White Chicken Chili | Instant Pot

Hey Everyone!  I’m still alive 🙂  Just took a long pause to continue my photography and teach 4th grade full-time for a few months.  Next month I will be a full-time student at the University of Missouri and possibly part or full-time teacher as well… we’ll see how this goes.  🙂

But hey, we are here for the recipes, not my opinion on the last presidential election that we missed on the blog.  Whew!  Maybe that’s a good thing we missed it….

Book Review: 

Rosalind Wiseman has written a comprehensive guide to helping girls through the teenage years and even the tweens. This is a must read for any parent that has a daughter! The author delivers in a conversational tone a plethora of advice from years of clinical experience. Quotations from teenage girls are scattered throughout the book giving firsthand knowledge of the world of “queen bees.”

The first section is about friendships, groups of friends and the roles friends play. Next, parents and parenting styles are discussed. Then, anger management and what to do about parties. Online communication and boys are included in the chapters as well. The book is lengthy… which is a blessing and a curse. “Queen Bees and Wannabes” has so many scenarios that it will probably have what you are dealing with or what you will be dealing with in years to come. All 412 pages will not apply to everyone. But I can guarantee that some of this book will apply to all parents and help them – and their daughters – through whatever physical or emotional hurdles they may have to face and guide them through facing it together.

I received a sample of this book to read from Blogging for books so i can give my honest and unbiased opinion/review.

Recipe:

My Instant Pot is still my new favorite toy!   Check out this blog post with more things to do with the Instant Pot like:  make yogurt from just milk, make a 10 hour roast in 1 hour, cook chicken without drying it out, make chili in 10 minutes, hard-boiled eggs where the shell comes off in one piece, make perfectly cooked brown or white rice.

Now to the chili… we have tons of deer meat and been eating chili like crazy the past few months.  To shake things up a bit, I made white chicken chili.  I have tried several ways and finally came across some ingredients that help a lot:  Trader Joe’s fire roasted diced green chiles.  YUM!  Try to find them if you can.  If not, that’s okay and find the Mexican food aisle in your store and they will have canned green chilies.

*If you want to use dried beans – that works too!  1/2 cup dried beans = 1 can of beans.  So, I used my Instant Pot the previous day to pressure cook the soaked beans.  They were done in 12 minutes on high pressure using natural release.

White Chicken Chili (and Instant Pot Option)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 and ½ cups diced chicken breasts or tenderloin (with tendon removed)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tb. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium preferred)
  • 2 cans (3 cups) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces canned green chiles, diced
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. For regular pot: Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced chicken and onion. Cook until no longer pink - about 8 minutes. Add garlic with the spices and cook 30 seconds.
  2. Once the garlic and spices are fragrant, add the broth, beans, chiles and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
  3. For Instant Pot: Turn on the Instant Pot to "Saute" on Normal/Medium. Add oil and once hot add the chicken and onion. Cook until no longer pink - about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook those another 30 seconds. Turn Instant Pot off.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the Instant Pot back on to Manual mode and set for 10 minutes. Or press "Chili" and reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes. Make sure the vent is sealed of course!
  5. Release the pressure and your chili is finished! If you want it thicker, put the Instant Pot on saute with the lid off to reduce the chili.

 

 

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup (Christmas Ham Leftovers!)

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I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!

I still haven’t had a chance to read any fantastic books to talk to you about.  I am also trying to push another project out by 2016.  You may have seen a little change on the home page of this website 😉  That’s part of the surprise.

I’ve also been watching “The Flash” on Netflix.  It is one of the nicer sci-fi shows on Netflix compared to the MA rated “Jessica Jones” and others.  If you can wrap your head around the fact that a scientist built a particle accelerator in the middle of a city of hundreds of thousands of people… then you’ll be all set!  Completely ignore basic safety and physics, and you can watch the show.

The kids were pretty happy this Christmas – The oldest finished putting together this bad boy in like 3 hours.  Oy!


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The youngest was VERY happy with her hotel.  The hotel set was pretty nifty and I had fun helping her with it.  There’s a pool, piano lounge, ice cream bar, elevator, your own car, waterfall, chandelier and rotating doors!

