Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple Soup

I have been meaning to try some version of tortilla soup for awhile now. Eventually I would like to make something good enough that I no longer need Qdoba's "Mexican Gumbo" (I tell them it is not gumbo, they do not listen. Its tortilla soup, or burrito soup).

This, is not a version of tortilla soup. But thinking about it got me here. It is simply a delicious simple vegetarian soup (except I used chicken broth).

I sauteed garlic, crushed pepper, dried rosemary, half a red onion (because it was started), a green bell pepper (because it needed to be used), some celery and carrots until the onion was soft and I felt it was long enough. I then added my serendipity ingredient - two big heaping soup spoons full of Newman's Own Salsa (that was not getting eaten fast enough). You see, salsa adds that slightly tomoatoey, slightly thick, spicey element to the soup. Next came 48ounces broth (I used chicken, veggie works) and some frozen okra (needed to be used!) which I brought to a boil, and let simmer. Finally, for some protein, I added a rinsed off can of garbanzo beans. When the carrots were tender I turned it off and voila!

The verdict? Despite being so utterly simple this soup was delicious. I would not call it hearty, just a simple light soup.

I could have added the potatoes waiting to be used in my fridge. Little pasta or rice or some other grain (bulgar, barley) would probably also work well.

I love this soup because it was one of those random experiments where I toss a bunch of stuff together, and hope it works. And it did! So, I now have a base to build on. I now know salsa works in brothy soups (it was so flavourful I did not have to add any salt!). Perhaps it is too simple for a blog post, but I'm so pleased with it I had to share!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Breakfast in a Hurry

I am having a harder and harder time getting out of bed. What this amounts to is; after hitting snooze several times, I just have enough time to make some tea, stumble into my clothes (set out next to my bed and waiting), brush my teeth, and grab my lunch - which I had prepped the night before. When I manage to get out of bed earlier, I usually fry an egg and make a sandwich to go. Lately I've just grabbed a granola bar and stumbled out the door. A granola bar hardly lasts me until lunch.

The perfect solution? Frozen breakfast burritos. Except, cheaper, healthier and better. I figured, if I can make my lunch ahead of time and freeze a bunch of those, why not breakfast?
I bought some multigrain tortillas (for fiber), eggs (lasting protein & something else I'm sure), frozen spinach (fiber vitamins & protein), cheese and veggie bacon.

Assembly was fairly quick and easy.
  • Microwave the spinach, bacon, and tortillas (for ease of folding)
  • grate the cheese,
  • cook the eggs with garlic, crushed red pepper, Mrs. Dash.
  • Add in the spinach.
  • When the eggs are cooked put it all together. Tortilla, cheese, fake bacon & eggy mixture. Fold 'em up (mine folded horribly, I blame the multigrain tortillas), set them on a baking sheet in the freezer for a bit, then wrap them individually and freeze.

I suppose if you were going to let this sit a long time you might date them, but I only make enough for about a week - I don't know how long they'd really last in there. I microwave mine for about a minute, flip and rub (you have to rub your frozen burrito to distribute the frozen part!!) and go 30 seconds or so more. I also like to use veggie sausage in place of fake bacon because it holds up so well and has more protein - I microwave that a bit and then cook it with the eggs. About 4 sausages per 6 burritos and maybe 8 eggs. I may try frozen broccoli next time as it is supposed to have a lot of fiber & protein (both of which help keep you full longer) and I forgot jalapenos.

which is more important? i.e. which would you choose at the exclusion of the other?