{Mama Eats} Coconut Salmon + Kale Soup

{I love to cook + bake.  Now that I'm a mom, it can be super hard to enjoy making delicious, homemade meals with my toddler under my feet screaming for my attention and my baby who needs me 24/7.  Since I yearn to have my before-mama, leisurely cooking days back, I decided to find ways to bring my love for cooking back into my current, very limited, mama-me-time life.There's SO much info out there on how to feed our kiddos, but very little on how to put our mama foodie needs first. Because if mama isn't eating what she loves, nobody will eat what they love.  Mac n cheese is AWESOME, but I don't wanna continue to eat it off my kids plate every day, right!?  And, guess what...your kids may eat the foods you eat, too!  You never know! ;) Because there's very little time in my mama life, the foods I make for MYSELF and my family have to be simple, colorful, easy and fun.  I can't be slaving away in the kitchen every day.  Somehow, I'm figuring it out, one mama day at a time... }

I'm back!!  Woohoo!!

My baby boy is starting to get a nap schedule and my daughter is having some playtime to herself at times, so that only means...MAMA ME TIME!!  OH YEAH!!

I can't even tell you how excited I am.  For the past few months, I've been having fun figuring out ways to still cook delicious, homemade meals for myself.

I said that I was going to eat a lot of frozen meals once L came, and yes, that came true, but not as much as I thought.

I have a serious problem...I just can't stay away from making home cooked meals. ;)

But, anyway...I see SO many websites out there that help moms feed their kiddos, but I don't see many that focus on feeding moms (if you seen any...send them my way!!).

Moms need nourishing, foodie love, too!

Since my toddler is super picky, I always let her try what I cook.  Some days she eats it, some days she doesn't.  We just never know what the day in her toddler foodie life will bring us, so I've stopped stressing over it.

As long as she has one AWESOME meal a day - like some days she'll eat a huge breakfast and then a small lunch and dinner, that's fine with me!

Since I never know what she'll eat, I'd rather make a few things for her on the side of what I'm making for myself or for my husband and I. It really is much easier that way..for me, anyway.

I've found that when I do this, I'm less drawn to just eating all the food she left on her plate.

Don't get me wrong, mac n cheese is SO freakin' good, but honestly, it can get super easy to eat just that everyday with my kiddos.  And, believe me, I certainly have.

I'm  such a seasonal eater.  When it's cold, I crave soups and stews.  When it's warm, I crave smoothies and salads.

And, let me tell you, my body ALWAYS sends me these messages during each and every season!

Did you know that our bodies are supposed to do that?  Yep!! Truly miraculous...I tell ya! :)

Because I miss cooking like crazy, I started to teach myself how I could incorporate more homemade foods into my life in way that doesn't have me stressed out or exhausted in the kitchen...it has to work in a way that helps me still be there for my kids needs.

Because, if you're a mom, you know about the witch hour, right?  Ours is ALWAYS right when it's time to cook dinner.

So far, I'm on the right track.  There can definitely be some bumps in this process, and that's OK!  But, one of the best things I've done actually begins with the recipe here.

Drum roll, please!!  Badabadabadabadabadabada...enter....Coconut Salmon and Kale soup! ;) 

Soups are SO easy to make.  And, they're great because you can make a great BIG batch and then have it the rest of the week with a sandwich or anything else you'd like to have OR you can freeze the rest for another time.

What I love about soups is that I can prep the veggies on the weekend and then just throw everything together in the pot the day I cook it during the week.

Or...I'll make it on Sunday to have it ready for the week, while D watches the kids.

For this one, I only needed garlic, onion, shiitake mushrooms and kale.  Easy peasy!

Then I added the liquid. Chicken stock, coconut milk, a splash of fish sauce. Some protein. Canned wild salmon and some yummy butter for some added nourishment.

BOOYAH! An instant, colorful meal at hand.

Oh and here's the best part...the soup totally looks gourmet when you add a sandwich next to it.  At least that's what D said when I showed him the picture.

When he saw it, he said, "wow it must be nice that you can stay home with the kids and make gourmet meals while I'm at work!"

I laughed out loud, because, honestly, it may look gourmet, but it SO isn't. It was the easiest thing ever to make.

All I did was make my tuna salad (without the pasta) on the weekend.  During the week, I pulled it out, placed it on a slice of ciabatta bread, added Muenster cheese on top and then broiled it in my toaster oven.

Looks like pizza, right!?!?

It's heavenly good!!  And, SO easy!

Oh, and another thing. This doesn't just have to be for lunch. It can totally rock as a dinner meal, too!!

And, if you don't like salmon (which by the way, I would have much rather used a fresh piece of salmon, but, I'm a mama to two kiddos, and there's now way I'm gonna run to the seafood market just for some fish right now, so canned it is for me!) you can use anything you'd like...chicken, sausage, pork, beef, tofu...anything works!).

So, are you ready to make this bad boy?? Or wait...maybe I should I call it... bad mama! Yes..bad mama it is!!

So, yeah, are you ready to make this bad mama!?

Oh yeah!! Let's do it!!

But, first...check out my little mini me!!  Future food photographer??? Maybe! :)

OK...enough cuteness...well, actually, I can never get enough of her cuteness...hehe!

Here's the recipe...

Coconut Salmon + Kale Soup 

1 can of wild salmon (or 1/2 or 1/4 pound of fresh salmon)
1 container of chicken stock, may need 1/2 of another, or you can just add in water, if you need more liquid
1/2 can of coconut milk, or more if you'd like
1 package of shiitake mushrooms, stems thrown away and then tops sliced
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of kale (or other dark leafy green of choice), chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons of butter
Splash of fish sauce (optional)
Dash of salt and pepper

1. Heat saucepan on medium.
2. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
3. Saute onion for 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add in garlic. Only saute for another minute or so.  You don't want the garlic to burn.
5. Add in shiitake mushrooms.  Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Add chicken stock, let come to a boil.
7. Once soup is boiling. Turn heat down to medium-low heat.  Add in coconut milk and dash of fish sauce and salt and pepper.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Turn heat to low.  Add in kale and butter.  Cook for another few minutes.
9. Place in favorite serving dish.
10. Turn off all distractions, sit down by yourself or with your kids, family and/or friends, take a few deep breaths, say how much gratitude you have for your food, your family, your life and dig in, slowly and savor the deliciousness!