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Monday, January 10, 2011

Meatless Monday-On The Cheap!

Here we are, Meatless Monday again! Amazing how fast the time goes, right? It's already the 10th of the month and January is virtually 1/3 over!

In the interest of keeping my food expenses down this month and also because of the brrrr-isk winter chill we've been subjected to here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I decided to make a sort of "clean out the fridge" veggie soup:

Ok, some of the ingredients were in the pantry, not the fridge, but you get my drift?

The base is vegetable stock - you can easily begin one of these with the water left from cooking veggies for other meals, but add in a stalk of celery, some herbs (to your taste), an onion. Or like me, you can rely on canned (this time). In fact, this soup doesn't have any real onion on it, because truly I had none. I used dehydrated flakes from the spice rack. Another flavoring was my Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb. I opened a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, one of which was Italian seasoned, and then I opened the veggie drawer and the freezer. There are canned kidney beans, frozen peas, crisper drawer celery, carrots, and potatoes (those from the market in November), and frankly? I can't remember what else I put in. Oh. Except that after it had cooked a bit, I felt as if there was something missing...I opened the fridge and peered into it, especially the shelves. And came out with balsamic vinegar! There are a couple of good slugs of it tossed in and it made a HUGE difference. I can tell you that the flavor draws out the earthiness in the root veggies (or I think it does...)

So now, with some artisan bread, Vermont cheddar cheese and a bowl of this? I can stay warm and full from lunch time till evening tonight when I may just make an omelet. Oh. And of course, I'll be eating fruit - since it's now free on Weight Watchers! I have enjoyed keeping bananas and oranges on the counter to pick up and eat. While I know they're not local, they make winter bearable.

I've been rereading some voluntary simplicity books and rethinking my knee-jerk reactions...I drove down past my favorite grocery store last night and I didn't stop. While I will have to go tonight, I need a list, and I need to organize carefully what I need to buy. And I need fortitude against the wonderful book store next door - my favorite Barnes & Noble...and I have a gift card. But that card is reserved for a Nook and it's not quite enough for me to get that right now...I'm saving up. By staying away last night, I didn't spend the $15 I probably would have on a magazine. Hmmm...another bit of cash to stash for the purchase.

(I'm also thinking thru how fast I want to make the Nook purchase, because the payoff of holiday debt and a couple of other things right now are important to accomplish. So I'm mulling all this over in my mind...

Most of all, it's consideration, deliberate consideration of whether I believe that I'll use the Nook. I'm convinced I could downsize my book collection considerably and that would leave more space for yarn and fabric...

We'll see how this goes...enjoy this soup if you decide to make it, and if you do? just tell me how you made it YOURS!


Ruinwen said...

That looks delicious and so hearty on these frigid days. :)

Carrie#K said...

That looks delicious. I do a version of those on Tuesdays - when we clean out the frig.

No eReaders for me for a long time, I'm too paper biased. Being broke helps guard against the accumulation of books - my local library is storing them for me lately. :)