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SMOKED SAUSAGE & WHITE BEAN SOUP

If you’re running out of ideas for soups or looking for something different, this is a must go! There are so many different types of sausages out there and can be used many different ways. One of my favorites is kielbasa; as a kid I loved it with cheese on crackers. But with it being pretty frigid this Winter all I’ve been wanting is soup. Here’s one that’s a bit different than your stereotypical soup options that’s packed with lots of flavor!

This soup is packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbs which are the best carbs. If you’re not a veggie person, this is the best way to get your veggies. The kielbasa really infuses a nice smoked, salty flavor to the broth and it doesn’t take much to fill you up. If you’re not feeling up to using the rainbow chard you can replace it with another hearty green like collard greens, kale, even spinach will do. As with most recipes on here, you can tweak the ingredients list that works best for you. Using another type of sausage like something spicy is entirely up to you. Enjoy!


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SMOKED SAUSAGE & WHITE BEAN SOUP
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Over medium-high heat, saute the onions, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper with olive oil for several minutes until softened.
  2. Add the kielbasa sausage, stir, and cook for about 3 minutes. Then, add the rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. Stir.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and let everything come to a boil. Reduce heat, let simmer for about 30-40 minutes uncovered stirring once in a while.
  4. Add the beans and chard the last five minutes.
  5. Remove the rosemary and thyme stems.
  6. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

MEXICO CITY REFRIED BEANS

In the time I spent in Mexico City, I realized a lot of restaurants were serving refried BLACK beans. Sometimes with a subtle flavor that I at first wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was. Until I asked, it turns out sometimes families will put a tiny bit of Mexican ground cinnamon to it. And I have to tell you, it’s so wonderful that when I went back home I made an attempt to recreate this batch of heaven. I stopped buying the canned refried pinto beans and was more than willing to make my own instead. It takes maybe 10 minutes to do and you can make this in a larger batch in about the same amount of time. I honestly don’t miss the standard stuff you find in most Mexican-American restaurants.

If you can’t find Mexican ground cinnamon, don’t worry! Using regular ground cinnamon is just fine. You’re only using a tiny bit anyways. I stayed away from the traditional lard and use olive oil just because I wanna keep it on the healthier side. There’s a give and take with everything with me if I want to enjoy amazing food and still reap healthy benefits. Also, you don’t have to use finely chopped onions (although it is pretty yummy this way), you can use onion powder instead. And of course, with these beans you can make your ideal nachos, put in a burrito of your choice, serve with eggs and chorizo. And if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to chorizo that is just as spot on in flavor, you gotta try my Tofu Chorizo. It only takes minutes to make too. Some times I’ll make a decent amount of both and have it available for the week, whether I incorporate both or one of them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is truly the beauty besides taste; of Mexican food right here. You can eat it anytime, with all kinds of things!

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MEXICO CITY REFRIED BEANS
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Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drizzle the bottom of a medium sauté pan with olive oil, enough to coat the bottom. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and epazote until translucent.
  2. Add the black beans, vegetable stock, garlic powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir until everything is simmering.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and use a potato masher to mash the beans to your preferred consistency. Add additional vegetable stock a little bit at a time if it gets too dry.
  4. Taste to see if it needs any more seasoning before serving.

CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE

One of my favorite types of soups are bisques because they’re super warm in flavor (not just temperature), yield so much flavor, have a creamy factor without having to add cream or any dairy and can be rather good for you. So those who are lactose intolerance or vegetarian/vegan, this may be a go to for you! If you love roasted peppers then I promise you won’t be disappointed in this recipe. I put together a citrus lump crab salad to go with the soup but it’s not mandatory to make because you can do whatever you want. While the crab adds some elegance to the dish and would make for a great soup for guests, you can keep it casual like I did the other day. I paired it with a gruyere grilled cheese and it was so awesome! I’d imagine a quesadilla would do just as well too.

The brandy in the recipe is optional if you prefer to not cook with alcohol but it does make a subtle difference in depth of flavor. Keep in mind the alcohol does get cooked out. Also, depending on the size of your blender, you might have to puree in two separate batches. As always, I encourage you to make this recipe as fancy or casual as you like and please share what you come up with. I always love your new ideas. Enjoy!


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CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE
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Ingredients
CITRUS CRAB SALAD
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Ingredients
CITRUS CRAB SALAD
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the citrus crab salad and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the broiler on high. Place the 3 red bell peppers on a baking dish and broil until the skin is charred and blistered. Turn them often until all sides are done.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and cover the peppers with a towel. Let cool.
  4. Peel the skin from the peppers under cool water, remove the seeds, pat dry, rough chop and set aside.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat, then add 3 raw chopped bell peppers, leek, onion, garlic, and celery. Allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes, until very soft but not browned.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper then stir. Pour the brandy into the pan, stir, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the brandy completely.
  7. Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and let everything come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
  8. Add the roasted peppers to the soup and run the soup through a high speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth.
  9. Add any additional alt and cayenne to taste.
  10. To assemble, arrange a few slices of avocado at the bottom of a bowl, and place the crab salad in the center. Pour the soup around the crab salad.

MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

It’s been a fairly busy lately with traveling, working on the house during these beautiful sunny days along with everything else life loves to dish out. So, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been diving into the “one pot meals” lately to simplify my days (this technically a one-baking dish-meal, haha). Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything we crunch in a day that we lose sense of time and have little time to do much meal planning. My Mediterranean Artichoke Chicken dish has been my go-to at least once a week and leaves me a few leftovers for lunch.

This dish provides a great amount of protein and fiber which is optimal for those who are watching their carb intake. It doesn’t get any easier than this; you just simply throw everything together into a baking dish, put in the oven, set a timer and walk away. If you’re not watching your carb intake then you gotta try this over jasmine rice. There’s something amazing when all the fresh and tangy flavors come together into the chicken stock that goes wonderfully over the jasmine rice.

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MEDITERRANEAN ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together into a 9" x 13" baking dish and bake at 375 F degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Stir once half way through.
  2. Serve over jasmine rice.
Recipe Notes

It tastes even better using the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar.

To make this a diabetic friendly meal, avoid the rice and enjoy as is. Or, use about a palm-sized amount of cooked quinoa.

LEMON TURMERIC RICE

You know the yellow rice you get in a box or pouch at the grocery store? They use turmeric to get it yellow. But most of those pre-packaged rices are packed with too much salt and unnecessary ingredients to keep it fresh longer on the shelf. This Lemon Turmeric Rice takes minutes to prep and you can relax as it cooks. I always use basmati or jasmine rice not only because it has much more nutrients than your or ordinary bleached white rice but it’s packed with flavor that really ties together wonderfully with the rest of the spices. It’s my go-to rice that serves universally for so many dishes and keeps well over a week in the fridge for later use.

I love this rice with my Honey Porter Kebabs or any meat and fish dish. A lot of times when I’m making my everything but the kitchen sink chopped salads, I’ll throw in a little bit of this rice in it. Sometimes if I want to add more to it, I’ll put fresh garlic or garlic powder even onion. Better yet I love making a quick stir fry with all my favorite veggies, meat or shrimp. The options are endless which is why I love making a batch of this to make my future meals that much easier to prepare. And of course, as always, I encourage you to add whatever else you like to make it your own. It’s difficult to mess up rice!

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LEMON TURMERIC RICE
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan combine the rice, parsley, turmeric powder, salt, and pepper until the rice is coated yellow from the turmeric. Add the butter and chicken stock. Cook the rice according to the package.
  2. When the rice is done, add the lemon juice and use a large fork to fluff the rice and stir.