Category Archives: Lowfat

Super Fast Red Beans and Rice

SFRBRIt’s been a very long couple weeks. Finally this weekend, we have almost nothing to do. I couldn’t be happier. I felt it was important to welcome in this stress-free weekend with a healthy and delicious dinner. Of course, with a starving teen at home, speed is life.

This morning, I decided to make a more concerted effort to have more meat free meals. My initial plan was to make some Vegetable Wontons but alas, no wonton wrappers. Plan B was nonexistent. That left me wandering. I meandered around, when the Vegan meats in the refrigerator case caught my eye. I decided to grab some Tofurky Andouille Sausage, veggies, and make a colorful, healthy dinner.

Super Fast Red Beans and Rice
1 cup rice, cooked, and set aside – about three cups
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
I can red kidney beans
2 cups vegan broth
4 andouille sausages, sliced

  1. Saute onions, celery and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until slightly softened.
  2. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, and cooked rice. Heat through.
  4. About five minutes before you are ready to serve, stir in the sliced peppers and heat until they have warmed. They’ll still be crisp. You’ll love it!

If you have never tried vegan sausage, the first thing you will notice is the texture. It’s very different than traditional meat sausage. After a few bites, you should be able to move beyond it. As for the flavor, it was great! You may have noticed that I didn’t add any spices to my dish. You could easily add some salt and pepper and maybe a little cayenne; maybe even some cumin. I didn’t because I wanted to really taste the flavors of the sausage. I was not disappointed at all. And for those in my household who are actually afraid of a little heat, there wasn’t too much of that at all!

With Lent right around the corner, you may be looking for some meatless meals. I encourage you to try some vegan sausage or other vegan meat substitutes. If you’re worried about protein, you shouldn’t be. The Tofurky Andouille Sausage has 29 grams of protein per serving! And it appears to be a pretty good source of iron too!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Mommy Ramen

MRI’ve been very intrigued by a newish trend in dining: The Fancy Ramen Bowl. The prices for this delightful dish can range from $10 to $20. But thanks to some really great boxed broth, you can now make your own at home!

Mommy Ramen
1 box Imagine Ramen Broth
8 oz. ramen noodles
6 oz. pork – I used Irish Bacon
Shredded carrots
Sautéed mushrooms
Bean sprouts – the white ones
Chopped green onion
Boiled egg, slice in half

  1. Saute the pork with a little oil. Set aside.
  2. Boil the noodles in the broth.
  3. When the noodles are done, layer the noodles in the bottom of a large bowl. Add some broth.
  4. Add a few slices of the pork, some of the veggies, and two egg halves.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped green onion on top.

The beautiful about this is that it’s so easy to customize. You can have a whole bunch of everyone’s favorite fresh chopped veggies and they can choose what they want.

My Faithful Assistant was pretty happy when I told him I was stopping to get some stuff to use to make ramen. A friend of his had made some recently and he was a little envious. He did have a little feedback, of course. He said he would skip the carrots next time, and more broth, and a different kind of mushroom. We both loved the bean sprouts though!

Our Mommy Ramen was ready very fast, and it certainly didn’t cost $10 a bowl to make. I can’t wait to have it again!

Enjoy!

Asian Dumpling Soup

adsRemember that time you had that soup at that place? The broth was the perfect combination of flavorful, smooth, and sort of exotic tasting without having too much heat or ginger? Remember how you thought “I can make this at home!” Yeah. No you can’t. But thanks to the magic of Imagine Food broths, you will get darn close!

I’ll try to keep this tale as short as I can. At Whole Foods, my son decided he wanted some salmon candy (smoked salmon that is sweetened with sugar or maple syrup. Very tasty). Next to the salmon candy, there were some Sea Bast Dumplings Intriguing. I remembered a friend at church had told me about some great soup she had at Trader Joes that was simply some wontons in Miso broth with a few veggies. Hmmm. The gears were spinning fast! I picked up some mushrooms, and snap peas and threw together what turned out to be an incredibly tasty soup.

Asian Dumpling Soup
1 quart Imagine Ramen Broth
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
Small bunch of chopped green onions – keep an inch of the green
2 cups snap peas
12 medium dumplings

  1. Saute the mushrooms and both types of onions for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Onions should be translucent.
  2. Add the peas and broth and heat thoroughly.
  3. Add the dumplings and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until dumplings are hot. Be careful not to leave them in too long. They will get kind of soggy and pasty.

I am not ashamed to use prepared broth. I consider prepared broths to be a precious gift. I always keep a few boxes in my pantry. They allow me to make delicious soups which are very important to my existence as a human being in no time at all. I am always very happy to find new varieties and the Imagine Ramen Broth didn’t disappoint. I look forward to trying it again and sampling a more of their offerings.

Enjoy!

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer

acvsWhen I stop at the store on my way home from work, I often text my family and ask them if they need anything. Imagine my surprise when My Faithful Assistant asked for organic apple cider vinegar. ??? What? Why? Because apparently, in addition to teaching Spanish, my son’s Spanish teacher was also extolling the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Alrighty then.

Fast forward a few months and my husband, thanks to a health conscious co-worker,  was also on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon. We have a big bottle of the stuff and it goes in tea with honey and lemon, juice, water, and recently, we concocted this delightful refreshing spritzer.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer
1/2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar – use more if you want!
4 ounces 100% fruit juice – We used pomegranate juice
8 ounces seltzer
Ice

  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and juice in a tall glass.
  2. Add ice then seltzer.
  3. Stir gently and enjoy!

Now apple cider vinegar is an acquired taste so I would recommend you ease yourself into this. Get used to the bite of the vinegar and the tingle in your throat and sinuses.

I have no idea if any of the health benefits claimed are actually real benefits backed by science. You can read the claims and decide for yourself what you want to believe. We drink it more often when I’m feeling a cold coming on because I find it soothes my sore throat.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

psssOh my darling soup, how I’ve missed you!

You can call it laziness, or complete inability to adjust to a new routine, but I have really fallen apart in the kitchen. Dinner has turned into a bunch of adventures in heating, combined with the occasional sandwich and too much Chick-Fil-A.

When I realized that my entire Sunday from 1:00 on was going to be free, I quickly scanned the shelves to see what soup creation I could make. And since my main dinner companion these days is My Faithful Assistant, the options were great. He loves soup as much as me. We finally settled on Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup.

Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup
Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 medium all purpose potaotes, chopped
1 quart broth of choice
3 sweet Italian sausage links, cooked, drained and chopped
2 cups frozen chopped spinach

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the chopped potatoes and broth. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Use a potato masher (or a big spoon) to mash some of the potatoes.
  4. Add the sausage and spinach.
  5. Simmer for at least another 20-30 minutes until hot.

I love a hearty soup, but I don’t want to feel so full that I can’t move. This soup was perfect. Since I used turkey sausage, it wasn’t heavy but it warmed me through. If you are interested in something a little more decadent, you can add 1/2 cup cream and 5 slices of chopped bacon and turn your soup into Tuscan Sausage and Potato Soup.

We are all tired around here and we can’t wait for winter break and the opportunity to have our whole family in one place and for everyone’s schedule to calm down. We are in the home stretch, people. A nice pot of soup may be just the inspiration you need to make it through to your winter break, too.

Enjoy!