Spice it Up! (The Veggie Version)

Here we are in the middle of the first week of the first month of a new year! Last week I mentioned that I missed my goal of 20,000 total views to the blog in 2015. Well, somebody discovered my blog and did a lot of browsing on the 30th! I had 187 views in one day! It became my busiest day ever!

The hubby and I are fully back on track of eating the THM way this week. The junk food that was brought into the house during the holidays is gone and hopefully won’t return! Yesterday was our first full day back, and it went well! I just have to keep encouraging him to drink more water!

I came across a small chart recently that matches seasonings and spices with various veggies and meats. This is a very helpful tool for me since we are cutting the carbs out of our diet. We are also trying to use less salt. Veggies and meats don’t need to be covered in breading and deep-fat fried to taste good. By using the spices you have in your cabinet, you can make delicious meats and side dishes that are also good for you! And, according to my hubby, a little garlic or onion powder helps everything taste better!

We like to cook our fresh veggies in coconut oil and add these spices.

Here are spices you can pair with vegetables.

ASPARAGUS—-lemon juice and mustard or thyme or marjoram

BROCCOLI—-dill, lemon juice, mustard or nutmeg

BRUSSELS SPROUTS—-garlic powder, onion powder, or lemon juice with dill

CAULIFLOWER—-dill, nutmeg, parsley, tarragon, or rosemary

GREEN BEANS—-basil, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, or a touch of red pepper flakes

SUMMER SQUASH—-marjoram, parsley, or paprika

TOMATOES—-basil, chives, garlic, or thyme

I hope you give some of these a try, or experiment with your own ideas! Next post I will share spices for various meats.

Vegetable Soup

Yesterday I began making vegetable stock that ended up being vegetable soup! I saw a recipe in our local paper for vegetable stock that can be used to make other soups.  As it was cooking I realized that it could be eaten just the way it was! I made the suggestion to the hubby, and he said that the soup would be fine. What’s better for lunch on a cold January day than homemade soup, right?

It is a pretty simple recipe to make. In case you wonder at the odd amounts, I just used the fresh veggies that were left over in the fridge!  The hubby did the seasoning to his liking since he will be the one to eat most of it.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  I used about 3 tbsp.  Add diced veggies and stir until well sauteed and tender.  I cooked the harder veggies first, and then added the softer ones, like mushrooms, last.

These are the veggies I used:

1 medium onion

1 large bell pepper (I used half a red and half a green)

3-4 stalks of celery

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

5 spears asparagus

2 carrots, grated

handful of broccoli florets

1 small yellow squash

5 or 6 button mushrooms

Once the veggies were tender, I added about 2-1/2 quarts of water and brought it to a boil.  I think that just 2 quarts would be fine. I also happened to have a beef bone in the freezer, so I threw that in as well…just for the flavor!

Since the veggies are already sauteed, you don’t need to cook the soup long…just until it is heated well.  This is when the hubby added the seasonings.  I really don’t know what he put in, but I can guess that he included these:  dried hot pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and black pepper.  He is trying hard to cut back on his salt in-take, so he probably didn’t add that. Feel free to season your soup however you like!

Serve your soup with a sandwich wrap and enjoy!