Dinner has always been a stressful time for me.
Probably because I can't handle rejection from what Dreena Burton calls, "picky-poos." There couldn't be a better name for it.
We've been experiencing a lot of that lately. Yes, even in myself. I am really good at making things complicated; harder than they have to be. My dinners have been pretty complicated lately, and I have had comments from picky-poos that go something like this:
"This has too many flavors in it." (What?)
"I don't like this."
And other various and sundry complaints.
When I am feeling sorry for myself (being picky!) that my eating choices might be a little limited (this does happen to me every once in a while) I brainstorm about all the food I love and make, my favorite dishes, and I write them down.
This list went on for another couple of pages.
I also do this with my kids. I make them sit down with me and talk about all of their favorite foods as we write them down. We both learn something; we are always surprised at the variety of foods we eat and love. Most of these meals are plant-based spins off of the exact meals I was eating two years ago and yet there are also some of them that are new and fun.
Except the whole foods version makes my hair grow, skin glow, and the weigh scale shows happy numbers.
While brainstorming, I was looking through one of my favorite cookbooks, "Seven Secrets." Found a recipe, and decided to make it.
Looking at the ingredients list and the instructions I could tell it was gonna be "easy-peasy."
So I went outside with Samuel and Megan and jumped on the trampoline as high and as long as I possibly could. It's turning fall here, so the smell of fresh rain dripping from the pine trees was intoxicating. I love fall.
I felt like a little kid again. I couldn't get enough of being outside. So we also decided to go for a walk/run/bike ride. This was at 5:15 p.m. -- when I am normally supposed to be panicking and working hard to get dinner on the table.
After an exhilarating and energizing walk/run, I came back and threw some potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery in the pressure cooker. When they were cooked I blended the cream portion of the soup and added corn.
Dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes...VEGAN FAST FOOD!
It was so simple, and anymore I am realizing that kids love simple.
The chowder went well with some "buttered" toast.
No whining. Only happy noises filled the air. Soup spoons clanging against soup bowls. And...
"Mmmmmm, I LOVE this, Mommy!" (Samuel)
"I'm goin' back for thirds!" (Paul)
One happy mamma.
Coconut Corn Chowder
By Neva Brackett, from "Seven Secrets Cookbook."
Modifications by Ashlee Crozier
Note from Neva:
[My daughter] Kimberly likes to make her cream soups by blending a can of coconut milk with 2 cups cooked potatoes. Simmer vegetables with seasonings and add the blended sauce. This corn chowder is an example.
5 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon chicken-like seasoning (vegan chicken-flavored bouillon)
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
4 cups frozen corn
1 can coconut milk
And because I am a major vegetable fan(atic!) I added:
1 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 - 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
I did need to add additional salt and pepper to taste, once the soup was done.
1.) Place potatoes, onions, and seasonings in 3 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. (I used my pressure cooker on high for 8 minutes).
2.) Remove 2 cups of the cooked potatoes with a slotted spoon (you may get some of the onions, too, but that's all right), and place in the blender. Stir the frozen corn into the pot of soup.
3.) Add coconut milk to the blender with the cooked potatoes. Blend for about 30 seconds OR LESS -- just until smooth, if you blend it for too long the potatoes will become starchy.
4.) Add blended mixture to the soup. May add more water or salt as needed to taste. Heat to serving temperature.
Variation: If you don't want to use coconut milk but like the idea of thickening your soup with potato, there are other options. Replace the coconut milk (1 can is a scant 2 cups) with soy milk, or blend 3/4 cup cashew nuts with 2 cups of water, or use 1/2 can (1 cup) coconut milk for lower fat soup. (I recommend trying the blended cashews to make cashew cream).