It’s June already and it’s getting warm around here in Northern California. Roses are blooming, lilies too, dahlias are sprouting, and pretty much every type of flower you can think of is blooming right now. We are swimming in color at this time of year. Perfect inspiration for making wonderful light and colorful salads.
I am always thrilled to hear that the recipes I post are so well received and most of all that they are being tried in your home kitchen. But truth be told, the most popular recipes are my Sunday Soups. So many of you have told me time and time again that you love my Sunday Soup tradition and are enjoying making the soup recipes I post. To you all, I especially want to apologize, as I will be taking a break from Sunday Soups. The weather is warming up finally making it a great time to enjoy a colorful salad, so I am taking a hiatus from Sunday Soups and switching over to Sunday salads.
How the Sunday Soup tradition came about.
I don’t recall if I ever mentioned why I started the Sunday Soup tradition a while ago. Let me explain. After cooking a healthy and tasty meal all through the week by the time Saturday and Sunday rolled around I was just plain out of ideas on what to make. Second reason, I truly do believe that our digestive system, that is our esophagus and our stomach among many organs and muscles are some of the hardest working in our body. Our digestive system works day in and day out, digesting all the food that we eat, eat, eat, and eat, from morning until night. Any machine that works so hard deserves a break. This is the main reason I started the Sunday Soup tradition, to give our digestive system one evening a week to eat something light and easily digestible, to give it a chance to chill and get a break, to rejuvenate and be ready for the next week of eating, eating, and more eating.
When I first started my Sunday Soup tradition, I must admit the family wasn’t sold on the idea. It’s the weekend after all, and the perfect time to make something fun and experiment with some cool recipes they thought, but I stood my ground. Sunday is the perfect evening for soup because we are all so busy getting ready for the following week that a warm bowl of soup is as comforting as it is light, and it lets us get on with the week’s preparations. The best benefit of this tradition is that now I know exactly what to make Sunday evening – soup!
I’ve been doing the Sunday Soup tradition for so long now that the question I get asked on Sundays is not “What’s for dinner?” but rather “What soup are you making?” I love it! Our Sunday Soup tradition has made my Sunday dinner routine a breeze, and it has also forced me to get creative with soup recipes.
How our Digestive System works.
To really understand how hard our digestive system works let me share with you an excerpt from this outstanding web site iifgd.org how the digestive system works which explains in layman’s terms how our food gets digested from the time we put something in our mouth, to the waste product that is released. It is pretty amazing when you consider all the tasks that our food goes through for our body to take in all the good nutrients and release what is not needed. To quote a portion of the article:
“The esophagus is the organ into which the swallowed food is pushed. It connects the throat above with the stomach below. At the junction of the esophagus and stomach, there is a ringlike valve closing the passage between the two organs. However, as the food approaches the closed ring, the surrounding muscles relax and allow the food to pass.
The food then enters the stomach, which has three mechanical tasks to do. First, the stomach must store the swallowed food and liquid. This requires the muscle of the upper part of the stomach to relax and accept large volumes of swallowed material.
The second job is to mix up the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach. The lower part of the stomach mixes these materials by its muscle action. (The mixture is referred to as chyme.)
The third task of the stomach is to empty its contents slowly into the small intestine.
Several factors affect emptying of the stomach, including the nature of the food (mainly its fat and protein content) and the degree of muscle action of the emptying stomach and the next organ to receive the contents (the small intestine).
As the food is digested in the small intestine and dissolved into the juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, the contents of the intestine are mixed and pushed forward to allow further digestion.
Finally, all of the digested nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal walls. The waste products of this process include undigested parts of the food, known as fiber, and older cells that have been shed from the mucosa. These materials are propelled into the colon, where they remain, usually for a day or two, until the feces are expelled by a bowel movement.
For a more detailed description of our digestive system and all the ways in which vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins are absorbed into our body take a look at this link iifgd.org how the digestive system works.
Sunday Soups to Sunday Salads.
I typically make Sunday soups starting in October and stick to this plan all the way until May. Six to seven months of Sunday soups! I am sure our family’s digestive systems are singing my praises 😊.
How do I continue my Sunday Soup tradition in the hot summer months? I switch over to Sunday Salads. It’s the same concept really; make something light with plenty of vegetables to give our stomachs a break once a week.
The salad recipes I post range from those packed with salad greens, vegetabes, fruits, to lightly tossed with grains like quinoa and wild rice, legumes such as chick peas, black beans, and kidney beans, to some with tofu. No matter the combination there will be lots of fresh veggies in every salad recipe.
Sometimes when I find that salads don’t have the same fill-me up feeling that soups have, I serve salad with crusty whole grain bread, and end it with fresh fruit and chilled herbal tea sweetened with all-natural honey. This makes for the perfect Sunday summer-time light dinner option. I hope you will give these salad recipes a try and continue to enjoy a new Sunday tradition – Sunday Salads!