April 30, 2011

Salt and Pepper Oven Fries

I love seasonings. I love a well seasoned anything. These fries are very tasty and easy to make. They make a great side dish when paired with a juicy cheeseburger.

Salt and Pepper Fries are a tasty alternative to just plain french fries. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or just plain ketchup. For more oven fries variations click the Salt and Pepper Oven Fries link.

MyRecipes.com and Southern Living, September 2009
Makes 8 to 10 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 (26 oz) package frozen extra crispy French fries
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
And Action:

Cook the french fries according to the package directions. Once they are crispy and golden brown toss with the black pepper and salt. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 29, 2011

French Toast (Torrijas)

Miriam from, The Winter Guest, recently posted a recipe for Torrijas, a Spanish Easter treat. After a brief history lesson she shared the recipe. I was beyond giddy to give this recipe a try since I had all of the ingredients on hand.

Torrijas or French Toast are soaked in a sugared milk with cinnamon and then fried to a golden brown and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The texture is more of a bread pudding than the traditional french toast I am used to. It has a crispy outside and a moist creamy milky inside.

Itty bitty loved this recipe for the french toast. I had been having a hard time getting him to eat my french toast since Christmas time when he got a taste of Pap's (Mr. Sideline Chef's dad). He would take a bite of mine and tell me, "No! Pap's!"

I set this in front of itty bitty this morning and like he always does took a bite but this time he kept shoveling bites into his mouth until he was full. I just want to give a big air hug to Miriam for introducing me to this recipe. It will be making it's way into the breakfast rotation.

If you plan on making this make sure to take notice of the hour soaking time for the bread. Once that is done the recipe comes together in a snap.

Please be sure to check out Miriam's blog, The Winter Guest, and try her recipe for Torrijas for your loved ones sometime soon. Tell her the Pretend Chef sent you!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 28, 2011

Fettuccine with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes

I am a big fan of pasta and olive oil thanks to my Italian mama. Many nights our plates would have a side dish of pasta noodles drizzled with olive oil. It is a comfort food of mine since it immediately transports me back to my mama's table.

This recipe is quick and simple. It makes for a perfect weeknight meal and even for a "Meatless Monday" like our family enjoyed with a side of fresh green beans.

The garlic and red pepper flakes get infused into the olive and then tossed into the pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and parsley. This pasta packs a heat kick. If you are not a fan of spicy then I would recommend adjusting the red pepper flake amount to your liking.

MyRecipes.com and Cooking Light, April 2011
Makes 4 servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided - I used half this amount and didn't drizzle the remaining amount over the pasta. I felt it would make it too oily.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes - This amount makes for quite a spicy kick. Adjust to your liking.
  • enough water for boiling fettuccine
  • 3 1/4 tsp salt, divided - I only used enough salt for salting the boiling water the noodles cooked in. I decided not to add any extra salt to the pasta since parmesan cheese has a salty bite.
  • 8 oz uncooked fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley - I used dried parsley since that was what I had on hand.
And Action:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the garlic. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, stir in the red pepper flakes and then remove from heat.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain over a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. Add the pasta, cooking liquid, and salt (optional) to the garlic mixture. Toss to combine well. Add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Drizzle the pasta with remaining olive oil if desired.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 397
Fat: 19g
Saturated fat: 4.6g
Monounsaturated fat: 11.3g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5g
Protein: 13.2g
Carbohydrate: 44g
Fiber: 2.1g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Iron: 2.4mg
Sodium: 559mg
Calcium: 180mg

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 27, 2011

Chocolate Glaze

Mr. Sideline Chef and I are about to celebrate our 4 year anniversary coming up on May 9. Our anniversary is the only holiday that I get overly emotional about and stress the importance to him about not forgetting. He in fact actually remembered the date this year all on his own. For a man who forgets his own father's exact birth date (he remembers it's around the tax filing deadline, haha) I was rather impressed and touched.

I don't know why I put so much importance on our anniversary. For example... Mother's Day. Overrated. I'm happy to be a mother everyday and don't need a special day. So why do I get so crazed over our anniversary when everyday with Mr. Sideline Chef is special? Can't put my finger on it. Plus throughout the year we do "just because" surprises which are more exciting than anticipating an actual day and forcing him to buy me a special present.

Maybe it's because I like to brag that we've been together for X amount of years. That must be it. The fact that we've found a way to live with each other's quirks and not kill each other in such a small living space after all these years.

