Vegan Eats: Broccoli Cheese Soup and Cheesy Rice and Potato Medallions and Potato Soup

January 29 2017:

Tonight was a vegan broccoli “cheese” soup …. Thomas approved! He had two bowls. A hearty, creamy, filling soup! Yum!!

I’m pretty sure I added some ground ginger into this one and didn’t use as much broccoli and I added more garlic! I made macaroni and cheese a few weeks ago with a cashew cheese sauce and it was so awesome! Thomas approved that one also! xoxo

Broccoli “Cheese” Soup

This hearty soup can definitely stand on its own as a meal, thanks to carbohydrate-rich potatoes, fiber-filled broccoli, and protein-packed cashews. If the soup is puréed, the broccoli can’t be detected at all, making this a great choice for people (especially those little ones) who may not adore the taste of this nutrient-dense veggie.


1/2 cup cashews
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast*
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Optional: vegan cheese
In a large pot, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for five minutes.

While onions are cooking, blend cashews with one cup of broth in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Add garlic and sauté an additional three minutes.

Add remaining vegetable broth, potatoes, and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add broccoli and simmer an additional five minutes.

Add cashew mixture and stir well.

Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Soup can be enjoyed chunky, or you can purée the mixture in a blender.

*Nutritional yeast provides a nutty, cheesy-like flavor, but you can also add your favorite vegan cheese.

Broccoli Cheese Soup 1.29.17

February 1 2017:

Had fun with dinner last night …. Made myself a flower! HA!!!

Vegan “cheesy” rice surrounded by petals of potato medallions topped with scallions and kalamata olives. Drizzled the potatoes with a yummy balsamic vinegar. Yum! xoxo

Cheesy Rice and Potato Medallions Flower 2.1.17

February 2 2017:

Doesn’t have a name. Just made it up this afternoon as I wanted more soup! Red potato, sweet potato, onions, jalapeño, garlic, sea salt, ground pepper, and ground ginger. Topped off with a swizzle of balsamic vinegar. Creamy and hearty with a hint of spicy! Yum!

Potato Soup 2.2.17

Biggest Little Photographer Goes to Nevada Museum of Art and D iz for Different

February 1 2017:

Great news this afternoon!! The Nevada Museum of Art will soon be selling Biggest Little Photographer too! YAY!! For some reason, I have an image of Snoopy dancing around in my mind … HA!

February 3 2017:

What a great day for a trip to the post office. Two “D iz for Different” books – One to Idaho and one to Washington. Plus, one Biggest Little Photographer to New Orleans …. just in time for Mardi Gras!

Mailing Biggest Little Book and D iz for Different 2.3.17

One Way I Listen to Life’s Messages


February 10 2016:

The way events line up is so interesting. Yesterday morning I had coffee with Jules Holland and we were talking about living an unfiltered life and experiencing the rawness of life. Later in the day, I wrote an article to be submitted to an online website. An article influenced by our conversation.

I wrote it in the format of a letter …. A letter addressed to a meltdown. Dear Meltdown … Later last night Lillian had a huge meltdown. In the midst of it, I remembered what I had just written and remained calm. Had I not had coffee with Jules, talked about what we talked about, wrote the article when I wrote it, I may have handled the meltdown completely differently …. and not so calmly!! Love, love, love … xoxo

C18 Trip July 2016 #35


Movie Review: Back to the Future

February 4 2017:

Team TLC Movie Night – Thomas’ choice: “Back to the Future”

Thomas says, “I loved it! It was really good and I want to see the sequels! Liked the music a lot and liked the plot! Can’t describe it. So good!”

Lillian says, “Good, liked the scenery, the music was okay, awesome, worth watching, great, and amazing.”

I say, “Loved watching this with Thomas and Lillian! Great testament to how one persons encouraging words can have a positive unknown effect.” xoxo

Back to the Future Movie 2017

Dreamy and Crazy Cool Clouds and Walking on Water

January 30 2017:

Just dreamy ….. xoxo

Camilla Walk Vintage Lake 1.30.17

February 2 2017:

Crazy cool clouds during a walk with Lillian yesterday afternoon! Incredibly beautiful!

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 2.2.17 #1 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 2.2.17 #2 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 2.2.17 #3 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 2.2.17 #4 Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 2.2.17 #5

February 3 2017:

Drizzly walk with Thomas yesterday afternoon. He loves this tree …. xoxo

Thomas in Tree at Vintage Lake 2.3.17

Book Review: Liberty’s Voice

Liberty’s Voice

Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus” became forever connected with the Statue of Liberty. Another wonderful true story of one who followed her heart, no matter what.

She overcame the barriers of her day and became one of the leading poets of the nineteenth century. She helped impoverished and poor immigrants of Eastern Europe.

She was inspired by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. She ended up meeting him and he became a friend and mentor.

We all completely enjoyed this one too!

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Liberty's Voice Book 2016

The Heart Knows by Camilla Downs


“The eye cannot
Conceive the miracle
It beholds.
The beauty surpasses
The knowing of
The senses.
The heart knows.
The heart knows.
The heart remembers
How to fly
Into the mystic.
Delivering remembrance
To every cell
Returning us to
and revealing the oneness
Of all.” -2016 Camilla Downs – Author, Lessons from Nature

One Way We Use The Gift of Nature


February 9 2016:

“I think, Lillian worries, Camilla just is.” – Thomas wisdom shared last night as we were reading in my bed before going to sleep …

He had a rough day yesterday. He made a choice at school that caused an un-lovely consequence.

On the ride home I let him know he could not use his digital time as he overused it in the morning. By the time we got home he was in much distress. He had a full blown meltdown when he got home and I knew we needed to go for a walk.

I shared how unhealthy it is to not let oneself feel and experience anger and other negative emotions. That we must find that place where we can let ourself feel it physically, being with it, and without hooking into the story of the negative emotion; which can cause us to be harsh with others.

Nature is a wonderful guide during times like these, times when we resist feeling the rawness of life. About an hour after our walk Thomas had settled into acceptance and we had a great night. May you take advantage of the gift of nature when needed. xoxo

Walk with Thomas Vintage Lake 2.19.16