Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Two Speedy Soups From Canned Tomato Sauce

Tomato Coconut Curry and Tomato Sausage Soup

Now that all my girls are out on my own - it's weird, I know - but I'm still cooking for them. It's like we are in tandem universes. They are hundreds of miles away, but I still try to make dishes I think they would like as well as approve of! It makes for a lot of sharing and discussion, which is a lot of fun for me. One thing I realize is they come home late, tired and hungry after a whole day of working followed by some kind of exercise class or activity. They want something substantial, but fast and also perhaps Whole 30 compliant or at least healthy. The soups posted here are so easy and with label reading, they can be made with canned tomato sauce that doesn't have bad stuff in it! The trick to the Tomato Coconut Curry is to have already cooked chicken meat on hand and a left over sweet potato. Or, a microwave that zaps them in five minutes.  The smooth broth goes so well with the velvety cooked sweet potato and the subtle spiciness is very warming on a cold day. The Tomato Sausage Soup is an old favorite of Roy's and I've made it for years. I put it together out of desperation one night when all I had on hand was a can of tomato sauce, some sausage, and a handful of mixed salad greens. It turned out to be hearty and delicious! Aidells brand sausage is available at most grocery stores and happens to be Whole 30 allowed. I'd love to know which of these soups people enjoy more!

Tomato Coconut Curry Soup - Serves Two as Main Dish


1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 medium sweet potato, cooked and cubed
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, put through a press or finely minced
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, including juice
1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk
1/2 heaping cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Lime wedges for serving


Peel and slice onion. Heat oil over medium low heat and saute onion until tender - about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cilantro and curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes. coconut milk, sweet potato, chicken, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Turn the heat up to medium high to get the mixture up to a simmer, then turn down to medium low and cook for 5 more minutes.

Tomato Sausage Soup - Serves Two as Main Dish


1/2 pound sliced sausage
2 cups greens - spinach and/or kale
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can beef broth
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme


Brown sausage over medium heat - about  3 to 5 minutes per side. Add tomato sauce, greens, beef broth, oregano, salt, pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, garlic powder. Bring up to a boil, then turn down to medium low and simmer 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chicken Paprikash with Pepper & Onion "Noodles"

So - we are halfway through January which means for some people, they are halfway through the Whole 30. (Not for me though - I had to start over on the 10th!) Allison set up a Facebook message group called "Whole 30 Yates Clan Support Group" which even includes cousins.  From this sharing communication I feel that the anxiety of actual cooking is now being replaced by the big question of what to do with all the vegetables that everyone seems to now have around. Also, time is still huge a issue. As I've said before, if it isn't quick and easy, I'm not going to make it - but it has to taste yummy. I suspect that the secret to staying on this program for the 30 days is that food has to have a lot of flavor and be delicious. In chilly January, it also needs to be warm and satisfying. I've replaced traditional noodles in the post here with onion and colorful bell pepper ribbons. When I see bell peppers on sale, I like to buy a bunch, seed, slice and freeze them in zip lock bags - it's a time safer. This dish is packs a spicy punch that combats the chilly temperatures outside  - enjoy!

Chicken Paprikash - serves 4

1 pound chicken pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the paprika, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper together. Rub into the chicken. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and brown chicken - about 7 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Bell Pepper & Onion Noodles for Chicken Paprikash

1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
2 tablespoons oil
1 (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
parsley to garnish

Core and seed peppers. Slice peppers and onions into strips. Heat oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Saute vegetables until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste and Hungarian paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add to pan.

Gently combine the tomato mixture and the peppers together.

Place the browned chicken on top of the vegetables, cover with foil, and simmer over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into a chicken piece to check to make sure it is completely cooked. Ladle into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Pulled Pork on Braised Red Cabbage

Cooking at home is a healthy habit; there is total control over what ingredients are in the dish! But I've realized that for some, it really stresses them out! They come home from work tired, hungry and don't want to mess with an hour of kitchen toil. I know - I've been there!  The secret is recipes that are quick, easy, and are made with some protein that's already been cooked.  When the girls were growing up, I'd roast a chicken or a cut of beef on Sunday, then I could use the left overs in other things during the week. Today, my Instant Pot makes it even easier. This post involves placing some pulled pork on top of braised red cabbage. If time and patience are short, ditch the carrots and/or the apples in the recipe - it will still taste great - but if five more minutes could be spared, it's worth it! 

Spice Mix Rub for Pulled Pork

2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together.

Directions for Cooking Pulled Pork

3 - 4 pound pork shoulder/Boston butt
Spice mix rub for pulled pork above
2 cups beef broth
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit, or get out crock pot or pressure cooker such as Instant Pot.
First pour the beef broth and apple cider vinegar vinegar into a roasting pan, crock pot, or pressure cooker.

Then rub the spice mix into the meat.

Put the meat into the cooking vehicle.

Cook until pork can be pulled about and shredded with two forks. For oven, roast for 4 to 5 hours. For crock pot, cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. For pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 60 minutes.

Braised Red Cabbage

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium red cabbage, cored and shredded
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and sliced
Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup red vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pinch ground cloves

Place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions, and carrot in a pan and saute over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more. Then add the cabbage, apple cubes, orange juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and ground cloves. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes over medium low heat until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Place some braised cabbage on each serving plate or on one large platter. Place pulled pork on cabbage. Place a handful of greens on top and finish off with a sprinkle of red wine vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, and a shake of sea salt.