Tag Archives: Garlic

Ring in with Roast Beef & Yorkies!


christmas 2012 part 3 036Nothing fancy today – just a couple tried and true methods for roasting beef.  Recently “Eye of Round” was on sale at our local grocery store, so i bought a large (about 3.5KG) piece and cut it down into 3 smaller roasts of 2-3LB before freezing it, (great idea for saving $$ – each roast ended up costing about $4).  Roast Beef is a fave of ours to throw in the crock pot for an easy meal to come home to.

Method 1 – Slow & Low

best for lower quality cuts of meat

The trick to get it o-so-fall-apart good is to put it in the crock pot (slow cooker) on low, rub with salt, pepper, garlic and onion soup mix with about 6 cups of stock OVERNIGHT – yes, I said over night, I start it about 8pm the night before we are going to eat it.  Add some potatoes and carrots in the morning before work – I promise it will be amazing… Note – this method is good for lower quality meats! Don’t waste a good roast in a crock pot – try method 2!

Method 2 – High Heat Oven Roasted

best for higher quality cuts

In a bowl mix:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard ( I prefer grainy)
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 2 TB EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1-2 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

Mix together and use a pastry brush to brush all over roast, place roast on rack – fat side down.  Preheat oven to 450. When oven is hot – turn the broiler on and place dressed roast close to the top half of the oven (about 5-6 inches from broiler) and broil for 5 min (this helps to make a crusty outside) then turn oven down to 450 and roast for appropriate time.

Boneless Roasts – measure thickness at thickest part of roast, then calculate cooking time:  15min/inch (rare), 20min/inch (med-rare), 25min/inch (medium to well done).  Roast is done when the fleshiest part reached 125 degrees F (rare), 140 degrees F (med rare) or 160 degrees F (well done).

Medium Rare Eye of Round Beef with potatoes, onions and carrots

Roast Beef with carrots and potatoes

  • Tip 1 : Always cook a roast on a rack to allow air to circulate under the roast.
  • Tip 2:  Roast too rare in middle?  Slice it up and place slices in beef juices/gravy on stove top while it is simmering to cook the roast a little more.

Yorkies – British Folk Approved!

Over the holidays a bunch of us got together for a pot luck – one said she’d bring some roast beef, since I was hosting – I  immediately thought – Yorkshires – perfect side to go with…..the day of the potluck arrive and as we all sat around I realized i was making Yorkshire’s for a bunch of British people – holy cow – what was I thinking (seriously 4 of 8 people were British – seriously how about I put some pressure on myself!)!  If anyone knows yorkshires – its this group!  However, i have been assured that they were great and passed the “Brit test” 🙂  here’s my recipe.

**First I make up the batter and allow it to sit (in fridge) for as long as I can – all day sometimes. Makes 12 large Yorkshires.

  • 4eggs
  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • dash of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, with empty muffin tin inside oven.  When oven is hot remove tray – Spray with cooking spray, use 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill with batter, place back in oven for 20 min. DO NOT open oven door when cooking. Yorkies will poof up while they cook and fall as they cool.

enJoy. As always I love hearing comments and feedback – looking for a particular recipe – let me know and I can see if I can help!

Like post and visit my website at http://mealsfromjoyskitchen.com or https://www.facebook.com/JoyInYourKitchen.

 

 

 

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Aside

Ok, so my jambalaya isn’t really haunted – I just ran out of green peppers so substituted orange peppers in – and seeing as Halloween is a few days away – it turned into Haunted Jambalaya.  (Cheesy but whatever). This … Continue reading

Forget Hockey – its Taco Night in Canada …


Does everyone’s family love Taco Night as much as ours?  Its guaranteed a hit in our house!  The problem with taco’s is that darn, envelope of sodium err,  Taco Seasoning – Here are my tips on how to make Taco Night more healthy and maybe even stretch your buck a little.