With our anniversary date approaching and the lovey feeling so strong I decided that I wanted to make chocolate covered strawberries. Every time we are at the mall and we pass Godiva I can't help but drool over theirs. He'll always ask me if I want some but being as frugal as I am the answer is always the same, "No!" Actually, it's more like, "Hell no! Are you kidding me? I could make them for less!"

I didn't make the chocolate covered strawberries for our anniversary, per se, but they would be a perfect dessert for that night. Instead I made them as a special dessert surprise since I rarely make dessert. It will be a nice surprise after a Monday at work.

So simple to make! I made the chocolate glaze which is nothing more than melted chocolate chips with a little bit of vegetable shortening to add shine. Once the chocolate glaze was ready I dipped the strawberries into it and then placed them on wax paper and let them chill in the fridge to set. Did I mention how easy? And less than $10 to make!

Mandatory... Lick the bowl clean!!!

MyRecipes.com and Real Simple, December 2000
Makes 1 cup

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chip pieces - You could use the same amount of white chocolate chips if you prefer.
  • 2 tsp vegetable shortening, optional
And Action:

Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate is completely melted, you can use it as a dip or drizzle it over the cookies. Chocolate covered strawberries are highly recommended or bananas and then sprinkled with chopped peanuts and then frozen. Yummy!

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calcium: 7mg
Calories: 102
Calories from fat: 1%
Carbohydrate: 13g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Fat: 6g
Fiber: 1g
Iron: 1mg
Protein: 1mg
Saturated fat: 4g
Sodium: 2mg

Don't forget to enter to win an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 26, 2011

Kettle Corn

Growing up I had an obsession. Kettle Corn. I would beg my mama to buy boxes or bags of it whenever we'd go to the store or we were at a festival. I couldn't get enough of the sweet, salty, and crunchy combo. The best part were the bits of sugar that would settle at the bottom of the bag and I would shamelessly lick it clean.

After I met Mr. Sideline Chef my Kettle Corn addiction came to a screeching halt. Don't know exactly how it happened but it just did. I quit the stuff cold turkey. Maybe it was my determination at losing the 50 pounds I packed on during pregnancy or because I didn't want to embarrass myself licking the bag and my fingers clean. That would be so "unlady like" as my mama liked to often remind me I was. Haha!

One afternoon while itty bitty was napping I was browsing through some recipes and came across Kettle Corn. The flood of memories came back and then I had an immense need to have it. All of the ingredients were in my pantry! Under my nose all along and I had never thought to make it. Had I known how simple it was I'm sure those 40 pounds lost so far would have crept back on.

Itty bitty loves watching the movie, CARS, and we allow him to watch it once a day. I decided to make the Kettle Corn as his snack and let him get cozy with his blanket while he watched the movie.

It only took about 5 minutes to make! After I popped the popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag with a little bit of the oil I sprinkled the sugar and salt over top. It was everything I remembered it to be... habit forming... although not as obsessive as I once was. Thankfully, I finally understand what it means to enjoy things in moderation. Moderation as in every other day.

Why not whip up a batch for your next movie night? Yummy!

MyRecipes.com and Southern Living, September 2004
Makes 12 cups

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
And Action:
For the recipe's original directions, click the Kettle Corn link above.

For individual servings: Add 3 tbsp of unpopped popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag with a little bit of the oil. Roll the top of the bag down a little bit leaving room for the kernels to pop. Place the bag on a microwave safe plate (the oil will seep through the bag) and pop the kernels in the microwave on high until the pops slow to 4 seconds in between. While hot out of the microwave, sprinkle the popcorn with the sugar and salt.

Eat, enjoy, and lick those fingers clean!

Don't forget to enter to win an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 25, 2011


I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter weekend and spent lots of quality time with loved ones. I also hope that all Easter eggs have been retrieved in the hunt and didn't end up in the shape some of these eggs have... (pictures were forwarded in an email from my uncle)

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle!

April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter

I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe Easter! 

Don't forget to check out the giveaway for an Organic Bikes Biodegradable Water Bottle.

April 22, 2011

Best Steelers Toybox Ever

A toy box is a rite of passage for a child. No toddler room is complete without a toy box. Itty bitty had those plastic bins on the wood frame and they just weren't working out for us as we had wished. After a play date one afternoon another mother thought the plastic bins would be better for them and we decided on a swap.

A nice wooden toy box. Sigh. A blank slate. The wheels were spinning. I was giddy to take it home to show Mr. Sideline Chef. Since finding out we were pregnant over 3 years ago he has on numerous occasions talked about creating a toy box for our son.

