Green Chile Corn Chowder – Low Carb Style

Fall Soup Season is full blown and I’m in the mood for warm and spicy comfort food now that the temperatures are finally dropping. This creamy soup stars fresh corn and green chile from the fall harvest. You are going to love it!

What makes this chowder unique is the absence of the potato. Ever since my husband’s diabetes diagnosis, we have drastically limited our carb intake. This includes wiping out my love, the potato. I have found however, that rutabaga can be a delicious alternative and in some recipes, like this one an upgrade. Fun fact, rutabaga turns a lovely light orange when cooked.

A 1-cup serving of boiled cubed rutabaga contains only 51 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates, including 3.1 grams of fiber, making the net carbs 9 grams. The same amount of boiled potatoes contains 136 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrates, including 3 grams of fiber, which means 28.8 grams net carbs.

Green Chile Corn Chowder

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped – about 2 cups
  • 1 Medium Rutabaga – chopped – about 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 4 cups (32 oz. box) Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Green Chile, the frozen roasted & peeled kind is perfect!
  • 4 Ears of Sweet Corn – just the kernels
  • 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2

Directions:

  1. Skin the onions and cut up into small size chunks.
  2. Wash and peel the skin from the rutabaga, cut off the ends and cut the dense center meat into small size chunks.
  3. Melt the butter in a soup pot on medium heat and add the onions and rutabaga. Sauté for about 10 minutes until onions are becoming translucent.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic add in the soup pot. Stir and simmer for another minute.
  5. Add in the smoked paprika, garlic salt and Mexican oregano. Stir and sauté for another minute.
  6. Pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Test the rutabaga after 20 minutes and see if it is soft enough to slice with a fork.
  8. While simmering, add 1/2 cup of frozen green chile and sliced kernals from 4 ears of corn. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add the 1/2 & !/2 and simmer until warm all the way through. Serve or save. This soup  is delicious right away or the next day.

End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup

We just enjoyed our first frost and we are celebrating with my husband’s new favorite End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup. This chunky, spicy soup is chock full of summer vegetables like green zucchini, red peppers, yellow squash, green chile, sweet corn, onions and garlic. The flavor comes from a good, coarse cut pork chorizo sausage. You can make this soup in 45 minutes and serve right away!

End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chunky chopped
  • 1 Green Zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 Yellow Squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1 Red Pepper, chunky chopped
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1 lb. Coarse Ground Mexican Chorizo Pork Sausage
  • 4 cups (32 oz. box) Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Green Chile, the frozen roasted & peeled kind is perfect!
  • 1 Ear of Sweet Corn

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the vegetables. Cut up into medium size chunks.
  2. Spray olive oil on a cooking pan, spread vegetables across pan, spray with a bit more olive oil and season with garlic salt. Roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. While your vegetables are roasting, fry your chorizo breaking the bits apart into small pieces. Get it good and brown. When done, transfer meat to a plate covered with a paper towel. This will help to remove as much grease as possible.
  4. Transfer chorizo to a 4 quart soup pot, add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil quickly and then simmer.
  5. While simmering, add 1/2 cup of frozen green chile and sliced kernals from 1 ear of corn
  6. Simmer until warm all the way through. Serve immediately. This soup tastes great while the vegetables are fresh and colorful!

Ready to be roasted soup veggies

 

Cooked chorizo

Buffalo Cauliflower and Buttersquash Tacos

Late fall screams roasted veggies and I’m always looking for another meatless and gluten free meal. Think smokey red chile and blue cheesey green chile sauce smothering roasted cauliflower, butternut squash and red onions. Yum. This recipe feeds four.

Ingredients:

Taco Filling

  • 1 head of cauliflower cored and flowered
  • 4 cups butternut squash diced
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Korean-style red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup spinach chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Corn Tortillas

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil

Blue-Green Chile Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Litehouse blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup drained, defrosted Bueno Green Chile

White Corn Salsa

  • 2 cups drained, defrosted petite white corn
  • 2 tablespoons drained, defrosted Bueno Green Chile
  • 1/2 lime sqeezed
  • dash of salt

Directions:

Prep your cauliflower, butternut squash and red onion and place into a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, salt, onion powder, Korean-style red pepper and smoked paprika and toss lightly.

Spread on to a roasting pan and cook in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring at the 30 minute mark.

