Erin Kinsella

Blogs, Vlogs & More

Soups

Hey all, and welcome to my blog! My name is Erin and these are some of my favourite soup recipes!

Soups are an easy way to make food in bulk and can be tailored for pretty much every dietary restriction and preference. I’m only going to give vague amounts as suggestions for these recipes, because they can be adjusted based on how much you want to make. Please note, none of these are particularly authentic to anything since I modify for ease and cost. All the recipes are designed to give you as much food as possible with as little effort and cost as I can manage.

Recipes below – ham and cabbage soup, fiesta veggie soup, Italian wedding (a very bastardized version) soup, lentil soup, winter veggie soup, white bean and kale soup, hamburger soup.

All of these recipes are freezer friendly. If you make a big batch you can portion them out and freeze for later 😀

Please be sure to stir all the soups every so often so they don’t stick to the bottom of your pot and get burnt and sad.

HAM AND CABBAGE SOUP

This is a 5 ingredient soup – ham, cabbage, onion, a bay leaf, and bouillon

HAM – You can use any type of ham (as long as it’s cooked before it goes into the soup pot) – dinner ham, ham steaks, deli ham, whatevs, the goal is that nice hammy flavour. The amount is up to you, use however much or little you want to suit your tastes. You can always add more if you feel you didn’t use enough.

CABBAGE – I use regular green cabbage for this. The size of cabbages varies wildly, which is why I’ll chop, wash, and freeze the entire thing for later use with soups. You’re going to want about 2-3 times as much cabbage as onion. If you’re using fresh cabbage, slice it all up first into rough cubes, toss them into a bowl of water and give them a good swish to remove any dirt stuck between the leaves, then strain and rinse.

ONION – I use regular white or yellow onions, not usually red or sweet, but if you like those, go for it. I chop and freeze my onions when I get them, so I just dump a sandwich bag of frozen onion into the pot.

Toss your ham, cabbage and onion into a soup pot. Add a bay leaf (optional) and about a tablespoon of the bouillon. You can add more later if you need to, but the ham will introduce a fair bit of salt into the broth.Cover it all with water (I boil mine in a kettle first because I’m impatient)

Bring to a boil on high heat and then simmer (turn to low heat and keep at a gentle boil, in case you’re not familiar with this term) until the cabbage and onion are soft and cooked through. This usually takes about 15 min for me.

Taste your soup and see how you like it. Add more bouillon or ham if you feel like it needs it. You can add more water if the soup is too thick for you.

FIESTA VEGGIE SOUP

This is a flexible soup. You’ll need veggies, bouillon, meat (if you want), rice (if you want), cumin seeds (or powder) (about 1 tsp) and a bay leaf (optional).
You can use almost any veggie you have on hand. Bouillon – beef, chicken or veggie, whichever you prefer. If you’re adding meat (usually chicken or beef), then pair your bouillon with the meat you choose.

Suggestions for veggies – frozen mix of peas/corn/carrot/green beans, corn, carrots, celery, onion, canned tomato, canned beans (black, kidney or both).

I have all those veggies pre-chopped and frozen in my freezer, but you can use the fresh versions of them too. If you’re using fresh meat, cook it up before adding it to the soup. I usually have pre-cooked chicken chopped in my freezer.

You can also add rice to this soup (or another grain if you prefer). I’d recommend that it be already cooked, or of the 5 minute cooking variety since the rest of the soup cooks fairly quickly.

Your canned beans should be rinsed. To remove all the preservative liquid you can soak them in a bowl with water for a couple minutes after their first rinse, then rinse them again until you see no more bubbles

Combine your veggies, bay leaf, enough water to cover them, and bouillon in a soup pot. Bring that to a boil. Add your cumin, meat (if you’re using) and rice (if you’re adding). Reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are cooked through. 25-30 min if they’re fresh. A little less if they’re frozen.

Taste test, see if you need more bouillon. Add more water if the soup is too thick for your taste.

This soup is super tasty with cheddar cheese cubes tossed in. Tortilla or corn chips are also a fun addition if you like those.

ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

Please note, this is not aaaactually Italian Wedding soup, it’s just the nearest comparison I could think of. It is a very bastardized version, but still very yummy.

You’ll need – frozen chopped spinach, fully cooked italian or swedish meatballs, pot barley and chicken bouillon.

