Monday, April 12, 2010


OK Gals - I wanted to suggest that you try a meatless meal, and the soup below is a great dish to 'build around'.  It's a good way to get enough vegetables for the day, and helps you to stay frugal. Maybe you could choose one day out of the month to enjoy a meatless meal??  I enjoy ordering the '4 vegetables' on the menu at Cracker Barrel - and I certainly need to eat more veggies.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

We enjoyed this soup (my revisions below) along with fresh tomato, cucumber and onion salad - topped with our favorite Ranch dressing.  And a side of cottage cheese too.  You could add a muffin, or even a grilled cheese sandwich.  And a cookie or pudding for dessert would top it off nicely. 

This is how I made my soup...just in case you want an easier option...
  • I used a bag and a half of frozen broccoli instead of fresh
  • I sauteed chopped onion, celery and carrot in olive oil, then added the chicken broth - brought it to a boil, then added the broccoli, and allowed it to simmer atleast 15 minutes, or until tender. 
  • I used the amount of chicken broth called for, but reduced the cream by half.  I also used half the amount of cheese too - it was plenty!
  • I made a roux, by melting 3 Tb. butter, then adding enough flour to whisk in until you have a thick paste.  I added the cream to that mixture, whisking as you go, and then the cheese, stirring until it melts.  Add to the broth and vegetables when it's time.
  • Instead of whirring the soup in a blender, we prefer a hearty soup, so I just mashed the cooked veggies with a hand held potato masher.  It leaves smaller chunks, and gives you something to bite into when enjoying.
  • If you wanted to add meat, I suggest cooked chicken or even diced ham.  Would make a great one-dish meal!

I found this info at the WebMD site...
Go Meatless More Often

Eating vegetarian meals more often is a slimming habit, according to WebMD's "recipe doctor," Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Vegetarians weigh up to 20% less than meat eaters. While there are several reasons for this, legumes play an important role. Bean burgers, lentil soup, and other tasty legume-based foods are simply packed with fiber. Most Americans get only half of this important nutrient, which fills you up with fewer calories.