Tag Archives: holidays

Christmas Kale Minestrone Soup

It’s that time of the year again. I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts of the year is the weeks that lead up to Christmas. There’s a lot of excitement in anticipation for Christmas; the environment is beaming with white snow and Christmas lights. You also have an excuse to throw holiday parties!

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In spirit of the season,  I decided to get these Christmas-themed pasta I’ve been eyeing on for quite a while now. Initially, I was waiting to get it after Christmas when it goes on sale, and use it for next Christmas. But apparently, I don’t really have that much patience…

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Since I’ve recently been into soups because of the cold weather, here’s a minestrone soup post featuring one of my all-time favorite veggies, kale. It’s sweet, tangy, and hearty from the beans and vegetables used.

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Put your hands up like you just don’t kale.

– Ricelessasian

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Christmas Minestrone Kale Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)
Adapted from Laura Vitale

Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your preference. You can add whatever vegetables you want; I just used what I had at home. Meatballs would also be a great addition to this soup.

Ingredients

2/3  cup diced carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 can (796ml) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups of chopped kale
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
~1 cup pasta
1-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking

Directions

  1. In a cooking pot, cook carrot, celery, and onion with some cooking oil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions have softened and become translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook vegetables for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and diced tomatoes. Allow the soup to come to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the kale. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add water if the soup reduces too much.
  3. Add the black beans and the pasta. Continue to heat the soup until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season soup with salt and pepper, and finish with some chopped fresh parsley. Serve with more parsley for garnish and parmesan cheese.

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Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Happy first of December! Where did the year go? It’s been a real whirlwind especially since it’s a busy time for us with school and other extracurricular activities. Ricelessasian and I have been a little bit MIA lately, but we hope to post more during the break.

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I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for a long time now – just waiting for the perfect timing to feature this holiday dessert. Recently, a new Greek yogurt cream cheese product was released in quite a few supermarkets and I was pretty intrigued to try it.

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Pomegranate fruits are lovely to consume this time of year; their peak season is in the Fall and Winter. They’re so beautiful and unique. Yes…the seeds are a pain in the ‘arse’ to remove, but the vibrancy of the red seeds makes them super festive to top on any sweet or savoury dishes! Research compiled by Zarfeshany et al. (2014) suggests that pomegranate consumption is associated with inhibiting cardiovascular diseases and lowering the risk of cancers such as prostate and breast cancer, due to their antioxidant properties.

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This Bon Appetit recipe was overall pretty flexible – you can bake the cheesecake or refrigerate it. It’s really up to your personal preference! Due to time constraints, I decided to bake the crust. I also opted to bake the cheesecake instead, leaving out the gelatin. Instead of making one 9-inch cheesecake, I decided to made two 4.5-inch smaller cheesecakes. The nutritional information is also included which helps you keep track of how much you’re indulging in. Typically when I bake regular cheesecakes, my limit is probably 2 small slices and then I give the rest away to my dear taste testers (aka family & friends) 😉

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I think this is a great and healthier alternative to regular or light cream cheese. However, the flavour was quite distinct. I’m a fan of greek yogurt, so the tanginess didn’t bother me too much.

It’s no secret that we love cheesecake! We featured it previously before and will likely do so again in the future. Matcha cheesecake anyone? 🙂

What do you think about greek yogurt as a substitute for regular cream cheese? Will you give it a try too this holiday season?

– Matchachoco