Tag Archives: vegetables

Classic Split Pea Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, just a couple things I want to throw out there.

Pea Soup isย notย photogenic. Pretty sure it never has been and it probably never will be. I was trying all sorts of different angles to make it look prettier but in the end I just gave up and hoped that you guys would understand. I do have to say though that this is probably one of the best tasting ugly foods out there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secondly, you’ll need to get yourself a ham hock. I know…. it’s weird. I have been begging my mom for this recipe for ages, and when she finally gave it to me I saw the ‘ham hock’ in the ingredient list and it took me months to remember to buy one at the store. It’s an awkward looking package of meat & bone, but totally rocks in the soup.

So just grab those hocks and peas and let’s get goin!

Boiling the hocks & peas, step one.So just grab those peas and the ol’ hock and let’s get goin!

45 min to 1 hour later, add your veggies! Keep boilin’!

At roughly 2 hours of boil time, this is how thick it should look- notice how much it bubbled onto the sides of the pot- this is a very messy soup, so clean the pot ASAP!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, remember how I said a few weeks ago that I never used to make soup? Totally did a 180 on that one- soups are my new favorite thing because you can just dump all the ingredients in a pot and wait a few hours and bam! Your house smells amazing and you can rest easy knowing dinner is prepared and it didn’t take any special culinary technique or constant attention to have a delicious product. And please… please don’t forgo the ham hock. It adds a delicious and hearty flavor to the soup and takes it to the next level for sure. This would make a less than satisfactory vegetarian soup.

Aaaand it makes so much that you’ll be eating it for days. And not get sick of it. Promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s make some green soup!!

~M

Classic Split Pea Soup

serves 10-12. (or 2 people for weeks)

Ingredients

1 (2 lb.) bag of split green peas, rinsed

1-2 ham hocks (all I could find was a package of 3 small hocks- so I used 3 and had lots of meat.)

1 medium size bag of baby carrots, chopped

1 head of celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

Lawry’s seasoning salt, to taste

4 quarts water

Directions

Fill a large stock pot with roughly 4 quarts of water. Rinse peas and add to water with ham hocks and bring to a boil.

Boil these two ingredients for 45 min to 1 hour, then add the chopped vegetables and Lawry’s seasoning salt. I probably used 2-3 tsp.

After about two hours, carefully remove the ham hocks and cut the meat off the bone. Place meat back in soup and discard the bone.

Boil soup over med-high heat for another 15-20 minutes or until at your desired level of thickness. I like my soup extra thick so I let it go for a while!

Time:

3 hours

 

 

 

 

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Cold Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is one of my happy-foods. I absolutely love it! It’s so fresh and delicious and perfect for summer time. I’ve made several, but I have to toot my own horn a little- this one was bomb. and I made a ton of it. This is what was in it:

There’s red onion in there too….somewhere….

I really wish I had a picture of this zucchini. I can’t believe you can only see a teensy part of it in the picture- but when M went to Israel, she left her garden unharvested which means her zucchini turned into monsters. Seriously. I think she had 3 of them and they were all over 2 feet long and about as big around as….I don’t even know. I’m looking around for something to compare it to, and there is nothing. It was huge. My thigh maybe? Which helps you not at all. If I think of something I’ll letcha know.

So, I cut off the end of the zucchini and cut it into cubes and threw it in a frying pan with some olive oil, garlic powder (cuz I didn’t have any garlic salt), salt, and pepper. I like it with a little crisp on it so it was in there for awhile. While the zucchini was frying, I got the asparagus broiling in the oven with a little olive oil and pepper. (I didn’t cut the asparagus because I got the skinny ones, not the thicker ones.) Again, I like that crispy too. So both of these veggies were cookin for most of the time I was chopping the cold stuff.

Oh, I just love love love asparagus. I could eat it every day. Just not when it’s 6.99 a pound.

Doesn’t this look so yummy?!? See how toasted it is? I love it when it has that char on it. MMmmmm….I’m getting really sad- I have none of this left.

So while these yummy greens are toasting away, I chopped the tomatoes, red onion, and bell pepper into pieces. For cold pasta salad, I cut them a little larger than if I was cooking them in a hot dish. Then I cut the green onions and mix all these in a bowl til everything else is ready. The salami I got was really thick which turned out to be really good- initially I was going to used sliced salami cut into strips, but having a thicker cut worked out because I cut it to the same size as the veggies (maybe a little smaller) and it tasted really good that way.

By now the pasta and hot veggies were done so I drained the pasta and let them both rest/cool for a bit.

Once this is cooled down (or in our case, starving and ready to eat no matter what the temperature is) mix the pasta with the pesto, (my favorite) Red Bell Pepper Italian Dressing, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up with all the veggies and enjoy!! Oh it was so good. I can’t even describe.

I decided to just take a picture of what’s left of the monster zucchini (duh) next to a water bottle so you can get an idea of the size of this thing. I cut off about 6 inches for this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See?! Steroid zucchini. Tasted amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the huge bowl this recipe made-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing about my pasta salads- I like a ratio of half veggie to half pasta. That’s just me.

