Wednesday, April 22, 2015

soup and salads

A couple of my passions are healthy living and cooking, so I thought I'd share a few recipes that I've made lately. Last night for dinner, I made Italian Wedding Soup. This is more of a simplified recipe than the original. Traditionally, the meatballs are made with a mixture of beef, pork and veal. I don't eat veal and I don't have access to any organic pork right now (I try to only eat organic meat), so I made the meatballs with just beef. This is an easy-to-make soup that is comforting, hearty and healthy. Perfect for a chilly afternoon or evening meal.

1 lb organic, grass-fed ground beef
2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c breadcrumbs (I keep homemade breadcrumbs in the freezer)
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
Dried basil, thyme, oregano, parsley & onion powder, to taste
8 c broth ~ you can use beef, chicken, vegetable ~ or a combination
(I use organic, low-sodium broth when I don't have any homemade on-hand)
3 medium-sized carrots, finely diced
1/2 c orzo
4 c thinly sliced organic escarole, baby spinach, or baby kale
(or a mixture of any of these greens is fine ~ use whatever you have!)

In a medium bowl, combine the beef - spices. Shape into 3/4" balls. In large soup pot, heat broth to boiling. Place meatballs and carrots into the broth. Simmer on med-low for 7 min. Add the orzo and simmer another 7 min or until pasta is al dente and the meatballs are cooked through. Stir frequently to prevent ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add greens and simmer another couple of minutes. Taste the this point, adjust your seasonings. You may want to add salt, pepper, and/or garlic, to taste. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
(*Note: you don't have to cook the meatballs in the broth. I realize this adds the beef fat to the broth. You can always bake the meatballs in the oven and then add them to the broth.)


When I went to a barbeque this past weekend, I took along an Israeli couscous tabbouleh salad. This was a huge hit and quickly eaten up. It's so light, fresh and full of wonderful flavors with the fresh herbs. I can't take credit for this recipe ~ it can be found here.


And I can't take full credit for this recipe. This dish was brought to the barbeque by my cousin's friend and everyone demolished this salad, too. I asked how it was made and only made a variation on the veggies. This is an awesome vegan main dish (makes a great lunch) or you can use it as a side dish.

 1 pkg refrigerated ready-to-eat lentils
(I found these in the produce section of Trader Joes; you can always
make lentils ahead of time using the dried ones)
1 lb mixture of any kind of crunchy veggies, chopped
(I found a pkg of Healthy & Chopped Veggie Mix in the produce section of
Trader Joes ~ it's a mixture of broccoli, carrots, red & green cabbage, jicama,
green peppers, radishes & celery)
1 jar olive tapenade
1/2 lemon, juiced
Chopped fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Nom nom!


  1. That looks good to me, Melanie! xo Diana

  2. I'm not a big meat eater. I buy cheese and veggies and fruits and eggs and stuff. Anything easy! The last two looked very good to me. No meat!

  3. Your soup and salads look mighty good, and like Judy said, YUM! As you know I love lentils a lot so another great way to use them. Thanks for sharing the recipes, I'll give them a try!

  4. Thank you!!!!! All three look wonderful. I told you, I eat the Progresso soups and the 'Wedding soup' is low in carbs. Also, I get a pre-made salad at Mariano's that has cous cous in it and I'm now a big fan of it. And the last one sounds so refreshing! Pinning all!

    With regard to the facial oils, I've never tried Dr. Bronner's but I've seen it. I got so tired of the whole soap and water and splashing and getting my pajamas and floor wet (!), I started using make up wipes a few years ago and love them! I found Garnier to be even more mild than Neutrogena...funny. I think you can try mixing your sunscreen with an oil, I'm sure that would be fine. In the morning I mix the jojoba or borage oil with Skinfix that I get from Target. I then know I'm ready to face the drying day ahead of me. At night I use the oil alone. Just loving getting away from weird stuff.

    Yes, the weather is depressing and I actually brought my pansies in tonight...low, low temps tonight.

    Jane x

  5. These both sound delicious. I've never tried to make Italian Wedding soup but I love to eat the canned kind! I know it would be much healthier from scratch, though, so I appreciate having your recipe. Thanks. :)

  6. Soups and salads are my favorite things to make at all times and for all seasons. :) Best wishes, Tammy


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!