{EAT} Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I’ve been keeping a secret….

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I don’t have three kids, I have FOUR.

No, not my husband. Although some of his actions could easily justify him as a child…My fourth child is my Pressure Cooker…

Only this child is sort of my favorite because it doesn’t keep me up at night, talk back, or have a mental breakdown when it can’t find it’s socks. Instead it makes me delicious food that’s fast, easy, and delicious! I guess it’s not really a child, even though I love and nurture it constantly.

It’s more of a nanny or a chef, like the one that Corinne has on The Bachelor ;).

I definitely use my pressure cooker every day, sometimes twice a day! It takes the guesswork out of things like dried beans and barley. It cooks them in half the time without soaking anything overnight. How amazing right?!

Here are some of the things I make using my pressure cooker:

Dried Beans

Rice/Grains

Sweet Potatoes

Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Chicken, sometimes frozen

Soups

Stews

And this AMAZING CURRY!

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 TB. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, skinned and chopped.
  • 1 can coconut milk, can substitute light for a lighter version
  • 2½ c. vegetable broth
  • 1 c. dried lentils
  • 3 large TB.Madras Curry Powder, or curry seasoning of choice. Adjust seasoning to desired taste if using another brand.
  • chopped basil for toppings
Instructions
  1. *The directions for this recipe use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. If you have a different pressure cooker, the cooking instructions may differ slightly.
  2. Turn on pressure cooker to saute setting. Add oil, heat slightly, then add onion and garlic. Continue to toss and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the ginger. Cook for another minute or so, or until the onions become translucent.
  3. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  4. Next add in all of the ingredients, except the basil.
  5. Mix it together.
  6. Then turn on the pressure cooker to the manual setting.
  7. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  8. *If you add the sweet potato at the beginning, it will be very soft and washable at 20 minutes. I like it this way in the curry, but if you want it to have more of a bite then set the manual timer for 10 minutes. Don't add the sweet potato. Once it's cooked for 10 minutes, release the steam, add the sweet potato, then set the manual timer for 10 more minutes.
  9. Once it's done, top with basil and serve with rice.

Pressure Cooker Barley
 
To pair this with the curry, you should double or even triple this recipe :). This recipe should serve 2-4.
Ingredients
  • 1 c. dried barley
  • 2¼ c. water
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to your pressure cooker. I use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
  2. Turn the manual setting on for 25 minutes.
  3. Once it's done, release the steam, and check to make sure it's done. You may need to adjust the time a few minutes to reach desired doneness. Just do this by pressing the manual timer for an additional minute or so, and once it's done release the steam and check again.
  4. Repeat if necessary.

 

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

I am not lying when I say this is probably one of my favorite dishes. It’s so comforting and comes together so effortlessly, which this busy mama needs so bad right now. It’s hard raising three (4) kids and setting aside two hours on Monday for Bachelor/trash tv…

Pressure Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Curry w/ Barley

The curry that I use in this dish is one of my favorites! It has all the spices that normally go into a curry dish, but mixed into one seasoning! You don’t have to use Madras, there are other curry powders you could buy, but I love Madras the best. Click the title below to find it on Amazon.

MADRAS CURRY

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The Pressure Cooker I use is an Instant Pot. I haven’t had any problems with mine, and they are always going on sale on Amazon! It’s really easy to use and saves time on so many things that can take HOURS to cook, like dried beans and hard grains!

INSTANT POT(THIS IS THE ONE I HAVE)

INSTANT POT (THIS ONE MAKES YOGURT!)

IMG_2960

What are your favorite Pressure Cooker recipes? I would love to hear more ideas!

 

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

When ever the weather drops down to anything less than 60 degrees, I get out my big ol’ pot and make soup for dinner.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Soup unfortunately is the one food the 4/5 people in my family loooooaattthhh. I’ve tried everything I can to get them to accept that soup will make an appearance at least once a month. Fancy bowls, cool spoons, funky straws, bowls with built in straws, cheesy sandwiches for dipping, gold fishes for toppings…

My husband still protest every single time. What a picky little turd he is.

