A Date Night with Myself….

GF Guy has hit the road again. (sad face) It was a fantastic 2 weeks though. We explored the town & its many restaurants, took in a play & a ballet, & even had time for a walk in the park! I can’t wait until he comes out again, hopefully for good.
Last night, I arrived home from a long week in Pennsylvania to…. a kitchen!!!!!!
YESSssss!!!!!!!!!
This is how I decompress. I walk in, toss my suitcase/bag in the bedroom, put away groceries, & immediately start cooking. I don’t even take off my high heels! (Which, in my opinion, every girl should wear. They make you feel so powerful!)
Even when I’m cooking for one, I will make what I want to make and freeze the leftovers. Just because it’s only me doesn’t mean I shouldn’t cook a grand meal! Last night, I was in the mood for some sort of vegetable soup. As usual, when I make soup, there was no initial recipe. It came together on its own accord and turned into the best soup I have ever made!!!!! Seriously… I was quite proud of myself! 
I think it was the Kabocha Squash that put this soup over the top. It infused the broth with a light sweetness that mellowed out the acidity of the tomatoes. Kabocha Squash makes everything better! 
I made myself a GF/DF Grilled Cheese sandwich to go alongside the soup with Udi’s Multi-grain Bread & Daiya Cheddar Cheese. It got nice and “charred”, just like I like my grilled cheese! YUM! 
Admittedly, I’m a dipper. How about you? 
To dip, or not to dip? That is the question!
The Very Best Vegan Vegetable Soup
(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • drizzle Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1-2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 of a Kabocha Squash skin on, chopped
  • 2 Zucchini, chopped
  • 4 cloves, Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp No-Salt Added Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup White Wine
  • 1 (15 oz) can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tblsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can Organic Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 quart Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups Organic Salad Greens (mix of spinach, etc….)
  • 2 Tblsp fresh Basil, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot of medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots, and kabocha squash. Cook 5-7 minutes until soft.
  3. Add zucchini & cook about 3 minutes more.
  4. Add garlic & cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  5. Add poultry seasoning, thyme, parsley, salt, & pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. De-glaze the pan with wine & add bay leaf. Allow alcohol to cook off for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, & broth. Bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat & allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, add the greens, basil, & adjust seasonings. 
  9. Recover and simmer until greens are wilted.
Questions:
  1. How do you decompress after a long week?
  2. Do you rock the high heels, or are you more of a sensible shoe wearer?
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