Itty bitty has recently expressed a great interest in football and especially partaking in our love for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was my jumping off point. Mr. Sideline Chef loved the idea as well and gave me complete creative freedom. Sigh.

After a trip to Home Depot for black paint, paint brushes, and yellow spray paint we headed home to get started. The sun was shining on our porch and that is where I set up shop. After 3 hours the toy box was painted black and Mr. Sideline Chef had spray painted itty bitty's name letters in yellow and I had started my tan for the summer.

The following day I had taken itty bitty to Hobby Lobby to pick up some football and yellow letter stickers along with some Mod Podge and sponge brushes. We also headed to Walgreens to print off all of the Steelers photos we had on our memory cards.

Once home I put itty bitty down for nap and got to work. After another 3 hours I had created collages and Mod Podged the player's names and numbers onto the toy box.

I am beyond giddy about this toy box! I have been squealing in delight over how it turned out above and beyond what I had imagined. This is a toy box to be proud of. A lot of love went into it. Sure to be a family heirloom from here on out!

April 21, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Seems like every time we throw a barbecue we end up buying more hamburger and hot dog buns then needed. I'm not a fan of freezing breads and most of the time I'll end up throwing away the leftovers since we can't eat the buns up in time and they start to get moldy.

Since I am the only one in our household who adds "rabbit food" to my cheeseburgers we tend to have a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, and other toppings leftover as well. Perfect for salads for lunches throughout the week.

Croutons are perfect for salads and a great way to use up those buns that we won't end up eating.

When I make salads at home croutons aren't generally an ingredient that I add but when I eat out I look forward to those crunchy bits in the salad. I also love a well seasoned crouton.

These Homemade Croutons are so easy to make and are seasoned to perfection. Homemade Croutons taste much better than store bought. I think making your own croutons would be a perfect touch when serving a salad to guests and adds a touch of class.

You could even make a batch of the croutons and then pulse them in the food processor for a breadcrumb topping for a mac n' cheese. However you use them you won't be disappointed.

MyRecipes.com and Real Simple, August 2007
Makes 2 cups

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 hamburger or hot dog buns, cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt - I think using half this amount would be better.
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs - I used oregano, thyme, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder.
And Action:

Preheat oven to 375°. Place the cut buns onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle with the butter, salt, and mixed dried herbs. Bake, turning once, for about 7 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.

Let the croutons cool. You can store the croutons in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 136
Calories from fat: 66%
Fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 23mg
Sodium: 339mg
Carbohydrate: 11g
Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 1g
Protein: 2g

April 18, 2011

Drink More Water (With A Word Of Caution)

Another forwarded email too funny not to share.

The following will probably amaze and startle you.   

One glass of water
shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.

Lack of water
is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Preliminary research indicates that
8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

A mere 2% drop in body water
 can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily
decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

(No kidding, all of the above
  are true....)

Of course, too much water may have strange side effects.

April 17, 2011

A Miracle In The Liquor Store

My ever so funny uncle sent me another forwarded email that was too good not to share.

Praise the lord!

It's a miracle!

April 15, 2011

CT Scan Results Are In

Mr. Sideline Chef has been a workhorse around the house the past week. He's made it so I didn't have to lift a finger and just concentrate on getting myself better. He has accomplished a list of "Hunny-Do Chores" (with a smile) and has kept the house runnin' and the boys tickin'.

Being my personal assistant, he received the call from the doctor's office yesterday afternoon during one of my many naps. The doctor asked how I was doing and then she delivered the results from the CT scan. Everything came back negative! What a relief! The doctor believes it was just lingering food poisoning and that it would be best for me to continue the bland food diet until my stomach can hold down food and is no longer uneasy.

I still have a horrible stomach ache after a week of these symptoms. Ick! At least I've kept the food down for the past day and a half.

Once again, thank you so much for all of your well wishes! It has been greatly appreciated and I am very grateful for all of your support.

April 14, 2011

Down With The Sickness

Just a quick update.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment scheduled to get checked and see if we would get some answers. After getting blood work done it was determined I was severely dehydrated. They immediately hooked me up to an IV and after an hour of watching the drip I was then asked to do a urine test.

Not pregnant.

I was ordered to take a CT scan while I was there. They are thinking I might have a stomach infection or a bleeding stomach ulcer. I should be getting the results back sometime today.

Last night was the first night I have slept through the night. My nausea and diarrhea medicine makes me drowsy. Woke up this morning feeling refreshed but still sluggish. Mr. Sideline Chef is still taking the day off from work in order to take care of me, itty bitty, and the boys (our two fur babies).

Yesterday I was only allowed to have clear liquids. Being told I can't have food only made me want it more even though the thought of actually putting it in my mouth makes me sick. Smelling itty bitty's pizza cooking was torture and then hearing Mr. Sideline Chef ooh and ahh over his mac n' cheese with ground beef didn't help. I felt so hungry but I'm happy I stayed strong. My stomach couldn't handle that.

This morning I was allowed to introduce the saltine crackers into my diet along with the clear liquids. As long as it stays down from both ends then in two hours I will be allowed to try toast and then two hours after that I can try chicken noodle soup without the veggies. I want to make it to that point. A comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup sounds wonderful right now after the week I've had without any food.

If I can make it through today without any diarrhea then I will be able to follow the "BRATTY" diet for the following three days. B - bananas, R- rice, A- applesauce, T-toast, T-tea, and Y-yogurt. After that if all goes well and I'm keeping the foods down then I will be able to go back to a normal diet while making sure to watch my intake of fruit, veggies, and fats.

Of the 9 pounds I've lost in those 5 days I have gained back 2 pounds.

Once the test results come in I'll be sure to keep everyone posted. Thank you all for the well wishes.

April 13, 2011

What's A Food Blogger To Do?

After getting over a bad cold I came down with food poisoning like symptoms five days ago. I've had food poisoning before and this isn't quite like it. The thought, sight, and smell of food makes me nauseous.

What is a food blogger to do?

It's no offense to any of my fellow food bloggers but I just can't bring myself to show any love and support on your blogs at the moment. That is unless you are blogging about Gatorade and saltine crackers.

April 09, 2011

Greek Grilled Chicken Breast

Mr. Sideline Chef has been home since Saturday evening and home cooked meals are not on the agenda. He came home to a very sick mamas. He went to work on Monday and was given the following two days off. Let me tell you... this man had me on the couch, feet propped up, and tended to me, our son, and both of our fur babies the entire time. By the time he went back to work on Thursday I was feeling much better thanks to his hard work around the house and all of the rest he demanded I get. He even made me turn off the television and go to bed early one night. I didn't go down easily or without a pouty lip when it meant missing the new episode of Bethenny Ever After.

Needless to say being sick means the blog doesn't see the love it deserves. If I left it to Mr. Sideline Chef you'd be reading about how to order properly from Five Guys or how tipping generously gets you remembered at the local Mexican restaurant. Take out was what we've resorted to until my energy level was up enough to make it through pulling ingredients out of the fridge and pantry and chopping didn't feel like an intense workout.

I've had no appetite except for hot tea with cinnamon honey. My throat was so raw and this was the comfort I needed. Food had no taste and the kitchen was the last place I wanted to step foot.

I'm finally feeling 78.3% back to my usual 110% self. Thankfully I had plenty of time to thumb through the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook and bookmark some recipes I thought Mr. Sideline Chef would enjoy or could at least tolerate.
Greek Grilled Chicken Breast was a recipe I thought he would like. I was right! The marinade was so flavorful and the juices locked into the meat to create something so juicy and moist. It was the perfect accompaniment to some simple corn and broccoli.

Dinner was ready within minutes not including the marinating time. This will definitely be appearing on our dinner table again while I follow the Flat Belly Diet and even after. The chicken would be perfect in a pita with some hummus and veggies as well as long as there are leftovers. If. Only.

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves - I used chicken breast strips since that is what we had on hand.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt - I think this amount of salt is too much. Next time I will cut it in half or leave it out all together.
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
And Action:

If using the chicken breast halves then butterfly them.

Combine the chicken, oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours turning occasionally.

Set up the grill for medium-hot direct heat grilling. (I used a grill pan instead.) Remove the chicken from the marinade. Set the chicken on a grill rack that has been coated with oil. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the chicken is well marked and cooked through.

April 05, 2011

Flat Belly Diet and Two Weeks Down

In two weeks I have lost 3 pounds and have lost 1/2" in my waist. My mom has maintained her 5 pounds and 2" from her waist.

Not feeling the best still from this cold.

I'm being instructed to get off the computer and get back to my spot on the couch with my feet propped up. Here comes my giant cup of hot tea with cinnamon honey. Mr. Sideline Chef knows how to treat his woman right!

April 03, 2011


Six days. Six days! That was it! I was feeling tip top shape after my lung infection for only six days before catching a cold. Itty bitty is already improving. Me, not so much. I couldn't sleep last night with a nose that was draining like a faucet, fever, and a hacking cough. Finally fell asleep sometime after 11 p.m.

