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!

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!