A Potta Zuppa (Soup) – Re posting by request

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POTTA ZUPPA

What better way to warm up the belly on such frigid days such as today than with a hot bowl of soup. Today we will make a pot to warm the tithers and relax by a cozy fire with the soothing sounds of classy Jazz playing in the background. Now that sound good when it’s -22  outside and feeling more like -30.

The words “polar” and “vortex” have now been tossed together. Da-Da-Daaaaaa!  We lived through this Polar Vortex two weeks ago. It has been coined for the dramatic shifts in frigid temps we have seen, or felt >>>insert chattering teeth and the cracking of bones here<<<

Every time the temperature plummets now all we hear is the term being thrown at us. Individual’s visiting and indulging in their luscious java concoction of the day at our local Starbucks (L.O.V.E) are talking about the “current” Polar Vortex we are experiencing this time around.

BABY

IT’S

COLD

OUTSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ummm, yeah! This was one Crrrrazy day for moving to our new home!!!

This was moving day for us. I think the cold would have been easier to deal with. We ended up in blizzard conditions on country roads. Yikes! Visibility was almost non existent about ten minutes after this photo was taken. Not sure if all that snow was easier to take than the cold on moving day….haha! When I feel the cold we are experiencing now,  I think I’d still rather move in the snow.

Not complaining. Just saying!

Image found on Pinterest. Sorry there was no link for it. Not sure who to credit.

I personally am “Polar-Vortexed” up to my ears. It was so frigid last night and today. Brrrr! I was so cold for the better part of my outing today running errands locally, but, and this is the BIG but, I came home today to a hot potta zuppa (what my Auntie Genevieve used to refer to as soup). There is something about the richness that hits the nostrils, that robust scent of tomatoes and broth simmering with herbs when I enter the warmth of our home. It welcomes me and melts my chills away almost instantly. I cannot wait to remove my gloves..boots..coat..scarf..toque..extra sweater..extra pair of socks…… Oh yes, did I happen to mention Polar -Vortex it’s really cold here?

So on to our “zuppa”. Let me say one thing ok, maybe a bunch of things right now. Soup is one of the fastest and easiest food concoctions to create. ANYONE can make a good pot of savory, delicious soup…ANYONE! First thing we do is look in the fridge. Grab out any veggies you would like to add. NOTE: The ones I always grab first are the onions, celery, carrots, and most times mushrooms.
The list is endless from there. Put them on your counter and grab a peeler, sharp knife, cutting board and a large pot. Now go grab the olive oil and add a glop to the pot (approx 2 Tbsp).

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Love me some Crazy good tools!

In the meantime bring a smaller pot of water to boil for any type of noodles, rice or pasta you might like to add ( adding as you serve the soup so the broth isn’t absorbed.Ya don’t want to end up with a bowl of mush). You won’t need a lot. Just enough to add about a large serving spoon size portion per bowl. Now start peeling, slicing, cutting and chopping (whatever method pleases you), or just get out the food processor and let it do most of the work for you. I prefer the edge of a sharp knife and the meditative motion of chopping my veggies. To each their own!

I also love to put spinach and white kidney beans into our soups. The spinach gives a depth of flavor and color. The beans give it a thicker and richer broth.

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I have not been paid for endorsing this product. I’m just Crazy about their products!

Heat the oil in large pot and add *sea salt (for it’s minerals and nutrients), fresh ground pepper, 1 Tbsp Oregano, 1 tsp Thyme, and 3 crushed garlic cloves (you could use 2 tsp crushed garlic from a jar if ya like). Saute’ for 1/2 a minute on medium heat. I use a gas stove, therefore, heat can be adjusted to ‘your’ medium on an electric stove. Add the chopped veggies and saute’ until almost soft but not quite. Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste and saute’ for one more minute.

Did I mention it’s really cold here today! Hmmmm… I thought so. Anyhooo…

Crazy good mixture of chopped veggies. Only took 5 minutes to chop all!

Now you will add the Chicken Broth, 1 large can of diced tomatoes and 1 large can white kidney beans.

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These photos were taken a while back. I currently and most strictly use Organic products that are canned or packaged. This is a moral choice and one that I hope reflects in good health.

