September 12, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe | Becky Cooks Lightly #slowcooker
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
Autumn.Tis' the season of pumpkins and spice. Imagine. This healthy soup recipe is 5 to 6 hours of wafting nutmeg and pumpkin. The very taste and smell of autumn. Perfect for a weekend with guests. Or no guests. Just perfect.

*Sob* Easy Pumpkin Soup calls for parsley, and I never seem to have parsley around. I've included a link below outlining exactly why parsley is added to so many recipes. In short, it brings out the best of all flavors. Guess it's time to plant that indoor herb garden I've been dreaming of. Did you know that Parsley is one of the top herbs to grow indoors? True tidbit.

Is there an ingredient that you never seem to have around? Do you use substitutes and cook on without it? Or do you scream in frustration and reach for a frozen meal? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Helpful Links:
Cornstarch ~ Argo & Kingford's Corn Starch - Gluten Free
Chicken Broth ~ Which Brands Are Gluten Free
Parsley ~ What's the deal with Parsley?
Pumpkin Puree ~ Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin
Pumpkin Puree From Scratch ~ Homemade Pumpkin PureeMaking Your Own Fresh Pumpkin Puree Is Easy
Everything you need to know ~ Food Flavors

What to serve with Pumpkin Soup:



Open-Faced Meatball Sandwiches
Sweet & Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwich



Ideal Slow-cooker size: 3½ quart
Makes 6 Servings

Per Serving 
Calories:  70  ♥ Fat: 0g ♥ Carbs: 12g ♥  Protein: 6g ♥ Sodium: 300mg ♥ 
Cholesterol: 0mg   Fiber: 1g  Sugar: 8g  Points Plus: 2 ♥ Old Points: 1

 Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup

Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly
Recipe by Jane Meiser
Harrisonburg, VA

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth, fat removed 
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (naturally gluten free)
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • ⅛ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼  cup cold water
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped 
Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch, cold water, and fresh parsley in slow cooker. Mix well.
  2. Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours.
  3. During the last hour add cornstarch mixed with water and stir until soup thickens.
  4. Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley.

September 10, 2014

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes via Becky Cooks Lightly #vegetarian
Black Bean Sloppy Joes/Photo Courtesy Stacy Spensley
Meatless mondays meals shouldn't turn into packaged monday meals. Nix the frozen stuff and inspire your taste buds by making sloppy joes from scratch. Okay, not entirely scratch. Vegetarian Sloppy Joes uses canned beans to speed up the process. After all, the recipe is from Vegetarian Express : Easy, Tasty, and Healthy Menus in 28 Minutes(or Less!), but you can make the beans from scratch, too if you are up for it. In fact, Serious Eats has a terrific post called Can I Substitute Dried Beans For Canned. Hint: Of course!

FYI-This cookbook is currently available on Amazon for under $4.00!

Frugalistas, want to make your own healthy burger buns? Try these: Holy Cow's {Vegan} Whole Wheat Burger Buns, The Clever Carrot's Light Brioche Hamburger Buns {Whole Wheat}, or Eating Well's Whole Wheat Burger Buns.

Serves 6
Per Serving (without cheese & pickles)
Calories: 263  ♥ Fat: 4g ♥ Carbs: 46g ♥  Protein: 10g ♥ Sodium: 427mg ♥ Cholesterol: 0mg 

 Bean Sloppy Joes

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1-pound can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed (such as Eden Organic Pinto Beans)
  • ¼ cup wheat germ (Easy Substitutions For Wheat Germ)
  • 1 cup thick tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½  teaspoon dried basil
  • pickles (optional)
  • reduced fat cheese, 2 percent for best flavor~Suggested Brand-Sargento (optional)
  • 6 whole-grain rolls
Preparation
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the rolls and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. With a Potato Masher, mash the beans until coarsely and evely mashed.
  5. Simmer over medium-low heat, loosely covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve immediately on whole-grain rolls.
September 06, 2014

Veggie Dish | Cinnamon-Apple Glazed Baby Carrots

Brown Sugar-Glazed Carrots
Photo/bheng
Last saturday I bought several bags of baby carrots with the intention of replacing all those unhealthy packaged snacks I've been reaching for lately. You know the snacks I speak of. The kind you eat mindlessly in front of the computer, right? Of course, after I arrived home with them, a neighbor decided to share the bounty of his summer garden. So I set aside my baby carrots and indulged in fresh cucumbers and tomatoes all week. {Did you know carrots, cucumbers, & tomatoes are all zero points on the Weight Watchers Plan?}

So what to do with all those baby carrots? I started going through my old cookbooks looking for a healthy recipe for carrots. But healthy wasn't the only criteria; I was also looking for an easy dish that I could make in less than thirty minutes. Lo and behold, I found the perfect recipe for glazed carrots in an old vegetarian cookbook that I'd forgotten I had. There are a lot of gems in those old cookbooks!

These are gluten free!
Serves 6 to 8
Calories: 51  ♥ Fat: 0g ♥ Carbs: 12g ♥  Protein: 0g ♥ Sodium: 47mg ♥ Cholesterol: 0mg 

Cinnamon-Apple Glazed Baby Carrots

Ingredients
  • 1-pound bag fresh baby carrots
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened apple juice concentrate, undiluted, thawed;
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preparation
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, covered, or until the carrots are tender-crisp.
  3. Turn the heat up just a bit, and cook the carrots uncovered 3 to 5 minutes more or until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
September 03, 2014

25 Homemade Yogurt Recipes

Homemade Yogurt Recipes | Becky Cooks Lightly

My, my, my!
You can make yogurt at home cheaper than you can buy it!

I've collected 25 of my favorite homemade yogurt recipes to share with you today...so prepare yourself for some thrifty inspiration!

  1. Crock Pot Yogurt, Stephanie O'Dea
  2. DIY: Homemade Yogurt {thick and creamy}, Simple Foody
  3. Easy Homemade Yogurt, Boing Boing
  4. Easy Homemade Yogurt (& Greek Yogurt), Kitchen Simplicity
  5. Fermentation Forays: Making Yogurt, The Buckwheater
  6. Grandma's Homemade Yogurt Recipe, Food Republic
  7. Greek Recipe for Homemade Yogurt, About Greek Food
  8. Greek-Style Yogurt, Food & Wine
  9. Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt (fat-free) + Regular Yogurt, Salad In A Jar
  10. Homemade Yogurt, Bon Appetit
  11. Homemade Yogurt, David Lebovitz
  12. Homemade Yogurt, Epicurious
  13. Homemade Yogurt, Martha Stewart
  14. Homemade Yogurt, Williams-Sonoma
  15. How to Make Homemade Yogurt, Living Well Spending Less
  16. How To Make Homemade Yogurt, The Frugal Girl
  17. How To Make Yogurt at Home, The Kitchn
  18. Homemade Yogurt - an Introduction, Make Your Own Yogurt
  19. Homemade Yogurt, Hillbilly Housewife
  20. Homemade Yogurt, Paleo Leap
  21. Homemade Yogurt Recipe, 101 Cookbooks
  22. Make Greek Yogurt for Cheap At Home, Make Greek Yogurt
  23. Making Homemade Yogurt, The Simple Dollar
  24. Making Homemade Yogurt: Easy Picture Tutorial, Kitchen Stewardship
  25. Make the Best Home-made Yogurt, Foodfulife
Have a favorite homemade yogurt recipe but don't see it listed here? Share with us in the comment section.
September 01, 2014

Easy Guacamole Recipe

Healthy Chunky Guacamole Recipe  | Becky Cooks Lightly #healthy
Looking for the best healthy guacamole recipe {gluten-free and easy!} made with fresh clean ingredients? Look no further! This recipe is terrific with Happy Herbivore's Baked Oil-Free Corn Chips or The Kitchn's Healthier Baked Tortilla Chips

For a little extra DIY guacamole motivation, you may want to read why avocados are a beneficial addition to your diet at the World's Healthiest Foods. Health Magazine has them listed at one of the best superfoods for weight loss. Their advice is eat no more than a quarter or a half of an avocado to melt belly fat. See also, Prevention's article Flat Belly Diet Foods That Reduce Belly Fat~Avocados. Super motivation, don't you think?

Note: Helpful links ~ 
Food Network  How to Pit an Avocado

Serves 4
Calories: 186  ♥ Fat: 12g ♥ Carbs: 16g ♥  Protein: 2g ♥ Sodium: 13mg ♥ Cholesterol: 0mg 

Healthy Vegetarian Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 medium ripe (but not overripe) avocados
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation
  1. Peel and pit the avocados, place them in a serving bowl, and mash coarsely, leaving the texture chunky.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover until serving time.
  4. Eat with abandon self-control.