Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Earth Day, 2011!

April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays. There’s not normally a lot of hub-bub surrounding it from the general population, but the hub-bub that is there makes me very happy. It’s so nice to have an entire day devoted to helping the environment. I think the biggest thing that made me excited about Earth Day when I was a kid was The Big Help on Nickelodeon.

Remember The Big Help? Where really cool people like Rosie O’Donnell and LL Cool J would try to convince kids to recycle and do good things in their communities? I remember this one animated commercial where a girl was brushing her teeth with the water running and outside the window you could see all the water in a pond disappear and a really sad-looking fish was left without any water. I never left the water running again after that! That poor fish. I always wanted to pick up trash on the side of the road and recycle like the kids in the commercials, but I guess my parents thought it was too much of a hassle. That’s why I make up for it now!

I try to recycle anything and everything I can, even if it means holding onto things for years until I can find a way to recycle them. I recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, tin, glass, lightbulbs, batteries, shoes, etc.. I can’t stand throwing something away if I know it can be recycled SOMEWHERE. Earth 911 is my favorite website for figuring out where to recycle odds and ends, and just finding tips to be more environmentally friendly.

Today me and my boyfriend went to our local metal recycling center (Recycle USA)  to take all of our cans. It was so much fun! Everyone had on Earth Day shirts, they had a radio station out front, and they even gave you a free lunch after you took your receipt up to the cashier! It was a bag of chips and a roast beef sandwich (I think). I ate the chips and let Jon take the sandwich to give to someone at work. Obviously, plant-based food is better for the environment, but it’s hard to complain when they’re trying to get people excited about recycling! It was just so fun seeing people get into the spirit of Earth Day.

After that I came home and started making my green/earth-inspired Earth Day lunch!

Worms in Dirt

I made Worms in Dirt using the chocolate pudding recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance and crushed Oreo cookies. I also made Candied Orange Peel to use for the worms!

For the Candied Orange Peel, you’ll need one orange (washed well), 3/4 C sugar (plus more for coating), and 1 1/2 C water.

– Cut the orange in half across the middle, then cut each half into an X to make four segments. Peel off the fruit and cut the peel into strips (don’t worry about the white part of the rind – the blanching will mellow it out).
– Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the strips for five minutes. Drain and repeat and until you’ve blanched the strips a total of three times.
– After the third blanching, bring the 3/4 C sugar and 1 1/2 C water to a simmer. When all the sugar is dissolved, add the orange peel. Simmer for one hour.
– Before all the liquid is gone, use a slotted spoon to transfer the strips to a bowl of sugar. Toss to coat, place on a baking sheet to cool.

These worms are SO good!

Earth Day - Soup and Salad

For my “real” food, I made the Spring Vegetable Soup out of the May 2011 issue of Everyday Food and the Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing from Veganomicon (I just left out the chickpeas). I sort of went with a “green” theme, can you tell? I added in the blue bowl to represent the oceans, though 😀 The soup was so-so, but I loooved the salad dressing and the portobello marinade for the salad. For the greens, I used 50% Romaine and 50% watercress. I have a slight obsession with watercress lately.

I also went to Publix today to pick up a few last-minute things, and they gave me one of these adorable keychains!

While I was there, I picked up two new reusable holiday bags! I swear, I love that they sell holiday-themed reusable grocery bags. I have black and orange jack-o-lantern bags for my Halloween grocery shopping, red and green “Happy Holidays” bags for my Christmas grocery shopping… And they also have them for Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving! I’m wondering if they have any for the 4th of July.. I’m definitely going to be looking out for those this year! I did notice they had Earth Day-specific bags while I was there today, but I think the regular, old green ones are just fine for that 🙂

Sunday I’m having my boyfriend, my sister, and I think my sister’s boyfriend over for an Easter brunch. I’ve wanted to do this for years so I’m really excited to finally do it! Not excited about all the school work I still have to do this weekend :-\ Yuck.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back on Sunday!

– Andrea

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Dia de los Muertos – Cornbread sugar skulls and black bean soup

November 3, 2010

Since I didn’t have time to make my Dia de los Muertos meal yesterday, I made time to make it today. I made jalapeno cornbread “sugar skulls”, black bean soup, and a Mexican chocolate spice cake. The cake is something I haven’t tried yet, and will probably put off decorating it until tomorrow. But, for now, I’ll post dinner:

Black Bean Soup

1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 C vegetable broth
1 C water
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Garnishes: 1 lime, cilantro, avocado, vegan sour cream

– In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high and add onion, garlic, and peppers. Saute until onions are transluscent. Add remaining ingredients (except for garnishes), bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and transfer 3/4 of the soup to a blender. Pulse until no large pieces  remain, and stir back into saucepan. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and sour cream, if desired.

The jalapeno cornbread sugar skulls are from The Joy of Vegan Baking cornbread recipe, with the addition of 3/4 C corn kernals, 1 minced jalapeno, and 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese. They were baked in little skull pans I got a few months ago. I used (v) sour cream to pipe on the decorations, and used jalapeno slices for the eyes.

Kind of looks like that cute boy I’m friends with..

But, yeah. Totally tasty dinner! I’m pretty darn proud of that soup.

– Andrea

Valentine’s Day 2010 – The Dinner!

February 15, 2010
Valentine I made for Jon out of a Gil Elvgren pin-up.

I hope everyone had a good Valentine’s Day! I know I did. My boyfriend, Jon, came over early and we exchanged cards and gifts. He got me Mary Poppins on DVD, and I got him a Disney gift card for our trip to Walt Disney World in May.

After that, I let him take a nap while I started making our dinner. Jon loves Olive Garden, so I had that in mind when I was coming up with the menu.  Our dinner consisted of the following:

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

I used this recipe for Simple Vegan Pesto, and it was so good. This was my first time having and making pesto, and I can tell you it won’t be the last! I used Orecchiette pasta, and I roasted asparagus, red bell peppers, and portabella mushrooms with a little salt and pepper to toss in before serving. SO good!

Minestrone Soup

I used a copycat recipe for Olive Garden’s Minestrone. It was pretty darn close! Plus this is cheaper and makes a whole lot more! The only change I made was only using one can of great northern beans, and maybe a bit more of all the herbs and spices. Jon really liked the soup, so I was happy.

Heart-Shaped Puff Pastry Pinwheels

These are puff pastry sheets filled with spinach, sundried tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, brushed with margarine, and spinkled with salt. Ok, actually mine didn’t have salt. But I meant for them to! I rolled up both of the sides to meet in the middle, sliced the sheets, and shaped them like hearts. I thought they were cute 😀

After dinner, we washed the dishes and then went upstairs to watch movies:

We watched Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace, and some of Dumb and Dumber. It was a fun night!

I have to get ready for work, but I’ll post the rest of the stuff I made tonight!

Up next: Valentine’s Day Sweets!

– Andrea