Monday, February 16, 2009

Filling, gluten free, inexpensive soup

In a recession, everyone is looking for ways to save money. This soup is an easy, filling, delicious, healthy, and even gluten free way to do so! The trick is using lentils, brown rice, and ground beef. This recipe was inspired by this soup. Feel free to add more vegetables; I thought sliced mushrooms might do nicely.

1 lb ground beef

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

1 tbl parsley

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp cumin

3 cups chicken broth

4 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2/3 cup lentils

Half of a red bell pepper

1/4 cup frozen pees

½ cup brown rice

1. Cook onions and ground beef in stockpot. Add garlic at the end (only saute it a minute).

2. Add herbs, broth, lentils, and bell pepper and simmer for 1 hour or until lentils are soft.

3. Add brown rice and peas; simmer 40 more minutes, or until rice is done.

Yield: 4-6 servings

A new twist on baked potatoes

I love potatoes. They come in different shapes, colors, and you can do many tasty things with them. I have recently discovered my favorite method of making a baked potato. This method creates a crisp skin with a flaky, dryish (as apposed to steamy) center. If you like your potatoes steamy and soft, almost wet, then this method is not for you. :)

2 medium sized potatos (I used a red-skinned Yukon)
1/2 onion, sliced into thing rings
1 garlic clove
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Prick the potatoes with a fork and then microwave for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook another 3-5 minutes. Check periodically for done-ness with a fork (should be quite soft and the skin should be bubbly). When they are done, wrap in foil and let sit for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, caramelize onions in a bit of olive oil. Add garlic and salt at the end and saute for just a minute.

Open potato and top with onions and cheese. Yum!

Yield: 2 servings