Autumn Harvest Soup | Dishin & Dishes

Kielbasa Bean and cabbage soup


Kielbasa cabbage soup beans

As fall begins with its cool crisp air and the musty smells of fallen leaves and smoky outdoor campfires going in the backyard, I always crave a wonderful brothy soup full of good things.

Fall cabbage soup

This soup offers it all; it’s broth is laden with the rich spicy flavor of turkey kielbasa, and a bevy of autumn harvest vegetables like carrots, cabbage and spinach. The broth is bumped up in health benefits as well and colored fall-like with beautiful tinges of golden turmeric and curry powder.

Kielbasa Bean and cabbage soup

The overall flavor is amazing as well as good for you. This pot makes a large portion for a crowd but also freezes incredibly well for a no-fuss reheat later on in fall or winter when you want to pull it out, thaw it and warm it up some chilly night when hot soup with its soothing ways will warm up even the coldest toes and fingers.

Autumn Harvest Soup

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  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound turkey kielbasa
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 3 boxes chicken or vegetable broth (12 cups)
  • about 1/2 head green cabbage, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 4-6 c. baby spinach
  • 1 T. curry powder
  • 1 T. turmeric
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 2 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, drained and rinxed
  • 1 T. kosher salt (Morton)
  • 1 t black pepper
  • Optional: fresh chopped parsley and chives
  • In large heavy bottomed pan, drizzle olive oil and turn burner to medium-high
  • Add in trinity of onion, carrot and celery and saute about 5 minutes or until onion is becoming transluscent.
  • Add kielbasa and saute until it begins to brown, about5 minutes more.
  • Add chopped garlic and stir for one more minute.
  • Add in fire roasted tomatoes, broth, cabbage, curry powder, turmeric and cumin along with the salt and pepper
  • Simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add in spinach and beans and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Serve with crusty warm bread and garnish with parsley and chives



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    Cobb Salad with Roasted Onion Vinaigrette

    Cobb Salad Recipe 4


    There are conflicting stories about the origins of the Cobb Salad.

    One boasts that one late night in 1937, Hollywood Brown Derby owner Robert Cobb was hungry (or he was feeding Sid Grauman, the creator of the Grauman Chinese Theater)  and tossed together some components leftover from the restaurant to form this legendary salad. I love that this restaurant was shaped like a derby hat and was old Hollywood glam inside.


    Another is that Cobb’s executive chef at the time, Robert Kreis created the recipe and named it in honor of the restaurant’s owner.

    Whatever the true story is, one thing is for sure, this salad has spanned across the decades to become a beloved classic in the salad world.

    The original recipe used various greens like watercress, chicory and romaine and something akin to a classic vinaigrette. Over the years, however,  the dressing of popularity seems to have changed to Bleu Cheese dressing in restaurants across the globe.  There seems to be a few ingredients in common that everyone uses, so here are  what I believe to be the necessary components of a good Cobb Salad.

    mean, a salad this popular is beloved for a reason right?  So it goes without saying that we should not deviate too far from the original.

    Cobb Salad Recipe 2

    Greens – The original called for romaine, watercress and chicory. Everyone has their favorite lettuces, but try to stick with two or three and tear or chop them up to make a nice line down your plate or platter at least an inch or two wide. I favor one soft buttery type like buttercrunch and one crunchy type like thinly sliced kale or spinach.

    Tomatoes – (don’t forget to lightly salt and pepper) they are an important acidic note to balance the richness of the following ingredients…

    Bacon – need I say more? Just…bacon. Crumbled, but not too fine.  All things chunky are good in this salad.

    Avocado – again…no reason necessary. It would be the last known food I’d love to have before I die. A good guac could take me straight to heaven happily.

    Bleu Cheese – find one you like, whether mild or stinky and pungent enough to knock your socks off. This is important stuff.

    Hard Boiled Eggs – Sliced, chopped, however you want them. Just do it.

    Chicken – It just always seems to be on the plate. That is all.

    For the dressing, I find Bleu Cheese to be redundant and I’m not a huge fan of thick, creamy dressings anymore. The salad already has the bleu cheese so I prefer a nice vinaigrette, like the original called for to cap it off and also the acidity again cuts through some of the rich ingredients. I saw a recipe for Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette in Food & Wine magazine and after making it, revised it to my taste and opted to use that as I had a brand new bag of Vidalias in my pantry that I was dying to use.  (I’ve included my dressing recipe with the printable recipe at the end of this post.)

    Vidalia Vinaigrette 1

    We also had our first harvest of peas this week.

    peas from garden

    Man are those lil buggers a pain to shell!

    fresh peas

    I also used some “stuff” that was leftover in my refrigerator in tradition with Cobb’s original creation. Sometimes those thrown together things end up being a culinary masterpiece you end up coming back to time and time again.

    Classic Cobb Salad Recipe

    We ate this salad as a main the first night, then used the leftovers to make a smaller version as a side for shish-ka-bobs the next night. We loved it both nights.  Here is my version!

