Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Easy Tasty Veggie Soup

I have to give credit to my friend Lesley for this meal idea. She wrote about this soup on her blog a few months ago and I've been making it about once a week all winter! It is easy to put together and cooks up in about 30 minutes. A lot of times (when I'm making any soup) I make it early in the day and let it sit on the stove for the afternoon. Chopping the veggies ahead of time will make it go even faster. The soup is very versatile, but the main ingredient is the bag of Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix which contains split yellow, red and green peas, lentils, barley, and alphabet pasta. This meal is a huge hit with my kids and is something I serve to other kids and families who may not be used to eating our style of food.

2 cups vegi soup mix
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
2 ribs celery finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 cubes veggie bouillon plus 8 cups water (equivalent to 8 cups veggie broth plus extra water)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, garlic, celery, and carrots for about 5 minutes or until they get soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 20 mins.

You can add a handful of chopped greens (kale, collards, spinach) the last few minutes of cooking. Potatoes are also good in this soup but you'll need to add extra water. Canned tomato paste goes well also. Daniel made it into a curried soup by adding Indian spices and you can also make it more Italian flavored by adding basil, oregano, rosemary, etc. The options of what you can do with this little bag of soup are endless.
The bag is on sale at Kroger right now. Usually it is around $4.50 but it was going for around $3 the last time I was in there so I bought all of them!

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Recipes

I got this cookbook Appetite for Reduction
for Christmas. The author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, has several other great vegan cookbooks but this one focused on dishes with healthier ingredients. She has cut out most oil, processed foods, and sugar. She uses whole fresh foods.

A lot of the recipes are spicy and a little too flavorful for my kids. The girls love bland food--plain sandwiches with no mustard or mayo and salad with no dressing! I might be making some of the recipes for just the grown ups because everything looks yummy to me.

The first thing I tried was this balsamic viniagrette recipe that I'll share. It is EXCELLENT. I love the use of cashews to make it creamy.

1/4 cup cashews (soaked in half cup water for at least an hour preferably overnight)
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar
3/4 teaspoons salt
a few pinches of fresh pepper

Put cashews and shallots in food processor and pulse to chop. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 5 minutes scraping down the sides often. Transfer to sealable container and chill. Makes 1 cup dressing.

Sorry no pictures. We ate it too fast...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Days

We had about 3 inches of snow and lots of freezing rain. The whole town has shut down today and tomorrow so no teaching for Daniel or me!

Here's how my SC girls boogie board in the snow!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Easy Embroidery (how to)

I made these shirts for the girls for Christmas. I came up with the idea while I was at Belk trying to spend enough money to use a $10 off coupon. These solid t-shirts were only $8 and the girls always need new t-shirts since that's all they ever wear. I got these but I thought they were too plain to give as Christmas presents so I figured I'd go to the hobby store and find something to put on them. These little embroidered iron-on letters were about a dollar and seemed perfect as I've noticed that E and A are always drawn to things with their name or initials. 

I ironed them according to the directions, but figured they weren't going to stay since the material is so stretchy in these shirts. To keep them from falling off I just stitched them very quickly around the letters. The whole thing was less than $10 and the kids love them! 

Monday, January 03, 2011

Finally some Christmas photos

Here's a slide show of the best pictures from our trip. We started out with Christmas Eve and morning in Charlotte with the Kruideniers. Then drove to Baton Rouge to stay with the Ashbys. Then made our last stop in Jackson MS with more cousins and extended family.