Monday, February 28, 2011

Vegan Mushroom Soup

So I'm thinking today is officially day one of the 30 day soup and salad challenge.  Even though I've done a few soups this month today is the day I decided I'm going to commit to it.  Flipping through the pages of the Soup recipe book I found a number of recipes that I'm actually really looking forward to trying.  Some recipes gave me creative ideas of my own that I'm a little anxious about trying also.  Let's just cross our fingers and hope that they turn out as well as todays soup. The family loved it and I've got a few finicky eaters so that made me happy.

So the soup of the day for Monday was Mushroom Soup with Caesar Salad.  Since I learned how to make the dressing I've been stuck on this salad our last few meals.  I'm thinking I may have to retire it temporarily so that we don't get burned out on it.

The mushroom soup was probably the easiest I've made so far.  It was about 10 to 15 minutes to prep and 20-30 to cook.  I did let the soup simmer a little longer than the recipe suggested though, but thats just me.  All I had to do was mince the mushrooms and green onions, saute them and then combine everything else.  Viola!!! Pretty simple right?  The down side is that you can't (well you can, but I myself find it difficult to) have soup and NOT have bread.  So ciabatta rolls it was. So much for my goal to stay away from bread right?  I guess I'll just gradually wean myself.

All in all I consider this a pretty healthy and very tasty meal.  We'll definitely be having this one again.  SOON!  Lol.  Definitely give this a try if you're a mushroom fan.  The only thing I'd probably do differently next time is probably mince the mushrooms a little more so that its not as chunky, although Hubby enjoyed it the way it was.  If you'd like the recipe let me know, I'm always willing to share.  Stay tuned for tomorrows soup.

Peace and Blessings!!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Now I'm on the soup mission....

I am so fond of soup...especially in the winter months since I'm one of those people that are CONSTANTLY cold.  And when I say constantly I mean always and forever cold.  It was 65 degrees out side and to the average person (especially my family members) this is ideal for February.  For me...I was shivering.  I had a scarf, winter gloves AND a hat on and was still on the chilly side.  Sorry...I digressed there for a sec.

You all saw the curry soup in the last entry that turned out just about perfect right?  Well this time I tried French Onion.  Very simple...but slicing onions....Not so much fun.  We have a food processor that's SUPPOSED to slice, but for some reason it doesn't seem to do the job quite right.  I was stuck slicing 4 really large onions by hand and now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I didn't initiate some help.  It may have something to do with our kitchen been a tad on the small side.  I really need a HUGE kitchen something like this:

Not necessarily this style at ALL but yes, this large.  Maybe a bigger island, a little more counter space and a butlers pantry.  HEAVEN!!!   I'd be a very happy person. So if there is anyone out there that would like to contribute to my new house with the dream kitchen....feel free.  Lol  I would do some serious cooking in a kitchen this size. I go again.... Not what this entry was supposed to be about.  Lol

Anyway, I decided to make French Onion Soup...which I love but haven't had in a long time because most soups at restaurants have a beef base which of course we don't do.  Ewww!!!!  So minus the cutting of the onions which had my eyes tearing and burning like I was in a smoke filled room for hours, preparing the soup wasn't very time consuming and didn't require much work at all.  I'll be making this one often.  I love quick and easy meal....especially when they taste good.  

So this is how it turned out:

Simmering onions 

Finished meal.  Soup topped with Ciabatta bread and vegan mozeralla cheese,  Caesar salad with homemade dressing.  Yummy!!!  The soup was so good we had it for left overs the next day and then the following day Hubby ate the remainder for lunch.   Stay tuned for my next soup.  Smile!!!!

Have a great week.....Peace and Blessings all.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pasta and veggies....

Ok...So our next meal (or my entry rather) was supposed to be soup but we had some peppers that we bought for this meal and wanted to use them before they went bad.  We have this habit of going to the store and buying too many veggies because that ends up being a bulk of our meal but often end up throwing a lot of them out.  The solution:  We only buy what we need for about two days, but the downside is we end up having to go to the grocery store several times a week which is a pain in the butt.

So before we gave up dairy I used to make this meal using 4 cheese ravioli chicken, peppers, fresh basil, garlic, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.  Now that we no longer eat dairy, although I've been seriously craving the raviolli, I made it changing it up just a tad bit.  I made a spicy cream sauce with all the other ingredients and substituted the ravioli for a quinoa angel hair pasta.  We had Caesar salad and fruit as well.

 I would love to do like a 30 day soup and salad challenge but I don't know if I'd be able to last 30.  I should just try it and see how long I can (and the family) can last.  What do you all think?  I sitting here now as I type planning my next meal/soup.  What's on your menu this week and what are your food challenges and goals?

