Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More Favorites

Well for whatever reason, I'm on a blogging roll- we'll see how long this lasts! There were a couple recipes that I meant to post links for yesterday but forgot, so here I am today to share them with you!

As you can tell, I'm really into soups. I just love that you can have lots of leftovers after making a big hearty soup, and as I said before, I freaking love leftovers. So, I wanted to share with you another Mama Pea recipe, Lemon Lentil Soup, that I've made a few times now, and intend to make again next week. It is delish! I love that there is very little salt in it, but tons of flavor, and that both munchkie and Dada love it too! It's a great way to get some leafy greens into that munchkie, especially if they're cut up small and hard to avoid once shrunken down in the soup :) I usually make this soup with low-sodium veggie broth- I have yet to try it with carrot juice but will soon! I also make it with spinach instead of the bok choy she has listed. Hope you like it if you try it!


Another recipe worth mentioning, not a soup, but a dip, is Chocolate Covered Katie's cookie dough dip. Oh my heavens. A-mazing! And I've only made the no-sugar version! Yes it has beans in it, but you barely taste them at all. I have added a couple extra dates and a little extra almond butter and that takes away the bean-y flavor. I usually just eat this plain because it is that good, but I have also dipped apples into it and that was very delicious also. Surprise surprise, Claire just eats this with a spoon as well :) I'm trying to limit my chocolate intake these days, so I've thought about modifying this recipe and making it more like an oatmeal raisin cookie dip- sub raisins for the chocolate chips and add a few oats and there you go! Done and done.


So in the ten minutes I have left before my reality tv (aka The Taste!) and ironing starts, I will share my tentative dinner plan for the next few days. We are out of cauliflower soup, so tomorrow I think I'll make the cheezy kale soup that I posted the link for yesterday, and hope that lasts us through Thursday's dinner. Friday could be something very simple like beans, greens, and rice or possibly this asparagus and chickpea casserole (http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/09/asparagus-and-chickpea-casserole.html) from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen if I have the energy, as Brant was requesting to use the asparagus in the fridge soon. I have made that casserole a couple times before and it was pretty good!

What meals do you have planned for the rest of the week? Or are you just a cook-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal/guy?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dinner tonight plus some

Hi all!

I'm back writing again- I am truly amazed by myself right now. It's crazy how much more time I have when I'm not checking facebook every 5 minutes (sad but true) ;)

 Anyway, I know you are all wondering what we are having for dinner tonight, so I thought I'd share with you especially since the recipe is already typed up on the internet for me, how convenient! We are having a favorite of Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live followers- Golden Australian Cauliflower Cream Soup. Again, I will be making a double recipe, so we can hopefully have this for lunches and dinners the next couple days. Before I had munchkie #2, there were few recipes I made more than once unless they were truly outstanding (I will post some favorites by the way). I used to try a new recipe almost every night and unfortunately, we had a lot of bad or mediocre meals! Now, I don't care to experiment as often and just want to eat something yummy and healthy. While this soup may not be my favorite of Dr. Fuhrman's, it is yummy enough, extremely healthy, salt-free for hubby, and a one bowl meal! So without further ado, here is the link to the recipe


If you have any questions about the recipe, please ask! I will add that if you do not have a Vitamix or really good blender, I would probably soak the cashews for a couple hours or overnight so they are easier to blend, or just use cashew butter and stir it in at the end. The recipe calls for 1 cup of cashews, so I would use 1/2 cup cashew butter if you choose to make that substitution.

 Now that I've shared our dinner (which I really need to start soon!), I know you're just dying to know what I had for lunch. After the girls and I took an afternoon nap, I had an extremely late lunch,  which consisted of carrots and broccoli with hummus to dip in, and apples and peanut butter. Claire (aka munchkie #1) wanted her own bowl of hummus to eat- no veggies, just hummus and a spoon. When I moved on to the peanut butter and apples, she ate just the peanut butter. Here was a picture I was able to snap of Claire on the left. Picture #2 on the right is Leah- about time I posted one of her! By the way, a year ago today I found out I was pregnant with little Leah- hard to believe how quickly time has gone...Oh and just a little tidbit about me, I am really good with dates- birthdays and anniversaries especially- tell me your birthday and I will remember it forever! Seriously.

Like I mentioned above, I will now post two of the recipes I've made several times, because they were that good. Keep in mind, we generally eat a pretty low-salt diet, so I can't promise you'll love these recipes as much as we do, but hopefully you do! Enjoy!

   -In this recipe, I sub tahini for the cashew butter and it is goooood!

  - In this recipe, I sub carrot juice for the veggie broth for a salt-free version- also delicious!

