Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Some Soup and Lunch-ables

You'd better get used to soup posts because I make at least one pot a week!

Last week was the soothing carrot soup.


Lately I've been making a lot of 'stew-y' kinds of soup, so it was nice for a change, as the only 'meat' in this dish is the carrot. You'll notice in the picture that there are only three on a spoon- that's because there was nothing to hold them up! I usually cook with as very little salt as possible, so the carrots sunk straight to the bottom!

I sauteed some white onions with the carrots, poured on homemade broth and mixed in a pinch of salt, 1 cup of soy milk, a tbsp of Braggs sauce, a dash of pepper and, of course, tons of dried dill (okay, about a tsp).

I love, love, love dill. You'll probably find this seasoning in most of the recipes I use. It's got such a distinct taste that really brings out the flavour in most meals.

On to lunch-ables!

For work, there is absolutely nothing readily available for the munching. Not only do I prefer healthy, animal-friendly meals, but I like to save my money as well. No buying lunches everyday!

I used to find it difficult to pack wholesome lunches that would fill my tummy. I also hate using microwaves (I just don't trust the damn things) so that left out heating foods up. For the longest time I'd munch on plain rice and tofu or those sodium-filled soy cold cuts. While that can be exciting for a time, it's definitely not something your stomach should get used to. At last I began fingering through my recipe books for cold dishes, such as salads and sandwich spreads that can be easily tossed in some tupperware and carried to work. I couldn't believe how many choices there were to choose from! How could I have been snacking on processed junk for so long? Now I am no longer left starving and unhappy after lunch!

I usually make these meals on Sunday night to be as fresh as possible. I'll double or even triple recipes to make sure they last me through Friday.

Here are some of the more recent lunches I've made:

Cinnamon Rice


This dish is very sweet; it required simmering with a cinnamon stick for about 50 minutes. Included with the brown rice are mustard and cumin seeds, garlic, grated ginger (1 tsp), turmeric, cayenne pepper, green onions, carrots, peas and raisins. For the dressing, I used 2 tbsp of dark sesame oil, Braggs sauce and 1/4 of a cup of flax seed oil.

It was very nummy, but unless you are a huge fan of the spice, I would recommend removing the cinnamon stick about half-way through simmering time. It definitely had an over-powering flavour.

The next lunch-able I made was a bean and rice salad, a vegan staple if you ask me!

Bean and Ricey

This was basically a smorgasbord of veggies and spices- red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, green pepper, corn, black beans, kidney beans, avocado, cilantro sprigs, cayenne pepper, tobasco sauce (just a dash to taste) and the juice of one lemon. I used an actual lemon for juicing, rather than the containers you buy at the store. It has much more intensity! Just mix all that with brown rice and 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. I ate mine in a whole wheat wrap, using the homemade hummus and guacamole that was left over from that weekend. Mmm mmm good. And muy satisfying!

Lastly, for now, is the sesame noodle!

sesame pasta

After boiling some buckwheat noodles, I mixed together cucumber, carrots, radishes, green onions, rice vinegar, Braggs sauce and sesame oil. I then topped it with homemade gomashio (a blend of raw sesame seeds, sea salt and kelp powder). The gomashio really made the dish happenin'. I had so much left over, I was throwing it in soups and on top of pastas for weeks!

Eating right and eating wholesome during the work day can keep you happy and on your toes. So get rid of the microwavable soup and cold cuts that have been sitting on the shelf for eons and make something! =)


Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh, I love dill too. Don't use enough of it...I'm sure it made that soup extra tasty.

I have so many coworkers that go out to lunch everyday. Unhealthy and expensive. I like your bean, veggie, and rice lunchable. Just what you need so your head won't crash on your desk in the afternoon!

Jody from VegChic said...

Boiling with a cinnamon stick would scare me off the recipe. I like cinnamon, but in small quantities.

The buckwheat noodles look great. If I didn't use the microwave at work, I'd be making a lot more cold dishes.

Do you guys have a toaster oven at least?

Rural Vegan said...

Glad to see I'm not the only dill addict. I can add it to almost anything, though I can't seem to get it to grow in the garden yet. Your pictures are consistently gorgeous, btw.

The Little Vegan said...

Yay for soup posts! I look forward to many more :o). And that cinnamon rice looks great; anything with raisins will get me every time!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the coconut rice recipe in VWAV and part of that recipe calls for boiling a cinnamon stick with it so I'm really excited about other cinnamon rice possibilities. I put at least a tsp of cinnamon on my peanut butter toast each morning. I just love the flavor!

b36Kitchen said...

I love cinnamon! Especially in rice dishes. I usually thrown a stick into any indian rice dish that i'm making.

Theresa said...

Your lunches look great. So much better, and cheaper, than eating out. I often eat leftovers, but today I have an avocado and a slice of bread. Not very exciting, though I do love avocado.

I hear ya on the microwave mis-trust! We don't own one, and I usually don't heat my lunches even though there's a microwave upstairs. I know it's weird, but that's just how I am!

bazu said...

Soba is one of my all-time favorite things. Yum! That carrot soup looks good, and the cinnamon rice sounds interesting.

Ashasarala said...

Jody, I know what you mean about the cinnamon stick. I love cinnamon, but it's too strong in the rice. It's a matter of taste, I guess. And, no, we don't even have a toaster oven at work! It's awful! I would be all over that, if so. For now I must think of creative cold dishes.

Rural vegan- Thanks so much! It's all a matter of the perfect lighting. :)

Thanks everyone for the input and the compliments! =)

vegetalion said...

that carrot soup looks really tastey. The whole time I was sick I didn't crave any food but boiled carrots, oddly enough - that'd've been a great sick-soup. And dill is one of my favorite spices.

aTxVegn said...

I do bulk cooking too so I can take my lunch to work. I usually throw leftovers on top of salad greens. Your beans and rice would be perfect! I would say an average lunch around my office costs $10. I don't know how people afford that every day.

I will enjoy all the soups you want to post!

Kang Doy's Bloggy Blog Blog Blog said...

UNFORTUNATLEY, I only had ONE of your soups...!!! You should do something about that! ;-P

As for your picture at the Palladium, look at that amazing duct tape job that Mike did!!! \m/

Anonymous said...

i think I'd like to join your lunch table!~

Veggie Cookster said...

Looks soooooooooooo good! I'm drooling! :)

Celine said...

well said! it makes me sad when so many people go for the ready-made foods when it's so easy and sometimes quick to have it homemade instead.

Dreena said...

nice looking food!! your cinnamon rice pic is right up my street, I bet I'd love it.

...and I'm with you - soup is a staple in our house. How can you not love it? One pot to clean up, super-nutritious, satisfying, tasty, and usually leftovers to freeze. What can be better than that?!

textual bulldog said...

I, too, am with you on the soup. It's so easy and yummy and satisfying! LIke you, I make at least a pot a week. All your rice dishes look lovely, too. I must get better about bringing my lunch instead of buying...

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I was writing a comment on Urban Vegan's blog when I noticed your comment and laughed... there are oil and sauce splashes all over my cookbook pages as well! Glad to know I'm not the only one ;o).

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