Back to the Basics

Ina Garten has called her series this season “Back to Basics” and I like that idea.  I am coming up with my list of goals for next year and one of them is to do everything I can to get us off of pre-prepared/packaged foods.  I’ve started that philosophy by making applesauce yesterday.  It sounds simple, but making it takes time as opposed to just popping into the store and grabbing a jar full of applesauce. 

Homemade Applesauce

3 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 – 1 c. water

cinnamon sticks

2-4 tbsp sugar (optional)

Place apples and water in large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add cinnamon sticks and cover, simmering 15-30 minutes until apples are tender.  Mash in pan to desired consistency.  If a thinner applesauce is desired, push apples through potato mill or ricer.  Add sugar if desired

Notes!  I used a combination of pink ladies and braeburn apples (probably 1/4 pink ladies to 3/4 braeburn).  I put mine through a potato ricer and they look fantastic.  I didn’t need to add any sugar and would probably never add sugar because the apples are so sweet.  Taste the applesauce before adding the sugar to make sure that is what you want to do.

Homemade Applesauce

In other food related news, I made the snickerdoodle blondies for a white elephant exchange/caroling party.  We went out caroling in a neighborhood and it was really really cold.  I am quite sure that the temperature was in the single digits and we had to cut out before everyone else was finished.  I couldn’t feel my toes, fingers or lips.  It was a fun time nonetheless.  I made myself a delicious brown rice and veggie soup but didn’t take any photos.  It is super good and I have a new found love for thyme.

Brown Rice and Veggie Soup

2 cans of veggie broth or 30 oz homemade broth

5 c. water

3 carrots, sliced

2 c. potatoes

1 c. zucchini

1 c. mushrooms, sliced

1 c. onion, chopped

2 tsp garlic

2 tsp pepper

2 tsp salt

2 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

1 c. uncooked brown rice or barley

Combine water, broth, rice, potatoes, and carrots.  Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.  Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic in oil.  Add onion mixture, zucchini, and seasonings to soup.  Cook 30 more minutes or until rice and veggies are tender. 

Notes!  This soup is really yummy.  The thyme is a fantastic addition.  After sitting in the fridge though, the rice will absorb most of the broth.  So when you reheat the soup, add a little more broth or water to thin it out a bit.  Of course, if you would want a thicker stew, you don’t have to add any broth at all.

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About OneVeganFoodie

Let's see. I am a certified personal trainer (CPT), group exercise instructor, nutritional counselor, and wellness counselor. My training background focuses mainly on getting overweight populations into shape, but I have worked with people wanting to gain strength/healthy weight and agility. I worked with the Army and the Marines for several years before settling into a civilian lifestyle. I'm still adjusting and I really miss it. I also enjoy coaching non-runners through their first running event. I post my workouts on here but remember that you need to seek medical advice prior to starting a new exercise regimine. I also love food. I've been vegetarian for 10 years and 4 of the last years I have been completely vegan. I love food and I love to cook. I follow a strict diet that I do not recommend for everyone, but I really enjoy as it keeps me healthy and helps me to know what is going into my body.
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