These soups go fast in our house...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spicy African Peanut Slow Cooker Soup

Because my dear friend Ag requested it, I am posting the recipe for the slow cooker soup I mentioned yesterday in my post. This is the second time I made this recipe from the cookbook, Peas and Thank You and it was definitely even more delicious this time around! Claire ate quite a bit of the soup, but definitely seemed to enjoy the chickpeas the most! Brant said he liked it and had a second serving- I responded by saying- "Glad you liked it, because it's going to be your lunch tomorrow!"

I made a couple modifications which I will share with you below. Hope you enjoy it, Ag and anyone else who tries it!

Spicy African Peanut Slow Cooker Soup  (Original recipe from Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny, modifications added below)

1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 sweet potato, cubed (approximately 1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp garam masala (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
sweetner to taste (I used a few tsp of maple syrup)
dash of cinnamon
1 14 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, in juice*
1 14 oz can light coconut milk**
2 cups vegetable broth***
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 cup red lentils
*I also added chopped and steamed spinach and kale to the soup right before serving.

Garnishes: cilantro, peants, dairy free or regular sour cream or plain yogurt

Combine all ingredients in a Crockpot and set on high for about a half an hour, and then switch to low for an additional 3-4 hours. (I'm sure every crockpot is a little different, but I had mine on the high setting for 4-5 hours before it was ready, stirring occasionally)

*I actually doubled the recipe, and used 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes and 1 can of no-salt added diced tomatoes because we generally try to minimize excess salt in our diets
**Again, I doubled the recipe and intended to use 1 can of coconut milk and then 14 oz of almond milk to reduce the overall fat content, but ran out of room in my crock pot. I ended up using just the one can of coconut milk for the double recipe and it worked out fine!
*** I replaced the vegetable broth with carrot juice also to reduce the salt in the soup. I often use my juicer to make carrot juice, but today I just used some bottled carrot juice- I've used both Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms brands of carrot juice. I think the carrot juice adds a nice sweetness to soups and added nutrition.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Thoughts

Hi all!

Just as I suspected, a good six months or so have passed since I last blogged! My future as a regular blogger is not bright. For whatever reason, I had the urge to blog today. You'd think the birth of my second beautiful daughter would maybe inspire me, but I guess it didn't! I was pretty busy though and adjusting to a second child, so I'm sure you won't judge :) I think in part, I had the urge to blog because I've been very inspired by my dear friend Ag's dedication to blogging almost every day on her magnificent blog, Wool and Flax. If you're interested in decorating your home, do-it-yourself projects, and funny baby stories, it is the blog to visit! http://www.woolandflaxblog.com/deals/whats-the-dealio/

Anywho, my first thing I wanted to blog about was how wonderful diaper wipes are (out of all things to blog about, how trivial, I know)! I realized today what a hidden treasure diaper wipes are! I used the diaper wipes to clean my entire kitchen today, to clean dried food off our furniture, clean sticky handprints off my laptop, dust my cheaper than aaa side tables (sorry, that's Brant's language with his brother rubbing off on me!), wipe my children's sticky hands, clean food off the floor....and that's just off the top of my  head! Yes I know, I probably was being very wasteful, so I will definitely not use them all the time, but in a pinch, diaper wipes work wonderfully!

Second, sadly, I have not had near as much time to cook or bake as I used to for obvious reasons. Long gone are the days of trying a new recipe 5 days a week and rarely having leftovers, and baking a healthy treat/dessert a few times a week in the evening after the munchkie was in bed. These days, I love and live on leftovers now- I cannot tell you how much I stinkin LOVE leftovers! My oldest munchkie has her witching hour right around the time I need to cook dinner, so nights I have leftovers makes dealing with that time much easier!

 I usually have to double a recipe or possibly triple it to have leftovers for 2, maybe 3 nights if I'm lucky. A regular recipe of split pea soup that would last a week in my parents' house, would maybe last a day and a half in our house. My husband has a bottomless pit of a stomach. Last night, I shook my head in disbelief as I dumped 6 cups of split peas and 14 cups of water into a large stock pot- I could not believe that is the amount of food it takes to make leftovers in our house. It made a lot of soup for sure, but after eating it last night, sending some in Brant's lunch, eating a little for lunch today myself, and eating it tonight for dinner, I would not be surprised if there will not be enough left for dinner tomorrow night. Luckily, I have a crockpot soup planned for tomorrow that should last 2 nights. Courtesy of Mama Pea from her cookbook Peas and Thank You, we will be having african peanut soup tomorrow; this delicious recipe includes red lentils, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, ginger, peanut butter, and tomatoes. I'm going to add some chopped kale or spinach for some added nutrition and color and a one bowl meal. FYI- I also adore one bowl meals! Any meal that you don't need to make a side for gets an A+ in my book :)

Alright folks, that's all for now...the munchkies are wailing. Hopefully talk to you again before another six months have passed!