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My sister’s friend’s mom made this cake for us for Christmas – it had chocolate cherry cake inside!

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It was too pretty to eat… but we made the sacrifice and ate it anyway.  🙂

Now that we are done with cake…. let’s move over to a hearty, healthy and very filling soup.  There is a lot of protein in here from the ham, beans and lentils.  The lentils, barley and beans provide a nice amount of fiber.  The carrots and celery give this soup nice flavor and vitamins.

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup-6110 copy

Recipe:  For Christmas dinner, we had ham among other dishes.  I used my trusty baked ham recipe and had about 2 pounds of leftovers.  Woo hoo!  Also, what to do with that end that doesn’t slice very well….???  Make soup!  I love soup!   It is pretty hard to mess up broth and ham really.  Plus, you can throw in whatever ingredients you want to use up in the fridge or pantry.  For me, I had some leftover quick cooking barley from Trader Joe’s and green lentils.  Feel free to substitute the lentils for barley and vice versa.  Or just omit them.  The soup just won’t be as thick and it is a pretty thick soup anyway.  I figure I would rather give you recipes for a thick soup than thin.  It is sooooo much easier to thin a soup with some added broth or water than to try and make a soup thicker.  Sometimes boiling it too long overcooks the rest of the food.

Remember our new food trick:  add canned beans at the end!  They are already cooked anyway and just need heated.

Feel free to switch and use whatever herbs you have on hand and like.  I used oregano, rosemary and 21 seasoning salute (Trader Joe’s).  But any combination of thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, or the like will work.

I served this soup with a side of beer bread.

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup-6113-2 copy

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup (Christmas Ham Leftovers!)
 
:
Ingredients
  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • ½ cup dry green lentils, rinsed
  • ½ tsp each of dried oregano, basil and rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. white or black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 cup cooked chopped ham
  • 2 cans (15 oz) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup quick cooking barley
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook about 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
  3. Into the pot, add the lentils, dried herbs, pepper, and broth. Turn the heat up to medium high to get the soup the boil. Once at a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Keep the soup at a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the ham, beans and quick cooking barley. Bring the soup up to a boil again. Cover again and simmer over medium low for 10 minutes.
  5. Feel free to add more herbs, salt or pepper to taste. The soup is quite thick and hearty. Thin it out with more chicken broth or water.

 

Beef Enchilada Burrito

Beef Burrito Enchilada_1 on Whisk Together

Craft:  Here is a photo of what I was working on last week.  After some trial and error with vinyl and fonts, I found a way to make these coasters for my cousin’s wedding.

Coasters on Whisk Together

 

Recipe:  I made this recipe with the previous post, “Mexican Cauliflower Rice”.  It is really simple, fast and delicious!  It is one of the recipes that Food Network Magazine publishes in their weeknight dinner section.  They rarely disappoint.  I think they work really hard on them and make sure you CAN actually get it made in a short period of time.

I recommend making your own enchilada sauce, but you use what you like.  I have a recipe here that I liked and posted a while ago.  The Vitamix enchilada sauce is super easy as well.  Many canned enchilada sauces at the grocery store contain MSG and preservatives.  The enchilada sauce at Trader Joe’s is free of all those nasty things, but it is too spicy even for me.  I’m a medium kinda gal.

Vitamix Enchilada Sauce

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. red wine vinegar
1 Roma tomato, cut in half
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 and 1/2 Tb. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Place everything in the Vitamix blender.  Blend at level 10 for 6-7 minutes.  Or put it on the “soup” setting for the ones with presets.

Beef Enchilada Burrito on Whisk Together

Beef Enchilada Burritos
 
:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 and ½ cups enchilada sauce (about 20 ounces)
  • 2 - 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 and ½ cups Mexican cheese blend (6 ounces)
  • 8 large flour tortillas or whole wheat tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium high with chili powder. Cook until no longer pink and broken up - about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup enchilada sauce and the beans. Simmer 3-5 minutes.
  4. Take the skillet off of the stove and stir in cilantro.
  5. Spray two small baking dishes or one large 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  6. Divide the meat between the tortillas and add ¼ cup of cheese to each.
  7. Roll and fold the burritos. Place into the dish seam side down. Cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce.
  8. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and add the rest of the cheese. Bake another 2-3 minutes.
Notes
Serve with Mexican Cauliflower Rice from www.whisktogether.com

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine Dec 2014

 

Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together

Books:  Since I loved reading “The Water Castle” so much I thought I would try Megan Frazer Blakemore’s “The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill”.  The beginning is boring, but it was a boringbeginning in the last book.  So maybe it will get better.  ??

