Savory Vegetable Bread Pudding


Looking for a hearty vegetarian main course entree? You’ve come to the right place! This dish will wake up your taste buds and will be so satisfying your family will want seconds and your guests will ask for the recipe.
Most of you know I cook for families on-the-go. I tend to make home style, stick to your ribs dinners. All dinners include a meat entree, vegetable, salad, homemade bread and dessert. Well, all dinners except for my families that request vegetarian. Therefore, I am always searching and trying different meatless entrees.
While reading a recipe for sweet and delectable bread pudding (that recipe will be a different posting!) I thought what if I made a savory bread pudding that used fresh farm market vegetables and herbs. Well, needless to say it was a great thought!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
Vonnie

Vegetable bread pudding

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/2″ chunks
2 medium carrots, cleaned and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 bag baby spinach
1-2 TBSP. Olive oil
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 cups cubed Italian bread (about 1 inch cubes)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 TBSP. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, milk and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Stir in bread cubes, half the cheese and the Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Saute Onions and the next 5 ingredients in hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Fold vegetable mixture into egg mixture. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is set. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup


This is what I like to make on St. Patrick’s Day.  It is so satisfying and easy to make.  I always serve it with some homemade Irish Soda Bread and a Killians beer, but since I was traveling yesterday I didn’t get a chance to make it.  It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy one of my favorite soups.  The next day works too!

Hope you enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Irish bacon, diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

3 cup chicken stock

salt and black pepper to taste

2 cups thinly sliced dark green savoy cabbage leaves

 

Directions:

Place bacon in a large, deep stockpot or saucepan.  Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.  Drain off any excess fat.

Stir in potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and chicken stock to cover.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.

Serves: 6

 

 

Southwestern Red Bean Vegetable Soup


  What do you get when you combined a wonderful blends of fresh vegetables and herbs with a little kick from some seasonings  and hearty red beans?
A fantastic dinner! This soup is perfect for Meatless Monday or a Friday Lenten meal.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                         

Vonnie

 

 

Ingredients:

3 large green bell peppers

3 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

4 (16 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, semi-drained

4 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

            Directions

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the peppers, celery, onions and beans. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings


I came across this recipe for a hearty soup a few years ago and fell instantly in love. It is a wonderful way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers. I always make a little extra, just so I can make this after I have spent the day fighting the crowds!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking~                                                                  

Vonnie                                                                                                                      

Ingredients:

Carcass form one 12-14 pound roasted turkey, picked clean

4 peeled carrots, 2 coarsely chopped and 2 sliced

4 stalks celery, 2 coarsely chopped and 2 sliced

6 garlic cloves, 4 smashed and 2 chopped

1 bay leaf

10 whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons flour, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 cups leftover stuffing

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

1 cup leftover corn kernels

Directions:

Put the turkey carcass, quartered onions, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to just cover, about 2 quarts. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and strain the solids from the broth. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and reserve; you should have about 10-12 cups broth.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper together until smooth. Add the stuffing and mix until well combined; cover and reserve.

Wipe the stockpot clean with a paper towel. Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the sliced carrots and celery, thyme sprigs, and reserved broth and bring to a simmer; cook vegetables are just soft, about 10 minutes.

Roll level tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into balls with wet hands (see note) and drop into the simmering soup; cook until dumplings float, 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the turkey meat, corn, and season with salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: Moistness of stuffing can vary; if the dumpling dough is too soft to roll, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is firm enough to hold its shape while rolling.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew and Baked Apples


I always look forward to the Fall season.  There are so many dishes I love to make, but it just seems of the four seasons, Fall goes by so quickly and I never get to make all the wonderful dinners I have in my repertoire.

These are a couple of recipes that get rave reviews. I faithfully make for all of my families. These are perfect recipes for when your day is overly busy. The stew is great because you can put it in the slow cooker and all the work is done for you. The baked apples are a perfect accompaniment.  Don’t be fooled by simplicity of these dishes. The flavors meld together nicely and no one will ever know it took you no time at all to create a wonderful dinner.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking~                                      

Vonnie                                                               

 

 

Chicken Stew Ingredients:

1 1/4 pound of chicken breasts or thighs or a combination, cut into bite sie pieces.

1 dried bay leaf

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 red skin potatoes, quartered 

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 cup white wine

1 (18oz) jar chicken gravy

1/2 cup each, frozen corn, green beans, and peas

 Directions:

Place chicken in 3 1/2 to 4 qt. slow cooker. Top with bay leaf, pepper, onion, carrots, and celery. Pour white wine and gravy over vegetables and chicken.

Cover and cook on low setting 8 to 10 hours.

After cooking 8 to 10 hours increase setting to high and gently stir in frozen vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes.

