Chicken and Veggie Soup with Lemon

Children change everything. Winter used to mean Christmas (YAY!!!!) and Parties (YAY!!!) and fake holidays where everyone eats appetizers (Super Bowl!!! The Oscars!!!). After children, winter is that, AND a seemingly endless cycle of sick. It's better now that they are older, but still. December-March means cough, booger-nose, tummy troubles, fever, repeat. Small children tend to cough right into your mouth, without even trying! Whomp-whomp, everyone is sick.

But don't worry. I have soup. Lazy soup. Lazy soup with things you might have lurking in your fridge and pantry. Also, its very low in Smart Points, 1 point for a giant, comforting bowl.

I kinda winged this recipe. HOWEVER, the base is straight out of Americas Test Kitchen's (ATK) Family cookbook. Their recipe (for chicken pot pie p. 323) involves sautéing onions in butter then splashing in dry sherry to deglaze, and that shit is delicious. Per ATK's recommendation, you've got to use this sherry though:


Instant Pot Braised Beef with Mushrooms and Gravy

Someday, soon, the sun will shine, and the air won't hurt your face.

Until then, I've been making this giant pot of good, BROWN comfort food. I love a good pot roast (grass-fed chuck, potatoes, all simmered in gravy), but I don't love the saturated fat and calorie count. I swapped SLICED eye of round for chuck. Good beef flavor, a LOT less fat. It does NOT have the succulent, melty quality of a well prepared chuck roast, but it is still very good, and better for you. If anyone has any tips on tenderizing the meat further, I'm all ears. Don't get me wrong, the thin cut of meat and pressure cooking leaves the eye of round tender enough to eat with a spoon, its just different, akin, texture wise, to a lean slice of brisket.

Side note, instead of potatoes, I've been serving this over oven roasted turnips, carrots and rutabagas.

Also, you should eat this in your jammas, on your couch, while watching netflix. STAY WARM YOU GUYS.

Serves 2 (probably could/shoul…

Cowgirl Twice Baked Potatoes

Twenty years a vegetarian, until I moved to Texas...

And I've been making up for lost time. Micklethwait, Franklin's, Terry Blacks, Saltlick, Lambert's, Stiles Switch, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, la Barbecue, Valentina's Tex-Mex and good old Rudy's, among others, all just a few miles from my house. Whenever we indulge, we like to order a little extra either to use immediately in the following week's lunches, or for a make ahead freezer meal, like the following. Cowgirl twice baked potatoes, the perfect way to enjoy a little barbecue, without over indulging.

Inspired by this tasty looking shepherds pie twice baked potatoes from The Candid Appetite, and enhanced with my new found love of brisket, and combined with an irrational fear of ground beef. Hamburger in a restaurant? Yes. Buy fancy ground beef from Central Market to cook my own hamburger? URP, no. A by-product of the 1990's e. coli scares, surely. Also one of the reasons I quit eating meat. Extra silly consider…

Healthy Harvest Mac and Cheese

Full of good things tucked inside, this make ahead dish holds all the notes of a spectacular grits casserole, the creamy decadence of mac and cheese, and the subtle Tex-Mex twist of roasted peppers. Its full of veggies and about half the fat and calories of typical holiday fare. Double bonus, its GOOD straight out of the oven, AMAZING reheated, perfect for the office potluck, or even your holiday table.

Adapted from Makeover Creamy Macaroni and Cheese from Taste of Home magazine which was so darn good, I ate two servings in eleven minutes, blowing over a days worth of smart points in one sitting. Damn it. Totally worth it, but still... More about "Worth It" after the recipe.

Yield: 5 servings, 9 smart points per serving


1 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 centimeter)
1/2 poblano, diced (1 centimeter)
1 cup frozen corn
3/4 cup (90 g) uncooked macaroni (I used Dal Raccolto)
25 g table salt, iodized
2 Tbs unsalted butter (I used Kerrygold)
2.5 Tbs flour

Coconut Thai Turkey with Carrot Ribbons

Y'all, I love vegetables, but can you carve one into a pasta shape, and pretend its a noodle? I tried. Many different sauces. Many different vegetables. Not ever close to tasting like pasta. Nope. However, this recipe's sauce pairs well with the carrots, bringing out their natural sweetness, which further compliments the ginger/garlic notes in the coconut sauce. Bonus, no spiralizer needed, just use a regular vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons. Not noodles, but tasty way to incorporate more veggies into your diet.

This happens to be my favorite vegetable peeler. OXO brand from Williams Sonoma, not the one from Target. I hate how brands have different models at different price points at different stores. It's a trick, like vegetable noodles.

Recipe modified (very little) from Thai Turkey with Carrot Noodles over at Emily Bites.

Also, when I made this, I had some extra kale I needed to use up. DON'T ADD KALE. NOT GOOD. I'm all for using up what's in the fri…