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two quick dinners

two quick dinners

by jax on September 11, 2014

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” – Rumi

It’s been one of those weeks. ‘Just dropping in with two treasures for you that result in delicious anytime meals. Both are adapted from The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther, a wonderful cookbook and valuable kitchen resource.

Yogurt and Cheddar Souffle

Despite common misconception, soufflé is not something that you’ll screw up without constant vigilance. Believe me, this one still turned out while I ran between one sick-in-bed kid and one crying-at-my-feet baby.  The soufflé was forgiving, as was my family. Because, really. Should I have been making soufflé with calamity all around me? Perhaps not. I’m not the only one who pushes through obstacles when it would be smarter to give in, am I? (Following Van’s bout with fever, I was laid up for almost 24 hours. Lesson received, universe.)


Spinach Potato Jalapeno Soup
Also managed to make this simple dinner during what has been quite the off-kilter week. Potato and Spinach Soup with Jalapeño. Fast, easy, chock full of nutrients, and kid-approved. Mama can’t ask for more than that.


Yogurt and Cheddar Souffle
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons sprouted wheat flour (or unbleached all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 heaping tablespoons chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Generously butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the yogurt, flour, salt, pepper, and green onions.

In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment (or in another bowl, with a whisk), beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolk and yogurt mixture, then fold in the remaining cheddar cheese, followed by the remaining egg whites. Take care to fold gently; don’t stir too much lest you lose the precious air that will make your soufflé rise so beautifully. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

Place the soufflé gently in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 375F. Bake undisturbed for 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown on top and slightly wobbly at its center. Serve immediately. Perfect paired with a fresh green salad.

Potato and Spinach Soup with Jalapeño (and Bacon)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
4 ounces bacon, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
Fine sea salt
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced (taste your chile to make sure it’s not too spicy if serving to kids/babies who don’t tolerate spice)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
8 cups homemade chicken stock
8 ounces fresh spinach
Heavy cream or sour cream, to serve, optional

Melt the butter in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Toss in the chopped bacon and allow it to render its fat and become crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove 2 tablespoons of bacon and set aside for garnish. Stir in the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the chile is fragrant.

Add the potatoes to the pot and pour in the stock. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cover the pot, and turn off the heat to let the spinach wilt. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or blend in batches in your regular blender – just be cautious when blending hot liquids, only fill halfway) until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt. Swirl in some heavy cream or sour cream, if desired. Top with crispy bacon. Pairs well with sourdough toast!


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