I use pot barley over pearl barley because it’s less refined so you get more fiber out of it, but it’s entirely up to you. You don’t even have to use barley if you don’t like it, there are lots of other whole grain options (farro, arborio rice, buckwheat, but I believe barley is the cheapest option). Barley will swell 2-3 times it’s dry size, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding how much you want in your soup.

Rinse your barley, toss it in your soup pot. Add about 5 times as much water as your barley. You can add more later if you want a thinner soup. Add a tbsp of bouillon and bring that all to a boil. The pot barley takes 40-50 minutes to cook. You’ll have to check cooking times if you’re using another type or different grain. When the grain is almost cooked add your spinach and the meatballs. These are to taste, so if you like a lot of spinach, go crazy, if you want it veggie, don’t add meatballs. Let them hang out together in the pot on the lowest heat for about 5 more minutes, then taste test and see if you need more water, more bouillon, etc.

LENTIL SOUP

You’ll need – lentils, veggies of your choice, curry powder or cumin powder, bay leaf (optional), chicken bouillon, garlic

I usually use red lentils for this, which results in a smoother soup, but you can also use green/brown lentils, or split peas if you have them around.

In addition to lentils I usually add some onion, carrot and celery. If you’re using fresh versions add them halfway through the lentil cooking process. I usually do this with curry powder, but you can use cumin powder too, or both. Start with a tsp of each or both and add more later if you need.

Rinse your lentils. You don’t have to let them soak, but it can reduce cooking time. You want to rinse them until you don’t see any bubbles. Add about 4-5 times as much water as lentils depending on how thick you like your soup. Add a tbsp bouillon (you can add more later if you need to) and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. It’ll take about 20 min to cook on average. Add your veggies and garlic halfway through cooking.

The red lentils will break down when cooking. The other options will a bit as well, but will still be quite chunky. Add more water if you want a thinner soup. Add more bouillon as needed for more flavor.

WINTER VEGGIE SOUP

You’ll need – veggies of your choice, canned tomatoes, a bay leaf (optional), parmesan rinds (if you want/can find them. The deli can usually hook you up), bouillon of your choice

I usually make this with zucchini, onion and carrot. Other good options are squashes, parsnips, beets, though they’re a little more labor intensive, so whatever works for you. You can add whatever frozen veggies you have on hand.

Toss all your veggies into a soup pot. Add a tbsp of bouillon (you can add more later if needed), add enough water to cover everything. Add your bay leaf, canned tomato and your parmesan rind. The rind will give it a really lovely flavour.

Bring it all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are cooked through. 20ish minutes.

If you want to make a sort of minestrone, feel free to add some pasta to this soup as well!

Remove the parmesan rind before serving.

WHITE BEAN AND KALE SOUP

You’ll need – kale, or spinach if you like that better (fresh or frozen, I use frozen), white beans (navy, cannellini, white kidney, whatever variety floats your boat) and chicken bouillon.

Like with the above winter veg soup, if you can get your hands on some parmesan rind, toss a piece into your soup to add a flavour boost.

Rinse your beans. I use canned because it’s easier, but if you’re using them from dried you’ll have to find your own cooking instructions. For canned beans, rinse well, soak in some water for a few minutes and then rinse again to remove all the preservative liquid.

If you’re using fresh kale, wash well and tear into small pieces. If you want this part to be less work you can freeze the whole leaves solid and they’ll crumble easily when you pull them out again.

Toss your cooked/canned beans, kale/spinach and a tbsp of bouillon into your soup pot. Cover it all with water. You can add more water if you want a thinner soup later, same goes for the bouillon if you want more flavor. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until your leafy greens are cooked. 5ish minutes.

HAMBURGER SOUP

You’ll need – ground meat (beef is most common, but if you like chicken, turkey or pork better, go ahead and use that), macaroni, veggies of your choice, canned tomatoes, onion, bouillon.

If you don’t want to handle raw meat then a good alternative is to purchase the fully cooked meatballs and chop those up.

The veggies I usually use are peas, carrots and corn, all frozen.

Cook your ground meat in your soup pot until there’s no more pink. Add your onion (I use my frozen chopped onion I prepared and just toss a whole sandwich bag in). Cook until the onion is translucent.

Add your canned tomato and about 4 cups of water (you can add more later if you like a thinner soup). Toss in your veggies and a tbsp bouillon. Bring this up to a boil. Add your pasta (1 cup uncooked macaroni is probably plenty, but if you want more or less, go for it).

Reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes.

