Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recipe to Warm Up On a Chilly Winter Day

There is something simply wonderful and delicious about pairing a bowl of creamy tomato soup with a toasty cheese sandwich on a cold winter's day. Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, a good source of vitamins A, C and K, potassium and manganese with fiber, B6, folate and lycopene. Since tomatoes are a fruit, they are high in natural sugar, but they contain enough essential nutrients to still be an important part of a healthy diet.

But please don't go the easy route and grab Campbell's Classic Tomato Soup! They have added high fructose corn syrup and a large amount of sodium, negating any health benefits.
Here are some quick, easy and healthful recipes to make with a little twist.

Creamy Tomato Rice Soup Recipe
1 cup cooked rice
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend
2 TBSP Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
1/2 teaspoon Wildtree California Garlic and Pepper Blend
15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup prepared Wildtree Chicken Bouillon Soup Base (2 teaspoons dry blend + 1 cup water)
1 cup fat-free half-and-half (I'd start with 1/2 cup and add more if needed.)

Set oven to broil.  Drain diced tomatoes through a strainer, pressing out all juice.  Reserve the juice. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the diced tomatoes, chopped onions and garlic, Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend, CA Garlic Pepper Blend and oil.  Broil for 5 minutes, then stir and broil until veggies start to brown, approximately 5 more minutes.  Combine the roasted veggies and reserved tomato juice in a blender or food processor and puree.  Place in pot and add the tomato sauce and prepared bouillon.  Heat to boiling; reduce, then simmer 10 minutes.  Add the half & half and rice, heat through, and serve.

Apple & Mustard Grilled Cheese Sandwich
4 slices sourdough bread
2 teaspoons Wildtree Whole Grain Thyme Mustard
About half of a large firm-tart apple, unpeeled, cored, and sliced very thin
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, aged Gouda, Gruyère, or Havarti cheese, thinly sliced
Wildtree Butter Grapeseed Oil

Set an empty cast iron skillet over stovetop burner at medium heat. Let it get hot. If using a panini press, set to 350ºF (medium heat). Meanwhile, brush Butter Grapeseed Oil on one side of each bread slice, then lay the slices, butter side down, on your cutting board. Spread equal portions of mustard on two of the bread slices, then divide up the apple slices into two portions and lay on top of the mustard. Divide up the cheese slices and lay over the apples. Top the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices, buttered-side-up.

Lay the sandwiches in the large skillet. Cook until the bottom is browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip. Cook until both sides are evenly browned, about 3 minutes more. If using a panini press, lay the sandwiches in the press and bring down the cover. Cook the sandwiches until crisp and bubbling, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve with a cup of soup!

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