Mother Connie has been taken to task for going overboard with respect to microwave ovens. She was called out for being radical. Mother Connie is one tough ole broad and can take criticism, but this is not about MC. IT IS ABOUT YOU BEING SAFE AND HEALTHY.
Mother Connie, as you are well aware, is passionate about helping people. People are not helped by microwaving their foods. This is not merely opinion; this is truth. Please direct your attention to this article, which ‘splains the dangers more eloquently than your humble blogger: Microwave Ovens: The Proven Danger
‘Nuff said about THAT. Let’s find something fun to discuss. How about FOOD?
People who sit in my circle know how I love to cook so Santa brought by a daily calendar put out by The Food Network. Each day there is a new delight to peruse and use. Most of the dishes I find are a bit “high end” for those of us who fuss over our food budgets or use EBT cards from SNAP or WIC. However, there is a doozee of a crock pot soup that is ab-so-toot-ly DELISH.
SLOW COOKER BEAN AND BARLEY SOUP
1 cup dried multibean mix or great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
1 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes w/their juice
3 cloves garlic,smashed
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley *Mother Connie toasted hers before adding it to the soup but the recipe did not call for that step
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend
1/2 oz died porcini mushrooms *optional Good thing; I don’t keep those on hand…do YOU? grin
Kosher salt and pepper * The Kitchen Police did not object to my use of sea salt…
3 cups baby spinach *I used frozen, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil, for drizzling
Put the beans, 6 cups of water, tomatoes and their juice, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, barley, bay leaf, Italian herb blend, mushrooms 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and some pepper in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until the beans are quite tender and the soup is thick-about 8 hours.
Stir in the spinach, cheese, and vinegar. Cover and let the soup sit until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle each serving with a bit of olive oil.
In the Club House, we like to spoon most any kind of soup over crusty bread. The Normanator baked bread with a bit of almond flour and this made us a great lunch. Since there are just the two of us there was plenty left over to freeze for a quick meal on a busy day. We also had a green salad with our bean/barley soup. We were well nourished and we both had happy tummies!
Soup is a great comfort food on cold, blustery March days. If you are struggling to S T R E T C H your food dollars it’s a good way to feed your family. If you know anyone who is living on a dime-or less-you may want to share this link with them. We are all about helping people here. Maybe you use food commodities or know someone who does. You might frequent a food pantry…this page is for YOU.
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