BEST ZUCCHINI EVER!!!!

Hi Y’all!  Welcome to my first “new post” for my Website Launch!!!!  www.eatdrinkbe.com  I’ve been working my tail off trying to do this by myself, but I just couldn’t take it anymore.  It’s not finished, and so not perfect…..but, it’ll do.  It’s Summertime and I want to share my recipes with you guys.  Just be aware that things will be in a state of constant change.  Hopefully bettering the site, as I learn, to make it more user-friendly.  So, let’s get down to business.  Here is a quick recipe for one that y’all have been begging for.

 Zucchini.

Delicious Zucchini

Delicious Zucchini

But not just any zucchini.  This is absolutely, hands-down, no-doubt-about-it, honestly the most amazing zucchini dish I have ever created.  Nay, I may go as far to say: as I have ever eaten.

Yes, it’s THAT GOOD.

This is one that you will make over and over again.

Your new Summer Staple.

Your quick “GO-TO” for that overabundance of summer squash.

Personally, I’m not a squash lover.  I can make a mean squash casserole, now don’t get me wrong, but I’ve very particular about my squash to mush ratio!!!  It’s a fine squashy line…..

But this, this is a no fail devouring of squash guarantee!!!

I can’t even come up with a catchy name for this dish, because this IS the

BEST ZUCCHINI EVER

Globe Zucchini

Globe Zucchini

I had gotten some Globe Zucchini at the Farmer’s Market, and they were the perfect choice for this dish.  They tend to be a little more firm and a tad less watery than other varietals.  If you can find or grown them, I highly recommend it.  They are also perfect little stuffing portions that look super cute for entertaining!!!

Just look at that crispy coating......

Just look at that crispy coating……

It’s a pretty simple and basic recipe I have for you!  Enjoy!!!

Simply the BEST!!!

Simply the BEST!!!

 

THE BEST ZUCCHINI EVER

  • 3-5 Globe Zucchini, washed and sliced into halfmoons
  • 1 Vidalia Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • Handful of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Shredded Asaigo
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 2-3 T GrapeSeed Oil
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme (1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt

* Toss all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Roughly Mix with your hands until all ingredients have a nice coating of cheese.  Preheat a LARGE NONSTICK Skillet or Cast Iron Skillet over Med HIGH.  Pour in GrapeSeed Oil to coat.  Let Oil get warm.  Add Veggies to pan.  DO NOT MIX AROUND WITH YOUR SPATULA.  I Repeat: DROP THE SPATULA AND WALK AWAY! Seriously, let the veggies sit for 3-5 mins or so until a nice, crispy brown coat has formed.  Then, gently flip them over and let the same thing happen to the other side.  Serve IMMEDIATELY before you devour the entire pan yourself!!!

 

 

The Crispy parts are the best!!!

The Crispy parts are the best!!!

 

***TIPS***

The larger the pan the better.  You want to be able to spread  the veggies in a single layer for Maximum Browning surface area!!!

Also, feel free to try different herbs in place of thyme.  Rosemary, Garlic Chives, Parsley, even Cilantro!!!!

I used GrapeSeed Oil because of it’s lightness and high heat tolerance.  You can use EVOO or another oil as well.

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I hope you enjoy my new Website!!!  I’m SUPEREXCITED!!!!

Happy Launch Day!!!!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

So, what’s for dinner???  How do you decide? Me, I check out my fresh ingredients. I’ve got Roma Tomatoes, Red Bell Pepper & Orange Bell Pepper, Onions, Garlic….looks like its time for SOUP!!!  Just perfect on a 20 degree day!  I know I always have stock around….simply in the pantry, or homemade and in the freezer.  And, of course, plenty of herbs and spices for a guilt-free flavor booster!!!  So, let’s make a Skinny Tomato Bisque…but let me karify it!

Creamy Healthy Goodness

Creamy Healthy Goodness Full of Vitamins and Flavor!

Alright, let’s get started!