Taste test. Add more water or bouillon if you feel like your soup needs it.
This is also delicious with some cheese cubes tossed in right before serving.
If you’re going to freeze this soup, keep in mind the pasta is going to suck up more water so you may have to add some extra when you thaw it out to eat.

So that’s all I’ve got for you today, thank you so much for reading! If you have topic requests, please feel free to send me a message 🙂

I will see you all next week with another post. Bye!

Ingredient Prep

Prepping your ingredients doesn’t have to take a long time but it will save you tons of time in the long run and it’ll take out a lot of work from your actual cooking. It can take some time to get used to if you don’t normally prep ingredients, but this is hands down what makes the biggest difference for me. It takes away all the headache of cooking and makes thing way easier.

Some things will take extra time, but not everything. If you’re making rice, it won’t take any extra time to cook up several additional servings. If you’re already chopping up onions for a dish, chop up a couple more while you’re already doing that. Enlist help if you have/need/want it. Having another set of hands will make it go way faster.

A lot of foods we buy come in quantities greater than we need at the time, especially if you’re living alone. Ingredient prep will help prevent you tossing out food you couldn’t eat fast enough and it’ll also prevent you having to eat the same thing every day as you try to finish something before it goes bad.

Onions

Onions are the base for a lot of dishes, so they’re great to have on hand. I dice all my onions, put them in sandwich bags, and they go straight into the freezer. This will change the texture and reduce the sharpness of their flavour, but if you’re cooking them down in a soup or other dish, then the texture integrity isn’t as important. You can save the ends if you’re into making your own soup stock. If you’re crafty you can also save the yellow onion skins to dye Easter eggs, wool, etc.

Cabbage

These can be small or giant. The size varies a lot and chances are you might not need the whole thing. Chop it down into bite sized pieces, toss into a big bowl/sink of water and give them a hard swish to remove any grains between the leaves, dry, then bag and put into the freezer.

Fruit

Sometimes fruit goes bad faster than we’d like. If yours is starting to turn, wash it, cut it up and pop it in a freezer for later.

Rice and Grains

You can pre-cook these (I use my rice cooker), portion them into containers or bags and toss them in the freezer. They might not be as perfect as fresh, but you can add to soups, or stir fries. I don’t find the flavour changes when I freeze grains, and the texture isn’t too different either.

Cheese

If you’re going to need some grated or crumbled cheese, then you can pre-slice brick cheese and freeze it. When it thaws it will have a different texture, but the same flavor.

Veggies

When I still worked in an office we would wash, slice, and pack up our veggies (bell pepper, carrots, and celery) on Sunday and they would still be crunchy and delicious on Friday. The trick is to put a paper towel into the bag or container as well. We would usually have cucumber as well, but those don’t keep in the same way the other veggies do, so we would just slice those right before eating.

Meat

I will usually buy a flat of chicken breast and cook it all up at once. I don’t typically put a lot of seasoning on it (I know, blasphemy), but that’s because I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to use it for when I’m cooking it. After it’s cooked I will freeze the individual pieces (sometimes I’ll pre-chop it) and then it’s available for soups, pastas, etc. You are more than welcome to add applicable seasoning when you cook it if you have a specific dish in mind. You can do this with pretty much any meat you might use regularly.

If there are ingredients that I know I’m going to work with a lot in certain forms, then I tend to prep them that way so it’s less work for me when I get to cooking a recipe. Consider what you like to eat and what shows up the most. Some things are obviously going to taste better fresh, but if you want to save yourself time then this is a good way to do so.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope some of this is helpful for you ^_^

-Erin

Self-Replenishing Food

There are tons of lists that tell you all the foods you can regrow, BUT this list is going to be the most useful to you. So many items on those lists require a huge amount of space and time. Why would you regrow an avocado when you won’t see yields for years? Below you’ll see instructions on foods that I’ve regrown myself so I know they’re worth the effort.

Green Onions

These are the BEST self-replenishing food I’ve worked with so far. They’re so easy and they grow very fast. It’s absolutely worth it to invest in regrowing if you like them. I got 7 harvests off my onions before they started to look sad and I replaced them with a fresh batch.

You can also simply grow them in a glass of water, but I was only able to get one additional harvest off my onions when I did that versus planting them in soil.

I tried to regrow regular onions too, but it’s honestly not worth the effort, time, and space required. If you have a garden, by all means, but if you’re working with it indoors then I wouldn’t bother. Onions take 3-6 months to grow. However if you do have an onion get away from you and start to grow the green shoots, those are delicious and you can cook them up very much like you’d use a spring/green onion.

