The last few weeks have been busy; with traveling two weekends in a row, and then my parents visiting us, I haven’t been able to pull it together to make anything more elaborate than tried-and-true dishes that I can make with my eyes closed (like this one)! Now that things have calm down a bit, I am hoping to get back in the kitchen and try some new summer dishes.
I’ve had this Sweet Corn Soup with Crab on my list to make for almost a month, and it just so happens that I finally got to make it…on the hottest day of the year. Yay! Not so much. While I can eat soup all year round, I don’t blame my husband for protesting this meal while our weather app says “98 degrees, feels like 104″. Once we got past the whole hot soup in the summer problem, it was all about enjoying the beautiful sweet corn that makes up this majority of the soup. I used a nice large onion that, when cooked with the corn, helped off set the sweetness. The Sweet Corn Soup is fabulous on its own, but when garnished with peas, crab and basil, the soup reaches a whole new level. Hopefully the heat won’t deter you from trying this recipe while sweet corn is still at its peak!
I loved this tip from Cooking Light: use a bundt pan when cutting corn kernels from the cob. Prop up the corn in the middle of the pan and cut downward, using the pan to catch the corn. This worked so well and was far less messy than when I’ve just used a plate to catch the corn.
I used good quality canned crab meat, but feel free to use fresh for even better taste.
Sweet Corn Soup with Crab
Recipe source: Cooking Light Magazine
What You Need
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
- 5 cups fresh corn kernels (about 7 ears of corn)
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup 2% milk (can also use half and half or whole milk)
- 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed (I used canned crabmeat with no shell pieces. I also didn't use a pound of crabmeat but doing so will make a more filling meal)
What To Do
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add corn, salt, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 6 minutes.
- Place corn mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth.
- Place peas in a small bowl; mash slightly with a fork. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, basil, and crab; serve over soup.
This recipe takes 30 minutes start to finish
The idea of a veggie sandwich to most carnivores is as appealing as nails on a chalkboard. However, with the right ingredients and proper seasoning, a vegetable sandwich has the potential to be just as good, if not better than one containing meat. The look on my husband’s face as I presented him with his dinner, this Mexican-style Grilled Vegetable Sandwich, was a look of doubt and disappointment. Although the sandwich looked appealing, he was not excited about what was between the bread. But once he sunk his teeth into the grilled zucchini, roasted red pepper, onion, avocado and bean spread on crispy ciabatta bread, his face changed to a look of surprise and delight. We were both happy with how tasty the Cooking Light recipe turned out. I want to mention that there are a few different steps involved with making this sandwich, but to have a vegetarian meal that is both healthy and delicious, means it is worth the effort!
Mexican-style Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
Recipe source: Cooking Light Magazine, with a slight change
What You Need
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
- Cooking spray
- 1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
- 1 small red onion, cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
- 1 (12-ounce) ciabatta bread loaf, halved horizontally, or 4 4-ounce individual ciabatta rolls
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 avocado, sliced
What To Do
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 11 minutes or until blackened. Wrap pepper halves in foil. Let stand 5 minutes; peel. Cut into strips.
- Place juice, oregano, oil, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground red pepper, and beans in the bowl of a food processor; pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini and onion slices on pan; grill 5 minutes on each side.
- Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell. Spread black bean mixture over bottom half of bread; top with zucchini, onion, bell pepper and avocado. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and salt. Top with top half of bread. Coat both sides of sandwich with cooking spray. Place sandwich on grill pan; top with a heavy skillet. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until crispy. Remove sandwich from pan; cut into quarters. If using individual rolls, divide ingredients evenly among the four rolls and grill individually. No need to cut into quarters.
I used a panini press instead of the grill pan to grill the sandwich.
The original recipe used pepper jack cheese instead of avocado. You could make the substitution back if you prefer.
A few weekends back, one of our couple friends invited us over for a delicious Saturday brunch. The meal consisted of a gluten-free Asparagus and Gouda Quiche, a Summer Peach Salad, and a beautiful fruit salad. It was so much fun spending time with our friends, while enjoying the fabulous food. What a treat to have someone else cook us brunch! I loved the Summer Peach Salad that my friend made so much, I decided to recreate it myself. This is the perfect go-to salad for all of your warm weather entertaining. With seasonal fresh peaches, pistachios, red onion and feta topped with an simple balsamic dressing, this salad is too good and too easy to make only once! While you’re thanking me all summer for this recipe, I’ll be thanking my friend.
(If you’re wanting a similar salad when peaches aren’t in season, check out this Harvest Salad)
What You Need
What To Do
- In a mason jar or a small blender, such as a Nutribullet, combine all ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette. Shake jar until dressing is combined. If using Nutribullet, blend until garlic and all ingredients are combined. Set dressing aside.
- In a large salad bowl, combine spring mix greens, peach slices, pistachios, and red onion. Toss with desired amount of salad dressing. Divide into 4 bowls and top with 1 tablespoon of feta on each bowl.
