YOU SAY POTATO

 LASDI©

LASDI©

It's been COLD in Texas!  Said practically no one ever.  Nonetheless, cold it has been.  And of course, there is nothing better than hot soup to warm your bones on cold nights.

It was Sunday and the week had been so busy that I had not planned out our Sunday Supper.  GASP!  I only gasp so dramatically because Sunday is carbs-allowed day and I had not planned accordingly!  

So of course, I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could drum up. 

This was fast, easy, delicious, and a carb-loaded reward.  And it was even better the next day for The Hubster's lunch!  

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1-inch cubes

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs black pepper

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 package bacon, chopped

1 tsp white wine

1-32 oz box chicken broth

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 tsp white pepper

1 tbs butter

In a heavy pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven!) on medium-high, heat evoo for about one minute and then add potatoes.  In a small frying pan (believe it or not, I use my tiny cast iron skillet!) heat onion, garlic, and bacon on medium-high heat for five minutes or until bacon is cooked through, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add white wine.  Stir and scrape any "bits" from the bottom with a wooden spoon or spoonula and set aside. 

Meanwhile, stir potatoes and add sea salt and pepper.  Let them sit in the pot, untouched, for about five minutes or until crisp and brown on bottom.  Stir and add chicken broth, then bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add bacon mixture to the pot, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for thirty minutes.  Bring heat back up to medium and stir in sour cream, cheese, and white pepper.  Let cook another three minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, add butter and let melt, then stir and serve.

NOTES: For garnish, you can sprinkle a little more shredded cheddar or some chopped chives on top.  This smelled so good that no garnish made it to the bowl before it was devoured!  For some crunch I added a few raw veggies and some rice crackers.  For a healthier take on this meal, I use organic ingredients and uncured bacon  But it is what it is.  And it is DELICIOUS!!

DROP IT LIKE ITS HOT

 LASDI©

LASDI©

It is SO HARD during the holidays to eat healthy, isn't it??  What is it about the season that makes us (me included!) think that it's a free-for-all?  Well this year I have been super-intentional about making sure The Hubster and I don't constantly indulge, but rather try to make healthy foods that taste rich and delicious; like we're not missing out.

So for Meatless Monday (which does NOT sound rich and delicious, does it?) I decided to make something souper-rich (see what I did just there?) with an Asian flare.  And this low-almost-no carb meatless dish did NOT disappoint!  Hot soup on a cold day!  PS  This is so easy it shouldn't taste like the indulgence we experienced!

CARAMELIZED ONION AND EGG DROP SOUP

1 onion, halved, both halves sliced thinly

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tsp sea salt

pepper

32 oz box chicken broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 green onion, chopped coarsely

3 eggs

1 tbs water

2 tbs sesame oil

Sprinkle evoo into a soup pot and heat on medium-high for about one minute.  Add onions, stir, and let them cook, untouched, for about three minutes.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste, stir, and let them cook, untouched, for another three minutes.  Stir, and let cook, untouched for another five minutes. or until caramelized and brown.  Pour chicken broth and soy sauce over onion and bring to a boil, add green onions then turn heat down to low.  Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes and turn heat back up to medium.  Whisk eggs and water in a separate bowl until well-blended and a little frothy.  Slowly pour into the soup mixture, whisking the soup as the eggs go in.  Cook an additional minute or two.  Turn off heat, add sesame oil and gently stir.  Serve with garlic sesame not-bread sticks. 

NOTES: I garnished with chopped parsley, but cilantro would also work here, or no garnish at all would still be yum!

GARLIC SESAME NOT-BREAD STICKS.

