Monday, November 4, 2013

Bag of Produce Challenge

I have the most amazing and supportive family. They help me with everything I need. By moving to Spokane and being closer to them, I have benefited from some perks. Recently, my great aunt has been giving me a large bag of veggies and fruit (see pic) as she can't finish all of the things she receives every week. I love having extra fruit and veggies to snack on. This week I went a step farther and decided not to buy groceries! Don't panic, I have many things still lying around that I can use in addition to what my lovely aunt gave me. However, doing it this way is a bit more challenging. You have to use what you have. Therefore, I can't chose a recipe that looks yummy and skip off to the store with my basket for ingredients; I have to search for recipes with what I have. For most Americans, this is simple. Most recipe sites have an actual entry search for this ( for example). Not many plant based sites do this. If I can find a decent vegetarian recipe, I will modify it to my needs.

Don't mind the wine ;)

This weekend and tonight I made the following recipes:

I added balsamic vinegar at the end to this one because I always put it on my chickpeas and Brussels sprouts. Very yummy!

I omitted oil and sugar, but added agave nectar too make up for the thickness and sweetness that those two would have provided. Also surprisingly yummy to a non fennel-eater.

Finally, I modified a recipe with butter, heavy cream, and oil! Oh My! I'm sure the original recipe is delicious, but I just wanted a nice soup for lunches and a way to get rid of the eight chile peppers I had in that bag. In no way am I an experienced chef, but I try to make things work for me. So please, no criticism. I just want to give an example of how easy it is to go from an unhealthy to a healthy recipe.

My version:


½ cup roasted chiles, skins and seeds removed (see directions in original)
2 cups of corn (I used frozen)
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Lemon Pepper Mrs. Dash
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 red potatoes
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons cilantro


  1. Place onion, corn, and garlic in pot with a bit of water or broth at the bottom. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add vegetable broth and potatoes, bring to a boil.
  3. Add non-dairy milk and cook on medium until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add Mrs. Dash and chiles. Cook for five minutes.
  5. Add lime juice and cilantro.
  6. Blend all chowder except for half a cup.
  7. Mix back together and enjoy!

This makes about six cups of soup. So four servings for me :) With a dishwasher, this is not labor intensive after you're finished. I would add more corn if you want to offset the heat.

This is a great start to my next challenge. I agreed with Toni from PlantBasedOnABudget that I would join the one month challenge where it should only cost $25 dollars per person. This is wonderful because I need to save up for Christmas presents and most importantly, online classes. So look for my budget post and I'll let you know how the first week goes. 

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