Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Soup's on...or Something!

All tasty, very easy, and dollar savers!

Home cooking takes on a new meaning – stretching it and formulating creative (as in never-before-fathomed) dishes – some lasting all week. You’d be mighty surprised what you can concoct from what you have in your kitchen and a little imagination. Or when watching a cooking show and, joy of joys, you realize you have all the ingredients in your kitchen, regardless of the time of day or night, you find yourself whipping up an exotic or unexpected treat – that at times often tastes good enough to eat. ;-) 
Here's one>
Coconut Black Beans
3/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
1 can black beans, heated
Mango, peeled and cut in ⅓-inch dice (if you don't have mango, omit it and proceed)
A few chopped scallions/green onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice
Dash of sea salt or some salt
Mix and eat!

Homemade soup goes a very long way, and is delicious! Potato Leek soup is easyyyyy and spectacular any time of year! And if you don't have leeks, just do potato and onion soup the same way!
Potato Leek Soup
In a big pot:
2 tbsp. butter
Add and lightly brown 2 leeks (thinly sliced)
A little salt (I use just a little sea salt)
Black pepper to taste
Add vegetable broth (couple of cans)
Add cubed/sliced potatoes (about 3-5) It doesn't matter how they are cut because you are going to mash them later. I keep the skin on, of course.
Boil then simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Remove from heat and use a potato masher to mash to desired soup consistency. I don't mash too much because I like it a little chunky.
(Optional: You can add shredded cheese and/or Greek yogurt or sour cream on top of each serving.)

I also have gotten in the habit of duplicating at home what I have and like in restaurants for about 1/3 the menu price! Here's a real winner, and healthy!
Champagne Shrimp Salad from Wild East Pan Asian Bistro, Charlotte, NC
You can use shrimp but I prefer langostinos (from Trader Joe's freezer section near the fish)
Romaine lettuce or mixed greens
Mango (peeled and sliced in Trader Joe's chilled fruit section)
Champagne vinaigrette (many grocery stores carry this; I use Girard's brand)
Boil the langostinos for a minute or two at the most so they don't get tough; drain.
Cut up everything else and mix all together with langostinos
Just a drizzling of champagne vinaigrette.

I also do Chipotle's Burrito Bowl at home and it is totally delicious! And healthy!
Romaine lettuce
Black or pinto beans
(* In a saucepan, I drain and mix a can of corn with an undrained can of black beans, so I have enough left to use for several servings)
Rice (I make 2-4 servings for the same reason as above)
Some kind of Morning Star meal-starter protein substitute for me, or shredded chicken, turkey, pork, beef 
A little shredded cheese
Greek yogurt (or sour cream) [I use Greek 2% yogurt and for what we can get in the US, it MUST be Fage (Fa-yay) brand for me. The others are nowhere near the real deal like in Greece!]
Layer and eat, that's all there is to it! 

* Obviously when using for leftovers, in a bowl in a microwave heat your beans, corn, rice and protein/meat, then layer everything else on top!

Bon Appetit! Kali Oreksi! Enjoy! 


  1. I love this! And we single gals should pamper ourselves... We sure as hell deserve it... Eat, love, enjoy, Salute!

  2. I agree...and it's easy to do -- and cheap! Everyone, in particular, goes nuts over the champagne salad recipe!