MARINARA TOMATO SOUP - QUICK AND EASY

If you read my blog, you know I am a lover of all kinds of soups!  I could eat soup every day for sure.  This soup was so quick and easy, great for lunch or dinner served with grilled cheese, gluten free buns, or a simple salad.  When in a rush, or you don't feel like cooking, store bought tomato basil marinara and chicken bone broth work great in a pinch for time, plus, it is a good way to use up what is in the pantry/fridge/freezer.  This meal came together in about  35-40 min....these days that works for me.  If you wanted Vegan or Vegetarian, simply use Vegetable broth in place of Chicken Stock/Bone broth.

2 chopped carrots

1/2 an onion roughly sliced

1 chopped leek

1 chopped large celery stalk with leaves

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 c frozen organic spinach

2/3 cup frozen organic corn

2/3 cup frozen organic green beans

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (store bought or homemade)

5 cups chicken bone broth (store bought or homemade) (Vegetable stock for Vegan/Vegetarian)

1 rounded cup gluten free elbow macaroni pasta - cooked separately

Heat up a dutch oven with the EVOO on low heat.  Add in the carrots, onion, leek, celery, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Saute 5 min.

Pour in the Marinara sauce and bone broth stirring to combine.  Bring to a simmer, and cook 15 min.  Then add in all of the frozen vegetables. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the elbow macaroni pasta separately according to directions, drain and add to the soup giving a good stir.  A warming soup for the soul.

What is not to love about Mac N Cheese?  Add in some extra lean ground beef, some tasty seasonings, and best of all....everything goes into 1 pot.  A quick and easy meal in one go.  With this dish, I used a 3 1/2 quart dutch oven so you will want something at least that size.

Speaking of Dutch ovens....my dear husband recently gifted me with this Lodge pre seasoned dutch oven that I had been coveting.  The lid is also a separate  frying pan.

 

For this recipe you could include a 14 oz. well drained can of diced tomatoes which would be a lovely addition too.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

1 large shallot, minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup chopped small red or green pepper

2 Tblsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tblsp. tomato paste

2 cups stock - can easily use:  chicken, beef, or vegetable stock whatever you have on hand

2 cups milk - we use Lactose free 2 %

1 pack of Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow Pasta (340 grams)

1 1/2 cups aged cheddar cheese - we used 1/2 white, 1/2 orange cheddar

Heat up the dutch oven on low medium heat with the extra lean ground beef.  (no need for added oil)  Break apart the beef well with a spoon.  Brown about 5 minutes, then add in the shallot, garlic, red or green pepper and continue to saute 8-10 min.  Add in the seasonings, and tomato paste mixing well to incorporate, continue to saute for 5 minutes.

Add in the stock and milk, and pasta - mixing well.  Cover with the lid cracked and turn down the heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 12-14 min. until the pasta is cooked el dente.   Add the cheddar cheeses mixing well, serve hot....will be even yummier with leftovers tomorrow.

 

 

This is another salmon dish but had to share as it was such a super easy lunch/dinner to make, I can't believe not having made it before now.  Plus, it was tasty and very economical.  At some point during the week we always end up with leftover potatoes in the fridge - such a great way to use them up.  Although, not sure how mashed potatoes would work in this recipe as these were pretty delicate, so make sure the pan is good and hot and cook a good 7 minutes per side.
1 rounded cup mashed leftover large baked potato
1   213 gram can wild salmon, drained bones removed
1 egg - whisk with a fork
2 green onions, diced, or 1 large green onion
1/2 tsp. dried dill - or more to taste
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 Tblsp.  mayonnaise
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - for frying
In a medium sized bowl combine the mashed potatoes and drained salmon.  Use a fork to break it all up mixing together.  Add the rest of the ingredients - mix.  Shape into patties, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate 15-30 minutes.
Heat up a non stick pan with a good drizzle of EVOO on medium high heat.  Once good and hot, cook each side about 7 minutes. (turning the salmon cake 1/2  way around in the pan to cook evenly to a nice golden brown)  Serve hot with any other vegetable side dish or a salad.  Can also be served with tartar sauce or pesto sauce.  Super easy, super quick, and an inexpensive meal all in one!