But I’ve learned if I play off the textures and flavors that my family likes, I am more likely to get a few sips and slurps. Yes, you heard that right. If I make food that uses ingredients they like, the luck will be in my favor. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

So here is what I did: For starters, the noodles.

THESE egg noodles have been a game changer. They are the perfect thick and chewy noodle that taste as almost if you made them yourself. But you didn’t, because it’s 2016 and no mother has time to do that right?

My kids will usually eat the noodles no problem. I say usually, because kids USUALLY don’t do the same awesome thing more than twice.

Next, the flavors.

Adding cream just makes everything taste better. I might have started to buy heavy cream more often than I’m proud to admit. Have you ever drank heavy cream? I mean, no one has right? That would be absurd. This soup is a little lighter and uses light coconut milk, but no one noticed. I however did. No bloating for me! T.M.I.

What about limes? It just takes this soup to a whole new level, a level that makes my husband’s taco truck heart flutter. He loves Mexican food so much that I have limes, cilantro and salsa on hand all the time. And heavy cream.

Because…I don’t mind the bloat every so often…

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 TB. olive oil or butter
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 TB. flour
  • 10 c. chicken or vegetable broth, or 5 boullion cubes
  • 2 cans light coconut milk
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 package egg noodles, thawed for about 2-3 hours before hand, then separated and placed on a plate.
  • ⅓ c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 limes
  • cilantro or parsley for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil or butter. Add in onion and garlic. Toss and cook for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Next add in carrots and celery. Toss and stir for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle on flour, continually stir and whisk the flour for about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour in water slowly, while whisking flour. Continue to whisk. Let soup come to a a boil. Whisk in coconut milk, reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. Add in egg noodles, stir every so often so that the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente. Add in chicken, seasonings and cheese.
  5. Stir and serve.
  6. squeeze ½ lime per bowl of soup.
  7. Top with tortilla chips, fresh herbs, more cheese, etc.

Lightened Up Creamy Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

So…..What’s your favorite kind of soup and how do you get your kids/husband to eat it? Share all the details/tricks/manipulations with me!

 

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

We all know that when it comes to accomplishing certain tasks, if you throw a few children in the mix things can tend to get…tricky.

For example, walking out the door. What should be a simple thing which requires little to no brain activity can turn into one of the biggest trials of November. One lost shoe, 15 minutes late, someone has a dirty diaper, you just noticed you aren’t wearing a bra…and then FUDGE! Where are your keys?

Every parent says FUDGE when they want to swear but can’t. Unless your me, then you say shit. Then your baby says shit. That your 6 your old says, “Mom! The baby said shit!”

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

Let me talk about this morning for example. We’ve all been so lucky to get that extra hour of sleep this weekend, unless you have children. Because now they wake up at 5:45 instead of 6:45, and you went to bed at 10:45…(technically 11:45, but you figured you would get that extra hour in the morning.) Think.Again.

We just happened to have an extra hour this morning before we had to leave for school! An extra hour never happens, and then your mind starts to wonder about all of the marvelous things you could accomplish if you had time like this EVERY DAY!

You could shower, curl your hair, wear matching clothes, find your kids shoes in time…

cute baby messy kitchennaughty baby

I decided to do a yoga video. I’m trying to embrace Yoga as of lately because of stress. I’m hoping it will calm me, as well as get me toned in all the areas that seem to have just given up.

So I popped in a TWENTY minute yoga video. To some, this seems so insignificant, but to a busy mom, twenty minutes is basically like asking for Milo Ventimiglia from ‘This Is Us’ to show up at your door unannounced with chocolate. (P.S. why do I want to say his last name all the time?)

