Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Well...I didn't make it but I have a good excuse

So my plan was to do soup for 30 days and I only made it 17 days.  ARGH!!!  So close.  I don't know if the 17th day actually counts since I technically didn't make the soup.  I heated and served it, but it came from a a box from whole foods.  They have this Vegan Tomato and Basil soup I love.  I'm sure had I made it I would have liked it much better.  Yesterday and today both were just horribly busy so I had to do the quickest thing possible and that was pull the box out of the pantry, heat and serve.  So I cooked it, I just didn't MAKE it.  Lol

I'm actually done with the soups...I ran out of vegan recipes and no one was offering suggestions.  Thank you blog world!!!!!  Although I'm sure I could find more recipes, I'm going to be going out of town so wont be doing ANY cooking and I think my family is soup-ed out.  Daughter is funny because everyday  she's been asking me "what's for dinner?"  Everyday the answer has been the same so I'm not sure why she continues to ask.  I know when we have something different tomorrow she'll probably pass out.  Lol

So anyway here's the ONE picture our last soup meal for awhile...although I am doing 3 soups for the family to have while I'm out of town to make cooking easier for all while I'm away....

Wishing everyone a great week and I'll see you all when I return, unless I'm inspired to blog before I leave or while I'm away.

Peace and Blessings!!!!

Tomato basil and veggie wraps on spelt tortilla

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We're just past the halfway mark....

Soup for soup # 16 I chose Vegan Black Bean Soup... found here. Its funny how I couldn't stand beans growing up.  It kind of surprises me that the foods I had a serious aversion to as a child I really enjoy and appreciate as an adult.  Funny how that works.  I'm not sitting at the table anymore plotting on how to rid my plate of such foods without anyone finding out.  So now I'm a lover of beans.  Lol

I was surprised by how good this soup was.  It was amazing.  You know how I like to change the recipes up a bit.  It kind of reminded me of chili and it also reminded me of the Mexican Gumbo from Q'doba but better.  I ended up garnishing it with some cilantro, green chili's and vegan cheddar cheese.  SO DELICIOUS!.  Much better than the tortilla soup that I made a few weeks back.  This one was perfect.  So perfect that Hubby had it for a late breakfast this morning.  Lol

So that was it.  You can probably prepare this meal for about $10 provided you have the seasoning and olive oil already.  I'm not sure what happened to me blogging about this soup yesterday when I was so excited about how tasty it was.  I love with things turn out just right.  And the quesadilla went perfectly with this soup...a great combination.  I definitely think this is going to be my lunch for today.

So now I'm struggling trying to come up with a soup for today and the upcoming week.  I typically have it all planned out long before now but I'm totally at a loss at this point.  So AGAIN people!!!!  I'm welcoming all suggestions.  Help me to feed my family.  Lol

Enjoy the pictures.  Peace and Blessings!!!!


chopped and sauteed veggies w/cumin and chili powder added

Vegetable broth and remaining ingredients added

Pureed beans and tomatoes added to soup mixture

Finished meal w/ vegan cheese quesadillas

Friday, March 18, 2011

Indian Cabbage Soup....

I found this recipe HERE.  It was another very simple inexpensive soup.  It only required cabbage, onion, garlic, vegetable broth and a few seasonings.  It reminded me almost of my cabbage recipe minus the potatoes.  Almost...  Another recipe everyone enjoyed.  Especially hubby since one of the ingredients is hot sauce and he always wants to throw hot sauce on EVERYTHING.  I'm trying to figure out how to doctor this recipe up a little just to give it a little more flavor.  I don't know what a common seasoning is for Indian food, but it probably could have used it.

Again not a lot of pictures because it was so quick.  It only took about 30 minutes to prepare and make.  Cant get much better than that.  I'm all about meals that take 30 minutes and under to complete.  It probably took me longer to throw together the salad than it took to prepare this particular soup.

