICHAEL ROIZEN is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, author of four #1 New York Times best-selling books, and originator of the popular RealAge.com. He is board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine. He’s been recognized with an Ellie, an Emmy, and the Paul G. Rogers Award from the National Library of Medicine for Best Medical Communicator.

DR. MICHAEL CRUPAIN is the Medical Director of The Dr. Oz Show. He is board certified in preventive medicine, a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, and part-time faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining The Dr. Oz Show, he directed food safety testing at Consumer Reports. He is an Emmy award-winning producer and sat on an USDA advisory committee.

JIM PERKO is the executive chef for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and the Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has apprenticed for the American Culinary Federation 1976 US Culinary Olympic Team and cooked for scientists on the 1977-78 US Antarctic Expedition. Perko is the founder of the national award-winning program Food Is Knowledge.

My Thoughts:

I had read just a little bit about the What to Eat when Plan (The When Way) but I am always interested in finding good healthy recipes to add to my reportaire, whether or not I follow the eating plan or not. The book starts with a chapter titled: What to Eat When: The Cheat Sheet which gives an overview of the plan. It's fairly simple with the two major principles being, "eat only when the sun is up" and "eat more earlier in the day." These are things I actually do with a heartier breakfast and lunch and a lighter dinner. There are some basic nutritional philosophies, nothing too radical, things like limiting red meat and pork to 4 oz and 6 oz a week respectively. There is a list of "No! Foods"--mainly added sugars, syrups, white flour, processed foods, fried foods and coconut and palm oil. Chapter Two is called The Kitchen Sink and it's all about cooking and food prep--probably most impactful for someone who doesn't cook much. Recipe chapters are divided by Dips, Sauces, Snacks & Apps, Pasta, Grains and Sandwiches, Vegetables, Soups & Salads, Fish & Poultry and Drinks & Desserts and the back includes a 31-day eating plan and a recipe index by both ingredient and by recipe.  

Here are some of the recipes I tagged to make, all of the Creamas (pureed vegetables like cauliflower, carrot, artichoke, and corn to use as a base for sauces without using dairy. I picked a recipe with the Artichoke Cream to try), Beet Muhammara, Cashew-Naise (a mayo substitute), Shallot, Mint and Lemon Yogurt, Fennel Bagna Cauda and Harissa Spice Blend, Whole Grain Waffles with Chia Berry Sauce, Mushroom "MLT", Cauliflower Masala with Lemon-Scented Millet, Linguine with Mushroom "Bacon," Onion & Tomato (When Way Amatriciana), Jamaican Jerk Jack, Leftover Celery Sicilian Style, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Vinaigrette, Asparagus with Cashew Basil "Aioli", Pesto Green Beans, Lentil Dumplings, Fennel with Coriander & Cumin Scented Tomato Sauce, Creamed Corn, Snap Pea Salad, "Addictive" Quinoa Salad, Roasted Vegetable Ribollita, When Way Black Lentil Soup, Trout Piccata, Salmon Rillettes, Salmon Burgers with Harissa Yogurt, When Way Golden Milk, Chocolate Espresso Mousse, Vitality Smoothie, Grape Escape, and Whole Grain and Dark Chocolate WTEW Bars

Many of the 135 recipes are accompanied by good color photos of the finished dish, and the instructions seem straightforward. There are some harder-to-find ingredients but most things can be purchased at a good grocery store. I did find a few of the recipe choices made a little strange, there are essentially three recipes for salmon burgers/patties--one even being just cooking up a frozen burger--maybe each of the three authors wanted a different salmon burger recipe in there? And there are two different chocolate mousse recipes, again it seems a bit of overkill. Overall, I think this cookbook is one I will use, both for the recipes and the inspiration with the different components. I like cookbooks that give me options and ideas for healthier recipes. It leans to vegetarian/vegan side, even with the chapter with fish (lots of salmon) and (mostly chicken) poultry recipes, which makes it good for me. People looking for the push to eat less meat and more whole grains should find it a good resource even if they don't follow this eating plan. 