*Insert pithy comments here*  I think about stuff to write here ALL DAY.  Seriously, I need a secretary.  By the time 10pm rolls around, I can only think of my recipe and sleep and…. oh.  I’m awake.  What?  Oh yes.  Sleep.  And fresh strawberry pie.

Pork Tenderloin and Black Bean Dinner on Whisk Together-2776

Recipe:  
I liked this recipe because it is fast and tasty.  The entire meal includes two side dishes that are pretty healthy for you as well: beans, onions and peppers.  Our pork tenderloin comes from Costco at $3.99 per pound.  The other grocery stores also sell it at that price, but only when on sale.  So, $5 for the meat, 99 cents for the beans and $2 for the peppers and we feed 4 people for $8.  It isn’t the cheapest way to go… but still cheaper than dining out.  Could this be made with chicken?  Sure!

Pork Tenderloin and Beans: 30 Minute Meal
 
:
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 Tb. lime juice (fresh or bottled), divided
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
  • salt
  • 1 and ½ lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver skim
  • 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 3 orange or red peppers (green will work too), cut into strips
  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix half the onion, 2 Tb. lime juice, ½ tsp. cumin and pinch of salt.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tb. olive oil on medium high. Brown the pork for 8 minutes. Put the pork into a roasting pan, cookie sheet or casserole dish. and cook about 15 minutes or until 145 degrees.
  4. Now, into that empty skillet on the stove add the rest of the olive oil. Add the peppers. Cook a few minutes until a little soft. Add ½ cup water and some salt. Let sizzle and cook off for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the onion/lime juice mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the beans, other half of the onion, honey and cilantro with 1 Tb. lime juice. Put this in the microwave for about 45 seconds if you want the beans slightly warmed.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Chili

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Chili-2162 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  “I hate affected, niminy-piminy chits!”

Louisa May Alcott said it.  Not me!  Ahhh, you gotta love those non-conforming transcendentalists.  Oh wait.  Everyone conformed before the 1960’s.  Right?  😉

Quinoa Spaghetti-1513 on Whisk Together

 

This is a new favorite find at Trader Joe’s.  Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa Spaghetti Pasta.  My kids would never eat the whole wheat spaghetti pasta I purchased at the normal grocery store, but they do like eating this!  Tastes great and a fast meal with the Three Cheese Pasta Sauce.

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Chili-2173 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  So… this recipe is awesome because….

1.  You make it in the slow cooker.  I needed something ready to eat after Easter service, so I threw this in the crockpot before getting ready and heading off.

2.  It’s easy peasy and no fuss ingredients.

3.  You can turn it into more of a soup by adding more chicken broth.  Or you can use it as nacho toppings.  Or you can eat it as a thickened chicken chili.

4.  It is DEE-licious.

5.  You can freeze the whole meal before you cook it.  You can make 2-3 of these to stash in the freezer for a quick meal later. Or, freeze the leftovers!

6.  And I’m making it again tonight.

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Chili-2177 on Whisk Together

So there you have it and why you should make it!  Now print it, pin it, or whatever you want.  You need to make this.  And yes, I vote for purchasing smoky paprika.  Sooooo good and smells heavenly.  Most paprika I buy has no flavor or scent, just a red color.  But the smoky paprika always added some nice smoky notes to my food without me having to actually smoke the food.  Or just use what you got!  I usually have most of the ingredients for this dish.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Nacho Chili
 
:
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces (or 1 -14 oz. can) low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (or use Rotel if you like spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or pizza seasoning if you're out of oregano)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) pinto beans or light or dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 (about 2 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken breast
Instructions
  1. In a slow cooker, dump all of the ingredients with the chicken breasts on top nestled into the ingredients below.
  2. Cook on low 3-4 hours. Shred chicken inside crock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips, corn tortillas, chopped scallions, salsa, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado, guacamole
Notes
If you need to increase the cooking time, or have skinless/boneless chicken thighs on hand, then you could use those and increase the cooking time to 4-5 hours on low heat.  