Stir and simmer for 15 minutes on medium – low heat.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Potta Zuppa~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Viola! It is ready for serving in less than 1 half an hour. I love to add a good mound of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little freshly ground pepper. If you are having guests over you could gently lay a dollop of Ricotta cheese on top and garnished with a fresh Basil leaf.
For the meat lovers out there…go for it! Chopped cooked chicken, beef, pork…..anything you have in the fridge and on hand will work fine!

Tell me how you like soup. Do you add lots of Crazy ingredients? Do you add meat? Share with me. I love sharing Crazy good recipes!

Let me know if you try this recipe and whether or not you add any of your own Crazy ingredients!

This chickie has a *Crazy Craving* for a bowlapottazuppa.

Enjoy !!                          

~~ sUz~~

~~~P.S. Please feel free to leave your comments at the bottom of this page~~

Food Prep – The Grocery List – and what NOT to do when detoxing

Wowzers! It’s been quite the couple of weeks. When I started my grocery list on the day of the last post put up, I was on day 2 of a doctor recommended detox. I won’t go into all the sh–ty details, however, I believe you get the gist of it. Needless to say I have not done a grocery shop since. My hubby went and grabbed what he needed for food for the road and basically had to take care of himself. I was down for the count!

NOTE TO SELF…NEVER plan to go shopping when at the start of a detox!

So here we are two weeks later. I am doing much better and happy this little detox ‘adventure’ is over for now. Have to do another in a few days, but now I know what to expect and also know when my body says enough, I have to listen and go lay down for a nap….not run the ‘marathon-to-do-list’.

I have comprised my grocery list for today. This will give you an idea of what I shop for and the meals I will be prepping when I get home. My tools are all laying out and ready for my prepping when I get home. So here we go.

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MEAT

2 pound ground pork (packed in 2 x one pound portions)

2 pound ground beef

2 whole chickens (I usually get them at 4 to 5  pounds per bird)

1 1/2 pound lean bacon

DAIRY

8 Lt. of milk ( in the States I believe you buy gallon jugs….we have bags)

NOTE: I am not a milk drinker at all. My hubby goes through this and usually more in one week.

Individual yogurts sold in 16 pack ( These are for hubby…easier for keeping in Big Rig fridge…costly though.

1 large container Oikos Greek yogurt, plain

2 dozen eggs (preferably brown and from a farmer…I find brown eggs easier to peel than white ones)

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PRODUCE

VEGGIES

1 1/2 pounds Carrots

4 – 6 sweet potatoes

1 head broccoli

1 head cauliflower

2 red peppers, 2 orange peppers

2 zucchini

1 pound mushrooms

FRUIT

Raspberries (on sale) 6 pints

Gala Apples (last time to purchase at grocery store for a while…heading to orchard for a bushel)

3 Oranges

3 Lemons

8 Bananas

1 Pineapple

2 Pears

2 Grapefruit

2 Avocado

NOTE: We already have home made pickled beets put up, green beans and Swiss chard and tomatoes in the freezer from our garden, frozen peas (from the grocery store).

ANOTHER NOTE: If you are budget concious buy veggies and some fruits in bulk and clean, dry well, place in freezer bags and chuck them into the freezer. I do this especially with peppers, onions, squash, pineapple, berries, peaches.

DRY GOODS

Blanched Almonds (from the bulk store…I put mine in a coffee grinder to make a fine almond flour for baking)

Puréed Pumkin (not pumpkin pie filling that has all those bad added ingredients)

4 Cans Coconut Milk

Tortilla Wraps .. Large

NOTE: My pantry inventory usually includes tins of Tomatoes, jars of Tomato Purée, rice, a few cans of Habitant Pea Soup, a container of whey protein powder (for power outage…comes in handy) extra maple syrup, honey, garbanzo beans (chick peas…dried), and so much tea you would think you were visiting China.

The following are the meals I will make from all of the food above.

Roasted chicken and veggies

Chicken Curry

Chicken Stock for Chicken Vegetable Soup and Italian Wedding soup, and chicken pot pie (I will freeze pie filling)

14 Chicken Wraps with fresh raw or cooked veggies, hot sauce and a tiny bit of mayo

Pan full of roasted vegetable

Baked Sweet Potatoes

52 Meatballs in a tomatoe based simmering sauce for the following meals:

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatball Sub Wraps

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs ala on their own with roasted veggies

Homemade sausage patties for our weekend breakfasts…NO fillers : )

6 Hard Boiled Eggs