Gather Ingredients

Gather Ingredients

Roma Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Orange Pepper (not pictured: Onion, Garlic & Rosemary)

Other Ingredients

Other Ingredients

Crushed Red Pepper, Bay Leaves, California Citrus Rub, Coarse Crushed Black Pepper, Thyme, Heavy Whipping Cream (not pictured: Stock, Olive Oil & Salt)

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil....My Little helper Princess

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil….My Little helper Princess

Slice Veggies and Drizzle EVOO of choice over.  Season.  Toss to Coat.

Ready To Roast

Ready To Roast

Pop in the Oven.  Roast.

Roasted Goodness

Roasted Goodness

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor.  Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor. Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Don't leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

TIP: Don’t leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

Pour all the Roasted Veggies and juice into a large pot.

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

Add the Stock.  Puree.

Seasonings

Seasonings

Add Spices.  Stir.  Cook 15 Mins.

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

^^^Your Soup should look like this ^^^

Stir In Cream

Stir In Cream

5 mins before Serving stir in Cream.

Garnish However Desired!

Garnish However Desired!

To Garnish I used Local Feta, Organic Black Sesame Seeds, Organic Lemon Verbena & Crushed Red Pepper

Get Creative!!!

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

I also made a twist on the basic grilled cheese sandwich and kicked it up with some fancy croutons!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

I used the leftover LowFat Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese from my Skinny Jalapeño Poppers.  Rustically spread on Bagel pieces and topped with various tomatoes.  Pop under the Broiler for a few minutes to melt.  yummmmm…..

The Meal is Complete!

TIP: Don’t forget to season the croutons with SeaSalt and Fresh Ground Pepper before serving!

They complement each other perfectly!

Perfectly Light and Delicious!

The Bisque is Perfectly Light and Delicious!

and…

Perfectly Light and Delicious to make

The Rustic Crouton is Simply Sensational!

Simple, yet So Satisfying!

Devour!

The Broiled Fresh Tomatoes are KILLER!

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

  • 12- 15 Organic Roma Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Organic Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Red Pepper, roughly chopped
  • Organic Orange Pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 Cloves Organic Garlic, peeled
  • 3-5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Large Box (32 oz) Organic, Less Sodium Veggie Stock
  • just under 1/3 Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream, room temperature
  • 2 Organic Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp Organic Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp California Citrus Rub
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • 3-4 TBS EVOO

*Preheat Oven 425.  Slice Tomatoes in Half and Roughly Chop Peppers & Onions.  Put in a large bowl.  Add Fresh Garlic and Rosemary Sprigs.  Drizzle Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper.  Toss to combine.  Spread Out on Roasting Pan.  Roast in Oven 40-50 mins, flipping veggies once.  Roast until brown around the edges (A.K.A. until desired caramelization occurs).

*Carefully Remove Roasted Veggies from Oven.  Remove Rosemary Sprigs.  Pour Veggies and Drippings into Large Pot.  Turn StoveTop to Med.  Add Stock.  Puree using Handheld Immersion Blender (you can use a regular blender as well. Just be careful when putting hot liquids into a blender…be sure to put a towel over the top in case of explosion!!!)  When nice and creamy, add spices and seasonings.   Bay Leaves, Thyme, Crushed Red Pepper, Ground Black Pepper, Salt and Citrus Rub.  Let simmer at least 15 mins, or until needed.  Slowly stir in cream 5 mins before serving.  Garnish as Desired.

Tips, Suggestions & Substitutions:

And, as always, these recipes are COMPLETELY ADAPTABLE!!! From your diet to ingredients…soup is one of those foods you can easily change up!

Don’t care for Rosemary (or simply don’t have it), use the typical flavoring of Basil instead or punch things up with a lemony Thyme.

Don’t have the California Citrus Rub (pepper, lemon & orange peel, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, etc) or Milanese Gremolata (notes of: garlic, lemon, parsley & hint of mint) just lying around?!?!?  Which I’m sure you do not, add 1 Organic Lemon juice and zest when adding in the spices to brighten the flavor of the soup!

Use any Tomato you like.  I prefer Roma when roasting and making Tomato Soup because they contain fewer seeds.

