Sickness Needs Soup

It’s no secret that I love soups and chilis and this blog is full of recipes for them.  I eat soup year round but like to make it almost every week in the winter time.  This December has been odd (50 degrees and rain), and my soup/chili make has been a little less frequent.  However, when I came down with a full on sinus infection this weekend, I knew I needed some soup.

IMG_20151215_112515752

And I knew I wanted to make it in my brand new Dutch oven!!!

IMG_20151215_112509819_HDR

It had to be a flavorful one since my taste is a bit off from congestion.  I found a recipe chock full of veggies and nutrients on the Goop website, so I had to give it a try.

IMG_20151215_112852249

I knew right away that the BOY was not going to eat it, which gave me freedom to add in whatever I wanted!

IMG_20151215_113230029_HDR

My big substitute was taking out the farro and throwing in some chicken sausage that I had in the fridge.

IMG_20151215_145544181

I had soup made before lunch time with more than enough for the week ahead.

IMG_20151215_114840577

The BOY made plans to come home a little earlier, so I had dinner (and dessert) made and picked up the new Mission Impossible movie at the Redbox for us.  We ate an early dinner and then settled in for a quiet night with plans to get back into our normal routine tomorrow.

IMG_20151215_173235997

 

What do you make when you are sick?

 

Winter Minestrone Soup

Slightly Adapted from GOOP

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely-diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 precooked chicken sausages, diced

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely-chopped (I used dried)

1 teaspoon thyme, finely-chopped (I used dried)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

2 cups packed chopped kale

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 large zucchini, diced

salt and pepper

 

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a pot of dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and a large pinch of salt and sauté 5 minutes.

2. Add sausage, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, and another generous pinch of salt and cook 2 more minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and water, bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add kale, beans, and another pinch of salt and return to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer another 10 minutes.

6. Add diced zucchini, turn off the heat, and let zucchini cook in the warm broth for 1 minute.

7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

8. Serve hot garnished with crushed red chili flakes and pesto, if desired.

Advertisements

The Return of MM

Not Marvelous Monday (although today was pretty awesome)…but, Meatless Monday!

I woke up early yesterday morning and got my meals all planned out for the week.  With the chill in the air, I was ready for some autumn recipes!

IMG_20140923_213528

My meals have been lacking in the greens and veggies this past week, so I stocked up!

IMG_20141006_123613539_HDR

This morning, I headed to the gym for a workout.  My trainer actually got a promotion so I started with a new trainer today.  It was a good workout, but I could definitely tell that I am not fully recovered from last week’s illness.  Even more reason to be eating lots of vitamins and veggies!

IMG_20141006_114726944_HDR

After my workout, I swung by Whole Foods to pick up a probiotic (Good Belly is my favorite and I am hoping that it will get my stomach back under control).  My store just opened a smoothie bar and I happily sucked down a Caribbean Green post-workout drink on my way back home.

IMG_20141006_125403

While the BOY clicked away on his computer, I got started on fall soup.   It was exciting to pull out my soup pot again!

IMG_20141006_125422

This recipe is chock full of veggies, beans, and lentils complete with kale and cabbage.

IMG_20141006_125035053_HDR

Perfect to keep you warm on those chilly fall days!

IMG_20141006_141144756

Unfortunately, this pictures doesn’t do the soup justice because we rushed out of the house this afternoon to head downtown to meet with a photographer for our wedding.  I am confident that his photos will be much better looking than mine : )

Combined with this Autumn Chopped Salad, it’s going to be an exciting week of fall eats!

What is your favorite soup recipe?

What do you eat for Meatless Monday?