Lettuce

I got a lettuce that came with the root system still intact so it was very easy to get growing again right away. I planted it straight into a small pot with well moistened soil.

Celery and bok choy would have a very similar process and growing time.

I’ve tried to grow a few other things – basil, cilantro, garlic, but none of them were particularly successful to regrow indoors for me. Everything else that shows up on those “regrow from food scraps” lists are things to contemplate if you have a garden or a huge greenhouse.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope some of this is helpful for you ^_^

-Erin



Freezer Food

I heavily rely on the freezer to make my life infinitely easier when it comes to cooking. It is extremely helpful to have a deep freeze or standing freezer in addition to the one that comes with fridges, but you can make it work either way.

FREEZE YOUR CHEESE

  • If your cheddar and marble bricks are on sale and you love cheese, get some, get as much as you want/can afford. The freezer will protect your cheese. I haven’t tried this with soft cheese like mozza, ricotta, etc. but brick cheese has been self-tested and it works great
  • Freezing will change the texture. Take a couple minutes to pre-slice the cheese to your desired thickness for sandwiches and freeze them in baggies. You don’t have to do this if you don’t have time, but it’ll save you work later.
  • When your cheese thaws it will taste the same, but will be more prone to crumbling. This isn’t a bad thing, especially if you ever need grated cheese. You can easily hand crumble the slices over your food.

FREEZE YOUR ONIONS

  • I always have onions on hand because I use them in a ton of dishes. When I have a few minutes I will dice up a few, pop them in baggies and toss them in the freezer.
  • Freezing will change the texture and take away the crispness, but that doesn’t matter if they’re going to be cooked, such as in soups or sauces. It’s only an issue if you need fresh onion for something that’s staying cold. I’ve had it in tuna salad, etc. and it doesn’t bother me at all that it doesn’t have the crisp, so it’s up to you if you also want to have a fresh one on hand for that sort of thing.
  • Other veggies that I do this with (buy fresh, prepare and freeze myself) is celery, bok choy, zucchini, tomatoes and green onions

SAVE YOUR FRUIT

  • If you love fruit in the summer, but end up buying too much to keep up with, pop those babies in the freezer. As soon as you think it might be turning, slice it up, bag it and freeze for smoothies, milkshakes, sauces and fillings
  • I do buy frozen fruit separately, but this tip is just specifically to save fresh fruit I won’t manage to eat in time. If fresh fruit happens to be cheaper than frozen fruit, then by all means buy up a storm, eat your fill and freeze the rest
  • This also applies to bananas that are getting a little brown and squishy. You can save them for banana bread or “ice cream” made from frozen bananas.

FROZEN VEGGIES

  • These can be cheaper and more nutritious than fresh and canned options.
  • They are way less effort than fresh veg
  • They cook really fast too. Ex. frozen broccoli on a plate in the microwave will be nom ready in like 2 minutes. I love it it topped with some cheddar cheese for a snack
  • Some staples that I use for a ton of recipes are frozen broccoli, cauliflower, chopped spinach/kale (as opposed to just the full leaves), peas and cabbage. I’ll be providing recipes that use pretty much all of these.

FREEZE YOUR DELI MEAT

  • If you love sandwiches and your fave deli meat is on sale, you can safely stock up, the freezer has your back. You never have to worry about your meat going bad in the fridge if you end up not being able to eat it immediately.
  • I usually put a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper between the slices, bag them up and pop in the freezer. Then I can remove one slice at a time, microwave it for 30 second and it’s ready to go for my sandwich.

FREEZE YOUR BREAD

  • We freeze pretty much all our bread. We buy on sale, keep one fresh loaf out and everything else is frozen. You can either thaw out the entire loaf at once, or pry out slices as needed.
  • Pro-tip, don’t try to pry apart half-thawed bread. It probably won’t go well lol. The center will be frozen and the rest will be soft, leading to some very mangled bread

FREEZE YOUR TREATS

  • Cake can be frozen, even if it has icing. Muffins, sweet breads, baklava, cookies, etc. I have not yet met a starchy dessert that is ruined by the freezer. You can thaw it in the fridge overnight or if you’re impatient like me, on a plate next to your laptop’s hot air vent

FREEZE YOUR BUTTER

  • I buy butter on sale in large quantities. I have Ziploc containers that perfectly fit ¼ of a brick of butter so I’ll slice the brick into 4 sticks, container them up, keep 1 out for use and the rest get frozen.
  • Take out a new frozen stick when you’re running low on the current stick and you never have to worry about your butter going bad on the counter and it’ll always be soft for use.
  • You can pre-slice all your bricks if you get more than one and bag the sticks, or if you have enough containers, use those.

FREEZE YOUR HERBS

  • If you don’t have space to grow your own herbs, then if you need them, chances are you’re buying them in a bunch at the store. What do you do with all the extra? Wash, dry, chop and freeze. Grab a sprinkle out whenever you need. It’s not quite as delicious as fresh, but works so you don’t lose your fresh herbs
  • This also works for green onions

ASSORTED THINGS YOU CAN FREEZE

  • BAKED POTATOES. They’re easy to make in bulk for only a couple minutes more work than making what you need that day. They’ll thaw just fine and be delicious with butter. You can also do this with restaurant ones – I buy the plain baked potatoes from Wendy’s sometimes and pop them in the freezer, then microwave it up whenever I’m craving baked potatoes
  • Leftover drinks – COFFEE can be frozen for iced coffee, WINE for cooking recipes or chilling wine at a later time
  • CRANBERRY SAUCE. This is used a lot at Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you have leftovers, it’ll freeze perfectly well to be there for the next holiday
  • SAUCES that come with packaged meals, sauces you make yourself (unless they’re cream based), etc can all be frozen for later use. We have packets of bbq sauce, hot sauce and curry hanging out in our freezer for whenever we end up needing it
  • GINGER can be peeled, sliced and frozen so you don’t end up abandoning 90% of the ginger root you just bought, but only need a tiny amount of.
  • GARLIC same as above. If you like the ease of the squeeze tubes of garlic, ginger, etc but you’re getting close to the expiration date, squeeze out portions onto some waxed/parchment paper and freeze, then bag them for later use
  • GRAINS. Rice, lentils, whatever you want. Pre-cook it, let it cool, bag it and toss it in the freezer so you have the options without the wait.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope some of this is helpful for you ^_^

-Erin

Labour Saving Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping can be stressful. I’ve gone through all the things I regularly work with that make my life easier when it comes to preparing food without breaking the bank and exhausting myself.

Foods I Buy Frozen

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower – 2 min to cook in the microwave. I love adding it to meals or topping with cheese as a snack
  • Spinach and kale (chopped) – great to add to tons of recipes
  • Cooked meatballs – great alternative if you don’t like handling raw meat. Easy to throw together a quick meal.
  • Raspberries – I use these to accompany pancakes and to make raspberry scones. Also good for smoothies. Cheaper and less work than fresh berries.
  • Green peas – I add these to tons of recipes, or as a veggie side for dinner
  • Corn – as above
  • Mixed veggies – as above. Get whatever vegetables you like to eat. There are lots of frozen choices
  • Blueberries – my husband’s favourite for pancakes
  • Perogies – a quick and cheap meal. Just boil and serve. I top with plain yogurt and fried onions
  • Pizza – for nights when you just don’t want to put in any effort
  • Salmon – other fish is great too, but salmon is most common for us
  • Sweet potato fries – healthier alternative to regular fries. Easy addition to a meal.
  • Hashbrown patties – we top these with cheese, bacon bits and green onions for a quick meal/snack
  • Cooked chicken bites – easy addition to add protein to a meal

Foods I Buy Fresh

  • Eggs – fast and easy protein source
  • Milk – I drink A LOT of milk so this is always in our fridge
  • Peppers – these don’t freeze well so when I need them I always get fresh
  • Soft cheeses – fresh mozza, ricotta, etc. should be eaten fresh. They don’t freeze very well
  • Pre-made mashed potatoes – these easily break down into about six portions for us and we’ll combine with a frozen meat and frozen veggie for a super quick meal
  • Cheese – any hard cheese I buy tends to go right into the freezer
  • Bacon – usually I get this as a bag of real bacon bits. If you buy it all fresh then you can bulk cook it in the oven
  • Most fruits
  • Cucumber – for snacks
  • Tomato – if you like for sandwiches, otherwise canned works for most everything else
  • Onions – pre-chop and freeze to easily add to any recipes.
  • Lettuce – for sandwiches and salads. Pre-chopped works well, but I don’t buy those often
  • Garlic – can also buy minced, paste or frozen cubes
  • Herbs – as above, but these are usually much better fresh
  • Potatoes – yellow and red skinned potatoes don’t need to be peeled, just washed
  • Cabbage – you can also buy bagged coleslaw to use in soup recipes for less effort
  • Deli meats – freeze individually before it expires and you can pull out single slices whenever you need it.
  • Green onions – Use what you need, chop and freeze the rest, then plan the root ends in soil and grow yourself a fresh batch

Foods I Buy Canned

  • Chickpeas – add to recipes or make your own hummus.
  • Beans – great for tons of recipes to add protein and fibre
  • Tuna – I make this into sandwiches, salads and dips
  • Salmon – same as above, but I personally prefer tuna
  • Diced Tomato – I add this mostly to soups
  • Baked Beans – beans on toast is delicious and nutritious
  • Pineapple – good for a snack or to make your own Hawaiian pizza. The canned variety has the bromelain (enzyme that breaks down proteins) broken down.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – I use this mostly in baking recipes as a replacement for sugar

Foods I Buy Dried

  • Lentils – I add to soups or use for their own recipes
  • Rice – I bulk cook this in my rice cooker and freeze it so it’s always available for recipes
  • Pasta – whole wheat spaghetti and macaroni are usually in my cupboard. Orzo is also a good, fast cooking option for pasta salads and soups

Other Foods

  • Whole Wheat Bread – sandwiches and toast!
  • Whole Wheat Flatbreads – great for wraps and making flatbread pizzas
  • Plain Yogurt – I use in place of sour cream, as well as for smoothies and snacks
  • Rotisserie Chicken – I break down the whole chicken while it’s still warm and freeze the meat to be used in various recipes.
  • Ricotta Cheese – if I can find this on sale, I’ll get it and use it on toast with a little honey and sliced fruit
  • Peanut Butter – I get the natural peanut butter. It has less random ingredients in it, but you do have to mix it because the oil separates out. Store it in the fridge after you’ve blended the oil and you shouldn’t have to do it again. It’ll stay soft for you.
  • Mayo – This is the base for a lot of sauces and tasty on sandwiches
  • Soy Sauce – A delicious flavor addition to tons of recipes
  • Curry Paste – Thai is my favourite. The Indian curry pastes I’ve tried are not as good, but still save on effort

Foods I Don’t Usually Buy, But Are Still Helpful

  • Waffles – fast and easy. Also delicious as a replacement for bread with sandwiches
  • Shrimp ring – easily portioned cooked shrimp can add protein to whatever meal you like or as a snack
  • Fish – frozen fish of all varieties tends to come portioned so they’re ideal for single people and couples
  • Assorted Fruit – there are tons of varieties of frozen fruit. Choose whichever flavours you like best
  • Breakfast Sausage – pre-cook it all and grab out a couple whenever you want a more substantial meal
  • Shepherd’s Pie/Lasagna – simple way to bulk feed a family
  • Babybel Cheese – an easy and portable protein snack
  • Hummus – easy way to add protein to a snack. Dip veggies, crackers, etc.
  • Dried grains/legumes – barley, quinoa, split peas, etc. are easy additions to most meals and soups

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope some of this is helpful for you ^_^

-Erin

Crisis Food

If you need to eat, but have no energy or get overwhelmed at the thought of preparing food, here is a list that might help.

Eat As Is

  • Jerky
  • Deli meat/pre-cooked meats
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruit and fruit leather (Raisins, Dates, Apricot, Figs, etc.)
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Baby carrots
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers

Just Add A Spoon

  • Peanut butter
    • This is a very calorie dense food – 100 calories per tablespoon
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Apple sauce
  • Fruit cups

Just Add A Cup/Drink  As Is

  • Milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Yogurt drinks
  • Meal replacement drinks

Wash and Eat

  • Raw vegetables
    • Celery
    • Lettuce
    • Mushrooms
    • Bell peppers
    • Carrots
    • Tomatoes
    • Cucumber
  • Fruit
    • Apples
    • Berries
    • Grapes
    • Plums
    • Peaches/Nectarines