For some reason we rarely ever see fresh Veal in our grocery stores, however, using chicken in this dish was wonderful.  This would also be lovely with boneless pork chops too.
This was such a quick easy meal to prepare - great for those busy days.  Just steam up some veggies, potatoes, toss together a salad, cook the chicken and dinner is ready.
2 skinless boneless organic chicken breasts
1 cup Gluten Free breadcrumbs (I use Udi's - freeze the crusts, take out what you need, thaw, then blitz in the food processor)
1 egg - lightly whisk
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt and fresh cracked pepper
lemon wedges
minced Italian Parsley
3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add the breadcrumbs, seasonings, and Parmesan Cheese to a plate and mix well with a fork.  Heat up a cast iron pan on medium high heat with the EVOO.
Place each chicken breast between a layer of plastic wrap.  I used a rolling pin to pound the breasts - 8-10 good pounds to flatten to 1/2 inch or so.
Dredge the chicken in the egg first, then add to the bread crumb mixture pressing in the chicken breast to coat well.  Once your pan is nicely heated add the chicken breasts and cook about 6 minutes per side or until tender and cooked through.  Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a good drizzle of fresh lemon juice to accompany any side dishes.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have been cooking Vegetarian meals about twice sometimes three times a week.  Recently, we found this at our local grocery store:
No paid advertisement here....just wanting to share something yummy - a lovely basmati rice/quiona blend vegetarian meal. Next to dried pasta, this is the only thing in my pantry that comes in a box.  Even then, I completely change up the dish by adding a whole bunch of other delicious, fresh, organic ingredients.  By the way, any vegetable here will work:  diced green peppers, artichoke, zucchini, to name a few.
Admittedly my way of cooking this Vegetarian Paella takes about 30 minutes cooking time, if you prepare the vegetables and lentils ahead of time.  Still - a time saver compared to some dishes made from scratch. You will notice in the recipe to follow, I have added NO extra salt to this dish as it is salty enough.  By getting the ingredients ready ahead of time this makes for a delicious Vegetarian meal that is fairly quick and simple.  On that note:  I have made a discovery that is new to me.  I cook up 1 cup of green lentils ahead of time:  1 cup lentils, enough water to cover by 1 inch and 1 Bay Leaf.  Cook 20 minutes, lid on at a simmer, then drain and allow to cool.  Cooked lentils freeze beautifully so you can always have them on hand for any number of dishes.
For this dish the recipe is as follows:
2/3 cup cooked green lentils
1/2 a chopped onion
4-5 Tblsp. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of diced carrots - dice small
3 Tblsp. diced celery
1 roma tomato - diced small
4 crimini mushrooms, diced
1 box of Vegetarian Paella
3 cups low or no sodium vegetable stock
fresh cracked pepper
In a medium sauce pan, bring the stock to a boil, and add in the Vegetarian Paella - stir with a fork to combine.  Then turn down to a simmer - simmer for 17 minutes lid off stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Turn off the heat, cover and let sit about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile heat up a medium sized dutch oven on low/medium heat with the EVOO.  Add in the carrots and celery.  Saute about 5 minute.  Then add in the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and fresh cracked pepper.  Continue to saute for 10 minutes.
Add in the diced tomato and continue to saute for another five minutes.
Now the Paella is cooked - add to the sauteed vegetables and mix well.  Serve alongside any side dish of vegetables.  We had lightly sauteed fresh Swiss Chard with this dish...fresh from the farm in February!  🙂

This is the easiest, fastest, pasta dish I know how to make.  It is for those days when you have been busy all day, too tired to cook, and just need some quick comfort food.  It is also very versatile....add different fresh herbs - in the summer I use fresh tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden, rosemary is lovely too.  Also, any fresh minced green is lovely - spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, kale are all delicious in this dish.  In my house, this is what we consider Fast Food.   What are some Fast Food Meals made in your kitchens?

1 package Gluten Free Spiral Noodle Pasta
Olive oil
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (I slice the tomatoes into bite sized pieces)
1/2 a large onion roughly chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
handful of fresh minced Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
1 tsp. dried Basil (or 2 Tblsp. fresh Basil)  and ground Fennel
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese
While the pasta is cooking, heat up some olive oil in a dutch oven low to medium heat.  Add in the onion, garlic, sauteing to sweat out.  Then add the dried seasonings, and tomatoes with the juice.  Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, stirring occasionally.  When pasta is done, drain and add to the tomato sauce.  Remove from heat, and add in the Parmesan cheese and minced fresh herbs stirring well to combine.

Having leftover cooked chicken in the fridge can be a godsend on busy days.  This salad makes such an easy delicious lunch, or dinner for that matter.  With fresh spring greens, ripe avocados and fresh lime juice - a perfect match of ingredients.
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken - cut into cubes
1 large avocado cut into cubes
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 big Tblsp. fresh minced cilantro
4 heaping Tblsp. mayonnaise
1 green onion, diced
1/2 of a celery rib, diced small
salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix well.  Serve over fresh lettuce greens.
Now that I have finished eating this salad - I just realized, it would also be tasty with a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds on top.  I mentioned this to my dtr. as she was polishing off the last of the salad - mouth very full - her eyes grew large while she vigorously nodded her head in agreement.  We will have to try that next time!

This was a simple soup we had, just using ingredients on hand. I love having fresh homemade Chicken Stock in the freezer....makes life so much easier.  From start to finish, 30-35 minutes cooking time?  I had put in a 12 hour day, was too tired to think much, and on those days, soup fits the bill.
3 cups homemade chicken stock
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
Olive oil
one 398 ml. can of Organic Cannelloni beans, rinsed
1 cup of Tinkyada Pasta shells, cooked as per directions
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced, leaves minced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 large onion, diced
just over a cup of thinly shredded green cabbage
1 rounded tsp. of Thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 Tblsp. AKA Miso
salt and pepper to taste
Heat up a dutch oven on low medium heat with a good drizzle of Olive oil.  To the pan, add the onion, garlic, cabbage, and celery.  Saute, about 10 minutes to soften.   Then add in the tomatoes with juice, chicken stock, Thyme, Bay leaf, salt and pepper.  Cover, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes.  Meanwhile cook pasta as per directions.  When pasta is cooked, add to the finished soup, and add in the Miso stirring to dissolve.  Adjust for seasonings.  We had this with toasted gluten free bread and cheese.  Comfort food for those long, tired days.

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