(a variation of Fat Head Dough)

3/4 cups almond flour

2 tbs cream cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 tbs garlic powder

pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup sesame oil

sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a bowl, add almond flour, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.  Microwave for one minute.  Stir and microwave another 20 seconds.  Add egg and stir until egg is blended into dough.  place between two pieces of parchment paper (see notes) and shape into a rectangle about 1-inch thick.  Remove top piece of parchment paper and bake for about fifteen minutes or until just golden brown.  Spread sesame oil over top of baked dough, sprinkle with desired amount of sesame seeds and bake another five minutes.  Take pizza cutter and slice into bread sticks.  DIP INTO CARAMELIZED ONION AND EGG DROP SOUP!!

NOTES: Parchment paper is key here.  I've tried this with foil and it is sorely disappointing.  PARCHMENT PAPER.  Trust me.

This combo is PERFECT and comforting for this cold holiday weather as well!  Merry Christmas!

 

 

Do It For Peanuts!

 LASDI©

LASDI©

The Hubster and I had a most-wonderful opportunity to visit the home of some of our besties, The Bollingers (Holly Bolli, and J-Bolli – and the Bolli Kiddos) with Links International for a night of vision for their sweet missionary friends from Africa (to learn more, click HERE).  Holly decided to hire Life As She Does It to create some yummies for everyone's tummies; but the huge hit of the night was my African Chicken Peanut Stew.  Americans and Africans alike loved this dish!  I have been asked over and over for the recipe since then (thank you!) but had to work on sizing the recipe down a bit since the pot I made was full of enough for an ARMY.

I had THE BEST time and I learned SO MUCH from our (yep!  They are OUR friends now, too!) African missionary friends.  In the meantime, trust that even though we didn’t get the very best photo of the stew, it was SO DELICIOUS.  AND SO COMFORTING.  It is also rather healthy, whether you like it or not!  For vegetarians, leave out the chicken.  This is hearty with it or without and is PERFECT for the autumn or winter weather!  It’s perfect to freeze and reheat, too!  ENJOY!!

AFRICAN CHICKEN PEANUT STEW

¼ cup peanut oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced finely
4 tbs minced ginger or 2 tbs ginger paste
1 pkg chicken thighs, chunked
1 pkg chicken breast, chunked
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs garlic powder
2 boxes chicken broth (or vegetable broth if going vegetarian)
2 small yams (or sweet potatoes), peeled and chunked
1 can rotel
1 ½ cups collard greens or kale, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter

Heat the peanut oil in a large soup pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven!) over medium heat for about a minute or two; add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened, about four or five minutes. Add the chicken, stir, and leave it alone without stirring for about two minutes so as to caramelize like CRAZY.  Stir and leave another two minutes.  Add seasoning, stir and let cook one more minute. Pour the chicken broth over the chicken and add the yams. Stir and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat to low, cover (leaving a slight crack for air) and cook for thirty minutes.  Add the tomatoes, collards, and peanut butter into the soup and stir.  At this point, you should make SURE to get a spoonful of peanut butter into your mouth.  You know you want to.  Partially cover the pot again and continue cooking on low, stirring occasionally, for about another fifteen-to-twenty minutes.  Have plenty of tasting spoons nearby for “quality control”, which in my kitchen, means it tastes so good I can’t stop tasting it!

NO TEARS HERE!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I mostly make onion soup in the fall and winter, with plops of brie, and drops of toasted home-made bread.  But with the “She-tox Detox” everywhere I look right now, and Spring moving to Summer, it was time to lighten it up and make it inside-out Cleanse-Friendly.  So I made it with vodka instead of Winter-rich brandy (you can use veggie broth instead, Cleansers!), used a bright seasoning, and made the onions translucent instead of deeply caramelized.  It was unbelievably delicious and ridiculously EASY!!  Paired with a simple salad of Romaine and cucs with home-made lemon-poppy-seed (heavy on the poppy-seed for me, if you please!) dressing, there were no tears involved from THESE onions!