Well that's it for me...until next time Peace and Blessings.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good food and good customer service....what more can you ask for

So Hubby and I were out finishing up some shopping and errands this weekend.  I hate when we don't eat before leaving the house when we know we'll be out for awhile because it usually means we end up stopping eating something leaving me feeling a little icky and unsatisfied.  I can tell you I will refuse to eat Q'doba anymore for the next year.  We've eaten it so much in the last 3 or 4 months I don't think I can do it again without getting sick.

We found this place Garbonzo Mediterranean Grill online awhile back and decided to try it out today.  They have a variety of Vegan and Vegetarian foods.  We were both starving and figured...what the heck.  I'm usually leery of trying new places when I'm half starving because there's nothing worse than really wanting something to eat and then being disgusted when you get your food.  I gave in because it was RIGHT THERE and figured what the heck....

I love great customer service and was pleasantly surprised when as SOON as we walked in the door the guy at the counter greeted us and began telling us about all the vegan options.  He let us sample some of the vegan soups...which I know several places do...but usually I have to ask.  The fact that he offered was great.  The woman that was also at the counter taking orders was very friendly and accommodating.  LOVED HER!!!

It's funny because I was trying to decide what to put in my pita when I saw the picture of the falafel and thought to myself 'hmm...they don't look too appetizing'. The guy must have read my mind because he came with a bunch asking if we wanted to sample them. I tried them....the verdict....SO delicious!!!  They were so good that I ordered extra to bring home and eat.  Lol.   I ended up getting this spinach and rice soup and a Falafel pita with vegetable salad, hummus, lettuce,red cabbage and  a cilantro tahini dressing.  It was surprisingly good.

I have been on new recipe rampage lately so I'm definitely going to try to find a recipe and try my hand at making the falafel.  We have this HUGE soup recipe book that I've probably flipped though once in the 6 or so years we've had it.  I don't know why we buy all these cook books that rarely get used.  Anyway I found about 7 or 8 recipes and cant wait to try them out.  You know you all will be the first to see the pictures.  Lol

Anyway....that's it for me.  I'm heading to bed and tired as I am, I'm sure I'll be out in 2.2 seconds.  Lol  Everyone enjoy the week.....Peace and Blessings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Lol

So my last entry I had intended on posting my latest meal creation.  Ok...not really a creation since I didn't come up with the dish, but still.  It's interesting because I was doing school work with the little one and was trying to find an image of SOMETHING, I don't recall what and came across a food blog to my surprise.  I know what ever I was looking for it had absolutely nothing to do with food so I was shocked that I happened upon this particular recipe.  It was for this Curry Soup with Garlic Naan.  So again here I go with the of my many weaknesses.  We keep going back and forth over whether or not to get a bread maker because of our families love for bread and feel it'd be healthier if we made it ourselves.  Although I'm still not quite convinced because I could literally see myself making bread on a daily basis which would do NOTHING to keep off these unwanted pounds.

So, like I often do I added my own little spin on the recipe and will probably tweak it a little more next time I make it but here's how it turned out:

So it was Curry Soup from scratch mind you :) , Basmati Rice, Cinnamon squash (didn't like it) and Broccoli.  Again with the broccoli, I know.  Lol.  The Garlic Naan I bought from Whole Foods because I was too hungry lazy to make it from scratch.  I'm definitely going to give it a try next time because it didn't seem to complicated.  The soup was so delicious and everyone enjoyed it which, of course, made me happy.  I love making new foods especially when they turn out just about perfect the first go round.   The soup called for lemon grass and I think next time I'll have to use have the amount because it was just a tad bit too potent for me.  But still good nevertheless.

Well people...that's my food post for the day, I'm sure you all are surprised there was no salad right?  If anyone wants the recipe let me know and I'll be happy to get it to you.  In the meantime and as always....Peace and Blessings

Friday, February 18, 2011

I may need to change the title of my blog.....

I think the title of my blog should be All About Food since that's pretty much all I seem to write about these days...what do you guys think?  Lol  Before going into the food though...lets discuss a few other items shall we....

My daughter (13) wants to go hang out at the mall on Friday with her friends and go to the movies.  While I trust her to a certain extent (she is a teenager and they ARE prone to tell half truths) of these friends happen to be a boy so I'm not quite sure how I feel about this.  According to my daughter it will be her 2 other female friends and this boy.  WHY oh why am I having a hard time believing that ONE boy is going to hang out with 3 girls.  That's just a little unbelievable to me.  While I don't want to deprive her of having a good time and socializing with her friends I absolutely DO NOT approve of the whole dating thing at 13.  I'm not really sure how to handle the situation.  I don't want to chaperon or stalk them at the mall to make sure it's just kids hanging out but then I don't want to risk it being more than that and never know.  The woes of parenthood...I tell ya!  Oh joy!!!

