Corn and Shrimp Chowder


Still doesn’t feel very Spring-like around here and all I can think about is hot soup!  Inspired by a delicious bowl of corn and potato chowder that Andrea made, I came home to see what I had in the pantry that could be turned into something similar for dinner.  This soup was a big hit in my house and was pretty easy to prepare.  One thing I love about soup is this; SOUP IS NOT A SCIENCE!  Be creative, throw in what you have on hand that you think may work together.  Taste-test throughout in order to adjust seasonings as you go.


2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 large vidalia onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

4 large yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

8 oz frozen shrimp, peeled, thawed, and chopped in half

4 c chicken broth

1 c milk

1/4 to 1/2 c half and half

1 T dried thyme

salt to taste


Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in large soup pot.  Add onion and saute a minute or two.  Add celery, carrot, and potato and continue to saute until slightly soft.  Add the broth, milk, navy beans, salt and thyme.  Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook for 30 minutes or so until potatoes and carrots are cooked through. ( I used an immersion blender at this point to mash it up a little, not too much, but this gives it a creamier consistency)  Stir in the half and half and shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp is heated through.  Enjoy!  (Great day one, AMAZING day 2!


Peace and greens,



Pasta Fijioli with Ham Recipe

Silly me, forgot to add the recipe!  Everyone did end up liking it.  I just think they like complaining more.

Pasta Fajioli


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound ham steaks, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • 1 sprig thyme, left intact
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed well
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1-1 ½ cups ditalini
  • Grated Parmigiano
  • Really good crusty bread


Heat pot over medium high heat and add oil, onion, garlic and ham. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, add herb stems and chopped vegetables and sauté for 3-4 more minutes. Add beans and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Let soup boil for 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stiring occasionally.  Add pasta and cook to desired doneness about 8-10 minutes. Remove herb stems from pot before ladling into bowls.  Top soup with grated parmigiano and a nice chunk of crusty bread for dipping. Salt and pepper to taste. Feel warm and happy inside!

Pasta Fajioli with Ham makes me happy!

pasta fajioli 3Pasta Fajioli with Ham makes me happy, not to mention the warm crusty bread and little mound of parm I sprinkle on top!

Three things I love about this dinner:

  1. It only takes 30 minutes.
  2. I’ll have a quick yummy lunch the next day.
  3. There is only one pot to clean.

There is always crying when my kids ask what’s for dinner and I tell them bean soup.  They ask me about 20 times actually, as if the answer is going to get better each time.  My son declares that he hates beans and is making something else instead.  My girls declare they would rather eat Five Guys.  Well, I have to say the dinner unveiling is often my least favorite part of the day but when all is said and done we sit together and eat the same meal.  Jack smashed his beans so he didn’t have to look at them and the girls asked for the soup in their lunch the next day.

Hmm, after proof reading my paragraph, I am left wondering why this soup makes me so happy.

Keep it Real. Keep it Simple. Make it Matter. – Andrea

National Oatmeal Day Tomorrow

Oatmeal doesn’t get all the recognition it deserves these days.  With “quinoa” this and “farro” that, oatmeal has sadly been left behind.  Well, it’s time to celebrate oatmeal again (who knew it had its own day??).  Here is a great article that outlines the benefits of adding oatmeal to your diet and includes a few yummy recipes to try as well.

Asparagus & Eggs

After having a terrific lunch very similar to this at The Cheesecake Factory I decided to try it at home. My version lacks the pine nuts and blend of herbs, but also the extra butter and oil that I don’t need anyway. I think it looks like a meal you slaved over (and feels a little fancy!) when it’s really pretty quick and simple. This is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, tastes delicious, and fills you up.

Asparagus has gotten a lot of buzz lately and I could go on and on with all of the amazing benefits that are being uncovered. The bottom line is that asparagus has a very unique group of anti-inflammatory agents as well as anti-oxidants. Asparagus also has a high respiration rate which means it loses nutrients fast after being picked so it needs to be eaten as soon as you buy it. Wrapping the bottom of the stems in a damp paper towel and placing in the fridge when you bring it home will help slow the respiration until you can cook it. The recipe below is for one serving.

2 eggs
10-12 asparagus spears
5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 avocado, sliced (optional)
olive oil
salt and pepper

First, roast the asparagus if not using leftovers. Clean and trim asparagus spears. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper. Roast about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil over low heat in a large skillet. Add the eggs and cover for about 3 minutes. Remove cover and add tomatoes to sides of pan and continue cooking until eggs are done to your liking and tomatoes are heated through. Arrange roasted asparagus on plate and place eggs and tomatoes on top. I also like to add a few slices of avocado to my plate.

Enjoy your fancy eggs:)


Salsa Eggs with Avocado and Brown Rice

salsa eggs

I normally don’t have a lot of time to spend on making breakfast during the week. As a matter of fact I am usually double fisted with a smoothie and my coffee on the fly but this morning I felt like I needed a little bit more. I was surprised at how quick and easy this was, only 10 minutes! It tasted super delish, made me feel great and I can’t stop thinking about it so I decided to blog it and add it to our upcoming ebook as a back to school breakfast idea. Oh yah, by the way, keep a look out for our first ebook Back to School Fuel. It will be loaded with back to school breakfast and lunch recipes and a list of great snack ideas. All of the recipes are quick, easy, kid approved and nutritious (we’ll even tell you why).  So, back to my eggs! Below is my recipe for Salsa Eggs.  I used a chunky salsa, more of a pico de gallo, to maintain the integrity of the ingredients.  I also used the left over brown rice from our Chinese take-out the other night (also delish).

Salsa Eggs with Avocado and Brown Rice

2 eggs

2 T. milk

2 T. chunky salsa

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup brown rice

Place your pan on medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.  Spoon in salsa and stir. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir occasionally until eggs are light and fluffy.  Slice avocado, heat rice and place both onto a plate.  When eggs are finish, spoon them on top.

Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of the B-complex vitamin, choline, which supports neurological  function and reduces inflammation.  Avocado adds omega-3 fatty acids (also good for the brain) and brown rice digests slowly to keep you fuller longer.  This will leave you feeling great all morning!

*and possibly into the afternoon as I am writing this post Melissa is bugging me to go to lunch and I’m still full from breakfast! 🙂

Keep it Real. Keep it Simple. Make it Matter. – Andrea