SPRING-TO-SUMMER ONION SOUP       

4 medium purple onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs herbes de provence

½ cup vodka

1 ½ boxes vegetable broth

Sprinkle enough evoo in a heavy soup pot to cover the bottom.  Heat on medium for about a minute or so and then add onion.  Cook on medium heat for about two minutes and add all seasoning.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, about five more minutes.  Add the vodka a little at a time, letting it evaporate into the onion each time before adding more until vodka is gone and onion has absorbed all of it.  Add vegetable broth and turn heat to low.  Let simmer fifteen minutes and EAT!!

NOTES:  This is Meatless Monday friendly, too!  If you are on Week One or Two of the “She-tox” Detox, omit vodka and simply use a shot of the veggie broth instead.  The flavor profile changes a bit, but worth it while you cleanse.  This recipe is perfect for Week Three!  Interested in this Cleanse & Detox?  Message me!  Want to help the Texas Flood Victims but not sure how?  Message me!  Want to make some variation suggestions for the recipe?  Message me!!  I love all feedback, and love you She-Peeps!!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

WINTER WONDERLAND

winterwonderland

We've had a few Winter Wonderland menus in the last couple of years, and this one did not disappoint!  I absolutely love the idea of trying to come up with foods that not only deliver flavor that resounds comfort for chilly winter nights, but that reflect same in appearance as well.  After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?  Well, to be completely honest, I eat with my eyes first for about ten seconds.  THEN I eat with muh mouth!!  This particular night, we had some friends and partners of Life As She Does It, talking give-aways for the blog.  So I had no choice but to get them food-drunk so they would feel more "giving"! for You, Dear Readers, to have wonderful give-aways.  We dined on a most-gorgeous cheese tray and artichoke-spinach crostini,  a hearty salad of cranberries, candied nuts, and Gorgonzola cheese, slow-cooked clam chowder with fresh clams, Cornish game hens with decadent potatoes and zucchini-squash ratatouille, and a GORGEOUS white cake (pronounced whhhhhhhhat-cake, emphasis on the ha-part of the h).  

The recipe below is for the clam chowder, with all it's snow-white glory and ocean-goodness. It was not only creamy and wonderland-wonderful (sorry, I HAD to go there), it is LOW-CARB.  It was BEYOND...... Or, as The Daughts says: "I. Can't. EVEN."  Wanna make someone special in your life food-drunk and made to feel warm and fuzzy for chilly nights?  DO THIS.

WINTER CLAM CHOWDER

6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped fine

1 onion, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

2 large turnips, peeled and chopped into chunks

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped fine

2 bunches thyme, tied with butcher's twine

4 cans diced or chopped clams

2 jars clam juice

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 can cannellini or navy beans, blended

2 bay leaves

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp sea salt

2 tbs white pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

Throw all ingredients into a crock-pot and let cook on low all day.  Remove thyme twigs and bay leaves.  Serve.  THAT'S IT!!

NOTES: Remember that slow cooking can mute flavors, so be certain to add more of your spices to taste at the end and stir.  I simmered fresh clams in white wine and butter in a pan on the stove, and then added them to everyone's bowls just before serving. We simply ladled the soup over them for a more authentic look and flavor.  It was authentically AWESOME!!

 

 

BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

So I made venison back-strap stew that included that precious, tender, and prized deer meat, turnips, carrots, celery, onion, and slivered red cabbage, all braised and stewed together to make one savory and wonderful bowl of warming yumminess on a cold winter's night.  (LOTS of adjectives there)  To go with it, I made a quick bread - no, let me explain it the way it deserves:  This is a fast and easy bread make with seasonal beer (in this case, winter beer), beautiful fresh-and-pickled jalapenos, and mounds of gorgeous shredded cheddar cheese.  It may very well be the best thing EVER, and this I PROMISE YOU.  The Hubster made a simple turkey sandwich with it the very next day and said it was the best sandwich he has ever had in his entire LIFE ...... because of the BREAD, Y'all.  MAKE THIS.  Then slather it in (real) butter while its still warm, and know that it must be a little taste of what Heaven is like.

