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Wild Rice Soup

5 Nov

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this but I had so many requests for the recipe that it was just easier to post it here.

Wild rice soup

A post shared by amandacolo (@amandacolo) on

{hence the terrible phone picture}




2 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion diced

2 cups carrots

2 cups celery

3 cups cannellini beans

4 cups chicken or veggie stock (You may use more for cooking rice and/or thinning out soup to desired consistency)

1 1/4 cups wild rice

4 cups whole milk or cream

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

(The following additions should be added to taste. You may add more or less.)

2-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar (you could use a nice dry white wine instead of acv)

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP thyme

1 TBSP parsley

a dash of curry powder

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

freshly grated parmesan


1. Cook your wild rice. You can cook it in water or extra stock. If you are using homemade chicken stock it can help to break down phytic acid in your rice. For 1 1/4 cups wild rice use just a tad over 3 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil then add rice. Cover and turn temp down to low for 45 minutes.

2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot and add your diced carrots, celery and onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes on medium heat.

3. Add 4 cups of stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. About half way through this 20 minute simmer, add your 3 cups of cannellini beans.

4. While your soup is simmering you need to make a simple roux. In a small sauce pan melt 1 stick of butter over medium low heat and add 1/2 cup flour. Whisk till combined and creamy. Turn it on low and continue to whisk often to prevent burning. You want to cook it through to eliminate the flour taste. I cooked it for about 12 minutes and turned it off. I still whisked it every so often until I was ready to use it.

5. After 20 minute simmer add in your cooked rice and 4 cups of cream. Return to a gentle boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add in your roux in 3 additions. Mixing it thoroughly after every addition.

7. Add your spices and season according to your taste. I say this because I actually never measured any of these and just added them in till I liked the flavor!  Again, I never intended on blogging this recipe so I wasn’t mindful of my real amounts. I also added in extra stock to thin it out to my desired consistency. After adding in the roux it can get quite thick.

We served this soup as our dinner with a simple slice of sourdough bread and butter on the side. It is very hearty and satisfying as a soup entree. You can add chicken or turkey instead of the cannellini beans if you would rather.  Since I don’t eat chicken, I used beans.

I adapted this recipe from a handful of various recipes to accommodate the fact that I wasn’t using chicken and Steven and I both hate mushrooms. For some reason everyone thinks the best vegetarian substitution for meat is 10 lbs of mushrooms. FYI it is not!








Steven’s lunch

16 May


Cilantro coconut shrimp soup. He gets many more interesting dishes than I do on this Whole30 Challenge! I altered the recipe just a tad. Basically I added more shrimp, used homemade chicken stock instead of water to add more depth and we were out of cayenne pepper so I added a few dashes of paprika. Also, I was hesitant to add an entire juiced lemon as per the recipe, so I added 1 1/2 tablespoons to Steven’s taste.

Week 3 Whole30 Recap

14 May

I cannot believe we have already finished 3 weeks of this challenge! It really is going by so quickly for me. It is taking an eternity for Steven, however. I appreciate him so much for sticking it out with me. It was not an easy request and he has been cheat free the entire time despite his work buying everyone pizza and his Bible study bringing donuts.


Day 15

I had eggs benedict, leftover grilled vegetables and salmon and spaghetti squash with marinara, salmon meat balls and zucchini.


Day 16

I had a frittata for breakfast. Lunch and dinner were both spaghetti.


Day 17

Life has been busy and I am so thankful for leftovers, even if they do get boring. Frittata and spaghetti were on the menu for breakfast and lunch again. For dinner I made tuna burgers with pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. On the side we had sweet potato salad with cilantro and jalapeno.


Day 18

Stir-fry scramble is the easiest way to pack in the protein and veggies for breakfast that I have found. It almost tastes like vegetable fried rice! Salmon cakes for lunch and leftover tuna burgers for dinner. I am finding that for me to eat a lot of fish, I need to prepare it in a burger  or patty form. Eating fish is new for me and it helps me to eat it without over thinking the fact that I am actually eating fish.