Use any Bell Peppers you want!  I suggest using 2…it doesn’t matter if you use Orange, Red or Yellow, which tend to be sweeter, almost fruity.  I would not suggest using Green, as they will be more bitter and change to color of the soup!

Are you watching your diet in a major way?!?!!?  I had just under 1/3 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream leftover, probably about 3 TBS.  That is not a ton of added calories in a whole pot of soup, but you can always substitute Fat Free Cream or Fat Free Half and Half.  If you don’t do dairy, use a Coconut, Nut or Soy Version!  The pureed onions add a natural creaminess, therefore you don’t need to add much cream.  *The difference between Soup and Bisque is Bisque has Heavy Cream.

Simply Peel Garlic Cloves: Lay garlic under a large chefs knife with the flat side facing down.  Smash.  Garlic will pop right out!

One of the most simple substitutions: Stock/Broth. I, personally, adore Pacific and Imagine Brands.  You can use Vegetable, Chicken, Mushroom, etc.  Just know the flavor of the broth/stock will change the outcome of the soup.  I chose Veggie…nice and light, to let the flavors of the fresh roasted veggies sing!

And last but not least, and of utmost importance: The Garnish.  You can let your imagination soar.  From Creamy (Sour Cream, Creme Fraiche, Greek Yogurt) to Cheesy (Feta,Goat, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc) to Spicy (Jalapeños, Hot Sauce, Pepperoni, etc) to Fresh (Lemon, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Chives, etc) to Nutty (Sesame Seeds, Pistachios, Pine Nuts, etc) to Simple (a drizzle of good EVOO, flavored or not). * Always Remember: You eat with your eyes first.  Pretty food simply tastes better!  Take the time to garnish.  Adding just a smidgen of cheese at the end instead of to the entire pot of soup really helps cut fat and calories.  You tend to use less!!!

Bon Appétit!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Sensational Make Ahead Stuffing

Sensational Stuffing

For Anyone Interested in a Turkey Day Time Saver!

Make Ahead!!!

Make Ahead!!!

Ok.  So, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I am always scrambling at the last minute.  This year I VOW NOT TO DO THAT!!!  (ha, right?!?!?!)  Seriously.  At least I’m going to put forth some effort.  So, I am trying to do a few Make Ahead things to help myself out.  This recipe is only HALF COMPLETE!!!! So, I am posting what I have done so far, so you, my dear reader, can be ahead of the game right along with me!  You’re Welcome!!!  All I am doing is making the super yummy “filling” for the stuffing.  I have made TONS of different types of stuffings over the years.  From Homemade Corn Bread to Rye Bread, Oysters to Sausage, and finally to Pepperidge Farms in a bag.  This year I am sharing a Semi-Homemade Version using the Pepperidge Farms Stuffing Mix you can pick up at your local grocery store.  Yes, I know…..this is not how I usually cook.  But I was thinking of you, my reliable reader, who prefers a quick and easy method that still tastes delicious.  I think you will be pleased with this one.

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Neese’s Sausage (I would have preferred the Sage but couldn’t find it)
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 2 Medium Carrots, diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks & Leaves, diced
  • 1 Carton Baby Bella Mushrooms, torn
  • Handful Dried Cranberries
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary (can use 1 T dried)
  • Few Sprigs Thyme (can use 1 T dried)
Saute

Brown Sausage, Veggies & Aromatics

This is super easy to make.  Just get a big skillet.  The biggest one you have.  Or you can always use a pot if you have to.  Heat up the Skillet.  Add the Sausage FIRST so it can start to brown.  Crumble it up a bit and now add all your chopped veggies in, minus the Mushrooms, Garlic & Dried Cranberries.  Season with a little Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.  Mix and let the sausage cook with the veggies.  Meanwhile, if you like mushrooms, just take one in your hand and tear/crumble it into the skillet.  This creates a different “meatier” texture that you will love.  You can slice them if you want, but I have been just tearing them into pieces with my hands for all sorts of different recipes (especially Chili) and have been so impressed.  I really think you will like it if you give it a try!  And, its super easy!!!  Next add your herbs on top!

