Black Bean Chili Soup with Beef

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Black Bean Chili Soup with Beef

This soup is light but filling it is truly a winner.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin, divided)
  • 1 onion (medium-large chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 3 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3 carrot stalks (peeled and sliced 1/4 inch)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (basil & garlic Marzano tomato)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp Better than bouillon beef flavor
  • 1 1/2 +1/4 tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • 2/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (divided)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 6-7 fresh thyme (6-7 stems tied into a bunch )
Rinse your beans well until the water is clear let drain and set aside.

In a 5-quart soup pot or stock pot add one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Once heated add the ground meat and add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper break up the meat and constantly stir the meat so it will cook evenly and quickly, about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.   Once lightly browned using a strainer let the meat drain and set it aside.  

Using the same pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onions, celery,  and cook for about 2 minutes then add the garlic cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly and please do not let the garlic burn it will taste really nasty if it burns,  not kidding.  

Add the carrots and sauté for about 2 minutes then add the tomatoes, beans,  meat and the dry seasoning, fresh thyme, and finally the water.

On a low heat let this soup simmer for at least one hour and a half to two hours, I let mine simmer for 2 hours and it was so worth it. 

Once simmered do not forget to remove the fresh thyme from the pot and discard and add the fresh parsley as a garnish.

note: You can use beef stock instead of the better than bouillon beef flavor which takes the place of stock but it has such flavor.  I always have this in my pantry if I am out of broth or my stock it is good to have  and it comes in other flavors, chicken and vegetable.

The reason I did not use a lot of salt in this dish is because the better than bouillon beef flavor have enough salt already a little goes a long way.

Ps. use as many organic products as you can

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Tomato Soup In a Can Taken to a New Level


Tomato Soup in a can taken to a new level

Sometimes we need to take the shortcut and create a simple semi-homemade meal that is quick and delicious.

  • 1 15 oz tomato basil soup (I used Progresso Hearty )
  • 12 grape tomatoes (halved or whole)
  • 12 shrimps (large, deveined)
  • 1 avocado (sliced), or chopped 1/4 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives (chopped for garnish, optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped, divided)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped, divided)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin, divided)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper (divided)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Clean and devein your shrimps well, drain off any excess water using a colander.  

Season the shrimp with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 1/4 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp of granulated garlic.   

In a medium pot on low heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh basil,  1/4 tsp black pepper and stir for about 2 minutes then add the grape tomatoes,  can tomato soup, and the sugar, let simmer on low heat. 

In a pan add the rest of the olive oil over medium heat add the shrimp and cook on both sides for about 2  minutes each side.  Once cooked set aside in a separate dish they will continue to cook when added to the soup.  

Slice open the avocado and remove the pit and cut into 1/4 inch slices and then into 1/4 inch chunks add the lemon juice over the avocado be very careful when handling avocado use a rubber spatula to gently turn to coat with the lemon juice set aside.  The lemon will stop the avocado from turning brown.

Add the shrimp to the soup and the rest of the basil and simmer about 3 minutes on low heat.

The dish is ready to serve, once you place the soup in a bowl you can add the avocado and garnish with the fresh parsley, chives and serve immediately.  

You can can also garnish with some fresh Parmesan Cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and some good crusty bread and enjoy.

*Use as many organic products as you can







Shrimp Pasta with Pesto Sauce


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Shrimp Pasta With Pesto Sauce

  • 1/2 lb medium- large shrimp (12 shrimps)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided (extra virgin)
  • 1/2 box pasta
  • 10-12 grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2-3 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 2tsp fresh parsley (garnish )
  • 1/2-1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Fill a medium pot with water and cover on medium heat.

Deveined and clean shrimps,  split the shrimp all the way to the tail but do not cut all the way through the tail leave about an inch from the tail.  I learned that from Auntie Fee, Rip.

Rinse your shrimp well discarding the vein and let it sit in a strainer to drain off the excess water.  In the meantime chop your garlic and parsley and set aside in a separate bowl.

Salt your pasta to the boiling water after about 3 minutes using a 10-inch pan add the oil to the pan, I used a black cast iron pan, then add the garlic and cook it for about 2 minutes add the shrimps and cook for about 2 minutes on each side (total pasta cook time is 7 minutes), the pasta should cook al dente’, be sure to reserve  a cup of pasta water and set aside.  Transfer the pasta using a tong to the shrimps add the tomatoes, the shrimps will finish cooking add the pesto sauce, half of the pasta water and bring it all together using the tong gently.  

Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve immediately.

*you can add freshly grated parmesan cheese to the finished dish.




Honey Glazed Ham

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I love to make this ham around Thanksgiving this recipe is simple and so easy to make.  My mom always made this ham on all the holidays.  I made a few changes of my own by adding cloves which my mom don’t like at all.  If you do not like cloves omit them.

Honey Glazed Ham

Best ham ever hands down. This will be your holiday signature ham

  • 1 12-14 pound Ham Shank (low sodium by Cooks)
  • 1 can sliced Pineapples (In its natural juice)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic raw honey
  • 6-8 cherries (maraschino) (without the stems)
  • 22 toothpicks, (soak them in water for about 5-10 minutes)
  • 10-14 cloves (with the stem attached)
  • 2-3 tsp maraschino juice (optional)
  • 1 can of the juice from the pineapples
  • 2-3 sheets aluminum foil
  1. This is how the ham should look once you place the pineapples, cherries, and the toothpicks are inserted to hold the fruits in place using three toothpicks, two to hold the pineapples and one for the cherry in the center.

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2.  Remove the plastic seal that covers the shank bone on the front of   the ham and discard.  Rinse the ham and pat dry with a paper towel. 
  3.  Place five or six pineapples and place them on top of the ham it should  be three on the top and three or two on the back-end of the ham.  Be sure to place the toothpicks as far as it can go but enough to be able to remove once the ham is done and cooled.  Place the cloves around the ham and under the ham, place a few on the front, back and sides of  ham, spreading them around the ham (see the above illustration).         
  4.  Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of the sugar on the ham, drizzle about 3 tbsp of the honey.  Place the rest of the pineapples in the pan with the ham if  you don”t eat them,  I unusually eat one or two.
  5. Cover the ham with foil and roast for about 45 minutes then drizzle         about 3 tbsp of the honey and  sprinkle about 3 tbsp of brown sugar     over the ham and base the ham with the juices at this time add the rest of the pineapple juice from the pineapples cover and place the ham back into the oven. 
  6. After about 1 hour and 30 minutes of cook time uncover the ham  drizzle the rest of the honey and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the ham  and bast again with the juices,  place the ham back into the oven uncovered basting every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.  Your  ham should be nice and golden brown.

*Once the ham have cooked cover the ham until the ham is cooled and the juices have distributed throughout the ham,  cutting the ham before the cooling process will cause your juices to escape and causing you to have a dry ham and we do not what that to happen so wait about 30 to 40 minutes. 











Roasted whole Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


Roasted Whole Brussel Sprouts With Bacon

This is such a savory dish the balsamic vinegar added on the end takes this dish to another level.

  • 1 2 lb. bag brussel sprouts (or 2 16 ounce buckets)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin (or organic refined coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black fresh pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp shallots, chopped
  • 4-5 slices oven cooked bacon chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash brussel sprouts and drain off excess water, pat dry with paper towel, add brussel sprouts whole to the pan and drizzle with olive oil and add the shallots, salt, pepper and mix evenly.  

Using 2 sheet pans or cookie sheets spread out evenly on to the sheet pan, do not over-crowd the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender and a little crisp but not burnt.

Add the cooked chopped bacon and the balsamic vinegar reduction drizzled on top and enjoy. 

*Be sure to check and shake your brussel sprouts in the pan or stir gently with a spatula spoon periodically so they cook evenly and do not burn. 

*Try to use as many organic ingredients as possible

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