Detox Weight Loss Soup

Detox Weight Loss Soup

And after a year of COVID and lockdown many of us have put on a few extra pounds. Sometimes soup is all you need, and this recipe will help to nourish and clean out impurities. And hey, maybe you will drop a few pounds too! You can follow this recipe as is or you can easily modify it with any vegetables that you like. If you make changes, try to include beans of some kind. They give you a hearty protein that helps you to feel full.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 small spanish onions
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cups (3 large leaves) fresh kale
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can cannellini or small white beans
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 zest of full lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme


First, add olive oil to a large stock pot and heat on medium high. Next dice the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.


Wash the mushrooms, chop them slightly into smaller bits, then add to the pot. Mince the garlic and add to the pot. Stir for several minutes, then add the zest of one lemon.


Add the vegetable broth, water and juice from the lemon. Slice and wash the leeks and add them to the soup. Remove the stems from the kale then chop the leaves into small bits. Add the kale to the pot then set the heat to high.


Allow everything to boil for 2 minutes then turn down the heat to low. Cover and cook on low for 1/2 hour. Add the beans and continue to cook for 1/2 hour to 2 more hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.





Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and it’s time to talk turkey! When a full turkey is too much for your household, try a bone in turkey breast. These are usually around 8 pounds and serve at least 4 people. For this recipe we are going to soak the turkey overnight in a brine. Brining a turkey will help to flavor the turkey and keep it juicy. This is an optional step as many turkeys from the store are already injected with a basting solution to add flavor and juiciness. But if you have the time, give the brine a try. Another important step is to dry out the skin so that it gets nice and crispy. This recipe will go over several techniques for drying out the skin.

Ingredients

  • 7 – 8 pound bone in turkey breast
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 gallon water


If your turkey breast is frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 2 days.


First create a brine by boiling 1 gallon of water along with kosher salt, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and sliced lemons. Bring this to a rolling boil for a few minutes then turn off the heat. You can add ice in a large zip seal bag to speed up the cooling process but do not add ice directly to the brine because this will dilute the solution. When the liquid cools down, place the brine solution into the refrigerator for 1 hour. Next, submerge the turkey breast into the brine and refrigerate it for 8 to 18 hours.


After brining, remove the turkey from the brine and wash it off to remove excess salt. Place the turkey on a cooling rack and pat the skin dry with paper towels. If you have a hair dryer, use it to blow dry the turkey skin for about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a hair drier, you can use a small fan to dry the skin for 10 minutes. Now, if you don’t have a fan or a hair dryer, you can salt the skin and place the turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The idea here is to dry the skin to achieve crispy brown deliciousness. Next carefully remove the wishbone with a small knife. This will greatly improve the slicing of the breast meat.


Preheat the oven to 425 F. Rub down the turkey skin with vegetable oil or melted butter. Sprinkle on some powdered sage, kosher salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Place a few sprigs of thyme on the turkey. Move the turkey to a roasting pan and set it in the rack. When the oven is ready, place the turkey in the oven and cook it for 20 minutes. Cooking at this temperature will help dry out and crisp the skin. Next, lower the heat to 325 F and cook for 75 minutes or until the turkey reaches 165 F at the thickest part of the meat. If the skin is darkening too much before cooking is finished, cover the turkey with foil. For reference, turkey breast should cook 20 minutes per pound at about 350F. But we’ve complicated things by cooking first at 425 F and then at 325 F.


When the turkey is finished, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve it with the pan drippings. You can also use the drippings and the dark brown crispy goodness in the pan to make a gravy. But beware, depending on how much salt was used on the turkey, you may end up with a salty gravy.





Pellet Smoked Poblano Chorizo Dip

Pellet Smoked Poblano Chorizo Dip

Nothing beats a smokey cheesy meaty dip and this recipe brings all these delicious flavors together perfectly. This recipe requires a little bit of work and it yields a large amount but that’s a good thing right? Be sure to buy an extra bag of tortilla chips!

