Thursday, October 20, 2011

Too Busy to Blog

I'm sorry I'm such a bad VeganMoFo-er this year. In less than a week we had to make 4 trips to the elderly aunt's house, 2 emergency car repairs, 3 trips to the real estate agent's, 2 trips to the nursing home, countless shopping trips, and 3 doctor appointments. Before the week is out there will be another doctor appointment, another trip to a hardware store, another nursing home visit, another trip to the aunt's house, plus our weekly grocery shopping. If all goes well the house will be sold soon - we have a buyer and the closing is scheduled for December Second. After that we can breathe a little easier, have a bit more time for ourselves.

Have leisurely dinners again.

Yesterday was a pot of soup and a loaf of bread. Sorry, but by the time we sat down to eat we were starving and I forgot to take pictures once again. I SAID I was a bad VeganMoFo-er.

My Cheezy Broccoli Soup is a variation on a number of veggie/nooch soup recipes I've gathered over the years from places like the Fat Free Vegan blog, PPK and McDougall forums, as well as numerous cookbooks. It's super simple to put together.

Sauté in a bit of water 1 or 2 chopped onions and some garlic, either minced, sliced or even whole, for about 5 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups of liquid - broth, water with no salt added bouillon or broth powder, or a combination of the 2. Turn the heat up to boiling.

In a jar or bowl with whisk, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot in cold water and shake or whisk until lump-free. Slowly add to the boiling water, stirring to prevent lumps.

Add a cup of nutritional yeast and a bag of cut or chopped broccoli. Return to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the veggies are soft. Most recipes say 20 minutes, but I like the veggies near-dissolved so this soup sits for over an hour when I make it.

Now you have a choice: Serve it as-is, if the veggie are chopped small enough, or take an immersion blender to it and blend all or part of the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste at the table.

You can always dress this up by using other vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, add frozen peas, use a combination of these or other veggies.

For the bread, I used my mini-Zoji bread machine and made their basic loaf using white whole wheat flour and Lighter Bake as the butter substitute. To dress this up a bit I added a half cup of Jalepeno-flavored Daiya cheese at the Add beep. The cheese isn't exactly McDougall-approved because of the fat, but the rest of the meal is fat-free and my husband doesn't need to lose any weight, so why not? He's the one who eats 99% of the bread, anyway.

Tonight is something even simpler - rice and veggies. I'll boil up 2 bags of Success Brand brown rice, nuke up 3 small bags (a pound each?) of frozen peas and carrots, and when done, mix together and serve. I sometimes fry up some marinated tofu, too, but not today. We each put our own condiments on at the table - my husband loves that Kobe brand hot Chinese mustard, our son uses plain soy sauce, and I use either a lower sodium ginger-garlic sauce, watered down soy sauce, or just some salad dressing. I'll see what I feel like when the time comes. With an eye doctor visit first thing tomorrow morning - the opthamologist, so it's a real in-you-face examination - there will be no onions or garlic, or even beans, tonight.

And because I won't be able to see clearly for hours after that exam, there probably will be no VeganMoFo post tomorrow, either. Dinner for the boys will be their favorite (non-vegan) frozen pizza and I'll toss on some hash browns for myself. Ho hum, but filling.

Saturday we'll be busy at the aunt's house getting last minute things ready for the buyer's home inspection and emptying out the rest of her and our stuff still there, like some tools and boxes of knickknacks. Dinner Saturday will be plain old pasta with jarred sauce and I'll nuke up the last of my Trader Joe's veggie meatballs.

With any luck, we'll be able to stay away from that house on Sunday and do our weekly grocery trip and do what WE want for the rest of the day. We may finally take that $12 toll trip to the land of Trader Joe's, or may even take advantage of the down time and just veg out in front of the tv. Either way, dinner will be our usual - non-veg burgers for the guys and more hash browns for me.

So far we have no plans for Monday. No house visits, no doctors, no shopping trips. Maybe I'll be able to make a nice, slightly more elaborate, meal then.

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