I mentioned to you all awhile back about how happy I was with the nail salon (specifically the nail tech Tracy) that I had found.  I swear it seems like every time I find someone that does the perfect pedicure something happens where the move out of the country.  I kid you not.  So I called a few weeks ago to schedule an appointment with Tracy and low and behold....she's out of the country.  She's supposed to be back sometime in march so I'm wondering what do I do until then.  Hubby suggested trying someone else, which I did and while I was happy initially, two days later I was less than pleased when my polish started to chip.

When Tracy does my pedicure I can go two weeks and my feet look like I just got them done.  No exaggeration.  The new woman Sally did do a great job on my eyebrows though so that was a plus.  Lol  It's funny because when she was doing my feet she commented on my usually going to Tracy and how she's so good.  My response was 'Yes I love her and she always does a really great job.  I cant believe she's going to be gone until March!'  I'm wondering if she took that to mean I didn't think she wouldn't do as good a job.  Well she didn't and I don't have to tell you I'm seriously considering waiting until Tracy returns  to go back.  I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Tracy doesn't decide to stay out of the country because if she does I promise you I will literally cry.  I mean BOO HOO cry.  Lol

My little one is convinced he wants a sibling.  He's been constantly asking about when he was a baby and "used to live in my tummy."  Lol  It's funny to me how kids always think they want a sibling until the new one actually arrives.  At that point its WAR and they realize the new baby isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Well I've got news for little Mr.  He is definitely the last little one around here.  The only babies around here will be if my Sister in laws have one which they both have expressed they have no interest in doing anytime soon.  UGH!!!    I've encouraged them numerous times to hurry up and have kids so I can get my baby fix but I have to say I'm glad that they are both obviously waiting until they find that right person and are married.  So I foresee no babies in my future or the little ones future.  SO SAD!!!  :(

I don't recall the art lesson because Hubby being the artist usually does art with the little one.  I think it had something to do with patterns, but my baby made the cutest little picture ever.  I love it so much I want to frame it and hang it on the wall.  Lol

I love the look on his little zebra's face...too cute.  My baby is shaping up to be quite the little artist and I love how he prides himself on taking his time and trying to get his pictures JUST RIGHT!  Love it.

Ok...I had some food to share with you all...and no there was no salad involved.  Lol  But because this is getting a little lengthy I think I'll save it for next time.  Don't you all love me for that?

Peace and Blessings!!!!

*EDIT* So when I initially typed this a few days ago I was concerned about the movie situation with girlie and was debating on whether or not to let her go.  Turns out it was just the 4 girls, so no parental woes outside of playing chauffeur.  Just got home and I am TIRED!!!  Yawn!  Yeay, Fun.  Lol  Happy Weekend All!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Other things besides salad....and oh yeah, salad too

So I said that the next time I did an entry I would try to make it about something besides food and I'm holding true to my word....kind of.  

So I made this awesome spinach and strawberry salad with vegan jerk chicken which was amazing, and broccoli.  We've been doing a lot of broccoli lately and I'm not really sure what that's about other than we really like it and it seems to go with everything.  Lol  The salad was roasted almond slivers, red onions, strawberries and spinach leaves.  The dressing was sesame oil, cider vinegar, garlic, pomegranate juice, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper.  So delicious!!!! 

Moving on to things OTHER than food.... Lol

I really shouldn't complain about the cold and snow here growing up in MN where it's really common to have below zero temperatures for a majority of the winter and multiple feet of snow all winter as well.  We've probably had 2 significant snow falls this winter and it's only been below zero maybe a good 2 or 3 times.  The weather has been pretty mild but me being me and the type of person that is FREEZING even when it's 70 degrees will complain anyway.  Lol

 I find my feet getting really cold just walking from the house to the car and I've decided that it's time to purchase boots.  I've never been much of a boot person other than dress boots but I got sooo tired of my feet being cold.  I surprised when I found these boots online that I absolutely LOVE!!!
I adore the little side pocket.  Lol

They're super comfortable and warm.  The downside is it was in the 60's a few weeks ago and much of the snow melted.  It snowed again and now here it is in the 60's again.  So I'm thinking the odds of me wearing them this winter are pretty slim.  First I'm complaining about snow and cold now I'm complaining about the lack of it because I want to wear my boots.  Never satisfied right.  Lol

Still sticking it out with my locs.  It had been just about a month so I scheduled an appointment with the stylist so she could re-twist and loc them for me.  The twisting wasn't too bad...I kind of knew what to expect after the first time but the loc-ing.  OH MY GOSH!!!!  I was practically in tears.  That mess hurt so bad and I was like 'PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me it's not going to be like this every time.'  I don't know if I could bear it.  My head is hurting just recalling sitting in that chair going through the process.  I think I may just be traumatized.  Seriously!!!  Still rocking my head wrap which I'm sure I will be doing for quite some time.  I did purchase a few really cute wraps and really like that look.

