Hey What's For Dinner Mom?

So many inspirational recipes last week! I had a hard time choosing what to add to my menu plan for this week but since I have to use what’s in the pantry I decided to make versions of the Quinoa Spinach entree and a version of the Ranch Mac (using my own homemade ranch dressing mix). I’m definitely making my shopping list and my menu plan using several more recipes from last week, or this week we’ll see! I hope you all found inspiration too. Simply Life- I still need your address so I can send your prize out!

I often end up with bits and pieces of vegetables leftover and I have to scramble to use them up. In fact it’s not only vegetables but lots of foods that I suddenly realize are going to walk out of the house on their own if I don’t use them up. But vegetables in that bottom drawer seem to linger in the shadows until suddenly it’s almost too late and I need to use them up post haste. Thats when I pull the vegetable chowder routine.

And because we happen to NEED to go the vegetable chowder routine quite often I have found a way to make it new and exciting. 2 words, bread bowls. Yup simply use your favorite bread recipe or try mine. Let it rise once and punch it down then form into 5-8 round balls, pinching the seam shut on the bottom. Stagger them on a cookie sheets lined with a silpat or foil for easy cleanup or nothing for that fun chiseling baked on bread job. Cover with saran wrap lightly greased and let rise until doubled. Bake in 350˚ oven for 25-30 minutes depending on what size you made and how many you  made. Cool slightly and cut the tops hollow out and fill with your favorite soup. My kids will eat anything out of a bread bowl, not that I would ever abuse that information. EVER.

Vegetable Chowder

2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 small celery sticks, chopped
3 carrots cleaned and diced
1 TBSP salt
4 cups vegetable broth or water
6 cups mixed this is where those vegetables you NEED to use come in, otherwise use what you have on hand-green beans, corn, potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, parsnips, peas etc
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan

pour the oil in a dutch oven, place over medium high heat
when heated add the onion, celery and carrots stir well
reduce heat and stirring occasionally continue cooking for 20 minute-this is a soffrito the base flavor for your soup
increase heat
add the salt, vegetable broth or water andvegeatbles, bring to a boil
cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked you may need to adjust this if you are using leftovers or vegetables that cook longer
meanwhile mix the flour with half the milk in a jar with a lid
when vegetables are almost done reduce heat
add the milk and flour
stir until incorporated
add the rest of the milk
stir constantly until thick, DO NOT BOIL
remove from heat and slowly stir in cheeses
serve right away in bread bowls if you like or non edible bowls if you don’t have time for bread bowls

We truly love this soup at our house and it’s nice because while the technique remains the same you can change the flavor every time. This is also my base recipe for broccoli cheese soup but cauliflower would be amazing too.

Time to link up! Did you make something delicious this week? Or want to share a blast from the past? Well please be my guest, inspire me I dare you!

Peace and Love,