Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sinless and Savory Soups

Okay, we haven't just been consumed with consuming So Delicious products. We've been souping it up as well.
We all loved the Coconut Corn Chowder so much, the family requested it again. I started to make it just to realize I didn't have any corn in the freezer. No fear, I just turned it into a vegetable soup (omitted the coconut and add a bag of organic vegetable mix - yes, I did think for one second about take the corn out of the mix and using just the corn, silly though!) and added some star pasta (cooked it separately and added it since it tends to totally soak up any liquid and take over). We'll call this Vegetable Soup with Pasta, genius, I know. Rob, my husband who was very slow to come around to quinoa, said he would have preferred quinoa in the soup. Score!
Last night was Quinoa Kidney Bean Sweet Potato Stew (it was supposed to have black beans, but I didn't have any soaked and cooked, but I did have a couple cans of kidney beans). Very flavorful. I was wondering as I added the spices if this stew would end up being confused. The spices didn't seem to have a theme, but it worked out to add complex and layered taste that worked well. We prefer black beans, but I think I would continue to use kidney beans in this recipe. More of Josie's pottery in the background, this one is a rabbit bowl.

Parker is doing an essay about school lunches for his English/Language Arts class. He usually does not spend much time looking at what is served at school and is pretty intent on his own lunch. Yesterday he had leftover brown rice, steamed broccoli, seared tofu with tahini sauce and a Asherah Vegan Burger (Chipotle flavor) on focaccia bread. I asked him last night if he knew what the school serves for lunch. He had to make a persuasive argument about the lunches and if they need to be improved. We printed out the menu on the school website so he could see that he might possibly be the only kid at school yesterday with quinoa and sweet potato (in the burger), broccoli, brown rice, and tofu. (Although we were both pleasantly surprised to see collards on the menu for one day during the month.) He told me last week that sometimes the adults at school come look at his lunch to see what he is eating. This made us both smile. One of the things I miss most about homeschooling with Parker is having him here for lunch. It was so much easier to ensure high quality nutritious and delicious meals when I could serve it up fresh to him. I can empathize with the task the school district has in front of them with certain federal standards (no matter how arguably flawed)*, food that needs to be prepared in quantity and stay temperature controlled through several lunch periods, and kids who will throw away food or not buy food they don't want to eat. I think Parker and I will both learn something from this assignment.

*From our school district's website: "In order to receive the benefits of the NSLP, participating schools must offer free or reduced price meals to eligible children.  The schools must also comply with nutritional requirements outlined by the federal government. These guidelines follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommend no more than 30% of a person’s calories come from fat with less than 10% from saturated fat. Lunch menus must also be designed to provide students with 1/3 of the key nutrients they need each day (calories, protein, Vitamins A and C, and iron). " More about this in a future post.

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