    Cobb Salad


    Total time



    Recipe type: Salad

    • 2 chicken breasts, (or 2 c. rotisserie chicken)
    • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled in medium pieces
    • 2 hard boiled eggs
    • 1 c. toasted walnuts
    • 4 cups chopped buttercrunch lettuce
    • 2 cups finely shredded kale
    • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
    • ⅔ c. blue cheese crumbled
    • 1 c. frozen or fresh peas (dethawed if frozen)
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 c. fresh or frozen corn (cooked and cooled if frozen)
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
    • 1 large Vidalia onions. peeled and quartered
    • ½ c. olive oil, plus more for brushing
    • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    • ½ c. pure maple syrup or honey
    • 1 t. fresh herbs (I used tarragon)
    • 1 T. fresh chives
    • ½ t. Kosher salt
    • ¼ t. Freshly ground pepper
    1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and grill, then slice thinly. Or shred rotisserie chicken
    2. Fry, bake or microwave bacon to become crispy, let drain on paper towels, then break in medium pieces
    3. Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat just until you smell them then let cool. Chop if preferred (I left them whole)
    4. Chop the lettuces
    5. Chop or slice the eggs (Boil eggs starting in pan with cold water. When water boils, remove pan from heat and let set, covered for 14 minutes. Drain hot water in pan and add cold water and about 8-10 ice cubes to chill, peel immediately)
    6. Run warm water over peas to thaw if not using fresh
    7. Cook corn according to package directions. Or slice fresh corn off cob and boil about 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain
    8. Chop tomatoes and lightly salt and pepper
    9. Chop green onions
    10. Chop avocado
    1. Take each ingredient and make a line from top to bottom of platter or plate almost overlapping with next ingredient. Assemble so like colors don’t adjoin one another for it to be the prettiest!
    1. Preheat oven to 425º
    2. Place onion (cut side down) and garlic on pan. Brush onion tops with olive oil. Roast until onion gets slightly charred, about 45 minutes to one hour. Remove to cool.
    3. Squeeze garlic out of cloves into blender. Add onions and all remaining ingredients except oil and blend about 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. (Dressing can be made ahead 4-5 days and kept in refrigerator). Drizzle over assembled salads


    Want to see what other wonderful food bloggers made this week featuring tomatoes for Food Network’s Summer Soiree?

    The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
    The Lemon Bowl: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
    Homemade Delish: Sweet Tomato Jam
    Healthy Eats: 7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
    Creative Culinary: Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta 
    Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Salad
    Dishin & Dishes: Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
    Domesticate Me: 10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
    Swing Eats: Tiny Insalata Caprese
    The Wimpy Vegetarian: Tomato and Swiss Tart
    Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Pickle
    Taste with the Eyes: Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
    Red or Green: Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
    The Mom 100: Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
    FN Dish: 10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer


    Cobb Salad Recipe



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    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing



    A few days back I bought some Vidalia Onions. I’m like a giddy little kid who reacts to the sounds of the ice cream truck when I see these sweet onions arrive at the store. I go running over, peer through the bags for the one I think most perfect and lay it in my grocery cart with a goofy smile all over my face.

    Vidalia onions are grown in Vidalia, Georgia and are usually only available in late-spring/early summer in grocery stores or by ordering them online. Due to the makeup of the sulfur in the soil they are grown in, the onions are incredibly sweet and some onion lovers swear you can eat them like an apple. I’m not alone in my love of them – these onions which were almost grown by accident in the 1930’s, have their own mascot…

    They have also inspired state and federal protection, have an actual committee,  and are the official vegetable of the state of Georgia.

    I’m not alone in my adoration…see?

    My absolute favorite thing to do with the onions is really showcase them by themselves, like sauteing them down until they are caramel-colored, brown and sugary, and topping grilled meat, tacos or hamburgers with them. I also adore them in fried potatoes. The ratio of onions to potatoes should be 50/50 because…again…they are the star.

    However, I am Fitbitting, and have thus lost five pounds from walking diligently and lightening up my diet, so I was looking for a new way to utilize my Vidalias. We are also picking scads of lettuce from our garden right now, so I thought about a Vidalia onion vinaigrette. I’ve used onions before in dressings, like my Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing so I thought …why not?

    How to make Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

    I had seen a recipe in Food & Wine recently that used Vidalia onions and they roasted them along with onions and garlic but upon making it, it just wasn’t right for me. I tweaked it somewhat by adding some fresh herbs and pure maple syrup and the result was perfect for the Cobb Salads we made that night (recipe will be posted for that tomorrow!)

    I halved the recipe since it’s only the two of us and it was still enough for four large salads with some leftover.

    Start by peeling and quartering one large Vidalia onion. Place it on a lined cookie sheet with three cloves of unpeeled garlic.  Don’t peel the garlic because the skin will keep it from drying out too much while roasting in the oven.

    Photo Jun 09, 3 23 34 AM

    Brush the onion with a little olive oil and pop the pan into a 425º oven for forty five minutes to one hour or just until the onion edges are browning and the garlic is soft but not turning hard.

