We’ll be adding content to Hugh’s blog to keep you updated as the campaign moves forward.
We’ll be adding content to Hugh’s blog to keep you updated as the campaign moves forward.
There really is nothing like a bowl of hot, steaming soup to take away the winter chill and warm you right down to your bones. That’s why here’s only two rules for a good, healthy winter soup. It has to be hearty. Above all, it has to be hot!
Every healthy winter soup list has to begin with chicken soup. There really is nothing like it! It’s even good against those pesky winter colds, and that’s without all the protein, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin K that comes with your basic chicken and parsley. If you do it right, you can get your full day’s allowance of these nutrients right here.
For a good hearty chicken soup, cube and saute a chicken breast, with or without sauteed onions. For weeks after Thanksgiving, you could always use leftover turkey instead of the chicken. Then throw in some parsley, along with sage, basil, oregano, and rosemary if you’ve got it. Maybe add a bit of salt, or make it onion salt if you haven’t already added the onion, or you can use soy sauce instead.
When the chicken is nice and browned, add about a quart of stock (or just plain water more slowly, if you don’t have stock on hand), and let the whole thing simmer down until good smells start filling the house. Let your soup reduce again, then add more stock (or water). That’s the secret behind good chicken soupl
About five minutes before you’re ready to serve it, throw in a bit of pepper. You’ll be tempted to put it in earlier, but the best pepper flavours don’t last that long under heat.
To make it even more hearty, toss in some peas, diced carrots, and kale or spinach. Some people like to add in chunks of potato or a potato puree. If you want it even more robust, add some noodles, rice, or dumplings of your choice. There’s so many different ways to make chicken soup, you’ll have a hard time deciding which kind’s your favourite!
It’s hard to think of a heartier winter soup than minestrone. It’s hot, it’s filling, and it warms you all the way down, penetrating from your core to every part of you. It’s the perfect winter pick-me-up!
For a good hearty minestrone, saute together chopped onions, carrots, tomatoes, and celery. Then throw in some salt, parsley, sage, and oregano. When the whole thing is sizzling nicely, add about a quart of stock (or water) and beans of your choice, and let it simmer down.
Minestrone’s also really good for you. There’s no better way than beans to get your daily protein and fibre. You’ll even have all those daily required vegetable servings deliciously covered!
The cheater version of minestrone uses a small can of basic tomato soup instead of the raw tomatoes, but don’t add any more salt after that! Even if you’ve got a large family, you won’t need more than a single small can of tomato soup. After all, it’s supposed to be a base, not the main dish. The veggies will more than make up the difference.
For a fusion taste and just a little bite, add a bit of Worcestershire sauce and a touch of Tabasco. You can use a touch of soy sauce too, but then you won’t need the salt earlier. You can also add your choice of noodles. Baby shell pasta works very nicely.
It’s easy to make minestrone completely vegetarian. Just start with a vegetarian stock instead of beef or chicken.
You can also go the other direction and add cubed beef to your original saute. That’s when minetrone starts getting almost like a stew. There is no such thing as a minestrone which gets too thick!
Your complete dinner in one pot! This meal has been a family favorite for years, it appeals to the meat and potato lovers in the family, and is also quite low fat. You can quickly and easily assemble the ingredients in the morning, and leave it to cook all day in your slow cooker. Add the dumpling batter to the pot hour before dinner.
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into small chunks
3-4 stalks of celery, sliced
2 cups of whole baby carrots
1 cups frozen peas
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1 can reduced fat cream of celery soup
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup water
1-2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (according to taste)
tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon parsley
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
2/3-1 cup milk
1. Put potatoes, celery, carrots and chicken into the slow cooker.
2. Mix soups, seasonings, milk and water together and pour over vegetables and chicken.
3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender. (You can cook on high for 4-5 hours but results are better on low).
4. Add peas during the last hour of cooking.
5. To make the dumpling batter: mix flour, salt, baking powder & parsley together; add egg, melted butter and milk to dry ingredients. Use enough milk to make a soft dough.