Recipe adapted from http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-shredded-chicken-chili/

 

Totally Amazing NO Flour or Butter Brownies


Black Bean Brownies on Whisk Together

Book:  I finally wanted the “Ender’s Game” movie after seeing it at the library.  The reviews I heard were not good, but I thought the movie did well.  For book readers, like myself, I can see why they find it disappointing.  But, I wish I had seen the battle games on the big movie screen.  Apparently, Orson Scott Card has written MORE books in the series, so now I have a list of books to read!!!  Yippee!!  If you haven’t read “Ender’s Game” well, I’m sorry.  It’s my favorite sci-fi, if not fiction, novel ever.  You should ready it!

Black Bean Brownies 1 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  This recipe is AMAZE- BALLS!!!!!  Holy guacamole!!!  So, as you can see on my blog I have LOTS of yummy delicious brownie recipes.  They are great!  They also contain butter and flour and lots of sugar.  Doh!

For the past 7 years, I have tried substituting avocados, using the book “Deceptively Delicious,” zucchini – anything to make a brownie healthy AND taste good.  Finally, Skinnytaste woman got it.  Alleluia!  Try these brownies.  A can of beans is cheaper than the crappy box mix anyway.  (Wait, did I say that out LOUD?!)  An 8-pack of organic beans at Costco is $6.57!  Sigh, another reason I love that place.

I feel I do need to mention that these are not your fudgey, gooey brownies.  That texture – as far as I can tell – can only be created using something like butter or coconut oil.  Instead, these brownies are more on the cakey side.  I know I know.  I LOVE fudge, gooey, underdone brownies, too.  But for the trade off, I think these are just as good.

I may post more photos later…. We ate the brownies so fast that I had none left. 🙂

Not to mention… KID APPROVED!!

Black Bean Brownies_3 on Whisk Together

Totally Amazing NO Flour or Butter Brownies

Ingredients

  • Amazing Brownies
  • serves 9
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed; I used Rodelle Dutch Processed Cocoa)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 Tb. milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground coffee, instant coffee, or espresso powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Create a sling inside a 9x9 baking pan. You can do this with parchment paper that has been sprayed and put into the pan, or I find non-stick foil to be faster and easier. Make sure the sling has 1-2" hanging off the sides for easy brownie removal.
  3. Into a blender OR food processor: add every ingredient EXCEPT the chocolate chips. Blend away until smooth. I had to scrape the cocoa powder off of the sides of the blender a few times.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips to the blender and mix by hand with a spatula. Pour the entire batter into the baking dish. Scatter the rest of the 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top of the batter. Bake 28 minutes - or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pan. Once cool, remove the sling from the pan to cut the brownies and serve.
  5. Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.com
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/02/12/totally-amazing-no-flour-or-butter-brownies/

Amazing Brownies
serves 9

1 (14 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch processed; I used Rodelle Dutch Processed Cocoa)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 Tb. milk or unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. freshly ground coffee, instant coffee, or espresso powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Create a sling inside a 9×9 baking pan.  You can do this with parchment paper that has been sprayed and put into the pan, or I find non-stick foil to be faster and easier.  Make sure the sling has 1-2″ hanging off the sides for easy brownie removal.
Into a blender OR food processor:  add every ingredient except the chocolate chips.  Blend away until smooth.  I had to scrape the cocoa powder off of the sides of the blender a few times.
Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips to the blender and mix with a spatula.  Pour the entire batter into the baking dish.  Scatter the rest of the 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top.  Bake 28 minutes – or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached.  Cool completely in the pan.  Once cool, remove the sling from the pan to cut the brownies and serve.

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.com

Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili

Chunky Chicken Chili on Whisk Together

Book Update:  Still taking my vacation time to watch “The Good Wife”!