    After they are done, let them cool and then squeeze the garlic out of its skin, or simply peel it off and put the ooey gooey cloves into a blender and toss in the onions.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 22 30 AM

    Add in 1/4 cup each of apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon), 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (or honey), a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

    Vidalia vinaigrette ingredients

    Pop the lid on your blender and whiz this up for about 30 seconds.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 34 37 AM

    Then take off the inserted round lid on top of the blender and slowly pour in the olive oil.

    Photo Jun 09, 4 40 11 AM

    Blend another 30 seconds or so and you’re done! Pour it into a pretty container to serve it.

    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe

    Because if you go to all that work, why put it in an unattractive serving piece right?

    Vidalia Vinaigrette 1

    I beg you to stay tuned for the Cobb Salad recipe I’m posting tomorrow to put this dressing on. And remember, you can keep this in the refrigerator for up to four days!

    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing



    Recipe type: Dressing

    • 1 large Vidalia onion
    • 3 cloves garlic with skin ON
    • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
    • ½ c. pure maple syrup
    • 1 t. roughly chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 T. chopped chives
    • ½ c. (or to taste) olive oil (I typically like less in my dressings) plus more for brushing
    1. Preheat oven to 425º
    2. LIne a baking sheet and peel and quarter onion. Lay cut side down on baking sheet with garlic cloves and brush the onion tops and sides with olive oil
    3. Roast in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the edges are browning and garlic is soft, then let cool
    4. Place onion and garlic in blender and add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for olive oil
    5. Blend 30 seconds then slowly drizzle olive oil thru top of blender to thicken
    6. Keeps up to four days in the refrigerator


    Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette


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    Tangled Thai Rainbow Salad | Dishin & Dishes

    Thai Tangled Rainbow Salad



    Mr. Wonderful and I recently did a 21-day Daniel Fast plan and that means we are basically ate a plant-based diet for 21 days (I strive now to make it a habit, although adding back in some lean protein later on). I can tell that while the first week was rough, I felt great after that and loved the energy I had on this diet!

    Our reasons for this were two-fold, the first being spiritual and the second being physical.

    Did I mention that we could only have water to drink? The precise list reads “Drinks: filtered water, spring water, distilled water.


    The second night I went to bed with a raging headache from coffee withdrawal. It was awful!

    Anyway, I tried to be more creative than just putting out some boring vegetables so the first Sunday, I made a HUGE pot of vegetable soup to reheat for a few days. That night I wanted an interesting salad to go with it. Poor Mr. Wonderful! He came home from work with this ravaged look on his face and grabbed a fork and dug right into the serving bowl when he saw the salad and exclaimed how delicious it was!

    Now, mind you, he was starving so his comments could be a bit tainted, but really, this salad is a-MAZ-ing!

    If you love the flavors of Thai – sweet, sour and spicy, you will LOVE this salad!
    And I found another use for my spiralizer.

    The spiralizer.


    The spiralizer is a quirky piece of equipment that turns vegetables into noodles. Such brilliance.

    The one I purchased cost about $20 on Amazon but you can also get one that will will work a bit slower for around $10. If you have a julienne peeler, you can also get similar results although it’s a bit more tedious.

    For this salad, I used raw zucchini for my base of noodles. I also wanted to use a raw sweet potato but didn’t have one in the house. I used the smallest noodle plate on the spiralizer and locked my zucchini in. Once I turned the crank handle, I soon had a large bowl of zucchini noodles (I used 2 medium-sized zucchini)!

    Spiralizer Collage

    I also cut up one-half of a red pepper into really thin strips, then cut them across into ½ inch pieces as well as julienne peeling 2 medium-sized carrots. I can’t figure out how to spiralize them for the life of me! I also ribbon cut shredded about 2 cups of kale (2 cups cut). If you think you don’t like kale (you may substitute baby spinach or chopped spinach if you like!), you probably haven’t chopped it correctly! Stack the leaves on top of each other and cut them as thinly across as you can. I added in 1 cup or so of bean sprouts and 3 chopped green onions (green and white). I also added about 1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage but forgot to take a picture.

    Chop veggie collage

    Edamame come now shelled in frozen bags which sure saves me SO MUCH TIME!

    Photo Jan 05, 3 35 21 AM

    I ran one cup of these under warm water to thaw, kind of like you would do with frozen peas for a salad.

    And just for kicks, I thinly julienned two radishes, because I had them on hand. The last thing I did before making the dressing was to chop up a good bunch of cilantro, probably roughly around ½ to 2/3 cup. All of this went into a bowl together.

    Photo Jan 05, 3 57 36 AM

    For the dressing, I used my Thai Peanut Sauce dressing. I left the sugar out due to our fast, but you could make it just exactly like it is. If Chile Oil is hard for you to find (look for it in the Asian aisle), you can just use red pepper flakes.

    Pour the dressing over the vegetables.

    thai peanut dressing

    Toss REALLY well!

    Photo Jan 05, 3 59 14 AM

    Just before you serve it, sprinkle it with some shaved almonds or sunflower seeds.

    Photo Jan 05, 4 01 17 AM

    And then dig in!

