Thursday, April 29, 2010

My GO TO Fast, Healthy Dinner Idea

I probably make this dinner twice per month because it is fast, easy, healthy, and above all, delicious! My family loves it, and often there are leftovers for lunch the next day! I usually make a double batch (see my double batch post) and freeze one half.

**Please note that measurements are approximate as I don't usually measure any ingredients and just add in whatever I think looks right or whatever I have on hand.**

**Please feel free to omit or add any ingredient you see fit--these are only suggestions. I do not always add everything.

Beef Vegetable Soup (yields one batch, serves 4)

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. stew beef, leftover beef roast, leftover rotisserie chicken, or chicken breast

2-3 cubes beef, chicken, or tomato boullin

6-8 cups water (more or less depending on how much water you like in your soup)

1 onion, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 large potatoes or sweet potatoes, cubed

1 cup butternut squash or similar, cubed

1-2 fresh tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can stewed tomatoes (I like to use fresh because less sodium)

1/4 head of cabbage, chopped

3/4 cup each of frozen corn, peas, and/or beans

1/2 cup frozen okra, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 choyote squash, cubed

1 can kidney beans, rinsed

Italian seasoning, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

chili flakes, optional

1 jalapeno, chopped, optional

fresh herbs of choice

1. Add water, meat, and boullin to large soup pot. Heat to boil. Boil rapidly until meat in cooked through (if uncooked).

2. Add broth ingredients (onion, garlic, celery, jalapeno, and tomato), continue to boil covered. *Note--for more flavour, saute these ingredients in olive oil first, if time permits.

3. Add hard vegetables (i.e. potatoes, carrots, squash, etc.) as they require more cook time.

4. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and chili flakes (if using dried herbs, add now, if using fresh, add at the end of cook time).

5. Add frozen vegetables, reduce heat to medium low to keep a slow boil.

6. Add softer vegetables, kidney beans, and fresh herbs, reduce heat to simmer.

7. Check hard vegetables to ensure they are cooked thoroughly.

Serve with a crusty bread, dinner rolls, or toast! Add a large glass of milk and you have hit all the food groups!

***This can also be done in a crock pot set on low all day.***

***To be more time efficient and maximise your time, chop vegetables as the meat is cooking and broth is being boiled. Add ingredients in order of broth ingredients first, then hard vegetables, and softer vegetables.***

Bon Appetit!

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