Day 19

I started this day with an egg wrap full of spinach, avocado and tomato served with mango. Mango is by far my most favorite fruit. It reminds me of a mission trip I took in college to Haiti. The air was so warm and you could smell the mangos in the wind. I could eat them all day everyday.

For lunch I made some bone broth vegetable soup with tuna burgers. And dinner was our take on a BLTA. I have tried to remain as strict as possible to the original Whole30 menu plan but as a vegetarian you are allowed to include fermented soy and kefir. I have abstained from using either but for this meal I did use organic tempeh. I avoid soy as much as possible in general but I did have it for one or two meals this week to break up the fish and eggs. I also made a batch of sweet potato chips fried in coconut oil. It felt like a little treat to indulge in a “chip”.


Day 20

I had another egg wrap for breakfast. For lunch we had company over and I actually forgot to take a picture of my lunch but it was the same as dinner. I had roasted a whole chicken for everyone. It was served with fruit salad and roasted vegetables. I had tuna burgers with my meals that day instead of the chicken and I actually ate more then is shown on the above plate.


Day 21

Mother’s day! Steven brought me breakfast in bed which was so delicious and wonderful! Left over fruit salad, fried eggs and roasted sweet potatoes with bell peppers.  For lunch I had a bowl of bone broth vegetable soup and mini Tempeh lettuce boats with tomatoes and avocado. Sunday was such a crazy day that we found ourselves still out and about at dinner time. We had two choices: go home and start dinner so we could eat around 8 or 9pm, or find a place to eat compliant. We chose to eat a big salad from the Whole Foods salad bar. I included 2 hard boiled eggs for my protein.

The final countdown has begun!!!

Half way there! Whole30 Update Week 2

6 May

Well, we made it another week!

Day 8


I had a quick breakfast of fried eggs, various veggies with almond spread and a side of cashews and strawberries. For lunch I had leftover broccoli soup and tuna salad. Dinner was asparagus with hollandaise sauce, roasted carrots and salmon cakes for me. Steven had a steak that night. Before he had that steak, however, it fell on the floor after the pyrex it cooked in exploded in Steven’s hands!!

Day 9


My favorite breakfast of benedict florentine is becoming quite common these days. Lunch was a caesar salad and pesto sardine spaghetti squash. Dinner was fried eggs with ratatouille.

Day 10


I started making a really quick breakfast that is basically frozen stir-fry vegetables mixed with scrambled eggs. Leftover salmon cakes for lunch are becoming another favorite around here too. They are just so good I could eat them for every meal. Thank God for leftovers this week! I have been cooking so much because not only am I preparing my meals but Steven is eating many different things that I am not so I have made double meals a lot of days.

Day 11


Stir-fry veggie scramble and mango for breakfast again. Lunch and dinner were the same because I didn’t want to cook anything for dinner. Leftover bone broth vegetable soup and an egg wrap full of tomatoes, greens and avocado.

Day 12


Are you noticing a trend yet? I am using the same photo, but for the stir-fry veggie breakfast I have alternated the fruit. The mango just looks so pretty. For Lunch I made salmon asparagus mini quiches with leftover soup and salad. Friday has become our Fish night. I made the almond crusted cod, sweet potato fries and coleslaw with tartar sauce just like last week.

Day 13


A day of repeats and leftovers. Benedict florentine breakfast, soup and quiche for lunch and almond crusted fish for dinner.

Day 14


Stir-fry veggie scramble and fruit for breakfast. Salmon quiches and salad for lunch. We had company Sunday evening and decided to grill. The men had grilled steaks and I had grilled salmon. I made a huge batch of balsamic grilled vegetables including yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, asparagus, red, yellow and orange bell peppers, garlic, shallots, and broccoli.

This week was hard for me. I have been struggling to keep up with the extra cooking while also trying to encourage Steven to stay the course. He has had such a rough time on this challenge and after a deep conversation, I think he now understands how important this is to me for us to make it the 30 days.