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

When the sausage is fully cooked, go ahead and add in your garlic and dried cranberries.  Cook for a few more minutes so the garlic will soften and you should be able to smell it.  Also, the cranberries will plump up a little bit from absorbing all of the yumminess.

Should look like this:

Should look like this:

This is as far as I have gotten so far.  I let it cool then put it into the fridge.   I plan on warming it and adding it to the stuffing.  I’ll cook the stuffing per the instructions on the package.  (I think you just add some vegetable stock or water…).  I’ll post the rest on Wed when I make it!!!  But, it should be pretty simple and straightforward from here on!  The directions on the bad just say Onions and Celery….but trust me…..this is WAYYYYY better!!!!

Sorry to post half a recipe, but I figured some of you might want to go ahead and do this part!!!

Happy Cooking!!!!

See Ya in a Few Days!!!!

eat.drink.be KARI

AND I’M BACK!!! PART 2 OF:

SENSATIONAL STUFFING!

OK, so I left off with the Sausage Mixture for the stuffing in the fridge/freezer.  Hopefully if it was in the freezer, you took it out last night and let it thaw out.  Now, we are ready to go!

Here's what you Need

Here’s what you Need

Get out your Sausage Mixture, Stuffing Mix (or homemade breadcrumbs/cornbread), and one Organic Low Sodium Broth.  (I used Chicken.  Any stock/broth will do.  Try NOT to use water….you really need that extra flavor.  But try and always get the Low Sodium!!!  I have found my favorite brands are Pacific and Imagine….and I usually buy whichever is on sale.  If neither of them are, I buy the one with the Least Sodium!!!)

Seriously, this is ALL YOU NEED!!!! It can NOT get any easier than this!

Warm the Sausage Mixture

Warm the Sausage Mixture

In a large Pot, warm the Sausage Mixture over Med.

Seasonings of Choice

Seasonings of Choice

Next, add a few herbs of choice for a flavor boost.  I used an Italian Mix.  Sage is the BEST!!!!

Stuffing & Broth

Stuffing & Broth

Gently Mix 1/2 of Stuffing and 1/2 of Broth.  Stir. Add rest of Stuffing and enough broth to moisten.  Gently Stir to Combine.

So Easy!!!!

So Easy!!!!

Spray your baking dish and add stuffing.  I had about 1/3 of the box of broth left.

Stuffing

Stuffing

Pour another 1/2 cup or so of broth over the top to keep moist while baking.

Yummy!!!!

Yummy!!!!

Cover and Refrigerate until ready to bake!

Bake 350 for 30 mins.

***For a Crispy Top, bake UNCOVERED***

I can’t WAIT to get ours into the oven!!!!  I’ll post some pics later on, but for now:

Go Get Your Stuffing ON!!!!!

Gobble Gobble Gobble till ya Wobble Wobble Wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Be Kind.

eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Rustic Feta Potato Soup

20131105-120816.jpg

Now that the weather is starting to cool off…..It’s SOUP TIME, Y’all!!!!! One of my favorite times of the year. I love the crisp chill in the air and the tantalizing smell of garlic and onions sautéing wafting throughout the house. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING smells better than that!!! I was going to make a Potato Leek Soup to share with y’all, but I could only find 2 decent leeks at the market. So, I rolled with the punches, as I do a LOT in cooking, and created a Super Delicious, Mouth Watering Rustic Feta Potato Soup. I call it “rustic” because I use lots of fresh veggies and keep the skin on the potatoes. I pretty much always leave the skins on my organic potatoes, not matter what I am making (mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, soup, etc). I like the texture and for the added health benefit that most of the good nutrients are in the potatoes skin. Why take the time to peel them if I enjoy the taste AND its better for me??!?! That would just be silly. But, as always, if you don’t care for it…peel the potatoes….you’re the one that has to eat it! Also, I used a variety of herbs and peppers and onion that I had on hand. Feel free to Use What You Got!!!!The onions and peppers do NOT have to be the exact same ones that I use. If you don’t like heat and spice, leave out the serrano pepper and just use bell or sweet peppers. If you only have onions and no leeks or shallots, thats fine. The wonderful thing about soup is that it is amazingly flexible…….almost impossible to destroy! And, every time you make it, you can change it up and use different veggies and herbs until you find the way you like best. I don’t think ANY of my dishes EVER taste the same. That’s why I could never be a chef….Im NOT consistent at all (and I’ve never been to Culinary School or worked in a kitchen!!!!). But, that’s why I LOVE cooking. The mix-up change-up is always fun and the results are (usually) delicious!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

But, Let’s start with first things first….Pancetta.

