Patti and Lora’s Awesome Soup

My friend Patti posted on Facebook the other day a recipe for a super easy soup. She said that her friend Lora made it for her when she visited her in Seattle recently. It’s only 3 ingredients! It sounded so good that I raced out to Trader Joe’s to buy the ingredients. I tell you, I want to always have the makings for this soup on hand. It can be made in just a few minutes. My kids were out riding bikes in the cold, and they came in and had some warm soup and told me all about their day. Soup IS good food. PS: the directions are straight from Patti’s Facebook page.

rating: 9.8

Patti and Lora’s Awesome Soup


Trader Joe’s Miso-Ginger Broth (2 boxes)
Trader Joe’s Vegetable Gyoza dumplings (I used 2 bags)
spinach or kale


Pour two boxes of TJ’s miso ginger broth into a soup pot and warm it up.
Once the broth is warmed, crack open a bag of TJ’s vegetable gyoza dumplings and pour it into the broth. Warm over a medium-low heat and the frozen dumplings will thaw and fall apart with abandon.
Open a bag of TJ baby kale and/or baby spinach and put into the broth to wilt. Warm on low.
Eat that and you will feel comforted like you did when your mother used to make you noodle soup as a child when you were sick. And if your mother never did that for you, you are now doing it for yourself, which is awesome.


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Crispy Potatoes with Garlic Lemon Avocado Aioli

These potatoes were great! And the dipping sauce…wow! I could just eat that plain! I did leave off the chipotle powder, but they were still good. 😉

rating: 9.2

Crispy Potatoes with Garlic Lemon Avocado Aioli


time needed: 40 min.
serves 4



1 lb small red potatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chipotle powder (I omitted)
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp onion
parsley, minced for garnish

Garlic Lemon Avocado Aioli (Dip or Dressing):
½ cup vegan mayo
1 small avocado
½ – 1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp parsley, minced
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
black peppercorn, to taste



Preheat oven to 425 F.
Combine potatoes with olive oil and spices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the potatoes out, cut side down.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, flip, and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until crispy, golden-brown, and tender when poked with a fork.

Garlic Lemon Avocado Aioli:

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Optional: Add a splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk to thin to your desired consistency, from a thick dip to a thin dressing.
Taste and adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if needed.
Serve potatoes plain with a side of dip, or serve drizzled with thinned dressing, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.


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Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup

I thought this soup was great! It made the house smell great, too! My 7 year old loved this, but my 10 year old didn’t. Husband thought it was pretty good. Bonus, it’s vegan!

rating: 9

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash + Apple Soup



1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 4-5 cups)
2 large apples (just use your favorite)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 a yellow onion, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 cups broth (I used vegetarian “chicken” broth)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR 3 cinnamon sticks – I used ground
2 bay leaves
1 can full fat coconut milk



Combine all ingredients except coconut milk in slow cooker. Give it a stir to mix everything, cover, and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
Once the soup is done cooking, remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks (if using).
Using a immersion blender, blend the soup until it is very smooth and all of the apple and butternut squash pieces are pureed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also puree the soup in your blender in batches. Just be very careful when transferring the soup to blender, as it will be very hot.
Add the coconut milk to the soup, blending or stirring for a minute or two to combine.
Enjoy immediately garnished with a little olive oil and/or additional salt and pepper.


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Product Review: Lucky Foods Potato Stix

I can’t remember where I got these, either Aldi or Harris Teeter (maybe?). These are like little egg rolls, but they are vegetarian and filled with various potato fillings. There are four flavors: original, curry, jalapeno, and wasabi. I bought the original and curry. You bake these in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning once. We all thought these were great! I didn’t even think about a dipping sauce, but these would be great dipped in sour cream, ranch, etc. These are a nice little side dish!



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Turmeric Chicken-and-Chickpea Soup

This was pretty good! I used Beyond Meat’s Lightly Seasoned Strips for the chicken, and then vegetarian chicken broth. It didn’t take too long to make and the turmeric (I think) gave it a nice flavor.

rating: 8.5

Turmeric Chicken-and-Chickpea Soup
(Cooking Light, Nov. 2017)


serves 6



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 1 bag of Beyond Meat’s Lightly Seasoned Strips)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups unsalted chicken stock (I used vegetarian chicken stock)
2 (15-oz.) cans unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned light coconut milk
1/2 cup torn fresh basil (I omitted)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice



Step 1
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Step 2
Reduce heat to medium. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, ginger, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 1 minute. Add stock and chickpeas. Return chicken to pot; increase heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Step 3
Place chicken on a cutting board, and use two forks to shred; return to pot. Stir in coconut milk, basil, and lime juice; cook 5 minutes.


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Three-Bean Miso Chili

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this was! That miso really does add a little something special! I will be making this again, for sure!

rating: 9

Three-Bean Miso Chili
(Cooking Light, Nov. 2017)


serves 5
time needed: 40 min.



1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons seeded and chopped poblano chile
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted kidney beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
5 tablespoons plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 ripe avocado, sliced



Step 1
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion, poblano chile, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, peanut butter, miso, cumin, and chili powder; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Step 2
Add beans and vegetable stock; increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Ladle into 5 bowls; top evenly with yogurt and avocado slices.


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Product Review: Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y

These, I think, are perfect for special occasions, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. They are kind of pricey! Husband said they were good but too expensive (I think they were about $12 for the package, so yeah, pricey). The package contains two stuffed “turkey” rolls and two packs of gravy. My whole family liked the actual rolls, but no one liked the gravy but me. This package is supposed to serve 2, so if we did buy this for a special occasion, I would splurge and get the box (see pic).

rating: 9




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