Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tomato Florentine Soup

I had some really good Tomato Florentine soup at the cafeteria at work, and it got my wheels turning...I knew I had most of the ingredients at home so I did a little experimenting and this is what I came up with! Not only is the soup packed with nutrients, but with the added rice or pasta it's hearty enough for a main dish. It's great topped with some parmesan cheese!

(if you want to turn this into Italian Wedding soup, just add small sausage meatballs!)

Tomato Florentine Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small can sliced mushrooms (4 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4-5oz package frozen spinach, thawed (about half a package)
1 1/2 cup cooked small pasta or rice

Heat the oil in a large pot. Cook mushrooms, onion and garlic in oil until just tender. Stir in tomatoes, broth, basil, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, cook for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and pasta/rice and cook an additional 7-10 minutes. (if the soup is too thick for your tastes, add a little extra broth or water with the spinach)

Total Cost
Oil - $0.05
Mushrooms - $0.60
Onion - $0.15
Diced tomatoes - $0.80
Broth - FREE! (homemade)
Spinach - $0.50
Rice - Free! (use leftovers!)
Seasonings - $0.25

Grand Total: $2.35 for 4-6 servings

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Japanese-style Beef Curry Rice

This recipe comes from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook - the original recipe calls for cubed beef but I did it with ground beef instead - either way it is a great beef stew/hamburger soup alternative!

Japanese-Style Beef Curry Rice

3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3-4 medium carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
3 tsp curry powder
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

-Put potatoes in the slow cooker. Layer sliced carrots on top.
-In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain well and place in the cooker. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove most of the leftover grease.
-Heat the oil in the same skillet, add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened. Add the curry, salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to the cooker.
-Pour the broth in the skillet, bring to a boil and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Pour into the cooker and add water.
-Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hrs. Serve over rice.

***optional: if you like the stew thicker (best when using stew meat instead of ground beef), skip adding the curry to the onions. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a small skillet. Add 3 Tbsp flour and cook, stirring, until it becomes brown (about 5 minutes). Add 1 Tbsp curry and stir for another minute. Remove from heat. Turn your slow cooker on HIGH. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the liquid, and add to the flour mixture, stirring until there are no lumps. Slowly add this mixture back into the slow cooker (stir carefully, don't break up the potatoes). Stir in frozen peas. Cover and cook on high about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

Total Cost:
Potatoes: $0.50
Carrots: $0.40
Vegetable oil: $0.03
Beef: $2.00
Onion: $0.30
Broth: $0.60 (free if you made your own!)
seasonings and garlic: $0.20

Grand Total: $4.03 for 6-8 servings!

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