Tag Archives: vegetables

Romano White Bean Vegetable Soup with Quinoa

Can you believe summer is just about over? Today is the last day of August and then it’s September! The month when school starts up again! Feels like the summer went by so quickly!

But that’s alright as I am not going to be going back to school anytime soon. I’ll just work work work my way to better money and a better position in the company!

As its Monday I decided to make it a meatless and delicious one! This recipe is absolutely fabulous! Actually, I think that is my word, you know the one word you use all the time? Well I am pretty sure “fabulous” is my word of choice. My youngest niece constantly says “seriously”, but the way she pronounces it is like the new Oxford Dictionary word “srsly” like all the vowels are knocked out and the acronyms flow together. My oldest niece however uses the word “literally” all the time.

So now you know the word I seem to utilize often!

Anyway I made the best meal ever. It was oddly easy and so delicious. Also super healthy and filling. Honestly just perfect.

I got the recipe from the cooking tab in the New York Times website. Here you can find the direct link to the recipe!

White Bean Vegetable Quinoa soup

My meal was your basic tomato base soup as most my soups are, but honestly just delicious.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion (40g), chopped
  • 2 small celery stalks (75g), sliced
  • 1 carrot(25g), peeled and sliced
  • 1 can (540ml) romano beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (411g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup (43g) quinoa
  • ¼ cup (5g) parsley, chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a medium sized pot and sauté onion, celery, and carrot for about five minutes or until semi cooked. Add romano beans and garlic to vegetables and sauté for an additional two minutes.

  2. Mix in diced tomatoes and vegetable stock and allow mixture to simmer for about twenty minutes.

  3. Then add quinoa, parsley, herbs, and allow quinoa to cook for fifteen minutes with lid on pot.

  4. Once quinoa is cooked, remove bay leaf and add salt and pepper as desired.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

This is such a wonderful soup. If you like beans and quinoa this is honestly the soup for you!

Though I have something to ask you all… have any of you used shredded bay leaves for any of your dishes? I’ve not ever heard of shredded bay leaves and don’t even know how to add that to a soup or anything. Since I was taught to remove the bay leaves how does one remove shredded bay leaves?

Shredded Bay Leaves

For my soup I just added the leaves to a tea leaf strainer and let the leaves boil along with the metal in the pot. How odd is that right? Does anyone else do that?

Well regardless of how I used the bay leaves, this soup came out very well! I actually keep going back for a spoonful! So tasty!

I hope you all get to trying this. It is fabulous! Plus you will have it finished within a half hour!

So please everyone make this dish! You will love it

Happy eating


Perfect Vegetable Soup for any Diet!

As of Monday, my parents decided to get back on the diet train to slim down some. So since then they’ve been nixing carbohydrates, fats, and mostly every beverage out there. With their diet, they end up running out vegetables to enjoy for their meal this means I am keeping an open eye on other meals that will spice up their lives. I’ve found a lovely shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash instead of potato mash with the normal ground beef as one interesting meal.

However for this evening’s meal I thought I’d try to keep a normal dish but keeping it super healthy to follow their diet.

I went for a vegetable soup with a tuna salad sandwich. Except without the bread, but with lettuce. Making it into a wrap.

Vegetable Soup and Tuna Lettuce Wraps

That way mom got to have all her vegetables for her dinner AND her protein. So going into detail abuot their diet, for lunch and dinner they enjoy any veggies and a protein with whatever dressing for their veg.




2 eggs, 2 rashers bacon 1 cup grapefruit juice
Any vegetable and protein 1 cup grapefruit juice
Any vegetable and protein 1 cup grapefruit juice
Before bed

1 cup tomato juice OR low fat milk

If you do not want to have a cup of grapefruit juice, you can avoid it and have a half a grapefruit instead, though most people find it easier to pour juice out of a carton rather than halve a giant citrus fruit and cut out piece by piece. Also, when you are not drinking the above beverages you will be drinking water.

Anyway, I got the recipe from Cooking Classy, though as for the tuna wrap I didn’t follow a single recipe and just used my imagination and created! The direct link for the soup recipe can be found here.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves (25g) garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ¾ bag (525g) mixed vegetables
  • 1 can (475ml) diced tomatoes, in juices
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups (750ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Chopped parsley as garnish


  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.

  2. Pour in vegetables and sauté until soft, then when ready pour in can of diced tomatoes and stir until it begins to simmer.