6. Turn heat on slow cooker to high and drop 6 spoonfuls of the batter on top of stew.
7. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until dumplings are well done.
Check the stew before you add the dumpling batter to make sure there is plenty of liquid. You can add a can of chicken broth or water if necessary to make sure you still have lots of gravy once the dumplings are cooked.
There are many foods that are seasonal to the winter months. One of the most popular ones is the winter squash. This vegetable can be prepared and cooked in a variety of ways that will provide mouthwatering goodness to the palate. Some of the ways to cook and indulge in this delightful food are as follows:
When the wintry weather is gray and chilly on the outskirts, there is nothing more comforting to the stomach than a warm and tasty bowl of squash soup. This soup is easy to prepare. In a pot, soften finely chopped onion in olive oil over low to medium heat. Then add diced carrots and celery. Season along with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Peel winter squash and cut in small pieces. Add to pot. Cover vegetables with vegetable or chicken broth along with plain tap water. Season with thyme and herb of preference. Cover and simmer and allow vegetables to be softened. Cool soup and use food processor or hand blender to puree soup. Ladle in bowl and serve with crusted garlic bread or crackers.
Macaroni/cheese and squash
Another great way to utilize winter squash is to add to the cheese sauce when making a pie of macaroni and cheese. Peel and roast or boil squash; then, crush and add to cheese sauce. The frozen version can be thawed and added to the sauce if the fresh one is not in stocked. You will derive a golden/yellow pie that will be very enticing in appearance. And, the end result will be very mouthwatering and delicious.
Roasted winter squash
Make winter squash as the star of the show by peeling and cutting it in pieces. Add these to an assortment of other root veggies like onions, carrots, and potatoes. Drizzle veggies with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on sheet pan until they are soft on the inside and a little crispy on the outside. Add a few candid cranberries to the dish and serve as a side dish.
Winter squash/mashed potatoes
Surprise your loved ones palates by adding winter squash to creamy mashed potatoes. This dish is ideal during the holiday season. Use half the amount of potatoes and the other half as squash.
Winter squash/pasta blend
Another creative way to use up winter squash is to add to a pasta dish. Once again, less pasta could be used. You will achieve a more tasty dish by roasting the squash so as to obtain the natural sweetness from it. Add these delightful pieces to the warm pasta. Add chopped parsley, dill or herb of choice and crumbled feta cheese. Make sure to add the cheese while the pasta and squash are warm and watch it melt.
No doubt your loved ones will return for seconds with any one of the above dishes.
One of my all-time favorite comfort foods, this chicken noodle casserole is cheesy and delicious. I know the word “casserole” has fallen out of favor in today’s more trendy and spendy food world, but it can be prepared with whole grain and low fat ingredients to suit almost any diet. This simple recipe is perfect for leftover grilled chicken breasts or baked chicken, but good enough to make with chicken the first time around and eat as leftovers the next day. With only six ingredients in this go-to recipe, you probably have the ingredients on hand for dinner tonight. Serves 6-8.
2-3 cups of shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can be 2%)
3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 – 1/2 cup of dill pickle juice (just use what’s in your pickle jar)
one bag of egg noodles (can be whole wheat)
1 -2 cups of chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1. If chicken is not already cooked, season with salt and pepper and cook in crock pot, bake or grill until done. Shred cooked chicken and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Add chicken broth to 1-1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil .Add noodles and cook until done. Rinse and set aside.
4. Mix noodles and chicken in a large bowl. If chicken wasn’t heavily seasoned when it was first cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Add in pickle juice, mayonnaise and grated cheese and mix thoroughly.
5. Spread in 9×13 pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is thoroughly melted.
This recipe freezes well and lasts in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it a shot next time you’re looking for an economical, tasty, healthy and nostalgic meal. Your kids will love it too!