Cabbage simmering

Chopped onions and garlic

Fresh Cilantro

Cabbage before Pureeing half the mixture

Finished meal

Soup close up

I actually didn't really care of the cilantro added to the soup.  I've only recently acquired a taste for it and can only eat it in certain things.  Everyone else liked it, but next time we'll have to add it in individual bowls.  

So that's it for today.  Short and sweet.  Happy Weekend People.  Back tomorrow with another soup.  I'm running out of soups....so if anyone has any suggestions please help me out.  I may not make it to the 30 day mark otherwise.

Peace and Blessings All!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Avocado soup....

Apparently Avocado soup isn't for everyone.  I actually LOVED it!!  Hubby hated it and the Daughter liked it, but after eating it a few minutes decided she didn't really care for it and said it had a "different" after taste.  I think she just decided since Hubby didn't like it she didn't either.  So I'm sad because I'm not going to cook an entire pot of soup just for myself.  I don't know how much play that soup will get around here but I definitely thought it was really good especially with some crushed black pepper.  Yum...tasty.

So the recipe only required soy milk, 2 avocado's and vegetable broth.  Doesn't get much easier than that.  I didn't really take many pictures because there wasn't much to the process.  Mash, pour and stir.  The recipe actually suggested serving chilled.  Yuck!  I don't think I could handle ANY soup chilled.  Just doesn't seem very appetizing to me.  But that's just me.


Finished meal w/fruit and bread

Close up
So there you have it.  If you like creamy soups and you like avocado's then most likely you'll really enjoy this soup.  It didn't really have an avocado taste...it was pretty light.  I think this is a great summer soup.  If anyone tries it let me know how you like it.  Simple, 2 large avocados pureed with 1 qt of vegetable broth and 1 cup of cream or whatever type of milk you use.  Easy as 1...2...3... 

Peace and Blessings All!!!! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I had to give in....

Today wont count as part of the 30 days...but Hubby had been really wanting this soup again and I just had to oblige.  I think out of all the soups I've made up to this point, this particular soup is one of our favorites...if not the favorite.  This was the soup that I made, that I kind of created and am not really sure what to call it other that DELICOUS!  Everyone has asked for this soup so  many times since I've made it...I cant even count.  And I have to admit I've almost broken down several times long before now because I've wanted it too.

I didn't write down the recipe so was a little nervous about making it again and had to cross my fingers and hope that it came out right.  Well, It came out right.  It didn't help that I prepared all the food and forgot to prepare the orzo to go into the soup. UGH!!!  So we had plates made and were all drooling at the mouth while we waited for that to finish so we could eat.  We just started with the bread and salad and then of course I was almost too full to eat...but greed kicked in because it was sooo good and wouldn't you know it?  I was able to eat after all.  Lol

I didn't take many pictures since I made this before.  It was almost better this time than the first time.  We ate hours ago but as I sit here typing and recalling how delicious it was I'm tempted to go grab another bowl.  Unfortunately it's almost 10 pm here so I'm going to try and have some sense of discipline...it's not as if I'm hungry or anything.

Dinner is served

Almost ready to eat.  Darn orzo

So that's it people.  This last picture is from when it was made the first time.  I'm glad I conceded and made this for the family because it really is the best soup out of all of them.  I'll be back tomorrow with a new one so stay tuned.  

Peace and Blessings All!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Soup #13....Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

I'm not sure why but for some reason I was really looking forward to this soup.  Maybe because I like spicy so I was hoping for some kick! I love, Chinese, Thai and Japanese food (I so miss Village Wok, Sawatdee and Benihana in Minnesota. Ahhh....Great food.  There's something about Benihana when you go to other states that's just not the same.  The food is pretty similar, but the sauces and the atmosphere....just not the same as in Minnesota.  It's almost worth making a trip back just for these few restaurants.

So that's part of what inspired this recipe I guess, which was really easy.  And when I say easy....All you had to do was throw everything in a pot and simmer.  You cant get any easier than that.  What I realized after making this soup; I'm not a fan of shiitake mushrooms.  I will probably NEVER use them again and if a recipe calls for them...I'm making substitutions.  I'll stick with my portabella mushrooms thank you very much.