 

Meal Planning 10/05/14

Sunday: Buffalo Turkey Chili

Monday: Out to Eat

Tuesday: Sweet Potato Bar (with chicken and broccoli)

Wednesday: BBQ Pork and Veggies

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Lentil, Bean, and Kale Soup (aka Autumn Soup)

Slightly adapted from Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

1 bunch kale leaves

1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black eyed peas, rinsed

¼ cup red lentils

¼ cup green lentils

1 medium onion, diced

3 small carrots, diced

1/2 cabbage, chopped

2 garlic cloves, whole (or chopped)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

28 ounces canned crushed tomato

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 -3 cups water (or veggie stock)

Directions

Sauté the diced onions, carrots, cabbage, and red pepper with garlic cloves in olive oil until they start becoming soft. Chop kale leaves and add them to the pan. Sauté another 5 minutes. The kale leaves will lose their volume. Next add tomato paste, mashing it with a spatula to disperse throughout. Once evenly combined, add the crushed tomatoes, lentils, and beans. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce.

Add water/veggie stock so that there is a 2-inch difference between the top of the water and the top of the mixture. Bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer cooking for 50-60 minutes until carrot and kale leafs are soft enough to eat.

Serve warm with crusty bread or freeze for later.

Watch What You Wish For

By Saturday morning, I thought I was on the mend.  So much so that I even took my bike out for a short ride around the path.  By Saturday night, I knew it was just a medicine induced false sense of wellness.  The BOY and I ended up canceling our sushi date night and instead brought sushi take out home.  We were both in bed early although neither of us slept well.  The BOY having some pre Bar panic attacks and me having just plain old trouble breathing.  By Sunday morning, it was clear that I would need some antibiotic help to get through the week ahead.

PhotoGrid_1405892864348

#greenjuice

This weekend was filled with couch time, movies, cleaning, the Tour de France, and Cooper.  Actually, not a terrible way to spend 3 days and something I have been saying that I need.  The 4 day sinus infection, sore throat, and headache on the other hand.  I definitely didn’t need!  Heading into the weekend, our house was a mess, I was a mess, and Cooper was a bit of a mess…with the BOY not too far behind on that scale.

IMG_20140721_124942224_HDR

Now I can say that I am a little more organized and a little less of a mess.  I would have loved to have gotten myself to a yoga class this weekend but my sinuses were not quite ready for downward facing dog.  I’m hoping that the antibiotics will help with that!  After the doctor’s office, I went straight to Whole Foods for probiotics.

IMG_20140721_100645481

I should note that I made my meal plan with an optimistic mind before I hit rock bottom last night.  Tonight’s dinner was really easy so that I got made in between catching up on trashy TV shows, but we’ll have to see how exhausted I am after going back to work tomorrow.  I may be living on leftover meatballs all week.

IMG_20140721_144651535

Speaking of meatballs…for this recipe I kind of combined and adapted the meatball from Skinny  Taste with the delicious sauce that I am still talking about from these Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches.  What made this sauce so great was the accidental purchase of chopped tomatoes with olive oil, which I couldn’t find at the grocery store this week.  It kind of makes me wonder if I made them up…hmmm!

IMG_20140721_145300174

With my foggy medicine head, I did the best adaption that I could.  And then took my sick self back to the couch to drink tea.

IMG_20140721_145705034

The BOY is on his own for dinner this week (by choice he has officially moved into the library) but I know he’s wishing he had a delicious meatball sandwich tonight.

IMG_20140721_184412352

For dessert…one of my favorite summer snacks! Almond butter and dark chocolate stuffed fresh figs!

IMG_20140720_193607376 IMG_20140720_193650889

When it comes to sinus infections, some times you have to feel worse before you get better.  Unfortunately, that was today.  My stomach, my head, a harsh cough…nothing was feeling happy.  I am hopeful that 24 hours of antibiotics will have me feeling strong and ready for work tomorrow morning.

 

Meal Planning 7/20/14

Sunday: Burgers and Mushrooms

Monday: Crockpot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Tuesday: The World’s Best Chicken (we shall see)

Wednesday: Salmon and Veggies

Thursday: Work Meeting

 

Italian Turkey Meatballs

Adapted from SkinnyTaste

 

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey breast, 93% lean

1/4 cup panko

1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese

Oregano and Basil

1 egg

1 large clove garlic, crushed

Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 14oz cans tomato sauce, low sodium

1 can crushed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

6 oz tomato paste

1 tbsp olive oil

Garlic, Basil, Oregano

Directions

Stir together tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, and seasonings in the bottom of large slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.