5 minutes in, things got dark. The baby was SCREAMING. I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure it was for no reason at all. She climbed all over me yelling in my ear as I tried my best to twist side to side and feel that deep stretch. In between screams I could hear, “Ahhhh. Just breath…”

And then, just like that, with FOUR minutes to spare I hear a cry up stairs, “MMOOOOM! COME WIPE ME!” For real.

“Honey, I can’t! I’m “exercising!” Give me 4 minutes!”

“But it’s DIARRHEA!!”

Baby screaming. Lady breathing. Kid yelling.

FUDGE.

Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup

This is why I make soup. Why, you ask? Because soup is something I love, something that comes together SO quickly. I can make a big pot with whatever vegetables I want and can store it in the fridge for a few days of lunch. Then I can store the other half in the freezer for my lunches next week.

Because sometimes as a mom, you don’t have time to think about yourself. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal ready for you in the fridge when you need it. So, hence this soup. It’s warm, comforting, and has vegetables in it! Just make sure everyone is wiped and the baby is napping before you sit down to eat…because we all know what happens when moms try to sit down…

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Pumpkin Butternut Chicken Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ c. chopped carrots
  • 3 c. diced butternut squash
  • ½ c. milk of choice
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 boullion cubes
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 7-14 oz pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add carrots and butternut. Continue to toss and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in milk, pumpkin puree, water, and boullion cubes.
  5. Stir and come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Next add in pasta and chicken, along with spices. Cook until pasta is slightly undercooked/al dente. (The pasta will continue to retain water as it sits.)
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!
  7. (The pasta I used was rather large and took about a lot of the soup, that's why I say 7 oz-14 oz, depending on pasta size and shape.)

pasta

The pasta I used was this CUTE pasta I purchased from Trader Joes! Those little pumpkins were the perfect match for this soup. But If you do use this pasta, be careful because it get’s rather large. I think next time I might only use 3/4 of the bag. To find the pasta, you can purchase it here: (affiliate link)

 

So tell me busy moms/dads/persons, what do you do to find time for YOU? I specifically struggling when it comes to exercise, so let me know when and how you fit it in! Have a great week!!

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup (Vegetarian/Vegan)

*This Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup is my vegetarian version of Chicken Noodle soup with a citrus touch. The lemon is SO perfect and pairs so well with all of the flavors, and gives it such a comforting and light taste! It’s perfect to warm your soul on a cold day, with a kick of vitamin C to knock any cold!* 

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My husband LOVES soup! So much that he just gets so tickled when I tell him to hurry home from work because there is a nice warm bowl awaiting his hungry belly!  Not before he makes a pit stop at Taco Bell (true story) because he actually hates soup and every other meal that I declare healthy and delish.

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

I think he doesn’t love soup because it doesn’t satisfy his fast food taste bud. It doesn’t come in a cardboard box, greasy paper bag, with a scent of regret.

It may clean your intestines some what the way a meal from any fast food joint may do, but it won’t make you re think every life decision you’ve ever made at 3 in the morning from fast food hallucinations…

I kid….in a way.

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup

Come fall, or the spirit of fall shall we say, I tend to throw all that’s in my fridge in a pot with a cups of broth, grab a sweater and count down for Christmas! It’s healthy.  Despite it being 99 degrees all this week, I keep embracing the fact that I am over with summer and I’m ready for leggings!

I guess my delusions of Fall go hand in hand with my husbands acceptance and delusions of Fast Food…

And if that doesn’t make us a strong, #GOALS type of couple, then I don’t know what will!

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced semi thin
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth, or chicken for a non vegan/veg soup
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas OR one can of white beans for a softer bean
  • 2 cups cooked pasta noodles of choice
  • juice of 2 lemons (Mine weren't super juicy, so start with one and add more lemon juice if desired)
  • 1 TB. dried Italian seasonings
  • ¼ tsp. tumeric, optional for color
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pot over the stove on medium heat. Add the olive oil, and heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the carrots and celery and toss.
  3. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Next add in the broth and chickpeas, followed by the lemon juice and seasonings.
  5. Once the vegetables have softened, add the cooked pasta. You can add un cooked pasta, but add 2 cups more broth for the pasta to soak.
  6. Serve with lemon slices, fresh parsley, and parmesan cheese on top if desired! Enjoy!

