Spring time cooking frenzyyyy

Hi!

Today is one of those days where it actually feels like spring (that’s New England for ya)  and I love it! I think it got me in a cooking groove because I have been cooking all day. There’s nothing better to me than a day doing enjoyable experimentation in the kitchen. I started off with making some Leek and White Bean Soup, a garlicky lemon herbed marinade for chicken tonight, and then whole grain banana bread.

The leek and white bean soup came out scrumptious and will definitely be eaten for lunch tomorrow at work. The banana bread muffins were also surprisingly delicious, I say surprising because I substituted many items and kind of just threw ingredients together on instinct. I expected them to be dense but they were light and muffin like. I can’t report about the marinating chicken just yet, that’ll be dinner tonight with some creamy brown rice type of thing and roasted broccoli with Parmesan cheese.

I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as I did today 🙂

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Creamy Leek and White Bean Soup

1 1/2 cup frozen or fresh leeks
1 can white beans/cannelloni beans (they’re are the relatively the same item)
1 or 2 summer squash then cut into large chunks
1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I love olive oil so I tend to be heavy handed so go with your own taste preference)
~ 3 cups low sodium chicken broth or whatever chicken/vegetable broth you prefer
~ 2 or 3 cups frozen spinach (can use fresh and just go by preference as most of it is added at the end)
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley

I used a 2 quart soup pan and started by sauteing the leeks in olive oil until translucent, then add the spices, summer squash chunks, frozen artichokes, 1/2 to 3/4 of the beans and then add ~1 cup chicken broth so the squash cooks easier. Once everything is soft add about a 1/2 cup spinach to the pot and then transfer everything in the pot to a blender. Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy or to desired consistency. After blended, transfer pureed soup back to the pot. Then add the remaining beans and spinach to the pot.  Reheat to a simmer and add rest of chicken broth to desired consistency (use less if you would like a thicker soup and more for a thinner soup).

I garnished my soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fancy red salt I found in the bulk section at whole foods.

 

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Banana Bread Muffins

1 cup Oat Flour
1/2 cup Dates
2 tbsp, Oat bran – Raw
3 Tbsp Wheat Germ
3 tbsp Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1.5 tbsp, Ground Chia Seed
3 tbsp Water
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 cup Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
0.5 tsp Salt
3 bananas
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
3 scoops Goat Whey Protein- Plain Unsweetened

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and greasing muffin tins or loaf pan.  Combine the chia powder and water together and let sit until it gels. Then puree the bananas, dates, vanilla and coconut spread in a blender.  Then combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. (I ground all of the dry ingredients together in my dry vitamix container specifically for grains to create a fine flour mixture) Pour banana mixture into dry mixture and stir until there aren’t any dry pockets. Then pop them in the oven and cook until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. I cooked mine for 15 minutes but could have taken them out about 3 minutes earlier because I used a dark pan.

The recipe made 4 muffins and a small brownie pan sized “cake”.

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