Posts tagged lowfat

Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato soup in bowl

Growing up I never liked tomato soup. Maybe it’s because tomato soup so often is thought of–and served–as the thin, salty version that comes right out of a can. A few weeks ago my husband and I escaped for a brunch date at Nosh Eatery just outside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the soup of the day? Tomato soup. We decided to give it a try.

At NoshSimple, fresh and soothing the tomato soup at Nosh had a thicker consistency perfect for dipping when paired with rye sourdough crisped with sharp American cheese inside. We’ve started a tradition since then of making tomato soup with grilled cheese every Saturday. We’ve finally come close to Nosh’s.

Tomato soup at Nosh

Next step? How to entice kids to give it a try. My first approach is not to overwhelm my kids with a big bowl. I gave them a small amount and encouraged them to use it to dip. So far, my kids have gradually been asking for more soup. It helps that we’ve been having it…every weekend.

Tomato soup for kids

 

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes including cooking

Servings: 6-8

1 white onion, diced

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 28-oz. cans whole plum tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)

2 cups chicken broth

1 clove garlic, minced

4 tbsp. fresh basil, divided

1/4 tsp. sugar or agave

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (mild) or cayenne powder (if you like it hot)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Optional

Fresh tomatoes, diced

Prepared pesto

Parmesan cheese

 Tomato soup cooking

Directions

  1. Bring the oil to medium heat in a large soup pot and add the onions. Saute until translucent (about 5 minutes) – I cover the pot for the last 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in both cans of whole tomatoes along with 3 tbsp. basil. Heat until it just simmers. Use a mixing stick to puree the tomatoes.
  4. Add in the chicken broth and fresh diced tomatoes (if using). Blend again with the mixing stick.
  5. Sprinkle with seasonings listed and adjust to taste. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with a dollop of pesto and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and the remaining fresh basil.
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Lowfat, 2-ingredient brownies

Pumpkin browniesI wasn’t expecting much when I read about Yum Yum Brownies on Hungry Girl. Canned pumpkin plus chocolate cake mix. Sounded like Thanksgiving mixed with Ghirardelli. Eww. But, I had to give it a try–I mean, there’s chocolate in it. Add to that, I happen to love canned pumpkin–I never had it as a kid so now it seems like almost a delicacy (go ahead, laugh).

 

Looking online I discovered chocolate-pumpkin desserts have quite a following. I opted for Cookies & Cups version–one family-size box brownie mix and one can Libby’s Pumpkin. That’s it. Well, almost. I tweaked the recipe just a little bit.

 

A few notes:

  • The brownies end up with a fudge-like consistency. Nothing wrong with that! I cut them into squares and put them in the fridge. I think they’re better cold.
  • If you didn’t know there was pumpkin in the brownies, you’d wouldn’t guess it.
  • My tween loved these brownies–maybe because she convinced me to let her have them for breakfast, “They’re healthy mom, right?”

 

Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes + baking

 

Ingredients

1 family-sized box brownies (my fav is Duncan Hines)

1 can pumpkin puree

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl blend together the brownie mix and the pumpkin puree with a hand-held blender. Now, here’s where I had to do a few tweaks–I also added in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon chocolate extract.
  3. Coat a 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Spread the batter onto the baking dish and cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Pumpking brownies with a bite

 

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Kid-pleasing zucchini chocolate chip muffins

Do you have a favorite zucchini bread recipe? I had some extra zucchini on hand this week that needed a home so I used a quick bread recipe from Eating Well. But instead of bread–which takes around an hour to bake–I made muffins instead shaving a good 40 minutes off the cook time.

My kids ate these muffins as dessert after dinner, as treats for school, and after school snacks… Yeah, they really liked these. My youngest even told me these were “the best kiwi muffins, ever.”

Recipe

Courtesy of Eating Well

Prep time: 15 minutes + 15 cooking

Servings: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini; I used my Cuisinart)
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

My additions (opt.):

1 tablespoon ground flax

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in another bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just moistened.
  5. Stir the chocolate chips and zucchini into the batter. (You can also stir in the optional additions here too.)
  6. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter.
  7. Bake for around 15 minutes or until just browned (insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin to test for doneness, if the toothpick comes out clean, your muffins are done!).
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