Sunday, March 11, 2012

What shall we eat?

Back in January I made a set weekly schedule for what we eat. I was fed up with my husband saying "I don't care" when I asked what he wanted at the grocery, and I was out of ideas. Anyways, I made a general schedule that could be flexible, but still give me structure to know what I need at the grocery.
For example, Wednesday is our "Soup Day." When I go to the store I know I have to buy carrots, onion, garlic, and celery to make the base for my soup. Then I look at what's fresh, and go from there as to which type of soup to make.
This week, pretty much everything looked gross, which is to be expected I suppose.
Well, I decided to go the bean route for lack of anything else looking appealing. I had tried to make black bean soup at least a dozen times before and failed every single time. Since I don't buy beans in a can (BPA lined) I get them dry, and this was a problem for about half my soups. I could never soak them long enough for them to be soft.
I finally was told by a friend to put a little apple cider vinegar in the beans I am soaking, a voila the beans no longer tasted like pebbles.
The next problem was the texture. Now, the only time I have had black bean soup (other than when I made it) was at Panera Bread. There's is creamy and yummy, and when I made mine, it was anything but. On trial soup number 7, I finally realized if I wanted creamy soup I would have to blend the beans (I have come to the conclusion that about 75% of the beans need pureed).
So with that crazy long intro, here is my recipe for black bean soup.

1 lb black beans (I put the beans in a pot to soak Tuesday before bed, and by the time I start cooking dinner around 4:30 they are good to go. I also add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to the pot).
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
pint jar of tomato sauce
pint of vegetable/chicken stock
palm full of cumin
smaller palm full of cayenne pepper

After the beans are cooked, I drain the liquid and add vegetable stock. I also throw in the spices, and tomato sauce. I chop the peppers and throw them in my blender. I take out about 2 cups of beans at a time and put it in my blender until smooth, and replace back in the pot. Let simmer a few minutes, and enjoy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Coconut Milk Shampoo

For quite some time, I have gone the "no-poo" route for washing my hair. It took a while to get used to it, then I liked it. The whole no sudsing thing is hard to get over, and took a while for me to feel clean, but baking soda/vinegar seemed to get my hair clean. Honestly I stuck with this method for a while because frankly I couldn't find a better alternative. Other shampoos I tried made my hair feel greasy.

Now, I am not sure if my current baking soda/vinegar combo is causing the problem or if it's the weather, but my hair has been frizzy and out of control for a while. I came across a new homemade shampoo on Pinterest, and decided to give it a go.

1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Mint)
1 tsp Vit E (I used about 5 capsules I opened and squeezed in)
Essential oil (optional, but I used Eucalyptus.)

Throw all the ingredients in a clear plastic squeeze bottle (think picnic ketchup bottle) and shake. The nice thing about this soap is it suds a little, unlike baking soda/vinegar which more or less just makes you feel like your in a 5th grade science fair.