Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth

Yay for my first recipe post! If you know me then you know I love to cook. The kitchen is my happy place. Who knew since I grew up having no idea how to cook anything except mac n’ cheese from the box!

Since the beginning of 2014 over 109 billion pounds (and counting) of food has been wasted. Crazy right? There is nothing more annoying than realizing I let something in my fridge go to waste!

This veggie broth was born out of the idea of saving the scraps that I don’t use and turning them into something useful. Not to mention good, organic, low sodium vegetable broth is a bit pricey. I mean fall is the season of soup so what better time to pull my money saving trick out of the bag?

veggie broth

How I did it

  1. Save all of your scraps from dinner or the stuff in your fridge that’s going bad by sticking them in the freezer. My broth mostly veggiebroth1consisted of carrot and leek tops, garlic peels, onion bits and the inside of celery stalks. You could also use vegetable peels. There was no real method I used. I threw everything together in a freezer bag and walah! My scraps provided around 8 cups of vegetables, so if you don’t have that much just use less water, vinegar and salt.
  2. Dump it all into your slow cooker along with 8 cups of water, 1/3 cup of white wine vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon sea salt or salt to taste.
  3. Allow your broth to cook overnight on the low setting.
  4. Wake up in the morning to a comforting smell that will make you think of Thanksgiving dinner.
  5. Now for the straining. You will need a fine mesh strainer for this part unless you only used large chunky vegetable scraps. Of course I don’t have a good strainer so I used my Teavana Perfect teaMaker and luckily it worked like a charm.

veggiebroth2

There you have it! Simple and tasty. Keep it in an air tight container for about a week for peak freshness.

Enjoy!

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Letting Go Of People

Who knew my week would include life altering change? I’ve been in a group of women through an online forum for about 3 years. We all have children the buddhasame age and went through pregnancy together. It is such a blessing to, as a woman, have other women you can lean on, bitch about husbands to and share the joys of motherhood with. However, with such a large group of strong women, comes strong disagreements. Over the years as we have gotten more comfortable with each other some of us have forgotten what it meant to be supportive and have chosen to be critical based on what they believe is right or wrong. Cliques developed in order to crush anyone in disagreement with certain opinions. Needless to say, many of us mentally disconnected even though some are going through the hardest times of our lives and really could use a strong support system.

How did we let it get to this point? As a good friend told me, women NEED to support each other. Not everyone’s situation is going to look perfect in my eyes but does that mean I should judge them? Should I think negatively of them based on their choices? In my opinion, hell no! Not about that life.

An argument ensued this week within our group, and I began to contemplate whether or not I wanted to remove myself. I knew that If I did, I wouldn’t be able to come back. I decided to turn to God to help me choose.

” So every single one of you who judge others is without any excuse. You condemn yourself when you judge another person because the one who is judging is doing the same things.” Romans 2:1

This scripture stuck out to me because the argument was based on the judgement of a fellow woman. I knew with all my heart that it was wrong, and if there is one thing I cannot stand it’s when women talk about other women negatively in my presence. It goes against everything I stand for.

Another reason I love this scripture is because I definitely have done things that I don’t stand for. I’ve talked about women behind their backs, and it took this situation to make me realize how wrong it is. We are all made uniquely, every one of us has imperfections and loving each other despite those is the point of all of this right? We are first and foremost meant to love.

At midnight I went to the computer and removed myself from the forum. It’s not worth the stress of wondering whether I’m offending someone, wondering if they like me or not, or if I can truly trust them. I know the women who are my real friends in the group will keep in touch with me and I can start over with healthy, empowering female relationships based on trust and acceptance. If you’re a women you know the struggle can be real! So I left, holding nothing against anyone and leaving only the best wishes for them all.

This morning I felt awesome! I still do. I don’t know if it has to do with the weight of it all being lifted off my shoulders, the meditation, or maybe a combination. I wanted to share a little part of my most wonderful morning with all of you.

morning playlist

I’m About This Life!

Earlier this year I was able to introduce a couple of my friends to a whole foods plant based lifestyle. We coined the term “kale life” in the same way someone would say “thug life”. For example I’d post a photo of an awesome salad I had made only to get a “#kalelife” comment posted underneath. Another example, if a friend said they were eating brussel sprouts and I make a comment about how bitter they are, friend would say “you’re just not about this kale life”.

So here I am to prove that I am indeed about this life.  Not necessarily because I need to, but because I WANT to. I realize now how much I want to change my lifestyle. Although watching reality shows and drinking copious amounts of wine is quite nice, I feel like I’m missing out on something big.  So what is the kale life exactly? What does it mean to me? Oh funny you should ask!

respect bodyFirst and foremost it’s about respecting my body. I’ve spent my entire life overweight and unhealthy. Over the past four years I’ve discovering what exactly healthy eating is. I love to cook and spend my time learning more about food and how it can heal us. For some reason though old habits die hard. I spend all of this time dieting, counting calories, overeating, not eating enough. NO MORE! Enough of this, time to try something new. From now on I will just focus on eating real foods (I’m a plant based eater but respect all eating styles), exercising, and gentle loving kindness toward my body. Why am I getting so pissed when the number on the scale wont budge? Why am I punishing myself and disrespecting the body that allows my spirit to be here? This doesn’t make sense and I ain’t about it.

self love

Who doesn’t need to love themselves just a little bit (or even a lot) more? As a mom and wife, I get so busy with the day to day and usually it feels like I barely scratched the surface at the end of it all. So here’s to not beating myself up about it, to loving myself regardless of what I check off my to-do list. Here’s to positive affirmations, relaxing bubble baths and reading fabulous novels because sometimes I just plain deserve it.

spiritual practice

Now I know not every body has a higher power but God is a major part of who I am. It’s been a confusing aspect of my life lately and I’d love to devote some time to get clarity and grow in this area. I plan to meditate, practice yoga, spend time in my Bible and find a church that fits my needs.

experience life

Lastly the kale life is going to be about experience. There is so much going on out there yet I find that when my husband asks what I’d like to do for the day my answer is usually “I don’t know” which leads to sitting on the couch watching Bravo. Everyday is a gift and from now on I intend to spend them as so. We are going to get out more, try new things and start some major home improvement projects this year. If you find any great DIY projects on pinterest don’t forget to send them my way!

 

So that’s it. That’s the kale life for me in a nutshell. Respect, practice, explore, experience. Pretty good stuff. I can probably make an acronym out of that. REEP? EEPR? Ok I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

 

Cheers!