  1. Use Extra Lean Ground Beef and drain off any fat once you have browned it.  Better yet buy local from a farmer.  If you can get beef that (the cow) has not been finished on corn, you won’t get as much fat marbling and will have very little water and fat being released and although you may (or may not) pay a buck more per pound, its worth it  – you get more meat and less water.
  2. Mix a package of Veggie Ground Round with the beef – you will double the bulk and trust me once you add the seasoning no one will know the difference (and you get to sneak in more veggies)
  3. Leave the pre-packaged seasoning at the store and instead add your own mix  -I  use cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and a dash of chili powder – any combination will do.  To save time – mix up your fave concoction and store in an airtight container.  Use this the same way you would the seasoning, brown meat, drain off fat, add 3/4 c water and seasoning,  simmer.
  4. Add black beans to your meat. Increase the fibre and the protein!
  5. Add some frozen corn to the meat – again will bulk it up and add a veggie to the mix.
  6. In place of a store bought salsa or pico di gallo, dice up tomatoes & red onion, mix with some cilantro and fresh lime juice (this is also great on a salad instead of a dressing).
  7. Mash some avocado or serve it sliced in place of sour cream.
  8. Serve with a side salad  – make it fun a lettuce base (also to be added to tacos) and then let the family top their salad with the taco toppings.
  9. Can’t get the kids to buy into veggies?  Shred some carrots right into the meat after browning (also works in lasagna).
  10. Have left over chicken ? Heat it with the seasoning and a bit of water and simmer and have chicken tacos instead of beef.

Its also fun to have a contest to see who can make the most colourful tacos from the toppings being served.

As always enJOY.

  1. Have a contest to see who can make the most colourful taco

Holy Fishcakes its Friday!… or Tues…Weds..Thurs..


Fishcake Friday … ok, so its not Friday but these are great to make ahead of time and freeze, and serve with a salad for a nice light supper, or make into smaller fishcakes and serve as app’s at your next get together (or movie night with the family!).    I started off using this recipe and morphed it to our tastes and what I had on hand.  The result was delish! Next time I would add a little Dijon Mustard as well.   If you don’t care for catfish or basa, you can pretty much substitute any mild fish, salmon, or crab meat into this recipe.  These were way easy to make and will now be a “go to” for easy peasy appy dinners!

Cajun Fishcakes

Ingredients

Boil potatoes in slightly salted water. While the potatoes are boiling, heat a deep frying pan to med high (heat it first before adding ingredients – this will allow your food to cook more evenly).

Add a bit of oil and the fish, cook for 3-4 min per side or until done.

Remove fish from pan, add to bowl, break up with fork.  Add bread crumbs, add seasonings.  Potatoes should be finished boiling – turn off burner, drain potatoes, put back into hot pan to burn off any excess water.  Mash potatoes, add milk (may need a little more),- this is where I would add  some Dijon Mustard next time – add egg to potatoes and stir until blended.

Add to fish mixture. Stir. Heat the fry pan again. Add a little bit of oil for frying. Form into balls and flatten a little, add to hot oil, fry for 2-3 min per side until golden brown. Drain or pat with paper towel.  You can also try spritzing the balls with oil, then broiling or baking (450) instead of frying.  We serve drizzled in remaining 1/2 lemon’s jucie, topped with slices of lemon (or try fancy’n it up with some lemon zest inside or on top of the cakes!), a big salad and homemade tartar sauce.  enJOY.

In-A-Minute Tartar Sauce

  • 1/4  cup mayo
  • 2-3 tsp green relish (hamburger relish)

Mix and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with fish.

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Get some Pork on your Fork!


Looking for an elegant but easy  – dinner on the grill?   One that’s quick enough for a weekday – but nice enough for company?  Try this  one (another go to for us!).
Fairly often Pork Tenderloin goes on sale around here, whenever it does I grab a few and keep them in the freezer, on hand for a quick meal.

One of our families fave’s is Crispy Grilled Pork Tenderloin, crispy on the outside but tender & juicy on the inside.

Crispy Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Pork Tenderloin**
  • Sesame Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your choice)
  • 1-2 TB minced garlic.
  • 1/2 -1 tsp dried parsley
  • dash or 2 pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried rosemary
  • or whatever other herbs you prefer ( Italian blend of spices is nice, or tried & true Salt & Pepper)

Sorry about the recycled pic – I realized after writing the post that my camera died and I couldn’t take a pic…

Mix all ingredients except pork into paste.  Rub into tenderloin.  Cook on bottom grill on high flame for 1 min per side (to crispen), reduce the flame and keep temperature at 400 degrees F move to top rack, close cover and roast until internal temperature is 160-165 degrees.   Dependent on how big your tenderloin is this may be anywhere from 25min-45min so keep an eye on it.  Occasionally base with more of the oil mixture.  Remove from heat, loosely cover in tinfoil and let sit for 10 min before slicing.

