KITCHEN SINK SOUP

Funny name I know. However, I call it that because it seems like everything but the kitchen sink gets thrown in. Ever wonder what to do with your leftover veggies n pasta or rice? Americans waste a lot of food in comparison to other countries around the world. I was brought up being told I must finish everything on my plate, regardless if I were full or not, because kids were starving in places around the world. Now, people know that’s not a good idea and can lead to childhood obesity. With that said, it’s ok to have leftovers and you don’t have to discard them . Just toss them together and make a soup. I’ll tell you what usually winds up in mine but know that you can use any veggie cut into bite sized pieces. Any small macaroni or rice.

YOU WILL NEED:

Four quarts of chicken broth

Diced boneless chicken

Green beans cut in half or thirds

1 cup of rice or macaroni

One large carrot diced

Half of small onion minced

1 can of beans ( chickpeas, kidney, cannellini, navy or whatever kind you like)

1 ccelery stalk sliced small

Pepper and salt to taste

VARIATIONS: substitute beef broth for chicken broth and use tiny, already fried meatballs or steak sliced in place of chicken. Add diced potatoes and above vegetables.

For a vegetable type soup use water instead of broth but decrease water to two quarts and add 1-16 oz bottle of V-8 tomato juice and a cup of diced seeded tomatoes. You can add corn or any other vegetables you like.

DIRECTIONS: Throw everything in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer twenty min or till macaroni is done. FAST and EASY.

HOMEMADE ITALIAN SAUCE

Once you see how easy  it is to make your own spaghetti sauce, you will never buy it in a jar again. The taste is excellent. And, you know what’s in it. No surprise, harmful ingredients. Just good, healthy food! Enjoy.

YOU WILL NEED:

2-  35 oz cans of of Cento tomatoes ( these are non-GMO)

Olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Salt

Dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon of Dried basil or 2 teaspoons of fresh basil cut chiffonade style

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1/2 of a medium sweet onion finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 medium- sized onion diced

Heavy bottomed sauce pan

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put olive oil in bottom of your pot, just enough to coat the center.

2. Place both cans of peeled tomatoes ( one at a time) in blender with 1/2 of the garlic and oregano, parsley and basil and puree . Then set aside.

3.  Take diced  onions and begin to brown on medium high heat. When they are just beginning to turn translucent, add the rest of the garlic, and salt , stirring constantly , taking care not to let the garlic burn.

4. Stir for three to five minutes then add your puréed tomato mixture to the pan.

5 . Cook  on medium high heat until it starts to bubble. Then stir and turn  the heat to  low , 3 on an electric stove , and cover with the lid slightly ajar. IF YOU HAVE PREPARED MY STEAMED MEATBALLS, this would be the time to add them and spoon sauce over the tops. After about five minutes you would turn the meatballs over and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1-1/2 to two hours.

6. After thirty minutes or so, stir in the sugar. The sugar will cut the acid in the sauce. For those of you with acid reflux disorders, this is great! Just don’t be too vigorous with the stirring if you have meatballs inside, as they will be soft and can easily fall apart. If you want just a meat sauce, you can break the meatballs apart.

Note: Each time you stir, before stirring , you can take a large spoon and carefully remove the oil at the top of the sauce.  I, personally, don’t  like too much oil. When you take  the ajar lid off to stir, if sauce is too watery, then just leave lid off and remain simmering .  If you think it is getting too thick, just put the lid on again, leaving slightly ajar.

GROWING YOUR OWN GREEN ONIONS EASILY

Green Onion Sprouts
Green Onion Sprouts

With the growing concern of genetically modified foods (GMOs) that are known to cause diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, respiratory problems to name a few, I am very concerned about what the FDA is allowing to be put into our food.  So, I set out to find out more about growing my own vegetables.

In my research I found this really neat thing.

You can take scallions ( green onions) and chop the green off and let the roots re-hydrate by soaking in  water overnight and planting OR just amazingly leave them grow in water that you change everyday. Just enough water to cover the roots. Whats even more amazing is the rate at which they grow!

The photo I have displayed is only four days growth. If you look closely you can see where I had cut the stalks off four days before. AMAZING! I hope that you will give this a try the next time you purchase some. Rather than discard the roots and white bottom part,  just set in a cup with just enough water to cover the roots. Even if you don’t put in dirt, they will grow at this fast rate.

Not only will you be fascinated with the growth rate but you’ll save a bit of money too. Just cut off stalk  again and it’ll keep regrowing. Somewhere I read this only occurs for four times but I’ve had them regrowing after that. Have a blessed day!

STEAMED MEATBALLS

Steamed Meatballs
Click photo to enlarge

YOU WILL NEED:

1  to 1 and a half pounds of ground beef ( do not use extra lean type)

1/2 cup of Progresso Italian flavored bread crumbs

I tablespoon of Minced garlic or 1 level teaspoon of dried garlic powder ( not garlic salt)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon of dried basil

I teaspoon of dried oregano 2 heaping tablespoons of dried parsley

Water

A heavy bottomed or nonstick pot

I heaping teaspoon of Sugar ( this cuts the acidity of the sauce)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix all ingredients except water in a large mixing bowl

2. After thoroughly mixed add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water and stir into the mixture. (This is the secret to a softer meatball. It moistens the bread crumbs sufficiently)

3. Form your meatballs

4. Place meatballs into your spaghetti  sauce being sure meatballs are covered and heat is medium low. Setting number 4 on electric stove.

5. Cover with a slight opening to the lid. This can be achieved by placing a wooden spoon between pot and lid.

6. When sauce is boiling, uncover and turn meatballs, again being sure they are covered with sauce , add and stir in sugar and lower heat to 3 on electric stove.

7. Leaving pot lid off, simmer for about thirty minutes turning occasionally. If you notice sauce reducing too quickly you can again place the lid on pot with a wooden spoon, keeping it ajar slightly for five to ten minutes.

Please see my recipe for my Homemade sauce

Once you see how easy, flavorful and  economical is is to make,  I can almost guarantee you’ll never buy a jarred sauce again.