Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup Recipe

Dont’cha just love having dinner already simmering along waaaay ahead of time? I do. In order to accomplish that, I employ one of my favorite indentured servants, my crockpot. (Ironically, at the time of this posting, my crock pot is out of service. Good thing that this stew can also be made on the stove).
Using a slow cooker is extremely helpful for anyone who just doesn’t want to deal with prepping dinner at the time when that would normally be done. This can be wonderful for those of you who either work outside of the home, or are busy at that time taking children to or from activities. You can throw everything in at breakfast time, turn it on, and walk away. It’s that simple. During the summertime when you want to keep the house cooler, you can even put that cooker outside on your porch, and during the winter it sure helps warm things up. Yummm. I am craving it now.
And at some point when I begin making meal plans ahead of time again like I know is helpful to do, I will definitely plan this one in. Here it is.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced kosher salami or other smoked meat of your choice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 qts. hot water

Preparation:

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in water. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. Remove bones and bay leaf. Mash peas to thicken more, if desired. Serve garnished with croutons. Skip the croutons and you can consider it gluten free!  Freezes well. Serves 8.

Meal Plan for the week of May 2, 2011

I’ve been sort of out of the planning mode lately, but that’s got to stop. Especially while gearing up for major life changes (like moving), I need all the brain space I can get, and I can’t afford to waste energy trying to figure out what’s for dinner each day. Plus, I need to make sure we use up the food in the house before we leave it and not let it go to waste.  In case you aren’t sure why you’d take time to plan your meals, you can read my enlightening explanation here.

Otherwise, on we go:

Monday- Pancake dinner with fresh peaches and bananas

Tuesday – Tuna Noodle Casserole (with various veggies thrown in)

Wednesday – Moroccan Chickpeas with Red Sauce, couscous, salad

Thursday – Mexican Casserole (in honor of Cinco de Mayo)

Friday – baked fish of some kind, steamed green beans, rice, challah, brownies for dessert

Saturday – quick and easy granola with fresh cashew milk  for breakfast, this new lentil soup recipe & salad for dinner

Sunday – some kind of hotdog casserole (I have a bunch to use up), salad. Hmm…just realized it’s Mother’s Day

Monday – (Israeli independence day) -BBQ burgers, fresh coleslaw, potato wedges

Check out other menu plans at Organizing Junkie Hope you have a fantastic week!

Detox Meal Plan: Week One

As you know, we’re planning to begin a 21 day detox program this Sunday, August 15. And here’s how you can join us.

I have gone back and forth between planning cooked dinners and sticking to raw.  I know that we will have more healing and repair take place in our bodies the less we tax it. There is a spectrum for how to eat and how it affects health (especially when healing). It goes as follows (best to worst)

  1. Fasting (with water, of course. And only for specified time.)
  2. Juicing
  3. Raw/live
  4. Mostly raw, some cooked, all whole (not processed), no animal products
  5. Mostly raw, some cooked, all whole, some (clean) animal products
  6. Mixed cooked & raw, mostly whole, some animal products.
  7. Mostly or all cooked, Processed (comes in a bag or box, with chemicals), lots of non organic meat & dairy.

I admit (sadly) that our family normally would fall under number 6. We almost always have (live) fruit & nut smoothies for breakfast, cooked dinners (usually whole & vegan, but not always), and lunches vary the most. That’s where we’ll make the biggest change during the 21 days: green juice, and other raw stuff.

As far as dinner, I made a meal plan for the week which includes live and cooked foods for dinner; anyone who is exhibiting symptoms will have more of or completely the live. And, for example, if I am serving soup and salad, it will be a BIG salad, and a cup of soup. Not the other way around.  I focused on good food combining for each meal.

Sunday: Salad and Middle Eastern Chickpea Soup (minus the parmesan cheese)

Monday: Salad and Fresh Bread (from freshly ground whole wheat flour) (here’s why fresh ground is impt.)

Tuesday: Salad and Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Wednesday: Quinoa Salad with Lime and Fresh Mint from GlutenFreeGoddess

Thursday: Leftovers? Don’t know. Maybe veggie sticks with raw nut butter.

Friday: Salad and fish, steamed veg, homemade Challah (fresh ground flour), and raw almond halvah balls.