    It’s so good. What a great way to cleanse!

    Tangled Thai Rainbow Salad



    • 2 medium-sized zucchini
    • 2 medium-sized carrots or 1 medium sweet potato
    • ½ red pepper
    • 1 c. bean sprouts
    • 2 c. shredded kale
    • ½ c. Shredded red cabbage
    • 3 green onions, chopped
    • 1 c. shelled edamame, thawed
    • ½ -2/3 c. cilantro, chopped
    • 2 radishes, julienned
    • ½ c. shaved almonds or sunflower seeds
    • ½ c. natural peanut butter
    • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 t. minced or grated ginger
    • ? t. crushed red pepper flakes
    • ¼ c. brown sugar or ¼ c. honey (optional)
    • ¼ t. minced garlic
    • ½ t. chili oil (optional)
    • 1 t. Sesame oil
    • 1 c. water (to thin to liking)
    1. Spiralize, julienne peel or thinly cut zucchini and carrots into bowl.
    2. Thinly slice red pepper then cut across the slices to make ½ inch pieces. Add to bowl
    3. Add bean sprouts to bowl
    4. Stack kale leaves and thinly slice across the leaves to make shreds and add to bowl.
    5. Thinly slice and then chop red cabbage
    6. Chop green onions and add to bowl.
    7. Rinse edamame under warm water until thawed and add to bowl.
    8. Add radishes to bowl.
    9. Chop cilantro and add to bowl.
    10. Make Peanut dressing (follows) and add to bowl. Toss salad well and sprinkle almonds or sesame seeds over top just before serving.
    12. In a small saucepan, whisk all ingredients but water for the Peanut Dipping Sauce over low heat until heated through.
    13. Drizzle in water until sauce is consistency of mayonnaise and lightens in color.


    See what other fabulous food bloggers are making for Food Network’s Spring Sensational Sides using spring green!

    Creative Culinary: Mixed Greens with Smoked Mozzarella and a Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing
    The Cultural Dish: Three Quick and Easy Salad Recipes
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salad Greens with Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
    Red or Green: Salad Greens with Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
    The Heritage Cook: Chopped Steakhouse-Style Salad (Gluten-Free)
    Weelicious: Southwestern Salad
    Taste with the Eyes: Teacher Appreciation Farmers Market Salad
    Swing Eats: Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino Romano, and Toasted Walnuts
    Virtually Homemade: Spinach and Bacon Salad
    Domesticate Me: 8 Gorgeous Green Salads for Spring
    Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Arugula and Grapefruit Salad
    Dishin & Dishes: Tangle Thai Rainbow Salad
    Homemade Delish: Grilled Pineapple Spinach Salad
    FN Dish: Why Side Salads Are the Best Salads


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    Asparagus Spinach Coconut Soup | Dishin & Dishes

    asparagus spinach coconut milk soup



    A couple of weekends ago, I was watching a cooking show where the hostess was making spring food and an asparagus soup recipe drew me in, except for the butter and heavy cream, both of which I adore, but could really do without on my hips, behind and other parts of my body, if you know what I mean.

    If you are one of those tall, lanky thin people who don’t know what I mean….it means it puts WEIGHT on me for gosh sake. Count your blessings!

    I decided to re-create the recipe in a healthier sense and oh boy! Mr. Wonderful has fallen in love with this soup!  And the added healthy bonus is just a plus!

    Start out by chopping one large bunch of asparagus into one to two inch pieces. Also, chop up two stalks of celery along with one leek and 2 cloves of garlic. Now, if you’re one of those people who makes a face at the sound of the word “leek” be adventurous! Leeks have a more delicate flavor than their cousin the onion, so if you don’t like strong onion flavor or are cooking a dish that an onion might overpower (like this one!), try using a leek instead. To learn how to cut and wash them click here for my leek tutorial.

    So to start cooking this soup, add two tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil into a large pot.  When it’s melted and the heat is up to medium temperature, add in the asparagus, leek and celery and stir for about ten minutes.  Then add in the garlic and stir for one minute more.

    Photo Mar 28, 3 42 03 AM

    Now add in four cups of vegetable or chicken stock. To make your own chicken stock click here and to make your own vegetable stock, click here. It just might be easier than you think!

    Photo Mar 28, 3 43 23 AM

    Stir this all around a few times and simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring every five-seven minutes or so.

    Then add in in four cups of spinach. I forgot to take a picture!

    Now using a ladle, add in enough of this mixture to fill your blender about half way full.

    blending hot soups

    **IMPORTANT!!!  Any time you blend a hot liquid, let it cool a bit first and then only fill your blender no more than half way full! Remove the lid or the removable clear plastic insert to add things and cover with a dish towel to avoid steam explosions and burning!

    Blending asparagus soup

    Turn this on and pulse a few times and then turn it on high and let it completely blend until smooth, then pour it into a bowl or another large sauce pan and repeat with the remaining asparagus/spinach mixture until all is pureed.

    Next, pour it back into a clean pot and gently heat again over medium heat.

