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Simple Dinner 4 – Tomato Soup

6 Mar

I love soup! Whenever I go out to eat (which is sadly not too often these days), if there is soup I order a bowl. But, as much as I want to like tomato soup I am usually disappointed. This is a bit of a problem as my partner really enjoys tomato soup. I think I may have found a solution; a tomato soup that is full of veggies and contains no cream. I served this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, making for a light, filling, and very comforting meal!

*I think this could be greatly improved by using fresh tomatoes, but it is not tomato season, and with the other veggies, the canned ones tasted fine.*

Tomato Soup


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 large can diced tomato

1 small can tomato paste

salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large pot heat the oil then add in the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, cooking on medium heat until soft (about 10 minutes).

2. Add the broth and allow to simmer, cooking the veggies for another 10 minutes.

3. Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

4. I prefer a smoother soup, so using an immersion blender I made a thick soup. This would be just as tasty left as a chunky soup. Before serving, add any salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Simple Dinner – 2

7 Nov

Farro Salad

In my continued search for healthy, tasty, and simple dinners, I think I have found a new addition to my collection. I have made a farro salad before, and while tasty was not a complete meal (in that it did not have protein or vegetables so was more of a side dish). I find that making one complete recipe is easier than making multiple dishes.

Farro is a kind of wheat that is crunchy and nutty-tasty when cooked, but it can be substituted with barley bulgur to make this dish.


1 cup farro

2 heads broccoli

1/4 cup fresh mint

1 can cannellini beans (or chickpeas)

1/4 cup feta cheese

3 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach (I used bagged and washed baby spinach…it’s too easy!)


1. Soak farro and cook according to directions on bag (I soaked mine for 2 hours and cooked for 25 minutes). Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

2. Trim broccoli to small, bite-sized pieces and steam (or roast). If steamed, drain broccoli, and add to the farro.

3. Chop mint, adding to the farro along with the beans, feta, and olive oil, stir ingredients together and add salt and pepper.

4. Let sit (either on the counter or in the fridge if over 30 minutes) before serving.

To get more vegetables, I like to serve a grain salad over spinach, or lettuce.


Lactation Cookies

10 Oct

At a pre-baby class the instructor told us about lactation cookies. I loved the idea that I could eat cookies while also doing something that would help my baby. I did not want to buy cookies (they can be a little expensive), and the recipes I found online were either unhealthy (but tasty) or had too many ingredients that I could not find at my local grocery store (this recipe includes information about the milk producing properties of the ingredients).

Most women produce enough milk for their child(ren) and supply problems should be discussed with a medical or lactation professional. However, these cookies at most may add a little boost and at least are tasty and have, relatively, healthy ingredients. I made and ate them a lot in the first few months. I think I needed the extra calories and liked having an excuse to eat chocolate.

This recipe is a variation of the second one found on peaceful parenting. I hope you enjoy them!

Easy (almost) Vegan Lactation Cookies


Makes 4-5 dozen


1 cup Ground Flax Seed

8 Tbsp. Water

1 1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

4 Tbsp. Brewer’s Yeast

1/2 cup Vegan Butter (I like Earth Balance), melted

1 1/3 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Egg Beater (or 2 eggs or vegan replacement for 2 eggs)

1 tsp. Vanilla

3/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips

1/4 cup Chocolate-covered Raisins (Trader Joe’s are especially tasty)

3 cups Oats



1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.

2. Mix flax and water in small bowl. In large bowl mix butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, stirring until combined. Stir in flax and water mixture and applesauce. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and brewer’s yeast until well combined. Mix in chocolate, raisins, and oats.

3. Drop rounded by rounded spoonful onto baking sheets. Cook for 12-14 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.



Simple Dinner – 1

3 Oct

My life is different in so many ways after having a child, but one difference that I am reminded of daily is making dinner. I enjoy cooking, and used to look forward to trying out at least one new recipe a week. We ate very healthy and creative meals before the baby. But now, as my baby likes to be held almost exclusively, getting any dinner together, let alone something requiring more than three steps or something new that requires attention and precision, is just not possible most nights. This is all the more frustrating because I am really trying to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight and it’s getting colder, so I desperately a warm, filling meal that is low-fat and ow calorie, yet full of all the nutrients I need while breastfeeding.

An easy solution: Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas

The vegetables can be chopped wearing a baby, or while baby is sleeping or otherwise engaged. I have chopped and prepared the recipe while my baby is sleeping during the late morning, and left it in the refrigerator until it is time to start cooking it. And while I think that the dish cooks best if it is stirred every 10-15 minutes, you could not touch it until it is done, and it would come out okay.

While I think this dish is tasty enough on its own, I have come up with some variations:

1. Use less starchy vegetables (squash, green beans, eggplant, onion) and serve on brown rice, whole wheat pita, or couscous.

2. Grate a small amount of a tasty cheese on the veggies (eg. parmesan, feta).

3. I love Karam’s Garlic Sauce, which is not low fat, but low enough in fat that a serving on this dish is fine (in my opinion).

4. For additional vitamins, serve on top of spinach.

Ingredients (makes enough for two adults, with some leftover)

4 carrots, peeled

1 Head Cauliflower, rinsed

1 Bunch Broccoli, rinsed

1 can chickpeas, drained

[You can use any vegetables you like: asparagus, green beans, yams, potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and onion all roast well.]

Heat oven to 400.

Chop all vegetables and place in a shallow roasting pan. Pour no more than 2 Tbsp. of olive oil onto the vegetables, and salt and pepper to taste. Place vegetables on the middle rack and stir every 10-15 minutes until done, approximately 30-40 minutes.