Sizzle Sizzle, Baby!!!

Sizzle Sizzle, Baby!!!

First, I sautéed up some diced Pancetta. You could sub bacon with no problem. I figure, what’s a better way to top your soup AND a wonderful grease to sauté your veggies in! I cooked the pancetta for a few minutes, then added in some diced red onion as well. Don’t add in the onion at the beginning bc it will burn before the pancetta is crispy!

Holy Mother of Yumminess

Holy Mother of Yumminess

When it’s ready, with a slotted spoon, place onto a paper towel to drain the excess grease. Be sure to leave as much fat as you can in the pot for the veggies. Then, if you live in my house……you must HIDE THE CRISPY HEAVENLY little bites from the kids and hubby, or by the time the soup is ready it will be gone. Seriously. That’s how good this stuff it. TIP: If you are a vegetarian or simply do not have bacon or pancetta, skip this step and just use a good quality EVOO to sauté the veggies in! No worries. While this heavenly concoction is cooking, prep and dice your veggies of choice. And, be sure to clean your leeks. I’ll show you how.

Sliced Leeks in Water

Sliced Leeks in Water

Leeks contain a ton of dirt and sand and you want to make sure to get all of that grit OUT! There is a pretty simple method to do this. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Thinly slice the leeks using only the bottom white and light green parts. Throw the top stems into the compost! Put the slices into the water and toss with your fingers for a second to separate the pieces. Let them sit for a few minutes. The grit will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks will float on top. Scoop out the leeks and voila, clean leeks! You are ready to go!

Look at the beautiful colors!

Look at the beautiful vibrant colors!

Get your Pancetta fat filled pan and sauté the rainbow of veggies in that deliciousness. Again, use what you got! This is not a normal boring potato soup. I like to include as many veggies as I can for that rustic look and superb flavor. I used carrots, celery, red onion, leeks, and a variety of peppers (serrano, red, poblano, banana). Slice ’em and dice ’em however you like! Sauté over Med-High Heat. Meanwhile, while your veggies are softening, cube your potatoes.

This is how you do it!

This is how you do it!

I like to slice my potatoes in 1 inch thick slices lengthwise. Then I stack them together and slice into 1 inch strips (like you are making french fries), then slice them down into cubes. The above pic shows you 1 lengthwise slice that has been cut into fry lengths, and now being cut into cubes. Does this even make sense!?!? Kinda hard to exlain….so I hope the picture helps you could see how to do it! Make the cubes bigger or smaller if you like, but remember they need to be bits-sized without being too small that they might overcook and fall apart.

Add Garlic and Herb Bouquet

Add Garlic and Herb Bouquet

While you are prepping your potatoes, be sure to stir the veggie pot every once and awhile. By the time your taters are ready, your veggies should be softening and translucent. Add the garlic and herb bouquet garni, and season with Salt and Pepper. For my Bouquet Garni I used Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary. I tied the Parsley and Thyme together with the Rosemary and didn’t have to use kitchen twine. Whatever works for you! Or, you can chop the herbs up and add them like that as well. I wanted some of the flavor to steep into the veggies, but I didn’t want it to overpower the soup. Thats why I used the bouquet garni so I could remove it later on. TIP: Under the garlic you see some leaves. These are celery leaves. I ADORE them. Whenever I’m cooking I ALWAYS include the celery leaves….they have so much flavor!!!! I’m not a superhuge fan of big chunks of celery, so I always dice mine pretty small. The leaves help infuse some of the flavor without the crunch of the celery. Do it, you’ll thank me later. I always try and buy the leafiest celery bunch I can find!