Aloo gobi is a popular dish in the Indo-Pakistani region of Asia. It’s a great dish that combines potatoes, cauliflower, and an amazing combination of spices. This recipe for cauliflower and sweet potato curry is an Americanized adaptation of aloo gobi, substituting the earthy sweet potato. The sweet potato adds an amazing sweetness, along with a color to break up the monotonous white in typical aloo gobi.
Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry
1 tablespoon chickpea flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 head of cauliflower
1/2 pound sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
4 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
red pepper flakes to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground yellow mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered turmeric
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
salt and pepper to taste
7 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon each onion seeds, cumin seed, and black mustard seed
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup currants or raisins
1 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed and chopped
Mix the chickpea flour with the water to make a smooth paste.
Mince the onions. Wash and chop the cauliflower into florets. Peel and wash the sweet potatoes. Cut the sweet potatoes into pieces that are similar size of the cauliflower florets.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ghee or vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onions, red pepper flakes, salt, ground coriander seed, ground cumin seed, ground mustard seed, powdered turmeric, powdered ginger, asafoetida, salt, pepper, curry leaves, onion seeds, cumin seeds, and black mustard seeds. Heat until fragrant.
Add the chickpea flour paste, and the sweet potatoes. Sauteé for 5 minutes.
Fold in the cauliflower, coconut milk, brown sugar, lemon or lime juice, and currants or raisins. Turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Reduce to a simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Adding additional water if necessary.
Remove from heat, and stir in coriander leaves. Serve.
For a complete dinner serve the cauliflower and sweet potato curry with a simple meat or legume based dish, a fresh salad, and chappati.
I love working with leftovers and chicken and turkey are two of my favorites. I have two standard recipes for leftover poultry: Nachos and biscuits and gravy
Like pizza, everyone’s favorite nachos toppings are slightly different. But with poultry as a base, I like to have sour cream, and some refried beans as well.
Leftover chicken or turkey, in bite size chunks
Refried beans (optional)
Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese
Lightly salted nacho chips
Salsa of choice
Other toppings after cooking:
Avocado or Guacamole
In a glass baking dish*, spread the nacho chips and chicken or turkey (and refried beans, if desired). Dust lightly with chili powder. Under a hot broiler, cook until the chips just turning brown and the meat starts to sizzle. Add the onions, japalenos, and sufficient cheese. Return to the broiler and cook until done to your liking – I prefer the cheese starting to crisp. Top with sour cream and salsa. Eat with lots of napkins.
* I use glass because the cheese doesn’t stick like it does to a metal pan.
Leftover poultry, cut in chunks
Chicken/turkey broth (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pillsbury Grands or your mum’s biscuit recipe
In a large, heavy sauce pan, over a low heat, combine the oil, onions and celery, and fry gently until the onions start to turn transparent. Add the mushrooms, chicken/turkey and Thyme, and cook until the mushrooms start to soften. Add the leftover gravy (and additional broth if required). Simmer until the gravy starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bake the biscuits as per the package/or mum’s recipe – serve with the gravy mix.
This is a great comfort food on a cold day – veggies would be a good idea, but not absolutely necessary.
Two of my roommates, who seldom cook, would hate it if they find out that they have been eating ground turkey meatloaf that we would be making and serving every so often. As they have explained to us, they simply dislike the game-y taste of turkey meat.
But let me explain. In our house where we take turns preparing the meals following our arrangement, the one who is making dinner for tonight has the option to make what he wants. The other roommates may help if they want to; I would then help a roommate who is usually the landlord who lives with us and who, for many years, runs his own Italian-American restaurant. He loves to cook and prepare dinners for us. Together, we have concocted meatloaf meals using ground turkey but would make the meals very tasty so our 2 other roommates would never know the difference. Meatloaf always tastes different each it’s made, and our turkey meatloaf recipe usually goes like this.
