Unabashedly Uncorked - YOUR DAILY DOSE OF EPH

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food! for the week! this is progress, people!!!

I finally decided to make life a tad easier on myself. No, I didn’t pick out all my outfits for the next 5 [work] days. Nor did I break out the iron and smooth out all my clean, wrinkly clothes (and pillowcases) yesterday afternoon. 

Come to think of it- I still have quite a bit on my “to do” list at the homestead. 

But at least I have dinner pre-prepped for the next few nights. As I saute and sliced my goodies for dinner last night, I decided that I might as well kill TWO dishes with one stone & keep my fridge stocked for the next couple of days. Because as I quipped last week, it’s been a slight struggle getting dinner cooked and on the table before 9 pm in the H house as of late. 

Here’s to hoping that these 2 goodies— Chicken [& biscuits!] Pot Pie & my favorite Italian soup (which Blake doesn’t enjoy quite as much as I do; more for me, biscuits for him)— allow me less chaos at feeding time.

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White Bean, Pancetta, & Tortellini Soup 

The players:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bundle of Swiss chard, well rinsed and cored
  • 6 cups organic, low-sodium chicken broth (I always use Pacific)
  • 1  9-oz package cheese tortellini
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The play-by-play: 

In a large soup pot [dutch oven] heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the pancetta and cook until crisp. Then add the carrots, shallots, and garlic and cook until veggies are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the beans, Swiss chard, and broth. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to the heat to a simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Add the tortellini and cook until pasta is tender.  Season with pepper and serve.

[photo c/o Cookin Canuck & recipe (slightly adapted) from a Giada original found in Everyday Pasta

Relevant to the grilled cheese sandwich I devoured last night for dinner [yes, I’m 7 years old]
this would have been the perfect plate partner. 
Olive Garden-esque Minestrone Soup
The players: 

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup frozen cut green beans
1/4 cup celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained
1/2 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1/3 cup small pasta shells

The play-by-play: 

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and saute onion, celery, garlic, zucchini and green beans, about 5 minutes.  The add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water and spices.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, allowing soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.  
Add baby spinach leaves and pasta, cooking an additional 20 minutes, then serve.
[via postgradslump; eat-yourself-skinny]

Relevant to the grilled cheese sandwich I devoured last night for dinner [yes, I’m 7 years old]

this would have been the perfect plate partner. 

Olive Garden-esque Minestrone Soup

The players: 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1/4 cup celery, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained
  • 1/2 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup small pasta shells
The play-by-play: 
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and saute onion, celery, garlic, zucchini and green beans, about 5 minutes.  The add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water and spices.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, allowing soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.  

Add baby spinach leaves and pasta, cooking an additional 20 minutes, then serve.

[via postgradslumpeat-yourself-skinny]

lightened up pasta y fagioli

I was catching up on a little online reading yesterady [blog browsing you could call it] and happened across Emily’s version of pasta y fagioli soup. And being a rainy Wednesday evening, I thought last night would be the perfect time to try this hearty meal.

Y’all, I could have licked my bowl clean!

In fact- I did [don’t judge]. And my husband that doesn’t quite love soup in the same manner I do went back for a second bowl. “You gave me a tiny serving” he said.

[truth be told— his bowl was filled to the brim]

Lightened-Up Pasta y Fagioli

The players:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 6-9 ozs. hot turkey or chicken Italian sausage (I used chicken); casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (we like our food on the spicy side- this can be omitted if you aren’t a fan of heat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken broth (Pacific is my favorite)
  • (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese, divided 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans; drained and rinsed

The play-by-play:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until browned, stir to crumble sausage. Add water, broth, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, a small handful of cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is done. Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with cheese.

[I also think it would be yummy to add-in a serving of fresh spinach and let it wilt into the soup before serving]

serving size: 1 cup  | calories per serving: 353 | protein: 20.5g | fiber 4.5g | photo via 

tortilla meatball soup

Fall is slowlllyyy creeping in down south. Which can only mean one thing…

soup season is nearly upon us!

Contrary to my husband’s opinion, a hearty dinner can, in fact, be served in a wide brimmed bowl. He’s more of a meat and potatoes guy. Oh, and cupcakes. Can’t forget the cupcakes. Matter of fact- Lord knows how he ended up with a veggiemite like me.

But this recipe seems to pack both the punch of flavor that I desire and the meaty depth that B craves.

Note: the original recipe calls for ground sirloin and 2 cups of potatoes. I’m not a big red meat eater and because beef tends to be more calorie heavy than poultry, I use ground turkey (or chicken) breast for my meatballs. There will be a little difference in flavor but your waistline will thank you later. Also, I’d rather waste my calories on a scoop of ice cream than a potato [just sayin’].

Tortilla Meatball Soup

The players:

  • jalapeño peppers
  • red bell pepper
  • ears corn on the cob
  • (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast (or ground meat of choice)
  • large egg, lightly beaten
  • chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

The play-by-play:

  • Preheat broiler. Cut jalapeños and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalapeños, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Set aside.
  • Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, panko, and the next 3 ingredients (through chipotle chile) in a large bowl, and gently mix until just combined. With moist hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).
  • Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peppers, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; return to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 4 teaspoons Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, and 4 teaspoons cilantro. Top evenly with tortilla strips.

Adapted from a Cooking Light original available here.