    Photo Mar 28, 4 36 40 AM

    Add in one 13.5 ounce can of coconut (or light coconut) milk and stir and bring back to a simmer and simmer for about five minutes more letting it thicken up slightly.

    If you prefer SUPER silky soup, pour through a fine sieve.

    sieve strain asparagus soup

    I usually skip this step, however, because it’s pretty smooth and I prefer to keep the tiny bits of fiber in for more health benefits!

    Garnish with creme fraiche, or Greek yogurt  and some blanched tips of asparagus stalks for a beautiful presentation!

    Photo Mar 28, 4 45 46 AM (1)

    I was worried Mr. Wonderful wouldn’t like this soup but he raved about it for days. I’m making some more tonight while asparagus low prices abound!

    Happy Spring!

    Asparagus Spinach Coconut Soup



    Cuisine: Soup

    • Ingredients
    • 2 T. coconut oil (or olive oil)
    • 1 large bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 large leek, white and light green only, chopped and rinsed
    • 3 cups spinach
    • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
    • 1 13.5 can light or regular coconut milk
    • ½ t. Kosher salt
    • ¼ t. ground black pepper
    1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.
    2. Add the asparagus, celery, and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
    3. Add garlic and stir for one minute
    4. Add the vegetable or chicken stock, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    5. Add spinach and stir for 1 minute, just to wilt
    6. Working in batches, fill blender to half full with mixture. Take off plastic clear lid but leave on main lid of blender. Cover hole with a dish towel and quickly pulse a few times, then turn blender on and let run for 1 minute to puree well. Pour into a clean large sauce pan.
    7. Repeat with remaining mixture until all your original pot is pureed and in sauce pan.
    8. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 2-3 minutes minutes.
    9. Season with salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
    10. Add the spinach to the soup and let wilt for about 1 minute. In batches, pour the soup into a blender and blend on high until smooth. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender and puree in the pot.) Stir well before transferring to 12 small teacups and serve hot.
    11. IMPORTANT: It’s important when blending hot liquids to only fill half full in blender and leave the top opening open to allow steam to release. Failure to do so can result in hot explosions and burning!


    Love asparagus and want MORE recipes featuring their lovely green stalks? Check out what other bloggers are offering for Food Network’s Spring Sensation Sides below!

    The Lemon Bowl: 20 Asparagus Recipes for Spring
    Feed Me Phoebe: White Asparagus with Herby Sabayon Sauce
    Dishing with Divya: Mock Guacamole with Asparagus
    Dishin & Dishes: Asparagus Spinach Coconut Soup
    Creative Culinary: Grilled Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan
    Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Low Carb Pasta with Asparagus Pancetta and Pine Nuts
    Weelicious: Italian Asparagus Sticks
    The Heritage Cook: Asparagus Caprese Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Asparagus Nicoise
    Red or Green: Spicy Roasted Asparagus & Leek Soup
    Swing Eats: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus with Rosemary
    The Cultural Dish: Asparagus Milanese
    The Wimpy Vegetarian: Asparagus Carbonara with Garlic Crumbs
    Taste with the Eyes: Savory Matzo Brei with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon
    The Mom 100: It’s Simple Roasted Asparagus with Shallots and Parmesan
    FN Dish: The Asparagus Motto: The Simpler, The Better




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    Homemade Vegetable Stock | Dishin & Dishes

    homemade vegetable stock recipe


    Starting in January, you may remember Mr. Wonderful and I were doing a Daniel Fast or a 21 day plant- based diet including no meat, dairy and only whole grains, vegetables and fruits.

    Many of the soups and recipes we made called for vegetable stock.  I have made chicken stock plenty of times (see how to make chicken stock with your leftover roasted chicken carcasses here). I have a shelf in my freezer devoted to housing plastic tubs of chicken stock. I haven’t bought a box of chicken stock in a long time.

    But I couldn’t use that for our fast so I got to work making some vegetable stock.

    homemade vegetable broth

    There is no reason for buying it! You probably have all the ingredients laying around your kitchen.  Oh, and by the way, if you peel potatoes and carrots on a regular basis?  Toss the peels into a gallon sized freezer bag and collect them. They are great to add to any stock to bump up the flavor! Also hang onto your celery leaf tops of the celery if you don’t eat them (I LOVE celery leaves in my dishes!).  Toss them in with the peels and you can practically make stock with the stuff you normally throw out!

    Today I made the vegetable stock with a stock pot filled with cold water (about 3 quarts of water). The easy thing about making stock is, you don’t even have to peel stuff!  I DO give my onions, carrots and celery a rinse just in case they have dirt on them.  Cut the onions in half (peels and all!) and then toss in 4 carrots that you’d just broken in half or thirds. Also break up 3-4 celery stalks. Leave on the leaves! They add delicious flavor! add in some garlic cloves (about 3 or 4) that you’ve smashed with a knife.

    Photo Jan 16, 10 17 13 PM

    I realize that the celery and carrots look “dirty” in the above photo but that’s just dried spices I added. In the summer I would add fresh herbs out of my garden, but here in the cold months of winter I add about 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary and parsley to the pot.