So I rate this recipe about a 7 out of a ten.  It was a little more than average.  Hubby and Daughter thought it was great, while I thought it was just ok.  It's not one that I'd be in a rush to make again.  I did a spicy slaw salad which I though was a pretty good combination.  Me and the Daughter liked it, although the recipe called for just a little too much mayonaise..I used this:

 I really like this mayo and it tastes like the real thing to me.  Hubby is NOT a mayo person and he didn't care for the slaw salad only because he felt there was TOO much Mayo in it...which it was.  The recipe called for a cup and I'd probably use about a half instead next time.  Otherwise I thought it was pretty tasty and about as simple to prepare as the soup. I don't have a lot of pictures because all the ingredients were just thrown in together, so here's what I've got:

Finished meal...had to throw in vegi potstickers (store bought)

Finished soup....looks good right?

Spicy Slaw

So there you have it.  The recipe that I was SOOO looking forward to that I was a little disappointed in.  I haven't had Chinese food from a restaurant in several years.  I'm thinking I need to go sample this recipe from an authentic restaurant and then do a comparison.  Not sure if my taste buds are a little off or not.  lol  So that's it.  Come back tomorrow to see what I'll be serving.  

Peace and Blessings all!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spinach and Rice soup with a twist....

Sunday ended up not being a soup night because after grocery shopping, running errands, cleaning house, doing daughters hair and tending to all the other motherly and wifely duties I was just too tired.  Sue me.  So we resume today for Spinach and Rice Soup.  

I had to alter the recipe because while grocery shopping I was unable to find any risotto that didn't have dairy products or meat products so I ended up using basmati rice instead.  So the recipe called for vegetable stock, risotto, onion, garlic, spinach, red chili peppers, salt and pepper.  The recipe was lacking a little.  When the soup was just about finished, it was just a little bland for me, and you know how I have difficulty not straying from the recipe.... It just lacked flavor and was definitely missing something.  So what do I do?  I ended up having some red curry and garlic simmer sauce that I bought from Target that I had been wanting to try so I added that to it with a little milk and cayenne pepper.  MUCH BETTER!!!!  It definitely spiced things up a bit.  So if you like bland the basic recipe will do fine, but me...no thanks, I prefer flavor.

Cooked spinach

Basmati rice

Chili's, onion, garlic simmering in stock from spinach

Soup mixture simmering with milk and curry added :-)

Finished meal

So overall this recipe was ok...kind of blah but once I added my twist to it I have to say it was pretty great.  The family LOVED it, so here was a potential dinner EH that turned into a dinner WOW! I have to say I was pretty pleased with dinner and myself.  Hooray!!!!

I'm looking forward to tomorrows soup, so come back and see what's cooking in my kitchen.  :) 

Peace and Blessings!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Leek and Thyme Soup...

I love potatoes and I love leeks so this soup, I felt was an excellent way for me to get two of the things I love in one meal.  I really REALLY struggled with adding mushrooms to this recipe since I love those as well.  There's something about the combination of leeks and mushrooms that's...I don't know.  Just so very tasty and I could probably eat that all day everyday.  So since I was trying to stick to the recipe I chose to saute mushrooms and put them on the side so I could see what the recipe was supposed to taste like.  Of course after I tasted it I added the mushrooms anyway.  Oh the woes of following a recipe to the letter!!!  I don't know why that's such a difficult thing for me to do.  Lol

So this recipe was fairly simple and only requires 7 ingredients, all are kitchen staples with the exception of the leeks, mushrooms and fresh thyme.  That is unless you're one of those people or families that keep potatoes on hand like we USED to.  I know that potatoes aren't the healthiest and I notice after I eat anything with them I tend to feel a little sluggish.  Actually down right tired.  I took a half hour nap shortly after eating dinner even though I'm still tired and wanted to sleep much longer.  After reading a book by the fabulous Leah Salmon  called The Ultimate You I began to be more conscious about how I felt after eating certain foods.  It's amazing how your body tells you what's good for you and what's not.  Potatoes taste SOOO delicious, fried, baked, mashed...yum!!!  But my body tells me differently.  Lol  I've been pretty good about not overindulging in them like I used to.  Now if I could just kick my bread and sugar habit I'll be good.  Ok...looks like I got sidetracked a tad bit...back to the point.

