In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, chile and stock. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are softened. Remove from heat.For a smokey flavor, saute the red peppers separately until blackened on both sides.
In a blender, puree the vegetables in batches until smooth. Alternatively, process with a handheld blender in the pan until smooth. Pass the pureed soup through a medium-mesh sieve set over a serving bowl, pressing on the pulp.
Discard any solids left in the sieve. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you serve it chilled, let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled. (4 hours minimum.) If served chilled add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
If served hot (recommended), chop up some basil, olives, and/or parsley for garnish and top with cheese -- mozz, ricotta and parm works best.
OK, OK, this one isn't the healthiest recipe in the world. But it's really good and really easy -- a new twist to the basic grilled cheese.
Whole Grain Bread (Not just whole wheat - make sure it's got real grains in it!)
1 lg. Onion
1 Lg. tomato
Cut onion in slices and sautee until soft. Butter one side of both slices of bread. Place one slice of bread (butter side down) in a pan over medium heat and layer with ingredients in this order: One cheese, cooked onion, another cheese, cilantro pieces and tomato slice, final cheese, then finish with the last piece of bread, butter side up. Flip and cook to until golden.
Oil two baking sheets and preheat oven to 375. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Beat the egg and stir into the oil mixture. Gradually stir in soda and flour to form a stiff batter. Fold in carob chips and drop the batter onto
the baking sheets by the teaspoon. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cookie is lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool
1 pd. Fresh pasta sheets (can use whole wheat, quinoa, kamut, or other healthy grains)
1 lb. mozzarella cheese (use the fresh stuff -- makes a huge difference)
2 lbs. low-fat ricotta cheese
Freshly grated parm cheese
1 jar tomato sauce
Vegetables -- use your favorites. I use red onions, yellow peppers, broccoli, spinach, fresh tomato, mushrooms and yellow squash.
Sautee vegetables. Using a 9x13 pan, put a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom. Place pasta sheets on top, then add mozzarella and ricotta cheeses and a thin layer of sauteed veggies. Add tomato sauce and another layer of pasta. Place a second layer of veggies and cheese, more sauce, then pasta sheets. End with a layer of tomato sauce. Top generously with parmigiana cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until hot.
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