Add your Potatoes and Season!

Add your Potatoes and Season!

Next, add your cubed potatoes and season. I used Dry Mustard, Salt, Pepper and Worcestershire. Mix them in with the veggies and cook for about 10 mins. You don’t want to overcook them or get the mushy. You can also add your liquids here and not sauté the potatoes at all, but for some reason I think it brings out a better more rounded flavor.

ummmmm, yes please!!!!

ummmmm, yes please!!!!

I decided to GO FOR IT. Maybe not so healthy, but it does have a ton of veggies, right?!?!! You can use fat-free Half and Half or some Veg or Chicken Stock instead and just add a little bit of heavy whipping cream. But, I say, if your gonna do it, do it RIGHT!!! I had company coming over and decided to go ALL IN, Baby!!!! TIP: Be sure to take your creams and cheese out of the fridge when you start the soup so that they come to room temperature. You want to take the chill off so when you are adding them to the hot pot, they don’t curdle. You want to drizzle them in slowly and mix constantly as you pour!!!!!

Liquids Ready, now time for the Feta Crumbles!

Liquids Ready, now time for the Feta Crumbles!

Mix in the Half and Half SLOWLY until you are happy with the portion of veggies vs liquids. Let that cook for about 5-10 mins then add in the heavy whipping cream. I did not use all of either of these cartons. Probably 4 cups of half and half and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the heavy whipping cream. Then, right before serving, crumble the ENTIRE block of Feta (that’s right….I said it…..use it all cuz company’s coming!!!)

Adjust Seasonings

Adjust Seasonings

Stir and Taste.  Adjust seasonings as needed.  I added some fresh homegrown Thyme and Garlic Chives for a nice pop of color.  And some Fresh Black Pepper.  Depending on the quality of Feta you used, you might or might not need to add more salt.  Some Fetas are SUPER salty, while others are not.  Always adjust at the end before serving.  TIP: I used a Boars Head Feta for the Soup, but used a HIGHER QUALITY Feta for the Topping/Condiment Station.

Topping Station

Topping Station

Sour Cream, Pancetta & Red Onions, Crispy Kale, Scallions & Local Feta.  These were my toppings of choice.  You can use whatever your little heart desires.  I will say the Pancetta was out of this world and took the soup to a whole other level.  And the Crispy Kale was so damn delicious I’m gonna share how to do that with you!

Crispy Kale

Crispy Kale

Put a few handfuls of baby Kale into a large bowl (if you don’t have baby kale, you can sub torn bits of kale or chard as well).  Drizzle a T of EVOO and dash of Salt and Pepper.  Lightly massage with your hands to make sure all the greens are coated.  Spread out on a Baking Sheet (lined with foil so it won’t stick).  Bake 275 or 300 for about 10 mins.  You need to watch it.  Don’t let it overcook and get to where it just crumbles and dissolves.  You want nice, crispy edges.  Then take it out of the oven.  This was perfect around Halloween because it kinda looked like spooky spider webs!!!!

Toppings Galore

Toppings Galore

YUM

YUM

I also served with it a French Bread, sliced in half that I topped one side with a garlic & herb butter and the other side I sprinkled some Monterey Jack Cheese, Scallion & Parsley.  Wrapped it up in foil and threw it in the oven along with the kale.  Ooey Gooey Garlicy Deliciousness.

Rustic Potato Feta Soup

Rustic Potato Feta Soup

Now I will list the basic recipe.  I am going to keep it simple so you can use what you have in the kitchen.  For example, I will list *2 onions* in the recipe when I use 1 red onion and 1 yellow onion.  That way you can make substitutions to your personal taste!!!  I hope that will help simplify it for you!  Also, Never Forget: Your food is only as good as your ingredients…. so use GOOD ONES!!!!  For all of my cooking I use organic whenever possible.  Homegrown and Local is choice for me as well.  The better your ingredients, the tastier your food.  Trust me.  So, while I don’t list ORGANIC in front of each ingredients, its a sure bet thats what I’m using!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Handfuls Baby Carrots (or 2-3 Large Carrots)
  • 2-3 Peppers of Choice
  • 1-2 Spicy Peppers of Choice
  • 5 Cloves Garlic (or to taste)
  • 4 Celery Stalks & Leaves
  • Herbs of Choice
  • Feta Cheese
  • 4-6 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 T Dry Mustard
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • Scallions
  • Pancetta
  • Kale
  • Sour Cream
  • Evoo, Salt & Fresh Groud Pepper