This soup is SO good! If you love chicken noodle soup, you will love this variation. The lemon is the perfect twist and adds an extra level of comfort! Let’s not forget the vitamin C punch that would be perfect for any cold!

Lemon Chickpea Noodle Soup via The Diva Dish

I’m determined to find a soup that my husband will love, even though the task might be impossible. I’m thinking a beefy baja chalupa soup might be right up his alley….

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

*This is comfort food at it’s finest. Meatball and Spaghetti Soup is the perfect combination of two comfort foods, soup and pasta, mixed into one! It’s a quick and easy dish, and it’s hearty and filling. Your kids will love slurping up the noodles! And maybe adults too ;)*

*******************************************************************************************

Here’s the deal. I know reading blogs is a thing of the past. So 2012. 2010? Either way, we are a visual world. I know that most of you might just scroll past this and not even read what I’m writing, look at a few of the pics, and go right down to the recipe. You will check the ingredients and then, “Hmmm that sounds doable…I’ll have to remember that, Oh wait! I have a new Instagram notification!”

 Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish 

So basically, I could really say whatever the flying fargin bastage I want. I could tell you the most embarrassing story about my husband, and no one would know. Except my mom, because I think she still reads my blog? Maybe.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

So for now, mom, and maybe some random person from France, thank you for getting to this point. I know it was painful, and excruciating. Have you ever typed out excruciating? It’s excruciating.

I’m sorry there is no clever hilarious story, but I’m going to be honest. This day light savings thing has me screwed up and Real Housewives of Atlanta is on. I am not thinking straight.

Here is the recipe you’ve all been waiting for….The End.

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatball and Spaghetti Soup
 
Ingredients
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 3 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 c. marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1½ TB. dried basil
  • 1½ TB. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 oz. thin spaghetti, uncooked
  • 18-20 cooked meatballs, I used the following recipe:
  • http://thediva-dish.com/dinner/hubby-meals-simple-turkey-meatballs-over-spaghetti-squash/
  • (Can sub for vegetarian meatballs)
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. Then add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook down the mixture until the onions are translucent.
  3. Next add in your tomato paste. Mix it around for about 30 seconds, then add in your crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce, broth, spices, and spaghetti.
  4. Cover and cook soup until the spaghetti is al dente.
  5. Add in the cooked meatballs, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat, covered.
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

 

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

A little about this soup. It’s the perfect combination of 2 comfort foods, soup and spaghetti. It makes a lot of leftovers if you have children who eat like birds, which makes for a perfect mommy/daddy lunch!

Don’t forget a side salad to add some veggies to this heavier carb dish, because you also can’t forget the garlic bread! If you make your own meatballs, I LOVE this recipe. It’s my go-to every time. I made the meatballs while the soup was cooking, and then threw them in at the end! It also has veggies in the meatballs, tomato veggie soup, and if you include a side salad, you are on track! It’s the perfect Sunday dinner meal or when you are having guests over. This is a really long paragraph, so hopefully you get my point :).

Meatball and Spaghetti Soup from The Diva Dish

If you made it this far, go ahead and eat some chocolate. You deserve you unique one of a kind son of a gun! Bonjour! xo

White Bean and Chicken Soup

I know that I only have a few sentences to grab your attention, because let’s be honest. Reading blogs is all about visual. Pictures. Pictures. And Pictures.

So here goes nothing:

I had a dream that Christian Bale and I were eating soup on the set of Little Women, wearing old fashioned gowns. Not him. Me. I also carried a cute white umbrella over my should while he was wearing his batman suit.

Talk about fantasies right?

