Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SRC Orphan Rescue - Beef N Bean Minestrone

Today, I have an opportunity to put up a second recipe from a different blog for SRC, though I wish it was under better circumstances. I'm picking a recipe from Wendy's blog - The Weekend Gourmet. Sadly she was left out of this months reveal, since the person who was assigned her blog, didn't get a post up. That is "So not cool!" I know how disappointing it is to be left out of the fun, since this has happened to me twice in the past. So when I heard that Group A had an orphan this month, I was more than happy to jump in and help out. It would be really great if you could stop over at Wendy's and say Hi, I know it would make her feel a lot better.

Wendy is a girl after my own heart. She enjoys a lot of the things that I do like travelling, listening to music, watching movies, reading and of course, good food. And get this - she's actually a celebrity, she's been on TV and cooked in front of a live studio audience! Wendy, I admire you, I would've been a bunch of nerves. One look at her Recipe Index, and you know why she's had such success in the food world. She has an impressive repertoire and picking just one recipe for today's post proved to be quite a task. There's so much that I wanted to try. 

Nevertheless, I chose to make her Sausage-White Bean Minestrone. The temperature in Sydney has been steadily dropping and we are well into autumn. Just yesterday, I told my husband that I wanted to add a few made from scratch soups to my regular rotation. I've had quite a few packet soups in the past and I don't think I can take anymore of those. I figured, I try so hard to make most of my food and condiments from scratch, so why not soups? When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it out. I just made a couple of changes to the recipe based on what I had on hand. Also I halved the recipe. You can visit Wendy's site for the original recipe. The one below, includes a few changes I made. This soup was fantastic. The flavors were beautiful and even my non-soup-loving husband enjoyed this. Thanks for the inspiration Wendy. I know I'll be making this soup again.




Beef N Bean Minestrone

1/2 lb Ground Beef
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 can diced tomatoes
4 oz spiral pasta or macaroni (the original called for rigatoni, but you could use whatever you have) {Adjust quantity of pasta to your liking}

Heat the olive oil in a large pot.

Add the ground beef to the pot and over high heat left it brown.

Turn the heat to medium and add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic to the pot and mix well. Let this cook off for 5 minutes till the veggies have softened a bit.

Add the herb mix and stir to distribute well.

Add the diced tomato and stir. Give it a minute to mix with the other ingredients in the pot. Add the stock. Let the soup come to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the pasta / macaroni and beans and cover and let it cook for a further 10-15 minutes based on the cooking time of the pasta.

Serve it hot!


Note: 
1) The original recipe used celery and fresh Italian parsley, which I left out since I didn't have any.
2) Wendy also used 1/2 cup of red wine, which I left out.




Sunday, May 4, 2014

SRC: Spinach Stuffed Omelette

Hello everybody! Last month sure flew past. All of a sudden it was time for yet another SRC reveal. Don't know what SRC is - well, its only the coolest foodie club around. We are a group of bloggers who come together each month for what we call an SRC reveal. Each month we are assigned a blog from the group and we pick out one recipe from the assigned blog, make it ourselves and post about it on reveal day. The only catch it, you cannot disclose which blog you've been assigned till the reveal day. Its so much fun. I've been a part of this fun group for a while now, and it is so much fun. If you'd like to join, you can find more details here.

This month, I was assigned Beth's blog - It's Good to be the Cook What a fun name for a blog! Not surprising, since Beth sounds like a fun girl too. She cooks up some serious yum and strongly believes in eating healthy and exercising. She loves her sports and a 100% dog person (that's what she calls herself). I totally get that - I'm a 100% dog person all the way. I totally fell in love with Stella May, her really adorable little dog. Go on over and say hi to Beth and Stella, will you!

For this months reveal, I had quite a few options. What I really love about Beth's food is that apart from being healthy, it is also no fuss and big on the flavors - something I look for in food. I narrowed my options down to this Italian Hoagie Dip, Beth's Springtime Tuna Salad, Sriracha White Bean Dip and this Onion, Tomato, Spinach Scramble. There's plenty more great recipes on Beth's blog, so make sure you stop by. I decided to go with the Onion, tomato, spinach scramble. The weather in Sydney has cooled down considerably and there's nothing better than starting the day with a nice hot brekkie. This is the perfect option for a nice weekend breakfast. I've made a lot of omelettes in my lifetime, but this one was different. You saute the onion and tomato before adding the egg, and this intensifies the flavors and makes it extra yum. That coupled with the baby spinach stuffed in it results in something stunning. Pretty and colorful to look at and so tasty, not forgetting your getting some greens in as well. This one is simple but hits the spot.




If you have trouble getting the little folk in your house to eat up their greens, this is an ideal way to get some in their diet. The spinach doesn't alter the taste of the omelette, but it adds all of its goodness to their diet. Here's the spinach, before you can flip half the omelette over the other side.



Spinach Stuffed Omelette
Makes 1

2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
A little chopped green, red chillies, to taste (optional)
A small knob of butter / a tsp oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
A handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped (I might've used approx. 15 leaves, you can use as much as you'd like)

Heat some butter or oil in a pan.

Add the onion and chilly (if using) and saute till the onions soften up a bit.

Add the tomato and stir fry for a minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the beaten egg and let it set on one side. 

Place the spinach on one half of the omelette.

Carefully, flip the vacant half of the omelette over the other side. 

Let it cook through. Flip over and let it cook on the other side too. 

Cook to you liking.

Serve hot with some toast and a nice hot cup of coffee.


Here's a peek of what it looks like cut into. See the spinach peeking through -