QUICK BEER JALAPENO CHEDDAR BREAD

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 - 3 pickled jalapenos, chopped

2 - 3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

12 ounces seasonal beer or beer of your choice

4 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and butter. Pour beer into the mixing bowl and mix until blended. Pour mixture into a prepared loaf pan. Bake for about an hour or until golden brown. Tent with aluminum foil and cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve or just grab a chunk of it with your bare hands like an animal and place a honkin' piece of butter on it and eat straight out of the pan!

NOTES:  You are so welcome.

OH, DEER!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I have a friend who has a very generous heart.  She is one of the few people I know that would literally give you every possession she had if you let her if she thought it would make you happy.  I often feel reluctant to take gifts from her for that very reason.  HOWEVER comma - when she offers up fresh venison to me, I have NO QUALMS receiving that gift!  Her hubby fills their freezers and fridge with all kinds of beautiful meats from hunting trips, so it's my pleasure to take some off of her (giving) hands!  This night I took some venison sausage and turned it into a beautiful and hearty stew perfect for the cold weather outside!

VENISON & BLACK BEAN STEW

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

2 pkgs venison sausage links, sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 turnips, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, diced

sea salt

pepper

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs garlic powder

i small can diced tomatoes

4 cans black beans

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup sour cream

chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a heavy pot (I use my cast-iron Dutch oven, of course!) sprinkle enough evoo on the bottom to cover and heat on medium for about a minute.  Add sausage and brown for about two minutes.  Add onion, garlic, turnips and carrots and continue to cook on medium for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste and add cumin, paprika, and garlic powder, and stir to combine.  Cook for another minute, and then add diced tomatoes.  Drain 2-of-your-4 cans of black beans and add to the pot.  Add the remaining 2 (un-drained) cans of beans and stir.  Add the vegetable broth, stir, cover, lower heat to low and let simmer for another ten minutes.  Sprinkle a little more sea salt and pepper to taste, stir in the sour cream and remove from heat.  Garnish with cilantro.

NOTES:  I use organic black beans, and really do think it makes a difference for a cleaner taste (and fiber!) - especially if we are eating venison, which is the best meat you can put in your body for digestion!  I also use my own home-made vegetable broth, but you can just buy a box of organic and use that!  Turnips are my go-to in place of potatoes right now for low-carb options and they are so freaking good in this recipe!  If you want some spice, add a little cayenne during the cooking process or simply add your favorite hot sauce before eating!

 

FISH BOWL

  This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Well.  What do you do when your chiropractor and The Hubster go fishing and catch some real beauts and you've made (the most awesome ever) fish tacos and still have some left??  ASIAN FISH SOUP.  And let me just tell you - it was OUT - STAND - ING.

ASIAN FISH SOUP

3 tbs peanut oil

4 radishes, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 small bunch bok choy, chopped

6 button mushrooms, sliced thin

4 cups vegetable stock (or broth)

2 cups leftover fish taco meat, flaked (or fresh-cooked of your choice)

3 tbs hot oil

1 cup soy sauce

pepper, to taste

3 tbs sesame oil

1/2 cup cilantro

Watch how easy this is: In a large soup pot, heat the peanut oil on medium heat for one minute.  Add radish,  bell pepper, bok choy, and button mushrooms and cook for two minutes, until cooked to al dente.  Add the fish, and cook another minute before adding the broth.  Bring to a slow boil, add hot oil, soy sauce, and pepper and cook another five minutes on low heat.  Remove from heat and add sesame oil and cilantro.  Then EAT IT UP!

NOTES: I use all organic ingredients whenever I can, including the soy sauce.  This is for clean-eating purposes only, and in this particular recipe does not make a difference in the flavor - the star is the fish!  Be careful not to salt this soup, as the soy sauce acts as the salt.  Look for your hot oil on the International aisle in your local grocery store.  In order to get organic I had to order mine online.  Omit if you don't want the heat, but it is definitely not overwhelming and rests on the back of your palette in a mild way.  This was perfect in a time pinch