Monday, March 1, 2010

Sausage and Lentil Soup

Another one of my favorite soups for "Souper Monday"! It has so much flavor and reheats for lunch in a snap.

Sausage and Lentil Soup
Makes 6 servings (about 1 C each)
4 points each

1 clove garlic, minced
1 C cooked frozen spinach
1/4 C chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 C dry lentils
6 C fat-free chicken broth
3 links of sweet Italian turkey sausage

Remove sausage from casings. In a non-stick skillet, brown sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Set aside.

In a soup pot, sautee garlic and onion in cooking spray. Add chicken broth, lentils and spinach. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 mintues. You want the lentils cooked, but still firm.

Add sausage and tomatoes. Simmer an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can also add 2 C of cooked pasta (like orzo or other smaller pasta shape) to the soup for additional points.

Super Tuscan White Bean Soup

Another "Souper Monday" entry. I looooooved this soup. Mostly because it has bacon in it! But it's filling and yummy and makes for great lunches for the week for me. The basil, garlic and crushed red pepper topping really makes it stand out.

I think I got it off of the Betty Crocker Web site. It gave me a chance to use my new immersion blender - my favorite new kitchen gadget.

Super Tuscan White Bean Soup
Makes 6 servings (about 1C each)
5 points per serving

4 slices center cut bacon
1 medium onion, quartered
1 medium stalk of celery, quartered crosswise
1 medium carrot, quartered crosswise (I just used a handful of baby carrots)
2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
3 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf, dried
1/2 C white wine
4 C fat-free chicken broth
3 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/4 C basil, julienned
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tsp olive oil (omitted)

In a 4-quart saucepan, cook bacon, onion, celery, carrot and 2 cloves of garlic over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Add beans, bay leaf, wine and chicken broth; cover and cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and cool about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in an 8-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 1 TBSP garlic; cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic begins to brown. Stir in red pepper flakes, cook a few seconds; stir in basil and cook until it wilts.

Remove bay leaf from soup. Pour into food processor; cover and puree. Return to saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 5 mintues or until heated through. Top each serving with a small amount of basil garlic mixture.

Broccoli, Cannellini Bean & Cheddar Soup‏

I found this recipe in an old issue of Eating Well magazine. We have made Monday's "Souper Mondays", trying out different low-fat healthy soup recipes. This one is fiber and protein packed. And the best part? There's no cream in it...and you'll never miss it.

We had it with grilled cheese sammiches (light whole wheat bread and 2% cheddar slices...lightly spritzed with some butter and cooked in pam) for a light dinner.

Broccoli, Cannellini Bean and Cheddar Soup
(Source: Eating Well)

1 14 oz can of fat-free low sodium chicken broth
1 C water
1 lb broccoli crowns, washed and trimmed (about 6 cups)
1 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 C shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I used reduced fat)

Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in beans, salt and pepper and cook until beans are heated through, 1 minute.

Transfer 1/2 the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. (use caution when pureeing hot liquids) Transfer to a bowl. Repeating with remaining broccoli mixture and cheese. Serve warm. Makes 6 scant 1 cup servings

Per serving (as written): 153 calories; 7 g fat, 11g protein, 6g fiber
1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies
(Source: Recipe Zaar)

1 17.5 oz pouch of sugar cookie dough mix
1/2 C butter, melted
1 egg
3 T all-purpose flour
Raspberry Jam Variation:
1/3 C raspberry jam
finely chopped nuts

Chocolate variation:
1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 C coarse ground sugar
Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until soft dough forms.
Roll dough into 3/4" balls roll into nuts (for raspberry variation) or coarse sugar (chocolate variation)and place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Using thumb or a spoon, make an indent in the middle of each ball. Spoon 1/4 tsp of jam into each indentation. For chocolate version, skip this step.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 mintues before using a spatula to transfer to cooling racks. For chocolate version, press chocolate kiss into each cookie immediately after removing from oven.


Whole Grain Gingersnaps

Makes 3 1/2 dozen
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar
6 T trans-fat free vegetable oil spread
1 large egg
1/2 C dark molasses
nonpareils or white sprinkles

In a small bowl, combine flours, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat sugar and vegetable oil spread until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy, occasionally scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until blended. Cover dough in bowl with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour or until easier to handle (dough will be slightly sticky).
Preheat oven to 350F. With lightly greased hands, shape dough by heaping teaspoons into 1" balls. Dip top half of balls into nonpareils and place onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 1/2" inches apart.
Bake 9-11 minutes or until tops are cracked. Cookies will be soft. Cool on sheets for 1 minute then remove with a spatula onto wire racks to cool completely.
Store in tightly covered container at room temp for 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Shortbread Bites

Shortbread Bites

1 1/4 C All-Purpose Flour
3 T Sugar
1/2 C butter (1 stick), cold, cut into pieces
1 T red and green non-pareils or 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

In a food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in a medium bowl. With your hands, add non-pareils or baking bits, and knead until dough becomes a ball.

On a lightly floured sheet of wax paper, pat dough into an 8" x 5" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. Cut dough into 1/2" squares. Place squares on and ungreased baking sheet, a 1/2" apart. Preheat oven to 325F.

Bake cookies 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for one week; or freeze up to 3 month.

I melted red-tinted candy melts in the microwave and dipped the tops of the bites into the candy. Then added snowflake sprinkles on top while it was still melted. I put them in the fridge to set.