So I was going to make one of the chocolate mousses but too much chocolate noshing lately, had me looking for a savory dish. I was intrigued by the When Way take on cacio e pepe and I usually have canned artichokes in my pantry. I did fail in using whole grain pasta as I just had regular linguine in my cupboard, so that's what I used. 

The What to Eat When Cookbook says, "Roman cacio e pepe is a simple yet delicious dish of just-cooked pasta served with freshlygrated pecorino cheese and a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper. Of course, on the When Way, we recommend limiting your cheese intake, so we came up with this version  made with a creamy artichoke sauce (crema di carciofi) rather than cheese. This is a pasta dish we prefer warm, so just make as many servings as you are going to eat immediately."

Carciofi E Pepe 
Reprinted with Permission from The What to Eat When Cookbook
(Makes 4 Servings)

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook time: 10 mins 

Ingredients:  

1 can (13.75-oz) quartered artichokes, drained 
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 Tbsp water
4 quarts water
salt
8 oz whole grain linguine 
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Place the artichokes in a Vitamix or high-speed blender. Add olive oil. start the blender on low speed and increase speed gradually--the mixture is very thick and may not puree if you increase the speed too quickly. Scrape down the side of the blender jar, then shake the jar, and start again as needed. Add water by tablespoonsfuls (up to 3 tablespoons), and continue to blend until a very smooth puree. This may take several minutes. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt until it's salty like the sea. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the crema de carciofi and toss to coat. Add agenerous amount of freshly ground black pepper and additional salt to taste,

Nutrition: Serving Size 1/2 Cup: Calories: 601 kcal, Total fiber: 10 g total Protein: 12.3 g Total Fat: 30.7 g total, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Healthy Fat: 24.3, Carbs: 48.7 g, Sugars: 3 g, Sodium: 61 mg, Potassium: 350 mg, Magnesium: 68 mg, Calcium 30 mg


Notes/Results:  I don't think anyone would taste this creamy sauce and think it was filled with cheese and dairy but I really liked it on the pasta--it is rich, creamy and has that slight "funk" in a good way that artichokes have. And of course I am a black pepper nut. I can see why the authors recommend you make just enough servings to eat fresh rather than reheating as the sauce does get a bit gloppy as it cools, but I had a concern it might be too fibrous and it wasn't at all after blending it for several minutes. I had no problem devouring my pasta and I am going to experiment with heating up and using my leftover sauce. It was so fast and easy, I will make it again and I plan on trying the other purees as well.  

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event  being hosted by Marg at The Adventures of An Intrepid Reader. It's a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. Here's the link to this week's post.

Note: A review copy of "The What to Eat When Cookbook" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.

 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Lord of the Fries Seasoned Pan-Fried Gnocchi in Creamy Garlic Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & #BlendsBash2020

This Sunday was time to get experimenting in the kitchen with my second #BlendsBash2020 Book Blend, Lord of the Fries: Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning. If you missed my Dukkah Earl Grilled Eggplant Toasts with Whipped Feta & Dukkah post last month, go take a look and see my introduction to Blends Bash, 2020 hosted by The Book Club Cookbook, purveyor of delicious seasoning blends punnily named after books, television shows, and music. 


This blend is of course named after Lord of the Flies, the iconic 1954 novel by William Golding. I first read it in middle school and liked its darkness I reread it a few years ago and thought "Damn! They let me read that in 8th grade?!?" I bought a used copy at a book sale to reread and swore that I still had the book for photos but was bummed to fin this morning that I could not find it anywhere! So much for a book in the photo but I promise you the soup recipe will make up for that!


William Golding’s 1954 novel "Lord of the Flies" tells the story of a group of young boys who find themselves alone on a deserted island. They develop rules and a system of organization, but without any adults to serve as a civilizing impulse, the children eventually become violent and brutal. In the context of the novel, the tale of the boys' descent into chaos suggests that human nature is fundamentally savage.

With Lord of the Fries its name, a natural recipe pick would be jazzing up French fries but this peppery garlic blend (roasted garlic, sea salt, onion, and white pepper) states that it is "great on fresh cut fries, baked potatoes, or veggie burgers" (I'm definitely going to try it on all of those things) but I thought it would also be delicious on gnocchi, those plump little potato dumplings. 


