The Weekly Bean – on Friday

Hey – I actually took three whole days off last weekend! I read my book (yes, that paper thing you hold in your hand), visited my in-laws, did some gardening and drank up the sun. The tomatoes and basil are in the ground and the window boxes are up and ready. My beans are continuing to grow, as beans will do if you treat them properly. Now they have new neighbors, that’s all.

I also harvested a few heads of the lettuce and spinach and have put together a multitude of salads with them. Can’t wait for them tomaters!

The hubby took my picture next to my long postage stamp of a vegetable garden. I’ll send it off to my family as soon as they get their new computer.

And That's A Margy Growing Right There
And That’s A Margy Growing Right There

Meatless in May. Want to Help?

Well, okay. I just found a WordPress blogging challenge I can get my teeth into (literally as well as figuratively). Bouncing Tigger’s Vegetarian Recipe Challenge may just fit the bill. So far I’ve been doing pretty well, with no objections from the hubby and I’m looking forward to trying new recipes.

Cauliflower
My, What A Lot of Cauliflower You’ve Got!

So, first: here’s a recipe I put together for soup. Proportions are entirely optional, as are the number and type of veggies. The more veggies the merrier, including members of the broccoli family which often don’t play nice with the neighbors. I’ve done this soup with broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Cabbage would be fine, although I don’t think I’ve ever put cabbage in up until now. I’ll have to try it next time. Come to think of it, I don’t think bitter greens (kale, collards, etc.) would work in this soup.

I also add a handful of lentils and a can of beans of whatever kind. There’s your protein. I add some grains, too, like barley and quinoa. And, just to top it off, I also drop in a small amount of pasta towards the end.

I typically use soup stock for this soup. Sometimes it’s home-made, sometimes it’s from a can. How much? Enough to cover the veggies and still leave room for broth – and the inevitable expansion of the grains.

Here are the veggies I typically use:

Onions, garlic, carrots, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas. I sometimes add tomato and mushrooms, although just small amounts of each. I start by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil, then add the other veggies until they’re glistening. Then I add the broth, stir it up, then stir in a handful of lentils, barley and/or quinoa and a can of beans. I’m partial to chick peas, but you can add whatever you want.

I usually use frozen corn and peas, so I want until the soup is almost done to add that plus the pasta. If I have any parsley, I’ll chop that up and add it, too.

Now, here’s your part – do you have any vegetarian recipes you’d like me to try? I like to take pictures and videos of what I’m doing, so I’d probably do that and post it here. Check out my new recipe collections page to let me know!

At Least It’s Not Snowing

It’s been a busy two days, relatively speaking. Yesterday the hubby and I shopped for vegetables and fruit at one of the area’s best places for produce: Russo’s. You can get any variety of veggie or fruit from around the world (Asia, India, the Caribbean, etc.). I’ve never seen some of the stuff they carry, but they do a great business.

Russo Produce
Saturday at Russo. Now imagine it twice at full of people and you’ll have a better idea of what this place is like.

I practically had to be carried back to the car the last time I went there. I was still sick and went through a half a box of Kleenex before I got back home. From there I went straight to bed. This time I was well enough to maneuver a shopping cart through jam-packed aisles and then get back out to the car in one piece. I even bought some flowers!

After the shopping trip we braved the darkening weather and decided to walk along the Charles River near Watertown. It was relatively warm yesterday, but started to get colder and cloudier as we walked. Still, it was really nice to get out of the damn house for a change and feel like a normal human being (also for a change).

We even went out to dinner after our walk. Waltham, MA has some fabulous Indian restaurants, one of our favorites being New Mother India. We warmed up over hot lamb curry and a cauliflower-yellow lentil dish. That was after we polished off a few pakoras and some garlic naan. Aahh, yes.

Food from New Mother India
Just the thing after a walk in the cold

Then today I finished updating my consulting website and finished up a bunch of other work stuff. Then I did another shop (yikes!) at our local supermarket. Among other things, I got a nice corned beef brisket for St. Patrick’s Day (not that I’m Irish or anything). Then I came home and crashed. The hubby is making dinner. I seem to be ready for a shower and bedtime.

Pit Stop

Braised Green Beans and Chick Pea Salad

It’s been a long and very hot week. I’ve been swinging from project to project and am ready to drop. I did stop the rope race long enough to host a cookout earlier this week, though. It was wonderful. We sat outside, taking advantage of the cooling breezes and dined on cumin and garlic marinated chicken breasts (sizzing on the grill outside), braised green beans, chick pea salad and a huge plate of veggies with various dips.

My guests brought drinks and dessert. Two of those guests are in the food business and brought things like home-made Belgian waffles (from a woman who is from Belgium and knows all about them), fruit-laden snack cakes and a blueberry-mascarpone roulade with a fruit compote topping. I also chopped up a fruit salad to top the waffles.

I’m going back into hibernation now. It’s supposed to get to 100 degrees or higher (don’t know the Celsius equivalent is, sorry!) and it’s hard for me to breathe out there. Very, very humid as well.

Stay cool, to those who are experiencing a very daunting summer in these parts.

Summer Colors

August 1. My parents’ anniversary and the height of summer (sorry, buddies in Oz!). My basil is lush and full and my tomatoes are ripening on the vine. I spent several hot hours weeding and trimming, then watering. If the gods are with me, I’ll sleep well tonight.

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The evening gave me a nice view as well.

Evening Sky
Evening Sky

That’s not bad, even with the power lines.

Night, all!