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I am pretty darn proud of myself for actually following this Cooking Cure thing!  It is now Day 10, whose assignment is to shop for and cook your chosen recipe from your list, and I have officially completed every challenge of this Cure so far!  I’m gonna go ahead and unofficially add this to the list of things to celebrate at my super duper fancy birthday dinner tonight (P.S. doesn’t that place look amazing??  I’m probably gonna be That Girl and take pictures of all of my meals tonight, you know, for posterity. And for you guys!)!

Anywho, it’s very convenient for me that the cooking assignments are always on Fridays because I’m always off on Fridays, so that means that I get to choose something from my list that I can leisurely enjoy making.  For the lunch challenge, I choose to make the Carrot Coconut Soup.

And, you guys, this soup has to be one of the best smells that has ever graced my kitchen. And I’ve cooked a lot of delicious smelling things (this, for example).  I’ve never been to Thailand, but I imagine this is what it must smell like everywhere, which totally makes sense.

All you need for this recipe is butter, carrots, coconut milk, chicken broth (or vegetable if you want to make this vegan, in which case you should sub the butter for coconut oil), an onion, and Sriracha sauce (the original recipe called for sambal oelek, which I discovered is made by the same rooster company as Sriracha and supposed to be more simplified, buuuut I’m cheap so I used what I had).  That’s it!  In fact, I didn’t even bother peeling my carrots, since I’ve read a few times that most of the nutrition is in the peel, and I figured it was all gonna be blended anyway.  I did, however, scrub the hell out of them with my vegetable scrubber.

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The steps are even easier!  First, you chop up your carrots and dice your onion.  They don’t have to look pretty because they’re all gonna get blended, but you’ll want to chop everything fairly small so it cooks quickly.  Melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, and throw the veggies in there with some salt and pepper.

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Then, once the carrots are soft enough to be pierced fairly easily with a fork, add in the coconut milk, the chicken broth, and 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce.  Yummy. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat a little bit, and let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are reeeeally soft.

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Remove the soup from the heat (and don’t forget to turn it off!).  If you are using a regular blender, then you’ll want to let the soup cool for a good bit before pouring it in to blend it.  I’m terrible at pouring things, so I used my fancy schmancy immersion blender to blend it right in the pan until there were no more chunks!

Then I topped it with MOAR Sriracha, and I ate it with a leftover cabbage roll.  It was all so delicious and I will definitely be making this soup again!

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After a few days of thinking about breakfast from a more global and philosophical perspective, the assignments for Days 4 & 5 were to put your ideas into practice–choose one recipe from the five you chose on Day 3, do your grocery shopping for it, and then actually make it!

I typically go grocery shopping 2-4 times a week, because that helps me manage waste better, so I had already been planning on going yesterday.  Since Fridays are my days off, I decided to be slightly ambitious and make TWO of the five recipes I chose: the avocado pudding and the pumpkin granola.  I did this mostly because I knew the granola would be a big batch and could be one of the “staples” I generally keep around the house, and I also knew that the avocado pudding recipe called for something crunchy on top, so birds, meet stone.

The upside to cooking so often is that I pretty much know exactly what I have on hand in my kitchen.   Every time I get a new recipe, I go down the ingredients list and mentally check off what I already have, including any substitutions I could make, and then add whatever I still need to the Out of Milk app that Mr. Little Fish and I share.  For the avocado recipe, all I needed was avocado, as I decided I would use my homemade almond milk instead of dairy milk, and for the granola, all I need to buy was sunflower seeds!  It’s one of my small pleasures in life when I already have most of the things on the list!

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Because I knew that I would have time this morning, I decided not to prep anything ahead of time, but if this had been a normal weeknight, I would have made the granola before bed.  The things I changed in the recipe were that I only used 1 tbsp of honey instead of 2 tbsp maple syrup, because a) I didn’t want to buy maple syrup and b) the pumpkin seeds I used were these praline ones from my Naturebox and so were already sweetened.  I also only had unsweetened coconut flakes, as opposed to shredded coconut, so I threw them into the food processor with the other ingredients to pulse.  Lastly, I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so I used 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ginger.

IMG_6970I would make this granola again just for the smell of pumpkin pie wafting through my house!  Luckily, it tasted as good as it smelled, so I packaged it up in a glass container and now have homemade granola on hand!  Also the best part? It’s grain free and nut free (and could be vegan if you used the maple syrup as originally called for!)!

IMG_6976Of course, I did manage to throw some on my avocado pudding before putting it away, and I have to say that this was a very satisfying breakfast!  The avocado pudding is apparently a Brazilian-inspired dish, and it does indeed remind me of warm sand and palm trees.  The honey added just the right amount of sweet without overwhelming the avocado flavor.  Also, I always enjoy a recipe that allows me to use my immersion blender!  I am looking forward to making this breakfast again next week (or maybe even this weekend, as I feel like this is sort of thing I could find myself craving!).

Light yet filling!

Light yet filling!

How has your breakfast planning been going?  Will you be trying anything new this weekend?