What I wanted to do with my gnocchi was put them into creamy soup (a vegetarian version of the one so many people love made famous by Olive Garden), and use it as seasoning in my creamy garlic soup base too--for a double punch. In order to give those little potato pillows even more flavor (and better texture too), I melted butter, stirred in my Lord of the Fries seasoning and pan-fried them until the were a bit crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. 

Of course you could use any garlicky seasoning blend to make this recipe but I recommend Lord of the Fries since that is what I developed the recipe for, and I think the added onion and white pepper make it more complex than plain garlic salt and especially good in the soup.


Lord of the Fries Seasoned Pan-Fried Gnocchi in Creamy Garlic Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 4 Generous Servings)

2 Tbsp butter
medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 celery stalk, chopped small
2 tsp Lord of the Fries Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp celery salt
4 cups broth (I used a non-chicken-style broth paste)
2 Tbsp cornstarch + 1/4 cup cold water
1 can coconut milk or 1 1/2 cups other non-dairy milk or half-and-half 
Lord of the Fries Seasoned Pan-Fried Gnocchi (see recipe below)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and black pepper
grated Parmesan to serve if desired

Heat the butter in a large soup pot. Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute over medium heat about 5 to 6 minutes, until onions turn translucent and veggies begin to soften. Add Lord of the Fries seasoning, celery seed and oregano, and cook for another 2 minutes until really fragrant. 

Add broth and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer vegetables for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are mostly softened. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until completely smooth. Add to the soup and simmer another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk, the gnocchi, and the fresh parsley to the soup and simmer for about 5 minutes more, until the gnocchi is warmed through.

Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy, with grated Parmesan  and cracked black pepper if desired. 


Lord of the Fries Seasoned Pan-Fried Gnocchi
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp Lord of the Fries Brewpub Garlic Fries Seasoning

Melt butter into and large pan over medium heat and stir in the seasoning mix. Add the gnocchi and toss so that the seasoning is evenly distributed. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring every few minutes, until lightly-browned and crisped up to your liking--about 10-15 minutes. (The picture above is at about 9 minutes.) Cover and set aside to add to soup or serve as-is with your favorite creamy sauce.


Notes/Results: Perfectly garlicky, perfectly delicious, with the veggies and the crispy, chewy, soft gnocchi, I may be in serious like with this soup! The Lord of the Fries is an excellent blend of garlic, onion and pepper and with the creamy, slightly sweet coconut milk. It is pretty delectable--especially if you love garlic as much as I do. I am really happy with how this soup turned out and the gnocchi too, which I think would be wonderful in an Alfredo sauce or other mild creamy sauce if you weren't in the mood for soup. I practically licked my bowl clean and I will happily make both again. 

Many thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for providing me with this tasty seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the virtual 2020 #BlendsBash party and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.

I'll be sharing more recipes between now and December as will more than 30 other bloggers as part of the 2020 Blends Bash!  You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Here's a sneak peek at the other blends I'll be featuring over the next couple of months in their adorable packaging. These blends are so delicious and fun that they will make wonderful gifts for your foodie friends and fans of the many book, TV and song blends they feature. Check out a list of blends here. 


Speaking of soup, let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here this week!

Debra of Eliot's Eats brought a soup and sandwich combo, Thick and Hearty Minestrone with Piquillo-Mozzarella Panini. She says, "Love this soup. I changed up the original recipe a bit. I used refried black beans instead of regular refried beans and added a few more fresh herbs and more veggies. This is a keeper. (This was also supposed to have 2 c. of chard and 1 T. balsamic vinegar stirred in at the end. I totally spaced and forgot to add it. It was still delicious.)"


The Crafty Gardener is back this week with Potato Soup saying, "When the days cool down I always yearn for a delicious bowl of soup. For ‘Soup’er Sunday here is a quick and easy potato soup. It takes a few minutes of prep and about half hour to cook."


Thank you for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Have a happy healthy week!