Hello everyone !!! I am back.......after a long hiatus. Promise to take no more breaks, atleast not such long ones anymore. A couple of reasons were responsible for my disappearance from the blogosphere- the primary being that i had to take my board exams for my pharmacist licensure and the second one being our move from sunny old Florida (although it wasnt all that sunny) to Raleigh, North Carolina. And although wintery cold is now a distant thought, here's something that i made during the early winter months to keep you warm, stuffed and happy.
White Bean and Spinach Soup
5 cups vegetable stock (you can use Swanson or alternately prepare one at home)
1 can canelleni or navy beans (or any white beans)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 carrot chopped into small pieces
1 cup chopped spinach
1 small roma tomato chopped
2 bay leaves
2 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp lemon/lime juice
2 thyme stalks
salt and pepper to taste
1. To prepare vegetable stock at home, combine 6 cups water, add 2 stalks celery, 2 stalks leek (white part only), 1 small onion chopped, 1 thyme stalk, bay leaf and 2 cloves and boil for 30 min at medium heat. Filter the stalk water and use it for the soup.
2. Heat olive oil in a soup pot, add the garlic and onions and saute till golden brown.
3. Add the stock (prepared at home or store bought), carrots, tomato, beans, bay leaves, cloves and thyme and let boil for 20 to 30 min.
4. Add the spinach finally, the lemon peel and let boil for 10 more minutes.
5. Finally add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.
Serves 6 (as a side dish)
3 cups italian lettuce mix
1/2 cup diced kalamata olives
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 tsp feta cheese
1/2 cup rasberry viniagrette
1. Mix all the ingredients in the salad bowl and chill for 20-30 min.
Spinach and Cheese Lasagna
1 packet oven ready lasagna noodles
2 12-oz cans fire roasted tomatoes (plain would work fine too)
12-15 basil leaves
1 big red onion- chopped
2 cloves garlic- chopped
12 oz grated italian cheese mix (a combination or mozarella and ricotta would also do)
3 cups aldente boiled spinach leaves
1. Heat some olive oil, add chopped garlic and basil leaves for a minute and add the chopped onion and saute till golden brown.
2. Next add the canned fire roasted tomatoes and let cook for 15 minutes.
3. Put this tomato basil mix thru the blender till you get a fine sauce.
4. Separately dunk the spinach leaves in boiling water for 1 minute and remove and strain to drain all water.
5. Layer the bottom of the lasagna pan with some of the tomato basil sauce till its evenly spread all over. Place the oven ready lasagna noodles over the sauce, and evenly distribute some more sauce over it.
6. Now spread the spinach leaves and liberally sprinkle cheese over it.
7. Next add some more sauce and place lasagna noodles over it as mentioned before.
8. Repeat the process as described in steps 5 and 6.
9. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for 40-60 minutes (or as per your oven temperature setting) till the cheese is a slightly golden brown.
10. Serve hot.