Long story short, we were eating this soup.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

Actually no. None of that happened. But I did watch Little Women this weekend and was reminded why I love find interest in Christian. (First name basis relationship, ya feel me.) I’m also married and love my husband. (Side note.) I beg him every day to grow his hair out longer and talk with a deep batman like voice and rent THE suit. He won’t do it.

Why? I don’t know. It’s football season, so he doesn’t really know what’s happening around him. Unless I show him a little ‘side nursing boob’, then pretty much I can get him to do anything I want.

Ahhh, marriage.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

So about this soup. It’s a chilly 70 degrees here in the desert, so of course our winter parkas have made their way back into our lives. I would say this is probably my favorite soup to date, mostly because it has a lot of my favorite, as well as my families favorite ingredients in it.

I guess you could say each ingredient holds a special place in each members heart, therefore creating the perfect family.

Now you really need to try it huh?

You see the white beans are for me, the chicken and the corn are my girls, and the green chilies and spices are my husband.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

I made Ambitious Kitchens Pumpkin Honey Cornbread Muffins to go along side, with a little honey butter, and BAM.

Perfect Sunday dinner.

All that’s missing was Christian…

White Bean and Chicken Soup

5.0 from 1 reviews
White Bean and Chicken Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. EVOO
  • ½ onion
  • 2 TB. chopped garlic
  • 3 TB. butter
  • 3 TB. flour
  • 1 c. milk mixed with 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 cans cannelini beans, drain and rinse
  • 1 can navy beans, drain and rinse
  • 2 c. shredded chicken
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 c. frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions are cook on medium heat, while staring frequently. After a few minutes add the garlic.
  2. Cook until the onions are translucent, and then add the butter and melt it while continually mixing with a whisk.
  3. Next whisk in the flour. Whisk for about 1 minute, then mix in the milk and chicken broth.
  4. Then add in the chicken, chilies, corn, and seasonings.
  5. Let the soup cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium low heat.
  6. Eat immediately and enjoy!
  7. (Optional: You can whisk in a little greek yogurt to each serving to add creaminess. Make sure the soup isn't super hot, or else the yogurt will separate.You might have to adjust the seasonings.)

 

White Bean and Chicken Soup

Now, aren’t you glad you read that story? 🙂

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup (Served in Pumpkins!)

Ever since the start of “Fall”, I’ve been craving a nice warm pumpkin soup served in a cute lil’ pumpkin!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

But I wanted to spice it up a little different since my husband dreads anything pumpkin. ( I know…)

So I added some curry season, creamy coconut milk, and a little sweetness from a sweet potato. He actually really like it! Until he added one too many dashes of Franks Hot sauce and RUINED it.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He seems to think that Franks Hot sauce goes on EVERYTHING. I mean, it’s not like they market the product saying  it goes on EV.RY.THANG.

 

Or do they?

Don’t answer.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He also doesn’t like dessert, Real Housewives, or the color turquoise. (Which, I want to paint my whole house and every piece of furniture.) WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?! Not that much really…He’s adorable. But really? Who hates turquoise?

Now…About that Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup…

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ c. pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1 c. sweet potato puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 4 TB. madras curry powder, or another curry powder seasoning
  • grated nutmeg, or a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Topping:
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Add the puree, milk, broth, and curry powder in a pot over the stop. Turn the heat on to medium.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together until creamy. Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Add in your nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve hot in bowls, or hollowed pumpkins, and top with roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of coconut milk.

 

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

My dream is to one day hold a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner at my house where I serve this soup in mini pumpkins and everyone says “Ooooh” and “Aaahhh”…

Then drizzle it with a yummy coconut milk and some crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds! It’s the perfect crouton for this soup!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I promise my next recipe won’t be pumpkin based…I think? Otherwise my husband might, well…Put Franks Hot Sauce on Pumpkin Pie.

Not ok…

Simple Top Ramen

Today I held a (rather large) clump of thin dirty blond hair in my hand.

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One child screaming with her hands on her head, and the other child grinning from ear to ear, doing some sort of twirl victory dance.