Saturday: Raw Granola with Almond Milk. Dinner: see Thursday.

Sunday: Salad and Lentil and Potato Stew with Spiced Oil

So this is our tentative meal plan to go along with the detoxifying supplements that we will be taking. As I search for more raw things to make, I’ll add them in. I’m looking forward to using my dehydrator for making snacks, and I’ll post any new recipes I try. If you have any raw or good whole recipes to share, please do!

What’s for Dinner? Day 27 of Babystep Challenge To A Peaceful Home

What’s For Dinner?

Do those words fill you with dread? What about when it’s 5 o’clock and you still have no idea what the answer is as you’re standing in front of the refrigerator just hoping something will assemble itself and jump out at you? Now do you feel stressed out?

At this point, many of us would feel tempted to pick up a phone and order in. Or tell the kids to hop in the car for a “treat”. These choices will cost LOTS more money and give you much less nutrition, and much more chemicals and fat. Which you know you don’t want to do.

3 Reasons to Make a Menu Plan

1. Save Your Brain

I don’t know about you, but my brain is……hibernating. It started with my first pregnancy. You know: Pregnancy Brain. And then it was New Mommy Brain. And then it was Living With Little Children Brain, then more Pregnancy Brain, and so on. So while I used to consider myself an intelligent, thinking person, that person has been sliiiiippppiiing away, and I want to conserve whatever intelligence I have left so that I might be able to write coherent blog posts. In other words, the fewer decisions I must make on a daily basis, the better! It’s much easier to decide in one sitting what we will be having for dinner each night than to have to do it every day. And in doing so, I can plan to actually have the ingredients when I go to make the meal. Who would’ve thunk it?

2. Save Your Money

    We’d all like to save money and use it for more important things. When you eat out, you spend MUCH more money than you do when you eat home. When you buy last minute items at the corner convenience store, you also spend much more money than you would for those same items at the supermarket, if you’d known you would want them. And when you buy random things at the grocery store, things spoil because you don’t have a plan to use them. What a waste!

    3. Eat More Healthfully

      When you make your own food at home, you are (hopefully) not going to fill it with MSG and other poisonous preservatives. You can be sure that convenience foods are toxic to your bodies, and with a little bit of planning, you can avoid these and know you are helping your family to be healthier. And it’s really easy!

      So Here’s What You Need To Do.

      1. Pick an amount of time you’d like to plan. I usually do 1 or 2 weeks at a time, but if you’re new to this and it seems too much, try 3 days.
      2. Write down a dinner meal for each of the days you are planning for. Dinner is the most important meal to plan, so focus on that meal first. Remember to include side dishes.
      3. On your shopping list, write down each of the ingredients you’ll need to make your meal. $5dinner.com has some nice printable planning sheets for menus and grocery lists.
      4. Go shopping and save money because you’re not buying things you don’t need or won’t use.

      It really is that simple.

      And if you really don’t want to do all of this, you can go to SavingDinner.com and buy their menus, complete with grocery lists. They’re very inexpensive and will still save you lots of time and money.

      What’s For Dinner is the theme of Day 27 of the Flylady’s babysteps. I’m so glad I’ve made this a habit because it’s really helped me. I even aspire to plan a whole month at a time and get into more freezer cooking….but I’m not there yet. One step at a time!

      I usually post my weekly menu on Mondays. Doing this has helped me be accountable for getting it done. I love linking up to others’ menus; if you post one, let me know!

      Do you menu plan? Why or why not? How long? I want to know what works for you.

      Menu Plan Monday-June 13

      Last night we had a Mexican Taco Casserole, and while I was making it I made a second one to give to a friend who is expecting a baby shortly so that they could have some extra meals frozen to eat when they wanted. That’s one of those things I love about casseroles.
      And here’s our simple menu plan for the week.

      Monday- Pancake supper with fresh fruit. Make mixes.

      Tuesday-Cabbage & Potatoes

      Wednesday-Creamy Carrot Soup and Salad. Extra soup to freeze.

      Thursday- Cuban Black Beans and Rice. Salad.

      Friday- Don’t know yet.

      Saturday- Leftover Carrot Soup

      Sunday-Father’s Day. Black Bean or Regular Burgers.

