Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pasta Fagiole

I made a pot of Pasta Fagiole a few weeks ago, back when the high temp here in Madison was something like...5...yeah...5 whole degrees. This hearty soup was an excellent stick-to-the-ribs, heat-you-up-from-the-inside-out kind of meal which was perfect for those frigid days.

I added macaroni noodles to my Pasta Fagiole, as I couldn't find ditalini pasta. I actually overdid it on the amount I added. They sopped up a lot of liquid and expanded a lot. So, err on the side of caution if you don't want a noodle-ey soup.

The recipe I found calls for italian sausage, which I subbed for for ground beef, but add what you've got on hand.

The recipe is adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz. small dry pasta (I used macaroni noodles)
Directions
  1. In a large stockpot over high heat, brown ground beef, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove ground beef from pot with a slotted spoon. Discard all but 1/2 tablespoon of the ground beef fat.
  2. In the same pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add ground beef back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.
Posted by Picasa

Rib-eye Steak Salad

All the delicious recipes that I have blogged on this site, plus all the ones I haven't have added a bit more weight to me than I feel comfortable with. So, since I tend to work best when I have a plan to stick to, I thought I'd give the p90x plan a try. I did my first workout last night. Holy cow. For those of you not familiar with p90x it's an incredibly intense workout plan over the course of 13 weeks which you are SUPPOSED to pair with a low carb, low fat, high protein diet. Well...I'm not one for diets. I like my bread...and butter...preferably together. So instead of following the nutrition plan to a T, I am going to be more mindful in my choices for meals I prepare at home, and attempt to incorporate some of the prinicipals recommended for me by the plan.

This salad is my first attempt at a p90x meal idea. It's got decent protein, low carbs, a lower-fat dressing (no ranch!), and some veggies to round it out. Did I calculate how much fat, calories and protein this had? No. But you can if you want to!

This salad was inspired by a restaurant that I used to go to a lot in Broad Ripple, in Indianapolis called Mezzaluna. It's not in business anymore, which is too bad. They had a salad on the menu called the Moroccan Steak Salad which was a green salad topped with mushrooms, artichokes, roasted red peppers, tomato and thinly sliced steak tossed in some Moroccan-inspired dressing. For the life of me I cannot recall what type of flavors, but the base is most definitely a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

The salad I prepared here is made with a Ribeye, which is an extremely flavorful cut of meat, and preps up wonderfully seared in a cast iron skillet. Careful not to overcook!

Ingredients for two:
  • 1/2 head red leaf lettuce, torn
  • 4 medium white mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 roasted red peppers (Roasting instructions below, or use jarred)
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 3/4 lb rib-eye steak
  • 1 to 2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (or your favorite steak seasoning)
  • 1.5 tsp canola oil
  • 1.5 tsp butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Directions:
  1. To roast red pepper, place clean red pepper under a broiler until blackened. Remove, cover with towel, and when cool enough to handle remove the skins rinsing under cool water.
  2. Heat butter & oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Pound the ribeye so that it's roughly 3/4-inch thick. Sear the ribeye in the cast iron skillet, then cover and cook until medium. about 7 minutes or so. Halfway through, sprinkle on the steak seasoining and a pinch of salt.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the balsamic vinaigrette.
  4. Remove rib-eye from heat, let cool, and slice thinly, topping the salad with the steak.
Posted by Picasa