Friday, September 16, 2011

What's for dinner mom?

The most dreaded four words in the English language...before our family became Vegan! Now, although I am still not a big fan of weekly menus, in narrowing down our choices in the pantry, I have opened up a wealth of freedom in the kitchen. It sounds backwards, I know. But I like to think of it like following the laws of the land, do so and you may enjoy all of the freedoms this still great country has to offer. Disobey them and eventually have your choices confined to a jail cell, or worse.
Before we became vegan, I would almost pay my children to tell me what they wanted for dinner, within reason. Those days are long gone, and good riddance! My new routine is to look in the pantry and fridge, see what veggies need to be eaten, and make dinner!
Tonight I saw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Originally, at the grocery store, I picked up the cauliflower per my sons request for this yummy soup:

Curried Lentil, white bean and Cauliflower Soup

1 large onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 large celery stalk, diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 bay leaves
2 cups white beans
One 16-ounce can salt-free diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons good quality curry powder, or to taste 
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric(optional)
Pinch of nutmeg
2 1/2 cups finely chopped cauliflower pieces
2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro(optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime!
 freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot with a little broth or water. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.

Add the lentils, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover with 6 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, and curry powder, and simmer about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer.

Stir in the spinach, cilantro, and lemon juice. Adjust the consistency with more water as needed, then season with pepper. Simmer over very low heat for another 5 minutes. Serve at once or let stand for an hour before serving, then heat through as needed.

Well, that soup never got instead I cooked some brownrice in the rice cooker, added some garlic, Braggs liquid aminos, sauted onions, ginger, and Voila! Dinner was scarfed down by all five kids! Then they danced around the table singing, mom is great! She feeds us everyday! *big sigh* just kidding! But the 14 year old did have four helpings! As well as the 5 year old. And then we put on my iPhone playlist "dancing in the kitchen music" and washed up dishes and counters together.
My new favorite song on that mix:
New Soul by Yael Naim

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