Spinach and Potato Soup 

Serves: 6 • Prep time: 10 min • Cook time: 20 min

6 Tbsp. butter or Smart Balance or olive oil6 small all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced

1 or 2 finely chopped onion (do your kids like onion?)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 can (14.5 oz.) broth

12 cups baby spinach leaves or 3 or 4 pkgs frozen spinach

3 cans evaporated milk or plain soymilk (optional) 

Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in spinach and cook 5 minutes or until wilted. Process soup with a submersible blender just until smooth. Return to saucepan (add milk) and heat through. Season, if desired, with freshly ground black pepper.

The Traveler’s Spread

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Card 1. The Querent

Card 2. Reason for the trip

Card 3. Preparations needed

Card 4. People you will meet and accommodations

Card 5. Focus of the trip

Card 6. Watch out!

Card 7. Gift received or lessons learned

Card 8. Gifts given or what you leave behind

Card 9. Outcome

So here is an example reading using The Traveler’s Spread. Querent was a young woman traveling south and teaching yoga workshops along the way.

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Card 1 -6 of Pentacles – she is sharing resources. There is an even exchange of money spent and experience gained. Hey – trips can be expensive! And this woman was going to be teaching yoga workshops along the way, so this looks good!

Card 2- 5 0f Swords – time to get out of a no win situation.

Card 3 – 6 of Swords – look at that progression. Taking off is the right thing to do. Make sure to keep your focus. Declutter – don’t overpack!

Card 4- 3 of Cups – how great is that? She will meet lots of new friends and have a good time.

Card 5 – Page of Swords – A young person who is ready to try her new idea! This trip will focus on self growth and discovery.

Card 6 -Two of Pentacles – what is this warning – handling too much? Overspending? Meeting someone shady? I reiterated the need to be careful with her money and watch out for people who may misrepresent themselves (reflects back on card 2)

Card 7 – Judgement – WOW! Two major arcana say pay attention! This trip will be life altering! Transformative!

Card 8 – The Hermit – This card does represent finding a teacher. Maybe she will leave people seeking more? Or maybe a special some one will be missing her….

Card 9 – 3 of Wands – This trip will leave her full of ambition and planning for more!

So overall, a great reading about what looks to be a very transformative trip!

I would love to hear how you would adjust the card meanings (nothing yet about “Will my car break down?”) or interpret this yourself in the comments.

Safe travels! Thanks for stopping by!

Bellydancer Minestrone

This is from FatChanceBellydance’s vegan cook book Devotion. It is delicious! And absolutely my favorite recipe in the book.

1 TBSP olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 med. onion

2 carrots, coined

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 1/2 cups potatoes,cubed

3 zucchini, cubed

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1 15oz can kidney beans

1 15 oz can garbanzo beans

1 cup pasta of choice

5-6 chard leaves (or spinach)

2 Tbsp dried basil (or fresh – yummy!)

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp. dried rosemary

2 tsp. salt

1 28oz and 1 15 oz can water (use the cans to measure)

In a large pot on med. heat saute oil, onions, carrot, celery and garlic for 5 min.
Add tomatoes, beans including liquid, potatoes, water, herbs and salt.

Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender (10 min)

Add zucchini, herbs, and pasta, bring just to a boil, then turn off heat.

Allow to sit on the stove for a few hours for full flavor.

Super Easy Cheese Soup

Friends, I am so embarrassed of this. I make this soup ALL THE TIME. For potlucks even. Why? Because it’s easy and everyone loves it. 

Leftover trick- use it as a cheese sauce when its thickened up.

You can use generic ALDI Velveeta. Just sayin’.

Don’t judge me.

2 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend (California blend)

2 quarts vegetable broth  

3/4 lb. (12 oz.) Velveeta Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up ( 3 year olds love to do this with a butter knife.)
PLACE vegetables and broth in large saucepan; cover. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 min. or until vegetables are tender.

MASH vegetables with potato masher to desired consistency. I use a submersible blender.

STIR in Velveeta; cook 5 min. or until Velveeta is melted and soup is heated through, stirring frequently.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with crackers, Sri racha, cilantro, spinach, whatever.

 Eat.  

Muscatine 2nd Saturday

Tonight my family went to the Muscatine Iowa 2nd Saturday Music and Street Fest.


My daughter Tabitha has been asking me to go, and I was glad we finally had the chance.

The first booth we encountered was the Muscatine Literary Coalition.


 They had a table of FREE books. Tabitha and I each got a copy of O Pioneers! And we scored this gem:


There were street musicians:


And artists:


Yarn spinners:


Face painting:


Crafts for the kids:


And cool big kids:


Quirky shops:


And most importantly:


And I saw a sign, which inspired me for my upcoming Etsy shop’s Aprons for Your Revolution:


We had a fantastic time. 

The next one is the last one. Check it out October 8th. Maybe I’ll see you there!

https://muscatinesecondsaturday.com/

Matar Paneer (veg and vegan)

(Originally posted at my blog ALDI Vegetarian)

Matar Paneer is a recipe I have been making for decades. And a family favorite. I usually make it vegetarian, and all of the ingredients (except spices) are available at Aldi. Last night I made it vegan, and it was darn good. Here are both versions! Remember you can mix the two recipes – a little tofu or coconut milk in your vegetarian version, for example.

Matar Paneer – Vegetarian  

(serves 8, you might want to halve it)
4 cans evaporated milk

2 blocks paneer (You can make it!)

1/2 cup ghee or butter

8 Tbsp. ginger root

4 Tbsp. garlic

1 onion, chopped

4 tsp. salt

4 tsp tumeric

1 tsp hot red pepper (you may want to adjust this for taste)

4 tsp. coriander

4 Tbsp. gharam masala

4 cups chopped tomato

2 cups peas

4 Tbsp. sugar

fresh cilantro
Put butter in skillet. Fry paneer cubes. (You can also bake them) Remove from pan.
Add more butter and ginger and garlic. Fry for 30 seconds.

Add onions and salt. Fry for 7 minutes (until soft)

Add one can of evaporated milk.

Stir in tumeric, red pepper, coriander, gharam masala

When blended, add the rest of the milk and the tomatoes

Bring to a slow boil, and let reduce for 10 minutes

Add peas and sugar

Add paneer

Garnish with cilantro

Matar Paneer – Vegan
(serves 8, you might want to halve it)
4 cans coconut milk
2 blocks tofu (You can make it!)

1/2 cup vegan butter

8 Tbsp. ginger root

4 Tbsp. garlic

1 onion, chopped

4 tsp. salt

4 tsp tumeric

1 tsp hot red pepper (you may want to adjust this for taste)

4 tsp. coriander

4 Tnsp. gharam masala

4 cups chopped tomato

2 cups peas

4 Tbsp. sweetener (to taste)

fresh cilantro

Put vegan butter in skillet. Fry tofu cubes. (You can also bake them) Remove from pan.
Add more vegan butter and ginger and garlic. Fry for 30 seconds.

Add onions and salt. Fry for 7 minutes (until soft)

Add one can of coconut milk.

Stir in tumeric, red pepper, coriander, gharam masala

When blended, add the rest of the coconut milk and the tomatoes

Bring to a slow boil, and let reduce for 10 minutes

Add peas and sweetener

Add tofu

Garnish with cilantro

We serve this with a salad and wheat tortillas. You could make papadum, chapatis, fried cauliflower, tamarind sauce, and mango lassi.