Ok so that's it for me for now.  Wishing everyone and happy and productive week.  Peace and Blessings!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Yes....another one

Ok, so I know you all are probably tired of my salads right?  Come on, be honest... you can tell me.  Lol  Well guess what...I'm just getting started.  Thanks to MrsTDJ for the link to 10 ways to spruce up a salad, so you all know I'm going to get a little creative.  With the recently bought salad book and the link I'm going to be making salads for EVER!!!!  Kidding.  I should probably blog about something other than food though, right?  I mean theres more to life than food isn't there?  

This is the most recent salad I made:  Marinated Antipasto. 


I've come to realize that it's ALL ABOUT the dressing.  If the dressing is "eh" then it just about ruins the salad for me.  The dressing for this salad was amazing and it was actually pretty simple.  It just consisted of olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar (substituted with blue agave honey).  Lettuce was topped with artichokes, cherry tomatoes, olives and was supposed to have mozzarella cheese...but you all know the cheese was left out right?  If I ate cheese I probably would have opted for feta.  

The detox is officially over.  Today was the last day... so it's back to regular eating...YEAY.  I'm still going to try and stay away from the bread and the sugar, which I really haven't done much of in quite some time.  Breads, pasta and sweets are probably my biggest challenge, although it's gotten a bit easier over the past few months.  I'm not even going to tell you all how much weight I've lost over the past 6 months or so just based on changing our eating habits.  I've got a few pounds left to go and I have no intentions of gaining ANY of it back.  I'm hoping if we continue to eat the way we have been that I'll maintain a healthy weight.  *Fingers crossed*  Once we can incorporate some regular exercise then I'll be set. that's it for me people...maybe my next post will be about something other than food.  Lol 
Everyone have a great weekend.  Peace and Blessings!!!!!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yet another Salad

So we've been on a quest to find new salads so we don't get bored or burnt out over the next few weeks.  We were at Barnes and Noble the other day and found this Salad book with some pretty interesting and easy recipes in it.

We've been eating tuna salad but I didn't want to use the regular dressing (vinegar, olive oil, pepper and lemon) that we had been using because it didn't taste quite right to me.  I found a dressing recipe that was made with sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and garlic.  I added ginger and a little pineapple juice and it was GREAT.  Kind of reminded me of an asian type sauce. So I decided to make it and add it to this salad with a tuna patty:

It was made with lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, apples, shredded carrots and sesame seeds then topped with the tuna patty.  We had steamed broccoli and apples on the side.  Delicious!  The salad was ok, but the dressing is what really made it stand out.  I think that dressing is going to be my new marinade next time I make salmon.  YUMMY!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Still keeps going...

We don't dine out often; because of our eating habits we're kind of limited in places we can go. We did find this salad at Joes Crab Shack that we've gotten some what addicted to. It's called a Chipolte Crab Cake Salad.  Now since I HATE crab...ewww... we always substitute that for grilled salmon.  It's amazing.  We've gone back and had it frequently...ok weekly to be honest.  The manager came to our table the first time and asked us if it had been prepared correctly and how we enjoyed it.  LOVE HIM.  He's so awesome!   Anyway.  We like it so much that I was like 'let me see if I can somehow replicate this recipe.'  What I made tasted a bit different and since we're only doing salads for three weeks (we're on day 9 today.  YES!!!)  I guess it's kind of like a fiesta salad.   So now I'm trying to decide if I like this one more or the Spinach and Avocado Salad more.  We'll definitely be having this one again.

Black Beans
Mango Salsa
Pico di Gallo
Crushed Pineapple w/Agave

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Raw foods....

Greetings People!!!

The Hubby and I decided that we were going to try our detox again that we tried a few months back since we never completed it. Why waste money right...we paid for it so to not use it completely....just doesn't sit well with me. So once again we forge ahead and low and behold we're on day 6. Yeay!!!!

We decided before we began to do a little more research because the detox requires for 3 weeks that you only consume raw foods. One of the recipes we located was this Spinach and Avocado Salad It was so simple to make and really delicious if you're an avocado fan like me. I was a little concerned about the cumin and thought that it would give it an overwhelming taste but it didn't. I'm going to use this dressing on other salads because I loved it. I added a cayenne for a little extra spice and alfalfa sprouts as well.

So yummy!!!

I don't know how long I'll be able to last and don't think I'm really cut out to do 100% raw foods, but I think (hope) I'll last the next few weeks. We've almost got one week down and although it's been difficult it's much easier than it's been last time. Wish me luck people!!!!