Cannellini Bean Stew

Canellini Bean Stew

This Cannellini Bean Stew is so warm, delicious and perfect meal for those snowy Colorado Spring days.  Yes, that’s right,  snow in Spring.  A lot of people do not realize while most of the country’s winter is coming to an end, Colorado tends to get the majority of its snowfall.  I love Colorado weather, it is one big reasons we live here.  Wearing t-shirts in the dead of winter and the shade actually working in the summer is pretty sweet.  Though, there are times that I do wish our spring would start closer to winter rather summer.

I have been working on perfecting this recipe for a couple of months.  The beans had been giving me the business.  I typically cook my own beans rather than buying canned.  I find the beans taste better and it reduced the amount we recycle.  I have never run into a problem cooking beans until I came across these white beans.  No matter how long I cooked them they would not get soft.   So finally I gave into and bought some canned (BPA Free) Cannellini beans.  Thankfully, my boys were troopers and dealt with me making this meal a lot until I was satisfied with the outcome.  I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we now do.

The Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cans Cannellini Beans
1 26 oz can chopped toms
1 c veg broth
1 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste

In a dutch oven (because it cooks more evenly) heat oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onions, garlic and fennel seeds.  Once onions are translucent add in carrots and celery.  Cook for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Add beans, tomato sauce, broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.

Enjoy!

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Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Several years back, my husband and I went to a community dinner where all of the food was cooked by a ex-chef from the east coast.  The food that night was amazing but the one dish that stood out for me was a Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.  I loved this soup so much that I promised myself I would one day recreate it.  Finally, after many, many trial recipes I did it.  I am so excited about this dish and I think you will truly enjoy it.  This soup is so rich and creamy it will make your taste buds sing!

The Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash (or 2 small), sliced in half and seeded
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pear, peeled and diced
1 inch piece of ginger, diced
5 carrots, peeled and diced
5 celery, diced
2 cans lite coconut milk
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Pre-heat over to 400 degrees.

First, cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds.

Butternut Squash Seeds Removed

Pour about a 1/2 inch of water into a baking dish or cookie sheet and place butternut squash in dish face down.

Butternut Squash

Bake in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes depending on the size of the squash.  You will know the squash is done when it is fork tender or soft to touch (with an oven mit).

Roasted Butternut Squash

Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool.  When it is cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and set aside.

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion until it is translucent.  Add in ginger, carrots and celery.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Lastly, add in coconut milk,  butternut squash flesh, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes until carrots are fork tender.  Remove from heat.

Next, you will puree the soup.  If you are using a high-speed blender, ladle about half of the soup into the blender and blend, the repeat.  If you are using an immersion blender, you can blend the soup right in the pot.

Once the soup is smooth.  Serve.

Enjoy!

*Note: You can also place half of the soup in an airtight container and freeze.

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Split Pea Soup for the Whole Family

Split Pea Soup for the Whole Family

Making my own baby food was very important to me when I was pregnant.  Many people told me there would not be enough time or that I was just nuts.  I was thrilled to learn, with a little planning and prepping it was fairly easy to incorporate pureeing foods into my busy schedule as a new mom.  I have been making baby food from the moment my little guy was ready for solids.  I started out making a lot of single fruit and vegetable purees but the real fun did not start until I was able to make meals the whole family could enjoy.  This Split Pea Soup for the Whole Family was his very first family hearty meal.  It is a great first meal for baby, it is a spiced up version of all the vegetables he was already used to.

This dish has actually become a staple in my sons diet.  Even though he is now old enough for finger foods I still puree this dish.  It is an easy add-on to any meal.  Whether it’s a side, a main dish or mixed in with some protein.  He loves it and that is all that matters.

The Ingredients:

2 1/2 c split peas
5 c vegetable broth or water
2 bay leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp sea salt
3 c vegetable broth
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
black pepper to taste

In a medium pot bring peas and bay leaves to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.  Then add carrots and celery cook down for about 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients including the cooked peas and bring to a boil.  Simmer on low heat for an additional 45 minutes.  Until carrots and celery are tender.

Split the pot in half.  Pour one half into a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth.  As my little guy grew older and could handle more chunky foods, I would only blend slightly.  Place puree into silicone ice-cube trays and freeze over night.  Each cube is about an ounce of food.

To reheat:  place a few cubes (depending on how much you would like to serve) in a small pot.  I typically, do this an hour or two before serving.  It gives the cubes a chance to thaw.  Over medium low heat warm up soup.  If the soup is too thick add a little broth or water.  Serve lukewarm.

Enjoy!

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