We successfully managed to attend a party and avoid all of the delicious food and cupcakes on Sunday! It was difficult but not at the same time. The Whole30 is a great way to teach your body to stop craving certain food items. It has worked. I no longer am craving sugar  but that doesn’t mean a platter full of delicious cupcakes doesn’t look appetizing! Even harder then cupcakes, the free cheese samples at WholeFoods! I love cheese!! I went without cheese for years as a vegan and that was the one thing I missed and that slowly won me back to a more lacto-vegetarian lifestyle.

15 more days to go!!

Whole30 Week 1

29 Apr

We just completed our first week of the Whole30!

Here is our meal recap with some recipe links. Some of the recipes came straight from the book.

Day 1


Day one started with sweet potato hash topped with 2 fried eggs. For lunch I had tuna salad with hard boiled eggs and I added a little bit of avocado as well as substituted the capers for green olives. I also had a side of cashews and strawberries. Dinner was balsamic green beans, roasted cauliflower and salmon cakes with homemade tartar sauce.

The first day went very well for me. The only side effects I had was a lingering headache most of the day and at one point a little nausea.

Day 2


Day 2 breakfast was a delicious frittata that I through together the night before so that we could have a hot breakfast. I loosely followed 3 different recipes as outlines and concocted this one. I beat 6 eggs with 2 TB coconut milk and mixed with sauteed zucchini, red bell pepper, garlic, spinach, shallots, garlic, and broccoli. I baked it for about 20 minutes and just reheated it in the morning under the broiler. Lunch was a repeat of tuna salad but I halved it so that I could add some butternut squash soup. For dinner I made summer squash, salad with strawberries and orange poppyseed dressing and roasted hazelnut salmon.

I decided to have a small cup of coffee with coconut milk to help counteract the headache I had the day before. It worked and I felt great all day.

Day 3


Lunch and dinner were repeats. Thank God for leftovers! Breakfast was 2 fried eggs served on a bed of sauteed kale and tomatoes. On the side I added some monkey salad.

I felt very energized on day 3 and only a teeny headache late in the afternoon. Steven however, did not feel well at all and actually said he wanted to quit. He had a headache, nausea and even a slight fever. I believe it is called the “carb flu”.

Day 4


Breakfast was sort of boring. Steven was still feeling ill and he was really struggling with being able to eat. He didn’t want anything, especially eggs. Unfortunately, that was all I had really planned for so instead of making another big fancy breakfast we just had scrambled eggs with bell pepper and monkey salad. Lunch was leftover salmon cakes, butternut squash soup and guacamole deviled eggs. I was going to share that recipe but honestly, I hate them! I have just been eating them as to not waste 6 eggs. For dinner we had caesar salad with homemade dressing. I have made anchovy-less dressing for years but this time I actually included the anchovies. Pasta was a mixture of spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles topped with homemade dairy free pesto and sardines. Linden loved the pasta so much he ate 3 servings!


(We ate dinner outside in the sunshine on our coffee table. It was so nice!)

Day 5


Breakfast was my favorite ever! Eggs Benedict Florentine without the english muffin, of course. I think I could eat spinach, tomatoes, avocado and hollandaise sauce any day of the week. I made the sauce using ghee instead of butter. I also added a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

For lunch I had leftover salmon on a bed of salad with caesar dressing, cucumber slices with my favorite spread, almond tomato spread. I whipped up a quick tomato soup on the side as well. The soup was not amazing. I added some of my pesto to it which improved the flavor but it is better in smaller servings.

Friday night dinner called for fish and chips Whole30 style. Almond crusted wild caught cod, sweet potato fries, tartar sauce and coleslaw.

Day 6


This day started out horrific. Steven still was not feeling very well and in the morning he basically through his shoes on and was heading to the store to buy cereal hahahah. After talking him off the ledge (outside for everyone to hear) and making him a special non-egg breakfast, he seemed to feel better. We spent some hardcore meal planning together for the rest of the week so as to find more things that sounded pleasing to him. He was so over tuna, eggs and salads.

