Even though it’s spring, we’re still having some chilly days. We’re having summer-like days too. Last weekend we actually got a light amount of snow and the temperature was Continue reading
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. Unfortunately, my big outdoor rosemary plant did not make it through the winter, so I have a new small one growing inside right now. I’ll put it outside soon, hoping it will grow into another big plant! I used some of the rosemary from this little plant in this Creamy Navy Bean Soup recipe.
I made this soup several weeks ago on a chilly day. Even though the weather has warmed up, this is still a great recipe for any time of year if you are a soup-lover! Creamy soups usually call for heavy cream as an ingredient, but I used plain Greek yogurt in this soup–I thought the tangy yogurt would give the soup a nice flavor, and it really did! The rosemary gives it a great flavor, too. You’ll want to use fresh rosemary if you have it, but dried rosemary also works.
CREAMY NAVY BEAN SOUP by NancyC
Makes about four servings
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- dash of salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Additional fresh or dried rosemary for garnish
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil and heat for 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and onions; cook until onions start to get tender and a little translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add in the broth and beans, heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place half of the soup mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large bowl, then blend the remaining soup mixture and add to the large bowl.
Stir the plain Greek yogurt into the pureed soup mixture, blending well (if the yogurt is lumpy, use a hand better or immersion blender to smooth the mixture). Pour the soup mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 additional minutes.
Pour into 4 serving bowls and top with a garnish of fresh or dried rosemary, if desired, and serve.
In addition to rosemary, I also like to grow basil in a pot every summer–that’s another favorite herb of mine. Do you grow your own herbs, too, and what are your favorites?
It’s hard to believe summer is almost here! Some days have already been hot and humid–too warm to cook or bake. So that’s when I start thinking of recipes to make like Three Bean Salad. It doesn’t require any cooking at all and is super-easy to make. It’s a great summer side dish for lunch or dinner and perfect for picnics. I decided to try sweetening my version with honey instead of white sugar and that worked out well. You need to make this salad at least 4 hours before you serve it, to give the salad time to marinate…and this is one of those recipes that tastes better the longer it marinates. So making it the night before you serve it works out great, too.
THREE BEAN SALAD by NancyC Makes about 8 servings
- 1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 4 green onions, finely chopped (chop both the green stems and the white onion tip)–or you can substitute 1 medium chopped red onion
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
- Optional: 1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you want it (or substitute 1/2 cup white sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In large bowl, add drained and rinsed beans, then add the chopped green onions and bell pepper; toss all ingredients together with a large spoon. In another bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; whisk together or, if using a jar with lid, shake ingredients together well. Pour this dressing mixture over the bean salad mixture, tossing gently to coat everything well. Chill in your refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight before serving (the taste gets better the longer it marinates). Stir and toss mixture several times as it is marinating. Toss mixture once more right before serving.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought it would be the perfect time to make some Irish Stew. I don’t make stew very often, but I love a bowl of good, thick, chunky stew, and that’s exactly what this is! You might be wondering where those chunks of stew meat are–well, I improvised a little and used ground beef instead, since that’s what I had on hand. But you can use either–ground beef or chunks of beef. There are plenty of other chunky ingredients in this recipe too–onions, potatoes, and carrots. And it’s seasoned with a little dried thyme and basil. Comfort food in a bowl–that’s what this is!
IRISH STEW by NancyC, adapted from Midwest Living Makes 6 servings
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 3/4″ pieces, or 1 pound ground beef
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 medium potatoes (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into bite-size chunks (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups sliced carrots (about 6 medium, sliced 1/2″ thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, plus a little more for garnish if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine beef, beef broth, onions, and pepper. bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Skim off the fat. Add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, and basil. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Stir the cold water and flour together, blending well. Stir this mixture into the stew and cook and stir until stew is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional dried thyme, if desired, and serve.
If St. Patrick’s Day will be chilly where you live, this would be the perfect thing to make to warm everyone up! Are you planning on making any special Irish dishes that day?
The Super Bowl is just about here and if you’re planning on watching the game, you’re probably deciding on what kind of snacks you want to make. If you’re still looking for ideas, this Texas Caviar is a great recipe to try! Some people also call this Cowboy Caviar. I’ve seen lots of variations on this dip and decided to come up with my own version. Most recipes you’ll see have black beans, black-eyed peas or pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion. I like adding chopped green chiles and avocado to mine. And olives–don’t forget the olives! It’s actually quite a healthy mix of veggies and beans. I used canned diced tomatoes, but you can dice up some fresh ones, and you can use fresh or frozen corn instead of canned. And it tastes great! Serve it with those scoop-style chips and enjoy every bite!
TEXAS CAVIAR by NancyC
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 small red onion (or 1/2 large), finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (or use an equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes)
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or use a 10-ounce bag of frozen corn, thawed)
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives (I used sliced Kalamata olives)
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (or use fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 2/3 cup Italian salad dressing (regular or light)
- 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mix all ingredients, except for the Italian salad dressing, cilantro, and avocado in a large bowl, blending so all ingredients are distributed evenly.
Add the Italian dressing; toss well so all ingredients are coated with dressing.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Then toss with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado.
Put mixture into a large serving bowl or several smaller bowls and serve with tortilla chips.
When it comes to watching the Super Bowl, I have to admit I actually enjoy the commercials the most! I like going to sports games, but watching them on TV just doesn’t hold my interest. What do you like best–the game or the commercials?
Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.