1 and a half lbs of ground turkey – if frozen, you may defrost it the night before in a plastic container as this helps keep the meat’s freshness
3 cups of bread crumbs
1 cup of grated cheese
1 cup of raisins
1 large-sized onion, diced
1 tablespoon of ground oregano
1 tablespoon of ground parsley
A dash of gravy master sauce for seasoning of the meatloaf mix
Butter that’s equivalent to 3 tablespoons
2 cans of your favorite brand of 8oz (227gms) of tomato sauce
2 cups of beef broth made from bouillons
1) Mix altogether the ground turkey, bread crumbs, grated cheese, onions, oregano, parsley, raisins, the eggs, the gravy master sauce plus the butter. You may opt to use a mixer at medium speed. Or you may mix them by hand, which is the preferred method, to help make it more flavorful. Remember: home made breads taste better because most are kneaded by hand, which is the same principle that applies here. And proceed to shape the mixture into a loaf and set aside for 5 minutes to let it settle.
2) On a roast pan that has been laid on its top with aluminum foil, which is a known trick to help the meatloaf from not sticking to the pan, set onto its center the earlier molded meatloaf batter.
3) Set oven to 400 degrees.
4) Pour contents of the tomato sauce on top of the raw meatloaf.
5) Pour beef broth around the meatloaf. This helps in the steaming process while the meatloaf’s being baked in the oven. It will also help to keep the meatloaf moist inside even when baked at 400 degrees.
6) Cook in the oven for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees during the last 30 minutes. The meatloaf will have a deep browned texture when done and with the tomato sauce almost dried out. If there is beef broth still left in the pan, spoon it out on the now-cooked meat loaf for additional flavor.
Serve with one or two of your favorite side dishes. This is good for 6 people.
According to several studies conducted by university researchers, newspapers, and consumer rights groups in 2012 and 2013, consumers at restaurants, markets and grocery store fish counters are probably encountering an unwelcome surprise: the fish they’re buying might not be what they think it is. All types of fish may be affected, but mislabeling issues seem most common with respect to red snapper, sole, and tuna.
The controversy over mislabeling issues with seafood started in 2011, when the Boston Globe spent several months collecting fish samples from 134 restaurants and stores around Massachusetts, and then using genetic testing to check whether they actually belonged to the species on the label. The results were alarming: according to the Globe, fully 48% of the fish it purchased had been mislabeled. That included all of the white tuna, and almost all of the red snapper, but cod and other species can be affected too. On the bright side, the Globe reported that most of the fish sold in markets and grocery stores was labelled correctly. The most common culprits were restaurants.
Additional studies have confirmed the Globe’s findings on a larger scale, commissioned by groups like Consumer Reports and Oceana, a marine conservation group. Consumer Reports found that all of its lemon sole samples and half of its red snappers were mislabelled. In Oceana’s much larger, nationwide survey, which was reported in the New York Times, DNA testing revealed that no less than 28 different fish species had all been labelled as red snapper! And this is not simply an American problem. In Canada, the Biodiversity Insntitute of Ontario has also reported that 41% of fish sold in major cities from coast to coast are mislabeled. Meanwhile, over in the U.K., a University of Salford study found that only 7% of fish were being mislabeled – disturbing, but nowhere near the rates in North America.
Some accidental mislabeling of seafood, especially with closely related species, is understandable, but given the scale of the problem, it is almost certain that consumers are quite simply being defrauded. Unfortunately, the sort of testing that has been conducted to date is unable to confirm at what level the fraud is most prevalent. It’s quite conceivable that merchants and restaurant owners are being victimized too. The Globe reported that more than 85% of American seafood is imported from abroad. That amounts to billions of pounds of fish, only a small fraction of which is inspected when it crosses the border.
Another underlying problem is that, to some extent, the growing evidence of seafood mislabeling fraud is simply a reflection of the fact that wild seafood stocks are being over harvested. That leads to scarcity, higher prices, and a temptation to take cheaper fish that are more readily available and pass them off as an increasingly scarce and valuable alternative.
