10.18.2017

Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup

As a Nutritarian, I rarely get sick with a common cold or any other illnesses.  On the rare occasion, my immune takes a hit if I've been traveling and not eating as well as I do at home, or if I'm under more stress than usual.  When that rare cold sneaks in, I take extra time to rest, stay hydrated, and keep my meals small and simple.

This is the soup I make myself if I feel a cold coming on because it's light, easily digestible, and full of nutrients.  You can make this on the stovetop in about 20 minutes, or use a pressure cooker and set for 2 minutes at high pressure. 

Quick Feel Better Vegetable Soup
Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-2 servings
Ingredients:
        2 cups vegetable broth (homemade, or no salt added store bought)
        2-6 garlic cloves, minced
        1/4 yellow onion, diced
        1 carrot, peeled and diced
        1 celery stalk, diced
        1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
        1 tsp no-salt seasoning
        1 tsp dried herbs of your choice (see note below)
    After cooking:
        1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
        1/2 cup frozen green peas
Instructions:
1.)  In a medium pot (or in a pressure cooker) add all of the ingredients except for the rice and green peas.
2.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  (Set to cook on low pressure for 2 minutes, with a quick release following).
3.)  Add in the brown rice and frozen green peas.  Stir and heat on low until the peas are warmed through.  Serve hot!


Amy's Notes:

For the dried herbs, I like to sprinkle in dried oregano and dried basil.  Some other good options are dried parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and dill.

Adding the cooked brown rice at the end is optional.  If you are having this soup when sick with a stomach bug, white rice in this case may sit better in the tummy.


Health and Happiness,

Amy


10.16.2017

Easy Apple ONOs (Overnight Oats) for the Work Week

I recently started a new part time day job.  It's actually at my husband's alternative high school managing their student data.  It is a bit monotonous, but I'm a huge spreadsheet nerd and actually LOVE the quiet time to listen to music and chug away at my work.  It's also REALLY nice that Kevin and I are on opposite schedules, so when he is leaving for the day, I get there and vice versa on other days.  That allows us to trade off Ben, but still get family time together in the evenings for at least an hour before Ben goes to bed.

With this new job comes a predictable schedule, which is the best part.  We started sleep training Ben back when he was 6 weeks old, and now at one year old, he has always done best on a set nap and sleep schedule.  (This is 100% because of MyBabyCanSleep.com... if you're a mama or dada with a babe and NEED to get naps and sleep under control, I would recommend them to the moon and back!)  Predicability in work and nap schedules also finally means predictability in meal times for me!

I find it easiest to stick to my health goals by prepping meals ahead of time.  Lately breakfast has been a hard meal for me to fit in, so I took control this Sunday and made my breakfasts for the week.  This overnight oat (ONO) recipe is one I've made in single servings many times before, but with this busy mama's schedule, I needed to bump it up to 5 weekday servings.  Hope you enjoy!

Easy Apple ONOs (Overnight Oats) for the Work Week
Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5 servings (approximately 1 1/2 cups each)


Ingredients:
    2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
    2-3 large apples (or 5 small), cored and finely chopped
    1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
    5 Tbsp chia seeds
    2.5 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or bit of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg)
    5 cups plant-based milk (see my notes below)

Instructions:
1.)  In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients except for the plant-based milk.
2.)  Pour in the plant-based milk and mix together until thoroughly coated.
3.)  Measure approximately 1.5 cups per serving into 5 air-tight containers.  Store in the fridge and eat them for breakfast during the week, but allow to sit at least overnight before serving.

Amy's Notes:
For the plant-based milk, I like to use my homemade cashew milk (basic recipe here) or an unsweetened 30 calorie store bought milk.

These ONOs can be eaten cold straight from the fridge or heated for a minute or two in the microwave.  You can also add some extra goodies when you eat them such as extra fruit, coconut shavings, bit of dried fruit, extra plant-milk, etc.


Health and Happiness,

Amy


9.14.2017

Creamy Wild Rice and Lentil Stew

I threw this soup together one evening a while back and it ended up being BenBen's first not-just-one-ingredient food.  We are doing Baby Led Weaning, and you can read more about that here.  I think these pictures tell you how much he enjoyed it.






Made as written below it is a thick stew, but I have been thinning out individual servings with extra vegetable broth and having as a yummy soup.  This recipe is one of those set it and forget it recipes for a pressure cooker, but you can easily adapt it for a slow cooker or on the stove top.  Hope you enjoy half as much as Ben did!

Creamy Wild Rice and Lentil Stew
Time: 15 minute prep, 25 minutes high pressure
Servings: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
    Veggies:    
        1/2 onion, chopped
        2 carrots, peeled and chopped
        1 cup chopped mushrooms
        1 cup chopped tomatoes
        6 cups vegetable broth
    Dry ingredients:
        1/2 cup brown lentils
        1/2 cup black eyed peas
        1/2 cup black rice
        1/2 cup brown rice
    Spices:
         1 Tbsp no salt seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash)
         1 Tbsp oregano
         2 tsp parsley
         1 tsp cumin
         1/2 tsp corriander
         1/2 tsp onion powder
         1/2 tsp garlic powder
         1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    Optional after cooking:
         salt and pepper to taste
         1/2 cup cashew cream
         additional vegetable broth to thin
         fresh parsley to garnish



Instructions:
1.)  Place the vegetables, vegetable broth, dry ingredients, and spices in a pressure cooker and stir.
2.)  Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes and allow for a natural pressure release.
3.)  After the pressure has released, you can salt and pepper to taste, add 1/2 cup cashew cream (directions to make in my notes below), add vegetable broth to thin the recipe or individual portions, and add fresh parsley to garnish.


Amy's Notes:
To make 2 cups of cashew cream, in a high-power blender, blend together 1 cup of raw cashews and one cup of filtered water.  Blend on high, stopping and scraping the sides, and blend until smooth and creamy.  This will keep for a little over a week in the fridge, perhaps longer, but I generally go through it sooner than that.

Alternatively, you could thin the soup with an unsweetened plant milk of your choice rather than adding additional vegetable broth and cashew cream.



Health and Happiness,

Amy