So the whole family loved the soup which, of course makes me feel good.  They even enjoyed the addition of the mushrooms as much as I did.  I also though the recipe was rather delicious and am sitting here thinking I would mind have more as I type.  I love creamy hearty type soups which is exactly what this soup is.  It's funny how much flavor leeks add to a recipe and what's funnier is that I had never cooked with a year ago....I didn't even know what they were.  Strange. This soup didn't take long to make.  It took about 20 minutes to chop up potatoes and leeks and maybe a little over and hour to cook.

Chopped leeks, thyme and butter

Chopped potatoes

Sauteed and water added 

Milk added to soup mixture

Sauteed mushrooms...I couldn't resist 

Fresh fruit.  Yum!

Finished meal

Soup close up 
The one thing I dislike is the way soy milk looks when you're cooking it.  I don't think it really blends quite right.  It may be that I need to reduce the heat so that it's not as hot before adding the milk.  I'm not quite sure.  It boils and just looks kind of weird, but it does absolutely nothing to the taste.  I think I'm in love with this soup.  Definitely one that will be added to our rotation of meals.  

So that's it folks...be back tomorrow with another

Peace and Blessings!!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

and we round out the week with......

Chiang Mai Noodle Soup is what I chose to cook along with a Chinese Chicken Salad.  I've been literally waiting all week to cook this particular soup.  I'm a big fan of Thai food and I was certain that this would be full of flavor and it would be one that I would be a fan of.  Well....I was right.  It had a very distinct flavor and was amazingly good.

I considered using a different noodle instead of the egg noodles that the recipe called for but chose to stick with the recipe....somewhat.  Since I absolutely hated the texture of the vegan chicken in the chicken noodle soup I chose not to use it like the recipe suggests.  I opted for vegan meat crumbles instead because I wanted to have some type of texture in the soup and to make it a little more filling.  Daughter didn't care for the soup...I was SO surprised.  Hubby liked it but said that the flavor was a little sweet which wasn't really appealing to him, but he really liked it overall and said that he would like to have it again.  Part of the way I judge how good meals are is by  whether or not it's something the family would get excited about having again...Silly huh?

Oh and don't let me forget the salad.  It came from the salad book I blogged about several weeks back.  I was a little skeptical...again with the chicken texture, but I stuck to the recipe on this one, using vegan chicken of course.  I seasoned the chicken lightly and stir fried it in olive oil and then tossed it in the salad.  It was so good.  I was a little surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I'm glad I chose this one because, to me, it complimented the soup perfectly.

boiling the coconut milk so that it separates

coconut milk with remaining ingredient combined

garnish for the soup

Chinese Chicken Salad

Finished Meal

Close up of soup.  Delicious!!!
So folks...there you have it.  A perfect end to an almost perfect week.  Glad I saved this one for today.  I'll most likely be back tomorrow with a new soup since we have NO leftovers.  I was kind of looking forward to a break this weekend but it doesn't appear I'll get one.  Oh well.  Wishing everyone a fun filled enjoyable weekend.  

Peace and Blessings!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 9...Cream of Mushroom Soup and Tuna wraps

I know we've already had mushroom soup.  I think it was one of the first ones we had but this one is a little different.  The first one had mushroom chunks in it and this one is creamed...so, same soup, but different.  What can I say?  I love mushrooms.  

This was another soup that required very few ingredients.  You could make this soup for under well under $15...actually less than that since everything but the mushrooms are you're basic kitchen staples.   Most of the ingredients we already had so really all I had to do was buy mushrooms, and we already had those since we knew ahead of time that'd I'd be making this soup.  This one I will definitely say, without hesitation, was EASY.  All you really had to do was cut, saute, simmer and process. Simple!

