Restorative Tuscan Bean Soup

Sturdy winter greens and pantry staples come together in this soothing soup. It is gluten free if you serve it without bread, and vegan if you make it with vegetable broth.

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crusty Bread

Tuscan Bean Soup

Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
1 medium Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ bunch Kale, chopped
½ bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped (can substitute with Collard Greens, Spinach, or similar greens)
1 28-ounce can whole Tomatoes
2 14-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (can substitute other white beans),
4 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
3 springs fresh Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce loaf crusty Italian bread (to serve, optional)

Directions              

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and broccoli rabe to the pot; increase the heat to medium, and stir the greens until they wilt.
  4. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Add beans to the pot.
  6. Stir while adding the chicken or vegetable broth.
  7. Pluck the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pot.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread
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Restorative Tuscan Bean Soup

Sturdy winter greens and pantry staples come together in this soothing soup. It is gluten free if you serve it without bread, and vegan if you make it with vegetable broth.

TuscanBeanSoup025x

Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
1 medium Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ bunch Kale, chopped
½ bunch Broccoli Rabe, chopped (can substitute with Collard Greens, Spinach, or similar greens)
1 28-ounce can whole Tomatoes
2 14-ounce cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (can substitute other white beans),
4 cups Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
3 springs fresh Thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce loaf crusty Italian bread (to serve, optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally over low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the kale and broccoli rabe to the pot; increase the heat to medium, and stir the greens until they wilt.
  4. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pot.
  5. Add beans to the pot.
  6. Stir while adding the chicken or vegetable broth.
  7. Pluck the thyme leaves from their stems and add to the pot.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread

 

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Warming Winter Minestrone

This is a delicious winter soup that cooks in an hour, yielding a thick texture and delicious melding of veggies. The cheese offers just enough additional flavor richness. A good way to get many vitamins and fiber into your family’s diet, you will find all the fresh ingredients in your supermarket through February.

A bowl of minestrone soup topped with grated cheese, dinner napkin, spoon, and a wedge of cheese on the side

Winter Minestrone
Recipe by Lynn Fredericks
Serves 6-8 adults

Ingredients
2 cups chopped Cabbage
1 cup chopped Cauliflower
1 cup diced Butternut squash or Pumpkin
½ cup diced Onion
½ cup diced Carrot
½ cup diced Celery
½ cup mixed dry Beans (French lentils, split peas, yellow lentils, small navy beans, barley, or use 1 cup Trader Joe Harvest Grains blend. Note: if using dried beans that requires longer cooking time, soak these in cold water overnight and drain before using)
1/3 pounds small Macaroni
¼ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
2 quarts water

Directions
1.  Combine all the ingredients in a pot.
2.  Set over high heat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes. The finished soup should be very thick.
3.  Season with sea salt and serve hot with additional cheese.

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Chai Spice Mix Recipe

Use this aromatic Chai Spice blend for a festive way to spice up your holiday meals.  It adds a wonderful dimension to pancakes, applesauce, eggnog, lattes, spiced nuts and warm buttered toast.  And it’s especially delicious in all manner of sweet and savory apple and squash recipes.  Use your imagination!

chai spice jar

Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground Cardamom 
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon ground Tellicherry Black Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)

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Chai Spice Baked Apples - Easy Recipe

Chai Spice Baked Apples

Easy holiday recipe - no rolling pins necessary!

chai spiced baked apples

Ingredients

3 Eggs 
1 cup Milk 
6 tablespoons Butter 
1 teaspoon Vanilla 
2/3 cup Flour 
¼ cup Sugar 
½ teaspoon Salt 
4 large Tart Apples, peeled, cored and segmented 
3 tablespoons Sugar 
1 ½ teaspoons Chai Spice (recipe follows)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, 4 tablespoons of butter (melted), vanilla.  
    Add flour, sugar, salt and mix well.  
  2. Heat a heavy skillet and melt the remaining  2 tablespoons butter.  
    Add the apples and 2.5 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and saute.  
    OPTIONAL: add ½ teaspoon of Chai Spice mix to apple saute. 
  3. Butter the pie pan. Pour half the batter into the pan.  
    Arrange sautéed apples in a spiral atop the batter (reserve the apple saute juices).  
    Pour remaining batter over the apples; pour the apple juices over the top.  
    Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of Chai Spice mix over the top.  
  4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Chai Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon ground Cardamom 
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Vietnamese Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Ginger 
1/2 teaspoon ground Tellicherry Black Pepper 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)

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Family Traditions Connect Children to Nourishing Food

Sardine Collage

Vamos a la playa a comer sardinas!!! Sardines at the beach are a summertime fun in coastal Spain.  We love them just grilled and sprinkled with sea salt and lemon. Traditionally, many beaches have shack-like open air restaurants right at the shore where one can enjoy local wild catch in between swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. In Southeastern Spain, where my parents are from, sardines are abundant and cheap and the favorite food of locals and tourists. 

Even children learn at an early age to detach the juicy body flesh leaving head and tail in one piece united by their bones. Most will eat the crispy skin as well, and even some of the bones. These shacks limit their menus, mostly to seasonal fish, which makes it easier to fight picky eaters. Nature was wise to create the season of sardines around summer when there are more opportunities to cook them outdoors. Their pungent, strong odor will stay for days in your kitchen. During the winter, these pleasurable summer memories are recalled while opening a can of sardines in olive oil and eating them with bread and other vegetables.

Sardines are an acquired taste, especially if you didn´t grow up eating them. My daughter Sofia would not touch them yet; she is scared of mistakenly eating the tiny bones. She also thinks it is too much work deboning the animal for such little flesh. She grew up in New York eating fish that has no head, tails or bones. It may take her until her adult life to accept sardines. What´s important is that every summer when she is in Spain, she is building these memories associating a good time at the beach with parents, cousins, aunts and uncles devouring sardines with pleasure. Keeping fun family traditions entwined with real healthy food is key for assuring lifelong healthy diets.

What about where you live? What traditions have you followed that associate real food with family traditions and fond memories? How do you and your family connect with seasonal summer food in your hometown or the places you escape to?

Tell us your stories by entering our contest here for a chance to win a free copy of Get Your Family Eating Right

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