Rachel Ray’s French Onion Soup with Cheesy Croutons


6 medium onions
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 baguette, ends trimmed, sliced into 16 rounds about an inch thick
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons good quality dry sherry, optional

Yields: Serves 4

Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat while thinly slicing the onions. Add butter to the pot and melt. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper, and gently caramelize, stirring frequently, 30 minutes. If the onions begin to brown to quickly at edges before they caramelize, turn heat down a bit. Deglaze the pan with the wine, let reduce a minute while stirring. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place rack in middle of oven, heat oven to 250˚F.
Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange the bread slices on it. Toast bread 15 minutes. Switch broiler on. Top the bread with lots of mounded cheese and broil 2-3 minutes to melt cheese.
Ladle soup in shallow bowls and stir in a tablespoon of sherry per bowl, if using. Set 4 cheesy croutons into each bowl and serve.

Heather's Healthy Shepard's Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.


1 small-medium onion diced
cup of fresh broccoli crowns
1/4 canned or 1/4 fresh green beans
cup of fresh zucchini & yellow squash
4 med./large Russet potatoes peeled, cut up & washed
1/2 lb. 93% lean ground beef (or 1/2 ground turkey if you want to have less calories)
1/2 8oz. can of corn in low sodium or no sodium water
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp reduced calorie margarine
1/2 cup shredded 3 cheese (fiesta kind)
2 tsp. corn starch
2 bouillon cubes (chicken or beef)
cooking oil spray

Steam the zucchini & broccoli florets & green beans cut in half or just add the canned ones later when you add the corn.
Boil the potatoes, drain, beat with the milk & margarine, add a little salt if you want to. I put some a small amount of raw onion so the potatoes don't come out gray.
Spray skillet with cooking oil spray fry the onions after cooked set aside in bowl.
Boil 1 & 3/4 cup water add bouillon cubes use a tiny sifter shake in the corn starch & whisk it while you add it. Let it get thick like gravy remove from heat.

Brown your beef or turkey, I did it with minced garlic but you don't have to.

Put canned corn & steamed zucchini, fried onions & broccoli in a bowl pour the fat free bouillon gravy over veggies & stir.

Spray some cooking oil into a casserole dish add 1/2 the cooked meat on the bottom, then pour half of the veggie's in gravy over it. Then add(1/2) a layer of the mashed potatoes. Then sprinkle 1/2 of your shredded cheese. Then add the rest of the meat, then the veggies in gravy then your last layer of mashed potatoes & cheese.
Cook 350 degrees for 30 minutes then I turned it up to 375 for 5 minutes for top layer of cheese to be a bit more crispy but you don't have to do it like that if you don't want to of course!

For an even lower fat higher fiber version you can use a small turnip, some cubed butter squash and or acorn squash & 2 Russet potatoes instead of 4 potatoes. To make the mashed potatoes & instead of using milk when you make them mashed use fat free chicken stock or fat free beef stock.

I actually like my "new" way better then the old fashioned way with the tons of butter & gravy with fat and a ton of shredded cheese!