You might like this low calorie creamy vegetable stew

Did I write low calorie and creamy in the same sentence? I did! One large bowl is 320 calories.  Enjoy a salad and bread sticks with this filling summer entre.

creamy summer vegetable stew

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces frozen pearl onions
  • 2 cups baby carrots, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 15 1/2 – ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (optional)

Directions

  1. Place onions, carrots, corn, broth, vinegar and 1-1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
  2. Stir in zucchini and chickpeas; cook for 45 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together cream, cornstarch, salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence; set aside.
  3. Stir in cream mixture and tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with Asiago and serve with rice, if desired.

Nutrition Information for Creamy Summer Vegetable Stew

Servings Per Recipe: 4 PER SERVING: 311 cal., 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 23 mg chol., 681 mg sodium, 48 g carb. (9 g fiber), 11 g pro.

Do you enjoy books with an underlying theme?

Characters in my books have jobs that matter to them. In Unholy Alliance the lawyer hero, Grady Donahue Fletcher, appeals cases of the poor and wrongly accused.  In this romantic thriller he is a tough, formidable protagonist who believes an advanced society should not be comfortable with the way a country punishes crime.  In the book Grady Fletcher represents a different marginalized person, a mobsters daughter accused of murder.

What about all the people in prison who don’t have enough money to hire top defense attorneys?

SAMSUNG CSC

The US locks up too many people for too long, and often treats them poorly. I’m glad to see improvement which comes from the Koch brothers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and others in between. Here is an eye-popping fact: the US makes up 5% of the world’s population but houses 25% of the prison population.  Harsh sentences are handed out for non-violent drug crime sentences. The Black population is hit the hardest.  See data below:

Race, ethnicity % of US population % of U.S. incarcerated population
White (non-Hispanic) 64 39
Hispanic 16 19
Black 13 40

For dinner– corn-tomato chowder with a grilled salmon salad

Corn-tomato is a flavorful vegetarian chowder. Believe it when I say it goes well with a salmon salad and bread sticks.  I’m making grilled salmon for dinner and will chill it for the salad.

corn-tomato soup

 

Ingredients

 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 1/4 cups (1 pound) frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Pour the corn mixture back into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a salmon salad.

A dress fashioned with food waste

As a subscriber of National Geographic I’m often impressed with eco-minded designers.  This information is from an article written by Catherine Zuckerman, and the photo is courtesy of Rebecca Hale. To summarize, there is work being done in “farm to fashion”.  Sacha Laurin’s medium is a bacterial “colony” left after brewing tart fermented tea known as kombucha.  One dried, the material becomes a faux leather.  This California designer sews it into haute couture dresses. Isn’t this pretty– the Kombucha dress.

Kombucha dress

Devilish Chicks for Easter

Aren’t these deviled eggs cute?  They’re a humorous twist on deviled eggs. This recipe originated a few years ago from Taste of Home magazine. 

chicks develed eggs

Ingredients for a half dozen deviled eggs

  • 6 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup prepared ranch salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash pepper
  • 5 carrot chips
  • 12 capers
  • Fresh dill sprigs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup prepared lighter ranch salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Dash pepper
  • 5 carrot chips
  • 12 capers
  • Fresh dill sprigs

Directions

  1. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each egg so it sits flat. Cut the top third from each egg. Carefully remove yolks and place in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Add cheese, salad dressing, mustard and pepper; stir until well blended. Spoon into the egg white bottoms; replace tops.
  2. Cut 12 feet and 12 small triangles for beaks from carrot chips. Gently press the capers into the filling for eyes; add beaks. Insert a dill sprig in top of eggs for tuft of feathers. Place feet in front of chicks. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 1/2 dozen.

Do you have a favorite cartoon character from your childhood– mine is Elmer Fudd.

Elmer J. Fudd was the archenemy of Bugs Bunny, but he also hunted ducks from time to time.  His name came up at the breakfast table this morning. Ducks are swimming in our pool during off-season, and my husband and I jokingly wondered what Elmer Fudd would do. He’s a villain like Yosemite Sam, but Elmer is too dopey to do Bugs much harm.

Elmer speaks in a pattern called rhotacism, replacing his Rs and Ls with Ws.  Watch the road becomes “Watch da Woad, Wabbit.”  “Be vewy, vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits.” He also had a trademark gloat of huh, uh, uh. I like the cartoon titles of Rabbit Seasoning and What’s Opera, Doc?

Elmer Fudd

 

 

Kathleen’s Eggs Florentine– this variation is easy, elegant, and a little lighter.

Don’t over cook.  That’s the secret! Spit the English muffin with someone.

eggs forentine

Ingredients:

6 large eggs, slightly beaten

Butter

Salt/pepper

3 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese, cut into small pieces

12 cup mushrooms, sliced

Clove garlic, minced

½ 10-oz package fresh spinach
Directions

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms and garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach to mushroom mixture and cook until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir eggs into mushroom-spinach mixture; season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until eggs start to firm; flip. Sprinkle cream cheese over egg mixture and cook until cream cheese starts to soften, about 5 minutes.

Asian Peanut Slaw with shredded Chicken is a healthy family favorite!

Do you need a delicious easy recipe for tonight?  This is what I will be making because I’m multi-tasking today. Have you noticed the new trend to not separate ingredients and directions– it’s efficient to combine them, don’t you think?

Asian peanut slaw

Cook 4 oz spaghetti according to pkg directions, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse to cool. In a large bowl, whisk 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/4 cup water, 3 tbsp each seasoned rice vinegar and lime juice, 1 tbsp packed brown sugar, 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce and 1 tsp (or to taste) sriracha until smooth. Add spaghetti, 2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 6 packed cups shredded cabbage, 2 cups shredded carrots, 3 thinly sliced scallions and 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro. Toss well. Scatter 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts over top.

Spotlight on a writer who makes a difference– M.J. Neary!

Let me introduce you to a lovely lady, M.J. Neary who is on my blog for the simple reason that she is Good People.  Yes, that category exists on my blog.  Her birthplace is Russia, but now living in New England, USA, spoils her to Irish-Ukrainian American husband and tiger-moms  (her words) their son.  She’s immersed in democracy to such an extent that she publishes articles on all-things-that-matter for the current administration. M.J. Neary is proud to retain both worlds and with her broad knowledge, pens historical romance.

Where can we find this lovely lady? Connecticut where M.J. affectionately calls Disconnecticut. She confesses that she didn’t invent the word.  With events such as golf outings put on by the snooty crowd, a city such as Stamford doesn’t have the strongly Irish vibe of the past  Neary says young people want Irish rock with bands such as Drop Kick Murphys or Flogging Molly, although some of the younger kids learn Irish dancing.

Let’s get to Molly.  M.J. Neary played the part of Molly in a Wild Geese theater production of BLOOMSDAY. M.J. has also appeared at The Cell in New York City where she performed a 10-minute fragment of the play, THE LAST FENIAN.  The Cell is a marvelous venue. Below are photos of M.J. Neary with Phil Gardiner and one other Ifrom BLOOMSDAY.

Marina3

Marina2

Marina1

Edutainment for kids– Harry Potter camp

Doesn’t every working parent love it when their kids enjoy day care– particularly when it’s during a school break? Kudos to my town’s Woodbridge Community Center for putting on Harry Potter camp for kids eight to ten!  At “Hogwarts” kids will transition from muggles (non-magical folks) to wizards! Each “student” will be taught traditional methods of dueling with ancient spells.  Spells are known as defense against the dark arts.  Also included– mind reading (Divination) and Quidditch!

You remember how the first book began– Harry lived under the stairs.

Harry Potter