Comforting French Onion Soup with Steak made in the Slow Cooker

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Comfort comes in all forms. Curling up on a soft sofa with a good book. Dipping your toes in cool sand on a warm beach. Lying down on freshly washed sheets. Eating a drippy ice cream cone on an old brick stoop. Or sipping the perfect soup on a chilly night.

This soup falls perfectly into my comfort zone. It’s the kind I order from any good steak house that knows what they are doing. And the French restaurant called Mimi’s Cafe has the best in town in my opinion. Well surprising to me, this soup tastes a heck of a lot close to Mimi’s French Onion Soup. Aside from the fact that I add steak to mine for my beef eating husband. Makes it more of a rounded meal this way.

This is a good set it and forget meal. With just a bit of prep and a tad of cooking before hand, you’ll be enjoying a nice cup of soup by the evening’s end.

This is also a great way to use up that leftover steak from your Saturday cook-out and have dinner simmering all day while out enjoying a Sunday of errands. And then pack leftovers for your lunch during the week.

All you’ll need for French Onion Soup with Steak is:
For the soup
4 white onions, quartered and sliced thinly
1 red onion, quartered and sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, pressed
4 Tb butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb brown sugar
16 oz precooked and sliced steak
7 tsp beef bouillon
7 cups hot water

For the breads
1 loaf French bread, hoagie or baguette
3/4 cup mozzarella, provolone, or muenster cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

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Begin by caramelizing the onions in the butter with the garlic and salt in a large skillet or a crock pot with a stovetop option like my wonderful Ninja Slow Cooker here. I love this thing!

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Cook and stir about 15-30 minutes until tender and browned. If you are in a rush like I was, tender will do just fine.

Stir in the sugar and spice and the steak.

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If you are cooking directly in a stovetop type crock pot, add the bouillon and water and Worcestershire and set your crock pot on low for 8 hours. If you don’t have a timer, 8-10 hours on low will do. If you are cooking in a large skillet, add one cup of the water to deglaze the pan and onion bits, transfer onion mixture to a slow cooker, and proceed as directed.

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After work or play, the entire soup will look like this. Browned and delicious. And your home will smell amazing! Yum!

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Now I wish I had all the fancy broiler safe soup crocks to make this beautiful soup, but I don’t. So I just like to make my bread in the broiler oven.

Slice the bread into 8 slices and combine the cheeses.

To make the authentic way, broil the plain bread for 1 minute, place on ladled soup in mini soup crocks, layer with 2 oz each of cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes until melted.

For the quick technique, sprinkle 2 Tb of cheese on the breads and broil for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, then place the breads on each bowl of soup.

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Either way, your breads will look like this.

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And your soup will look like this.

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And you’ll devour it like this.

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Makes 8 delicious servings.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with Steak

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 414 calories

Fat 20 g

Carbs 38 g

Protein 21 g

8

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with Steak

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 10

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Soup

  • 4 white onions, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 red onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 4 Tb butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 16 oz precooked and sliced steak
  • 7 tsp beef bouillon
  • 7 cups hot water
  • For the Breads

  • 1 large baguette
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, provolone, or muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. For the Soup: Caramelize the onions in the butter with the garlic and salt in a large skillet, or in a crock pot with a stovetop option.
  2. Cook and stir about 15-30 minutes until tender and browned. If you are in a rush,15 minutes will do just fine.
  3. Stir in the sugar and spice and the leftover steak.
  4. If cooking directly in a stovetop type crock pot, add the bouillon and water and Worcestershire and set your crock pot on low for 8 hours. If you don’t have a timer, 8-10 hours on low will do.
  5. If cooking in a large skillet, add one cup of the water to deglaze the pan and onion bits, transfer onion mixture to a slow cooker, and proceed as directed.
  6. For the Bread: Slice the bread into 8 slices and combine the cheeses.
  7. To make the authentic way, broil the plain bread for 1 minute, place on ladled soup in mini soup crocks, layer with 2 oz each of cheese and broil for 2-3 minutes until melted.
  8. For the quick technique, sprinkle 2 Tb of cheese on the breads and broil for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, then place the breads on each bowl of soup.
  9. Serve immediately.

What is your favorite restaurant soup?  Please share!

You may also enjoy Korean BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Meatless Macaroni Monday – Mac N Cheese Boats

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My little family and I celebrated our baby Nicolas’s 3rd birthday last month with plenty of friends and family.  I hosted a “Build Your Own Pizza” Bar and “Build Your Own Sundae” Bar.  It was a big hit.

But I overbought, as always.  Well, I sorta figured each pizza hoagie was considered a “slice” of pizza.  But everyone was content with one, or maybe two, hoagies each.  Hey, now I know how to throw a low budget party, huh!?  I also served the pizza with a huuuuuge tray of Caesar salad and a big bowl of Hot Wings.  Of course, weirdly enough, I forgot to take pictures of the food!