Serve with rice or quinoa, and fresh tomato salad.  Or make the entire meal on the grill!  Bake some cored apples (fill the core with butter and brown sugar for a treat) sprinkled with cinnamon and wrap in tinfoil and bake in the 400 degree BBQ with pork. At the same time, in a disposable tinfoil container, add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to some (preferably  local) new  potatoes  (cut up into smaller bite sized pieces), an onion (chopped), local peppers & mushrooms  (if desired) sprinkled with a little (Gluten Free) onion soup mix or onion & garlic powder & salt & pepper to taste, (cover with tinfoil), (or use market fresh sweet potatoes, carrots black beans, corn, and cumin & cinnamon), grilled asparagus (or peppers if not using in the potatoes), green garden or cabbage salad and dinner is served!  enJOY!

Optional sauce to serve with this on the side:  mix some fresh salsa, dijon mustard, minced garlic and sliced apples together and cook in disposable dish on top rack while pork is cooking.  The sharpness of the dijon makes a lovely contrast to the sweet apple and succulent pork.

Love to hear your comment s and feedback!.

** (dependent of number of people we feed 2 adult and 2 small kids with 1, if we cook 2, my husband gets a lunch for work and I get some to top a salad the next day)

No Beeting around the Basil Roasted Beets


One of my favorite vegetables are roasted beets.  However, if you grew up in a house like mine, you thought beets come in a can – pre-cooked and peeled. Add lots of butter and salt and Bob’s (or Beet’s) your uncle as they say…. It wasn’t until I was an adult and cooking on my own (and frankly only in the last few years)   have I started buying whole beets and roasting them myself.  Surprisingly – not difficult!  These beets are from Willowtree Farms in Port Perry ( @WillowtreeCSA) as is the basil and the garlic scapes.  So good!  Try it!  Note – I roasted these in the oven however you can roast them the same way on the top rack on a BBQ as well.  If you haven’t cooked with garlic scapes before try them – so good! Make garlic scape pesto!

Roasted Beets

Ingredients:

  • ImageBunch of Beets
  • Bunch of Basil
  • 2 garlic scapes – chopped
  • 1-2 TB EVOO
  • pepper to taste (optional)

Equipment

  • tinfoil
  • knife

Method

Wash excess dirt from beets, slice the top off.  Chop up the garlic scapes.  Chop or tear up the basil. Make a tinfoil packet – add the beets with the exposed end facing up.  Pour the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) over and sprinkle with pepper (if using).  Top with garlic scapes and basil.  Seal the packet tightly and roast in 425 degree oven for 1 hr (maybe a bit longer dependent on size of beets).  Open packet, use a knife to gently remove the skin (will come off very easily)  – slice and serve! YUM! enJOY!

Time Saver Tip:  After roasting you can freeze cooked beets to reheat for an easy weeknight side dish!

It’s Olive about the Grill


(Yup, you read that right – Olives on the grill… )

With this heat wave hitting us and everyone trying to stay cool I’ve been taking the cooking outside lately.  Here is a family favorite – get ready for grilling!

Shrimp, Olives & Tomato Skewers

Our entire family loves fish but the kids, love Love LOVE shrimp..and olives…and tomatoes.  I buy frozen easy peel raw shrimp and use the shells to make fish/shrimp stock to freeze for later.  If its in season, try picking up your tomatoes at your local farmers market – they are so much sweeter  – don’t forget your garlic too! There are endless possibilities of veggies to add to your skewers (mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus, etc, try picking up some fresh basil and add a handful, chopped up in with tomato & EVOO mixture!)


Ingredients
(adjust quantities to suit)

  • garlic stuffed jumbo olives *
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  •  raw med shrimp
  • minced garlic
  • lemon or lime juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Oil of choice try SafflowerEquipment: A grill (duh!), a flipper or tongs,  skewers (we have reusable metal ones, but you can use disposable wooden ones  tip:  if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 min before using to stop them burning. 