 

 

 Baked Apples with Granola Ingredients:                                                

 2 large crisp apples(fuji,braeburn, gala)

2 Tbsp. raisins

2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

4 tsp. butter

4 crunchy granola, crushed

 

Directions: 

Cut apples in half lengthwise. Using a spoon scoop out core and make a 1 inch indentation in each half. In a microwave pie plate arrange apple halves cut side up. Fill each apple with raisins and brown sugar; dot with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and fold back one edge 1/4 inch to vent steam.

Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are tender. Top each apple with granola.

 

Strawberry Turkey Salad


The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~Wallace Stevens            

This salad will be the perfect accompaniment to your summer evening.
It’s light, but very satisfying.  If you don’t have turkey, use chicken or pork.  It will be equally as tasty!!
Add nice glass of sun tea or your favorite white wine and I guarantee a dinner that will be the highlight of your day.  Enjoy this while you watch the sunset!

PS… Last summer I entered this into a local recipe contest and WON!  I got a great chop-chop board as my prize.  Trust me when I say if you serve your family and friends this for dinner you will be a winner too!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,
Vonnie                                                                                                                  

Ingredients:


6 TBSP Mango chutney
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 pkg. Romaine Lettuce, chopped
…8 oz. turkey breast, chopped
2 pt. strawberries, sliced
1 cup  red grapes
3/4 cup  celery, sliced
1/2 cup  red onion, chopped
fresh mint leaves (optional)                                                                                                                                   

Directions:

1. For dressing, in a bowl whisk together chutney, yogurt, and lime juice.
2. In a large bowl combine, lettuce, grapes, celery, and red onions.  Fill 4 plates with lettuce mixture.
3. Top lettuce mixture with turkey and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing. Top with fresh mint if desired.

Meatball and Macaroni Soup and Grilled Three Cheese Italian Sandwiches


This is the perfect meal for anyone’s crazy schedule. It seems at this time of year everyone I know is going in three different directions all at this same time!  I made these recipes years ago, when I first started watching Rachael Ray.  She had me hooked after how great everything tasted . I love how easy the soup comes together and it tastes like it was simmering for hours,  but it takes less than 30 minutes to make.  The sandwiches are, as she says “Delish”.  You will be very pleased at how it gets the whole family to the table.  A chance for everyone to gather and share their day.  And a tradition that should be savored for generations to come.

Hope you enjoy and Happy cooking,                                                                      

Meatball and Macaroni Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal combined
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 6 cups chicken stock 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried small  pasta, macaroni or  ditalini
  • 1 pound washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

Directions

In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery and onions and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped spinach in batches. When spinach has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Adjust your seasonings. Serve soup with crusty bread or grilled 3 cheese sandwiches

Grilled 3 Cheese Sandwiches                                                                                          

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, cracked away from skin
  • 8 slices crusty Italian bread
  • 1 cup shredded provolone
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano

Directions

 In a small skillet over medium low heat, combine oil, butter and garlic. Cook garlic in butter and oil gently for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove garlic butter mixture from heat.

Place a large nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Using a pastry brush, brush 1 side of 4 slices of bread with garlic oil and place buttered side down in skillet. Top each slice with equal amounts of the 3 cheeses, distributing them equally over the 4 slices. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread brushed with garlic butter, buttered side up. Flip the grilled cheese sandwiches a few times until cheeses are melted and gooey and bread is toasty and golden.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup


This is a soup I make regularly for my Families-on-the-Go.  Everyone of all ages just loves it. It comes together in less than 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s a great meal you can whip up if you are short on time.  The leftovers only get better, so don’t be afraid to make a whole recipe if it’s just one or two you are cooking for or a double batch if you have a large family!

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

                                                                                          

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1  large potato, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 rib celery, diced

1 bay leaf  fresh or dried

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 tablespoons flour,

2 quart chicken broth

1 small box biscuit mix prepared following directions on the box

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup frozen green peas

Directions:

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.  Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season mixture with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning.  Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir. Place biscuit mix in a bowl and mix according to directions on box. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chopped parsley and peas.   Serves 4 to 6

Slow Cooker Ham and Split Pea Soup


This is another great recipe to help you with your leftover Easter ham.  I made this hearty soup for a staff  lunch not too long ago and it was a big hit!  It has a really nice taste and texture. Since it cooks on the slow cooker for 8- 10 hours there is no need to emulsify.  Complete the meal with a nice crusty wheat bread or some homemade buttermilk biscuits.

Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Vonnie                                

3 cups dried split peas

1 ham hock, or leftover ham bone with meat

5 cups chicken broth

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 tsp. marjoram

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. basil

Combine: All  ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6 hours. Stir and remove ham hock or bones. Shred ham into bite size pieces. If soup get too thick after sitting, add a little water or chicken broth to desired consistency.