Monday, March 28, 2016

Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil or canola
1 1/2 cups white rice (jasmine works well)
1 small onion, minced or grated*
2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce + water up to 3 cups total volume

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Add rice and onion. Brown rice and chopped onion until about half of the rice grains are turning light brown. Stir frequently to prevent burning/sticking. You don’t want to burn them but you want them pretty toasted. This is important for the final texture of the rice (slightly dry and not sticky). Add bouillon cubes and water/tomato sauce mixture and stir. Bring to boil, reduce to low simmer, cover, and cook for 18 - 25 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender. Fluff rice and serve.

*I like to chop my onion really small in a food processor or grate them with a cheese grater so I get the flavor but mask the texture. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lasagna Soup

This soup tastes exactly like lasagna but you can make it in a fraction of the time and it uses a lot less cheese. Cooking the noodles separately will give you a clearer broth and thinner soup. If you cook the noodles in the soup they tend to soak up too much of the broth. Serves 4-6 people.

1/4 pound lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups beef broth (1-32oz box)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsps dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
6 ounces noodles, lasagna noodles broken into bite size pieces or bowtie pasta 
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef, drain, and set aside. Bring pot of water to boil for the noodles. 

Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic, over medium to medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until onions are tender and just starting to brown. Add enough beef broth to cover bottom of pan and tomato paste and whisk until smooth. Add remaining broth, entire can of petite diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and ground beef. Add basil, oregano, and sugar and stir well. Bring to low simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile boil noodles, in prepared pot of boiling water, until al dente; drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning in small bowl and set aside. Add noodles to soup, stir, and serve immediately. Garnish individual servings with a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.

Adapted from: