Microwave miso soup

5.28miso

 

I love soup, and miso soup is really easy to make already, but this recipe is definitely the easiest ever! I can get it done in 5 minutes and have some nice fresh soup using only ingredients that store well.

I read recently that when you make miso soup it’s best not to heat the miso itself too much because it loses some of its health properties, so this recipe involves adding it in at the very end so it doesn’t boil or anything.

The ingredients are really flexible- you can add tofu, mushrooms, seaweed, scallions, or other veggies

The broth can also be fish broth, just water, or a little vegetable broth mixed with water

Ingredients:

2 cups of liquid (I did about 30% vegetable broth and the rest water). You can just fill waterver bowl you have mostly with liquid, it doesn’t have to be exact

1-2 tablespoons of miso depending how salty you like it

extras: a teaspoon of dried wakame flakes, rehydrated in water, a sliced mushroom, a few cubes of tofu etc

Directions:

1. Rehydrate the seaweed in some water if using

2. If you want to you can sautee some mushrooms or tofu and keep a bunch of it in the fridge so it’s ready to go, or just put it raw in the next step

3. Put everything but the miso in a bowl and microwave for 2-4 minutes, until it gets very hot

4. Meanwhile mix the miso with a little water in a separate small bowl to get rid of clumps

5. Add the miso watery paste to the soup and stir

Elimination communication update- staying dry at night!

IMG_2375 I have been doing elimination communication with Jack since he was a few weeks old, and now he is 17 months. Elimination communication involves following your baby’s cues for going to the bathroom and teaching them signals, but uses no external positive or negative reinforcement (no skittles for using the potty!). Babies are motivated to learn because no one naturally likes sitting in their own waste- we just train kids to be ok with it when using diapers.

Within the past month Jack really started understanding the sign language sign for “bathroom” and will do it if I ask him if he has to go! If he’s really involved in an activity he doesn’t like to stop for the bathroom (understandably!) but he uses the potty at least a few times per day. Yesterday he only had 2 wet diapers all day!

I was surprised to notice that in the last 4 days he has been waking up with his diaper totally dry, and then peeing in the potty. I never thought he could not pee at night at this age because he still breastfeeds often at night, and sleeps for about 11 hours. My husband and I were worried he was dehydrated initially, but he does breastfeed all the time, so I think he just naturally started staying dry at night. I’m excited about the diminishing laundry load!

I ordered Jack his first underwear yesterday which I’m excited about. I think we can try them around the house, but keep using diapers outside until he gets more consistent about communicating. I looked at several organic options, and chose these 100% organic cotton ones from Under The Nile. I heard they run big, so I hoe they fit! Hanna Andersson has some organic ones but they seemed too big based on reviews

under the nile trainers

under the nile trainers

Imse Vimse also had some I was thinking about because they had a layer of PUL which makes them more waterproof. I might order a pair and try them out as well

imse vimse organic trainers

 

I can’t believe how fast Jack is growing up! It really makes me want to savor every day with him (while he still wants to hang out with me!)

 

Vegan butternut squash quesadillas

IMG_20140513_095457

I made these quesadillas today to try to recreate some sweet potato and caramelized onion tacos from my favorite vegan restaurant, and they turned out pretty good. Jack even enjoyed eating some of the tortilla parts!

I found frozen organic butternut squash cubes at  whole foods, so I used them, but any squash type thing would be good. I also didn’t have the time to caramelize onions because of my high-needs toddler, but if you have the time I bet that would taste great.

Ingredients:

1 package of frozen butternut squash cubes (or sweet potato or other squash)

1 package of organic tortillas

1/2 onion, chopped

a few tablespoons of pine nuts

some vegan shredded cheese or nutritional yeast (although the melted cheese works best)

whatever spices you like- I used paprika, but you can add something spicier

 

Directions:

Sautee the onions until browned (caramelize if you have a spare half hour)

Separately, prepare the squash as per the package (boil it or microwave), using whatever spices you like. Then put in a food processor or immersion blender to puree

Take a tortilla and spread a layer of squash on half, sprinkle some onions on top, sprinkle pine nuts over it, and then add a light layer of vegan cheese

Put some oil in a pan and lightly fry both sides of the quesadilla until a little brown

I bet this would taste great with guacamole, beans, or vegan sour cream!

 

 

Traveling with a toddler without checking luggage

all my stuff and the baby stuff fit in these bags!

all my stuff and the baby stuff fit in these bags!

My husband and I took Jack (16 months) to visit friends in Portland for 4 days, and we were happy to be able to fit our minimalistic necessities in only carryon baggage! It saved time because we skipped waiting for bags at the conveyor belt, and it was easier to carry everything around the airports. Here is a summary of what we brought:

Baby transportation: toddler tula

I wore Jack through the airport and hiked with him on my back during the trip. He took a few naps in the tula and we didn’t bring a stroller which saved a ton of space. I also know some people whose strollers were broken when checked on a plane, so we didn’t have to worry about that.

Car seat: borrowed from friends (backup option was to rent one with a car)

Jack still fits in an infant seat, so our friend’d toddler sat in her convertible seat and he used her old infant one which worked out perfectly fine.

Clothes: I brought layers for both of us- 2 short sleeves, 4 long sleeves, and a jacket per person. I took jeans and yoga pants for me, and 4 pants for Jack. I brought a bib per day for Jack and hats for both of us. I brought him soft leather shoes and rubber rainproof shoes.

Diapers: we decided to use our (ecofriendly) disposable diapers so we didn’t make our friends uncomfortable asking to wash cloth diapers at their house. We like the Bambo Nature diapers which are compostable and free of carcinogens and allergens. I brought enough diapers to change him every 3 hours and one for overnight, plus a couple extra. EC helps cut down on diapers though, as Jack pooped a few times in the toilet!

Toys: we stayed with friends who had a ton of toys at their house which Jack loved. For the plane, we brought a small wooden plane, his favorite small ball, and his favorite book. We also brought his Foogo straw thermos with almond milk (he loves to press the button!) and his pura bottle with some water. We spent time opening and closing those, eating snacks I brought, looking at the plane magazines, and playing with the plastic cups they provide on the plane. He loved looking out the window and opening and closing the window. We also walked around the plane a little.

Toiletries: I brought toothpaste and a toothbrush, and Jack’s toothbrush which doubles as a toy. I use a shampoo bar that doubles as soap which saves space.

Electronics: I brought my laptop which took up a ton of space, but I like watching videos on netflix while Jack naps on me :) I also brought a phone which I use for white noise for Jack.

I may have forgotten a few things, but that’s most of what I packed. My husband took a carryon with his clothes and the gifts for our friends, so I fit my stuff and Jack’s all in my bags. Our next challenge will be to see if we can take only carryons during our 6 day trip to PA! In that case we may bring a few diapers and buy some natural ones at whole foods there, because the diapers took up a ton of space.