Method

  1. Preheat grill (if things tend to stick, prior to turning on the grill, wipe grill with a paper towel saturated in a bit of oil. Then turn on grill).
  2. While grill is preheating, pour lemon/lime juice over shrimp, toss with garlic to taste (add chili flakes if you wish!).  Toss tomatoes in a touch of oil.  Place shrimp, tomatoes and olives alternately on skewers.
  3. Place on (400 degree) grill lid up for 1-2 mins, turn, shrimp will be cooked quickly, the olives & tomatoes will take longer, if you don’t want the shrimp to cook that much, omit shrimp from those skewers and put them on there own (zucchini or onion is nice with them or just on there own to cook).  The skin on the tomatoes will split when the tomatoes are cooked, and you will see the salt on the outside of the olives.
  4. Serve by themselves or with a side like rice or quinoa or make it a lighter for one of those really stinky hot days and serve skewers over a  spinach salad drizzled in an aged balsamic vinegar.
  5. enJOY.  Hope you love it like we do!

Love to hear your comments! Want to hear more of something? Let me know!

* we get our olives in a the large jars from Costco – I’m not sure where else carries them

enJoy the journey to Gluten Free


As some of you know I have recently been advised to try to eliminate Gluten from my diet due to a suspected Gluten Intolerance.   Wondering why I am capitalizing the Gluten?  Because its so damn yummy and hard to replicate of course!   This week – in a distinct effort to eat the same meal as the entire family, I tried to – ungluten-ize (ya that’s sooooooo a Joy word 🙂  ) some of our family-faves-clean-up-your plate recipes.  If you follow my blog – you will see that I found a Brown Rice Pasta that works perfectly for Penne and GF Meatballs.   Here are my next 2 attempts – one successful – scored a 10 from me, a 10 from hubby and a 7 from my 6 year old – Sweet Potato Enchiladas Verde Casserole and a “So-So Recipe With Potential” – Gluten Free Turkey Meatball Dumplings – scored a 4 from me, a 7 from Hubby and a 5 each from the kids.

**(skip to bottom for review of Chunky Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing).

Sweet Potato Enchiladas Verde Casserole


*This casserole made of corn tortillas (make sure you read the ingredients – to ensure that yours do not contain gluten), sweet potatoes and spices combined with black beans & spinach makes a hearty & tasty meal These Sweet Potato Enchiladas  can’t be beat!

Filling:

2 1/4LB Sweet Potato – peeled and cut into chunks  (about 2 Large Potatoes)
1/8 LB (a bunch) or 10 g fresh spinach – washed & trimmed & blanched & drained
2 TB Cilantro Salsa (or 1/2 c fresh cilantro mashed with lime juice)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 large Red Onion
1 – 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1/4 LB (100g) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (omit to make it vegan -maybe substitute in avocado for cheese? might be worth a try)
1tsp cumin
8 small (6 or 8 ” corn tortillas)
1 lime cut into slices or wedges.

Verde Sauce

Mix together – 1 jar ( 10-12oz) green salsa, 5 dashes cayenne sauce (optional), 1 1/2 c sour cream & 1/2 tsp minced garlic.

Directions:

  1. Bring a saucepan to a boil and add sweet potatoes until very tender.  Drain, return to hot sauce pan to eliminate any moisture.  Mash potatoes, add rest of ingredients except the cheese, sauce, lime  & tortillas.
  2. In the bottom of a greased lasagna pan/casserole dish spread a bit of sauce.  Add a layer (slightly overlapping) of tortillas (they may go up the sides of the pan a bit), top with a thin layer of cheese, then 3/4 of the filling, top with 1/2 of remaining sauce.
  3. Add another layer with the remaining tortillas, then the remaining filling and top with the remaining sauce. Top with lime slices.
  4. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through.  enJOY!

BONUS!

Extra Bonus – Grab a bag of Gluten Free Corn Tortilla Chips and reheat any leftovers and top with a bit more shredded mozzarella cheese and feast on no guilt nachos with the family!

