Friday, December 30, 2011

Potato Ham and Kale Soup

This soup was a last minute quick fix that turned out so well that leftovers were thoroughly enjoyed. This time making potato soup, I added a few sweet potatoes that needed to be used up and was pleasantly surprised at what a nice flavor they added to everything. I also added some leftover kale since I am always trying to sneak more veggies and greens into my kids' diet in ways that they do not notice them as much.


1 large onion or 2 medium onions, diced
2-3 large celery stalks, sliced
2 cups chopped kale
5 large potatoes, cleaned and diced (peels left on if desired)
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 - 16 oz. ham, diced (may use more or less if desired)
2-3 tsp Adobo seasoned salt (adjust to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp dried parsley
8 cups water (approximately)
4-6 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 - 3/4 cup cream or 1 can of evaporated milk

In a stockpot, sauté onions, celery and kale in a couple tablespoons of butter or oil. After onion is translucent, add in the chopped potatoes, ham, salt, pepper, parsley and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat slightly, cooking until potatoes are soft. When finished, add in the hard boiled eggs and cream or evaporated milk. May mash the potatoes to desired consistency with a potato masher or handheld blender.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Avacados are one of those foods that many people either like or dislike. I never really cared for them, and never even ate them until I was much older. That may explain why I have not been very fond of them in their unadulterated form. However, I have lately developed a taste for them in guacamole- if there are enough other ingredients and flavors present. This recipe is my version of guacamole as my husband and I have enjoyed it lately. Since avacados are so healthy for us- believed to be helpful in lowering cholesterol, full of the healthy fats our bodies need to function properly, great for heart health, may prevent cancers, high in fiber, as well as  high in lutein, which helps our eyes function properly- it makes sense to try to eat more of this fruit any way we can.


2 large ripe avacados, pulp mashed
3-4 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon)
1/4 -1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (may use dried cilantro, but is not as potent or flavorful)
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp salt (I used Adobo seasoned salt)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp green pepper sauce
1 medium red or sweet white onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or put through a garlic press
(The above ingredients are only approximate amounts. You will need to taste and adjust them as desired.)

Mix all the above ingredients together and allow flavors to blend in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. Serve with corn chips or use with Mexican dishes.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

South African Krunchies

This recipe came to me by way of some missionary friends to South Africa this past summer. Lindsey shared how she developed this recipe after enjoying them at local coffee shops. These are a popular type of sweet treat with each shop making their own versions. I have posted Lindsey's recipe, along with a couple additions of my own. When I made these, I was amazed at how good the flavors were and found myself going back for "just another bite". Since these contain oats, they are higher in fiber. Even though the original recipe was very good, I added walnuts and dried cranberries, which also add more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. I can see where these bars would be a wonderful base for all types of add-ins.


225 gm butter or margarine (or approx. 1 cup), may also use coconut oil
1 Tbsp golden syrup (pancake syrup) - I used King Syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cap-ful almond essence/extract- I used about 1 tsp
     Melt butter in microwave; stir in syrup (heat more if needed until syrup blends in). Add soda as well as vanilla and almond essence.

1 cup sugar
1 heaping cup flour
2 cups oats (I used quick oats)
1 cup coconut (I used unsweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 tsp salt
     Mix dry ingredients together. Then stir in the following:
1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc), optional
1/2 cup or more dried cranberries- or may use other dried fruits instead, optional

Press into a 9x13 inch ungreased baking dish (I lined my pan with aluminum foil and lightly sprayed with nonstick spray). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack and then may cut into bars. If desired, may use a simple confectioner's sugar and milk glaze drizzled over top. Store bars in an airtight container.

Serves approximately 15 larger bars or more depending if cut smaller.

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