Weird Meal Wednesday: Butternut Coconut Ginger Soup and Asparagus with Creamy Ranch Dressing

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Weird Meal Wednesday.  I’ve been eating plenty of weird meals but sometimes they seem, well, a little boring. I tend to eat a lot of the same things over and over.  How many times can I post a picture of quinoa and sweet potato with some steamed veggies and tahini-miso sauce?

I tried 2 recipes from Heather Pace (Food and Yoga for Life) that were phenomenal and not at all boring!  In fact, I have made both the soup and the dressing twice in the past week.       (I smartened up and doubled the dressing recipe so I’ve got extra in the fridge).

Take a look at our weird and simple (but totally delicious!) meal:

On the left is the Creamy Ranch Dressing from Food and Yoga for Life.  It’s made from blended raw cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, dill and other spices.  I left out the stevia and olive oil.  It’s half gone because I was dipping broccoli florets in it while I was making the soup.  Check out the link to Food and Yoga for Life’s Butternut Coconut Ginger Soup.   Perfect for this cool fall weather.  Aside from the new recipes I made, I also steamed up some asparagus, cooked up some scallops in a little coconut butter and got out the bubbly.  Sometimes you don’t need a specific reason to open champagne; it’s just really fun to drink once in a while.  Celebrate the good things in your life!

I love making my own dressings and sauces.  When you look at the ingredient lists on most of the options in the grocery store you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Save an old salad dressing bottle and use it to store your homemade version:

 

If your nut-based dressing thickens up in the fridge, let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes and then give it a good shake to help it pour easier.

If you plan to use it more as a dip, store it in a dish.

 

 

Another way I used my ranch dressing was on a giant steamed portabello mushroom topped with onion and alfalfa sprouts:

Does that look like something you would ever try?

It’s definitely unusual.  But why not?  It would make an extremely low-calorie meal alone, but pair it up with a cup of bean chili or as an accompaniment to some salmon and brown rice and you’ve got yourself a splendid dinner.  Start to open your mind and think outside the box with food.  I’m a strong believer in the idea of buying a variety of your favorite vegetables to keep in your refrigerator and then basing your lunches/dinners on what’s in the crisper bins.  Think PLANTS  as the star of your plate rather than cooked grains and meats.  Once you get that concept down, meals begin to look a lot more colorful and nutritious, not to mention less boring.  Consider the limited varieties of meats (chicken, beef, fish and pork being the popular ones) and starches (rice, pasta, potato, corn and bread typically).  Now look at how many types of vegetables exist (broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, squash, asparagus, onion, green beans, jicama, spinach, sprouts, celery, bok choy, artichokes, swiss chard, peppers, okra, leeks, collards, lettuce, mushrooms, eggplant, cucumbers, cabbage, just to name a few).

I think this is the main reason people complain of being bored with their food– because the focus is on the meat and starch as the meal, with maybe a veggie on the side almost as an afterthought.  Do you see how much more varied and interesting your meals can be if you begin to explore the world of plant foods?

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