Chop and sauté Veggies over Med-High Heat for 10-15 mins or until softened.  Add in Garlic & Herbs (bouquet garni) and cook a few mins more.  Add in cubed Potatoes, Dry Mustard, Worcestershire & Salt and Pepper.  Cook about 10 mins more until potatoes are NOT QUITE FORK TENDER. Slowly add in (stock or a beer if you want to be healthier) Half & Half.  Let simmer a bit while it warms.  Stir in Heavy Whipping Cream, which should thicken it up a bit.  Add Crumbled Feta.  Taste.  Adjust Seasonings and add Herbs, Salt, Pepper, etc as needed.  Serve Immediately.  Garnish. DEVOUR.

 

Got Leftovers???

If you are LUCKY enough to have any soup leftover, I have a suggestion for a quick healthy presto-chango.

Green with Envy Potato Soup

and it's really REALLY good

and it’s really REALLY good

Organic Baby Green

Organic Baby Green

Simply reheat your soup on the stove.  Once the soup is warm, add in a handful of baby greens.  I used a mix of kale, spinach & chard.  You can use one or a mixture.

Green With Envy Potato Soup

Green With Envy Potato Soup

Stir to combine and let the greens wilt a bit in the warm soup.  I also did the baby kale in the oven, as shown previously, and used a TON of that for topping.

Garnish as desired

Garnish as desired

Now THATS a spoonful of rich & creamy soup!

Now THATS a spoonful of rich & creamy soup!

So many flavors & textures

So many flavors & textures

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I’m in leftover HEAVEN!!!

so damn good!!!

It doesn’t even taste like the same soup!!!

I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as we did!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Simple Pasta

Simple Pasta

As many of you know, I am in the middle of moving from VA to NC.  I have boxes everywhere and am living out of 2 homes, in 2 states, with 2 kids!!!  No, it is NOT easy.  So, I have to use what I have lying around (wherever I am) to throw together some sort of dinner because we are so sick of eating out!!!  I LOVE to cook, and this traveling back and forth has made it really difficult to keep fresh ingredients around.  This is why my Simple Pasta III was created.  In the apt. I found pasta, lemon, parm & garlic and knew I could make a super easy, super quick dinner.  And, luckily, I just happened to be drinking wine!  😉  Now, I couldn’t find any pans, so I used my cast iron skillet.  I also had no cheese grater, lemon grater, lemon zester etc.  I had to get creative chopping the Parmesan-Reggiano…a nice rustic, rough chop.  And I would have definitely used the Organic Lemon Zest as well if I could have.  So keep that in mind as you see how I make this.  If your lemon is Organic…USE THE PEEL!!! So Much Flavor is there in the oils!    Served it up with a super easy Simple Salad.

Over Med-High Sauté Organic Red Onion in EVOO, S&P 5 mins.  Add Organic Thyme.

Over Med-High Sauté Organic Red Onion in EVOO, S&P 5 mins. Add Organic Thyme.

cook

Turn down to Med. Add Chopped Organic Garlic & Parmesan-Reggiano Rind. Cook 2 mins. or until fragrant.

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Add some WINE!!! About 1/2 cup or so….

Take out the Parm-Reg Rind. Toss into boiling pasta/water.

Take out the Parm-Reg Rind. Toss into boiling pasta/water.

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Add 1/2 Organic Lemon Juice and Knob of Organic Butter (about 2 T).

2

Add 1 ladleful of Pasta Water.

Rough Chop Parm-Reg

Rough Chop Parm-Reg.  Getting Creative!

Toss drained Pasta with Onion Mixture and Parm-Reg.

