Archive | February, 2011

Vegetable Beef Soup

3 Feb

Here is a quick and easy soup that’s filling and delicious.  I’ve listed several substitutes for the ingredients, so this can be a good for a pantry/fridge/freezer cleanout.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can(8 oz) tomato sauce (or 1-6 oz can tomato paste + 1 cup water)
  • 2 cups beef broth (or 2 cups water + bullion cubes/paste)
  • 10 oz frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t parsley flakes
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1/4 black pepper


  1. Brown meat, garlic, and onion in a stock pot until meat is no longer pink.  Drain, if necessary.  You may add a small bit of oil, if meat is extra lean.
  2. Add spices to the browned meat and stir.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn down heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 6

Take advantage of whatever you have in the freezer or fridge.  I had several bags of opened frozen veggies, which I mixed up to make up the 10 ounces called for in the recipe.  It included lima beans, okra, and mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn).  I often end up with one random potato or a few carrots in the crisper, which are a perfect fit for a catch-all soup like this.  I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow, since it is supposed to be as cold and rainy again.


Indian Inspired Dinner

1 Feb

While I won’t go so far as to say this is Indian food, it is certainly inspired by the flavors of India.  Since I am trying to avoid bread, rice, and other similar carbs for a couple of weeks, this meal is chicken and vegetable heavy.  The addition of a grain like quinoa or brown rice would keep the health factor high and add some heartiness to the plate.

Tandoori Chicken

adapted from The F-Factor Diet

Serves 4

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (I use my Pampered Chef garlic press)
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t tumeric
  • 1 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 8 oz Fage 0% yogurt (the small 6 0z container is plenty)
  • 16 oz chicken breast, boneless & skinless
  1. Mix all the ingredients except for the chicken in a gallon-size baggie
  2. Add chicken to the yogurt marinade.  I chop the chicken into bite-size pieces first.  You could also leave the breasts whole.
  3. Marinate the chicken overnight.  Remove the chicken and discard any leftover marinade.
  4. If leaving the chicken breasts whole, you can broil or grill the chicken.  Since I cut it into small pieces, I cook it in a saute pan or a wok on the stove.

This chicken comes out so amazingly tender!  The yogurt in the marinade makes that happen.  After the spices have marinated with the chicken overnight, you get this gorgeous saffron-yellow color that is begging to be cooked.  I cannot sing it’s praises enough.

Roasted Curry Vegetables

Serves 6-8

I tried the roasted curry cauliflower recipe in the F-Factor book and found it to be too dry and bland.  Instead, I use Kari Chellouf’s roasted vegetables recipe with greater success.  It’s easy and adaptable for whatever veggies you have around.  When I made it, I did not have any garam masala in the house.  I substituted with ingredients I had on hand using this recipe as a guide.  I know we have several Indian groceries in town that have garam masala, and I imagine it can be found in most grocery stores in major metropolitan areas.

Nigella’s Carrot Salad

Serves 2, as printed

  • 4-8 carrots cut into matchsticks (I grate them instead of cut them)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T peanut oil
  • splash of sesame oil
  1. Um, mix it up.  That’s about all the directions you need on this one.

This isn’t even remotely Indian, but I love the fresh carrot salad with the spicy chicken and vegetables.  It’s cool and refreshing, which is lovely even in the dead of winter.  To make it a bit more figure friendly, you can easily cut down the amount of oil.