In a separate bowl, mix turkey, panko, cheese, egg, and seasonings.  Mix well with your hands.  Roll turkey mixture into small meatballs and place in slow cooker. 

Cook on low for 6 hours until meat is cooked through.

Serve on sandwiches, over pasta, or with your favorite veggie/squash substitute.

Juiced

Doesn’t it seem like everyone is juicing?!

Pinterest is full of delicious looking concoctions, and I have to say I find it an awesome way to up my intake of greens!

 

IMG_1395

 

So I don’t actually have a juicer or even a vitamix, but I have a pretty new blender that makes some awesome, healthy drinks.  I’m a huge fan of the green smoothie, and I’ve recently started getting into the juice.

 

IMG_1424

 

The benefit of juicing in a blender is that you don’t get rid of the pulp.  With a good blender, you barely notice it and it keeps all of the nutrients of your veggies in the drink

 

IMG_1425.

 

This week, I used some of the sweet strawberries from my Costco sized container and a few slices of kiwi.

 

IMG_1401

 

The rest got packaged up for lunch during the week.  So although juicing isn’t new to everyone, it’s new to my kitchen, and I just might be addicted.

 

IMG_1427

 

Especially since now that I know I can double my batch and have fresh juice ready for the next morning.

 

IMG_1430

 

It just needs a shake and then you can grab it and go!

 

IMG_1431

 

 

Do you make juice?

Share some ‘recipe’ links!

 

 

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Kale Juice

 

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries

1 kiwi, sliced

1 large handful of spinach or kale

1 cup coconut water or tap water

1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)

Lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon

Ice cubes

 

Directions

Place water and greens in blender and chop.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low for about 1 minute.  Increase to high and blend until smooth.

Add ice and blend well!

Store in water bottle or glass jar.

Crockpot Winter Minestrone with Kale

Hello Friends!

IMG_20140112_201743851

 

It’s 8:30pm and my eyelids are starting to feel heavy, but I’ve got about 5 half written posts (including my bucket list) that I’d love to share with you this week.  Like mostly everyone else, I’m attempting to start the year off healthy.

 

It’s been hard to nail down an exercise schedule these past few weeks (with holidays and record breaking freezing temperatures and all), but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a plan in my head.

 

IMG_20140113_102208308

 

Last Monday, was supposed to be my first training session with a personal trainer.  I’ve had it on the calendar for a month, and I was really looking forward to it.  Between sickness and weather, we cancelled, which I think was the right decision.  I couldn’t figure out how I would exercise on Monday and then head back into the frozen tundra my car to drive home without getting chills.  We finally got started today, which will be great as I have been slacking on the strength training.  Our first meeting involved some tests (body fat) and measures (yuck!) along with talking about my goals.  Which are…to tone up, fit into my jeans comfortably, and feel comfortable and in a bathing suit.  She complemented me on my legs and says that we’ll attack my arms and core each week.  Yup, that sounds about right!

 

IMG_20140113_102205208

 

Also on the agenda for last Monday that got cancelled and rescheduled for today was the BOY and my first day of tennis lessons at the park district.  The timing of this worked out well since the BOY was still sick and our cars questionable.  I really had no idea what to expect. I think I took one tennis lesson around age 7, and my skills are lacking to say the least.  The best part was that everyone else in the class had to move to another day, so the adult beginner class consists of ME and the BOY only!  Our pro is really nice and we had a lot of fun tonight.  The BOY was sweating, and we are hoping to find another day that we can practice before our next lesson.

 

IMG_20140113_201128046

 

On tomorrow’s agenda…running at the track.  After a week of mostly inactivity, it feels good to get back into my groove.  And my meal planning groove.  I had a busy day today, so I was actually at the grocery store at 9am.  Let me tell you…the place is empty at that hour.  Then came home and quickly put minestrone in the crockpot before running off to my training session.

