Homemade Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Vegetarian split pea soup Is a delicious and comforting food that has it all: It’s healthy, low in fat and calories, vegan and is super easy to make!

Vegetarian split pea soup

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Course Soup
Servings 4
Calories 235 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
  • ½ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup dry yellow or green split peas
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp raisins

Instructions
 

  • Stovetop:  Place all ingredients in a stockpot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 60 minutes or until desired tenderness.
  • Slow cooker:  Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 8 hours or low for 12 hours.
  • Instant Pot:  Place all ingredients in the instant pot.  Lock lid and set the machine to cook at high heat for 12 minutes.
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack:  Freeze leftovers in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.
  • HackDehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe!
  • Hack:  Check the produce department for loose carrots, onions and/or celery stalks.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.   
  • Hack:  Shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.
Keyword appetizer, dried legumes, dried peas, easy, healthy, homemade soup, light meal, low calorie, meatless, pea soup, soup, soup course, split peas, vegan, vegetarian

Did you know?  Peas are a member of the legume family.  Legumes come in many options, are inexpensive and packed with nutrition!!

Suggestion:  Top this soup with easy homemade croutons!

Tomato and Shrimp Salad

Tomato and Shrimp Salad is a vegetarian treat that can be served as an appetizer or a light meal. It’s low in calories and packed with nutrition!

Tomato and Shrimp Salad
Tomato and Shrimp Salad

Tomato and Shrimp Salad

 

2 tbsp minced sweet onion

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup chopped basil (1 oz)

Salt to taste

1 tsp black pepper

½ pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pint grape tomatoes

5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

 

In a small bowl, combine onion, garlic, jalapeno, lemon juice, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place shrimp, tomatoes and bacon in a large salad bowl.  Drizzle dressing over the top and toss to combine.

If desired, serve over a bed of salad greens or baby spinach.

 

6 servings, 210 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa)

Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa) is easy to make and a great addition to any gathering buffet! Mix it with guacamole for an extra special treat.

Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa)
Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa)

Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa)

 

4 plum tomatoes (1 lb or 3 cups chopped)

½ large onion (1 cup chopped)

1 jalapeno pepper (optional)

1 clove garlic (1 tsp minced)

½ cup fresh cilantro (or 3 tbsp dried)

2 tbsp lime juice

½ tsp salt

⅛ tsp pepper

 

Chop tomatoes into small dice.  Mince onion, jalapeno, and garlic.  Add all to a mixing bowl.

Stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Refrigerate and allow to rest for one hour for flavors to combine.

Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

 

6 servings, 25 calories per serving (pico de gallo only)

 

Hack:  Serve with or mix in Easy Guacamole Dip for a hearty and tasty appetizer or snack!


Hack: 
Serve over tacos, enchiladas or in burritos and quesadillas.  Also, cook with scrambled eggs or rice!

Homemade Chinese Dumplings

Another authentic recipe from Yuhong’s Country Kitchen! These homemade Chinese dumplings can be prepared simmered, pan-fried or in an air fryer.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings
(Courtesy Yuhong Sun)

 

½ head green cabbage

½ head napa cabbage

8 green onions

1 oz ginger (4” knob, ¼ cup)

1 lb ground pork

2 eggs

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp red wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

100 dumpling wrappers

 

Dipping Sauce (per serving)*

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese vinegar

1 tsp crushed ginger

1 tsp chili sauce

1½ tsp sugar

1½ tsp sesame oil

 

Finely chop the cabbages and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. The salt will draw liquid out of the cabbage. Only a small amount of salt is needed.

Finely chop green onion and ginger. Set aside.

Place ground pork, eggs and ginger into a bowl and mix for 2 minutes.

Using your hands or cheesecloth, squeeze water out of cabbage and place into a clean bowl. Add green onions, pork mixture, sesame oil, red wine, soy sauce and olive oil. Mix together well.

Take one dumpling wrapper and place one tbsp filling in the center. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal completely. The amount of filling and shape you fold it in is less important than ensuring that the edges are completely sealed so the filling doesn’t leak out. Continue until all the filling is gone.**  For more in-depth instruction on rolling and pleating dumplings, check out this video!

Put a large pot of water on the stove and heat to boiling. While the water is heating, assemble the dipping sauce.

When water comes to a full boil, add about 20 dumplings. Bring water back to a full boil and add enough cold water to bring the pot down to a gentle boil. Cover pot and cook dumplings until they float to the top of the water, about 3-4 minutes. Continue adding cold water as necessary throughout cooking to keep water at a gentle boil.

Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon and serve with dipping sauce.

If preferred, dumplings can be cooked in an air fryer for 6 minutes instead of boiling them. Coat with cooking spray and air fry for 6 minutes. Allow a longer time for frozen dumplings.

*Because of the thin consistency of the dipping sauce, it’s often made in small bowls for each individual person or to share between two or three people.

**Dumplings are often served at gatherings and are traditionally assembled jointly by the group or family that are going to eat them. Try experimenting with different shapes and have fun putting them together with your guests!

 

10 servings, 270 calories per serving

Hack: Cooked or uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 3 months. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet, making sure the edges are not touching, and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, package in freezer bags or containers for storage. Add 2 extra minutes to cooking time. As with fresh, frozen boiled dumplings are ready when they float to the top of the water.

Hack: Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need. They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.

Hack: Leftover cabbage can be used to make this andouille and fried cabbage recipe or Chinese Chicken Cabbage Soup!

Hack: Hack: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in it’s frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack:  For instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube!