Woke up in the morning at 4:30 feeling like I couldn't breath. My chest was so heavy. I dragged myself out of bed and made a large hot cup of tea with cinnamon honey. Thankfully that opened my airway a bit and soothed my raw throat.

With not feeling well I have let the household chores go by the wayside a bit. Mr. Sideline Chef is sitting at the airport waiting to come home and after surveying the site I can tell you I need to get my ass in gear and make it look somewhat presentable. Itty bitty sure makes a lot of messes in a day. Thankfully I have six hours to accomplish the task at hand. I've already had to stop and take some hot tea breaks. I'm determined to get this done and then I'll let Mr. Sideline Chef pamper me while he's home until I feel better.

I've had no appetite this morning but needing to feed itty bitty I decided on a simple recipe out of the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. Granola is an easy enough breakfast. The original recipe leaves room for adjustments. You can customize it to your tastes but you shouldn't leave the MUFA out if you are following the Flat Belly Diet.

I had to leave out the unprocessed bran and crystallized ginger since the local market didn't carry it. I wasn't about to go hunting down those ingredients. Maybe another day when I'm feeling up to it. The granola didn't seem like it was lacking taste without those ingredients. Then again my tasters are off from this cold. Then again itty bitty helped himself to quite a bit of the granola.

While I think this granola is tasty I still think my Apple Cinnamon Granola tops this.

Makes 10 Servings (Serving size = 3/4 cup)

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed bran
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed - I used whole golden flaxseed.
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples - I used organic apple cinnamon chips. Just apples and cinnamon! Love that there was no added sugar.
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
And Action:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the oats, bran, and flaxseed in a large bowl.

Combine the apple juice, syrup, and ginger in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to coat.

Spread onto the baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Mine took the full 35 minutes. Make sure to stir twice. Place the granola in a bowl and stir in the apples and cranberries.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Walnuts (Or other nut or seed of choice)
Calories: 294
Protein: 7 g
Carbohydrates: 43 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 112 mg
Fiber: 8 g

April 02, 2011

Summer Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

I crave salads. Call me weird.

Mixed greens with peppery arugula, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers topped with the Green Goddess Dressing. The dressing is mayonnaise based but lightened up by using a little and mixing it with plain fat free yogurt and the flavor comes from green onions, tarragon, parsley, garlic, and white wine vinegar.

This California classic is delicious and refreshing. I could happily eat this salad every day while on the Flat Belly Diet.

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 package (7 oz) mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced
And Action:

Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, scallions, garlic, vinegar, tarragon, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Combine the greens, tomato, and cucumber in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Canola Mayonnaise
Calories: 145
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fat: 12 g
Cholesterol: 7 mg
Sodium: 203 mg
Fiber: 2 g

For a chance to win free tea head over to uTry.it and enter the giveaway! Tell Amy the Pretend Chef sent you!

April 01, 2011

Old Fashioned Peanut Soup

In the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook Old-Fashioned Peanut Soup was the first recipe in the "Soups & Sandwiches" section. I've never heard of peanut soup... possibly why they call it old fashioned. Before my time. Haha! The book states it's a Southern classic. I've never seen it on any menu here in Texas but then again I don't eat out as much as I once did and am not traveling for work like Mr. Sideline Chef anymore.

The Old-Fashioned Peanut Soup is vegetarian and would perfect for a "Meatless Monday" meal. It is especially satisfying when paired with baked sweet potato fries and boiled greens. The peanut butter melts into the broth and melds with the broth and pureed veggies to create a bisquelike texture without any cream.

For my first taste of Old-Fashioned Peanut Soup it was delicious and interesting. I think for my personal tastes the next time I make it I would probably cut the peanut butter in half. If you are a big fan of peanut butter you will most definitely love this soup and it's healthy for you! If you don't like veggies so much this is a soup for you as well since the veggies are pureed and the peanut butter is the star flavor player. Sneaky way to get your veggies!

Makes 4 Servings (Serving size = 1 1/4 cup)

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped unsalted peanuts
And Action:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the onion softens.

Add the garlic and 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.

Transfer the soup to a food processor and process until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot and stir in the peanut butter, lemon juice, and remaining 1 cup of broth. Cook for 5 minutes or until the peanut butter melts and the flavors blend.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Peanut Butter
Calories: 300
Protein: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Fat: 22 g
Saturated Fat: 22 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 156 mg
Fiber: 5 g

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