My Mother is in the last year of her 80's and, thankfully, is still healthy and active. She isn't cooking very much for herself from scratch any longer, however, and basically opens cans and has trouble eating anything that requires a lot of chewing. I often make a large eight quart stockpot full of soup or stew for her, so that I can make multiple one quart servings for her to freeze and then later re-heat as she needs them. I always try to make the recipes as full of vegetables and protein as I can to make it nutritious, and if I add meat I make sure it is lean and easy to chew.
When Knorr's offered, through BlogHer, to send a package of their new condensed Chicken Homestyle Stock product for us to try, and enter in their "Four Recipe Contest" I was excited to have the opportunity and knew I would make good use of it. The package contained four tubs that were slightly larger than an ounce each of chicken flavor with other natural flavor low fat cholesterol free, stock, each with no added MSG.
As you can see from the directions on the box, each tub can be reconstituted with 3 1/2 cups of boiling water to make that measurement of stock. It can also be reconstituted with any liquid, such as fruit juices or ciders. It can also be used undiluted as a poultry rub, stirred into 3 cups cooking liquid of pasta or rice to add flavor to those dishes, or stirred into pan drippings to make a gravy. Its small size makes storage easy, and there is no waste.
When I received my package of Knorr's Homestyle chicken Stock I decided to make a vegetable rich stew that contained lentils, mini turkey meatballs and whole wheat pasta so that it would be a complete "meal in a bowl" for my Mom.
Vegetable, Red Lentil, Pasta and Mini Turkey Meatball Stew
Prep time: one hour
Cooking Time: one hour
Serves: 14, two cup servings
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Three stalks celery, chopped smallFour large carrots, chopped small
One large onion, chopped small
One large red pepper, chopped small
Two garlic cloves, crushed and minced
Two pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
One pound package of dried red lentils, sorted over and rinsed.
Two tubs of Knorr's condensed Chicken Homestyle Stock
Seven cups of water.
Two teaspoons ground gingerTwo teaspoons cumin
Two teaspoons turmeric
Two teaspoons red chili paste
One teaspoon garam masala
Turkey Meatball additions:
One pound ground turkey meat
Two eggs, beaten slightly1/4 grated Pecorino Romano cheese
One half cup seasoned bread crumbs
Two tablespoons dried parsley
One teaspoon of ground black pepper
Cooked separately and added as final ingredients:
Two pounds of spinach, rinsed and boiled in 1/2 cup water
Thirteen and a quarter ounces whole wheat rotini (or any small bite size pasta of choice) boiled separately in water according to package directions, minus two minutes, two cups of pasta water reserved in case it is needed.
Saute the chopped celery, carrots, onion and red pepper in the three tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat, stirring well frequently.
When the vegetables are translucent, after around ten minutes, add the minced garlic and turn heat down to low.
Add the cubed sweet potatoes, and seven cups of water. Bring heat higher and bring to a boil. Add the two tubs of Knorr's Chicken Stock and stir well.
Turn the heat to medium/low and add the red lentils to the pot and add all spices. Allow to come to a low boil/simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook ten minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the turkey meatball ingredients together and form into small 3/4 inch meatballs.
Begin to boil the water to cook the pasta.
Quickly add the turkey meatballs to the pot one by one, gently stirring now and then to submerge them in the stock. Cover the pot and keep the stew cooking on a low boil, adjusting the heat as needed. Allow to simmer 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Boil the spinach in a another pot with the half cup of water and drain well. Add cooked spinach to the stew. Boil the pasta in the separate pot of boiling water for two minutes less than package directions, then drain, reserving two cups of the pasta water to add to the stew as needed to keep a liquid consistency. Stir well, and cover. Cook on a low simmer another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle about two cups of the stew into a bowl and serve. I like to grate extra Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.
The vegetables and lentils really incorporate well into the delicious Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock and become a creamy consistency. The spices add the perfect extra punch of flavor without making the stew too spicy and they enhance the sweet potato flavor. The lentils, meatballs and whole wheat pasta make this a filling, nutritious and delicious meal!
This is a photo I took the last time I made soup for my Mom to take home. to freeze. I allow the soup to cool and place it in one quart containers so she has enough for a few meals in each one. You can do this with your favorite soups or stews for yourself, a new mother, someone who is recuperating from an illness or surgery or a new neighbor. It's a wonderful way to share some love!
Thanks to Knorr and BlogHer for allowing me to take part in the Knorr Four Recipe Contest with this entry! I am looking forward to seeing what all the other participants have done with their sample of the Knorr Concentrated Homestyle Chicken stock over on the special Blogher Four Recipe Contest, and I'm sure you'll want to check in too! Anyone can enter this contest up until July 15, 2011--read the rules at this link.
I am also adding this link on Michael Lee's blog Designs By Gollum for her wonderful "Foodie Friday" event! Besides Michael's always creative food entry, there are always wonderful recipes and food events linked up on her event every week--be sure to check it out!