The Daily Dish: Italian Noodle Soup

Italian Noodle Soup

As I mentioned, I did some batch cooking over the weekend and one of the dishes I prepared was this Italian Noodle Soup.  The recipe reminded me of a family favorite I made often when my children were small, Tortellini Soup.  It consisted of a bag of frozen tortellini, frozen spinach, broth and some spices.  It was delicious and so easy, I could throw it together with a baby balanced on one hip and a toddler at my feet!  Of course, this was before we went vegan and since I’ve yet to discover a good veg-friendly tortellini, I had to find a substitute.

This recipe from Your Cup of Cake is just as easy to prepare and if topped with some dairy-free Parmesan, I get the same cheesy flavor as the original we knew and loved!  It was so good that I packed up the leftovers and brought them to my daughter’s house where we feasted once again!

09.22 Lunch

Along with a (vegan) Antipasto, kale salad and garlic bread, this was a wonderful meal, made even better by the company I got to share it with.

Cook’s Note: I used about 2 cups more vegetable broth than suggested as the finished product was a little too thick for my taste. I threw in a chopped zucchini that I had on hand for more veggie goodness! I sprinkled dairy-free Parmesan on top of each bowl before serving. This made a generous amount of soup, at least 8 servings, especially if you accompany it with salad and bread as we did. I’d probably use a different kind of pasta next time as the long noodles made it a bit sloppy (but fun!) to eat.

Approximately 8 Servings – Nutritional info (provided by Mastercook) per serving:  224 Calories; 1g Fat (5.3% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1071mg Sodium.

The Verdict: Delicious! So simple to make and the mild flavors make it perfect for children.

Today I’ll say a reluctant goodbye to my girls as we load up the car and head back home.  I’ll be leaving containers of food in my wake, though, some of Mom’s cooking to tide them over til the next visit!

Have a wonderful day!

The Daily Dish: Autumn

Happy Autumn to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere!  Some of you are already experiencing the gorgeous Fall weather and beautiful turning of the leaves, maybe there’s a little chill in the air?  Here in Florida the changes are much more subtle and they don’t happen for a few more weeks.  That doesn’t stop us from indulging in everything the season has to offer, though!  All sorts of squash start filling the shelves and we jump on the pumpkin-spice craze despite the 80+ degree weather outside.

Autumn Trader Joe's

There was an ever-so-slight temperature change the other day, just a little breeze that gave us hope for cooler days ahead.  I took advantage of it and cooked up this Golden Glow-Stuffed Squash from Robin Robertson’s Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  I used a Carnival Squash, stuffed with a combination of rice, carrots, onions & peppers and a medley of spices.  (The recipe isn’t published online but this is such a wonderful cookbook, you’ll want to buy it for yourself!)


Golden-Glow Stuffed Squash

Cook’s Note: The only change I made was subbing vegetable broth for the olive oil.

Nutritional info (provided by Mastercook) per serving:  356 Calories; 3g Fat (6.3% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 76g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 57mg Sodium.

The Verdict: Delicious!  I loved how easy this recipe was, hardest part was actually cutting the squash in half. (Tip: microwave to soften first.)  Slow cooker recipes are my favorite, I use mine all year around.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Well, I’m off to Trader Joe’s with my girls, hoping they have as big a display of Autumn loveliness as they did last year.

Have a wonderful day!

The Daily Dish: Ethics with a Side of Curry


When I created my first blog, the whole blogging thing was in its heyday.  People were jumping at the chance to publish their own sites, to put their thoughts/feelings/ideas out there for the masses!  Some were trained writers, but most of us were just your average Joe/Josephine puttering around on the internet, doing it for fun. That was me.  I was just winging it, learning as I went along, posting pics and telling stories, sharing anything and everything that interested me..including recipes.  Back then, there were no rules or even guidelines about what could, or should, be posted on one’s personal blog.  No one talked about copyright infringement.  We just posted what we wanted and it was all good.

Well, here I am eight years later and I’ve learned a thing or two.  I now know that it’s really not cool to post other people’s original content unless you have express permission.  You shouldn’t copy recipes, ver batim, from a cookbook, even if you give credit to the author.  And while it’s not technically illegal, it’s not nice or ethical to “adapt” someone else’s recipe and call it your own.  I have done both of these things in the past, out of pure ignorance, and I am sorry.  Though I’ve never been a big-wig blogger with tons of followers so I doubt I “cost” a cookbook author any money, it still wasn’t right.  Unfortunately, this is all-too common out there in blog-land and the internet in general, and it really infuriates me when I see it.  Some folks, like me, don’t know any better but others..well, let’s just say that professionals should act as such.  No one should be making money or gaining notoriety on someone else’s hard work.

So, you will rarely see an actual recipe on this blog. Unless it’s been passed down from my family or one I’ve tweaked, modified and/or have simply lost the original origin, I won’t be sharing.  I have the utmost respect for the authors who work tirelessly developing wonderful vegan dishes and I will show my appreciation and support by linking to his/her site where he/she has published the recipe or to a store where you can purchase the cookbook.  Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the about we talk about food?!

Chip and I have a Friday night routine: happy hour at our favorite tavern, followed by take-out dinner on the way home. We often opt for Thai food as that’s my absolute favorite! I go for a spicy curry while Chip leans toward more milder fare. Well, this past Friday night I decided to save money and calories my making my own dinner. This  Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry recipe is from Chop Chop, a magazine geared toward cooking with children! As a result, it contained only a few ingredients, was very easy to prepare and mild in flavor, perfect for sharing with the spice-averse family members.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry ingredients

While the ingredients were simmering, I loaded my rice cooker and had brown rice cooking as well. I then portioned out our servings (taking a little taste, yum!) so that when we came home all I had to do was scoop, reheat and plate!

Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

Cook’s Note: The only change I made was subbing vegetable broth for the vegetable oil.

Nutritional info (provided by Mastercook) per serving:  352 Calories; 9g Fat (21.7% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 58g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 420mg Sodium.

The Verdict: Fantastic! I’d definitely give this one four stars! This wasn’t a complicated dish and though the flavors weren’t complex, it was a good solid curry that satisfied my craving.  This is an easily-adaptable recipe, some baked tofu would be a nice addition!

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.

Have a wonderful day!

Menu Planning Monday: End of Summer

apples with clock

Happy Labor Day to those who celebrate! If you have the day off, how are you spending it? As I mentioned, we’ll be attending a barbecue at the Elks Club, should be a great time and an opportunity for me to introduce some folks to plant-based eating. So many of our members are elderly, struggling with health issues which could really benefit from a healthier diet, yet they’re afraid to make any “radical” changes. I’m hoping to show them that vegan food isn’t scary or weird, and the best way to do that is through their taste buds!

“I’ve found without question that the best way to lead others to a more plant-based diet is by example – to lead with your fork, not your mouth.” – Bernie Wilke

Even though it’s a holiday, I still have my weekly menu planned and shopping list prepared. I’ll be honoring the “unofficial end of summer” by using up some late-summer veggies, and welcoming in the autumn goodies as well.

September season

Here’s what I’ll be cooking; clicking on the links will take you to the author’s original recipes where you can print if you’d like.

Note: I follow a WFPBNO (whole food, plant-based, no oil) diet 90% of the time, allowing for a bit of oil here & there when dining out or when I just want a little treat. When the recipe calls for oil, I substitute vegetable broth or plain water when appropriate.  Sometimes the exact recipe I’m using is not published online so I will share a similar recipe.

So, what’s cookin’ at your house? Are you menu planning?


P.S. For other great menu planning bloggers, please visit Organizing Junkie!