Posts Tagged ‘Cooking with broccoli’

Super Soup at Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 26th, 2013

Freshly made, highly nutritious, this makes up great soup in a flash!

From humble vegetables, a great soup can come with no stress or heavy lifting!

Most cooks favor dishes and  meals that take little time because cooking is just one more thing busy people have to do.  Well, today we offer you a simple meal that will satisfy your time AND your nutritional requirements.


1  head fresh broccoli or 4 cups of frozen chopped broccoli  *If you use fresh, cut the head into pieces, wash and chop into smaller pieces.

1/2  onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Sour cream *optional

Cover the broccoli with  a cup of water and bring to a boil.  As soon as the water boils, lower the heat, add the onion and seasonings and cook til tender.  Watch the water lever; you do not want the pot to boil dry.

When the broccoli is tender, put the undrained vegetables and the liquid into the food processor.  *No processor?  No worries; just work in batches and use a blender.  No blender either?  Not to fuss; just mash the veg with a potato masher.

The finished product should be bright green, lump-free and smooth, like velvet.  This will be a very thick soup.  When it goes into the bowls, a dollop of sour cream will top it off nicely.

By using cauliflower in place of broccoli, you can make a thick white soup.  A very interesting, highly nutritious soup could come from using BOTH broccoli and cauliflower.

If you insist that soup should be thinner, feel free to add chicken broth to make the consistency you prefer

This method of making soup really appealed to me because my own mother leaned on canned soups as I was growing up.  That was, no doubt, because my dad either worked in the grocery biz or owned a grocery store and that was the quickest and easiest way for her to put a meal on the table.  I wonder if she would have prepared this…I fancy she would because it is so easy, so simple and takes almost no time.

While my own potful of soup simmered I put together a salad of lettuce, celery, onion, peas and carrot pieces.  I dressed it with a dab of mayo/sugar/milk to make a thin dressing.

We were pretty sure we were eating like royalty.  But the best part is that we were way too full to look for after dinner snacks!

These soup ideas might work well for YOU if you find yourself living on a dime, procuring goods from a food pantry or food bank.  If you use food commodities we hope this gives you some ideas for your dietary needs.  Maybe you are thrifty by nature and enjoy managing your food budget or you have an EBT card from SNAP or WIC. 

Thank you so much for passing the word about the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We are welcoming new Members every day and this is important to us.  You are welcome to communicate with us by sending your emails to  We read every message with delight.

~Connie Baum

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What’s Roasting at Food Stamps Cooking Club?

February 20th, 2013

Roasted vegetables are sooo sweet and delicious!

When it was that I discovered the joy of roasted vegetables I do not recall.  All I know is that it is the easiest and tastiest way to prepare veg.  As a fan of cooking once and eating twice, this makes that plan work hard. 

Recently, I found an idea somewhere on the net for roasting broccoli.  We have broccoli often in the Club House because it is an excellent source of nutrition and a sort of “insurance policy” against dis-ease.  Besides, the bright green color makes for a pretty plate.  I might steam it or saute it with onion but that’s been the standard method UNTIL NOW.

Oh, my goodness!  If you have ever eaten roasted broccoli, you may never like it fixed any other way again! 

Preparing broccoli in this way is so easy even a child can do it!  Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 400*    Ovens vary so be sure your veg does not get incinerated…watch over it very closely…

Cut the head of broccoli and trim the ends.  **Save these pieces to make veg broth!  Wash the florets and stem pieces and DRY THEM TO A FARE THEE WELL.  You do not want any moisture on these babies.

Scatter them on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled with vegetable oil.  Drizzle a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over the broccoli to coat it and sprinkle some salt and pepper over the whole works.

Pop them into the hot oven and cook them until they are slightly caramelized.  This might take about 15 to 20 minutes,  depending on how much broccoli is on your baking sheet.  You can turn them carefully half way through the roasting process.  They should smell divine and have that wonderful light brown glaze on them.  That tells you they are almost ready for the table…

Put the whole business into a good sized bowl.  Drizzle the juice of a lemon over the broccoli and zest that lemon, scattering the zest over it.  Toss everything gently and add 1/3 of a cup or so of Parmesan cheese to top it off before taking it to the table.  Just for fun, put just a PINCH of nutmeg over your dish…it might make people inquire, “What IS that deliciousness on my broccoli?”  grin

BE PREPARED FOR RAVE REVIEWS.  Even picky eaters might be delighted with this one!

Regarding the ‘cook once/eat twice’ thing…feggitabout it.  You probably won’t have any leftovers this time around.  grin/giggle

Do you use public assistance to help with your food budget?  Do you find yourself living on a dime?  Do you stand in line at a food pantry or food bank?  Do you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you enjoy the challenge of s t r e t c h i n g your food dollars just because you are thrifty by nature?  Do you receive food commodities?  If you have answered a resounding YES to any of these questions, we are here to serve you.  We want you to eat well and wisely for as little money as possible.  We dearly hope our ideas are helpful to you, because you matter to us and we appreciate each and every one of you.

You are welcome to brighten our day by sending us an email at  Oh, how we love mail AND YOUR COMMENTS here on the blog!

~Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated. Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline. Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Orzo-Broccoli Summer Salad at Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 19th, 2012

Cool, refreshing summer salads are just the ticket for hot days and hungry families!

Do you have some Orzo in your pantry?  Orzo looks like rice but it is really a tiny pasta.  Not as itty-bitty as couscous, but quite small.  It makes a big hit out of your meal, though, if you know how to combine it with other goodies. 

Mother Connie ran across a salad that really could be a go-to for comfort food, as a potluck contribution or just something different on a hot summer day.  Methinks this salad could also seque into a year around fave comfort food, particularly for those who use EBT cards for SNAP or WIC; those who depend on food commodities or food pantries or those who are just plain frugal and watch the food budget like a hungry hawk. If you ARE living on a dime, you know what Mother Connie means!


4 oz orzo

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets.  This should yield about 5 or 6 cups of veg

1/2  cup finely cut green onions

1/2  cup finely chopped black olives, drained

1  small grated carrot

1  cup corn *fresh off the cob or frozen or canned and drained

1  teaspoon dried oregano

1  clove garlic, very finely minced

1/4  teaspoon pepper

1/3  cup vegetable oil  *Olive oil would be my first choice…

1/4   cup vinegar  *red wine or rice, if you have it-the Kitchen Police won’t mind…

Cook the orzo according to the package directions.  During the last few minutes, add the chopped broccoli so it cooks to tender.  Drain the whole works in a colander and rinse with very cold water.  This keeps the orzo from overcooking. 

In a large bowl, put the orzo, broccoli, olives, green onions, carrot, corn, oregano, garlic and pepper.

Using a glass measuring pitcher, whisk together the oil and vinegar.  Toss with the salad ingredients.  Add salt to taste.  Chill thoroughly before serving.

All you’d need to make this a complete meal would be a protein-Fish?  Cold Chicken? Meat patty?  Serve some fresh fruit for dessert and you have a quick, easy, CHEAP meal.  It takes a total of half an hour to prepare from start to table and will serve 8 people.

This summer weather has been brutal all over the country.  Mother Connie reminds you all to drink lots of water, pay attention to the way you feel if you are outdoors in the heat or indoors without a cooling system and look out for your neighbors, particularly those who are elderly.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE your comments and we know you have been cruising around, visiting our favorite sites.  They love your comments, too!  We are all in this together, kids.  Let’s all support one another!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

*Uh, did we mention how much fun we find the MAIL to be?  Yes.…THANKS, KIDS!  grin

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Fighting High Cholesterol?

April 7th, 2010






This dinner plate got rave reviews from The Normanator and The Kid! That means it was certainly fit for human consumption. AND THERE WERE NO LEFTOVERS!

The Clubhouse has a temporary boarder.  Seems the cholesterol count of one of our offspring has skyrocketed.  In lieu of statin drugs, we opted to bring him from his group home and put his toes under our table.  Mother Connie believes wholeheartedly that cholesterol does not rise because the body is lacking in prescription medication.   Bodies need real food to nourish and support every system optimally.

The fun is not only having him with us but in counting the veggies and fruits and discussing what we might prepare for any given meal and even how we’ll use the leftover food!  Our new star boarder has  favored his peeps at his workshop with a video he made, talking about his foods.  He has gone to the extreme of  taking out bragging rights for his high vegetable count!

After choosing and washing and preparing 18 pieces of produce for his consumption in one day, our resident character was pretty sure we could HEAR the cholesterol number tumbling.  We even thought we had FOUND a pile of cholesterol in the guest room.  But we soon learned it was only his soiled laundry.

The plate pictured above is loaded with lots of goodness.  The potatoes have their jackets on and were drizzled with olive oil before they went into a hot oven.  The fish, cod, was baked and topped off with a mixture of buttermilk, mayo and pickle relish with a touch of lemon.

That salad was the show stopper.  I saw SOMEONE take third helpings of that nutrient laden offering.  Here’s how that went together:


3  cups fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2  white onion, chopped (red onion would make it prettier)

1  cup raisins

1/2  cup walnuts, coarsely chopped


1  cup salad dressing or mayo

1/2  cup buttermilk or sour cream

1  tablespoon sugar

rice vinegar-just enough to thin the dressing to the consistency you like.

Mix everything together and drizzle dressing over the vegetables, nuts and raisins.  Allow to chill.   Gently mix again before serving so as to coat every vegetable with the dressing.

This kind of salad is often made with bacon and that’s yummy, too, but this is so quick and easy and economical that you really can’t go wrong.  I see that the grocery store circulars are advertising broccoli for $1.28 per bunch.  That’s a good buy in this neck of the woods.

If you depend on Angel Food Ministries, WIC, or SNAP or even if you use Farmer’s Markets Coupons you are interested to know how to stretch every single dollar meant for food.  Similarly, if your family has food commodities or food from a food pantry you still want to be frugal with your supplies.  It is our aim to help you in this regard.  Everybody wants comfort foods, after all; not uncomfortably high prices!

No doubt you Club Members have food ideas galore.  You are most welcome to share them here.  We love hearing your stories, especially your SUCCESS STORIES and we relish the thoughts of your sending recipes and tips you have found workable in your own kitchens.  We are all in the trenches, kids.  We can help one another if only we reach out.  Our email address is  and we can’t WAIT to hear from YOU.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know that there are links in this post.  Should these links be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger or your guest blogger will be fairly compensated.  Always do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Only do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking: Come for Lunch?

December 7th, 2009

Here are the fixings for a scrumptious lunch: onions, broccoli and bacon!

Here are the fixings for a scrumptious lunch: onions, broccoli and bacon!

What a shame you cannot SMELL this post!  I hope some techy person is working on software that will offer that benefit!

If you are concerned about your food budget-and who isn’t?-then this idea may appeal to you.  Here’s how it went:


3  slices of bacon per lunch guest

1  small onion, sliced

1  good-sized handful of broccoli per lunch guest + 1 for the pot. Use either frozen or fresh broccoli.

Salt and pepper to taste

2  tablespoons of shredded cheese per serving.  I used taco cheese and it was delish!

Cut the bacon into small pieces and render out the fat.  When nicely browned, drain the bacon on paper toweling.  Remove the grease from the skillet, add the slices of onion.  When they are tender, add in the broccoli and let the broccoli cook til tender.

When the veggies are cooked, add the bacon back to the mixture and toss gently.  Place servings onto a plate and top with shredded cheese.

the finished meal, complete with applesauce and hot tea!  DELISH!

The finished meal, complete with applesauce and hot tea! DELISH!

This dish was so quick, easy, CHEAP, and delicious that I’m willing to make the same thing using cauliflower.

If you have ideas for varying this dish, please send your good ideas to .

For those of you who depend on food pantry food, or food commodities, we want to cater to your needs as much as possible, so please feel free to let us know how we can be of assistance.  This is also true for users of SNAP and WIC.   We have offered many kinds of ‘cooking with beans’  dishes in the past, simply because beans are such a staple item in food bundles.

If you are expecting to place an order with Angel Food Ministries this month, those orders must be received by the 8th of December.  Ordering with them is a positive experience.

We hope this blog is a positive experience for every one of you.

Thanks for popping in; we totally hope you will leave a comment for us to ooh and aaah over.  Thank you.

Connie Baum

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