Week 3: Chronicles from Jan 22, 2012

Drat! I got behind and distracted. Can you blame a pregnant girl?
I have an inexplicable fear of making soups. Maybe it’s because they either turn out awful for me, or they turn out just like the last one. One of our friends on this same adventure told me that he made a Chinese vegetable soup for lunch and that night a Portuguese kale soup. I was a bit envious. I will be trying to mix up the soups in the future, especially since it’s winter, but my kids don’t really dig them and there doesn’t seem to be any way to make them in smaller than enormous quantities, thereby limiting my ability to try several a week. I mean, really, a girl can only eat so much soup.
Dinners:
Sunday:
Leftovers: Stir-fry, Tom Yum from Date night
Green Salad with everything I could find on it.
But also made half gallon of almond milk, a double-batch of granola, and 2 quarts of white beans for soup this week, so there’s a chance we will survive.
Monday:
Green salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Roasted garlic bread
White bean, tomato & kale soup
Tuesday:
Leftover soup, bread & salad for me, plus baked potatoes and broccoli
The kids got chicken tenders which thrilled them to no end!
Wednesday:
Lone Star Taqueria – Matt had been gone since Sunday night so I caved. I would like to say I couldn’t help myself, but while you might be willing to cheat for chocolate, I cheat for Lone Star. I will say I got the veggie burrito and it was super delicious.
Thursday:
Ziti with Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes from Quick-Fix Vegan – Loved it, actually; surprises were the pine nuts, raisins (I used golden), capers, and fennel seed, which all added a nice touch
Salad
Roasted garlic bread
Friday:
Fresh Spring rolls with carrots, lettuce, mung bean noodles, red pepper, snow peas, cilantro & basil with a Vietnamese-ish dipping sauce with ingredients I can’t remember.
Vegetarian Tom Yum – cheater style from Tom Yum paste with tomatoes, mushrooms, and baby corn. Sadly I have galangal and lemongrass but was too tired with super cranky kids and didn’t want to bother with them.
Homemade Salsa and chips – no, it doesn’t match at all, but at least the kids had something to eat since the other things were not acceptable
Saturday:
Another cheater day, but vegan style this time – O’Falafel
And it was heaven. I need to remember from this day forward that all I want from there is their falafel, not their stuffed grape leaves which were fine, or their majaderah, also good, but just a falafel (or two in my condition) would make me happy. They also have whole wheat pitas, but I only learned that afterward! Yum!

White Bean, Kale and Tomato soup
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 – 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4-6 c. vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 quart white beans, drained, divided
3-4 c. chopped kale
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste

In large dutch oven, saute onion, carrots & celery in olive oil over medium heat until softened and fragrant. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, stock, and bay leaf, and continue cooking. Mash 1-2 c. of the white beans, and add all of the beans to the pot. Simmer until 10 minutes before dinner (depends on how early you start as to how long you simmer since I try to get started during Z’s naptime, but try to keep it under an hour or things start to fall apart), then add kale and cook until wilted but still has a bite. Season soup with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste.
Makes enough for me to have two bowlfuls, two kids servings with two quart jars leftover.

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