Sunday, November 6, 2011

Split Pea Soup

Maybe not the most dietetic thing in the world, and now I'm actually going to visit Fitday to do a calorie count, but this is what I made today in the good old reliable crock pot. It's the recipe my Grandmother always made, in the days before crock pots. The whole house smells wonderful all day, and then getting to eat it is like a small slice of heaven to me.

She was my mother's mother, and she lived with us when I was a kid. We had a mother-daughter house and I could go and visit Grandma anytime I wanted just by opening a door into her attached apartment. The woman was a FANTASTIC cook. She was one of those old-fashioned ladies that made everything from scratch, used real butter and real buttermilk (she used to drink it - said it gave her glossy hair), and could just pouf up a delicious meal off the top of her head. She lived through the Great Depression, so she knew how to make a meal that could last for a week, and she really knew what to do with leftovers. She was amazing.

God, I miss her. I don't think I appreciated her when she was alive, and I regret that. She was a wonderful lady.

Her recipe also yields a heck of a lot of soup. I just filled up three huge Tupperware containers of it, and put two in the freezer. I know there is no way I'm getting The Daughter to eat anything green, and husband took one look at it and the fact that it had ham hocks in it for flavor and said, "You're not going to make me eat that, are you?" Nope.

MORE FOR ME! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....they don't know what they are missing.

I'm posting the recipe here in case anyone wants to try it. I just looked it up on Fitday, and the entire thing is hefty in calories and carbs - divided by the number of cups it yields, though - it's really not bad at all.
I'm going to say this recipe yields around 15 servings.

Per serving: 254 calories, 5 grams of fat, 33 grams carbs, 19.5g protein. Calorie and fat-wise, not too shabby --- except the carb count is what's killing me. Figures, because I love it.


2 ham hocks
2 small bags of split peas
5 whole cloves
4 cans of low sodium chicken broth
1 large whole white onion, finely diced
5-6 large carrots, also finely diced

Pre-soak the split peas by bringing them to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, then turning off the heat and leaving them in the pot with the water, covered, for 2 hours. Drain.

In a crock pot combine everything, adding the soaked peas to the other ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. (If you want a thicker soup, use slightly less chicken broth).

Remove the ham hocks and discard. Remove the cloves and discard. Take the remaining soup and puree in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with home made croutons, if desired.

Mine made so much I am set for lunches for the next month.

Until next time... who knows what I'm making tomorrow night, since it's a work day/packing day... and we find out about our mortgage commitment tomorrow as well.
Fingers crossed... enjoy your food!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

So much

So much stuff to write about, so little time to do it in. We are in the process of buying a house, packing, and moving (again) so I'm particularly stressed and in the mode of making easy standby meals.

One of my crowd-pleasing dinners here at Chez Moi is the turkey burger. I soup it up a bit, mostly because using ground turkey breast can be challenging due to the lack of fat in the meat, which makes undoctored burgers very dry. I have some tricks I use to make them taste better.

Trick 1: Flavor the meat. Instead of just slapping the turkey breast meat into patties, I find that adding Worcestershire, Soy Sauce, and just a hint of steak sauce to it (about 1 tbsp of each thing), plus a dash of garlic powder and some salt & pepper ... or Nature's Seasonings make the meat more flavorful and moist.

Trick 2: If possible, use an indoor grill. Not only will something like the George Foreman grill leach off that fat, it cooks the burgers on both sides at once, reducing the cooking time. And it gets the nice BBQ taste (although not exactly) which is an added bonus.

Trick 3: Sauteed onions are a must - I slice up a yellow onion and saute it in a nonstick pan using a few spritzes of olive oil and saute until they are translucent. Then add a bit of the Worcestershire sauce to it to give them some zing.

Trick 4: If you are looking for a diner-like experience, add some turkey bacon as a topper.

We usually eat this meal with steamed corn or corn on the cob and I use whole wheat buns on them. You can also throw on some reduced fat cheese for extra zing.

All in all, the burger meal takes me about 20 minutes to make, and it is consumed rapidly by all who live here.

We've been having these once a week at least since Moving Hell has commenced.

I know I haven't been on here much, either but that's due to working, the child, and packing to move and dealing with the builder/the bank/my life. Good times, I tell ya.

I hope to get back to some more experimental recipes after Thanksgiving - although I will also be posting about our Thanksgiving meal, since my young one will not let me get through a year without having a (in her words) "giant turkey".

Be back when I can. Enjoy your food....