The Crockpot…

If anyone knows me they know I despise crackpots partially from the terrifying scent of hot pork that would literally over take our entire house as kids! (sorry mom you know I love you!) Between the hot pork and beef stew I never thought I could look at a crock pot without wanting to throw it out the window.

When my husband and I got married we didn’t even register for one because I was convinced I would never use this odd kitchen contraption.  Fast forward 5 years I finally have been convinced of their convince and endless cooking possibilities!  Thanks to my brother-in law who recently moved out of the country we inherited his crock pot and I have been using it ever since!IMG_2162I have found that I can make all the soups I normally make without having to watch my baby and the pot at the same time!  They are super easy and clean up is a breeze which I am sure most of you know but I am new to the crock pot community lol!

One of the first soups I tested out was a vegan lentil soup that turned out really delicious and was super easy!  The first step was to rinse and drain one bag of lentils and put them into the crock pot.IMG_2160 Next up was to figure out what kinds of veggies I wanted to go with them and used up some of what was left in the fridge, including mushrooms, carrots, celery, and half an onion.IMG_2165 I just placed them on top of the lentils and added some seasonings which consisted of black pepper, salt, and celery seasoning.  I also added in some chopped garlic.  Then I just covered the veggies with about 6-8 cups of veggie broth and cooked on low for about 6-8 hours.  IMG_2161 IMG_2166I started it in the morning and it was ready for dinner!  This soup turned out great and is perfect for the winter making a really filling and hearty soup without any meat!
IMG_2159xo Meg

Meal Prep Monday…

Now that it’s getting a little cooler out I am getting back into cooking and baking on a regular basis, yes we still ate over the summer 😉 but mostly just grilling.  I really do enjoy cooking just not when its 98 degrees out and have to turn on the oven!  So I decided to make up a couple batches of our staples to have for snacks and lunches for the next few days.

First on the agenda was to bake some healthy sweet treats to have for snacks or even for breakfast.  I took a few months of eating fish and dairy and haven’t been feeling that amazing and lacking energy so I am kicking off fall with motivation to get back into a vegan based diet.

IMG_0839 These banana bites are a perfect grab and go snack that my daughter loves as well!  I have the entire recipe listed here in a previous post, the only difference is that these chocolate chips pictured below are vegan.  My daughter was such a big helper and she decided she needed a few sprinkles on her half of the muffins 🙂

  • The ingredients are incredibly simple and contain no eggs or dairy and are about 40 calories per banana bite!
    IMG_0841Next on the list was to make a huge pot of veggie soup which is one of my favorite recipes that I came up with last fall by using farm fresh ingredients from our local farm box.  You can check out the original recipe here, but what I love the most is that you can alter the ingredients to whatever you happen to have on hand!  IMG_0766 This version is completely vegan and is super tasty approved by the entire family including my dad!  This particular version is fully of fresh veggies and protein that will keep you feeling full and nourished at the same time.  This is perfect for lunches or can be served alongside a main dish such as grilled chicken or steak if you are meat eater.  IMG_0757 First step is to gather up all the spices and chop your veggies so that when your pot is hot you can quickly start to add everything together without burning the onions and garlic! IMG_0772 Saute half a red onion in extra virgin olive oil until they become slightly translucent and then add in as much minced garlic as you like along with all of the spices (will be listed below) to release all of the flavors.  IMG_0775I love adding white beans into soup, not only are they delicious but they leave you feeling full and satisfied without adding any meat or pasta.  
    Along with chopping up all of your veggies you will want to thinly slice a head of collard greens and make sure to really rinse them to remove any sand or dirt that may have been left behind.
    Next into the pot go your harder veggies like butternut squash and zucchini, allow them to saute for a few minutes or until they start to get some color and soften just a little.
    IMG_0791Then add in a large can of diced tomatoesIMG_0792Followed by 8 cups of water and veggie base, or you could use a traditional vegetable broth I would recommend a low-sodium option.
    IMG_0793 After the liquid comes to a bubble add in all of the collard greens and let them soften until they turn a darker green.  Then add any remaining ingredients that don’t need to cook for too long, like the beans or sliced mushrooms.  IMG_0798

Ingredients Used:

1/2 T Minced Garlic

1t Celery Salt

1t Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)

Salt & Ground Black Pepper

8 Cups of Veggie Broth

1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes

2 Cans of White Beans

1/2 Red Onion Chopped

1 Head of Collard Greens or other hearty green

1 Butternut Squash Cubed

1 Zucchini

xo Meg

Veggie Soup…

So as you can imagine we had a lot of veggies left from our usual box and after a while it gets kinda hard to come up with new ways of using them so that you don’t get bored.  This week I decided to come up with some type of veggie soup with the greens that we had.  I have never had collard greens before and wasn’t quite sure how to cook them after consulting with mom-mom on how she ate them I decided to try a soup.

Then I just looked in my fridge and cabinet to see what I had and basically threw it all together and it seriously turned out delish!  This is so easy to make and is great for the cooler Fall days.  The best part is that you can eat what you want and then I put the rest in individual portions in the freezer so that I can just take it out when I want to eat it and not feel like we have to eat a gallon of soup in one week.

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1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

2 Cans Veggie Broth

1 Bunch Collard Greens

1/2 Butternut Squash

1/2 Red Onion

1.5 t Minced Garlic

1.5 T Olive Oil

1.5c Whole Grain Pasta

Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, Ground Pepper, Italian Seasoning, & Celery Salt to taste


1. Grab a large sauce pot and sauté your onion, garlic, and seasonings with the olive oil

2. Add butternut squash and let cook for a few minutes

3. Add all of your liquids and bring to a boil

4. Add in your chopped collard or green of choice, pick something hardy so that it doesn’t cook into nothing.

5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes, then add in your pasta and let cook for another 20 minutes. (You could also cook your pasta separately and then add it as you serve the soup)

6. Top with grated parm cheese and enjoy!

xo Meg