Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Decade, New Recipes

Happy 2010!  

It's a new year ( and a new decade)!  I believe in New Year's Resolutions but not unrealistic ones like going from never working out to running 5 miles everyday (or losing twenty pounds in a week).  I like resolutions that challenge me without being completely unattainable so I don't feel guilty for not accomplishing my resolutions.  This year one of my resolutions is to cook more often with different recipes incorporating different ingredients.  I love to cook so the actual "cooking" process will be relaxing.  However, I get lazy when it comes to finding recipes and purchasing the ingredients and taking the time to cook a new dish.  Plus the majority of recipes are 4+ serving size (I only feed me) and I'm scared of eating leftovers for the two weeks or wasting food.

BUT those are just excuses!  I can halve a recipe, I can modify a recipe with ingredients I have/like, and if I'm willing to wait thirty minutes to cook lentils I can take that time to prep/cook a new dish.

So I decided to attempt a soup recipe that my mother emailed me: Spinach-Tomato Soup.  Not the most challenging or different from my normal produce packed salads but at least I'm cooking (and not dumping a can of Amy's soup on the stove).  And I also attempted baking my own vegan whole wheat rolls to dip in my soup.

Spinach-Tomato Soup
(About 8 servings)

  • 10 oz. bag of baby spinach
  • 15 oz. can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (I strongly dislike celery unless its smothered in peanut butter so I didn't use it but definitely include it if you like it)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (I used about 15 baby carrots)
  • 1 large onion, choppped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 0.5 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. Toss all ingredients into a 4+ quart slow cooker
  2. Cook on high for 5 hours 
  3. Remove bay leaves
  4. Enjoy!
Nutritional Stats based on 8 servings  (using Spark People recipe calculator, 2 medium carrots, 2 medium stalks of celery): 41.1 calories, 0.3 grams fat, 2.3 grams fiber, 1.9 grams protein

Healthy Vegan Whole Wheat Rolls
(Approximately 8 rolls)

  • 0.5 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 0.5 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp parsley (dried)
  • 1 tsp thyme (dried)
  • 0.5 tsp rosemary (dried)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingridents in one bowl (flour, salt, baking powder, parsley, thyme, rosemary)
  3. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl (vegetable broth, applesauce)
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  5. Spray a baking sheet with no stick spray (or cover in foil-less cleanup)
  6. Using two spoons (very sticky batter) place batter balls on baking sheet (whatever size you'd like)
  7. Bake for ten minutes (check them often to prevent burned rolls)
  8. Enjoy!
Nutritional Stats based on 8 servings (using Spark People recipe calculator): 59.7 calories, 0.3 grams fat, 2.2 grams fiber, 1.8 grams protein

Final Product

YUM!   I added a 1/4th cup cooked lentils to my serving of soup (I ate about a fourth of entire recipe).  I cooked the lentils while the soup was bubbling away in my crockpot and dump them in after I served my portion of soup.  I believe that you could add 1-2 cups of uncooked lentils (or other protein) to the soup ingredients to make it a more substantial meal.  The rolls were delicious (especially dipped in the soup) and I managed to display some self control and only eat one.  Next time I make the recipe I might play with a different combination of spices (adjust to your personal taste) and of course I was singing Scarborough Fair while baking the rolls.  I personally think the rolls ended up looking like whole wheat savory cookies but tasted delicious (might add some more baking powder and use a muffin tin next time).

Not a bad start to New Year's resolution.  I'm going to try to make one new recipe a week (and post my results on the blog) but I'm not making any absolute promises (another resolution: relax and enjoy food and not treat cooking/eating as a chore).  Maybe I'll make this recipe sometime this week.

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?  Or any recipes you want to share with me?  Or tips for healthy, single serving, vegetarian food?

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