Well all the next week, I made it my mission to create new foods with all my leftover hoagies.  I created these MacNCheese boats, some yummy Ham and Chive Egg Pockets, a big crock pot of heavenly Beefy French Onion Soup, a spooky dish of Graveyard Spaghetti, some delicious Pepperjack and Veggie Philly Sandwiches with Taro Chips for another Meatless Monday, and a wonderful pan of Cinnamon Roll Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

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I made these Mac N Cheese boats one afternoon for my boys, on a day when it was just me and them and my creativity.  And what kid doesn’t like macaroni and cheese?  Mine obsess about it.

This is the simple list of ingredients:

3 French bread style hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
2 cups dry elbow macaroni
2 cups bottled Alfredo sauce
2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese, divided
1 tsp basil pesto

 

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All you need to do to have a meal in 30 minutes is…

Preheat broiler oven.  Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
Cut hoagies in half lengthwise and pull out some bread from the center, making small boats. Set removed bread pieces aside.
When macaroni is done, drain well. Stir Alfredo sauce into pasta. Add one cup of the shredded cheese.

 

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Spoon mac n cheese into hoagie boats, diving evenly.
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In a small food processor or with fingers, crumble reserved bread into fine bread crumbs. Whir in teaspoon of pesto.

 

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Sprinkle remaining half cup cheese evenly over tops of hoagie boats.  Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over shredded cheese.

 

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Place mac n cheese boats on large sheet pan and broil 3-4 inches below flame for 3-4 minutes.
Cool slightly and serve with a big green salad.  Serves 6 people.

 

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My broiler is a bit hot, but these slightly blackened boats were easily fixed with the old “scrape the toast” trick.  😉

 

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Oh, and in case you were wondering if my finicky shark enjoyed this meal…
 

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He loved it! They all did.

What is your favorite way to enjoy Macaroni and Cheese?

Mac N Cheese Boats

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 460 calories

Fat 17 g

Carbs 56 g

Protein 20 g

6

Mac N Cheese Boats

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 12

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 3 French bread style hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups bottled Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp basil pesto

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler oven. Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cut hoagies in half lengthwise and pull out some bread from the center, making small boats. Set removed bread pieces aside.
  3. When macaroni is done, drain well. Stir Alfredo sauce into pasta. Add one cup of the shredded cheese.
  4. Spoon mac n cheese into hoagie boats, diving evenly.
  5. In a small food processor or with fingers, crumble reserved bread into fine bread crumbs. Whir in teaspoon of pesto.
  6. Sprinkle remaining half cup cheese evenly over tops of hoagie boats. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over shredded cheese.
  7. Place mac n cheese boats on large sheet pan and broil 3-4 inches below flame for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Cool slightly and serve with a big green salad. Serves 6 people.

You may also enjoy Simple Chicken Parmesan

Simple Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

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My famished fish are pork chop fanatics. We all really enjoy “the other white meat”. So when I made some fluffy Pumpkin Sage Quinoa for my fall comfort food mood, I knew a juicy cut of pork with some flavorful filling would be a perfect match.

I love the simplicity of starting pork chops out on the stove and popping them in the oven until they are nice and tender.

For these Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops I used these ingredients.

2.25 lbs boneless pork chops
1/3 cup pesto sauce
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat oven to 400F.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut into side of each pork chop to form a deep horizontal pocket.  Do not cut all the way through.

Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto sauce and sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of crumbles feta cheese inside each “pocket”.

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Admire the nice stacks of stuffed pork before they meet their fiery doom.

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Sprinkle the stuffed pork chops with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Place the pork chops carefully in the hot oil.  Cook for 7 min flip, garnish with sage if desired, and flip over carefully.  Cook  for 1 minute more.

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Transfer the pork chops to a baking sheet and bake until thermometer registers 165F and juices run clear.  About 15 minutes.

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Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Place each pork chop on a bed of quinoa, rice, or mashed potatoes.  Garnish as desired with chopped pine nuts or raw pepitas (pictured below) and enjoy.

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What is your favorite way to serve up pork?

Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 337 calories

Fat 20 g

Carbs 1 g

Protein 37 g

6

Herb and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 9

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2.25 lbs boneless pork chops
  • 1/3 cup pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut into side of each pork chop to form a deep horizontal pocket. Do not cut all the way through.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto sauce and sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of crumbles feta cheese inside each “pocket”.
  4. Sprinkle the stuffed pork chops with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Place the pork chops carefully in the hot oil.
  6. Cook for 7 min flip, garnish with sage if desired, and flip again carefully.
  7. Cook for 1 minute more.
  8. Transfer the pork chops to a baking sheet and bake until thermometer registers 165F and juices run clear. About 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Notes

Place each pork chop on a bed of quinoa, rice, or mashed potatoes to serve. Garnish as desired with chopped pine nuts or raw pepitas.

You may also enjoy Turkey Bruschetta Sliders

Chowing Some Sweet (Potato Chowder)

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It’s corn week! It’s corn week!
I’ve decided to make veggie weeks for my finicky sharks to introduce and reintroduce the best and most nutritious part of their diet-and it’s corn week!

So far I’ve had no complaints from any fish or sharks in the household. Even my shark with autism-whom it’s super beneficial for by the way.

I mean, when you’re eating this delicious Sweet Potato Corn Chowder, how could you complain?