Gluten Free Turkey Meatball Dumplings

This one we were expecting to come out like a turkey meatball stuffed yorkshire – however the “all purpose” gluten free flour I  was using made the batter almost like  a chicken ball batter, and they were difficult to brown.  That being said  – next time I would substitute a big chunk of chicken breast and a sweet and sour sauce and serve it as Chicken Balls…. or do this again and make a hollandaise  type of sauce, maybe a cranberry sauce for  a holiday meal, we dipped it in dijon mustard and that worked too.

Ingredients
1LB extra lean ground chicken (or large chunks of chicken breast)
1 Egg (beaten)
1 Tsp Oregano (or herbs to taste)
1/4 c gluten free bread crumbs
Dumpling:
1  Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Milk
3 Eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees and place muffin trays inside to heat while the oven heats up.  meanwhile,  mix meat (if making meatballs), with beaten egg, herbs and bread crumbs – roll into large or small meatballs (we tried both).  Remove trays from oven, spray with cooking spray or mist some EVOO onto the tin).  Place Meatball into the centre of each muffin tin (we made some with a mini muffin tray and some with a full sized muffin stone.   Bake for 10 mins or until meatball is browned.  Remove tray from oven, pour batter over top to between 3/4 and totally full.  Put back into oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Enchiladas Casserole -shown served with Chunky Green Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing (Tomatoes – Avocado – Chick peas – Green Leaf Lettuce – as expected was AWESOME  – that salad will be added to the rotation for sure!)   Thank you to fellow blogger:  Mrs Buena Vida for sharing the recipe!

Last Minute Red Beans & Rice


You know those days that you take something out of the freezer to thaw – and think – I’ll figure out a plan later then all of a sudden its 3:45pm and you have no idea what to do with it?  … or is that just me? In any case – that was my situation yesterday afternoon.  At about 3:30pm I realized I had thawed the chorizo (a Spanish sausage) and had no inspiration, and no peppers in the house. Sausage, peppers, onion and potato bake is my “go to” when I am feeling uninspired to come up with something – also a family favourite so at least it works out.  I did what any idea-less foodie would do – I called upon (tweeted) to a few of my foodie friends for suggestions!   @hotpinkapron tweeted back that she was making some red beans and rice with Portuguese sausage – and I though – YUP thats what I want! Obviously from my past posts – you’ve caught on that I really really like southern foods (see my gumbo recipe).   However – I was making dinner for  6pm or so – and didn’t have time to soak my beans and simmer them the way you should (I know I know sacrilege @MSQueenFoods)so I though – what the heck – lets do this the o’ol fashion – hmmm what have I got in the cupboard to make these with?  I gotta say – these were some of the best red beans I’ve made!  Hubby and I each had  servings, my  year old practically licked her plate and my 4 year old – ate most of his (he’s not a big dinner eater – unless its Spaghetti & Mommy’s Meatballs, Mommy’s Taco’s or Mommy’s Pizza …. go figure) . (recipes to  be posted shortly!)

The “Joy” of Red Beans and Rice – southern style – Joy-ified 🙂

 Ingredients:

  •  8 cups of canned kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
  • (this is equivalent to a large commercial 100 oz sized can of kidney beans )
  • 1 1/4LB (approx 500g) Chorizo (chopped)
  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 c tomato sauce (I had some leftover homemade so I threw it in – you could just use tomatoes)
  •  1TB minced garlic
  • 2 Tsp HOT Cayenne Pepper Sauce (like Lousianna Sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  •  3-4 small (2 large) bay leaves
  • 2 TB dried parsley
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 LB onion diced
  • white parboiled rice
  • optional:  Additional hot sauce like the Gator sauces line or Melinda’s  to add at the table.

Method:
In a large saucepan saute the garlic and onion in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for a few minutes until onions are soft, add parsley and bayleaf, add chorizo and cook until no longer pink.

Add beans, chicken stock, and the rest of the spices (except optional additional hot sauces). Simmer stirring occasionally for 45 min- an hour.   Cook rice, serve red beans over rice (some people like the rice added in and some like it over the top.  I added steamed asparagus for a veggie.

Enjoy!  From My Kitchen to Yours – Happy & Healthy Eating!

In the soup… potato soup that is!


