Last weekend was one of those crazy busy weekends when I could have kicked myself for booking our schedules so full. I have been trying so hard to strike a work-life balance and practice self-care, but wind up sabotaging myself in the end.
It's hard for me to say 'no' - to my friends, to my family, to my teachers and those I work with. In efforts to remedy that, and to begin saying 'yes' to things that bring me joy, I am rededicating myself to my homestead. To the things that make my heart happy at the end of the day. To scheduling time in my day - even my work day (!) - for self-care.
I truly find joy from cooking, meal planning, and sweeping up piles of dog hair (I know, I'm sick…). I also find doing dishes by hand to be peaceful. (I need professional help…). Don't get me wrong, I also like road trips and going to the dog park and checking out the library and used book store. It just seemed like there wasn't enough time in the day to do those things.
One step in the right direction was sitting on the porch with a few of my favorite cookbooks to plan our dinners for the week. I came across a vegetable beef soup, but without any beef in the freezer, that recipe was a bust.
Instead, I thought about using a tomato base from tomatoes I canned earlier this year, homemade vegetable stock, and adding some heartiness with a quinoa and wild rice blend. Tossing this all in the slow cooker would be an added benefit.
It wasn't long, and this savory vegetable soup was born.
- 3 cups of vegetable or beef stock
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrot (about 1 carrot)
- 1 stalk of diced celery
- 1/2 of a small onion, diced
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
- a small can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 2 T. of onion soup mix (make your own!)
- 1/2 tsp. of thyme
- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa or wild rice
- freshly shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker, set on high for 4 hours (or low if you want it to go for more than 4 hours).
Now, if you are hell-bent on adding some meat to this soup, just add about a 1/2 cup of ground beef or 1/2 cup of cooked, cubed chicken breast. If you use chicken, I would use chicken stock instead of beef stock. Either way, you can't go wrong with vegetable stock.
I think my favorite part about this recipe is that it was the perfect portion for two people. You won't be eating leftovers for three days! If you want to check out more of our favorite dishes, pared down for two people, you might like:Tell me: How do you ensure work-life balance? What are your essentials for self-care and being joyful?
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