      Menu Plan Monday-June 8

      Another Monday. With all that’s going on around here (potty training, new bikes, forest fires causing us to evacuate–you know, the normal stuff), I didn’ t even remember that it’s Monday, and Monday means “post your menu plan”. And all I can say is that I am SO glad that I actually already had it planned out. In fact, if I’d been more on top of things, I could’ve already had it scheduled to post. Maybe next time.

      Ha ha. I have to laugh. I just looked at my calendar and realized that I actually MISSED Monday, and today is Tuesday! Well, better late than never!

      So, on with it.

      Monday: Eggs scrambled with veggies. Toast.

      Tuesday: Chinese Fried Rice. Pictured above.

      Wednesday: Sweet n Sour Cabbage Soup. Dark rye bread.

      Thursday: Mediterranean White Beans and Rice

      Friday: Crockpot Sausage, Peppers, & Onions over pasta

      Saturday: Leftover Cabbage Soup

      Sunday: Mexican Taco Casserole

      Have you made your menu plan yet for this week? It’s already Tuesday. What are you waiting for!

      Menu Plan Monday-May 30

      Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

      Monday-Spaghetti w/ Simply Delicious Spaghetti Sauce, salad, garlic bread (I learned this great easy make-ahead garlic bread trick)

      Tuesday-Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils

      Wednesday- Potato Leek Soup and salad

      Thursday- Pita Pizzas, veggie sticks with guacamole for dipping

      Friday- broiled sole, steamed green beans, whole wheat couscous, Apple crisp

      Saturday- leftover Potato Leek soup

      Sunday- frozen pre-made veggie & tuna noodle casserole

      Menu Plan Monday-May 24

      I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We had a family beach day yesterday. It was our first time to the beach with FIVE children; the baby doesn’t sit well yet and needed to be held most of the time. But it was fun.

      I can’t believe it’s time to post a menu plan. As I’ve said before, I’m glad for this accountability. I haven’t made my menu plan yet. I don’t want to. I’m making it right now, literally as I type. Sometimes I’m more organized than this; this week is not one of those times. So…

      Monday-Burgers, fresh coleslaw, potato wedges
      Tuesday-Gnocchi/pasta & salad
      Wednesday-Minestrone soup & salad
      Thursday-Scrambled Eggs & veggies, toast
      Friday- Some kind of fish, steamed vegetable, apple crisp
      Saturday- leftover Minestrone soup
      Sunday- leftover buffet

      Menu Plan Monday- May 17

      I can’t believe it’s Monday again. Time flies, as you well know. I’m glad I’ve made this commitment to post my menu plan, because otherwise I might not make one. And that would be bad. Here goes:

      Monday-Spinach and chickpeas, rice, labana cheese & pita.

      Tuesday-Spaghetti with chunky tomato sauce (make double sauce to freeze for future use), Breadsticks, salad.

      Wednesday-Creamy Carrot Soup (extra to freeze), salad

      Thursday-Veggie & Tuna noodle casserole (make an extra to freeze), steamed veggie.

      Friday- not sure. Probably fish of some kind, steamed veg, challah, Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies.

      Saturday- Leftover carrot soup

      Sunday-Burgers & Fries, coleslaw

      To see lots of other menu plans, go to orgjunkie.com

      Menu Plan Monday-May 10

      I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Hubby made me a special breakfast, after which we all spent the day at the zoo together. The together-ness was wonderful, but after all of that I really enjoyed a quiet bath, book, & bed. It was a special treat.

      Now, back to reality 🙂 Here’s what’s coming up:

      Monday-Shakshuka, Hash Browns, OJ (I didn’t make it last night as I’d planned)

      Tuesday-Homemade Hummus, Couscous Tabouli, Roasted Eggplant & pita

      Wednesday- Lentil and Potato Stew with Spiced Oil and salad

      Thursday – Homemade Foccacia & salad (like pizza without cheese-see recipe)

      Friday – not sure yet

      Saturday – leftover Lentil and Potato Stew with Spiced Oil

      Sunday – Whole Wheat Pancakes with fresh fruit, apple juice

      Visit orgjunkie.com for lots more meal plans.