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Ingredient: garlic

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

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Lasagna soup is a crowd pleaser!  The delicious flavors of lasagna are all here, without the hard work and long baking time.  It also makes good leftovers, and as the noodles soak up the broth the mixture gets more and more like the texture of actual lasagna.  I often serve it for staff lunch.

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Lasagna Soup
This easy and satisfying soup might even be better than regular lasagna. It is certainly something I look forward to eating!
Course Soup
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Soup
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef or sausage and diced onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. At the end of the cooking time, stir in minced garlic to saute.
  2. When the meat is well browned, add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook at medium-low for 20 minutes.
  3. While soup simmers, mix mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and parsley together in a mixing bowl. Set aside until serving time.
  4. When serving time is about 15-20 minutes away, put lasagna noodle pieces into the pot. Cook until noodles are tender, adding additional broth or water if needed. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a spoonful of the cheese mixture. Stir the cheese into the soup as you eat it to make everything melt together. Yum!
Recipe Notes

Recipe is adapted from this one at Cooking Classy: http://www.cookingclassy.com/lasagna-soup/

 

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Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce Wraps

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Lettuce Wraps
This is easily one of my most requested recipes. It is a very popular staff lunch choice, and I always look forward to eating it as well as making it. Colorful, flavorful, unusual, fun to eat, good leftovers, easy to freeze and reheat--what's not to love?!!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil on high. Add ground chicken, diced onion, and grated carrot. Cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl or glass mixing cup, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften the honey and peanut butter, then stir until well mixed.
  3. Add minced garlic and ginger to the chicken mixture and cook a minute or two more or until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour peanut butter mixture into the skillet and stir well to coat the chicken mixture.
  5. Add red pepper, green onion, and water chestnuts to the skillet and cook for 2-4 more minutes or until everything is heated through.
  6. Rinse the lettuce leaves, pat dry, and put on a plate or in a bowl. Put chopped peanuts in a separate bowl, and chicken mixture in a third serving bowl.
  7. To eat, scoop chicken mixture onto a lettuce leaf and top with peanuts. Top with more chili garlic paste if desired. Wrap "burrito style" and enjoy the messy goodness! (I often serve rice with these too, either to put into the lettuce wrap or to catch all the tidbits that fall out on the plate!)
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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

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The first time I had Spaghetti Carbonara was when my sister was experimenting with an Italian cookbook, and I always think of her when I make it.  It is one of my favorite “rich elegant company foods” since it isn’t super hard to make, but comes together in impressive fashion.  The last time I served it was a special summer dinner out on the patio, appreciating some dear ministry partners.   Now I have that memory to add to my other good carbonara stories.  Hooray for good food and good friends!

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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position. Place a large heat-proof serving bowl on the rack and heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cheeses, and garlic together and set aside.
  4. Cook the bacon and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  5. When the water is boiling, stir in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until the noodles are almost tender but still firm to the bite--around 10 minutes. Drain the pasta.
  6. Remove the warm bowl from the oven and add the hot pasta. IMMEDIATELY pour the egg and bacon mixtures over the spaghetti and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes

A note of explanation: Eggs are the key to a smooth, creamy carbonara sauce.  And the key to incorporating the eggs into the pasta without having them scramble is to time things just right and use a warm serving bowl for tossing.  The heat from the freshly boiled pasta is enough to cook the eggs without scrambling them.

This recipe is from my go-to cookbook, The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  Unfortunately my version isn't in print any more.

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White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

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Halloween came and went, and that means White Chicken Chili on the menu!  We eat lots of traditional red beef chili in the beginning of October, and from the freezer throughout the winter, so Halloween needs its own special recipe.  Our tradition is to enjoy “ghost chili” in the garage while we make and hand out cotton candy to all the trick-or-treaters.  Good times!

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White Chicken Chili
This basic white chili recipe isn't too hard to make, and is very mild so don't be afraid to pour on the hot sauce if you need it!
Course Soup
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Course Soup
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and onions and saute until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds more. Add spices and saute until fragrant.
  2. Stir in chicken broth and green chiles with their juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Cube Neufchatel cheese and stir into hot soup until nearly melted. (It will look separated at first, but will eventually melt into creamy goodness.) Stir in corn and 1 can of cannellini beans.
  4. Pour the remaining can of beans into a food processor or blender. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup broth from the soup and blend until coarsely pureed. (You could also put all the beans into the soup and use an immersion blender to get similar results).
  5. Pour the bean puree back into the soup and mix well. Simmer about 15 minutes longer.
  6. Stir in fresh lime juice just before serving. Set out the toppings and let everyone mix up their custom creations.
Recipe Notes
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Chili

Chili

This is the classic All-American Beef Chili recipe from my favorite cookbook, unfortunately no longer in print.  (America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook).  It is an October Staff Lunch staple, and there is nearly always a bag in the freezer in case Than gets a sudden chili-for-dinner craving.

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Chili
Course Main Dish, Soup
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish, Soup
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Cook until veggies have softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so.
  2. Add beef to veggies and spices. Increase heat to medium high. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink (around 10 minutes).
  3. Stir in the beans (drained and rinsed), the diced tomatoes (undrained), and the tomato sauce. Add additional salt and chili powder to taste.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until beef is tender, about another 45 minutes. Season again with salt, chili powder, and pepper before serving.
Recipe Notes

Chili can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for 3 months.  Reheat over low heat, adding additional water or tomatoes as needed to adjust the consistency.

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