Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Greek Bean Soup Recipe

My neighbor made a soup like this for me a while back,
and I had to go home and make my own rendition of it!
This has been one of my favorite "comfort foods" of the fall
ever since!

Greek Bean Soup
- 1/4 C. + 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 2 large carrots
- 2 Celery Sticks
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 2 (15 oz) cans of Navy Beans, or Great Northern Beans
- 1 (14 oz) can of Diced Tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper (I always use Trader Joe's Pink Himalayan Salt Crystals)
- Feta Cheese for garnish
1. In a large stock pot, pour 2Tbsp EVOO, and add chopped carrots, celery, and onions.  Let simmer on a low heat setting until the onions are cooked through, about 2-3 min.
2. Rinse and drain beans.  They will bubble at first... rinse them until they stop bubbling.
3. Add your beans, tomatoes (NOT drained), remaining EVOO, and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir together.
4. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to med-low & let simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Serve with (or without) Feta Cheese sprinkled over top.
Note:  This soup is not exactly "soupy"... meaning, it doesn't really have a broth, but it is a delicious, budget-friendly, quick way to throw something together! Another thing I love to do with it is to make a double batch.  After it cools I stick half of the "soup" into a freezer bag  for another date (or to send home to a mom with a new baby... or someone else who needs it more). It keeps in the freezer for months... so it's a nice thing to have around in your freezer on a night you need something quick.. just remember to put a date on it so you know when it was made. :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"All Cleaned Up Roasted Pumpkin Seeds" Recipe

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to stock up on Pie Pumpkins and save them for a rainy day! Today is not a rainy day (it's actually very sunny... and beautiful!), but I do have a couple of sick kiddos laying around the house.  So, I'm making the best of this day and cutting open my first Pie Pumpkin of the year!

When I was little we would roast pumpkin seeds with melted butter and lots of table salt.  It was one of our favorite fall pastimes & snacks.  However, now that I'm all grown up, I'm always looking for ways to make my favorite things, only healthier for the family & I... but still just as tasty & enjoyable!  So I was very excited to try roasting pumpkin seeds a new way today!

Two steps to prepare to roast your seeds:
Step One
So, first thing's first! You have to buy your pumpkin! Not sure what a "Pie Pumpkin" is? Click here!

Step Two
Okay, now that you have your pumpkin.... time to cut it open, and gut it! I love this part... I'm sick, I know. ;)  Take all your seeds and seperate them from all the guts, put them into a small strainer. And rinse!

Okay, now you're ready to roast your seeds!!

All Cleaned Up Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Rinsed Pumpkin seeds from 1 Pie Pumpkin (about 1 cup of seeds or so)
- 2 tsp. of Coconut Oil
- approximately 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt Crystals

1. Begin preheating your oven to 300F. 
2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a small microwave safe bowl melt Coconut Oil. 
4. Add your Pumpkin seeds to the bowl, and stir. 
5. Sprinkle salt evenly over the top, stir. 

I used Trader Joe's Pink Himalayan Salt Crystals,
and Spectrum brand Organic Coconut Oil for this recipe.
6. Spread mixture across your cookie sheet.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Seeds should be a light brown color when they're ready.

What your roasted seeds SHOULD look like when they're done!

*I stored mine in an air-tight container at room temp.  These should last about 2-3 days... if you don't gobble them all up in one sitting! ;)