While your taco filling is roasting, make the white corn salsa and blue-green chile dressing. Defrost the frozen white corn until it is room temperature. Add the defrosted green chile, lime juice and dash of salt.I like to throw in a few pieces of chopped spinach for color. Stir and set aside.

In a separate bowl, add the Litehouse blue cheese dressing and defrosted chile. Use a hand immersion blender to puree the two ingredients together. Set aside.

Give your tortillas a smoky char and a crisp texture by heating tortillas them in a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet. I like to plate three torts and keep them in a warm oven while I’m cooking. Do that with three plates and keep the fourth out.

Fill with the Buffalo cauliflower, butternut squash and red onion filling. Sprinkle the chopped spinach, white corn salsa, blue cheese crumbles, blue-green dressing and pomegranate seeds.

Grilled Zucchini Spirals with Rustic Pesto

zucspirals

 

Summer squash overload?

If you are like me, you’ve  roasted it, baked it, sliced it, diced it. Perhaps you’ve even tried spiraling it!  But, have you tried GRILLING the spirals? Well now is the time.

This amazing, easy to make and delicious grilled zucchini spirals with rustic pesto is a huge crowd pleaser even with people who are telling you they can’t possible eat any more summer squash. You can make this as a main dish, it’s great for your vegan and paleo friends.

spiralerReady to try it? Of course you are…

But first…do you have a vegetable spiral slicer? I use the Gefu Spirelli Spiral Slicer from Bed Bath and Beyond. My sister gave it to me for my birthday, it is awesome!


 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups green zucchini spirals
  • 4 cups yellow squash spirals
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

photoGrilled Zucchini Spirals

  1. Preheat your grill to about 400 degrees
  2. Place the green and yellow squash spirals in a mesh grilling pan
  3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt on top
  4. Grill over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally to ensure  all the spirals are cooked through.
  5. While the spirals are cooking, make the rustic pesto.
  6. When the spirals are finished, remove from grill and spread over the rustic pesto.
  7. Toss until fully incorporated.
  8. Serve immediately!

Rustic Pesto

photo 2I use my Kuhn Rikon Swiss Pull Chop to make this amazing pesto.  You can also use a food processor, but don’t over process. If you have another chopper, use that. Or, you can even use a very sharp knife and chop finely.

  1. Place the basil leaves, garlic cloves, sunflower seeds and olive oil in your chopper.
  2. Spin and chop until the leaves and sunflower seeds are chopped well.
  3. photo 1Place the rustic pesto in a pasta dish and set aside until the grilled spirals are ready.

 

 

Healthy Broccoli and Grape Salad

BroccoliGrapeSaladLose the bacon, ditch the raisins, move over to a fresh salad that everyone will love. This is an easy to make, sweet and crunchy broccoli salad recipe that serves up as a great side for a picnic potluck or as a stand alone lunch at the office.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli cut up into 8 cups of small florets
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3 cups sliced red grapes
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the broccoli. Cut up into small, bite-sized florets.  I large head should make about 8 cups, two small heads just about the same. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Dice prettily, about half a red onion – this will most likely give you 1/4 cup diced.  Drop it in the bowl.
  3. Wash and dry a large bunch of grapes.  Slice the grapes in half until you have 3 cups worth.  Put it in the bowl.
  4. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on top of the veggies.  Make sure you catch the seeds so they don’t go into the bowl
  5. Sprinkle the salt, onion powder, and a dash of freshly ground pepper  over the top of the veggies.
  6. Add the mayo and agave syrup and stir until all the veggies are incorporated into the mixture.
  7. Add the sunflower seeds and stir.  Taste the mixture and see if you need a touch more salt.
  8. Sprinkle a few extra sunflower seeds on top when serving to make it extra pretty.