My weather app says the “real feel” in St. Louis today is 95 degrees; by most people’s standards, it is not at all soup weather. But my little guy is not feeling so well, so I figured I’d try to help cure him with something warm and soothing. They say that matzo ball soup is Jewish penicillin, so these Chicken Dumplings in Garlic Broth are the Asian version of the aforementioned medicinal soup. Not only is this soup incredibly easy to throw together (hello, store-bought dumplings), it’s also perfect for Detox Monday in that it’s packed with veggies, ginger and garlic. I had chicken dumplings on hand, but this dish can easily be made vegetarian by using veggie broth and dumplings. This flavorful soup is so light, yet filling enough to act as a main course. We’ll be enjoying our soup alongside a big salad. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this soup will help nurse my son back to good health in no time!
(To see all previous Detox Monday posts, click here)
Asian Dumplings in Garlic Broth
Recipe source: The Family Cooks by Laurie David
What You Need
- Grapeseed or other high-heat oil, for the pot
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger (I used jarred)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons miso paste (optional)
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced into coins
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 package (16 ounce) Asian vegetable or chicken dumplings
- 1 cup mix of peas and edamame, can also use sugar snap peas
- 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- Optional additions: Asian chili paste to mix in at the end, additional soy sauce or hoisin sauce for the dumplings, on the side
What To Do
- Heat a soup pot over high heat. Drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until deep golden, about 1 minute.
- Add 3 1/2 cups of the broth, the soy sauce, miso paste, carrot and celery. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Just before serving, slip the dumplings and peas/adamame into the pot and increase the heat to high. Cover and cook until the dumplings are heated all the way through, 4 to 5 minutes. If the dumplings soak up too much liquid, add a little more broth. Toss in the scallions. Taste it and adjust. If it needs more ginger or soy sauce, adjust as needed. Divide among big bowls and garnish with scallions.
One of my good friends from growing up came to St. Louis with her husband and two girls this past weekend, and we had a blast showing them around town. We were on the go the entire time they were here, and it’s safe to say I am exhausted today! When my friend and I were out shopping during nap time, I saw a shirt that said “I need a day between Saturday and Sunday”…ain’t that the truth?! The weekend started with a picnic and live music at the St. Louis Zoo on Friday night, followed by Grant’s Farm and the kids playing on the splash pad at the park on Saturday. We also got to check out the new Jeni’s Ice Cream that just opened here. It was pretty spectacular!
Now that the weekend is over, it’s back to Detox Monday. I really wanted to make Bibimbap, which is an Korean dish consisting of vegetables, rice, a fried egg and a spicy sauce made from chili pepper paste, but I didn’t know too much about it. Although I’ve eaten this dish multiple times, it has only ever been at Mana Food Bar, a favorite Chicago vegetarian restaurant. As I started researching what I needed for the sauce, I learned that Bibimbap was originally created as a way for people to use up their leftover side dishes. Since I’m a person who hates wasting food, I loved the concept behind this dish. This means that when you make your own Bibimbap, feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand that you want to clear out. My bowl consisted of carrots, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, red cabbage, and bean sprouts. For the sauce, I did have to seek out gochujang, which is an authentic Korean red chili pepper paste. I purchased mine at an International market, but it can also be found at some Whole Foods Markets, or other speciality grocery stores. You can also purchase it here on Amazon, but it’s double the price! The paste is the most important part of the sauce because it provides so much flavor and heat. I tamed the heat by adding soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar to the gochujang. You can adjust your heat to your liking. Once the dish is assembled, finish it off with a sunny side up egg, black sesame seeds and a drizzle of sauce. You will have yourself a colorful, veggie-packed rice bowl called Bibimbap!
Recipe author: Glori of Food
What You Need
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 4 cups baby spinach, or other green
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 cup red cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 5 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
For the Sauce
- 3 tablespoons gochujang, or other red pepper paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
What To Do
- In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add shredded carrots and sauté about 5 minutes, or until no longer crunchy, but not over-cooked. Season with salt and pepper, and then set aside in a small bowl.
- In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, then add baby spinach. Sauté spinach for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Toss 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds in the spinach, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Again, in the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, then add sliced shiitake mushrooms and half of the sliced green onion. Sauté about 5 minutes, or until tender. Do not over-cook. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside in a small bowl.
- In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, then add chopped red cabbage. Sauté about 3 minutes, or until slightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper, and then set aside in a small bowl.
- Finally, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Add 1 clove of minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, then add bean sprouts and the other half of the green onion. Sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Meanwhile, cook brown rice according to package directions.
- In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. Mix until everything is combine. Taste and adjust flavors as need. Add additional soy sauce if sauce is still too hot.
- In the same sauté pan, crack eggs and cook them sunny side up, or cook longer for a less runny egg.
- To assemble Bibimbap bowls, place 1 cup of brown rice on the bottom of 2 bowls. Keeping each vegetable separated, place half the carrots, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage and bean sprouts around the outside of the bowl. Place the fried egg in the middle of the bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of black sesame seeds over each bowl. Drizzle each bowl with desired amount of sauce. Once you're ready to eat, break runny egg and stir combine egg and sauce.
If you're interested in saving time, you could technically sauté all veggies together, more like a stir fry, and then top with the fried egg and sauce.
I kept my vegetables warm by placing them in oven-safe bowls and turnings the oven on very low heat. I placed the bowls on a baking sheet and added them to the oven as each one became ready.