I actually really enjoyed this soup.  I've always loved mushroom soup and have always been fond of creamy soups....especially on warm days.  I had a mushroom bisque that I used to always get from Panera until I found out it had a beef base.  UGH!!!!  I think I'll have to find a recipe for that because it was one of my favorites.

Not to much to say about this soup other than it was delicious and everyone really enjoyed it.  The soups this week have been going pretty quick so there hasn't been much leftovers which is good.  Leftovers are great but I hate when the fridge gets a little too crowded.  Guess this means I'll be blogging this weekend since we don't have leftovers to last us through the weekend.  It would actually be an excellent time to repeat a few of the recipes that I've really loved so far, although part of me feels it's a little too soon for repeats.  We'll see.

Mushrooms and onions
Satueed in sunflower oil and butter 

Soy milk, vegetable broth, basil salt and pepper simmering

Finished soup after being pureed with whole wheat tuna wrap
So there you have it...todays soup.  Another hit.  You cant really go wrong with tuna wraps and todays weather was perfect for it.  As it starts to warm up salads and sandwiches or wraps become more and more appealing.  Maybe I'll have a 30 day sandwich/wrap challenge this summer...Although I seriously doubt it.  lol So far we've only had one soup fail...and I don't know that it was necessarily a fail since some of the family liked it.  I think I just didn't suit MY tastes.  

That's it for me this evening.  Check back tomorrow to see what soup wraps up the week....

Peace and blessings!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 8 Soup....Curried Salmon

Curried Salmon Soup and Roasted Red Pepper Salad was tonights dinner.  And before anyone even says anything.....Yes, it was a soup with salmon yesterday; I know...I know!!!   I contemplated for some time whether or not to do Salmon 2 days in a row and because the recipe sounded so yummy, I couldn't resist.  My taste buds weren't quite satisfied with last nights dinner and I was really wanting salmon so I chose to give it a try again...only with a different soup of course.  lol   This one was a definite a winner.  

I'm not going to go into how complicated or easy it was...because I think my idea of easy differs from others, but I will say that this recipe called for about 10 ingredients all of which were pretty inexpensive.  I think it took maybe a little over and hour to prepare the entire meal.  I should probably start timing myself to give accurate prep and cook times.  I will say that though that next time I would probably actually prefer it without the salmon mixed in with the soup.  I could do it on the side or even not at all.  It was still very delicious and a meal that I'm sure I'll make for my family often. Everyone loved it so you know it's going to be added to our regular family menu....not that we really have a menu, but if we did.....

So for the ingredients....( the ones I can actually remember off the top of my head because I'm too exhausted to move from my bed right now)  Salmon, onions, butter, red curry paste, white cooking wine, coconut cream, soy milk, parsley, water, diced potatoes, salt and pepper.  Actually I think that may have been all of them.  See, pretty simple right?  The salad was easy...just roasted peppers, garlic, parsley, chopped carrots, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and I think that's it.  The dressing for this salad actually reminded me of this salad that I made awhile back.  It was very similar.  

So...enough talking typing already...here's pictures of tonights dinner:
Prepared salmon for soup 
Diced potatoes

onions sauteed in butter with curry sauce added

Soup mixture simmering with potatoes

Finished Meal

Closer Look at Soup

Peppers for the salad

Ok, so again I'm apologizing for Blogger, I don't know what's going on with this thing.  When I've tried adding pictures the past few days it's been doing all sorts of crazy things.  My pictures just move where ever they want and so does my text.  I'm not trying to stay up all night trying to figure this out so you all are stuck with it as is....  

So there you have it tonights dinner.  Come back to check out what's cooking tomorrow.  I'm actually pretty excited about tomorrows soup and can't wait to see how it turns out.  *Crossing fingers*

Peace and Blessings All!!!!!