As I bent down to scold said dancing child, her little two year old mouth looked at me and said, “Yeave me ayone!”

What?!

ramen5

Then my 4 year old removed her hands from her poor scalp that was probably burning, and screamed, “MY SECOND NAME IS ELSA, QUEEN OF THE QUEEN!”…Followed by a twirl of her gown and loud stomps down the hallway.

“YEAVE ME AYONE.”

“NO! MY NAME IS ELSA”

“GO AYAY!”

“YOU CAN’T TELL ELSA WHAT TO DO!”

“AYAYALDLF LSKDJFY!!!!”

Push, Shove, Twirl, Stomp, and Victory Dance…In that order.

g3

I couldn’t figure out whether to talk to Elsa or Gia, and quite frankly I was worried the two year old will pull my hair. So I did what any desperate mom would do…

I drank.

Ice water. It calms me guys. Then I said a prayer.

g2

For sanity, for comfort, and for strength.

And then in that moment, both my girls came and sat on my lap and as clear as day I heard, “They love you so much.”

ramen2

Did they stop fighting after that? No. I swear my oldest was running around saying “Son of a Fish!”

Did I feel like a complete failure? No. Despite the chaos and drama, I felt loved,  I knew they felt loved and loved each other as well.

I also knew that someone had taught my daughter to say, “Son of a fish!”…

Next step:

Comfort Food.

ramen4

Top Ramen
 
I will be completely honest and say as a child I LOVED opening a package of top ramen, sprinkling the 'seasoning' packet on top of the dried pasta, and eating as is. I can still taste it! This is a spin off of that ever so popular childhood favorite. This is a vegetarian version, but you can definitely add in your favorite ingredients. Switch up the broths, sautee some diced veggies with the onions, etc.
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. sesame oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • (Opt: Minced carrots)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz. Chinese Noodles
  • 4 tsp. ground celery seed
  • 4-5 TB. fresh chopped chives
  • salt/pepper
  • optional: red pepper flakes, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, add oil and heat up. Then add minced onion, garlic, and ginger. (If you add other raw veggies add in here as well.)
  2. Continually toss and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Next add in broth and water.
  4. Stir and add in chinese noodles.
  5. Sprinkle in spices and let cook for a few minutes until the noodles are soft.
  6. Add in your additional seasonings and toppings. Serve hot!

 

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I enjoyed this comfort food all by myself…Imagine that. One child asleep, and the other staring/glaring at me from time out.

g1

You can thank that son of a fish.

Chickpea Vegetable Curry

The other day, it was around 2 o’ clock and my kids had just rested their energetic bodies down for a nap. I swear that day I had heard, “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” 856 times, and my mentality was close to a 5 year old. I had a really small breakfast that morning and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet either. For some reason that day was extremely busy, and I’m pretty sure I forgot to put on deodorant. (Not a first.) I was 2 seconds away from calling out and ordering my favorite comfort food, but for some reason I had this motivation to create something in the kitchen all for me.

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My kitchen was oddly spotless and it was way too quiet in the house, so I grabbed what I had in the pantry and decided to try and re-create a favorite comfort food dish of mine. And because I couldn’t live with the fact that my kitchen was clean.

I wish I would branch out more often when we eat at authentic thai restaurants, but every time I order curry. (Along with 5 cups of rice to go with it.) That day I had been craving a curry dish so bad, that I could practically taste it. As soon as I finished making it, I almost convinced myself I would never have to order take out again… (Probably a lie.)

You probably are guessing why the pictures of this amazing curry are not the best pictures. I honestly had NO intention of sharing this on the blog, this dish was really all for me. Selfish? But the more bites I took, the more I knew I had to share. My favorite things about this dish is not only the flavor, but the fact that it’s vegan, full of veggies, and filling. I just ate it straight out of a bowl, but you could definitely add this on top of rice.

