Retake Homemade: Lentil Soup

Jane Brody named this recipe appropriately:  My Favorite Lentil Soup.  From her Good Food Book and my all-time favorite soup recipe.

My Favorite Lentil Soup

2 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped (I only used 1 to hopefully convince the monsters to eat it)
3 carrots, grated or chopped
3/4 tsp. marjoram
3/4 tsp. thyme
2 14oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes, with juice
6-7 cups broth
1/2 tsp coarse salt
black pepper to taste
6 oz dry white wine
2 T. dried parsley
grated cheddar cheese for topping

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and saute the veggies and herbs for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 1 hour until the lentils are tender. Add the salt, pepper, wine and parsely and simmer for a few more minutes. Top with cheese.

The cheese isn’t necessary, but it helps make the lentils a complete protein and is very tasty.

This recipe freezes really well.

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Retake Homemade: Zucchini Muffins

My dad brought me a whole sack of home-grown zucchini, and two of the summer squash were so large, I couldn’t help but picture shredded zucchini in some delish breakfast muffins!  I don’t know that I can convince the two youngest monsters to eat these, but I don’t care — they’re wonderful!  (more for meeee!)  This recipe is adapted from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book (she makes bread with hers).

“Grate” Zucchini Muffins

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 egg white
1 whole egg
6 T canola oil
1 1/4 c. packed grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 T milk (not in original recipe, but my batter was a little too thick)

I just dumped everything into the bowl in no particular order and stirred until mixed.  Fill muffin tins (this filled about 9-10 regular-sized muffin cups) and bake 15-20 min at 350 degrees until done.

I was out of cinnamon, so I used allspice and ground cloves instead.  Soooo good, I couldn’t eat just one!

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Retake Homemade: Rice Pilaf

I’m a little late — the “Retake Homemade” posts are supposed to be on Saturday.  But with the holiday craziness this weekend, I just didn’t have time to post.  I figured better late than never. 

My recipe is inspired by Suzanne McMinn’s Homemade “Uncle Ben’s” post.  I went to our local organic foods store and bought wild rice, red and brown rice, and parboiled rice in bulk.  I got several large bags of rice for well under $10 (although I don’t have my receipts handy).  I was nervous because my kids don’t like “weird” textures or things that look odd, and wild rice does have a weird buggy look.  However, it won the approval of 4/5 members of my family — and even Littlest Monster, although she didn’t like it, did eat a few bites.  I’m hoping that over time she’ll get more comfortable with the strange rice.

Homemade Rice Pilaf

2 T butter
1 T dried onion flakes
2 cups assorted rice
4 cups broth (I used water + bouillon cubes)

Melt the butter in a saucepan that has a lid and is large enough to cook the rice.  Saute the dried onion briefly in the melted butter (do not brown).  Add the rice and broth.  Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed.

You could add parsley, etc. but I didn’t want to put weird green things in the already weird rice until I knew the monsters would eat it.  I also didn’t add salt since I used bouillon cubes (notoriously high in sodium).  This would be FABULOUS with homemade chicken broth if you have it on hand.

Princess Monster had seconds, and Middle went back for thirds.  She LOVED this rice.  It has become a family staple!

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