I just re-made this dish and it was just as good the second time around! This time i simply served it over jazmati rice. Delicious!!!
As one of my food blogger friends recently noted, I am like a kid in a candy store with my new pressure cooker! I am constantly amazed at how quickly it cooks and how flavor infused the foods are. Not everything I’ve made has been a homerun, but this Potato Leek soup was a grand slam!!!
First of all, the soup was delicious!!! While it was a meat-free meal, it was hearty enough to be a stand-alone entrée. I just served it with a slice of French bread. Second, when you look at the ingredients it was a pretty darn healthy, low-fat meal that could easily be altered to be completely vegan and still be incredibly tasty. Third, the entire process to make this soup took about 30 minutes!!! 30 MINUTES!!! For those of us that love to cook and have busy schedules, this pressure cooker is a handy tool to make delicious food in a short amount of time.
So here is the recipe. I’ve made notes on some of the ingredients that could be changed to convert this to a vegan soup. I did taste my soup prior to the last step of adding the half and half and it already tasted great at that point, so if you want it vegan or just want to save the calories, this is a viable option.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, these same ingredients could be cooked on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, but it would just take longer. Basically, you would want to cook it until the potatoes are very tender.
Potato Leek Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
6 cups leeks, chopped (Don’t use the tough, dark green parts at the top)
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
3 tbsp flour
6 cups broth (I used homemade turkey broth. You could also use vegetable broth for a vegan soup.)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
¾ cup fat free half and half (You can leave this out for a vegan soup.)
Set your pressure cooker to sauté or do this step on the stove in a separate pan. Pour in olive oil. Once heated, saute the leeks for about 6-7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add flour and continue stirring for another minute. Stir in salt and pepper and slowly add broth as stirring. Add potatoes. Put the lid on your pressure cooker and lock. Set the release valve to Pressure Cook, not steam. Set the cooker to Pressure Cook setting for 10 minutes. Once cooking cycle is complete let pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend soup or pour into a blender. Blend until smooth. Then stir in half and half, if you wish. Taste and add additional seasoning, if needed.
Growing up I was always a little suspicious of sweet potatoes (or yams, same thing). I mean how good could they be if people have to cover them with marshmallows? It’s just how my brain worked. As an adult I have discovered a love of this colorful vegetable! One of my favorite ways to make them is just by making mashed sweet potatoes. I basically use all the savory ingredients I use to make regular mashed potatoes and these really offset the wonderfully sweet flavor of these potatoes. You can do this while keeping the fat levels low too! You get beautiful color on your plate and delicious, healthy food in your belly!!!
Sweet potatoes are just as versatile as white potatoes! I have posted a few different recipes you might want to check out; twice baked sweet potatoes, pecan stuffed sweet potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, and one of our family favorites, sweet potatoes and apples.
A Los Angeles Times article gives a run down of the health benefits of sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes:
In a 100-gram portion, the white potato has 92 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, 2.3 g of protein and 17% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. The same amount of sweet potato, on the other hand, has 90 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 35% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 380% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating. Foods with lower glycemic indexes, like sweet potatoes and brown rice, make you feel full longer.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
7 small sweet potatoes (or 2-3 large ones)
2/3 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 tbsp butter (optional and you can cut it if wanting to reduce the fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fill a pot with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Peel and half sweet potatoes. Add to water and bring to a boil, boiling for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes and mash. Add sour cream, milk, garlic, butter, and salt and pepper and stir until well mixed. Taste as you go and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
I know it’s summer, but it’s never the wrong time for a good bowl of soup! My in-laws have been having some health issues, so we’re trying to stock up their fridge and freezer with some easy, healthy meals. My father-in-law loves soup, so I figured I would make some Chicken Noodle Soup. What is more comforting than a big bowl of delicious, homemade chicken noodle soup??? My goal with this batch was to keep the sodium and cholesterol to a minimum as my mother-in-law is on a cardiac diet. That is one of the joys of cooking from scratch. You’re in control! And it is possible to keep fantastic flavor and make a healthy meal!
I used lots of herbs and fresh ingredients to give this soup plenty of flavor. Of course, if you’re not watching your sodium you can add more salt, but I found this to taste great without much.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
3-4 medium size carrots, finely chopped (I used my Pampered Chef chopper to get the fine chop quickly)
1/2 large white onion, finely diced (I’ve also used leeks in the past. These add a really nice subtle flavor)
1 tbsp fresh or dried oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves, diced or pressed
1 tsp garlic and herb Mrs. Dash
16 oz whole wheat fettuccine noodles or rotini pasta
Put all ingredients, except pasta in a slow cooker and give a gentle stir. Cook on low for 6 hours. Gently remove chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred them, then add back to the slow cooker. Add pasta and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until pasta is cooked. This soup freezes well if you want to save it for later.
I shared this recipe a year ago, but I made it again today for a barbecue we’re attending. It is so good that it is worth sharing again!!! This recipe has been a favorite with our friends and family for several years now. As you can see from the photo, it is a visually beautiful dish and it’s SO delicious! I usually make and serve it in a glass bowl, so I can show off the colorful layers. I also like that there is nothing in this that is incredibly perishable, so it can sit out a little longer than some dishes, which makes it great for entertaining and potlucks. It can be made ahead of time and just cut up and add the avocado at the end, so it doesn’t turn color. And last but not least, I love the salad because it is low calorie and low fat!
Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the recipe. I have to give that to Weight Watchers. This recipe is in their Winner’s Circle cookbook. I have to give Weight Watchers kudos on their recipes! I can’t recommend their cookbooks enough! If you’re trying to cook healthy, delicious foods, you will find wonderful recipes in their cookbooks. I have found that after cooking their recipes for years, I have learned numerous tricks that have helped to make my cooking lighter overall. Ishare many of these tips and tricks throughout my various recipes.
This recipe can easily be changed to be vegan by leaving out the cheese or selecting a vegan friendly version. It will will still taste fantastic!
Southwestern Layered Salad
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup prepared tomato salsa
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 (15 1/4 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained or equal amount of thawed frozen corn
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (I actually always use red bell pepper as I think green has an overpowering taste, but this is up to you)
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat or fat free)
1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed
2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup fat free Italian Dressing (I’ve also been known to use my homemade balsamic vinaigrette)
1. Combine the beans, salsa and 2 tbsp. of the cilantro in a small bowl. Layer the various ingredients in the bowl in this order: bean mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion and cheese.
2. Just before serving arrange the avocado on top. Sprinkle with bacon and remaining cilantro. Drizzle salad with dressing.
My 2 cents: I sometimes change up the order of the layers to make sure the colors vary for aesthetic purposes. I also drizzle some of the dressing half way through the layering process, so it can reach all the ingredients. Also, if you don’t feel like layering it, you can just toss all the ingredients together. I did this the last time I made it. It’s still gorgeous and just as delicious! Enjoy!
This makes 8 servings with 166 calories, 6 g of fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 396 mg sodium, 23g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g protein.
It was one of those nights, where I didn’t have a specific plan for dinner other than using stuff I had on hand that needed to be eaten! I hate wasting food, so this used some fresh veggies I had on hand and the ground turkey that needed to be used. It turned out to be a delicious, hearty dinner that had a nice amount of spice to it. It would be a great meal for a chilly evening. As tasty as it is, the ingredients are pretty basic, so chances are you’ll have them on hand and most people will enjoy this dish. You can always dial the spice up or down depending on your tastes.
4 russet potatoes, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (These could be left out to dial back the spice quite a bit.)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried parsley
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray. Pour diced potatoes into pan and spread In single layer. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
Spray a frying pan with non-stick spray, brown ground turkey with onions and carrots. One the meat is cooked through, add ranch dressing mix, tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, paprika, parsley and potatoes. Stir and cook until veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I have struggled with my weight my whole adult life, so I am always looking for ways to make delicious meals with less fat and calories. Like my site’s slogan says, “Love to eat, love to cook and trying to keep it healthy!” My latest endeavor was to make fried chicken and cheesy grits that wouldn’t add 10 inches to my hips! I believe I can declare success! The fried chicken was crispy and tasty and the cheesy grits also tasted fantastic and had a nice texture to them. We had some vegetables with this dinner too. I promise!!!
I’ve made oven fried chicken before, but I had never used buttermilk or panko before. I just happened to have some of each of these leftover from a previous recipe. The buttermilk marinade gave the chicken a nice tang and the panko mixed with spices gave it extra crunch and a whole lot more flavor, which I love on my fried chicken.
I am a California girl, born and bred, and did not grow up eating grits. I have to admit that I am NO grit expert. I know people in the south can be very particular about their grits. I have had shrimp and grits in a restaurant and I loved it! My daughter also made some one night and they were also very good. Normally, I would make mashed potatoes with fried chicken, but we had just had them the night before, so I thought I would try my hand at grits. What was I going to do about the fattening cheese though? Got to have that in cheesy grits! I happened to have some Laughing Cow cheese wedges on hand. I have cooked with these before and they melt very nicely, so with this and some fat free milk I was ready to go!!!
So if you’re craving some southern inspired food, but want to keep it as healthy as possible, give these two recipes a try!
1 pound chicken
1 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper
1 cup Pankow
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
Canola Oil Spray
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Put chicken in a re-sealable bag and pour in buttermilk. Massage chicken in bag making sure all pieces are covered with buttermilk. Marinate chicken in fridge for 2-3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour panko, flour, garlic salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and paprika in a shallow, flat container and mix well. Lay chicken, one piece at a time, in the panko and press to coat, turn over and repeat on the other side. Place chicken on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick spray. Spray all chicken pieces lightly with non-stick spray. Bake for 45 minute or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170.
1 cup quick cooking grits
3 Laughing Cow cheese wedges
3 1/2 cups fat free milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat milk over medium heat until it begins to bubble around the edges. Stir in cheese and melt. Whisk in grits until desired consistency, if too thick add a little more milk, if too thin a little more grits. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mine came out a creamy texture.
My weekend started yesterday already (Yay me!), so today I didn’t have to eat out a lunchbox today (Yay me again!)! I felt like sticking to the Greek path I started last night with the tzatziki, although without garlic this time, and made a quick Greek salad with quinoa. Here’s what I put in it: […]
The photo of this blog post alone had me! Lobster and avocado!?! Food of the gods!!! This is a recipe I will definitely have to try and I will let you all know if I do!
lobster avocado pesto pasta my own recipe pesto 2 ripe avocados 2 green onion sprigs juice of 1/2 lemon 1/4 cup cashews 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup parmesan cheese 1/4 cup cilantro leaves 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper pasta 1 lb spaghetti pasta 1/2 lb langosta lobster […]