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This particular soup was inspired by a super fatty enjoyable night at Souplantation as to which I had three one bowl of Sweet Potato Corn Chowder.

And of course I changed it up-I mean I had only my teeny little taste buds to guide me to a recipe. And one could only have so much ham in veggie soup (ie split pea-even I put chicken in that!)

So the Souplantation chowder had ham in it. I wanted turkey sausage-yum! So here are the super healthy stars of my yummy creation. And don’t worry-your finicky sharks will love it-trust me! (So long as they like sweet potatoes and corn anyway-ha.)

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Ingredients:
12 oz Jenni-O Mild Italian Turkey Sausage
1 large sweet potato (yam), peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb canola oil
2 14.5 oz cans creamed corn
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Small bunch cilantro, minced

First off peel and slice and dice the sweet potato. Cut a long end first so it lays flat and cuts evenly.  And prep all the other veggies, too.

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After the veggies are prepped-or prep as you cook as I do, begin by heating the oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over the medium heat on the stovetop.
Sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper until slightly softened. Add the sweet potato and soften and cook a few minutes more.

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Crumble in the turkey sausage, casings removed and cook until the turkey is no longer pink.

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Add the chicken broth and entire cans of corn chowder. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cumin.

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Cover with lid slightly cracked and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are tender and flavors have mingled. For a slightly thicker chowder, add some cornstarch 1/2 Tb at a time mixed with 1/4 cup cold water to the chowder.
Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve.

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This soup is perfect for a cool fall night, curled up on the sofa with a blanket and a big bowl.

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 300 calories

Fat 12 g

Carbs 36 g

Protein 17 g

6

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Jenni-O Mild Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 1 large sweet potato (yam), peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb canola oil
  • 2 14.5 oz cans creamed corn
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Small bunch cilantro, minced

Instructions

  1. Prepare vegetables as directed.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over the medium heat on the stovetop.
  3. Sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper until slightly softened. Add the sweet potato and soften and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Crumble in the turkey sausage, casings removed and cook until the turkey is no longer pink.
  5. Add the chicken broth and entire cans of corn chowder. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cumin.
  6. Cover with lid slightly cracked and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and flavors have mingled, stirring occasionally.
  7. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve. Makes 6, 1 1/2 cup servings.

Notes

For a slightly thicker chowder, add some cornstarch 1/2 Tb at a time mixed with 1/4 cup cold water to the chowder.

What is your favorite corn chowder?

You may also enjoy Meatball Soup with Kale

 

An Italian Cupcake-Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

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Not long ago I came across this website called Slender Kitchen, which was introduced to me by Chris Freytag in her Clean Eating eBook (Oh, is that me in the featured testimonial? blushing). One of the recipes in her book were these delicious little Lasagna Cupcakes.

I have to say, my family and myself instantly fell in love with these little beauties. These are made with simple little layers of wonton wrappers in place of noodles and any vegetable, meat (or no meat) and sauce variation you can come up with. The first time I made these, I made them with ground turkey, a light creamy white sauce, spinach and broccoli, and some Colby jack cheese. This batch is made with ground beef, marinara, zucchini, and a classic Italian cheese mixture. Either way you go, these are sure to have your kids and family begging for more.

Easy Lasagna Cupcakes
8 oz lean ground beef
1 zucchini, cut into thin slices
1 cup marinara sauce
olive oil cooking spray
2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 Tb parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 tsp Italian seasoning
24 wonton wrappers
12 cup muffin pan
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spray a twelve cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
Brown lean ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Flash-cook the zucchini as well, for just two minutes.
Fold the marinara sauce into the ground beef.
Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and lightly press a wonton wrapper into each cup. Add a tablespoon of meat mixture, top with one or two zucchini slices and a half tablespoon of cheese mixture. Top with another wonton wrapper, press lightly and repeat layers, finishing with cheese layer.
Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serves 4-6. Prep 15 min. Cook 35 min.

 

These should really be called vanishing lasagna cupcakes.

 

I mean, really, when can I make more of these? I really like the white sauce, turkey, broccoli and spinach combo. Hmm, a vegetarian spinach alfredo combo sounds pretty darn awesome here too! With a hint of feta cheese. Yep, the options are endless.

Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings: 6

Per Serving 319 calories

Fat 15 g

Carbs 25 g

Protein 21 g

6

Easy Lasagna Cupcakes

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8 (4 PP per cupcake)

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2/3 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tb parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 24 wonton wrappers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Spray a twelve cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine cheeses, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
  4. Brown lean ground beef in skillet over medium heat. Flash-cook the zucchini as well, for just two minutes.
  5. Fold the marinara sauce into the ground beef.
  6. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray and lightly press a wonton wrapper into each cup. Add a tablespoon of meat mixture, top with one or two zucchini slices and a half tablespoon of cheese mixture.
  7. Top with another wonton wrapper, press lightly and repeat layers, finishing with cheese layer.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.

Notes

Optionally substitute ground turkey for the beef and white sauce for the marinara. Any vegetable substitutions work well, such as spinach and broccoli. Will alter nutrition information.

What flavor combinations will you choose? Feel free to share it here!
You may also enjoy Greek Chicken Meatballs