Showing posts with label eat your rainbow challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eat your rainbow challenge. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Broccoli Cheddar Soup for a winter evening. #veggie #recipe #givewaway @AbbottMysteries

It's Victoria Abbott here, welcoming you back to the Eat Your Rainbow Challenge. Today's recipe has no flour, cream or butter. Instead white beans give it a thick and creamy texture and are very nutritious. 

If dairy is your issue, perhaps you could swap out the 2 % milk for some extra beans and use vegan cheese. We think it could be just as good.  

Don't forget to leave a comment about the soup or anything else to be entered in the draw for this lovely veggie platter. Only three more posts to go, so lots of chances for you. 

 Winter can be beautiful, but it certainly makes us want to warm our souls with soothing food. Soup fits the bill for us.  Now we've found a new one that makes us very happy.

Plus today’s recipe features the color green which we especially miss in winter. Thanks, broccoli, for stepping up! 

Broccoli is very friendly with cheese and we've added two of our favorites.

This soup is a great way to get more vegetables in a warm and comforting way. We often see Broccoli and Cheddar Soup in restaurants with a whopping calorie count. I saw one recently on a menu with 1600 calories per bowl. Broccoli has a shy co-star in this recipe: cannellini beans.  They give it richness and texture without flour and cream.  We also used homemade broth. We find that always kicks any soup up a notch. 
We found this recipe in our local paper, but it was credited to nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger and had appeared in the Washington Post. We tinkered with it a bit because we always have to and because we had to swap an ingredient or two since we didn’t want to go out into the previously mentioned wintry weather again.  It makes us all grumpy.

Now we can stay home and relax because this soup is filling enough for a quick supper, with some nice bread or biscuits.


All you need is:  
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 large head broccoli, florets and tender part of stems, chopped ( 6 cups give or take)
3 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable broth or homemade broth. We had some turkey broth left frozen from the holidays and this was the perfect use for it.
1 cup canned, no-salt-added Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed under running water and drained well.
1/2 cup 2 % milk
¾ cup shredded old cheddar cheese (extra sharp). We used Balderson’s four-year old cheddar. It has punch!
¼ cup grated Jalapeno (because we had it and we like the zippiness) Monterey Jack.
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground pepper

All you do is:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, stir in the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned.

 Add the broccoli, broth and beans; increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Let the soup cool for 15 minutes, then puree it in a blender in three batches, until smooth. Wipe out the saucepan as needed.
Return the blended soup to the saucepan over medium heat. Once the soup is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to low. Stir in the milk, ½ cup cheddar, ¼ cup Jalapeno Monterey Jack, the Dijon and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook until just warmed through. 

 Add pepper and more salt as needed.
 Taste and add more salt as needed. Divide among individual bowls or deep mugs, and garnish with portions using the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar. Serve hot.

 In case you're new here. that shadowy figure known as Victoria Abbott is us: Mary Jane Maffini and my daughter, Victoria.  Together we're the authors of five mysteries in the award-winning BOOK COLLECTOR SERIES.

We think you would enjoy curling up in a comfy chair with one of our book collector mysteries after this satisfying meal.  All five books are available in print, e-book and audiobooks. Something for everyone on a winter day. 
If you feel you need a little vacation, we've done our best to get the flavor of Hammett's San Francisco into the narrative of our latest: The Hammett Hex. Just be careful on the cable cars, in the alleys and, well, everywhere.  Danger is our middle name.

Okay, so the Hammett Hex came out in October, but it's still nice and fresh.
If you don't have it yet,  here's your chance:

 CLICK HERE or ask your favorite bookseller



If you haven't read any of the others in the book collector mystery series, they're all available in print, e-book and audio.  Something for everyone!


Don't forget to come and visit us on Facebook!  CLICK HERE to find us.

Have a wonderful reading  winter everyone! Soup's on!


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eat Your Rainbow Caramelized Onions and Mini-Bell Peppers #recipe @veggies #giveaway @Abbottmysteries

Welcome back to the third installment of the Eat Your Rainbow Challenge!  We confess to having fallen off the food wagon with a bang, but have climbed back on and are working to have three quarters of every dinner plate consist of veggies. Today’s veggie recipe choice has three colors: red, yellow and orange mini-bell peppers, and one neutral: onions. They go with most things! Peppers are low-glycemic, low in calories and full of vitamins as are onions. They bring a summery punch into the darkest day.

This is an easy recipe and although it takes a while to cook, it will pay you back in more ways than taste, although it is tasty!

In an outing to a steak house, somewhere and some time in the past, we encountered a delicious pepper and onion side and felt we’d love to try it at home. After all the rich favorites for Thanksgiving, we liked the texture and different flavors of this side. It reheats well, although we didn’t have much left. 

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the draw for this nifty platter. 

We’ll draw the names of commenters from each of our Rainbow Challenge posts for the next five posts (second and fourth Saturday of the month). The more you comment, the more chances you have. And you know that we love to hear from you. 

Caramelized Onions and Mini-Bell Peppers 


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound sweet mini-bell peppers (or regular bell peppers if the minis are not available), seeded and cut into julienne strips
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fines herbes or other mild herbs such as thyme or rosemary
Juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
S &P to taste


Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium  heat. Add the sliced onions, and reduce heat to medium low.

 Cook gently for at least twenty minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized.
Add remaining olive oil, garlic and pepper strips and cook until tender and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Add lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and herbs. Turn heat to low. Cook for a few more minutes. Add S & P if required. We found it savory enough, as is. 

Confession time: you can mix and match this recipe, using more or less of the vegetables. You don’t have to worry too much. If you don’t have all the ingredients, no biggie. Just make sure to let the onions caramelize and all will be well. Of course, we also have a long-time family favorite with zucchini instead of onions and no balsamic.  We love it both ways.  
If you have a similar recipe, be sure to let us know!

Here’s the grand prize again: a beautiful leaf serving dish, for your own veggies. Any color of the rainbow will look beautiful served on it!  Can you just imagine how they will pop?

Hope to hear from you. Bring your tips. Or make a joke. Or just say hi.

The veggie loving duo known as Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Mary Jane Maffini and her artist daughter, Victoria Maffini. They love easy recipes that let them put their feet up.

 They've had a lot of fun with the five book collector mysteries as you can see.

The latest one, The Hammett Hex, is now available.

 Come and visit us on Facebook!  CLICK HERE

If you don't have The Hammett Hex yet,  here's your chance:

 CLICK HERE or ask your favorite booksellter