Ingredients

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 20 oz chorizo (5 links)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz colby jack cheese
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


First, fire up the grill and allow it to heat on low. Peel the onion and cut it into 3 thick slices. Rub a light coat of olive oil on the onions and poblano peppers. When the grill reaches temp, add the onion, poblanos, and chorizo. Cook for about 6 to 10 minutes then flip everything to the other side and continue cooking. The poblanos will finish first, and should be removed when the skin on both sides is browned. After removing the peppers, place them in a plastic bag to steam off the skin. The onions will finish next followed by the chorizo when it reaches 165 F in the center.


While you are grilling, shred the cheddar, pepper jack, and colby cheeses and add it to a large bowl. Slice up the cream cheese into small chunks and add to the bowl. Add the greek yogurt / sour cream to the bowl and stir the contents until mixed.


After the peppers have steamed for 10 minutes, remove the outer skin layer from the peppers and discard. Remove the pepper stems and seeds, then dice the peppers and add them to the bowl. Dice the cooked onion and add it to the bowl. When the chorizo is done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes then remove the casing and chop the meat. Add the chorizo to the bowl and mix the contents of the bowl thoroughly.


Next spread around the 2 cans of refried beans on the bottom of a 13 inch skillet or foil lasagna pan. Spread the cheese poblano chorizo mixture on top of the refried beans. Slice the jalapeno thinly and place the slices on top of the cheese.


Preheat your pellet smoker at 250F using apple or pecan wood. Smoke the cheese dip for at least 1 hour. You can smoke longer if you like, just pay attention to the top layer of browning cheese and make sure it does not get too tough and overcooked.

https://youtu.be/aLQ2KiX-Vn4





Pellet Smoked Mac and Cheese

Pellet Smoked Mac and Cheese

Most people love mac and cheese, but have you ever tried smoked mac and cheese? If you have then you know how much better it is over traditional oven baked versions. With this recipe you get a unique flavor with this blend of cheeses and the optional jalapeño peppers. It’s super easy to cook on your pellet smoker, but if you must, you can bake it in the oven too. For a topping, this recipe uses buttery browned panko breadcrumbs. If you’re not a fan then simply apply more shredded cheese on top and follow the last broiler step. Now with that said, this recipe is NOT for the gooey runny melty style mac and cheese. If that’s what you are after, use more soft cheeses such as mozzarella or maybe even ricotta or mascarpone.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz package elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons for bread crumbs
  • 3 cups milk or half and half
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 8 oz cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cup shredded gouda cheese
  • 8 oz cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 jalapenos (optional)


Bring the 8oz of cream cheese to room temperature and slice it into smaller blocks.


Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni to the al dente firmness which is usually 6-8 minutes (follow the packaging instructions). When ready, pour the macaroni into a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Mix the macaroni around to cool down all bits. Now you have partially cooked macaroni and it will finish cooking when you put it on the smoker.


Next, hand shred the cheeses and set it aside in a large bowl. Following this, remove the seeds from 2 jalapeno peppers and dice them up.


Next start the cheese sauce by melting 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk the flour into the butter until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the milk (or half and half) and raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes then whisk in the salt, pepper, and mustard ingredients. Turn the heat down to medium low and start adding the cheese. First start with two chunks of cream cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted. Continue to add cream cheese until it is fully incorporated into the sauce. Next add the shredded cheese about 1 cup at a time and stir into the sauce. When all the cheese is added, stir in the chopped jalapenos. Next add the macaroni into the sauce and stir until it is fully coated with cheese sauce.


Next pour the mac and cheese into a large cast iron skillet or a lasanga foil pan. Have your pellet smoker running at 250 F with pecan or apple pellets. Place the skillet or pan on the smoker and cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Use a toothpick and test for doneness. When it slides in with no resistance, the mac and cheese is ready.


Next melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook for about 3 minutes until all the butter is absorbed but try not to brown the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the mac and cheese. Set your oven broiler on low, then cook the mac and cheese for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs, you just want them brown. Let it cool for a few, then serve and enjoy!