Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Minestrone soup

Minestrone soup is among my favorite types of soups. It is so easy to make and it is offers so much flexibility. It is a great way to use up a variety of veggies that need to be used up. It also easy to change the ingredients, so you can choose your favorite ones or can skip one if you do not have it at hand. Furthermore, depending on what you add to the soup, you can change how filling it is.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
same asparagus
3 rainbow-colored carrots, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 veggie buillion cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
optional pasta (for example, elbow pasta)

Preparation:
1. Saute onions and carrots, until softened. Then add the other ingredients, except pasta and cheese (if using).
2. Continue heating the soup on low to medium heat. You do not want to cook the soup. Heat until all vegetables are desired tenderness. Meanwhile (if using pasta), prepare the pasta according to directions on pasta package.
3. Once vegetables are tender, pour soup into bowls and add pasta. Serve with shredded cheese, baguette bread, or grilled cheese.
Note: This soup stores well in air-tight container in refrigerator. If you add the pasta before storing it, the pasta will soak up all the liquid in the soup, so it may be best to store the pasta in a separate container.

Minestrone (sad this picture has glare on it)

Minestrone (sad this picture has glare on it)

Minestrone soup with elbow pasta

Minestrone soup with elbow pasta

Health benefits:
* Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin C and B, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Kidney beans are rich in potassium and magnesium, thus they help to keep blood pressure in check. In addition, the high fiber content can help to reduce bad LDL cholesterol.. Kidney beans are also rich in iron and protein, making them a great meat substitute for vegetarians.
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium

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Tomato bisque with goat cheese

So here is finally the updated recipe to make soup instead of pizza sauce 😉

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup diced onion (optional)
2 (14-ounces) organic petite tomatoes
1 tablespoon raw organic sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 dashes red pepper flakes
4 ounces good-quality goat cheese
fresh basil leaves, cut into small pieces (to taste)

Preparation:
1. Put oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and saute until just fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add onion (if using) and continue cooking until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).
2. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, chile flakes, and onion mix into blender. Puree until smooth.
3. Return to saucepan. Add goat cheese and basil leaves. Heat slowly, stirring often, until mixture is creamy and most of cheese has melted.
4. Ladle into bowls and serve. Enjoy with grilled cheese.

Tomato bisque with goat cheese and grilled cheese

Tomato bisque with goat cheese and grilled cheese


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Simply yummy carrot salad

So the big bag of organic carrots was on sale at Costco. You bought it…and now you are desperately trying to find ways to use the carrots.

After baking vegan carrot cake (see recipe under https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/vegan-carrot-cake/), eating lots of carrots with the lemony bean dip (see recipe under https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/lemony-bean-dip/), and making curried carrot soup (see recipe under https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/curried-carrot-soup/)…you still have lots of carrots left…and upon checking in the fridge, there is an apple that needs to be used up as well.

So why not making this refreshing salad. The lemon juice gives it some kick. The oil allows the better absorption of the vitamin A and who doesn’t want to be able to see better in the dark 😉 Not to mention the salad is yummy.

Ingredients:
about 3 cups of shredded carrots
1 shredded apple
a little bit of oil (like saffron oil)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:
1. Mix the shredded carrots, shredded apple, oil, lemon juice, and sugar.
2. Enjoy.

Note: Stores well in air-tight contained in the refrigerator. Great healthy yummy snack.

Carrot-apple salad

Carrot-apple salad


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Cucumber salad with dill

So…every time I wanted to make cucumber salad I went online (checking both German as well as English recipe sites) to check for a recipe for cucumber salad with dill sauce…the way my grandma used to make it. Every single time I got frustrated as all the recipes contained a dairy product in the ingredients.
So I decided to create my own and here is what I came up with…completely dairy free.

Ingredients:
Cucumber, thinly sliced

For the salad dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used lemon olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried dill
juice of half a lemon

Preparation
1. Thinly slice the cucumber.
2. Mix the ingredients for the salad dressing.
3. Add salad dressing to the cucumbers and mix it together.

Note: Keeps well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Cucumber salad with dill

Cucumber salad with dill


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Uncream My Broccoli Soup

If you have not already been able to tell, I love soups. So I am always interested in discovering a new delicious soup recipe. Preferably one that is healthy, allows for easy modification, and stores well. Here is a recipe for super-delicious broccoli soup that even Hans eats. It is “creamy” without actually having any dairy added.

(Adapted from Eating Well)

Ingredients (Makes 6 large servings):
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Add a bit more for extra kick)
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth (Alternatively use 2 veggie bouillon cubes and 4 cups of water)
16 ounces (1 lb) broccoli crowns (see Ingredient note), cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated (average broccoli weighs 1 to 1.5 lb)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30-40 minutes)
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

2. Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the salt. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to blender and puree, until desired consistency.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Celery, rainbow carrots, garlic, and onion

Celery, rainbow carrots, garlic, and onion

Red potato, Yukon Gold potato, and broccoli

Red potato, Yukon Gold potato, and broccoli

Ingredients  prior to the blender

Ingredients prior to the blender

Broccoli soup

Broccoli soup

Healthful benefits:
* The amount of calories is much lower than broccoli soup that is dairy-based.
* Broccoli is rich in vitamins C. E, and B5. It also contains high amounts of beta carotene, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium.
* The soup also allows the addition of one carrot, celery stick, onion, and potato. So it is a bit of a vegetable soup, sneaky, right?! Don’t tell anyone.


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Curried Carrot Soup

Never made carrot soup before. And then we were gifted a 5-lb bag of organic carrots and we needed to find something to do with all the carrots. This soup is simple to make, can easily be stored, tastes delicious, and definitely helped to reduce the amount of carrots in our refrigerator.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth (we used 2 cubes veggie bouillon and 4 cups water)
2 cups water, or as needed
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
(Lemon juice, optional)

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30 minutes):
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until tender and translucent. Stir in the curry powder. Add the chopped carrots and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth, and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer the heated mixture to a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot, and thin with water to your preferred consistency. Season with lemon juice (if using), salt, and pepper.

Note: Soup can easily be stored in an airtight container and frozen. Allow it to slowly defrost in the refrigerator before heating it, when you want to use it.

Curried carrot soup

Curried carrot soup

Adapted from recipes from Eating Well and Allrecipes http://allrecipes.com/recipe/curried-carrot-soup/ and http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/curried_carrot_soup.html

Healthful benetits:
* Carrots are a great source for beta carotene, vitamins C and B, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
* Celery is rich in vitamin A, K, and folate. It also contains antioxidants.