Breakfast on day 6 was a mostly egg white frittata because I had about 7 of them in my fridge from using yolks for various things all week. I added one whole egg to add a little yolk. I just sauteed kale, garlic, shallots and tomatoes and folded that in the egg mixture. I also had an apple and some almond butter.

Lunch was super late that day. We had been out at Costco, ignored all of the free samples! That is why I just had the rest of my breakfast frittata along with leftover tomato soup, green olives, and almond tomato spread on mini sweet peppers.

Friday night fish made so much food that we were able to enjoy that again for dinner.

Day 7


WE MADE IT! Our first week is over. Breakfast was leftover eggs benedict eaten super quickly due to being late for church. Lunch was yet another smorgasbord of leftovers, veggies and spread, and avocado tuna salad. Dinner was a broccoli vegetable soup that tastes remarkably like broccoli cheese. I used homemade bone broth for the base and served it with chicken for Steven and so I quickly cooked up two eggs for my protein.

I only documented MY meals for you. Often, I made separate meals for Steven. Since he isn’t a vegetarian he is having a lot of meat protein. He had chicken, cod, salmon, and beef this week. Next week he has some sausage and lamb tossed into the mix as well.

I am still feeling great. A little bit tired but I am sleeping really well. I have had a lot of dreams too! Some about food, even food that I don’t care for in reality. I haven’t had the carb flu, like Steven, who is still a bit nauseous.

One of the hardest parts of this experience so far was at church today, it was communion Sunday. As the ushers passed out the grape juice and crackers I realized we were not able to partake because it would not be Whole30 compliant! It broke my heart!

We had one slip up on accident as well. Saturday we bought a variety pack of Lara Bars at Costco. MOST Lara Bars are compliant for an occasional snack but we accidentally ate the peanut butter ones not thinking about that fact that peanuts are not allowed. I know the plan is very strict about no cheats and if you do cheat they require you to restart your Whole30. I asked on the Facebook page about our mistake and they replied that as long as it didn’t cause issues for us then we could continue or possibly tack on an extra day to the end of our 30 days.

We decided to not worry about it and move on with our 30 days, as is.

Quinoa Mac & Cheese

17 Mar

I know it isn’t the most beautiful looking meal ever, but it sure was YUMMY!

I used this recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

I fully planned on making it exactly like the recipe but this was the last meal on my menu for the week and some of the ingredients I thought I would have on hand had magically disappeared.

We used the last of our spinach and parmesan yesterday, so instead of topping it with the parmesan, I just added regular cheddar. I did use the aged white for the bechamel so it was still a two cheese dish.

Also, I ALWAYS forgo the bread crumb topping. It just isn’t my thing. I am a sauce person and those pesky bread crumbs absorb all of my darn sauce and make things taste dry so if you prefer crumbs, go right ahead.

I know it looks like I baked my broccoli in the dish but I actually just steamed it on the side and mixed it in on my own plate but I bet you could just bake it in.

It tasted like broccoli cheese soup!

Homemade Pad Thai

12 Mar

I have been CRAVING Pad Thai!

Homemade Pad Thai #cookathome #nofilter

A post shared by amandacolo (@amandacolo) on

Here it is! Minus the peanuts which I forgot to sprinkle on for the picture.

I have been searching for an easier Pad Thai recipe for quite some time. So many of them come with ingredient lists longer then my attention span will tolerate. This meal was brought to you by a combination of two recipes: Easy Pad Thai and Pad Thai.

I mostly followed the “easy pad thai” recipe. I added extra garlic, carrot and ginger from the Vegetarian Times recipe. I used coconut oil and a splash of toasted sesame oil instead of peanut or vegetable oil. Also, instead of brown sugar I used sucanat. We also didn’t have any hot chili or sauce or Sriracha in the house so I just added a dash or two of paprika and cayenne pepper.  We also had some chicken in the fridge that Steven added to his but it doesn’t need it.

It was a hit!

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