Also prepping for smoothies, Pumpkin Spice Latte (BET YOU’D LOVE THE RECIPE FOR THAT!)

Okay, so if I missed anything I will add it to my Prepping Post. I am off to the market. I will leave you with my scrumptious Pumpkin Spices Latte Recipe.

MANGIA!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger ( this is one spice you might want more or less of….try it this way first and seek what you think )

1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Stevia liquid drops (I use NOW* brand)

Place all ingredients into the blender or magic bullet. Can be topped with whipped coconut cream or regular whipped cream for those “just-gotta-go-all-the-way-kinda-days”.

I have tried this warm with a shot of espresso…..OMG! I thought I’d died and gone to Latte heaven.

See you in the kitchen where we will start prepping all this food. You will be so excited and motivated when you see how a couple hours can save you soooooooooo much stress for the rest of the week.

xo

Food Prep 101 – The Grocery List Prep #1

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Get ready, get set…… Are ya ready to get your groove on at the market? Have you scanned your flyers for produce and meat deals for the week? Have you written the ……

ahem….

GROCERY  LISTS?

 

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Soon we will be heading to the grocery store to capture the best deals. Before we go I will be sharing my grocery list with you. I am prepping and cooking for two of us. When you view my list you may have to adjust yours accordingly to the number of mouths you are feeding.

I am posting my list tomorrow morning, after which, I will set my tools out on the counter so everything is ready for my arrival home with eight reusable grocery bags, a bottle of laundry detergent, keys and handbag all slung over my shoulders, wrists and fingers (because I am a woman, hear me roar, and  I don’t like making three or four trips to the car and back). Must remember Rub A-5-3-5 for soar arms

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Having everything ready and on the counter when I get home is a bonus. The added benefit is the motivation it gives me to get the prepping done. If I come home from shopping all dog-tired, and if none of my tools are at the ready, the groceries will get placed in the fridge and out of my sight. Who wants to come home and leave all this food sitting in grocery bags while we dig out our tools. NOT!

For now, this chick needs her (bathroom cleaned) bed, a good book, and a warm cuppa tea. Been feeling the cold all day. Off to read, rest and dream. Presently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It is a very good read!

xoxo

P.S. My favorite go to tea for bedtime is Traditional Medicinal’s Nighty Night or Easy Now. Both have such a soothing and calming affect.

 

Food Prep 101 – The Inventory List

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In the last post here at One Crazy Cook we went over the tools necessary for food prep. Today we will give attention to the grocery list. Now, I am all about getting the best deals ‘EVAH’ and saving money at the grocery store till.  When the flyers come out I scavenge them to find the best deals on meat and produce, although, I do prefer to buy my meat directly from a butcher shop. I find the meat is the freshest, it isn’t handled by a lot of different people behind a mirrored glass like in the BIG grocery stores, and it isn’t PRE-packaged (sometimes up to three -5 days ahead). That’s just NOT right in my opinion.

One HUGE time saver for food prepping here is having the following ingredients stocked at ALL times.

Spices:

Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Chili Powder, Onion powder and flakes, Garlic powder and granules, Curry powder, Dill weed, Hot Pepper flakes, Himalayan sea salt, Pepper.

Spice jars 4

 

Sauces:

Ketchup, Dijon Mustard, Grain Mustard, Franks Hot Sauce, Worchestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Red and White Wine Vinegars.

 

Sweeteners:

Honey  (I use raw and unpasteurized) , Maple Syrup, Stevia.

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Dry Goods:

Boullion Cubes, Almond Flour, Nut Butters (Almond, Peanut, Tahini), Tapioca Flour (for thickening), Nuts, Lentils.

Okay, so we have covered the items we need to keep stocked in the pantry. If you are lucky enough to belong to or have access to a shoppers price club, then you can purchase these items in bulk sizes or large quantities. Just another money savings option.

 

Let’s get started on a basic shopping list for weekly essentials for the meals we will be making in an upcoming post.

The Grocery List

DAIRY:

  • Milk (Almond Milk)
  • Eggs
  • Cheese (could be purchased in bulk and frozen)
  • Yogurt
  • Butter (I purchase several lb’s when on sale and freeze them)
  • Parmesan Cheese

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Veggies: 