 

IMG_20140113_201145735

 

This day went on forever, so it wasn’t until 5:40 when I walked in the door to change for tennis that I asked the BOY to turn the crockpot down to ‘warm’ and walked back out the door at 5:46 without even looking at my soup.  Note: the house smelled like Italian food when I walked in, which was delicious!

 

IMG_20140113_201820006

 

What I learned about this long day of crockpot cooking is that 10 hours is way too long for small noodles (like shells) to be in your crockpot.  That being said, my soup is not lacking at all and I reflected this change in the recipe written below.  This soup is jam packed with hearty veggies and healthy superfoods.  I can’t wait to dig in for lunch tomorrow!

 

IMG_20140113_201833648

 

Meal Planning 1/13/14

Monday: Tilapia with Pear and Avocado Salad

 

Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans

 

Wednesday: Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Friday: TBD but probably eating out?!

 

 

How have you been exercising this winter?

 

 

Winter Minestrone with Kale

Adapted from Crave

 

Ingredients

Good olive oil

3 chicken sausages, sliced (I used a tomato basil flavor)

1 chopped yellow onions

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) diced peeled butternut squash

2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2 teaspoons chopped thyme

26 ounces canned chopped tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups cooked whole wheat small pasta

8 to 10 ounces fresh kale

2 tablespoons store-bought pesto

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

 

Directions

To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook according to the directions on the package, drain, and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot. Add the chicken sausage and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the sausage, onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme in a slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.  Add the tomatoes, 4 cups of the chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  2 hours before the end, add in cooked pasta.  30 minutes before serving, add the kale ad pesto and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted.  Serve with parmesan cheese or more pesto.

Run Down

Man, I am feeling run down this weekend. ( Note: my definition of weekend includes Monday since I don’t work today! )

And this is not just because I stayed up late to watch the fairly predictable Oscar’s last night.  It all started Saturday morning when I had a slow start to the day, followed by a nap, before actually putting in my contacts at 1pm. 

 

IMAG1319

 

I did hit the neighborhood for a 30 minute run.  It was pretty slow and I felt like I was running with weights strapped to my ankles.  I have no idea why I felt so tired.  It’s possible that it had to due with a stressful week that lacked my usual hours of sleep or maybe I’m just coming down with something.

 

IMG_0791

 

For whatever reason, I was running on empty, literally!  Sunday morning was Hot Yoga!  This is always a challenging class, but this week my legs were shaking like crazy 30 seconds into chair pose.  Although my balance poses were on, I was more than ready for child’s pose, stretching, and shavasana by the end.  The rest of the day was laid back and productive.  I had a lot to do around the house (yes, my pantry needed to be reorganized AGAIN) and a run down weekend is the prefect time for these types of activities.

 

IMAG1372

 

It’s no surprise that I didn’t wake up until my alarm went off this morning after more than 9 hours of sleep.  I set it for 30 more minutes waking up a few minutes before I needed to get ready for CrossFit.  I was a little nervous to go to this morning’s workout, especially when I found out that it involved burpees.  I knew that I didn’t have 100% of my energy but I figured I would do the best that I could.  Thankfully, the people I workout with are super supportive and there is great energy in the gym.  I survived today’s WOD AMRAP 8 although at one point I thought I might fall over : )  I made it through the ~2 minute cash out (optional) workout too.

 

IMG_1422

 

When I got done with my workout, I felt strong but tired.  I knew I needed some serious energy in the form of a refreshing smoothie.  I recently saw a carrot and orange smoothie on Herbivore Triathlete that intrigued me.  I didn’t have any fresh carrot juice, but thought that maybe my new blender could puree the carrots good enough to be a smoothie.

 

IMG_1424

 

On a whim, I threw in some kale.

 

IMG_1426

 

I had full intentions of adding ginger as well, but didn’t have time.

