The end of the holiday binge is near. It’s time to think about those New Year’s resolutions of eating better and getting healthy. Pureed vegetable soups are a great way to detox the body after the holidays, and this spicy Asian green soup is another one of my favorites. Though, it is definitely not for the faint of heart, it packs a serious spicy punch. You can adjust the spice level, but I suggest trying it spicy if you can handle it. The added heat has so many health benefits. It will excite your taste buds as well as nourish your body. Start your meal with a bowl, or eat it on its own for a light vegan lunch or dinner.
Whether you’ve been watching the news, surfing the web, checking Twitter or Facebook, or simply having a conversation with friends or family, I am certain you have heard that 2016 was the worst year ever. “It was a shit show!” “The new year can’t come soon enough!” “2016 was a dumpster fire!” “I am so grateful it will be over soon.” “F$CK YOU 2016!” The list of commentary is endless.
Who doesn’t love pizza, right? It is definitely a staple dinner in our home year-round. My kids actually prefer the homemade version to any restaurant pizza we’ve had. I get cheers from everyone when it’s pizza night. We typically make two pizzas, one for the adults and one for the kids. The following two are our go-to favorites, but you are welcome to top your crust with whatever you prefer. Be creative, go a little crazy. You can even split the dough into smaller individual pizzas, and have everyone make their own. This is super fun for the kiddos. Just remember a smaller pizza will cook for a shorter time.
The key to making a great homemade pizza is really in making the crust as flavorful as possible and baking it just right. ***I’ve found that using a good quality infused oil in your pizza crust makes all the difference in the world.
When I was growing up, the term holiday stress did not exist in my vocabulary. Christmas was fun, joyful, a time to see my entire family, (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) and of course, get presents. And back then, it was easy to be with family during the holidays because everyone lived nearby.
The outside temperatures are finally starting to drop. We’ve had our first official snowfall, and there’s no denying that winter is alas on its way. Our bodies are calling for warm, hearty comfort foods to heat us up from the inside. Unfortunately, many of those foods, like delicious homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes, are also conducive to fattening up for hibernation. And since humans don’t hibernate (binge watching shows on Netflix doesn’t count), it is necessary to have some balance on your dinner table. Or you may be kicking yourself when spring and summer inevitably come around.
Pureed vegetable soups are a great way to strike this balance. Occasionally, I will even eat pureed soup for a day or two just to reset my body after a particularly bad food fest. This curried ginger soup is one of my favorites. Rich and creamy without added fats, a little sweet from in season squash and carrots, and a touch of spice from the mix of curry and ginger. It will excite your taste buds as well as nourish your body. Start your meal with a bowl, or eat it on its own for a light vegan lunch or dinner.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Your tree is up and decorated. The stockings are hung over the fireplace, and your home is twinkling with Christmas magic. Holiday music fills the air, and everywhere you go people are spreading holiday cheer. This is ordinarily a joyous time meant for parties and celebrations with friends and family. There is an unwritten expectation of being jolly and full of the holiday spirit. But for many, who will be facing their first Christmas without a loved one, this season can also bring tremendous grief.
Holiday traditions can be a tricky thing for new families to tackle. Each person coming into a marriage with their own sentimental attachments to everything they did as a child during the holiday season. Thankfully, my husband and I grew up with pretty similar traditions, so it was never a big issue. And honestly for the first several years of our marriage, we simply clung to those childhood traditions. We would travel to each family’s home and celebrate as we always had. Of course, we would put up our own tree, and decorate the house, but we didn’t really give much thought to creating meaningful holiday traditions of our own.
Even after having kids, I think I was in denial for a number of years. I wasn’t ready to give up the tradition of being with my parents on Christmas morning. I spent many years stressing out, struggling with sleep deprivation, packing the entire family up just to get there on Christmas. But thanks to my job, and having to work the holidays every other year, we were forced to create our own way of making the holidays enjoyable. Instead of being depressed and bummed out about working Christmas, we needed to find a solution that worked for our family. I wanted my kids to have a memorable holiday season even if their mom had to work.
Over the last few years, sweet potatoes have invaded. They’ve taken over our homes, our restaurants, even many fast food joints now offer an alternative to the traditional potato. As for me, this is now the third recipe involving sweet potatoes on my blog. So, you can decide for yourself where I stand. Sweet potatoes are simply a delicious, healthy choice for my family. And as much as I still love traditional French fries, sometimes I crave something a little different. These sweet potato fries are so easy to make, and they are addictive. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, salty, smoky, and just a little bit sweet. The kids love them, and they work well as a side dish for nearly every meal. Try sweet potato fries the next time you find yourself reaching for another bag of frozen French fries or tater tots.