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Chickpea Vegetable Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 1½ c. broccoli
  • ½ white sweet potato sliced/diced
  • 3 TB. coconut oil
  • 2 TB. flour
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1-2 TB. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 3 TB. Madres Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Garahm Masala
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over low/medium heat, add oil, onions, garlic, and ginger. Once the onion appears translucent, sprinkle in the flour. Whisk until combined and then slowly whisk in milk, followed by the broth.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat a little.
  3. Add in veggies, and sprinkle in spices. Stir together.
  4. Continue to whisk every so often.
  5. Cover and cook for about 20 or 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

 

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I honestly have no idea how to end this post like I normally do with a quick, whitty, and sometimes sarcastic comment. So….

“Do You Want To Make Some Curry?”

Refried Beans (Pinto Bean)…Soup

A lot of times I hear Tim Gunn’s voice in my head saying… “Make it work.”

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For example, if my daughter has to be at school in 10 minutes, and I’m not dressed/showered, and I’ve got a huge pimple…Make it work. (Solution-Put on gym clothes, huge sunglass, and pretend you were just working out.)

Or if I’ve got two pieces of bread, one egg, and carrots left in the fridge for dinner…Make it work. (Solution-Delivery.)

Just kidding…I’ve NEVER call for delivery.Ever.

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I’ve been on a quest for a while now trying to make our grocery budget smaller and smaller. Trust me, a challenge. What’s helped most is making a lot of stuff homemade and freezing the extra. So I had this bright idea to make a HUGE amount of refried beans. I’d freeze it, make burritos, and all would be glorious. I found the perfect recipe, that was cheap & easy, and got to work.

But then, I did what I ALWAYS do, and didn’t read the rest of the instructions.

Guys. This is a serious problem. I seriously don’t ever read the end of recipe instructions. It’s like, I think I know how it will end, but then like…I don’t.

Like.Like.Like.

So anyways, did you know you are supposed to drain the water off of beans to make refried beans? Ya? Ok.

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So a skip, jump, and a hop and in my blender is this soup of refried beans. For a second I thought it was the recipes fault, but no no. It was all mine.

So then I had about 10 cups worth of this refried bean soup puree, and no one to eat it. My kids aren’t HUGE soup fans, and the only liquid my husband consumes is soda. This wasn’t going to work.

But then I remembered I had a fridge full of toppings left over from THIS meal, and ‘Lightbulb’! Make it work.

Thank you Tim. Thank you!

The thing is, this soup is so darn simple and delicious on it’s own. (And by soup I mean refried beans.) But then you add all  of those flavorful toppings, and BAM! (My fav was the crunchy roasted corn and chips toppings!) I ended up not freezing the soup, and ate it everyday for lunch instead. You could easily freeze it though, whether you made it into soup OR refried beans.

Next time I think I’ll actually make refried beans instead of soup though…That is, if I read the directions all the way through.

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Refried Bean (Pinto Bean)...Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. dried pinto beans
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3-4 TB. diced garlic
  • 2-2½ TB. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • (opt. 1 jalepeno diced and seeded)- I left this out
  • 8 cups water
  • (Toppings)
  • Choice of desired toppings such as salsa, greek yogurt, cilantro, chips, roasted corn, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans and remove any bad beans.
  2. Soak beans in enough water to cover them, overnight. (NOTE-I've heard if add hot water to the beans, you won't have to soak them..But I've never tried this!)
  3. Drain beans and place in a crockpot.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients ; onion, garlic, spices, and water.
  5. Cook on High for about 4 hours and low for 2 hours, or until beans are soft and cooked through.
  6. Add beans (Including water) to a blender and blend until soup consistency!*
  7. *These would obviously be just refried beans WITHOUT the water, so you can do that as well. And you can make the soup with less liquid too! (It could be more of a runny refried bean dish! With all the toppings, it would be great!)

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Problem…What happens when you consume an abnormal amount of pinto beans throughout a whole entire week?

It’s called bloating. Try and make that work.