    I took one last look at my vegetable crisper and decided to go ahead and add in 2 scrawny stalks of kale that were getting close to hitting the trash can and a couple of button mushrooms. Even if you don’t like mushrooms, I encourage you to try them in stock. They add a wonderful richness to the broth.

    Then you just pop the lid on, leaving a little space to vent on one edge and just barely simmer it for an hour.

    Once it’s simmered for an hour, take the pot off the stove and let it cool off somewhat. Then pour it through a fine strainer into a bowl.


    You can press on the vegetables with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula which will release more veggie-rich liquid into the broth.

    begetable stock

    See how nice and rich and dark the broth has become? That’s flavor baby….pure flavor.

    Then I pop this into the refrigerator (uncovered) for an hour or two to completely cool. It freezes beautifully so you can put it into freezer-safe containers and freeze it to use another time or if you plan on using it soon, a mason jar or two will work also! Keep it stored in the refrigerator until you decide to use it.

    vegetable stock mason jar

    The difference this makes in any soup you make will be significant. Try making your own broth or stock next time and save yourself some money!

    **For an extra flavorful broth, roughly chop and saute your vegetables in a little olive oil until they begin to brown before adding water, then complete the remainder of steps. Alternatively, you can roast the vegetables in the oven as well to brown.

    Homemade Vegetable Stock (or Broth)



    Recipe type: Soup

    • 4 large carrots
    • 4 stalks celery
    • 3-4 garlic cloves
    • 1 onion
    • 2 stalks kale
    • 2-4 button mushrooms
    • ½ t. dried thyme or several sprigs of fresh thyme
    • ½ t. dried parsley or several sprigs of fresh parsley
    • ½ t. dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 1 bay leaf
    1. Break celery and carrots into thirds and add to 3 quarts water in heavy bottomed stock pot.
    2. cut onion in thirds and add to pot (no need to peel)
    3. smash garlic with side of knife and add to pot (no need to peel)
    4. Add kale and mushrooms to pot (no need to cut)
    5. Turn heat to high on burner just until the pot comes to a boil then reduce heat to where it barely simmers.
    6. Simmer one hour, pour through fine strainer into large bowl and chill in refrigerator one hour.
    7. Pour into freezer safe containers and freeze.




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    Warm Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette

    Warm Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette


    Warm mushroom salad with vinagrette

    This salad was one I whipped up rather quickly the other day. While a poached egg on a salad might seem odd to you, the luscious yoke oozing down through the warm mushrooms and salad are fabulous when they mix with the garlicky vinaigrette!

    Warm Mushroom Salad with Garlicky Vinaigrette



    • INGREDIENTS for dressing:
    • ⅓ c. red wine vinegar
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 2 T. dijon mustard
    • 2 T. honey
    • ½ – ⅔ c olive oil (I lean towards less)
    • 1 T. chopped basil (fresh)
    • 1 t. chopped fresh dill
    • ½ t. chopped fresh oregano
    • ¼ c. sour cream or plain yogurt
    • (for Salad)
    • 2 c. fresh cress, spinach or any salad green you prefer
    • 1 package sliced portabello mushrooms (about 2 whole mushrooms, sliced)
    • 2 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
    • 2 T. parmesan cheese, shaved
    • 1 egg, poached
    1. Add olive oil (slowly if whisking in bowl, all in and shake if using jar).
    2. If using sour cream or yogurt, add in and whisk or shake again.
    3. For salad – Put greens in large bowl or plate.
    4. Saute mushrooms in 1 T. of olive oil until browned.
    5. Scoop onto salad.
    6. Sprinkle tomatoes over top and shave cheese with potato peeler over top also.
    7. Drizzle dressing over all.
    8. In a small saucepan, bring water to bowl, then remove from heat.
    9. Crack egg into glass bowl. Slide it very gently into water. Use a spoon to gather frayed egg whites towards yolks. Let set about 3 minutes or until white looks firm and yellow is still soft.There will be feathered bits of egg in the water leftover.
    10. Remove with a slotted spoon carefully and place on top of salad.
    11. Can also just use a fried egg.




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    Curried Cauliflower Chowder | Dishin & Dishes

    Creamy cauliflower soup chowder


    Every time I see another picture of a recipe for a creamy cauliflower soup, I get the urge to run right home and make it. This weekend I actually did it and I think I came up with a healthy option as well as a delicious one.

    This recipe makes a pretty good sized pot of soup and you will need two heads of cauliflower. One you cook ahead of time and purée right into the broth to become the thickener of the soup instead of cream. The other is chunked up to give it some texture and bite and the entire thing is flavored with a little hint of curry spice that packs a big punch of flavor.


    cauliflower soup recipe

    This soup is one you can have seconds and thirds of without feeling guilty so eat up my friends!

    Creamy healthy Cauliflower chowder

    I am writing this post also in honor of Food Day, which will be here on October 24.

    Food Day is a nationwide celebration of a movement towards sustainable, affordable and healthy food that builds all year and culminates in a day of action on October 24 every year.

