What’s better than getting together with a couple of your closest friends??? COOKING with your closest friends! I had the best time hanging out and cooking with a couple of girlfriends a few weekends ago.
Both of my friends, Nathalia and Grace, are working moms so it’s often hard to find a free night to get out of the house. We had been talking about trying to find easy recipes for a family so I took the opportunity to offer up a mini cooking class as well as a catch up sesh at my house.
Since I love showing people easy healthy recipes, I planned a three course menu that the girls and I could cook while chatting. First up on the menu was a Zucchini and Herb soup, adapted from a Daphne Oz’s Zucchini soup in her book Relish. This soup is so simple and easy! We literally had this soup on the back burner while mostly talking about the latest gossip, er I mean, world events….
What I love about this soup is that it is so creamy….. but there is no cream! The softened zucchini blended with the herbs and chicken stock, create the best light and creamy soup. It’s also a great meal prep since it only takes 20 mins to make and can be stored in the fridge and heated for quick dinners. Grace had an awesome idea of pairing the soup with ready cooked rotisserie chicken. Yum!
The main course was an Asian Pot Roast. The original idea came from a Brisket Bowl recipe from Rachel Ray, but I changed the Asian ingredients to amplify those delicious, savory flavors.
The key to pot roast is cooking it low and slow for 2-3 hrs. I had started a pot roast earlier in the afternoon due to the long cooking time, and actually, once the girls came over, I kinda forgot about it so it probably cooked for 3.5 hrs. But it didn’t matter! As long as there is enough liquid in the pot and the heat is not too high, pot roast can be very forgiving! Also, I love that this dish makes a lot of food! We had leftovers for a week!
The Asian pot roast is really versatile. You could serve it with rice, rice noodles or even with mashed potatoes, which my family loves. Another favorite, is taking the shredded pot roast meat and adding it to breakfast tacos. It might sound crazy, but those asian flavors actually taste delicious in a taco… who knew?!
No girls night is complete without dessert! Chocolate Nutella mug cake is the ultimate quick dessert. It’s a single serving cake that we whipped up in 80 seconds in the microwave. The best part of the mug cake, other than the fact it is made with high fiber and high protein coconut flour, is the gooey Nutella filling! Of course, you could substitute with other fillings, like a berry jam, peanut or almond butter, or even homemade Nutella to reduce the sugar content. The girls loved this dessert! I couldn’t be happier!
This girls night cooking class was a huge success! Grace even went home and made all the recipes and her family loved them too! I was over the moon!!!
I absolutely love sharing food with people and showing them that healthy food is simple, beautiful and most of all, delicious! In the spirit of this, I am sharing the recipe for the vibrant colored Zucchini and Herb soup. Let me know if you give this recipe a try! Take a photo and post it on Instagram! Tag me @nourish_with_renata and #nourishwithrenata – I would love to see what you make!
Also, I am pleased to announce that I am offering in-home cooking classes for small groups. These classes are offered in the Houston area only. If you are interested, please comment below and I will get back to you soon. I can’t wait to make more yummy food with you!
Happy Cooking, y’all!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 4 medium zucchini diced
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves removed and chopped
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves removed and chopped
- 2-3 cups of chicken stock or broth
- Salt and Pepper
In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium heat.
Add the onion and saute till tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chopped garlic and stir till fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add in the diced zucchini, herbs and 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir gently and allow to simmer on a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes till the zucchini is very soft.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked zucchini into a high speed blender or food processor. Pour in about a cup of the chicken stock/broth from the pot. Depending on the size of your blender/food processor, you may need to do this in batches. If the blender/food processor is too full, it will overflow during blending and burn you!
Carefully blend the zucchini and stock/broth till very, very smooth.
Transfer blended zucchini and stock/broth back to the pot.
Stir soup and if it is too thick for your liking, add in a little more chicken stock/broth.
Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.