Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Loaded baked potato soup, creamy goodness top with bacon and green onions.

Any time I have this soup I’m brought back to memories of my family eating at Tony Roma’s. It was THE place we went for my little sis’s birthday and whenever my grandpa came to visit. It was not an ocation to eat light. We loaded up on things like ribs, chicken strips, fries, onion loaf, and of course baked potato soup.

The onion loaf and soup were what made the night. I’m still tinkering with a real food version of their onion loaf, it’s not ready yet. Instead I delved into searching the web for every knock off of baked potato soup known to man. I was flabbergasted on how many recipes called for instant potatoes and cups of heavy cream. I love cream but I can only have so much at once and instant potatoes, well I won’t even go there.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup 2

I found some good ones along the way and finally combined them with some ideas I already had running through my head. While this might not be 100% the same as the family favourite we had at Tony Roma’s it is still very good. It’s been almost 10 years since I had a bowl on my last trip there, where the waiters handed my 20-year-old self a kid’s menu, nothing like boosting your self-confidence…

What I love about this soup is that it shows that you can create nourishing real food dishes that don’t sacrifice a bit of flavor. When you start with homemade broth, satueed onions, and bacon it’s hard to go wrong.

Just looking at the photos makes me want to whipped up another batch. It is rich and filling without being too rich. It’s the perfect soup for a chilly night on these first few nights of spring or any time if you are a soupaholic like me.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Needs Everything)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large russet potatoes, baked, peel and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup white cheddar cheese (optional)
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Flip once. Remove and set aside for later.
  2. Add the onion to the pot, sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally until almost translucent.
  3. Add the arrowroot powder and mix with the onions. Add ½ a cup of broth, stir until the arrowroot is completely dissolved.
  4. Add ½ the potatoes to the pot. Gently pour in the remaining broth.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt, basil, and thyme.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth.
  7. Add the remaining potatoes and milk Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the soup is hot.
  8. Serve and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions.

Have you ever eaten at Tony Romas? What is/was your favourite dish there?

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream- www.NourishingSimplicity.org

There is something about lemons that make me smile. They are bright, cheery, and hold a promise of something tasty. I even had my room painted to match the tea cup in the picture above when I was in high school.

I have a slight obsession with lemons. When I lived in Mexico I had a seemingly endless supply of them since there were trees on our property. I created all sorts of treats;   lemon curd,  soothing lemon chamomile popsicles, lemon scones, strawberry lemonade,lemon bars, honey-sweetened lemonade, well, you get the picture. Many of those recipes ended up my cookbook Steeped, others made their way to the blog.

Once I moved back to the States lemons didn’t show up as much at my house. I forgot how expensive they can be in the store! Except for a few here or there that I would buy when visiting family I haven’t really bought any in about 10 years. Thankfully I have  an awesome friend that had more lemons than she needed so I had a supply that just recently ran out.

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream - www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Lemons on the counter again inspired me to start drinking my morning vanilla lemon “tea”. It also left a few to make a tasty treat like this fresh lemon whipped cream. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I didn’t eat a few spoonfuls of it as soon as I whipped it up. I’m sure it would be amazing on lemon scones, or better yet with lemon scones and lemon curd. I didn’t have quite enough lemons left to make all three so I stuck with the whipped cream.

That’s another obsession I have, whipped cream. Have you noticed that this is my fourth post about whipped cream? Check out the recipe index to visit my other friends. Believe me there are still more to come this spring.

Back to this tasty lemon whipped cream. It is very easy to make, yet seems so fun and a bit fancy when you serve to your guest with fresh fruit or other dessert of your choice. I prefer to use raw cream but I can’t get my hands on any now so I settle for pasteurized cream from Trader Joe’s.

However you make it I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Now off to the kitchen with a spoon I go…

Fresh Lemon Whipped Cream
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 TBS powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour in the cream. Whipped on high for about 5 minutes or until slightly stiff peaks begin to form. (if you go to far you will make sweet butter.)

Do you like to make (eat) whipped cream? What is your favourite flavor?

Soaked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-www.nourishingsimplicity.org
(This post was originaly posted on January 19th, 2011) 

My all time favorite cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip. Growing up it was the only kind that my mom would make. There are few deserts that can compare. I’m a simple gal I guess.

Back in the day when I first created this recipe I had never yet to attempt sprouting grains to grind into flour. It all seemed a bit to overwhelming. Soaking* the flour and oats seemed the easiest thing to do. It only problem was cookie recipes don’t call for liquid.

*If you are new to soaking grains and why I find it an essential most days in my kitchen read here.

That was when the idea for these soaked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar was born. I know others either can’t afford to buy sprouted wheat flour or don’t have the time to make their own. Cookie bars are fugal, easy on time and give you that cookie flavor you are craving. If you want a cookie that using sprouted flour and looks like the cookies you know and love be sure to check out my this recipe.

These cookies been a favourite in my house for almost five years. My girls when I lived in Mexico would gobble them down, I had to be sure to hide them if I wanted a couple as a late night snack with a cup of hot cocoa! Now my parents and Bible Study friends love them as well!

