oh my god I made soup

kaleandpotatosoup.jpgLet me tell you a little bit about my journey on the way to making soup. I grew up in a household where soup was made from scratch at least once a week. When I went to school for nutrition, home made organic soup was served every day. My friend recently made an amazing split-pea soup, and one of my fellow Torontoist writers posted a yummy-sounding soup recipe on her facebook page a few weeks ago. Let’s not forget that soup is a highly nutritious, economical meal-in-a-bowl, which would definitely be recommended by nutritionists everywhere. It seems that my whole life, I have been literally surrounded by soup.

I have never made soup.

Until today – and now I want to shout it from the rooftops – I made soup! I guess somehow my brain couldn’t process the fact that it is EASY to make soup. I had seen a recipe on epicurious for kale and chickpea soup, and was determined to make it. I am on a kale kick right now, since I want all those lovely dark green nutrients to build my baby well. Plus, what with saving money for said baby, I am currently on the lookout for cheap but healthy meals I can make in a flash.

This soup tastes GOOD. I followed the recipe except I omitted the sausage, and put a few squirts of sriracha chili sauce instead. Also, after skimming through the recipe reviews (I highly recommend this when taking recipes off the internet – you can get some valuable tips to make your end result even better), I decided to puree it a bit with my stick blender to give it a creamy texture.

So I’m hooked. I’ve got a bag of red lentils in the cupboard ready for action.
What is your favorite soup to make?

a bowl full of soul

A lot of people ask me where I get food ideas and recipes. There are several recipe websites I turn to, and countless blogs and magazine articles I come across, but I find a lot of the time I get inspiration from memories, friends, and by getting off my butt and looking around my kitchen.

lauriestomatoes.jpgA few days ago I got a wonderful gift of vegetables from my good friend’s garden. We had a lot of fun harvesting the little gems in the backyard of her new house. The tomatoes and cucumbers have been feeding me well. When I was thinking about what to have for lunch today, I knew I would use them again.

Recently, I have reconnected with a friend I had been out of touch with for years. I have a lot of food memories tied to her – from her making me toast each morning when I picked her up for work, to an amazing tuna pasta salad she used to make.

So, when I spied a can of tuna on top of my fridge, I knew it was going to be tuna pasta salad today. Two cups of brown rice pasta plus my lovely tomatoes and cucumbers, a little pickle for salty goodness (my friend’s salad had green olives, which I prefer, but sadly missing from my fridge), a small can of light tuna, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette – under 30 mins for a hearty, yummy meal. A bowl filled with memories, heart and soul, nutrients, vibrant life. No recipe required.

For those who would like to take a peek at some great recipes, here are some of my favorite links (and thanks to yet another friend who asked me for recipe ideas yesterday and basically inspired this whole post):

Whole Foods Market
The World’s Healthiest Foods
Mothering magazine
101 Cookbooks

welcome LARABAR fans!

Good morning to LARABAR fans, regular readers, and anyone who has stumbled across my blog today. You may be here because I am LARABAR’s new fan of the day! I am extremely proud to have been profiled by such an amazing company. If you are someone who has not tried a LARABAR, I suggest you read a bit about their story, and then try one! If you have had other “natural” snack and sports bars, there is really no comparison in my opininon.

I wanted to share my favorite LARABAR flavour with you – I suppose it is no real surprise that it is lemon. Another one of my favorites is cinnamon roll, and of course chocolate coconut. The new key lime pie flavour is also to die for. If anyone has tried the pistachio, I would love to hear your comments, as I have not tried it yet.

Why don’t you leave me a comment and tell me your favorite LARABAR flavour?

I hope you have a great day, and I look forward to more LARABAR adventures.

cheap and cheerful quinoa lunch

 

What happens when you are working from home, get hungry, don’t have a car to go out, nothing in the fridge ready to eat, and no money to spend? This is what happens…

Lately everywhere I look, I see an article about quinoa. It is exciting that this seed (yes, it is a SEED not a grain!) is getting so much attention, as it is a great source of vegetarian protein, and is so easy to prepare. Just throw it in a pot with double the amount of water, bring to boil and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, you’re done. Then the magic happens – whatever flavour you want, build it into your quinoa. I knew I had some frozen broccoli, and that made me think of stir-fry flavours, so I found some arame seaweed and toasted black sesame seeds in the cupboard, along with toasted sesame oil, tamari soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger for a dressing. I tossed in some pepper flakes for some heat. This was a yummy and satisfying lunch, and I have to say I felt great for the rest of the afternoon. It must have been from the protein, plus the nutrients in the seaweed and sesame seeds, not to mention the broccoli. Sometimes, all you need to do is open your cupboard…