Saturday, June 28, 2014


I had over two cups of sliced mushrooms in the fridge which needed to be used.  When grocery shopping I sometimes buy a big package of sliced mushrooms and they have a limited shelf life.  The package is usually fine for about a week in the fridge.  This soup is like a vegetable chowder but does have fewer vegetables, it is pureed, it does not include any thickener such as flour and it also includes adding a cup of milk when the cooking is complete.  As a meal, this soup would not be a complete meal for me as it is low in calories, carbs and protein.  I will include adding some form of protein to my meal when having this soup as part of lunch or supper.  The soup would also be good to have as a snack instead of fruit or an energy bar if you are looking for variety.  I used baby potatoes in the ingredients but you could use two regular size potatoes.  You could also add more potatoes than what I added.  I didn't add carrots and used zucchini instead.  I made the soup in an electric pressure cooker and set the timer for 14 minutes.


1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 plus cups of mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen niblets corn
10 small baby potatoes, chopped
7 to 8 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash no salt vegetable seasoning, to taste


In a large soup pot, add all of the ingredients, except the milk, and heat to a boiling point.  Reduce the  heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour.  Turn the heat off and using an immersion blender, puree the soup.  Add the milk.  Serves 8.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


For the past three weeks I have been making versions of this soup each weekend.  It is vegetable soup with the addition of sausage and quinoa or rice.  I have used italian sausage or breakfast pork sausage in the versions I have made.  I prefer italian sausage as it has more flavour than pork sausage.  I use mild italian sausage but you may prefer to use hot or other varieties of sausage.   There are options you can use in what vegetables you want to use to make the soup.  I use a variety of vegetables and like a soup that is thick and has many kinds of vegetables.  You could include cauliflower, potatoes, turnip or cabbage as other choices.  I have been using quinoa or a blend of sprouted brown rice and quinoa that is made by truRoots.  I buy this package at Costco.  Instead of cooking the soup on the stove, I used an electric pressure cooker and cooked the soup on medium pressure for 16 minutes.  The soup will great for lunches this week for both the DH and I.

Ready to eat.

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 to 3 small zucchinis, chopped
4 to 6 mushrooms, chopped
2 bunches fresh spinach, chopped
6 fresh or frozen skinned tomatoes, chopped
1/2 heaping cup of quinoa or sprouted rice quinoa blend
3 raw mild italian sausages, chopped into small chunks
10 cups of water or chicken bouillon
2 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
6 to 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste


In a large soup pot, add all of the ingredients.  Heat to a boiling point.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes.  Serves 10.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Even though it is late Spring, with the rain and cool temperatures, I was in the mood to make a chili.  My chili is sometimes a cross between a chili and a stew.  I like to add more vegetables than a typical bean and meat chili and I don't add a lot of heat in terms of spices.  I used extra lean ground turkey in this recipe but ground chicken or beef can also be used.  If you want a spicier chili, you can add chili pepper or hot peppers.  I also used a pressure cooker to make this dish.  The directions provided below are for stove top cooking.  I can sauté in the electric pressure cooker before using the pressure cooker function and followed the same directions and then set the pressure cooker for 15 minutes.  The DH said that the chili was very good.

Ready to eat!


1 tbsp oil olive
1 medium to large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 coloured pepper, chopped
2 small zucchini, medium to finely chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1.5 to 2 pounds ground lean turkey
1 large can of tomatoes or 6 frozen tomatoes
1/4 cup dry pearl barley
1 - 540 ml (19 ozs) canned white kidney beans
1 tsp herbes de provence
salt and pepper to taste


On medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the coloured pepper and sauté for a few more minutes.  Add the ground turkey and continue to sauté for about 8 minutes.  The turkey needs to be broken up if it clumps into pieces that are too large.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low heat for an hour.  Stir occasionally.  Serves 6 to 7.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


This is the time of year when speeches are made to graduation classes.  I have heard some wonderful speeches in person with personal touches and great life stories.  I have also heard and read some speeches that are almost wishful thinking for the audience.  The person giving the speech has lived a life that most of us will never experience because of particular circumstances and significant opportunities that presented themselves to this respective person.  It is very interesting to hear about their lives and perspectives.  But how does that make it real for the graduate and how does the graduate relate to this person's life?

What got me thinking about this subject was a comment made on the radio this morning about the commencement address that Steve Jobs gave some years ago.  The commentator was talking about the first quote provided below.  She felt that Steve Jobs was downplaying the job that other people were doing so that he was able to follow his dreams and do the work he loved.  She provided examples of all the support he got at Apple, from the cleaners to the people who worked on the assembly lines putting together the computers.  In the first quote, Steve Jobs talks about doing the work that you love to do.  The second quote speaks to following your own heart and intuition and not living someone else's life. 

Both quotes from Steve Jobs provides wonderful advice.  But can we all relate to it?  What I am thinking about is the man or woman who works several jobs in order to give their children a better life.  Or the person who has responsibilities for elder care and is responsible for them and spends their  free time attending to needs of their parents.  They don't have the freedom to follow their dreams.  Or the person who was raised in an environment where education was not encouraged and wasn't encouraged to dream beyond the life of what their parent had.  Or the single parent who is raising several children, doesn't have a family support system and is unable to get training to improve their life.  Or the person who has disabilities and is discouraged by the uphill battle they face on a routine basis.

What I think should be discussed at these graduation ceremonies and other life events are the values you live by in your life and how you do your work.  The values include speaking truthfully; being clear and consistent in how you communicate; valuing all opinions; listening to others; keeping commitments; taking pride and satisfaction in your work no matter how small or big the task is at hand; being able to laugh at yourself; being grateful and showing humility.

Whenever I need a dose of reality about life, I need to look no further than the dog.  He doesn't spend his life looking backwards, will work hard at play, is loyal and is satisfied with just a toy in his mouth.