Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mushroom soup

I miss cooking. More than that, though, I feel guilty when I don't prepare a nutritious meal for my family. As a full-time postdoc and a new mom, though, it can be difficult to remind myself of the importance of nutrition and exercise (we'll get to that one later). But, I like cooking. I like baking. I like experimenting with food, and it really is a stress-reliever for me. In addition to knowing exactly what's in my food, I can easily control portion sizes, flavors, colors, temperatures... maybe I'm just a control freak.

Well, this week I've gotten into a better cooking routine again, reminding myself that cooking healthy, delicious foods doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming (although I really don't mind if they are, so long as I have the time to spend). This week's big success was mushroom soup.

Mushroom Soup (Vegan)
6 medium-sized baby portabella mushrooms (about 2 pints), sliced into strips
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 crushed cloves of garlic
1 green onion, sliced
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium, so you can add your own salt to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (optional)

Saute the diced sweet onion and crushed garlic in olive oil or 3 tablespoons of water on medium-high heat until onions are slightly translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and vegetable broth (add more or less broth depending on how much you like it). Bring soup to a boil, then simmer until mushrooms are cooked. Add cooked rice, heat until the rice is thoroughly warmed. Taste the soup; if you like your soup a little more umami, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce now. Add green onion and serve.

The soup was surprisingly filling. I imagine tofu or cooked, sliced chicken for some additional protein would fit well with the flavors.

As an added bonus, this soup is baby approved!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fresh strawberry jam

I was compelled to buy the four-pound tray of strawberries at the grocery store yesterday... because they looked delicious, because they cost the same as the tiny box of strawberries, and because I thought doing so might inspire me to make something yummy with them.
Now, I don't know how this would do canned, so can only recommend it for storing and eating immediately (or within a week or two), but it is delicious!

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam (or Delicious Strawberry Treat)
- 2 pounds strawberries, cleaned and cut into chunks
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (slightly more or less depending on how much you like the citrus twang)
- 1/2 cup sugar

Mash strawberries in a bowl (I used a potato masher). Cook strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in a pot on low for approximately 5 minutes, to dissolve sugar. Cook on high, stirring regularly with a plastic spatula, for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until it starts getting gooey.

With so little sugar it won't set as firmly as regular jam, but it will result in some slightly sweet, tangy, strawberry deliciousness that is great for spreading on toast, waffles, or eating (guilt-free!) with a spoon.

Also good with a side of pancakes:

Monday, July 16, 2012

For your entertainment

I've been swamped with Science, and writing, and family, and no daycare, and potty training, and mentoring undergrads, and working on website design for GWIS, and... you get it. Really, are any of those good excuses for why I'm not spending my time blogging? I think not.

Okay, okay, I've just been playing Words with Friends and listening to the Ceremonials album by Florence + The Machine (really the whole album is very good).

But look, I'm sharing!