Winter! Does your schedule slow down just because the day’s are shorter and the weather is colder? Or is your family’s calendar just as jam-packed with activity as in the fall? If you’re like us, it gets harder and harder to get everyone around the table, even in the heart of the coldest season of the year. Between sports team practices, work schedules, homework, dance practice, volunteer activites, youth group and more, our kids are as busy as we are — maybe even more so. Having a chance to share a meal in the evenings is something we still seem to be able to juggle, but it often means that I need to prepare something quick and easy, in order to fit that in before someone has to take off for the next activity. I have a collection of tried and true, quick and easy recipes that fit the time constraints, but I also like to get as much nutrition into those dishes as I can, as well. Whole foods and cooking from scratch don’t always lend themselves well to simple recipes in a hurry, but with some pre-planning, they definitely can.
A batch of pre-cooked quinoa and homemade chicken stock from the freezer, help to pull this tasty soup meal together in under 30 minutes. If you don’t have homemade chicken broth, purchase a high-quality and flavorful stock that your family likes. Since you’re not developing flavor with long, slow simmering, you’ll want to start with fabulously flavorful ingredients. As for quinoa, I like to cook a 10 or 12 cup batch on Monday and then have it stored in the fridge for salads, soups, wraps and casseroles the rest of the week.
Start with cutting Oscar Mayer Selects Smoked Uncured Bacon into one-inch pieces and crisping them in a large stock pot. It doesn’t take a lot of bacon. The bulk of the protein in this meal is coming from the nutrient-dense quinoa. The bacon is all about the fabulous smoky flavor. And Oscar Mayer Selects Smoked Uncured Bacon has no added nitrites or nitrates, so I feel great about using it in dishes for my family. Without draining the bacon, add thinly sliced green onions and sliced carrots to the stock pot and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes more. Don’t worry if you have any little bits sticking to the bottom of your stock pot. The pan will deglaze as you add the chicken stock, next.
Add the stock and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. When everything is moving freely, add the quinoa, diced cauliflower and chopped kale to the pot and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes and then add PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, heavy cream and Kraft Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar to the pot. Stir until the cheese has melted and all ingredients are combined into a creamy delicious soup. Remove from heat.
Serve it garnished with more shredded cheddar and sliced green onions as garnish. Now, you’ll be able to serve a delicious, filling meal that your family will love, no matter how hurried you all are. Visit kraft.com to get the complete recipe and make Creamy Cauliflower Kale and Quinoa Soup with Cheddar and Bacon for your family! Enjoy!