Monday, February 27, 2017

Vegetable Lo Mein

I've had a vegetable lo mein recipe ready to post for ages now. I figured it was time to post it, but before I did I wanted to make some again. I came across a different recipe than what I made last time and I decided to give it a try. Oh man am I glad I did. This recipe from Damn Delicious is so good and then best part? It's SO EASY and quick. I'm pretty sure it took me a total of 30 minutes from start to finish.

And in true Rare Knife fashion I made a few changes. First, I used fresh Buitoni linguine. I couldn't find any lo mein egg noodles and this is the closest I could find. Next time I might try to find some at the Asian market up the street, but these actually worked great. When I threw the sauce together it didn't seem like enough, so I doubled it, only adding half and keeping the rest at the ready if I felt like it needed it. It did. In fact, I actually added about a TB of cornstarch to the remaining sauce before adding it to the noodles to help the sauce stick to the food and so it's not so runny. The last change I made was using cabbage instead of the snow peas. I'm not a huge fan of snow peas (except that one time when I was pregnant and craved them one was the weirdest craving I've ever had). The cabbage nicely bulks up the dish and adds a great texture, IMHO. (See that right there? It means, "in my honest opinion." It's what the cool kids say.) Oh and I added some onion!


Vegetable Lo Mein
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Servings: 4

Recipe adapted from:  

8 oz Fresh linguine or fresh lo mein noodles
1 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large yellow onion
2 cups of sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
3 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper

4 Tb soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tb cornstarch

  • Start by whisking together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger, and cornstarch and set it aside
  • Boil noodles according to package directions and then rinse and drain well and set aside
  • In a large saute pan or wok heat oil over medium high and saute onion, mushrooms, pepper and carrots for about 5 minutes or until tender, adding the garlic in halfway through. 
  • Add cabbage and spinach to pan and stir until wilted.
  • Add sauce to pan, and gently stir for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened and then add noodles and stir until well combined. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and serve 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Creamy Tomato Soup

I asked my son what he wanted for dinner yesterday and he told me, rather quickly and emphatically, that he wanted tomato soup. So I obliged and whipped this up and served it with the classic grilled cheese. Then today my son (and husband) took the leftovers for lunch. Needless to say, it's a favorite around here.

Once again this recipe is from Mel's Kitchen Cafe with only a few changes. The first time I made this soup, I got all the way to the end when I needed to add the cream and realized I forgot to pick some up at the grocery store. Feeling panicked I searched in my fridge for a replacement and spotted some leftover cream cheese from another recipe. I figured it couldn't hurt, so I threw in 4 oz. The results were so good that I now use cream cheese instead of cream for this recipe. I love the tangy richness it adds. Plus, I'm pretty sure anything with cream cheese has to be good. Right?


Creamy Tomato Soup
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Servings: 6

Recipe adapted from

2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3 Tb butter
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp brown sugar
2 Tb Tomato paste
2 Tb AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt & pepper
4 oz reduced fat or regular cream cheese

  • Drain the tomatoes, saving the drained juice
  • Add the vegetable broth to the drained juice to make a total of 3 1/2 cups of liquid
  • In a large pot or dutch oven, melt the butter and saute onions for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add 2/3 of the drained tomatoes, bay leaf and brown sugar to the onions and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes fragrant and thick
  • Add the tomato paste and flour and stir until mixture darkens. 
  • Stir in the remaining tomatoes, tomato juice, baking soda and a 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer on low heat until thick, 5 - 7 minutes. 
  • Then add in cream cheese chopped into smaller sections. Stir around until the cream cheese melts and is mostly incorporated into the soup. 
  • Remove bay leaf from soup and puree the soup with an emersion blender or in a regular blender. 
  • Add soup back to pot and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.