Broccoli Soup

A little diversion from normal topics today, I am going to share with you my successful experimental soup recipe that I made on the weekend.  (I say diversion from normal topics, but honestly, I don’t think I have a real consistent theme for my posts anyway, so I guess everything goes… And I actually have done a couple posts about food… )

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The Experiment

So, how did this experimental soup come about?  It was Saturday afternoon, and I had just returned home from walking the dog with a friend (and her dog), and I asked my husband what he wanted to do for dinner… But I added in the stipulation that we need to use up the broccoli that was in the fridge… (Broccoli had been on sale that week, and I had bought it with several ideas in mind for my weekly meal plan, but the meals that week didn’t exactly follow the plan, so I had a large amount of broccoli that needed to be used up.)  His immediate suggestion was to add it to soup (it was a very windy, wet, miserable evening here on Saturday – thankfully it was okay while I was out walking the dog.)

That got me thinking about what sort of soup has broccoli in it, and I thought of a cream of broccoli soup that is often on the menu at Tim Hortons, or a cheddar broccoli soup that I see on menus elsewhere… Both of those sound delicious, but maybe not the healthiest… And my favourite soup of all time is potato leek (also maybe not the most healthy soup option, but it’s my favourite, so I’ll just let it go).  Could I make a potato broccoli soup?  But what about adding some protein to the soup?  I know it is important to have protein…  We have some ham in the fridge, I’ll just add that…

And so, this is what came from that train of thought… And it was surprisingly delicious!  Even my husband liked it! Continue reading

September Focus Results

After the first week of meal planning, which I wasn’t really sure if it was a success… I took some of the advice I received and continued, though I didn’t concern myself as much with things staying on the exact day they were assigned…

Here’s how things went…

Week 2:

My meal plan in my bullet journal didn’t really get any prettier, but I think it was a bit better laid out…

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Monday, I made my dinner plan be “my husband”… He had the day off work, and I had a meeting right after work, so we got him to do the meal plan and cooking.  Rather than force him in to cooking a specific thing, I left it open for his creativity/desires.  We ended up with BBQ chicken skewers, which were delicious! Continue reading

September Focus: Meal Planning

One of my personal goals for 2017 was to have a focus for each month.  I did okay with my morning routine in January, and then I went the other direction in February by concentrating on realistic expectations… But then I didn’t define another monthly focus until June, and then it wasn’t even that successful… July and August went by without any focus… And so we have made it to September… I’m going to renew my attempts at having a focus for the month.

I originally tried having this as my focus for February, but that fell through… So, I have decided to revisit meal planning for my September focus.

I showed various versions of my past “meal planning” when I discussed my weekly spread in my bullet journal, but honestly, I wasn’t very good at it. And, at some point over the past year I stopped writing out a full week of daily layouts on my bullet journal ahead of time, and with that I stopped putting in a meal plan for the week… I still tracked what I was eating, but I didn’t have a place to write down the plan… And then, at some point in July, I stopped even keeping track of what I ate in my bullet journal (I still keep track, but I moved to keeping track of it in an app – MyFitnessPal).

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that I haven’t had a weekly meal plan written down in a very long time… Continue reading

Baking Success… Blogging Fail…

On Sunday, when I was trying to get organized for the week, I pulled out a can of chickpeas and my food processor and decided I was going to make some healthy muffins for easy grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks.  The recipe I was going to follow was for these delicious peanut butter and banana muffins that I have made before.  I knew I didn’t have any bananas, but figured I could replace them with applesauce… Which it turns out that I didn’t have either… At this point I had already started putting them together, so I had to figure out how to get my blended chickpeas, oats and peanut butter to turn into muffins.

So, I’ve done my fair share of internet reading on alternative baking (gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan… you name it… I’ve read it…), so I understood that the banana in the muffin recipe was probably acting as a binder, an oil substitute, a source of moisture and maybe a sweetener for the recipe… Now to figure out how to replace those with what I had… For a binder, I decided to use some ground flax seed with some soy milk, because I know that can be used as an egg replacement in some recipes.  For oil, I decided to just use more peanut butter.  For the moisture, I added a bit more soy milk.  And finally, for the sweetness, I added a touch more maple syrup.  Then, because it didn’t really have a flavour other than peanut butter… I decided to add some cocoa so that they would be chocolate muffins.

In the oven they went.  I was sort of expecting my concoction to totally fail, but it didn’t.  In fact, they are really really delicious.  Baking experiment success!

