Happy Monday! Welcome to the work week and all that jazz. It’s President’s Day here in the good ole USA, a holiday invented to combine celebrations of the births of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan (okay, and William Henry Harrison, but I believe one should have to be in office longer than two weeks to merit a holiday), since all occurred in February. If you have the day off, I hope you enjoy the additional twenty four hours of freedom. (I’m at work. The university did away with President’s Day and Veteran’s Day as official holidays, but in exchange we get the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I can’t complain.)
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?
As for me, I did almost none of the things I had planned to do. I didn’t make it out to the movies to see the last remaining Academy Award-nominated films on my list, nor did I get my hair cut. I didn’t do my laundry even though it’s reaching critical mass. (Have I mentioned how much I loathe doing laundry?) So what did I do? I watched Zootopia on Netflix and laughed at the sloths running the DMV, from the comfort of my oversized chair, in a sloth-like posture.
In between sorting through everything cluttering up my DVR – watching the funny bits of the late night chat shows, deleting the stuff I will never watch (like the BAFTA Awards – sorry, but you’re old news now. Thank you internet.), I read – including my manuscript – and yes, I took notes. So there’s that.
The only other semi-productive thing I did this weekend was soup. I found a recipe for a “healthy” version of Broccoli Cheddar Soup* that I’ve been meaning to try since the first cold snap hit New England last fall. Ironically, I finally managed to make it on a weekend where the temperature exceeded 50 degrees both days. The best part of this recipe? You make it in a slow cooker, so once you prep the ingredients and throw them all the pot, you are free to resume your favorite leisure position and wait for the magic to happen…
Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Low Fat and Gluten Free
- 5 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 16 ounces)
- 1 cup grated carrots (you can grate yourself or use bagged, pre-cut julienne carrots)
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (12-ounce) can 2% evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
I added some sliced baby portabella mushrooms
- Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Top with the cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg, and chicken broth. Stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours, until the broccoli is tender.
- Remove the lid and stir in the evaporated milk. With an immersion blender, puree about 3/4 of the soup, so that it is mostly smooth but still has a few chunks of broccoli remaining. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in 1 cup-sized batches in a food processor or blender. (Be careful—it’s hot and prone to splatter!)
- Recover the soup and let cook on low for 10 minutes until warmed through. Stir the salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Recover and cook on high until the cheese is fully melted and the soup is hot, about 5 additional minutes. Serve warm.
I garnished with some crumbled bacon and a bit of finely shredded cheese.
Voila! Dinner for the week!
Serving Size: 1 of 6 (about 1 1/2 cups)
Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 272
- Total Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Cholesterol: 59mg
- Sodium: 806mg
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Fiber: 1g
- Sugar: 9g
- Protein: 18g
This stuff is comfort food at it’s finest. You don’t even need to feel guilty about it. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great week!
*From one of my favorite cooking blogs, Well Plated by Erin