Chorizo Stuffed Poblano


stuffedpoblano

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, loosely packed then finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pound beef or pork chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 medium onion

Directions:

  1. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan.  Turn to low heat and cover for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Add 1/2 cup frozen corn, diced red pepper, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, juice of one lime and garlic salt to the saucepan.  Gently mix until completely integrated. You now have a zesty quinoa salad that I generally serve as a side dish!  But wait, add the chorizo and cheese and mix again until fully incorporated
  3. chorizopoblanosPreheat your gas grill on medium heat to 350 degrees.
  4. Cut 3 poblano peppers lengthwise, remove  seed core. Quarter 1 medium onion. Set aside.
  5. Fill the poblano pepper halves with the sausage mixture. Press firmly into the pepper and allow for a little extra to raise above the edge of the rim.  Place the stuffed peppers on a perforated grill pan.
  6. Depending on the size of your peppers you may be able to fill all 6 halves.  If you run out of sausage mixture, just cut up the pepper into smaller pieces. Arrange extra pepper slices and onion pieces around the stuffed peppers.  Garnish with paprika and a little salt to taste.
  7. Place in the center of your grill and cook for 20-25 minutes until the sausage is cooked through and the peppers and onions are soft.

 

Fast and Easy Spinach & Corn Enchiladas

Fast Easy Veggie EnchiladasI adore red chile enchiladas in the wintertime. The smokey sweet and slightly spicy sauce fills your kitchen with a rich aroma and your belly with absolute deliciousness. My Fast and Easy Spinach & Corn Enchiladas are my husband’s favorite. He likes them better than beef enchiladas; he likes them even more than the traditional New Mexican Red Chile enchiladas I make that take three times as long to create.  I like that I can make these enchiladas and be ready to eat them in less than 30 minutes.

What makes this recipe so fast and easy is the incorporation of prepared sauce.  I use Rick Bayless Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce. Do me a favor, do not substitute for another sauce unless you have tried it and do not it. It is SO much better than any other prepared sauce I have tried.

Another ingredient I really recommend is Marcela Valladolid’s White Corn Tortillas. You can get these at Safeway. I promise you, once you try these tortillas you will be hooked.  Again, not as great as fresh corn tortillas, but hey – this is a recipe for Fast and Easy Spinach & Corn Enchiladas.  Here we go!

Frontera MarcelaIngredients:

  • 12 Marcela Valladolid White Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 15 oz. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese (swap to a lighter version at your own risk)
  • 1/2 cup defrosted frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup defrosted frozen spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese – divided in two parts
  • 1 8 oz. pack of Frontera Red Enchilada Sauce

Directions:

  1. Begin preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out a large 18″ x 13″ baking sheet. I like to use my old blackened one.  Spray it liberally with olive oil spray.  Place 12 corn tortillas, making 4 rows of 3 tortillas.  Don’t worry when they overlap, that is fine.  Spray the tops of the tortillas again.  Get them really good.  Place in the over near the heat for 3-4 minutes. While your tortillas are warming up;
  2. Dump the frozen corn and spinach in a microwave-safe bowl and zap it for 2 minutes on high. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, empty the tub of ricotta cheese. Add the garlic salt, 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, and the defrosted corn/spinach. Mix well until incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Your tortillas should be done. Pull them out and let them cool a bit. Spray an 11″ x 7 ” Pyrex casserole or other oven-safe casserole dish with the olive oil spray.  Make certain to get the sides as well as the base. Set the dish aside and get ready to assemble your enchilada roll ups.
  4. Cheese Roll Up

    Eyeball about 4 tablespoons or two heaping spoonfuls of the spinach/corn/cheese mixture across the diameter of a tortilla.  Fold one side over and continue to roll.  You should be able to fill one layer of the 11″ x 7″ casserole dish with 6 rolled-up enchiladas.

  5. Open the Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce packet.  Pour about 1/4 of the packet (2 oz.) along the top of the 6 enchiladas.  This just gets the tops of the enchiladas wet enough to coat them a bit and prevent them from sticking to the second layer.
  6. Continue to roll up the remaining 6 enchiladas.  Placing them on top and a little off to the side of the first layer.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top, trying to get all the tops of the corn tortillas covered. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese on top of the sauce.
  7. Bake in the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on your enchiladas.  Every oven is different and you don’t want to burn your enchiladas!  You can also cook your enchiladas at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, but that is less fast, even though just as easy.  Serves 4 people.

Green Chile Sausage and Kale Soup

Green Chile Sausage and Kale SoupI love fresh roasted green chile and I love fresh sausage.  I’m still trying to love kale.  I have a lot of it due to my ongoing CSA, so I thought I would take a little twist on some of the recipes out there for sausage and kale soup.  First off, I have to say that if your soup is going to taste really good, take the time to get some quality sausage and quality green chile.

