Monday, March 8, 2010

Canned Dinners Makes Me Smile

     And for two main reasons...#1 being obviously the convenience. #2 however that I can stock and re-stock my cupboards, hit case lot sales, save money, save food storage, and make in turn easy meals later after loading my pantry with cheap and quick deliciousness. My recipes of choice? A super easy delish bean and leek soup that I stole from a friend's mom (thanks to your mom Kati!), and toasty french bread with bruschetta on half of the loaf and another quick bean spread for the other. I confess that although these meals are not entirely made from cans, last night was a perfect night for warm yummy food. Although I had little preparation to do, I was able to involve the kids and even (yes I am very proud of this one) get out of the negative funk I was in ALL day. It must be the weather out here in Denver. That or I am just not used to being indoors most days. Whatever the reason, nothing warms the soul like hot soup and an olive oiled toasty baguette. Plus I got a good read out of the whole days work. Yes, I do read cook books in my "spare" time like some people pour over a good novel, and while I like to read a great classic too, absolutely nothing beats a well written and inspiring piece of cookbook literature. My newest feast of choice (and only within a week of my last selection too!) is "The Healthy Kitchen, Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit" by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley which I have included another amazon.com link, AND which is where I got the bean spread idea (with a little doctoring of my own as usual) Enjoy!

The Healthy Kitchen on Amazon.com






     Quick and Easy Leek Soup


2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1/3 of one large leek thinly sliced from the white/light green side
1 can great northern beans (white cannellini beans) or 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
olive oil (optional) and pepper to taste, extra chicken bouillon to taste


Bring the chicken broth and beans/peas to boil. Add the leeks and boil for another 3-5 minutes til leeks are soft. Taste and add any pepper, olive oil and/or bouillon to your liking. I have had the soup with either the peas or the beans, loved both, but the beans provided a more mild flavor. Also used a half tsp or so of olive oil and good helping of pepper and even a half tsp or so of the bouillon (I liked the soup a little more rich) Either way it is yummy! Serve with more fresh ground pepper and even some parmesan cheese as a delicious topping. Thanks again to Kati's mom! Serves 4-6 Adults




     Toasty French Baguette w/Bruschetta and White Bean Spread


1 whole loaf french bread
olive oil


Cut the french bread into medium rounds vertically off of the loaf (I have to say this because I turned it into garlic bread slices first w/o thinking...oops!) brush or place one side of each piece in olive oil. Load up a large cookie sheet/pizza pan and broil for 2-3 minutes til lightly browned. Then follow other steps for either toppings below. Use half of the baguette for each topping or the whole loaf for which ever one you prefer. Can serve many for an appetizer, or 4-6 adults for a meal with the above soup.


     Bruschetta


2-3 tomatoes diced small, or 1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic minced
2 basil leaves finely chopped and more for topping
pepper and olive oil to taste
Thinly sliced mozzarella or Goat Jack cheese
For extra zip add some crushed red pepper, 1/4-1/2 c chopped bacon (like the pre-packaged already chopped refrigerator kind) 1/4 c finely diced red onion and/or 2 tsp finely chopped green onion.


Mix thoroughly and top each piece of bread with a heaping tsp or so of bruschetta. Add the thinly cheese and another thin slice of fresh basil to the top of each piece. Broil again for another 2-3 min or so til cheese is mostly melted and bread is browned nicely. Serve and enjoy!


     White Bean Spread


2 c great northern beans (cannellini beans, about 1 can)
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
dash salt
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil


Add all ingredients to food processor and puree. Then either leave the spread as a dip for the toasted bread like my book suggested, or spread a tsp or so on each little round and add a little of the thinly sliced cheese from above and broil for an additional 2-3 min. Turns out quite nice warmed like the bruschetta!

1 comment:

  1. You make me laugh every time! You should write a book/cookbook!

    ReplyDelete

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