    What you can do to be pro-active:

    *Plant a vegetable garden in your backyard or even start a potted garden with easy-to-grow foods like lettuce, herbs or tomatoes

    *resolve to and put into action a plan to introduce healthier foods into your diet. Start with something small like incorporating one or two raw or cooked fresh vegetables into you and your family’s lives.

    This is not just a great cause but should become an added benefit to you and your family to bring health and an active lifestyle for years to come.


    Curried Cauliflower Chowder



    Recipe type: soup

    • 2 T. Olive oil
    • One medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
    • 1½ to 2 T. Red curry paste or 1 T. Curry powder
    • 4 c. Chicken or vegetable stock
    • 2 heads cauliflower, core and leaves removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 (14 oz.) can light coconut milk
    • Chives and/or sliced red chiles for garnish
    1. In large stockpot or soup kettle, add olive oil and older over medium high heat.
    2. Add onion and sauté 3-5 minutes to soften but not brown, stirring often
    3. Add garlic for one minute, stirring often
    4. Add curry paste or powder and stir another minute
    5. Add stock and one had of cauliflower
    6. Bring to boil and simmer for 15minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender
    7. Pour in batches into blender and purée until smooth
    8. Add back into pot and stir in 2nd head of chopped broccoli
    9. Simmer 15 minutes with lid on until very tender
    10. Our in coconut milk and stir
    11. Serve with garnishes of chopped chives and red chilie



    See what other fabulous food bloggers are making with cauliflower during Food Networks Fall Fest!

    The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken with Cauliflower
    Feed Me Phoebe: Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Red Curry
    Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Hash Brown Cauliflower and Potatoes
    The Cultural Dish: Cauliflower and Leek Soup
    Dishing with Divya: Gobi Manchurian
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Smokey Cauliflower Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Red or Green: Cauliflower and Peppers Pasta with Spicy Pesto
    Swing Eats: Cauliflower T-Bone Steaks with Olive, Lemon and Parsley
    Dishin & Dishes: Curried Cauliflower Chowder
    Domesticate Me: Three Cheese Cauliflower Gratin
    Weelicious: Vegetarian Tagine
    Devour: 5 Reasons to Make Cauliflower Immediately
    Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Cauliflower Breadsticks
    Taste With The Eyes: Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Walnut, Cilantro, Mint
    FN Dish: Reasons to Reconsider Cauliflower (recipes)


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    Kid-Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes

    Kid-Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes


    Kids love things that are pint sized, like they are I right? This recipe for a Caprese salad makes it just their size and would be fun to pack in an air- tight container for their lunch box! You can literally whip it up in five minutes for a kids lunch or snarf it down yourself if you choose!! If you have a cherry tomato plant, you know how wonderfully sweet and delicious they can be. Last summer I had more than I knew what to do with cherry tomatoes.

    If you have a dish that you like to cut them up for, you also know how long it can take to individually slice 30 or more of these little suckers! My mom-in-law sent me this trick one day and I’ve been using it ever since.  And if you follow through to the end, you’ll see a quick recipe that I use for my cherry tomatoes.  I’ve been eating this recipe at least twice a week for the past month! Take two lids, like those from a coffee container or other plastic container.  It works best if they’re the same size.

    Sandwich your tomatoes in between them gently pressing down on the top lid.Take a serrated knife that is longer than the lids diameter and while still pressing gently down on the top lid, saw through the whole mess of them at one time!

    Now dump your cherry tomatoes into a bowl.  Put in an equal amount of small fresh mozerella balls.  I am addicted to these tiny ones from my favorite new food store.

    Forward Foods.  Toss in your cut cherry tomatoes.

    Splash some balsamic vinegar over top and then drizzle some olive oil as well, using a little bit more olive oil than vinegar, just eyeball it.

    Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and then chiffonade up some fresh basil and sprinkle it over top.  Stir everything up real well and let the tomatoes and cheese marinade for 15 minutes at least. If you can wait that long.

    This is just a simple Caprese Salad recipe and I’m so addicted to this salad this summer.  I buy a huge box of grape or cherry tomatoes (due to the fact that my tomato crop was ruined this year!) .  It will make several of these bowls of salad. And with this quick cutting method for the cherry tomatoes?

    I can have it at a moment’s notice.

    Kid-Size Mini Caprese Salad in Five Minutes



    Recipe type: Salad

    • 1 8 oz. Container small fresh mozzarella cheese balls (bobboncini)
    • 2 c. Cherry or grape tomatoes
    • 2 T balsamic vinegar
    • 6 T. Olive oil
    • 8 whole fresh basil leaves
    • ¼ t. Pepper
    • Pinch of pepper
    1. Slice tomatoes in half and dump into bowl with fresh mozerella balls,
    2. Roll basil leaves up together like a cigar and then thinly slice across.
    3. Scatter over tomatoes and mozerella.
    4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.
    5. Best if let marinade 20-30 minutes but also delicious right away!!!
    6. ***Optional: add one small cloves of chopped garlic into the mix!


    See what other fabulous bloggers are making for Food Network’s Summer Soirée featuring Back to School Lunches!

