Weekend Inspiration: Recipes, Decor, Yoga

Happy First weekend of March everyone! I thought I would share some awesome inspirational favorites I saw this week via the web. But first, I thought I wanted to share (again) one of my favorite recipes for Breakfast Almond and Raspberry Quinoa which has been so highly requested. Look for big, big news on my site next week. Thanks for everyone’s continued support! Have a great weekend, Alison

Fabulous beyond words via Pinterest

Incredible Laundry Inspiration via Houzz

 Amazing Yoga Inspiration

Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup via Gourmande in the Kitchen

Funfetti Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting via Bakers Royale

Healthy Soup Recipes & 6th Annual Acoustic Soup Event

I have been on a soup kick this month, and I am so excited to judge this year’s Acoustic Soup in Birmingham, Alabama at Workplay on January 26th. This event will feature soup from talented Birmingham chef’s and restaurants benefitting VSA Alabama, which serves children and adults with chronic disabilities through the arts. Please come and bring your families for great food and a wonderful cause. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes such as my Chipotle Vegetarian Chili (pictured above) and others from my favorite magazines and blogs such as this Tortilla Soup from Sunset Magazine and My Recipes (pictured below).

Beef and Barley Soup from Better Homes and Gardens 

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup from A Spicy Perspective

Healthy Warm Lentil Soup from Ingredients, Inc

 Rustic Roasted Tomato Soup from Family Fresh Cooking

Beef, Potato and Quinoa Soup from Skinny Taste

Parsnip-Potato Chowder

It’s the perfect time of year for soups, and why not try something a little different such as this Parsnip-Potato Chowder? When I taught a cooking class recently, very few people in the class had ever cooked or tried parsnips.  Parsnips are root vegetables, and they are related to the carrot family. Parsnips resemble carrots but are paler in color and have a slightly sweeter taste. Parsnips provide an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid, B vitamins and fiber. Combine parsnips and potatoes with a touch of fresh dill, milk and vegetable broth to create a comforting and flavorful chowder. This soup tastes so rich without using any cream, and my kids even enjoyed it. For added flavor, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped dill.

Love This Lasagna Soup

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If you love lasagna, you will love this soup. All of my favorite ingredients, spinach, sausage and tomatoes and cheese, fill this soup, and it is so quick and easy. Using the mini farfalle noodles works perfect in this recipe as they truly look like mini lasagna noodles. My family was wowed by the soup. Serve with a salad and some fresh crusty bread, and dinner is on the table in no time.

 

Lasagna Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 cup mini farfalle pasta (piccolini) “Barilla” makes it

2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, (optional)

Preparation

1. Brown sausage in a large Dutch over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; saute 3 minutes more.

2. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. 

3. Place 1/4 cup Asiago cheese into each bowl; pour soup on top garnish with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Easy and Delicious White Chili

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My friend and loyal fan, Dawn, asked me a while back for a recipe for White Chili. I promised her I would work on one, and this recipe came out great. It’s simple to prepare-just requiring some chopping, vegetables and grating cheese, and that’s the only work involved. Feel free to use already-shredded cheese if your short on time, and I used a rotisserie chicken to speed up the process. This chili has just the right consistency and spice. Even my 8-year-old was asking for seconds.


White Bean Chili

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained

2 cloves garlic, minced

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

31/2 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)

1 cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup freshly grated Colby cheese

Toppings: crushed corn chips, light sour cream, chopped green onions, olives, chopped tomatoes, oyster crackers, bacon

Preparation

1. Cook onion in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until tender. Add green chiles and next 4 ingredients; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce
heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add chicken, 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack and 1/2 cup Colby cheese; simmer 10 minutes more. Ladle chili into individual bowls. Top each serving evenly with cheese and desired toppings.

Easy and Healthy Bean-Vegetable Soup

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How about a simple and healthy bean soup recipe while the weather is still cold? I found this plain bean mixture at Fresh Market, but you can find bean mixes at all local grocery stores. I don’t use the seasoning packets that come with them, just the recipe below. Just look for a 1-pound bag, and this recipe will be a breeze. It’s so hearty, easy and flavorful. The hardest part is that you have to soak the beans overnight. Stay warm and enjoy!

 

Bean Vegetable Soup

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage can be added to this.

Prep: 20 minutes

Stand: overnight

Cook: 2 hours

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

1 pound bean soup mix

6 cups water

4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup diced carrot

3/4 cup diced celery

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation

1. Soak the bean mix overnight in plenty of water; rinse and drain.

2 Add beans to water and bring to a boil; simmer 1 hour. 

3. If adding sausage,  saute sausage in a large saute pan until browned. Add sausage and remaining ingredients; simmer 2 hours. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan before serving, if desired.

Healthy and Quick Chicken-Rice Soup

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After I posted my chowder recipe yesterday, my friend, Kevin, (who is a well known physical therapist for professional athletes) asked me for a recipe for Chicken and Rice Soup without cream. Kevin eats healthier than most people I know. He eats salmon at least three times a week and has an incredible palate for food. So, when I decided to develop this Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, I really had to think it out carefully with the healthiest ingredients. This soup is filled with fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, low-fat and low-sodium chicken broth, lean chicken, and a mixture of brown, wild and white rice. It takes less than 45 minutes to prepare, and it’s the ultimate way to feed the soul whether you’re under the weather or not.

 

Healthy Chicken Rice Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

11/2 cups diced carrots

11/2 cups diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced leeks

1 tablespoon olive oil

Vegetable cooking spray

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 cups organic low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

1 cup rice blend mix of white, brown and wild rice, uncooked

21/2 cups cooked chopped chicken (I used white meat only from rotisserie chicken)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

1. Saute first 4 ingredients in a hot oil in a large lightly greased Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, mushrooms and pepper; saute 1 more minute. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add rice, stirring well. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Stir in parsley and thyme before serving.