Sunday Soups to Sunday 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.  A few of you have even told me that you really like my Sunday Soup tradition and are enjoying the soup recipes I post every Sunday. To you all, I especially want to apologize, as I will be taking a break from Sunday Soups.

The weather has gotten pretty warm here in Northern California, finally. It’s very rare for us to have such cool weather all the way into June, but it has finally warmed up to our predictable California warm sunny weather. It’s so warm now that it’s hard to enjoy a hot steaming bowl of soup on Sundays, so I am taking a hiatus from Sunday Soups and switching over to Sunday salads, savories, sweets, and treats.

I don’t recall if I ever mentioned why I started the Sunday Soup tradition over two years ago. Let me explain. The first reason was I was tired of cooking a healthy meal every day of the week and 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, 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.

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. 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.

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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. 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.

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 every Sunday evening – soup!

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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 we having?”  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 my soup recipes.

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.

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It’s almost 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.

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The salads I post can range from those packed with grains like quinoa and wild rice, to legumes such as chick peas, black beans, and kidney beans, to very light tossed greens salads.

If you find that somehow salads don’t have the same fill-me up feeling that soups have, serve salads 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.

After all we are coming upon summer break and everyone is more relaxed, so I will occasionally also post a few Sunday sweet treats and fun savories that are perfect on lazy Sunday afternoons.

I hope you will give these recipes a try and continue to enjoy a new Sunday tradition – Sunday Salads.

 

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