Posted in Dinner, Food, lunch box, Main Dish, Soup

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Rice

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During the fall and winter months, I am always looking for creative ways to fill lunch boxes with nutritious, mid-day meals. On Sunday evenings, I try to prepare lots of options for the kids to enjoy during the school week. M loves to bring a thermos full of soup to school as she often feels that her classrooms are cold and drafty. She usually requests some kind of vegetable soup to carry in her lunchbox. Currently, her favorite selection is my Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup recipe. Adding rice or noodles makes it a bit more hearty and filling. After making the soup on Sunday, I divide it up into small plastic containers and pop it in the fridge. Every morning, before the kids head to school, I heat up individual servings then pour the piping hot soup in the thermos. (Below, I’ve included my secret to keeping rice balls for a week’s worth of soup.) There’s nothing like a bowl of good old fashioned comfort food to fill the tummy at lunchtime.

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Rice

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
3/4 cup water
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion or 2 tsp. onion flakes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
2 cups Velveeta Shredded Cheese (melts really well)

In a medium sauce pan, mix water and broccoli; bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for several minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Continue to cook on medium heat until bubbly. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Add broccoli (with water) Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until completely melted.

To make rice balls:

This is the kind of rice we buy. It’s called sushi rice.

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Cook rice according to package directions. After rice has cooled a bit, use a small ice cream scoop to make 2 inch balls of rice. Wrap each ball individually in small pieces of plastic wrap.

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Place wrapped rice balls in a freezer safe bag and store in freezer until ready to use.

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Unwrap rice balls and heat in the microwave before placing them in soup dish.

Posted in Food, salads

Sensational Seven Layer Salad

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My husband’s Aunt Eileen used to make this salad for all of the family gatherings. She would use a restaurant style, stainless steel mixing bowl to prepare this magnificent tasting salad. If my memory serves me correctly, she used to put sliced radishes in her recipe. Oh, it was a special treat when Aunt Eileen arrived with this huge bowl of deliciousness.
She has since passed away but her memory lives on in all of us. Yesterday, I made this salad for a family gathering. As my daughters and I prepared the vegetables, I thought of Aunt Eileen and the cherished memories that I will forever hold in my heart.

Sensational Seven Layer Salad

1 head of lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tsp sugar or Splenda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled or 1 (3 oz) bag real bacon bits
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a glass serving bowl, layer lettuce, mushrooms, broccoli, and peas. In a separate mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar or Splenda, salt, garlic powder and marjoram. Pour this dressing mixture over salad mix. Top salad with the green onions, cheese, and bacon bits. Chill until ready to serve. Toss salad thoroughly just before serving.

Posted in Food, salads

Crunchy Broccoli Slaw Salad

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Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to pull out all of the delicious salad recipes that have been tucked away all winter long. Today’s recipe is packed with lots of A,C, and B vitamins, calcium, fiber, and protein. Broccoli is known as a “super food” because it is rich in so many vitamins and minerals and has a bushel full of health benefits. Packaged slaw makes this salad a snap to mix together. If you’re so inclined, throw in a handful of raisins for a burst of flavor and added texture. This is a very affordable and clever way to get your kids to eat their veggies!

Crunchy Broccoli Slaw Salad

1 (16 oz) package broccoli slaw mix
1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles, broken into small pieces
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts (optional)

Dressing

½ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup cider vinegar
1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles seasoning

Mix the sugar, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl. Add seasoning packet from ramen noodles; mix thoroughly. Pour broccoli slaw, noodles, seeds (optional peanuts) into the dressing mixture and toss to completely coat all salad ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.