Category Archives: Cooking

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

We love to eat soup at our house and I love to cook soup because they are usually quick and easy to throw together. A couple of weekends ago we had had a particularly heavy and less than healthy eating streak, so I went on the hunt for some new light and healthy recipes to feed my family some good for you food. I came across this soup and all four of us loved it so much that the next week I made a double to keep in the fridge to eat for lunch. It’s really delicious and healthy!

What I am sharing with you is my version of Ellie Krieger’s Tuscan Vegetable Soup. I followed her recipe except for the herbs (I used dried Italian season) and the zucchini (not our favorite). I added more carrots and celery to off-set the zucchini.

All you gluten-eating peeps out there, make this soup and dunk a huge piece of crusty bread in it for me, ok?

Tuscan Bean Soup

2 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (I’ve also used dried basil and parsley)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional <–But you should totally add it! Yum!

In a small bowl mash half of one can of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice, the mashed and whole beans. Let cook for at least 10 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.


Cheesy Chicken Bacon Broccoli and Rice

Dinner was SO good last night.

Kevin & Amanda
Image from Kevin & Amanda

I made a mental note of this recipe when I first saw it posted in December on Kevin & Amanda. Their site is really awesome and always has the most amazing desserts and goodies that make me wish I could eat gluten with abandon. I have never made any of their recipes until now and I am so glad I did. Their recipe for Cheesy Chicken Bacon Broccoli and Rice isn’t only a mouthful to say, it’s a really tasty mouthful to eat!

I had to borrow their photo of the finished product because by the time it was on our plates we were so hungry and so excited to eat what we had been smelling, it didn’t even cross my mind to take a photo. Whoops!

Now, the recipe that is on their site is not gluten free, BUT it’s very simple to make it g-free with just one little substitution. Here is the modified cheese sauce recipe to make this delicious meal gluten-free:

Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white rice flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour until combined. Slowly add in the chicken broth and stir well. Increase heat to high and cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and add in cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted, then pour in the skillet with the chicken and rice. Stir to combine and serve.

To get the rest of the recipe, please check out the post at Kevin & Amanda. It’s easy, flavorful, creamy and cheesy – it’s sure to be a hit with your family and one you’ll want to add to your recipe box!

Beef and Bean Chili aka “Red Chili”

This time of year, when it’s cold outside and we are longing for something warm and comforting, I love to make soups, stews and chili. My recipe for “red chili”, as my girls calls it (because I also make “white” chili), is quick and easy and hits the spot every time. I usually serve it with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream.

One thing to note about the way I cook – I rarely measure things. If I share a recipe of mine with you, I’ve done my best to measure as I go to give good directions. The food I make can usually be “fudged” for your tastes. Don’t get too picky – have fun!


Beef and Bean Chili
Serves 4-6

1/2 large onion, diced
1 tbls canola oil
1 pound ground beef*
2 15oz cans kidney beans
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Green onions
Tortilla chips

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add canola oil and onions to pot and cook for about 1 minute. Add ground beef and brown. While meat is browning, drain and rinse the kidney and pinto beans. Once the meat is browned, drained off the excess grease. Add rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and spices. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes (or longer!) to let all the flavors get happy!

A few side notes about this recipe – the longer it simmers the better it tastes. I usually try to let the chili simmer for about 2 hours when I can, but you can toss it all together and eat it right away if you’re in a hurry. Be sure to have leftovers – it will be better the next day! Also, you can really play with the ingredients in this chili. I’ve added green pepper when I have it or even some frozen corn. If you aren’t serving the kiddos, you can kick it up a notch (Hey Emeril!) and add some cayenne pepper.


*I usually end up putting in a little more than 1 pound of meat in – I never seem to find packages that are a pound even.