Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Love To Eat!

I love to eat, but I'm pretty picky about what I eat. Yes, there are times where I put things in my mouth that aren't very good for me, but I like to think those incidents are pretty far between. Because of that I'm always on the look out for new, healthy recipes that my family would like. Most of us won't eat anything that is remotely related to a fish. (I used to, then I was pregnant with Mr 19 and now the smell, sight, taste, thought of fish kicks in my gag reflex.) Miss 10 is just plain picky, if it's something mixed all together, it has to be exposed to her a dozen times before she'll finally eat it. If she chooses not to eat what I make, she can dig for leftovers in the fridge and warm it herself or she can make herself a PB and J. Miss 15 will try new things, and eats most anything, and college has done wonders for Mr 19 and he's willing to eat most things that are home cooked meals now.

I do all my weekly menu planning over the weekend, and on Monday I go out to stock our shelves. Oftentimes, because I live in the middle of the continent, I don't find what I need at one store, so I have to head out again later in the week to find the things I missed on Monday, or to hopefully find some decent fruits and vegetables that aren't wilted, bruised, browned or pathetic. I try to plan my weekly meals around one beef meal, one chicken breast meal, one vegetarian meal and the rest fall into the "other" category.

Many times I need meals that can either be in the slow cooker all day, or can be made and ready to eat in thirty to forty-five minutes. Last night we tried a new recipe out for soup, it was awesome. I'm not known for following a recipe exactly, so I did modify the recipe to suit our tastes and product availability. The original recipe was from Cooking Light magazine. It was called Summer Corn and White Bean Soup. I didn't vary it a lot, and I didn't move far enough away from the ingredients to change the healthful aspects of it. The recipe is full of fiber, and very filling. Bonus points because it was easy to make, and the ingredients are really easy to find, even where I live! So, after that long introduction, here is my version of

Corn and White Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (walla walla or
1 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 cup chopped ham
3 cups fresh corn kernels OR 2 cans Green Giant corn
(I used 1 can shoepeg and one super sweet yellow and white corn)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth (I added more to this as needed depending how long the soup simmered)
2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
cayenne pepper flakes- to taste
Shredded monterey jack pepper cheese

1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and ham and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently, add garlic and cook 30 seconds more, you don't want the garlic to burn, yuck!
2. Add rinsed corn and stir continuously for 1 minute, letting corn brown ever so slightly. Stir in chicken broth and remaining ingredients except for pepper jack cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or so. (Mine was sitting for about half an hour waiting for Hubby to get home, it did just fine, I added a little more chicken broth as needed.) Taste, add more salt or pepper to suit your fancy.
3. Serve with shredded pepper jack cheese on the top. Enjoy!

Variation: I think this soup would be really, really good if you left out the ham, and served it with peppered bacon cooked crisp and chopped up on the top. Don't add it to your soup, bacon just gets soggy then, but serve it on top with the pepper jack cheese. When you make the soup without ham, you would probably need to adjust your seasonings a bit. This would be an easy soup to add your favorite things to, it's a good base recipe.

Serve it with cornbread and a salad, Yummy!

For my sister, who is on the road with her husband (still!) this is something you could easily make on the road, it's nothing you have to have an in home kitchen to make. To my lactose intolerant family members, leave off the cheese, problem solved, and for the rest of you, try it, you'll like it!


1 comment:

DeeAnn said...

I love to eat too!
Thanks for the recipe, I hope to try it next week when we are in LA. yay!