  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Green, Red, Orange, Yellow Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower, Broccoli
  • Assorted Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • FROZEN – Peas, Green Beans, Corn, Mixed Veggies

 

FRUIT:

  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Melons (various)
  • Lemons
  • Fresh Berries
  • FROZEN Berries

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MEAT – Pork – POULTRY – SEAFOOD:

  • Sirloin Steak.
  • Ground Beef
  • Stew Beef
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Pork Butt Roast
  • Whole Chicken
  • Chicken Leg Quarters
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Salmon Filets
  • Any White Fish (your preference)

NOTES: Larger cuts of meat are always cheaper. Family packs are cheaper as well.

DON’T PANIC!!!

You do NOT need to buy all of these items every week! We are going to break it down. Tonight I will go through the flyers (usually for the two grocery stores closest to home) and I will comprise my easy menu for the next week. Tomorrow I will shop and post what I purchased and how I will prep it all.

This list is my go-to. It a master list of the foods I purchase for our meals. Notice there are no packaged or processed foods on our list. For those of you wanting to lose, keep off or maintain your weight, you will be amazed at what will happen when you take processed food out of your eating plan. Our personal preference is avoiding the processed food as well as all of the additives and chemicals that are found in most foods in the middle isles of the grocery stores.

In the next post I will show you how to plan your grocery list around the sale items in flyers. In the meantime, brew a cuppa tea or coffee and go through your cupboards or pantry, fridge and freezer, and take stock of what items in the above lists you already have. This way you won’t be spending your hard earned money unnecessarily.

Great job!

See you next time.

Until then,

Mangia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Prep 101 – The Tools

Food prepping ahead of time has made life so much easier for so many of the people who have decided enough is enough. We want healthy food, not crappy take out filled with way too much sodium and grease.  We don’t want to spend endless hours trying to figure out WHAT to cook and then another few hours actually preparing and cooking it! Having good, wholesome, healthy food already prepped, cleaned, cooked and kept in the fridge/freezer makes life so much easier. You eat healthier! There is no stress every single day at 3pm in the afternoon at work trying to figure out what supper will be. The bonus to many is the sense of well being and keeping excess weight off.

I love the fact that I know there are meals prepped for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks as well, for an entire week in my fridge and freezer. I don’t feel the mid afternoon nagging stress of not knowing what to cook when I get home. My mornings, mid days and evenings are so much calmer and more relaxing. My energy levels are not sucked dry by filling in the gaps and eating crap. As one who has dealt with medical issues with family members, and a personal story in recovery, keeping stress down to the bare minimum is key to good health.

 

To truly become one with food prep, one must have a few proper and essential tools. So as we embark on this crazy adventure of Food Prep 101, I am going to start with this first post regarding food prep tools that will make prepping simple and effective.
So let’s get our gear into place and buckle on the apron’s for a crazy good time in the kitchen.
spoonsI want to make this as easy as possible. I will list the essential items for food prepping in point form. This will give you all an easy to read go-to list to check off what you do or do not have already. If you don’t have all of these, or if you are just starting out in your own kitchen, not to worry. I will put an astrix next to the items that are necessary for basically everything I prep. Here we go!

  • A good sense of humor-essential *
  • One or Two large soup pots with lids*
  • One or Two medium saucepans with lids*
  • Large strainer*
  • A small to medium fine screen strainer
  • Veggie cutting board*
  • Meat cutting board*
  • Good chef knife for cutting veggies and meat*
  • A good veggie/potato peeler*
  • Large stainless steel or ceramic bowl (also a couple medium bowls)*
  • AGAIN – A good sense of humor*
  • Kitchen sink
  • Cookie sheets or stones (my fave is Pampered Chef ) *
  • Casserole dishes or stone wear (my fave is Pampered Chef  ) *
  • Wooden spoons
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • A lettuce dryer
  • …and once again…a GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR*
  • Slow cooker
