Broccoli Soup

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The weather is still being weird and gloomy. It’s supposed to be in the mid-70’s already but only gets as high as 60°. Earlier this week, I battled a particularly nasty day with this super simple soup. It made 6 servings and uses about $1.80 worth of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups broccoli, cooked/steamed
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup milk (optional)
black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a 2.5 quart dish. Microwave covered and on high for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for at least 5 minutes. Mind the steam when you take the cover off.

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

There has been just one lonely sweet potato in my fridge for the past week or two. I really wanted to use the little guy, particularly before he started sprouting roots, but no ideas would come other than just mashing it and mixing it with some cinnamon and brown sugar- which would require more than one potato. Then lo and behold- I came across this recipe. I’ve made a few minor adjustments but it is close to the original. That and there ended up being 5 quesadillas instead of the expected 4.

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Ingredients

1 large sweet potato
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
10 8-inch tortillas, flour or corn
1/2 tsp brown sugar
sliced or shredded cheese

  1. Pierce the sweet potato, place it on a paper towel and microwave on high for 4-6 minutes. Be careful when taking it out because that thing will burn your fingers. Let it stay on the counter for around 5 minutes then put it in the freezer for around 3 minutes. Then peel it and place it in a bowl. Add the chili powder, salt, and brown sugar, and mash it all together.
  2. Microwave the frozen corn for 1-2 minutes in a small bowl or cup.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup of the sweet potato, 1/4 cup cup of black beans, and 1 tbsp of corn onto a tortilla. Add some cheese then top with the other tortilla. Cook each side in a pan for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Veggie Stir-Fry

As much as I loathe them, I know vegetables are a necessary part of any sort of pleasant existence. As luck would have it, while talking with a family friend she gave me her recipe for quick and easy veggies. It takes hardly any time to make and is actually pretty good- well, as good as vegetables can get at least.

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Ingredients

3 cups coleslaw mix
1 cup broccoli (fresh works best)
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tsp each salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli first and let cook for 1 minute or so if you don’t want it to be too crunchy. Then add the coleslaw and seasoning. Let it cook for about 5 minutes and you’re done.

Using the coleslaw mix is a huge time saver, but you can just as easily use regular sliced cabbage and carrots- that’s all it is really. Also note that raw broccoli will turn bright green when it’s cooked enough, though you can still cook it a bit longer with no worry. It’s when it starts turning brown that you should start getting worried.

Mushroom Noodle Soup

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It’s been oddly cold here lately, rarely getting past 50° when it’s supposed to be at least 60° already. I’m really not much of a soup person, but my mom is. So I whipped this up quick for her. We ended up eating from that batch for 2 days. This recipe makes 4 servings and uses about $2.25 worth of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack of ramen
1 cup mushrooms  or  a 4 oz can of mushroom pieces and stems
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

  1. Cook the ramen as normal, but don’t add the packet of seasoning. Strain and set aside.
  2. Make the mushroom soup according to the directions. When done add ramen, onion, garlic powder and mushrooms to the soup. Simmer for another 6-7 minutes.

Toasted Mushroom Sandwiches

Mushrooms are a tragically understated food. They have a fairly mild flavor and are pretty good for you- little immune system boosters. And they are actually fairly filling.

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Ingredients

1 cup chopped mushrooms or
a 4 oz. can of mushroom pieces and stems
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
6 slices of bread
1 tbsp butter
paprika
salt and pepper

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  1. Rinse or drain the mushrooms and place in a pan with butter over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they become darker in color.
  2. Add the flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes before adding in the milk. Keep stirring until it has thickened.
  3. Toast the bread and spread your mushroom mixture onto the toast.

Chicken Burritos (somewhat)

Some leftover pieces of chicken have been sitting in the fridge for quite a while. So long in fact, that I couldn’t quite remember when we had it for dinner. It was definitely time to eat them. Since there were a lot of them, I decided to try out a recipe for chicken flautas. Then I found out that you can’t put as much filling in if you roll a tortilla flauta-style, which is a bit of a problem when you’re short two tortillas. That and the fact that flautas are usually fried are (correct me if I’m wrong) the only differences I can tell between them and burritos.

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Ingredients

3/4 lb. skinless and cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 tsp salt
paprika
12 tortillas

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with foil (easy clean up).
  2. Shred the chicken into easily eaten pieces (this can be done by hand) and put into a bowl. Add everything but the tortillas and mix together.
  3. Microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds so they’re easier to fold. Spread the chicken mixture on each tortilla and fold. Place seam side down on the baking sheet, sprinkle with some extra cheese if you like, and bake 15-20 minutes.

If you’d rather do without baking the burritos, they will taste just fine. You will probably want to heat up the chicken and salsa though. Also, the recipe will work with 10 tortillas and the filling won’t all burst out when it’s baking.

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How to fold