September 1 has come and gone … what happened to the summer anyway?  With Sept bring thoughts about “Back to School” (is anyone else singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” in their heads when the phrase Back to School is spoken?)  Back to school, back to routine, and back to the basics – and there is nothing more basic than a nice bowl of soup.  Perhaps my mind in stuck on soup because I have a wicked head cold and the medication has me all drugged up and creative   everyone knows that soup is a great comfort food when you are sick…. or on a cold day …. or when you don’t feel like cooking …. take your pick.

Over the weekend I catered my parents 45th Anniversary Party/BBQ and we hosted a Baked Potato Bar.  Never heard of one?  They are awesome – so many people commented that it was such a great idea!  Easy to do – wash, wrap potatoes in tinfoil and roast for an hour at 400 ahead of time (we roasted more than 75!!) (hint: split them in half first or partially so they are easier to dress later), then remove from oven and put in insulated cooler to keep hot.

When you serve – take some out of the cooler and  throw them into a big bowl for people to choose (we made smaller ones as we were serving tons of food and appy’s ahead of the meal).  Toppings can be placed in bowls and let people dress them as  they want – we used:  shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, fried onions, fresh salsa, sour cream, chipotle sour cream, (real) bacon bits, butter, margarine etc.   Other things I have included are chili or vegetarian chili etc.

Now what has all this got to do with soup you are wondering! Ha! Wfell let me tell you!  We ended up having a lot of extra baked potatoes (just due to the amount of food we had not anything to do with the taste!)  so we made some hashbrowns with with left over sausages, fried onions and some potatoes (added some rosemary and sage and baked them in the oven for brunch the next day), made a bit of potato salad, and still had some left over…. what to do, what to do…. Now I LOVE (yes in all caps! LOVE) Baked Potato Soup but traditionally it is made with bacon, bacon fat, sour cream and heavy cream so I thought I would rehab it and make it a little more appealing to my lifestyle (and health style!).

Here’s what I came up with:

Joy’s Baked Potato Soup Makeover

Ingredients:

  • 6 Large Baked Potatoes
  • 4 green onions white part only – chopped, reserve green part for garnish later
  • 5 -6 c vegetable stock (I make my own)

  • 4 organic carrots – shredded (if using organic just scrub them – if non organic, peel then shred them)
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1-2 TB Basil
  • 2TB minced garlic (to taste)

  • 1/4 tsp salt(to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
  • dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 pieces peameal bacon
  • 1/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c EVOO or butter or margarine

Use 6 large (or in my case 12 or 13 small) baked potatoes, use a spoon to scoop out the inside.  Place in bowl and chopped into small pieces (I chop it right in the bowl – it doesn’t have to be pretty!)

Add shredded carrots.

carrots, potatoes, green onions

In dutch oven or deep saucepan, fry peameal bacon.

Remove to cutting board and dice.

Add to pan (there will be very little fat so don’t rinse it) green onion and garlic saute for a minute add other spices (you can use whatever spices you like  – I used bay leaves, garlic, basil).  Mix, remove to bowl or plate  while you make the roux.

In the hot pot, add flour and EVOO (or butter or margarine), and cook stirring until thickened.   Do not let it burn!

Add milk slowly, while mixing.

Once all the milk has been added in, add 3 cup of vegetable broth, the bacon, potatoes and carrots back into the pot, stir and let simmer for 30  mins (it will thicken even more) or longer.   Add more vegetable stock as desired.  ( I kept 1 c out and added it the next day).  If you plan on freezing the soup, add a bit of extra stock and mix before freezing.

Add salt and pepper as desired.

Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, and (if desired) sour cream).

Serve with fresh cornbread muffins (not the sweet ones the real southern cornbread muffins).

The upside – besides tasting awesome – you have a comfort food that pumped up the veggies by adding the carrots, reduced the saturated fat, by using peameal bacon and 1% milk, and punched up the taste without adding too much salt (using the spices) – don’t be afraid of people adding salt at the table – then at least they have a choice of how much salt to add.

Makes about 8 cups

Breakdown:  Calories: 319.3, Fat 10.6 g Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 4.6mg, Sodium 180.7mg, Carbohydrates 46.7g, Fiber 4.7g, Sugars 8.1 Proteins 7.2g.

From my kitchen to yours …. Happy & Healthy Eating!