In the meantime, consumers have few options but to exercise care and shop with trustworthy retailers. Although in most cases the consequences will simply be that they are overpaying for the wrong type of fish, in some cases there might be health implications. The New York Times stated that some fish species which are known to be high in mercury are being labelled as low-mercury species, which means that people who need to watch their mercury intake, like pregnant women, might be much more exposed to the chemical than they think.
This fried chicken is excellent because it is oven fried and uses less grease than skillet frying. That also means half the fat. It has a wonderful tasty and crunchy coating. It taste delicious hot or cold. The chicken is great for take along lunches that may be easily packed in a lunch box. It makes a great meal for picnics. It will surely please a crowd and kids love fried chicken.
It will store easy in the fridge and may be easily reheated in the microwave. It is a great addition to any lunch or dinner table. It is simple and easy to prepare and may be cooked in a microwave. It only takes 26 minutes to cook in the microwave. This is perfect for the rushed meals. This recipe makes enough for the whole family to enjoy. You will have less mess with oven frying because you will not have all of the grease splatter from the skillet on the stove top. Less mess, less time consuming, half the fat is an excellent way to cook.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of milk
1 cup of bread crumbs, seasoned
1 cup of instant potato flakes
2 teaspoons of garlic salt
4 tablespoons of real butter, melted
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk until well mixed.
2. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic salt, and potato flakes.
3. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture.
4. Roll the chicken pieces in the bread crumbs.
5. Place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with oil and butter.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 degrees F.
7. Bake for 15 minutes more. Serve hot and enjoy!
1. Combine bread crumbs, potato flakes, and garlic salt.
2. Beat egg and milk.
3. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture.
4. Roll the chicken in the bread crumb mix.
5. Place the chicken on a microwave safe baking dish.
6. Microwave on high for 15 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with butter and oil.
8. Microwave on high for 15 minutes more. Serve and enjoy!
No two coffee drinkers are exactly the same, just like no two coffees are exactly the same. Some folks prefer a full bodied dark roast and some enjoy a light brew with a touch of cream and sugar. Most coffee aficionados know that espresso is a stronger brew made from finer ground coffee. Strong can be good, however there is a type of coffee that is considered by some to be both strong and bitter, yet absolutely to die for. This coffee is chicory. The question is would a person who enjoys an espresso straight up (no cream, no milk, no sugar), also enjoy a cup of chicory coffee? To answer this question, one must become properly acquainted with chicory coffee.
A little bit about the history and properties of chicory
Chicory coffee is made from the dried and roasted root of the chicory plant. The way people started using chicory roasted chicory root is because it was a great substitute for coffee. Many times over the years, coffee became too expensive or unavailable to the average consumer and therefore people created their own brews.Roasted chicory root produces a very flavorful brew and is naturally caffeine free. Chicory also dissolves better in water than regular coffee causing less to be needed for brewing. Many coffee manufacturers offer coffee with up to 30% chicory and the rest regular coffee. This chicory blend gives the consumer less caffeine and saves them money because they use less to make a pot of coffee.
The making of chicory coffee
The root of the chicory plant resembles a turnip. It is sliced and dried in a kiln and then roasted. When the root is finished roasting, it is then ground, much like coffee. The chicory grind looks a whole lot like coffee at this point. The ground chicory is then added to regular coffee and packaged to be sold.
The taste of chicory coffee is a far cry from what you would expect out of a cup of java. It has a bittersweet overall flavor and does take some getting used to for most people. Chicory is a staple in many Southern restaurants and homes. Chicory coffee has risen in popularity over the years due to its lower caffeine content and ease of brewing. Plus the flavor is actually a selling point for many people that enjoy a bold and full bodied coffee.
So, after analyzing the ins and outs of chicory coffee, can a definite answer be given as to whether it is an acquired taste? Yes, it is more than likely something that would have to grow on most people. The good news is if you like a coffee experience that is out of the ordinary, then chicory just might be right up your alley.