And now for the blogging fail… If I had thought about it beforehand, I could have totally taken photos of the process and had an interesting photo filled post for today about healthy (or not so healthy) alternatives that I’m experimenting with… But no, total blogging fail, I only have a picture of the muffin that I ate for breakfast this morning.

If you blog, do you just constantly photograph everything, in case it ends up being blog post worthy?   How do people do this all the time?

Garden Update – Strawberries & Radishes!

I think I am getting better at this gardening thing… finally!  You saw my strawberries in a post a couple weeks ago on my financial update.  (I have since replaced that photo with the proper graph, so I’ll show them to you again here.)  Those are still going strong.  I pick a bowl like this every couple days.

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Then, a few days ago when I was trying to make my lunch before work with no food in the fridge, I decided to go check on my garden (yes, I finally planted things in my new raised bed) to see what was growing, and low and behold, vegetables! Continue reading

Food Journaling Results

After a near-perfect record for my Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule in June, I seem to be having some trouble keeping up in July… Work is busy, life is busy, and the summer weather is nice so I don’t really want to spend my time inside writing blog posts… I want to be outside playing my sports, enjoying my garden, and visiting with friends…

So I’m sorry for dropping off the regular posting schedule, but I’m sure for the next month or two it will be a struggle to keep it up.  I hope you will stick around and keep reading when I do post, and hopefully I will find some down time to write up all the post ideas that are bouncing around inside my head.

About a month ago, I posted about my grumbly belly and how I was going to start food journaling to try and narrow down what it was that was causing the issues.

I started very detailed with my food journal for the first week:

But, then I wanted to find a way to include it in my weekly spread of my bullet journal, so I added a small spot to each day to mark down food: Continue reading

Grumbly Belly = Food Journaling

Food Journaling

On Monday, Cait (formerly Blonde on a Budget – now CaitFlanders.com) did a blog post about mindful eating and her results from tracking what she ate that was perfectly timed for me.  That morning I had been talking to my running buddy about my grumbly tummy after eating some ice cream the night before.  And the week before I had actually started tracking some of my food because my tummy had been upset by something…  but got sidetracked by the weekend and stopped…

Cait’s blog post was just the right inspiration to start again and really take a serious look at what I’m eating and what my body feels like based on what I’ve put in it.  So starting on Monday, I have been doing some food journaling. Continue reading

The Healthy-Local-Cheap Dilemma

I need some help… Some reader help… How do I balance eating healthy, eating local and keeping on a budget?

With only a couple weeks left in the biggest loser competition that I’m having with my husband, and since I’m not exactly doing well at losing any weight, I decided to concentrate more on healthy eating.  One of my biggest challenges is having easy grab-and-go snacks that are also healthy.

I try to eat local as much as possible, but the local produce at this time of year is a little limited (we are just at the beginning of the season)… the carrots and celery are all coming from California or Mexico… So I’m trying to avoid them… which are normally my go-to snacks… So, what do I do? Continue reading

My First Attempt at Freezer Cooking (Part 2)

Yesterday I started telling you about my first attempt at freezer cooking.  I did it about a month ago before I went away for work (I am still away for work…) in an attempt to help my husband avoid eating out while I am gone.  I went through the first two meals that I made… and today I will go through the next two and the results on how all that food turned out…

Mac & Cheese

The next meal I made is a household favourite, mac and cheese. I made mine dairy and gluten free… Which seems odd when you are talking “Mac & Cheese”, but it is delicious, I promise!  I was searching for the recipes that I used to create this… but I have been making this recipe (with small variations) for years now… and I just make it from my head… so I can’t seem to find the original recipe that inspired it…

“Mac & Cheese” Ingredients
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My First Attempt at Freezer Cooking (Part 1)

Other than my brief and busy visit home for Thanksgiving, I have basically been away for work for the past month, and am not sure when I will actually go home next… I’m hoping to be home for Halloween…  Before I went away, I wanted to prepare a bunch of food so that it is easy for my husband to eat healthy and frugally… So I decided to try my hand at some freezer cooking. I did some reading on the Internet and found a couple recipes that in wanted to try, made my shopping lists and then got to work.

(If you are reading between the lines, then you’ll realize that this post is now over a month late… I did all of this cooking before I went away… but when we are out at these job sites, we work at least 12 hour days, 7 days a week… so it is hard to find the time and energy to get posts written… On the plus side, I have some feedback on how successful I was… )

Because I was doing this in the evenings, I split up the prep up over a few evenings the week before I left, and basically made enough for meals for that week and some for the freezer… So this post was already going to be all over the place… add to that a month of forgetting… and yeah…

Freezer Cooking

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