Potato, Leek and Kale Soup

So Mike has bronchitis. He’s not thrilled, for obvious reasons, but also because he’s been sick straight through some of the nicest days we’ve had in months.

The sun is out, the temperatures are steadily warming up, and there are legitimate flowers growing in our yard. It’s amazing! And on nights like we’ve been having, I naturally gravitate toward the grill. Except when my husband is sick. On nights like THAT, I gravitate toward soup.

Leek Soup (8)

There’s been a leek in our fridge for more than a week, and unlike my interaction with most vegetables, I was kind of stumped on how to use it, and had forgotten why I bought it in the first place.

I know when people are sick, chicken noodle soup is the natural go-to, but I decided to switch it up and make a creamy potato leek soup – completely vegetarian, and completely daily and gluten free.

Leek Soup (1)

What You Need:

  • One large leek, top layer and leaves removed, sliced
  • 4-5 small to medium yellow potatoes, quartered (you can peel them if you want – I didn’t)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I got mine this way)
  • 1/3 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

What You Do: Leek Soup (5)

Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook at a slow boil for about 30 minutes or until soft.

Drain the potatoes into a strainer and set aside.

Leek Soup (2) In the same saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add sliced l  leeks, chopped onion and chopped garlic and simmer for  about 20 minutes. Add the chopped kale about halfway  through (after about 10 minutes) and simmer all until soft  and kale has reduced.

Add the potatoes and stir. Then add the vegetable broth  and bring the mixture to a slow boil.

Add the black pepper and stir. Remove from heat.

Pour the mixture into a food processor. If you like your soup chunkier like I do, pulse  until just blended. If you want a smoother soup, blend for longer until creamy.

Add the soup back into the saucepan. Add the almond or soy milk (or any milk of your choice) and stir.

It’s ready to serve!

Leek Soup (10)

 

Pro Tip: Make this soup a little spicy (you know I did) by adding a hot pepper of your choice into the mixture, or simply sprinkling some crushed red pepper on the soup once it’s ready to serve.

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Healthy and Easy Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Well, life got in the way of cooking for awhile but I’m back! I’ve been training pretty hard for my 20 mile race (which was May 29), so our dinners were mostly pasta, pizza, tacos or pb&j, and about as simplified as possible so I could go to bed at a reasonable hour. But I’m happy to report I beat my 2013 finish by 12 minutes and ran it 40 seconds faster per mile. It was such a good feeling when I finished, especially because the weather was terrible all day – just super rainy and cold. What a relief to be done!

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Approaching the finish line!

I feel like I owe some of my success to a massive carbo-load the night before the race. I inhaled more bread and pretzel in one sitting than ever before and it was really fun! But I was craving a real, home-cooked and healthy meal by the time my body was done recovering from the race, so I made the best recipe I could think of to deliver on all those cravings with as minimal time on my feet in the kitchen as possible.

That’s how we ended up with quinoa stuffed poblano peppers. I love this dish because it’s really easy and always delicious, and poblanos have a great taste – sweet with a little spicy kick.

 

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I used 4 medium-sized poblano peppers. One stuffed pepper is more than enough for a single serving meal – even for Mike – and the leftovers are just as tasty reheated a day (or two or three!) after.

Preheat oven to 375F

Peppers2

What You Need

  • Poblano peppers (any number you want/need)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil and chopped
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (I made my own tomato sauce using this recipe)
  • About 1 cup Parmesan cheese

What You Do

Slice off the stem end of the poblanos, being careful not to take off too much of the pepper itself. Empty out the insides and seeds using your fingers.

Place the poblanos on a sheetpan lined with parchment paper and bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the skin starts to pinch. (Leave the oven on when the peppers are done – you need to bake them again at the same temperature once they’re stuffed)

While the peppers are baking, cook your quinoa according to package directions. I boiled 2 cups of water and added one cup of quinoa, and simmered, covered, until the water was gone. Obviously if you’re stuffing more than 4 peppers, you might want to make more quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking, put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and heat the onions, jalapeno and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent and soft.

Stir the onion mixture into the quinoa until combined. Peppers

In a large bowl, mix the sun-dried tomatoes with the tomato sauce.

Stuff your slightly baked peppers with the quinoa mixture. Lay extra quinoa on the bottom of the baking dish like a bed for the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers on their bed and cover with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes.

Serve with additional cheese on top if you want. I love my cheese!

 

Pro Tip: You can really stuff quite a bit of the quinoa mixture into these peppers! Gently tap the bottom end of the pepper on the palm of your hand or a dish to pack down the quinoa. Once you near the top of the pepper with stuffing, push the quinoa down with your spoon for more room.

Peppers5