When perusing Skinny Bovine Kitchen I came across a link to Meatless Monday. Their goal is to get people to reduce meat consumption to improve personal health and the health of our planet. Hoorays! I can't go full vegetarian, but I can go meatless once a week. Here's a great quote from their site.
"Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel."
So for the past couple weeks we've gone meatless on Mondays. One week we had Black Bean and Mushroom Burgers and last week we had Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Garlic Knots. I nabbed the garlic knot recipe from Skinny Bovine, and I have to say it was a big hit in my house. It went perfect with my tomato soup which I will share below.Tonight I'm going to try burritos with my own refried beans. I'll let you know how that goes.
Once I had a terrible experience at the Olive Garden and was determined never to go their again, (which rule didn't last that long) however, I was very much in love with their Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. So I decided to make it myself. After some internet searching I found a copycat recipe that had 75% of your RDA of saturated fat for the day in one small serving. Yikes! So I cut out the butter and cream, experimented with it several times over the last few years and finally came up with this recipe. My husband hates tomato soup, but he readily eats this and every time I take the leftovers to work I get comments about how great it smells. I will admit that it doesn't taste quite as good as the recipe with butter and cream, but it is still very satisfying. Plus, it's easy to make.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 large red onion
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 can of 2% evaporated milk (or you can make it from nonfat powdered milk)
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tsp of sugar
1 package of fresh basil (I have used 1 Tablespoon of dried basil before, but it's not nearly as good)
1. Finely chop onion and saute in a soup pot with olive oil. When onion is clear transfer to blender with a can of tomatoes (not drained). 2. Puree onion and tomatoes and return to pot. Puree second can of tomatoes with basil and add to pot. (I found that if you try to puree both cans of tomatoes at once you will most often have a large mess. I've also tried fore-going the puree step. It is worth the hassle, because it really gives you a smooth creamy texture.) 3. Add milk, sugar and chicken stock. Stir until heated all the way through.