  3. Mix in parsley and thyme as well as salt and pepper before pouring in vegetable broth. Place bay leaf in contents and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

  4. Once ready, remove that single bay leaf and add any additional herbs to perfect the taste before you pour it into your bowl.

  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Now I didn’t really follow the recipe I linked above, but I did get the idea to make it a tomato based soup from it! Plus I didn’t want to overdo it on vegetables if I already had a bag of pre-packed vegetables!

Pre-Packed Soup Vegetables
Pre-Packed Soup Vegetables

The wraps were literally leaves of lettuce with a tablespoon of tuna salad in the piece of lettuce. I made it with only 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise making it as healthy as possible but still a source of protein for mom!

At any rate, this is a fabulous soup! Dad even had a small bowl-full before he went out for supper with his work colleagues! He thoroughly enjoyed it too.

If you are interested in slimming down and need a good meal for that diet, this may be perfect for you! Just follow the diet I’ve written out above and you’ll be losing kilos as quickly as a day into the diet! Though remember, men lose weight quicker than women. It sucks, but it is a fact.

Anyway, happy eating!

Vegetable Enchiladas for a Colorful Evening

So… there was a fiesta in my oven last night. No seriously, it seemed that I was at a proper Mexican party where a piñata let out enough color to celebrate. It was delightful. Most of all delicious too.

Last night’s meal was a mix of healthy vegetables and salsa to create a perfect enchilada. What a great thing to be eating on a Tuesday which kick starts the warmth to come during the week. It has been quite cold as of late, but yesterday was pretty warm and the remainder of the week will increase in temperature as well. So enchiladas definitely are making week look good.

Fiesta in Oven

Okay, so that doesn’t quite look like a fiesta or a piñata, but when it came out it sure looked impressive.


Look at all those beautiful colors! Layers of colors at that. Perfection.

The recipe can be found here:


  • 1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (or one small cauliflower head), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and slivered
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tablespoons heat-safe olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
  • 5 corn tortillas, teared into appropriate slices as needed
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheese works best)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions for garnish, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 218ᵒC (425ᵒF). Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
  2. Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF).
  3. Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
  5. Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

Beautiful LayersCheck out those fantastic layers. Does it actually even look like layers to y’all?

Well when it came to plating the meal I opted out from using sour cream and chives. It really was unnecessary for both the reason of adding more fat to the dish as well as the taste is fantastic without it!

You really should try this. It doesn’t plate all too attractively, but it tastes great.

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas

Plus to make things even better, I took a little bit back to my apartment and decided to make an omelette with the enchilada mixture inside. Seriously that was perfection. I before eight in the morning and I am still full at four.  Usually I would be peckish but I am satisfied. Well maybe not now after writing an entry on food.

So this is definitely a five star meal. If I could have made it gluten free I would have too. But where does one find gluten free tortillas in the country of the Netherlands? If anyone can help me on that one please do!

I really hope you all try this meal out. It is great.

Buen provecho!

Burgers the Healthy Way

After Sunday baking came dinner. A dinner for champions. And just like Buju Banton said it “Me wanna walk like a champion, talk like a champion…” I really did feel like a champion after dinner.

I think this weekend was all about the beef. Which meant I had to make my own meal of course. Saturday with the risotto while my parents had beef stew and Sunday with burgers. I too had a burger, a delicious and filling one at that!

I made a burger of Portobello mushrooms with guacamole, cucumber, tomatoes, shallots, and brie. Mom also made my favourite salad which I believe is oil and vinegar with garlic, onion, sugar, and cucumbers in the dressing. It is perfection. We also had french-fries to go with it.

For my burger I used the following:


  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 3 slices cucumber
  • 3 slices shallots
  • 2 slices Brie
  • 1 Tablespoon Guacamole
    • 1 avocado, mashed
    • ½ shallot, chopped
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon vinegar
    • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 175ᵒC or 350ᵒF

  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and grease tin foil with olive oil. Place 2 mushrooms facing up on pan. Sprinkle olive oil on opposite side of mushrooms and bake for 10 minutes. Flip half way through baking process.

  3. Slice tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, and brie and set aside. Grab avocado and make guacamole.

  4. Remove portobellos from oven and drain of excess liquid.

  5. Immediately put brie on one of the caps and guacamole on other cap. Add sliced vegetables to whichever cap you choose and press together.