Recipe:  This recipe gets to the heart about why I can’t stand most slow cooker recipes – they turn the food to mush.  Leaving most of our food to cook for 8 hours a day is really, really gross.  But, I’ve learned that if you pick the right meat or the right timing, then some things can be made in the slow cooker. This recipe uses chicken thighs which hold up a lot better in the slow cooker than chicken breasts.  Chicken breasts always turn out dry or break down into shreds for me.  If chicken shreds in lots of liquid are what you want, then slow cooking is fine.

Chunky Chicken Chili_1 on Whisk Together

I highly recommend seeing if you can get your butcher to chop the chicken thighs before leaving the grocery store.  This is rather time consuming and more mess to clean up at home.

Chunky Chicken Chili_2 on Whisk Together

Since chicken doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, a lot of the flavor will come from what kind of salsa you use.  Trader Joe’s has a lot of fun ones like Peach and Pineapple that would be delicious.  Jack’s Fresh Salsa at the store is our family’s favorite for chips.  It tastes as close to homemade as I have ever found.

This recipe is very thick.  You can make it thinner by adding chicken broth or leave as is.  I used it as chili, in taco shells and tortillas!  Very versatile stuff!

Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 2 Tb. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions

  1. In slow cooker: mix the beans, salsa, sauce, chili powder and cumin. Place the chicken on top. Place the onion on top of the chicken.
  2. Cook 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-5 hours on HIGH. 30 minutes before cooking is finished, add the frozen corn and stir.
  3. To serve, top with cheese, sour cream, more salsa, tortilla chips, etc.
  4. Recipe from Kraft
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/01/03/slow-cooker-chunky-chicken-chili/

Slow Cooker Chunky Chicken Chili
serves 6-8

2 cans (15 oz. each) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 and 1/2 cups salsa
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 Tb. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
1 and 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1″ chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 cup frozen corn

In slow cooker:  mix the beans, salsa, sauce, chili powder and cumin.  Place the chicken on top.  Place the onion on top of the chicken.
Cook 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-5 hours on HIGH.  30 minutes before cooking is finished, add the frozen corn and stir.
To serve, top with cheese, sour cream, more salsa, tortilla chips, etc.

Recipe from Kraft

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup_2 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  Okay, I take everything back I said against “The Runaway Jury.”  I got sucked in and the ending was totally worth the suspension of belief!    Now to go find more Grisham books where I haven’t seen the movie…. 🙂

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup on Whisk Together

Recipe:  This recipe was soooo comforting and tasty.  It is FAST and EASY.  I had a lot of Great Northern beans leftover from the White Bean Soup and decided to make another soup out of them.  The original recipe calls for canned beans, but I adapted the recipe for dried beans.  Beans are so much healthier than pasta … and I found they are cheaper, too!  You get TONS of beans in a dried bag of beans.  We love garlic here and this soup fit the bill and tastes great with a grilled cheese or some garlic bread!

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup_1 on Whisk Together

How do you convert your current recipes to using dried beans?  One, you could make a ton like I did and freeze the rest.  Two, a much smarter method would be to convert the ounces/cups to canned.  One can of beans is 15 ounces in weight.  After draining, this is 1 and 1/2 cups of beans or 9 ounces of weight.  Cooking 3/4 cup dried beans –> 1 (15 oz.) can of cooked beans.  If you need 2 cans of beans, then cook 1 and 1/2 cups of dried beans.

Have leftover white beans?  I made a bunch and used them in my smoothies, too!

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup_3 on Whisk Together

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped (or substitute 1/4 cup diced onion)
  • 1 large sage leaf or 2-3 small sage leaves
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or Great Northern or 1.5 cup dried beans that have been cooked)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I always use low sodium)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half (or 1/4 cup milk)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion. Cook 5-8 minutes until soft.
  2. Add sage and beans. Stir.
  3. Add broth and simmer.
  4. Add garlic and simmer 10 minutes. Garlic should be soft.
  5. Puree the soup. You can do this ladling the soup into a blender in 2-3 batches. Or, I used my immersion blender so the soup just stayed warm in the pot.
  6. Add cream or milk. Add pepper. Heat through and keep warm.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/12/28/tuscan-white-bean-and-garlic-soup/