Ohhh it was so good. I might just have to run to the store to replenish my ingredient list….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also served it with some Sun dried tomato bread from Panera, toasted up of course ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People, it was so good. I can’t say it enough. Let’s just say this, Curtis doesn’t eat leftovers. He ate these leftovers. Yes, this is how I judge my cooking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

-K

Cold Pasta Salad

Half a box of pasta (I use whole grain)

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 large bell peppers, chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 bundle green onion, chopped

1 pound asparagus

3 cups zucchini (cut into cubes)

2 cups salami, thickly cut into cubes

1 cup (approximately) pesto

1 cup (approximately) Red Bell Pepper Italian Dressing

salt, pepper, and garlic salt (or powder) to taste

Cook pasta. Broil asparagus until thoroughly cooked. Fry zucchini on the stove until cooked. Cut all other vegetables and meat into similar size pieces. Once the pasta and veggies are done cooking, let them chill in the fridge. Once they are chilled, mix seasonings, dressing, and pesto into the pasta noodles. Then add all vegetables and meat. And eat it ALL. (We didn’t really eat it all- I shared it with Adrienne, I promise! And we had leftovers)

Side note: The earlier you make this, the longer it can chill and really be a cold pasta salad.


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June!!

These are my favorite mornings.

Sometimes Joey comes in for breakfast when I have the day off of work, and it’s a great start to the day- it’s like a little date before the day begins! Typically we eat breakfast on the fly, since we both have to be at work pretty early. So when we have these special days, we take the time to make something really, really good. Like today, we voted french toast and bacon. I didn’t really follow a recipe for the french toast, just threw a couple eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and a dash of honey into a bowl, lightly soaked the bread in the batter, and fried it up in some butter. I made a ‘skinny’ french toast for myself- all I changed was that I used vanilla almond milk (WHAT?! But you live on a DAIRY!?! How could you?! Are you saying that milk is BAD for you?!) No, no, no. Let me tell you, we drink our milk in this house! Raw, sometimes! But I’ve come to like almond milk as a fun and lower calorie change sometimes- anyways, Joey just planted some almond trees with his dad last year, so we have to support both industries! Also, I just used egg whites. Oh, and don’t forget the pure maple syrup- if you haven’t ever tried pure maple syrup, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! It’s a little more expensive than your regular thick syrup, but oh is it worth the dough. You’ll wonder why you ever acquainted yourself with Aunt Jemimah.

When I had about half a piece of my toast left, I knew that little smidgen I had left wasn’t going to fill this tummy til lunch! So I added a dollop of plain greek yogurt (Fage is my fave), and another little drizzle of syrup.

Sorry, that plate looks pretty gross. It sure was tasty, though!

After our lovely little breakfast date, we parted ways for the rest of the day. I quick took my dogs for a little walk/swim in the canal before starting my to-do list, which felt pretty good after that big breakfast. Aren’t they cute? I think they could smell the bacon on my breath…

I was surprised with a phone call from a dear friend during our walk too! It was so good to catch up- I think friendships are one of the greatest blessings out there. Plus, this friend had a pretty hilarious scary story. She will remain nameless, but if you see a girl walking around with pig teeth marks on her calf, you’ll know who I was talking to. Oh yes, it was a good story.

After I got back from our walk, I gardened a little bit and then headed out for some errands and groceries! I also got my laptop fixed, which will make this blogging experience a whole lot more fun. Those Apple employees are geniuses, aren’t they?! It actually says the employee’s name on their name badge, and ‘genius’ too! Awesome, I wish that was on my RN license…

That breakfast kept me really full well past lunchtime, and by the time I realized I was a little hungry- it was 3:45 and grocery shopping time! We all know it’s dangerous to go into Costco with a rumbly tumbly, so I popped into jamba Juice to try out that new green smoothie they’ve been advertising.

I got a sixteen ‘Apples’n’Greens’, and it was soooo good! Hit. The. Spot. I was slightly disappointed because there wasn’t actually any veggies in the smoothie, just the usual fruit and then veggie juice. I’ll still take it though. This was about 220 calories, and 3 servings of fruit and 2 servings of veggies! A lot of sugar still, but a girl’s gotta have her snack.

After Costco, I squeezed in some gym time! Ran a fast 2 miles on the treadmill with intervals, then about 32 min on the elliptical. Finished up with 2 sets of squats, some dumbells, and planks. Man, planks are killer. I always feel so energized after a good workout, and was looking forward to the usual pit stop at the fruit stand on the way home! Seriously- all this for $8.14?!

I have come to be pretty good friends with the staff at this fruitstand, since I see them once or twice a week! I always look kinda sweaty and gross when I’m there though, since its usually after the gym… sorry guys.

Now dinner time with my man! BLT’s and salad on the menu tonight! I guess we didn’t get enough bacon this morning… gotta keep that ball rollin!

Joey had the true BLT, and I had this beauty. This may well be the best salad of my life! I added a 3 bean salad to the top there- it was a Mediterranean bean salad from Costco, 70 cal for a 1/2 cup and SO good! Plus a scoop of hummus on the side. And tons of veggies and some bacon, of course.

Dessert:

This bowl x 3. Can’t get enough of those babies!

Happy June!

~M

P.S. did I tell you that K is coming over on Sunday again?! So excited! In the meantime, have a looksy at my adorable niece and her beautiful mommy!

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