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Cream of Cauliflower Soup

6 cups cauliflower, coarsely chopped

1-1/2 cups onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 small green pepper, chopped

2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

Dash dry mustard

Dash curry powder

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk

Cook cauliflower in pot with just enough water to cover. Bring to boil; lower heat, cover and cook until tender. Transfer cauliflower, together with cooking liquid, to a blender and puree. Return pureed cauliflower to pot and add remaining ingredients, except nonfat dry milk. In a separate bowl, dissolve nonfat milk with a small amount of water; add to soup. Bring to boil; reduce heat to moderate, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until all vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Puree half of soup in a blender; return pureed soup to pot and serve hot. Yield: 4 cups soup.

Zesty Italian Bean Soup

2 cans (15 to 19-ounces each) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small zucchini, coarsely diced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

1 (14-1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 (14-1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

2 cups water

Grated Parmesan cheese

Place 1-1/2 cups beans in bowl; mash beans with potato masher; set aside. Heat olive oil in 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add celery stalks and next 6 ingredients; cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in stewed tomatoes, vegetable broth, spinach, reserved mashed beans and 2 cups water, breaking up tomatoes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in remaining beans and heat through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 main-dish servings.

Stuffed Sole with Lemon Mustard Sauce

4 (4-ounce) sole (or flounder) fillets

4 teaspoons low-fat margarine, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Large spinach leaves

Nonstick cooking spray

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350°. Divide fish into 8 equal portions combining and piecing the fillets as necessary. Combine margarine and tarragon. Spread each portion with 1/8 of margarine mixture; place 1 or 2 spinach leaves on top. Roll up fillets and secure with a wooden toothpick. Place rolls in an 8x8x2-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes.

Lemon-mustard sauce:

Combine yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard and lemon peel in a bowl. Place in a microwave and heat on High for 1 minute or warm in saucepan over medium heat. Stir once during heating process. Do not boil. Stir in parsley. Spoon sauce on individual plates and place fish rolls on sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Mom’s Pierogi

(Recipe requested by one of our readers!)

Soft dough:

1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon salt

2-1/2 cups flour

Beat the first 4 ingredients. Mix in flour, adding more flour, if necessary, until the dough forms a soft ball. Divide dough in half. On a floured board, roll each half of the dough into a thin sheet. Cut circles in the dough with a cutter 3-1/2-4 inches in diameter.

Cheese filling:

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound farmer’s cheese (solid cottage cheese) mashed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Cream yolks and butter. Combine with remaining ingredients; mix well. Put 1 teaspoon filling on each dough circle, being careful to place it off center. Moisten rim of circle with water. Fold the unfilled side of circle over filling and press edges firmly together to seal them. Drop pierogi into gently boiling salted water and cook 5 to 7 minutes (gently). Remove with perforated spoon. Serve with melted butter and sautéed onions. Yield: 6 servings. (Note; Never crowd or pile pierogi; they stick together when uncooked. When cooked and crowded together, they become misshapen and heavy.)

Whole Wheat Macaroni and Pickle Salad

(Great served with easy mini-rolls below!)

1-1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni

1/4 cup chopped green onions

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

2 dill pickles, chopped

1/2 cup Italian dressing

2 tablespoons dill pickle juice

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 teaspoon dried whole dillweed

Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and let cool. Combine macaroni, onions, eggs and chopped pickles in a large bowl.

Combine Italian dressing, pickle juice, mustard and dillweed, stirring to blend. Pour over macaroni mixture; stir well to coat. Cover and refrigerate salad at least 1 hour before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Easy Mini-Rolls

1 (16-ounce) loaf frozen white or whole wheat bread dough, thawed

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

Mustard seed, dill seed or fennel seed

Lightly grease 2 baking sheets; set aside. Divide dough into 30 to 36 pieces; shape into small balls. Place rolls on prepared baking sheets. Cover rolls; let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 350°. Beat together egg white and water. Use a pastry brush to brush mixture over rolls. Sprinkle generously with desired seeds.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer rolls to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: 2-1/2 to 3 dozen mini-rolls.

One Bowl Coconut Cream Pie

(Makes its own crust!)

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded coconut

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all purpose flour

8 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place milk, coconut, eggs, vanilla, flour, butter and sugar in blender. Mix well.

Pour into a greased and floured pie plate. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Let cool. Yield: about 8 servings.

Sugar Crust Cake

1 cup shortening

1-3/4-cup sugar

6 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted 3 times

Dash salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cream sugar; gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture one-half cup at a time. Mix well after each addition. Stir in flavorings. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan and bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and let cool completely. Yield: 1 delicious (10-inch) sugar-crust cake.

Kitchen Tip:

When you deep-fry, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil’s surface for five seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pot or the other food.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would like to hear from you. Please email me at Please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email!
Web Bonus Recipe

Light Batter-Fried Vegetables

3/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup unsifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup water

1 egg, slightly beaten

About 1 quart corn oil

4 cups cut-up vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms

In a medium bowl, stir cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add water and egg; stir until mixture is smooth. Pour corn oil into 12-inch skillet, filling no more than 1/3 full. Heat corn oil over medium heat to 375°. Dip vegetables into batter (stir batter occasionally). Fry a few at a time, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Yields: 4 cups.

Herb batter:

Follow recipe for Light Batter-Fried Vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves and 1 clove garlic, minced.

Beer batter:

Follow recipe for Light Batter-fried Vegetables. Omit water. Add 1/3 cup cold beer.