Peel and Eat

  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Orange
  • Kiwi
  • Mango

Just Add Hot Water

  • Couscous
    • Add 1.5 times as much boiled water as couscous. Cover container and let sit for 5 minutes. That’s it.
  • Instant Oats
    • ½ cup oats in a bowl, add 1 cup boiled water, let sit 5 min. Add toppings or sweetener if you want
  • Eggs
    • To Hard Boil: cover eggs with water in pot, bring to boil, boil for 8-10 minutes, scoop eggs into cold water and peel.
    • To Poach: bring water to a boil, turn down heat, crack eggs directly into water and scoop out after 3-8 minutes depending on how cooked you want the yolk
  • Frozen veggies
    • Pour boiled water over a bowl of your veg, wait 2 minutes, strain
  • Instant noodles
    • Instructions on package
  • Frozen perogies/dumplings
    • Add to a pot of boiling water, cook until they float

Microwave and Eat

  • Edamame
    • fresh soy beans, can be sprinkled with salt or dipped in sauces
  • Ready meals
    • frozen or previously prepared
  • Scrambled eggs
    • crack egg into a cup, stir it up (add a splash of milk, salt and pepper if you want), microwave for 45 seconds, stir, microwave another 30-45 seconds. Top with anything you want, or nothing

Other

  • Toast
  • Canned baked beans
  • Cereal and milk
  • Pre-packaged salad kits
  • Smoothies
    • frozen fruit and milk if you have a blender
  • Canned meat – Tuna, Salmon, etc.
    • Drain and eat. Add mayo or veggies if you want
  • Pre-sliced bagels and cream cheese/peanut butter/butter, etc.

Realistically, it doesn’t matter if you eat these in the proper way, so long as you’re getting nutrients. If you need to eat right off the cheese block, drink from the carton, etc. it’s not the end of the world (especially if you live on your own). You don’t have to slice up your veggies or fruit, just consume them however you need to. The goal is to give your body fuel to keep going.

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I hope some of this is helpful for you ^_^

-Erin

Food Series Introduction

Hey all, and welcome to my blog! My name is Erin and this is an introduction to my new food series!

Feeding yourself can be a lot of work. If you don’t like cooking, don’t have the energy to, don’t have the time, or whatever your reason, then this blog series might help you. This is not about being lazy with food, because honestly, people have all kinds of reasons for not wanting/being able to put a ton of effort into feeding themselves. This is about making the most of your time and energy to give yourself something healthy and delicious to eat.

It’s not a surprise to most people who know me that I love cooking, but the way I go about it can be confusing for some. When it comes to food I am all about maximum outcome for minimal effort.

I’m not going to give you strict recipes because I believe in cooking with what you have on hand, with what you can afford, and what you like to eat. I’m bad at following recipes and it is a rare day that I don’t substitute something in one. A lot of times when I see “lazy” recipes they are neither inexpensive nor low effort. I promise everything in this series will be as little effort as possible without sacrificing health and flavor.

Setting Up Your Kitchen To Make Your Life Easier

Non-Edible Investments To Consider For Your Kitchen

  • Sandwich/freezer bags: store your prepared ingredients easily
  • Sheet pans/Cookie sheets: great for bulk cooking
  • Parchment paper: never have food stick to cooking surfaces again!
  • Food thermometer: always be confident that your meat is cooked safely
  • Rice Cooker: eliminates effort when preparing all kinds of grains
  • Reusable plastic containers: store portioned servings of the meals you can make with this series
  • Muffin tins

Staples To Consider Keeping On Hand

  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Other grains – barley, couscous, quinoa, oatmeal
  • Canned tuna
  • Flour
  • Pasta
  • Frozen veggies
  • Frozen fruit
  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Soup base/bouillon
  • Canned beans, chickpeas
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Meat – cooked and then frozen
  • Mayonnaise

Alternative Edible Investments To Consider For Your Kitchen

  • Curry paste: I keep Thai red and green curry pastes in my fridge
  • Coconut milk: liven up soups and curries
  • Seasoning Salt: I personally like it better than regular salt for adding flavor to dishes and you need less, plus it lasts forever
  • Soy sauce: great for adding flavor to all kinds of foods
  • Mayo: great sauce base for tons of easy hot weather meals

I’m not trying to shove a ton of stuff at anyone. These are all things I use on a regular basis that make my cooking experience easier. There are tons of other things that you can invest in if you have the money and the inclination to do so.

Keep note of what you use often and make sure it’s close to your cooking surfaces. Then you don’t have to go far when you’re making your meals.

So that’s all I’ve got for you today, thank you so much for reading! If you have topic requests, please feel free to send me a message 🙂

I will see you all next week with another post. Bye!

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