 

IMG_1428

 

I took one quick sip before packing up my smoothie to go.

 

IMG_1433

 

The BOY had an eye doctor appointment and I was going along to help him pick out new glasses.  Meanwhile, I found some glasses of my own to try on.

 

IMAG1716 IMAG1717

 

While I was keeping myself busy reading a magazine, I saw a similar smoothie (minus the kale) in Clean Eating Magazine.   The best part is that it is supposed to boost energy.  That’s exactly what I needed this weekend!  When I’m feeling run down, it effects more than just my workouts.  I don’t make wise decisions about snacking and my memory stinks.  Looking to the week ahead,  I am committing to catching up on sleep, eating well, and working out hard.

 

 

Do you have weekends where you feel run down?

How do you get energized again?

 

 

Carrot, Orange, and Kale Smoothie

 

Ingredients

2 carrots, peeled and chopped (or carrot juice)

1 large orange, peeled (or 1 medium orange and 1 cutie)

1 handful of kale

1 cup of almond milk

1 handful of ice cubes

Ginger (optional)

 

Directions

-Chop carrots finely and then use your blender to puree.

-Add oranges and blend to combine.

-Add kale (and ginger if using) and blend well.  Stream in almond milk to preferred consistency.

-Add ice cubes and process until smooth.

-Sip Up!

3 Bags Full

I came out of hibernation today.  It seems that my hibernation was a little premature being that it reached 45 degrees outside.  I also had a lot of worthwhile places to be.

 

IMG_9769

 

After a filling breakfast of eggs and toast, I hit the trail for a ~4 mile run.  The air was damp but the weather was warm.  I kept having to remind myself that it was December 8th!  There is nothing more refreshing after a run than a Green Smoothie

 

IMG_9772

 

Especially this time of year when greens are replaced with holiday sweets!

 

IMG_9777

 

This morning’s blend included:

Kale

1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1/4 cup oats

Frozen mango (whatever was left in the bag)

Ice cubes

 

IMG_9778

 

I’m still getting used to how powerful my new blender is.  It’s incredible how quickly everything comes together.  My old blender had to be 8 years old which is pretty ancient in terms of kitchen gadgets.  I grabbed my smoothie, and the BOY and I headed out the door for our biannual dentist visit.  It was a happy visit for both!  Look Mom…no cavities!

 

On the way back we stopped for lunch.

 

IMAG1176

 

It was the first meal the BOY and I have had together in a few days, so it was nice to sit and catch up for bit before heading our separate ways.  The BOY was off to the library (1 final down, 3 more to go), and I was back here for a facial.

 

IMAG1163

 

This was a HUGE treat and I walked out almost 2 hours later literally glowing!  Clean teeth…clean skin…what a day!  I swung by Whole Foods and then Target before making my way back home to return to hibernation.

 

Can you guess what I am doing this weekend?

 

IMAG1179

 

And No, the BOY and I didn’t break up…ha ha!

 

IMAG1180

 

I stocked up on sugar, chocolate, more sugar, butter, and flour for Sunday’s Bake-a-thon which I am SUPER excited for!

1 Trip to Target = 3 Full Bags of baking goodness!

 

IMAG1181

 

I walked in the door, unpacked my goodies and gave the BOY the hand off to get started on dinner.  I picked up the food and he was in charge of cooking it.

 

IMG_9792

 

My jobs…pouring the wine!

 

IMG_9787

 

And making this simple seasonal dessert.

 

IMG_9799

 

Dinner was ready (yummy shrimp fajitas!), and the BOY and I sat down to watch the DVRed Indiana Basketball game.

 

IMG_9794

 

There’s definitely something nice about fast forwarding through the commercials and getting to replay all of the acrobatic dunks.  After a busy day, it feels great to be back home in hibernation mode with the BOY.  But I can’t stay up too late because I have a busy day of baking with my Mom ahead of me.

 

IMG_9789

 

Happy Hanukkah!