 

 

Easy Bruschetta

 

Easy Bruschetta
Easy Bruschetta

Easy Bruschetta

 

1 pint cherry tomatoes

⅓ cup fresh basil

4 clove garlic, minced (4 tsp)

1 tbsp balsamic reduction

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Cut cherry tomatoes into bite-sized pieces (halves or quarters depending on size). Chop basil.

Combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic reduction, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

 

6 servings, 10 calories per serving

Hack: Although bruschetta is known as an appetizer served on toasted bread, it’s also tasty when tossed with pasta (including this Bruschetta Chicken Pasta), over mashed or baked potatoes, with rice or served with eggs!

Hack: Bruschetta can be frozen for up to 8 months. While the thawed product will differ in texture from the fresh product, it will retain its flavor and is best used in cooked dishes.

 

 

Roasted Garlic Spread

 

Roasted Garlic Spread
Roasted Garlic Spread

Roasted Garlic Spread

 

1 head garlic

2 tsp olive oil

1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp dried chives

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp oregano

a pinch of sugar (to taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Remove the outer skins of garlic, leaving only the skin that covers the cloves.

Cut ¼“ off the top of the garlic bulb so that all the cloves are exposed. Set upright on aluminum foil. Drizzle oil over the bulb, making sure that the tops of all the cloves have been covered. Seal tin foil over the bulb.

Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the bulb is soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Remove the bulb from the foil, turn it upside down and gently squeeze garlic from the skins into a small bowl.

Mix in cream cheese, salt, pepper and spices.

Allow to rest for at least one hour while flavors blend. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Serving size: 2 tbsp, 105 calories per serving

Hack: For a more dip-like texture, substitute ½ of the cream cheese for sour cream

 

 

Cheesy Black Bean Dip

 

Cheesy Black Bean Dip
Cheesy Black Bean Dip

Cheesy Black Bean Dip

 

⅔ cup dried black beans

4 cups water, divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced (3 tsp)

¼ cup tomato paste

¾ teaspoons smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup boiling water

Salt and pepper to taste

¾ cup grated Cheddar (3 oz)

 

Cover beans with 2 cups of water and allow to soak for 6 – 12 hours. Drain and rinse.

Add 2 cups of water and beans to a saucepan. Turn heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until tender, checking occasionally to ensure there is enough water to keep beans from scorching. Drain excess water, if necessary.

(NOTE: The above step can be done ahead. Store beans tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)

Heat the oven to 475 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute for 5 -10 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.

Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin and saute for 30 seconds.

Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as browned as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes.

Serve immediately with corn chips, crusty bread, pita or rice.

 

6 servings, 245 calories per serving (dip only)

Hack: Freeze leftover portions sealed in serving-sized portions for future use. Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.

Hack: One cup of frozen onions can be substituted for fresh onion in this recipe.

 

 

 

Baked Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Baked cauliflower buffalo bites are a snack you can feel good about. Serve ‘em up with some ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce!

Baked Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Baked Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 4
Calories 190 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • Dash hot, sriracha or wing sauce
  • ¼ tsp hot, sriracha or wing sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, water, onion powder and garlic powder. Add a dash of hot sauce.
  • Add cauliflower to batter and toss to evenly coat. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Remove from oven.
  • In a medium bowl, mix hot sauce and butter. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. Return to baking sheet.
  • Bake for an additional 5 minutes or to desired brownness.
  • Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
  • Hack: To reheat, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat at 375℉ until heated through, about 10 minutes
Keyword appetizer, buffalo wings, cauliflower, football snacks, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, low calorie, party food, snack, spicy, vegetarian

 

Did you know?  Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables that are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.

Suggestion:  Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Super Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

These easy classic deviled eggs are the perfect nutritious, low-carb solution for brunch, buffets, picnics or just a delicious snack!

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

(Courtesy: Suzanne M. Woodworth)
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 3
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tsp mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp honey
  • Paprika (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and let the pan sit, still covered, for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, drain hot water from the pan and fill it with cold water and ice to cool. Peel the eggs.
  • Cut each egg in half lengthwise and gently squeeze white to pop yolks out into a small bowl.
  • Mix mayonnaise, mustard and honey with yolks. Scoop the filling back into whites. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired
Keyword appetizer, brunch, buffet, deviled eggs, easy, eggs, football snacks, hard boiled eggs, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, low carb, protein, snack, vegetarian

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Hard-boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for one week so consider making a few extra while you’ve got the water boiling! They make a great snack alone, pickled or in egg salad.

Easy Guacamole Dip in Cucumber Boats

Easy guacamole dip in cucumber boats is a low-carb snack that’s rich in nutrition and healthy fats…oh, and it tastes great!

Easy Guacamole Dip in Cucumber Boats

Easy Guacamole Dip in Cucumber Boats

Course Snack
Servings 2
Calories 175 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • ¾ tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped cilantro or ⅓ tsp dried cilantro
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, split lengthwise with seed removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Mix avocado, lime juice, onion, cilantro and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on cucumber and fill “boat” with guacamole.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Hack: Place any leftover guacamole in a sealable bag. Roll to press out as much air as possible and seal tightly. Store in refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Hack: Fresh herbs can easily be frozen. Lay flat in a single layer and freeze. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and seal tightly. Store in the freezer for up to 12 months. Alternately, herbs can be chopped and placed in ice cubes trays. Cover in oil and freeze for future use.
Keyword appetizer, avocado, buffet food, cucumber, cucumber boats, dip, homemade quacamole, hors d'oeuvres, Mexican, picnic food, quacamole

Ever wonder how to tell if an avocado is ripe?  How long it will be good after you buy it?  Check out these tips to find out!

Suggestion: Serve this with or mix it with Simple Pico de Gallo (Easy Fresh Salsa) for an extra special treat!

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