Toss drained Pasta with Onion Mixture and Parm-Reg and other 1/2 Lemon Juice.

Top with Fresh Ground Organic Black Pepper! DELISH!!!!

Top with Fresh Ground Organic Black Pepper! DELISH!!!!

 

Serve with a Simple Salad

DRESSING: 1 minced shallot, juice of 1 lemon, 1 T whole grain garlic mustard, 3 T EVOO, S&P.  SHAKE and SERVE!

DRESSING: 1 minced shallot, juice of 1 lemon, 1 T whole grain garlic mustard, 3 T EVOO, S&P. SHAKE and SERVE!

Simple Salad

Simple Salad

 eat.drink.be Kari

Steak Tacos, All Grown Up!

It’s Taco Nite, Kari-Style!!!

Who doesn’t LOVE Taco Nite?!?!  We sure do, so I thought I’d Karify it!  Why not?  Adult Tacos. All Grown  Up.  Kari-style.  Let’s add a little fun, flavor & flair, while we keep it healthy AND utilize leftovers!!!  Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  We grilled out last night.  Steaks (with Karinade, of course!!!), Veggies and a Fresh Organic Spinach Salad.  It was delicious. Here’s what I came up with to use our leftovers!  So, I’ve got 2 dinners ready for you for the price of 1!  All you have to do is: grill out a steak one night…throw in some veggies…enjoy a fresh spinach salad…then I’ve got a KickAss dinner waiting for you the next night, just add Tortillas. Here ya go!

Steak Tacos

Looks pretty tasty for leftovers, eh?!?!

Steak Tacos, All Grown Up

  • sliced Organic Onion
  • sliced Organic Mushrooms
  • sliced Organic Red & Orange Bell Pepper
  • Leftover Organic, Local, Grassfed Steak
  • 1 T Organic Chili Powder
  • 1/2 T Organic Cumin
  • 1/2 T Organic Smoked Paprika
  • 1 T Organic Steak Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2-3 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
  • Handful Organic Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Handful Organic Spinach
  • La Tortilla Factory Handmade Style Corn Tortillas
Get Your Ingredients Ready

Get Your Ingredients Ready

Slice Mushrooms, Peppers & Onions. Mince Garlic. Slice Steak. Whole Tomatoes.

Sautee I

Peppers, Mushrooms & Onions

Cast Iron Skillet (or pan) on Med-High.  Sauté Peppers, Mushrooms & Onions in Good Organic EVOO (be sure only to season the peppers and onions with salt and pepper…NOT THE MUSHROOMS!!!)

Add Spices.

Add Spices.

Season to YOUR TASTE.  We like a little more Kick!  Add as much or as little as you like.  Change the flavors by adding Chipotle, Sweet Paprika, Ancho Chili Powder….whatever floats your boat.

Saute

Sweat Veggies 3 Mins

Add Garlic & Tomatoes

Add Garlic, Tomatoes & Fresh Thyme

Cook until Tomatoes Start to Soften and you can Smell the Garlic. 2 Mins. It should smell AMAZING in your kitchen!

Add Steak to Heat

Add Steak

Cook Until Steak is Heated Through.

Add Handful Organic Spinach

Add Handful Organic Spinach

Mix and cook until just Wilting.  1-2 Mins

Should look somehting like this

Should look something like this now…BEAUTIFUL

Fill Your Tortillas

Fill Tortillas & Top with Cheese

TIP: Turn a muffin pan over and use to keep Tortillas Upright for easy filling! (or Tacos, Philly Cheese Steaks, Hot Dogs, Kielbasa Hogies, etc)  This is an Awesome Trick that I use ALL THE TIME!!!

Fill and Top with Cheese of choice. (I used Monterey Jack & Mozzarella)

Pop under the Boiler for a quick 30 seconds or so to melt the cheese.

Mark's Plate

Mark’s Plate

My Plate

My Plate

I kept it light and healthy for myself by adding a healthy chopped salad on the side!

Mark, on the other hand, devoured 3! Although, he did take a few bites of salad!

Delish!!!  Make it and ENJOY!!!

Great for Cinco de Mayo coming up!!!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari