• Leigh

In the Advent Kitchen -- December 8


Lemon Soup

Turkey Meatballs with Broccoli

Stout Bread

Pineapple

Today’s menu is warm, filling, and nutritious. Start with a simple lemon soup. While the soup is simmering on one burner, you can mix up the meatballs and get them started for an easy one-pot meal. Tonight’s vegetable, broccoli, goes right in with the meatballs. The lemon theme from the soup continues with the lemon in the sauce for the meatballs and broccoli. The stout bread has a gingerbread quality that complements the lemon in the remainder of the meal. The bread can, of course, be eaten with dinner, or you may want to save it for dessert—it’s that good! The bread certainly would go nicely with fresh or slightly thawed frozen pineapple.

Lemon Soup – Serves 6

Only a few ingredients combine to make a fresh tasting, flavorful soup. In fact, the soup pretty much makes itself. The only tricky part is making sure you whisk the egg yolks constantly while adding a small portion of the hot soup very slowly to them. You are whisking to blend the soup into the yolks without making scrambled eggs. Continue your whisking when you add the egg mixture into the soup pot. That will blend the egg mixture into the soup and thicken your soup. Also watch the heat. You don’t want to boil the soup once you’ve added your egg yolks. They cook in the soup, thickening it, without boiling.

6 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup of uncooked brown rice

2 egg yolks

Juice of a lemon

¼ teaspoon of pepper

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley (or one teaspoon of dried)

Bring broth to a boil. Add the rice, stir, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice until frothy in a small bowl or measuring cup. Slowly, while whisking constantly, add a cup of the hot soup to the egg yolks. Pour the mixture back into the rest of the soup, whisking constantly to blend everything. Heat until just below the boiling point (do not boil!). Serve bowls of the soup sprinkled with the parsley (or, if using the dried parsley, stir it into the soup before serving).

Turkey Meatballs with Broccoli – Serves 4

These turkey meatballs are light, filling, and much more nutritious and economical than a take out dinner. The meatballs are flavored with a bit of green onion and go nicely with the bright green broccoli. The lemony sauce coats the meatballs and broccoli and has just a touch of ginger. You can serve the meatballs and broccoli “as is” or atop some rice to catch the sauce.

4-6 chopped green onions

¼ cup of quick cooking oatmeal

1 egg

½ teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning

16 ounces of ground turkey (93 percent lean)

2 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons of canola oil

¼ cup of water

1 16-ounce package of frozen broccoli florets

Combine the onions, oatmeal, egg, lemon pepper, turkey, and soy sauce and mix everything well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, and swirl it to coat the skillet. Form marble-sized meatballs (about an inch in diameter), add them to the hot pan, and brown them for 6-8 minutes. Lower the heat, add ¼ cup of water and the broccoli. Cover the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes more until the meatballs are cooked through and the broccoli is crisp tender. Add the sauce, stir gently to thicken the sauce and coat the meatballs and broccoli.

Sauce

½ cup of apricot or peach fruit spread

¼ cup of water

2 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of ground ginger

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until well blended.

Stout Bread – Serves 15+

This bread gets its name from beer, not how you will feel after you eat it—unless you get carried away and eat the whole pan. The bread is quite good. It has a yeasty, malty darkness from the stout that’s offset by the sweetness of brown sugar and molasses. You don’t need to use a very expensive stout. Cheap stouts will work, but my husband prefers the bread with Guinness (in case I might have some left for him to drink!). I usually add some golden raisins to the batter and sprinkle the top of the bread with walnuts for a nice, somewhat bitter crunch. Also, the batter is quite thin, so some of the nuts will sink down into the bread. Cut the moist bread into squares to serve it. I like the bread with every meal and for snacks, too. It’s that good.

1 cup of oats plus ¼ cup (divided)

2 cups of white whole-wheat flour

½ cup of dark brown sugar

1¼ teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ginger

½ teaspoon of allspice

1/3 cup of canola oil

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

¼ cup of molasses

1 cup of buttermilk

2 eggs

1½ cups of stout

½ cup of golden raisins (optional)

1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of oats, the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla extract, molasses, buttermilk, and eggs. Whisk in the beer. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and whisk just a bit to combine everything. You’ll have a very wet batter, but don’t get too zealous with the whisk. Add the raisins, if you’re using them and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the batter with the walnuts, if you’re using them, and then with the ¼ cup of remaining oats. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Let the bread cool 5-10 minutes before cutting it into squares.

#lemonsoup #turkeymeatballs #broccoli #stoutbread

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