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
4-6 servings

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped (or substitute 1/4 cup diced onion)
1 large sage leaf or 2-3 small sage leaves
2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or Great Northern or 1.5 cup dried beans that have been cooked)
4 cups chicken broth (I always use low sodium)
4 cloves of garlic, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup cream or half and half (or 1/4 cup milk)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a medium pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion.  Cook 5-8 minutes until soft.
Add sage and beans.  Stir.
Add broth and simmer.
Add garlic and simmer 10 minutes.  Garlic should be soft.
Puree the soup.  You can do this ladling the soup into a blender in 2-3 batches.  Or, I used my immersion blender so the soup just stayed warm in the pot.
Add cream or milk.  Add pepper.  Heat through and keep warm.

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

White Bean Soup

White Bean Soup 2 on Whisk Together

**Recipe Update on Bacon Wrapped Crackers**  After a thorough study of these addictive things, I have found a few ways to make them good and bad.  One, use a thin cut bacon.  The thick cut gets mushy instead of crispy and turns the appetizer to mush.  Two, use center cut bacon if possible.  Again, the excess fat around the crackers turns the appetizer to mush.  The center cut did the best!

I hope everyone had a fabulous and Merry Christmas!  Since we bought the new house this year, we didn’t get much for each other.  So, no new startling news in regards to presents.  I’m sorry we missed services because the kids had a fever the day before.  It broke before Christmas Eve…. but they say to keep kids away for 24 hours and we stayed home with the “Muppets’ Christmas Carol.”

Recipe:    The hubby wasn’t a big fan of Alton Brown’s “Christmas Eve Soup” aka “Sausage and Bean Soup”  that I made a few years ago.  This year I tried America’s Test Kitchen’s Recipe and EVERYone loved it.  So, here is the recipe!  Plus I got to use up all that kale I received in the produce co-op box.  Always a plus and handy to have a recipe since kale comes in such large bunches.  Kale – as we have been all told – is the king of super foods with a whole host of vitamins and nutrients.  Ironically, uncooked is better in cancer studies, but cooked is better in cholesterol studies.

Well, the main thing is eat it how you like it and like many vegetables packed with nutrients don’t use too much water.  The water-soluble nutrients will leach out into the water.  Since I learned that 7 years ago, I have been steaming or roasting almost everything.  Except for soup – because you are drinking the vitamin packed water anyway in the soup, you are getting the nutrients.  So, go and make some nutrient packed soup!

White Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lb. dry cannelini or Great Northern beans, have been soaked overnight for 8-12 hours
  • 2 bay leavse
  • 1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bunch kale or collard greens, 1" pieces and trimmed of stems (I used a little more than 1/2)
  • 2 carrots, 1/2" pieces
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put the rack on low to -middle.
  2. In a dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat about 8 minutes.
  3. Add onion and celery and cook 12-15 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add broth, water, beans and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and put into the oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven. Add tomatoes, kale and carrots. Cover with a lid and put into the oven another 30-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven. Add the sprig of rosemary. Cover again and just let it sit out. Serve with garlic toast or some beer bread.
  8. Recipe slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen "Soups and Stews"
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/12/26/white-bean-soup/

White Bean Soup
serves 8-10
**USES BEANS SOAKED OVERNIGHT**

6 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
8 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 lb. dry cannelini or Great Northern beans, have been soaked overnight for 8-12 hours
2 bay leavse
1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch kale or collard greens, 1″ pieces and trimmed of stems (I used a little more than 1/2)
2 carrots, 1/2″ pieces
1 sprig rosemary

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Put the rack on low to -middle.
In a dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat about 8 minutes.
Add onion and celery and cook 12-15 minutes.
Add minced garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, water, beans and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid and put into the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven.  Add tomatoes, kale and carrots.  Cover with a lid and put into the oven another 30-45 minutes.
Remove from the oven.  Add the sprig of rosemary.  Cover again and just let it sit out.  Serve with garlic toast or some beer bread.

Recipe slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen “Soups and Stews”

 

 

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