    Feed Me Phoebe: Easy Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Chives
    Weelicious: Easy School Lunches
    Virtually Homemade: Brown Bag Pumpkin Chocolate Bars
    Back to (Cooking) School: How to Make Quail
    Dishin & Dishes: Kid Size Caprese Salad in Five Minutes


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    Spring Couscous Salad | Dishin & Dishes

    Cous cous with asparagus and peas


    If you haven’t made couscous before because it sounds fancy- schmancy and hard to make, you won’t believe how easy, and quick it is to make! This little pearly pasta is fairly healthy as well, depending how you cook it up.  And I think I did a pretty good job of keeping it fresh and light.

    Add in some veggies and serve hot, or drizzle a bright lemon vinaigrette over it like I did for this dish and serve it chilled with spring veggies and fresh dressing and it’s a great salad along side some grilled meat on a warm day.

    This is how simple it is.

    Bring 3 cups of water just to a soft boil on your stove.

    Once this boils, remove it from the heat and measure out 1 1/2 cups of it.

    Enter the couscous.

    Couscous origins hail from North Africa, (most heavy handidly in Morocco) and while originally made from millet, most Western quick-cooking versions are now made from semolina wheat that are moistened, then rolled into tiny balls and coated with fine wheat flour. So basically, cous cous is a tiny little pasta ball. The little pasta pearls are delicious, and fun to experiment with. They have a nice little pop in your mouth and paired with a nice dressing or even steamed with vegetable or chicken broth, they are an out of the normal dish to dine on.

    There are typically 3 main sizes of couscous -Lebanese (large), Israeli (medium) and quick-cooking (small). Today, I used the Israeli size. I dumped one cup of it into a heat-safe bowl.

    Then I added one and one-half cups of my boiling water right over top.

    Next, I covered it with a plate (you could also use cling wrap). It’s greener and easier to use a plate! .

    Next, I chopped up one cup of asparagus and tossed it into the remaining 2 cups of boiling water in my saucepan.

    Also, I added in one cup of frozen peas, (use fresh if you can find them).

    Bring these to a simmer again on the stove and let simmer 3-4 minutes. Then drain and return to pot and cover with water and ice to cool down.

    In another small bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon right into the bowl. This is about 2-3 tablespoons.

    Whisk in the honey and then Drizzle in some olive oil -about 1/3 of a cup.


    Oh yeah, whisk while you drizzle! It’s a tad bit hard to whisk, drizzle and snap photos.  Sorry!

    Then chop up some I used about one tablespoon each of mint, parsley and chives.

    Also add in 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. of cayenne pepper, just to make it interesting.

    By now your couscous should be ready and steamed. Uncover it and taking a fork, fluff it up a bit, just in case it’s sticking.

    Pour your vegetables right over top and your dressing as well.

    Mix all of this up with a large spoon. Yummm.

    You can eat this hot, or do like I did, and cover it and chill it for an hour. It’s a wonderful cold salad.

    I think this would be fabulous topped with some grilled Ahi Tuna slices or even a nice piece of salmon. In the summer, serving it all cold would be so refreshing.

    Have you had couscous? If not, can you think of a fun way to fix it? Let me know in the comments below!


    Spring Couscous Salad



    • 1 c. cous cous (dry)
    • 31/2 c. water (divided)
    • 1 c. asparagus, tough stems snapped off, cut into ¾ inch pieces
    • 1 c. frozen or fresh peas
    • One large lemon, juiced (3 T.)
    • ⅓ c. olive oil
    • 2 T honey
    • 1 T. parsley, chopped
    • 1 T. mint, chopped
    • 1 T. chives, chopped
    • ½ t. salt
    • ¼ t. cayenne
    2. Bring all water to a simmer on high heat.
    3. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cups of water in with cous cous in heat proof bowl. Cover with plate and let sit 5-7 minutes.
    4. Return pot with remaining water back on stove and add in asparagus and peas. Simmer 5 minutes.
    5. Drain and cool in ice water bath.
    6. In small bowl, squeeze in the juice of one lemon (2-3 T). Whisk in honey. Whisk in olive oil slowly.
    7. Chop herbs and mix in.
    8. Fluff couscous after 7 minutes with fork.
    9. Pour in peas and asparagus.
    10. Pour dressing over top.
    11. Mix well and chill, one hour.


    Look at what other Food Network bloggers are making for Sensations Sides for Easter!

    :Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Carrots with Za’atar
    Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Broccoli Cauliflower Carrot Salad with Greek Yogurt Honey Dressing
    Dishin & Dishes: Spring Couscous Salad
    The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
    Devour: 6 Easy Easter Sides
    Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spring Asparagus and Pancetta Bruschetta
    Red or Green: Green Bean and Potato Salad with Feta and Peppers
    Virtually Homemade: Roasted Baby Carrots with a Honey Sriracha Glaze
    Cooking With Elise: Ham and Cheese Party Rolls
    Bacon and Souffle: Spring Pea and Mint Frittata
    Taste With The Eyes: A Spring-y Twist on Shrimp and Melon
    FN Dish: Easy Easter Sides


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