Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three S's: Soup, Salad, and Snacks

How did it get to be Thursday again already? Where does the time go! I feel like I've been a whirlwind of activity lately. Today alone I did the following: woke up and went for a run; came home and made breakfast for my son and got my hubby's lunch together; stretched and made a smoothie; did two loads of laundry; mowed my lawn (half-acre!); brought in all the toys/lawn stuff in advance of the hurricane; cooked soup, made salad, made salad dressing, and made roasted chickpeas; went to the chiropractor; vacuumed the downstairs; dumped an entire ice-cube tray full of water inside my freezer; mopped up the water that landed on every conceivable surface of my freezer; cleaned my bathroom floor approximately 27 times due to errant aim on my son's part; shopped online for sunscreen; and ate copius amounts of bananas, both in smoothie form and also just in its frozen-deliciousness-form, in order to fuel all these activities. It's now 8 pm and I'm tired!!

I haven't been posting for two main reasons: one, I've been super busy lately, and two, I've been eating a lot of meals I've already blogged about. But tonight, I have three (count 'em, three!) new foods to share with you!

Yesterday, my son and I went to visit my parents. Not only did we get to have fun with them, but we also got to go home with a bunch of free food (yes!!!) One of my Dad's coworkers has had a bumper crop of yellow squash, so my Dad sent me home with a whole bag of 'em! Aren't they cute??

My Mom's friend Linda also gave her an enormous bag of fresh basil, an enormous bag of fresh parsley (which I forgot to photograph - sorry!), and some gorgeous tomatoes. I was super impressed with the quality and size of both the basil leaves and the tomatoes - nice job, Linda!
I was not about to let this beautiful FREE food go to waste! I knew just what I wanted to make.

First, that huge bag of basil was just begging to be made into a summery salad dressing. I immediately thought of the Creamy Basil Dressing from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I've made this dressing several times before, and it is such a great use of fresh basil. It's also easy as 1-2-3.

I put all the ingredients into an old almond butter jar that I've cleaned and repurposed.

I use my immersion blender and whiz it up until it's creamy and emulsified.
Then I pop the lid on and stick it in the fridge until I'm ready to dress the salads.
I kept the salad simple so the dressing would be the star. This is baby spinach, cucumber, scallion, and fresh tomato.
 And here it is with the Creamy Basil Dressing. Yum.
As for the yellow squash, I wanted to make Sunny Summer Squash Soup from Susan Voisin's blog, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I'd made it years ago and absolutely loved it. I knew it would be the perfect way to use up a ton of that beautiful squash!

Yellow squash, potatoes, onions, celery, and spices are simmered together until the potatoes and squash get nice and soft.

Then you puree it up with an immersion blender so the soup gets nice and creamy. At this point, you also stir in a little bit of tahini and nooch to add some extra creaminess and body to the soup.

You know why pureed soups are great? Because you can get your picky toddler to eat a TON and not realize how many veggies are hidden in there :) He also had his first real salad tonight, and I'm proud to report that he ate several bites! I gave him exactly what my hubby and I had - spinach, cuke, tomato, and the creamy basil dressing. I chopped everything up into small pieces and also added some shredded carrot.

Finally, we noshed on some Lemon Rosemary-Roasted Chickpeas from Peas and Thank You. Chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. So simple, so good.

I love to snack on roasted chickpeas - in fact, all three of us do! They're a great, handy little protein-packed snack.

Okay, now that I'm caught up on my blog, I'm off to watch Top Chef: Just Desserts. I taped it last night and I can't wait to watch it! Yes, I said taped. On my VCR. Stop snickering.

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