I go to Sprouts or Whole Foods for my green chile pork sausage. It typically comes in links.  I wait for it to go on sale, $2.99 a pound, and then I buy a lot and freeze it.

Does your local farmer’s market carry green chile? September is the season.  Ours sells small bags for $5.00 each.  I selected a mild green chile for this soup.  This intent is not a fiery hot soup, it has just enough green chile for flavor not the burn.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. oil
  • 2 links green chile pork sausage (remove the casing)
  • 1/4 cup roasted, seeded, skinned mild green chile, diced
  • 32 oz. box of vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium bunch of kale, like 8 leaves, chopped equals about 8 loose cups
  • Optional – serve with parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Saute onion and garlic with olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot on medium heat. Allow onions and garlic to soften but not brown.
  • Add green chile pork sausage and green chiles to pan.  Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring so that sausage cooks through but does not brown.
  • Pour in box of vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Do not drain the tomatoes, pour the juice right in. Add the extra cup of water. Give the soup a stir. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Continue cooking until the pot begins to boil a bit.
  • Add the chopped kale and give the soup another stir.  Cover and bring down the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes allowing the kale to soften and the flavors to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.   Serve with fresh parmesan cheese.
  • Note – this soup is even better the next day!
Wild Garden Kale

There are many varieties of kale, but this is the kind I had on hand today…

IMG_0882

Green chile roasting at the Loveland Farmer’s Market in Colorado

Summer Garden Ratatouille

Summer Garden RatatouilleWe had a luscious, wet and wonderful summer here in Colorado.  Between my summer CSA and the bounty of the local farmer’s markets fabulous fresh produce abounds!  Warm ratatouille is comforting on a cold winter night, but it is never so flavorful as it is during peak summer vegetable season.

I like my ratatouille chunky and stewlike.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t matter how nicely you chop your veggies.  I chop them big and sloppy.  Everything will cook down in this delicious Mediterranean stew, so don’t worry about perfection here, let your knife fly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed
  • 5 inch stalk rosemary, chopped (1 tsp. dry)
  • 6 big basil leaves, chopped (2 tsp. dry)
  • 1tsp. thyme, chopped (1/2 tsp. dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 small zucchinis, chopped
  • 2 medium bell (red & green)
    peppers, chopped
  • 2 garden tomatoes, chopped (14-1/2 oz. can or 1 cup Chunky Marinara Sauce)

Chopped Veggies

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to saute for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add eggplant, salt, herbs and stir.  Cover and cook over medium heat, about 20 minutes until the eggplant is soft.  Stir occasionally.
  • Add zuchini, bell peppers and tomatoes.  If using canned whole tomatoes break them open with your wooden spoon. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat until the zucchini and bell peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.  I prefer my vegetables a little more crisp, my husband likes them on the soft side.  I try to find a nice compromise. When I know he’s going to be eating my ratatouille, I usually go 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

This is what is so great about ratatouille as a summer meal.  I like to accompany room temperature ratatouille with toasted bread and a little olive oil for a make-your-own bruschetta.  It is also wonderful over my zesty Mediterranean Quinoa.  In the winter, a hot bowl of ratatouille is a warming meal on its own.

Savory Fruit-Stuffed Butternut Squash

SavoryFruitStuffedSquash

Mmmm. This savory and substantial stuffed butternut squash dish can stand alone as the center of a meal.  It can also be served as a delicious side.   I adapted this recipe from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook.  Butternut squash can be used interchangeably with other winter squash like acorn or kabocha or even a sugar pie pumpkin.  This recipe serves 4 sides or 2 large main meals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and pre-baked
  • 1/2 cup wild rice blend
  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • T butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized Granny Smith apple, diced
  • mandarin oranges, sectioned
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • topping: plain yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and prepare squash for baking by removing seeds, salting lightly and brushing with a little olive oil. While squash is cooking, place rice and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to lowest setting, and simmer undisturbed for 30–40 minutes, until tender. Transfer to medium-sized bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium skillet. Add onion and sauté for about five minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic, apples, walnuts and spices, and sauté over medium heat about five minutes more. Add the orange sections and saute for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the sauté to the rice and mix well. Season to taste with salt and honey.
  3. When squash is done, fill the halves. I like to mound my stuffing across the length of the squash. Bake uncovered until heated through— about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with yogurt if desired.

Makes 4 servings.