Soaked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups of flour (I like to use a combination of, hard white wheat, red winter wheat and kamut)
  • 2½ cups Water + 3 TBS acid medium (apple cider vinegar, whey, kombucha or lemon juice)
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. In a glass bowl mix together the oats, flour, water and acid medium. Cover and let soak for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. After your grains have been soaked add in the remaining ingredients. Mix together until completely mixed together.
  3. Pour into an 8 by 12 glass baking pan.
  4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

This post is part of Tuesday Twister and Real Food Cookie Exchange

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Simple egg fried rice, what is not to love? It is the perfect main dish on a night when you are short on time or an easy side to almost any Asian meal.

Picture cute little white and red boxes brimming full of steaming goodness. Who doesn’t have found memories of Chinese take-out? It is hard to resist boxes full of fried rice, mu shu chicken, broccoli with chicken and spring rolls.

Confession #1: I LOVE rice (if you didn’t already guess by the numerous rice recipes)

Confession #2: Despite my nourishing real food ways I have a fondness for American Chinese take-out to this day moment.

Unfortunately highly processed oils and MSG keep me from indulging too often. So the solution as a food writer and recipe developer is obviously to create my own. It’s easier said than done. You can have all the ingredients yet if you can’t get the sauce and seasoning right then it’s a lost cause. That is why there are still very few Asianish (like my new word?) recipes on this blog. I wait until they meet the standard I am looking for, then I share them with you. That also means you don’t have to see the scary chow-mein and fried rice dishes I created when I was 12.

Often people get over whelmed when they think of cooking a Chinese meal, which is sad since many are not. This quick and easy egg fried rice anything but daunting.  It’s been a staple of mine for a few years now. I’m sure it will become one of your’s as well!

Bonus: It is just as good as my favourite egg fried rice from “The Red Door Place” in town and way better for you!

 

Quick and Easy Egg Fried Rice
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cup cold white or brown rice
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 green onions (whites included), roughly chopped
  • 4 TBS coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp real salt
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat the coconut oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the cold rice and quickly stir until all the rice is covered in oil.
  3. Once the rice is warm push it to the sides and pour in the eggs. Add the crushed garlic. Stir continuously until the eggs are scrambled. If nessesary use the spoon to break the eggs into smaller pieces.
  4. Add the chopped green onion.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Sprinkle the salt over the pan and drizzle the seasme oil.
  7. Stir the ingredients together until combined.

 

Simple Homemade Italian Sausage

 Simple Homemade Italian Sausage- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Italian sausage is simply amazing! I can’t get enough of the savory and sometimes spicy meat. It makes pasta sauces shine and pizza delightful.

While living in Mexico I couldn’t just run to the store to buy Italian sausage when ever I had a craving for it. I could have bought it in the States on my every few month trip but that would have gotten pricey so instead I started to buy ground chicken or turkey to make my own.

I really do enjoy a good pork sausage but a good healthy option has never been easy for me to find so I took to making my sausages with ground chicken or turkey. Both have a mild enough flavor palate to take on the flavor of the herbs and seasonings similar to pork. The key when using a fowl instead of pork is adding a little extra fat when you cook it. You could use ground beef or some other game, which I have done but the flavor of those meats have a stronger flavor.

Someday I have dreams of making my own sausage links and building a smoker. That requires buy a meat grinder, sausage stuffer and having a place to build the smoker. Non of those are in the budget right now but someday….

What I love about making your own loose sausage is that it is a frugal option that is easy to make at home. You don’t have to have any special equipment (even if you really want it).

This simple homemade Italian sausage may be my favourite sausage that I make (sorry, breakfast sausage crumbles). For years I made Italian sausage but they flavor was never quite right. Then one day while savoring and (dissecting) a bowl of Zupa Tusscana at Olive Garden I noticed a few fennel seeds in the sausage they used in the soup. The next time I made Italian sausage I added fennel seeds and realized that fennel seed was what had been missing all those years. Why I never googled it I’ll never know.

I frequently use this sausage in my own version of Zuppa Tuscana, on my soaked whole-wheat pizza, on top of my garlic pasta with fresh peas , tomato sauce or my friend, The Nourishing Gourmet’s yellow split-pea and Italian sausage stew.

When I’m on top of my game I make a large batch of this sausage, portion it out in approximately 1 pound potions in freezer bags. I stick them in the freezer and they are ready to defrost last minute for what ever recipe I want to use it in. You could also make them into logs of raw sausage, defrost and cook when you want to.

Simple Homemade Italian Sausage
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chicken, turkey or pork
  • 2 TBS olive oil (if you are using pork you may not need the added oil)
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
Instructions
  1. Mix the ground meat, salt, and herbs together in a bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil to a medium-sized skillet, warm over medium high heat.
  3. Once the skillet is hot add the meat mixture.
  4. Stir continuously to break the meat into small pieces. Cook until done, about 5-8 minutes.

 What is your favourite dish to use Italian sausage in?