  • Food processor (makes for quicker food prep but not totally necessary)
  • Blender (I find this tool very handy)
  • Immersion Blender for creaming soups and sauces
  • A timer if there isn’t one on your stove*
  • Large and medium freezer baggies*
  • Plastic or glass storage containers for freezer to fridge to oven to lunch box
  • Fridge*
  • Stove top and oven*
  • Fridge freezer or deep freezer*
  • Cotton tea towels and dish cloths*
  • Dish soap*
  • Vinegar*

There you have it. My go-to list for food prepping.

Our next post will be all about the grocery list and the basic items for creating almost all soups, stews and casseroles and fresh produce munchies.

See you next time here in the kitchen as we sit down to a cuppa coffee and create our grocery list.

Mangia! xoxo

 

Potta-Balls – Re Posted by request

Spring has arrived…tell that to the snow and the wind chill…..DON’T think they got the memo!

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More comfort food is in order for the next month. Nothing like cooking up a batch of Potta-Balls. I also love having family and friends walk into the house with the aroma that is just so amazingly appetizing. This recipe will make a substantial amount of balls  Eat some, freeze the rest. You can add them to soups, sandwiches, or just eat on their ownzie

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Enjoy!

Potta-Balls (also known as Meatballs with sauce

Yields 70 meatballs
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil does change flavor though)
1 small onion, diced finely
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 pound (110 g) lean ground beef
3 28-oz. (796-mL) tins crushed or diced tomatoes  (In the summer I use tomatoes from my garden)
1 (900 ml) bottle tomato puree
3 – 4 5.5 oz (156 ml) tins tomato paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
4 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 lb. (450 g) ground beef
1 lb. (450 g) ground veal
(or 2 lb ground beef..omit veal)
1 lb. (450 g) ground pork
2 cups ‘cooked’ oatmeal (quick cook or large flakes – I use large flaked as they are not processed like quick cook flakes)
3 eggs
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
2 tbsp oregano (I prefer dry as the flavor is deep and flavorful)
2 tsp dry basil (optional)  or 1/4 cup fresh and chopped
1.2 tsp rubbed sage (optional) or 4-6 fresh sage leaves chopped finely
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion, garlic and lean ground beef until cooked through, 5 minutes. Pour over the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in the honey and bay leaves, 1 tsp each basil and oregano, then add bottle tomato puree 1 1/2 cups (625 mL) water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, combine the ground beef, veal and pork in a large bowl. Add the COOKED and COOLED oatmeal to meat along with the eggs, cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly. Rub your hands with a bit of oil, then roll pieces of the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) meatballs.

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3. Put them on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to firm slightly. Add the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and cook gently, without over stirring, partly covered, until soft and light, about 3 hours. Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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These “balls” can be frozen and enjoyed with meals over the next month or two (that’s if you are cooking for two).
Use a different sauce if you like…teriyaki, sweet and sour, bbq…use your imagination. WARNING! If you do use a different sauce, omit half of the basil and half of the oregano in the meatballs mixture. They will affect the flavor of other sauces.

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I truly hope you enjoy this recipe which is also a family favorite from my Gramma Lida’s authentic collection of self made recipes. My Aunt Gen passed the recipe on to me to share with one and all.

I wonder………………

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….what would Gramma Lida think of meatballs being mass produced and put into cans with precooked pasta and a funky kind of tomato flavored sauce for the shelves lining the grocery store? What about being produced and placed in boxes and kept in the freezer section of the same store?
Oh, and I could just imagine her rolling in her place of after-life-slumber if she new of all the ingredients, fillers and man made crap that is added to said meatballs! She would be Crazy-mortified!

Gramma, this one’s for you ❤
Thank you for teaching the family that food is all about the freshness of ingredients and the love you put into each and every meal!

Buon Appetito!

Suz

NOTE: All photo’s are from Pinterest and are not the property of One Crazy Cook!