167 – Soup and Menu Stuff

One of my New Year goals for 2016 was to improve my meal planning, and I have to say it really worked out quite well. There were a few set backs of course – being stuck on a couch all summer doesn’t help – but all in all it was a success. This year, I am continuing the trend and though we’re only 2 weeks into the year, it’s going AMAZINGLY well. Like…better than ever.

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One of the biggest factors in making my menu easier to stick to and in getting us to eat healthier is scheduling junk food. Once a week – usually a Friday when Ginny sleeps at her grandparents’ – I pencil in a night to pick up or eat out for dinner. With it already on the menu, it’s something to look forward to! Also, if we have a really rough day and feel like we need to pick up RIGHT THIS MINUTE, then it’s super easy to just swap days. I also make sure to purchase some snacks (usually chips) while we’re grocery shopping, so that I don’t go nuts mid-week and hit up 7/11 and over indulge. Having junk already in the cupboard is a lot less tempting for me, but a great treat to have on those days when I just need to cram my face with chips. The past 2 weeks have been amazing for us. We’ve picked up fast food SO much less than we normally would at this time of year, and we’re all feeling really good about it. Next step is to start planning lunches as well as dinners, which I’m feeling super confident about for the first time ever.

Last night I upgraded a basic Costco potato soup mix. Observe.

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This is a great soup to add to, and I didn’t realize this until after I purchased it, but it’s gluten free which is a definite bonus as I know several people who are allergic. I really REALLY love being able to have options for feeding my friends, and this is a yummy one.

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Before starting the soup (which only needs water), I roughly chopped up some cauliflower and broccoli. I drizzled some olive oil and just a bit of seasoning on top, and then put the pan in the oven at 375 until they started to brown. They smelled soooo good.

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I then started the soup itself. After the mix was all…mixed…I tossed in two cubes of frozen chicken stock to add a bit more hearty flavour. Next time I will probably add one more cube. The stock is store bought, in case you were wondering. Also, I don’t normally use a giant freaking spatula to make soup. I just wanted to show you the stock cube and it was closest to use for that purpose.

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I tossed the veggies in, added a bit more of the same seasoning I used for the roasting, popped a lid on, and then turned the stove down to low so that everything could just simmer and get super scrumptious in time for Bryan to get home from work.

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When we were ready, we filled out bowls, topped things off with some cheese and pepper, and dug in. During this stupidly cold weather, it was a very comforting meal to partake of and was by far the best iteration of this that I’ve made so far. I love that this base is so easy to play around with.

What soups do you like? What do you recommend?

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