  6. Then enjoy

Ready to EatI really only ate like three french-fries. The rest was eaten by daddy.

Portobello BurgerI wish I could remember the link I copied this from, but my mind is completely blank. I do however recall that it was Finnish or something? I had to have the ENTIRE page translated. Thank you Google Chrome!

If you do make this I am sure you will enjoy it. If not then just have at the guacamole. It is my preferred recipe for guacamole. The family loves it and it is super easy.

As they say in Finland:

Hyvää ruokahalua (enjoy your meal)



Ending the Year Right: Asian Themed Dinner

Let’s end the year right! With a final push towards healthy!

Well I at least tried!

As our final meal for 2013 I made an Asian meal. Or as Asian as someone who has yet to go to Asia to experience authentic Asian cuisine can cook…

To start dinner off correctly, I made a dupe of Benihana’s onion soup and as a main course I have a ramen stir-fry. I’ve been wanting to make this stir-fry for my mom for a little while now, but never got around to doing it. Now that I have made it I am very glad I postponed it because it ensured that both Daddy and my sister were able to also try it. All three of my family members really liked what I had prepared for them for their last meal of the year. Yay.


  • 4 cups canned chicken broth
  • 2 cups room temperature water
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 medium mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 green onions, diced


  1. Fill large pot with chicken broth and water and bring to boil.

  2. Once boiling add white onion, carrot, celery, and salt to liquid. Once boiling again, place lid on pan and allow to simmer for ten minutes (or at least until onion is translucent)

  3. While soup is simmering away, dice four green onions and lightly fry onions.

  4. Fish out vegetables until broth is clear. Then ladle soup into bowls, add fried and fresh green onions to bowl with a few slices of mushrooms.

  5. Serve and enjoy.

Benihana Dupe Soup

While making this, I used a vegetable broth which was fine, but I used this exact recipe 2 years earlier and remember that the chicken broth made the soup taste more like the one found at the restaurant.

Next I made a delicious ramen stir-fry. You can use whichever vegetables you like and think that will work best in your stir-fry, but I used the following:


  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup broccolini, halved
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ bag beansprouts
  • 2 stems green onion, chopped
  • 4 bricks ramen noodles
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ketjap manis
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ¾ cup water


  1. Fill medium pan with water and bring to boil, once boiling add bouillon cube and allow to dissolve. Then add 4 bricks of ramen and turn heat to low to allow to simmer.

  2. While ramen is being cooked, chop wash and chop vegetables to appropriate sizes.

  3. Check on ramen and ensure noodles are al dente. Drain water, but keep 2 Tablespoons worth to help keep noodles moist.

  4. Place large wok on stove and turn heat to medium-high, add sunflower oil to pan and allow to heat up. Add carrots, broccolini, celery, and mushroom to wok and sautée until carrots are cooked but still crunchy.

  5. Next add cooked ramen noodles to vegetables and mix with vegetables. If noodles are too hard to manipulate, add water to pan. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, ketjap manis, and honey to noodle mix. Add more if needed to match your taste.

  6. Make sure all vegetables and noodles are coated with sauce and hot before adding beansprouts and green onions. Mix for a little longer before transferring into individual bowls and serving. 

Vegetable Ramen Stir-fry

If you make the ramen stir-fry you may need to have two large spoons to help “toss” the ramen when you first add it to your vegetable mix. The noodles are very dense and will not move like the noodles do when mixing. And remember, additional salt is unnecessary because of the soy sauce and bouillon cube.

I personally wasn’t all too sure everyone in the household would like the meal I had planned for them, but it was a complete  success. Good healthy end for 2013. Daddy did however need to return to the kitchen to put some sambal on his to add some more kick to it. He then told me that once when he was on one of his many travels he had a variant of this meal at the airport. He said the taste was very similar to mine so he liked it a lot. That of course made me chuffed to bits.

When everyone was finished their plate, they went back to finish the last portion as well. So this was a great success for sure.

Unfortunately the food game for all of our family members wasn’t the best. My poor Austin was huddled in the bathroom on the third floor terrified of all the banging from the fireworks that our neighbours would light up.

Austin Scared of FireworksIf he dared to come down from his towel heaven in his firework shelter he didn’t even touch the treats I hid throughout the house. Then when it was 5 in the afternoon he didn’t even eat dinner. Poor lad.

But it was a good final day of the year and I hope you all had a good day awaiting the night of celebration!