Menu update from last week

21 Jan

I have something delicious to share from this weekend, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow since I owe you some food recaps from last week. It’s amazing how being sick for barely more than a day can throw off so much!

Anyway, I followed my meal plan pretty well and, as promised, I will share my triumphs and tweaks with you.

First up is the red beans, barley and Swiss chard:

Red beansThe beans were based on this recipe from the Fat Free Vegan blog (one of my favorites). Here are my tweaks:

  • I precooked the kidney beans and then let them simmer all day in the slow cooker
  • Halved the recipe
  • Omitted the celery

The end result was almost perfect except for one thing to which, I fear, I must admit: I burned the beans. I was in a bad mood last Sunday, which is when I precooked them, and I accidentally burned them. They weren’t destroyed, just a little charred, but the end result wasn’t as delicious as it should have been. Otherwise, though, the spices were wonderful, and simmering everything in the slow cooker was easy and yielded a great consistency. Also, obviously, we served ours with barley instead of rice, since I’m currently freaked out about the whole arsenic thing.

The next meal I wanted to share was the Butternut Poblano Soup, which made a wonderful lunch:

Butternut soupI tweaked this one quite a bit:

  • Used one small butternut squash and one medium sweet potato
  • WAY reduced the fat — more like 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Omitted the celery (sensing a theme? I don’t like celery!)
  • Used about four large cloves of garlic
  • Omitted the cinnamon and parsley in favor of more cumin and chile powder
  • Added 1/2 cup dry red lentils

I really loved this soup. It was hearty, creamy, and had a great balance of flavors. I imagine it would be good with any winter squash (other than spaghetti, of course) or just straight sweet potato. You could also use two poblanos and leave some of the seeds in for more of that great spicy, smoky flavor. It was a perfect lunch.

And finally, here is another creamy, delicious soup from this week:

Creamy chickpea soupI used the Chickpea & Rice Soup with a Little Kale recipe from Post Punk Kitchen and made the follow alterations:

  • Say it with me now: I omitted the celery. Also the carrots because I was sick and could not muster the energy to chop anything else.
  • Again, swapped in barley for rice
  • Upped the veggie broth to six cups
  • Used closer to 4 cups of freshly cooked chickpeas

The soup is impossibly creamy and filling. The flavors were surprisingly mellow, though, so we topped each serving with lots of black pepper and a little hot sauce. It was very soothing on my sick day and it reheats well. I will be enjoying the last tiny bowl for lunch today. Be forewarned, though: this recipe (well, my version of it) has more calories than I was expecting. It is very filling, so it’s not too terribly surprising, but I was a little shocked when I ran the nutrition information. I just wanted to point that out so, if you decide to make the soup, you plan the rest of your menu accordingly.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, whether you’re at home or the office!

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