Tag Archives: carrots

My Winter – Spring Garden and Meal Plan – Week 8

The winter has been a little longer and colder which means my vegetable garden has been producing very slowly. This is my first winter garden and it seems to be going ok. Lessons I have learned:

  1. My swiss chard did not survive as something ate that – not sure what. So, next time I may have to place little wire cages around them
  2. Next year, I will invest in some recycled windows to create a cover so I have a mini hot house

Two surprising things happened with this crop:

  1.  My plants survived the snow and ice. I will definitely get a crop of  broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cabbage (respectively in photo’s below)….and a little bit of spinach.
  2. And my parsley which had died out came back to life and is flourishing.

Broccoli Cauliflower Carrots
Cabbages Parsley

In the meantime, waiting for this crop to grow, we are buying our veggies (still within the $70 budget). Here is our meal plan for this week – it will be similar to last week (its better not to even talk about it :-)). I have decided to cook most of the meals in the weekend to see if that it is easier to stick with the plan.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Saturday ^Breakfast Sandwich Creamy Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie (thanks to Kristel’s list and links)
Sunday Bircher Muesli (with soy) Chicken and Vegetable Cacciatore + Quinoa or Wheat berries 3-4 Mile Walk
Monday Bircher Muesli (with soy) Vegetable Frittata
Tuesday Whole Grain Cereal+Soy Vegetable Soup (Slow Cooked) 3-4 Mile Walk
Wednesday Oatmeal with Banana and Almond butter ^Pizza @ zPizza (love the options at this place)
Thursday Whole Grain Cereal + Soy Slow-Cooked Indian Dal
Friday Smoothie Vegetable Pasta Bake + Quinoa Pasta 3-4 Mile Walk

^ indicates my splurge for the week

Pumpkin Soup

One of my son’s favorite book series is the “Pumpkin Soup”, “Delicious” and “A Pipkin of Pepper” by Helen Cooper. (images taken from google images – amazon.com)

  

These beautiful books and the time of year inspired us to make a couple of pumpkin soups. I usually make a base (pumpkin puree) that we can store by freezing it, and then we make soup from that base. This time I made the base in the slow cooker so I didn’t have to check on it all the time and it worked out great. The two soups we made were a Pumpkin Cream Soup and a Curried Pumpkin Soup.

Ingredients for Pumpkin puree (cooked in the slow cooker)

1/2 large pumpkin (chopped in ~2 inch pieces)
2 Granny Smith apples (grated ~1 cup)
1 cup carrot (grated)
1 onion (grated)
1 32 oz box of low-sodium vegetable stock

  

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Use a hand blender to blend the softened vegetables (be careful of hot splashes). Use immediately or place into freezer suitable containers.

  

Pumpkin Cream Soup (Kid-friendly recipe)

Ingredients 

3 cups Pumpkin Puree (from the slow cooker)
1 cup of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan, heat. I use a whisk to stir in the pumpkin puree and the cream. Serve immediately, with a  dollop of sour cream and pinch of nutmeg.

Curried Pumpkin Soup (adult version of pumpkin soup)

Ingredients

3 cups of pumpkin puree (from above)
1/2 can of coconut milk (I use a light coconut milk)
2 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 inch fresh ginger (finely grated)

Add all the ingredients into a sauce pan, stir using a whisk and heat through. Serve immediately. You can add a dollop of plain greek yoghurt, topped with fresh chopped coriander.

Meatloaf: Success!!!

My son is not a bad eater but he has foods he loves and food he hates – there seems to be no in between. Our biggest problem is vegetables. I can easily list the vegetables he will eat:

  • raw baby carrots with ranch dressing
  • corn on the cob
  • fresh tomatoes diced on pizza
  • pasta sauce
  • potatoes, sliced or as wedges homemade baked fries and also white mashed potatoes (god forbid if we use yukon gold potatoes)

and that is about it. One thing he is good about is trying the new food – he will at least take one bite but, that one bite will determine his love-hate relationship with that food.

As an attempt to broaden his favorite meals, help me stop cooking two meals and provide healthy meals, I tried out a new meal. The meal was Meatloaf with a ketchup sauce, homemade mashed potatoes ( I say homemade, as my husband was a box mash potato person before I came along) and frozen peas and corn (to keep it simple).

The recipe for the meatloaf includes carrots and zucchini. This was not an attempt to hide vegetables in his food, I want him to know how to make good choices later on. So, after the first bite I showed him what was in it.

The meal  was a huge success for all of us….my son for the first time turned to me and said “Mummy can you make this again, soon”. I was beaming when I replied “of course”.

Recipe (modified from Weight Watchers Magazine September/October 2006 edition)

3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1/2 cup carrot, grated
1/2 cup zucchini, grated (1 small zucchini)
1/2 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp whole seed Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Pinch of coarse ground pepper
1-1/2 tsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-1.5 pound ground beef (5% fat or less)
1/4 cup ketchup

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. I use a silicon loaf pan (5 x 9 in.), you can line this with foil if you wish.
  2. In a kitchen whizz, I grate the carrot, zucchini, onion and cloves.
  3. In a bowl, combine oatmeal, milk, broth, grated vegetables, egg, mustard, salt, pepper, parsley and oregano.
  4. Gently mix in the ground beef to this mixture until just combined. I use my fingers to mix in the ingredients.
  5. Spoon mixture into the loaf pan and level out.
  6. During baking at the 45 min mark, I pour of some of the excess liquid and spread the 1/4 cup ketchup over the top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 165 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.
  8. Slice and plate with the mashed potatoes and cooked peas and corn.

As there are only 3 of us, I made one left over meal for my husband’s lunch and the rest I wrapped and placed into the freezer (once it cooled) for a future meal.