Not Enough Hours

I ran out of hours yesterday…not just to write a blog post but to do a few other important things, like get my oil changed.  Ugh! I dread car maintenance and more because of the time than the price.

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Monday morning’s breakfast was another variation of 2 Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes (this time I added in flax and pumpkin pie spice).  They were delicious!

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Then I hit the gym for a seriously intense strength session.  After Sunday’s double workout, I was feeling pretty good and proud of myself…that was until my trainer suggested jump squats: )

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I drove back home, windows down and blasting the Governor’s Ball on Alt Nation, where I scooped up the BOY for our weekly grocery store run.  Before we left, I whipped up a smoothie.

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Into the Blender

1 cup almond milk

1 apple

~1/2 cup beet juice

Handful of Spinach

Few ice cubes

 

I drank my refreshing smoothie as we wound our ways through the aisle of Mariano’s figuring out our meals for the week.  I planned to make curry for Monday night’s dinner using my new French curry powder.

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And planned to let the BOY grill up the rest of this week’s meals.  He ended up doing a lot of the work for the curry, for which I was grateful, as I scrambled around unpacking groceries, prepping lunch, and switching laundry.

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I planned to make a few adjustments to this recipe, but misread the instructions and added in the coconut milk right away.  I will leave the recipe as intended below but note that if you want to make it ahead or are feeling lazy, it works this way too.  I had about a million things running through my head but needed to shower and get out the door.  Meanwhile, my printer wasn’t working and the BOY required my assistance on a cover letter…leaving me to feel that there are just never enough hours in the day.

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I drove into Chicago, battling rush hour and Hawks traffic, for a neat opportunity that you will have to wait to hear about…Sorry Friends!  But there were clear streets and clear skies ahead when I flew back home to suburbia.

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The BOY had just dug into the curry and I was excited to try it.  I have to tell you that this veggie combo is awesome…I’ve never done cauliflower in the crockpot before, but I am a fan.  I think that the recipe could use a bit more spice, but I’m not exactly sure which one.  I had leftovers for lunch today with a a sweet potato and it totally hit the spot.

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I did stay up to watch the Hawks game but was pretty tired by that point, so most of my to do list didn’t get done (and might not until next weekend).  Because today was an extra long work day, which left me thinking…there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

 

What spice do you use in your curry?  Do you run out of hours?

 

Meal Planning 6/08/15

Monday: Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: Scallops (chef’s decision)

Thursday: Pork and Veggies

 

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken Curry

Adapted from Le Creme De La Crumb

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped

SAUCE

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or one 14-ounce can + ½ cup chicken broth)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • optional: corn starch slurry (see note)

Directions

  1. Add chicken pieces, peppers, cauliflower, and onions to the slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together chicken broth, curry powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper if using. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir to coat chicken and veggies. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low 4-5 hours.
  3. About 10-15 minutes before serving, stir in coconut milk. Stir just before serving and top with cashews and freshly chopped cilantro.

Five for Friday VII (On Saturday)

1. This mess of a breakfast was an attempt to add blueberries to my Friday Morning Pancakes.  Although I messed up my berry to pancake batter ratio (hence the look), they tasted wonderful!

 

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2. Even though I wore my workout clothes all day today (including gym shoes), I didn’t exercise.  I’ve been one lazy girl this week.  Maybe I can say that I am still recovering from last weekend’s triathlon?!

 

3. I finally opened the new waterproof, dustproof, dropproof GPS camera that I bought last week.  The BOY immediately started setting it up playing with it and broke a strap.  I’ll have a nice long plane ride to read the manual and figure out how to use it.

 

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4. The BOY and I could not decide what to eat for dinner tonight.  We were both feeling too lazy to cook or grill anything.  We were just about to order a pizza when our neighbor mentioned that he was heading out to Panera to pick up dinner.  So for the second time this week, I am having the Power Hummus Chicken Bowl (from the Hidden menu) for dinner!

 

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5. After dinner, the BOY and I joined our neighbors out back to have a few cocktails.  I didn’t return back home until after midnight postponing this post to Saturday morning : )

Tidbits of Saturday

Wake up (kind of), roll over, open eyes, blink at alarm clock, 9:30! No Way!!!

Consider going back to sleep, see the BOY smiling next to me, realize that I really should get up.

Stare at pantry considering breakfast, based on options, decide to make pancakes, sprinkle them with cinnamon.

 

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Change into biking clothes, apply sunscreen, fill water bottles, prepare fuel for BRICK.

 

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Don helmet, reset watch, reset mileage, ride out towards the path.

Ride north towards Barrington, enjoy the fresh air, smile and nod at fellow bikers, turn around and head back towards home.

 

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Enjoy the green trees and cool breeze. 

 

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Ride 16.75 miles in 70 minutes, which is longer than expected.

Arrive home, ditch helmet, change shoes, head back outside.

 

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Adjust 30 minute run to 20 minutes for time’s sake, return to the path, legs feel tired, but body feels strong.

Finish 20 minute run covered in sweat, drink cold water, cool down, take a shower.

Make lunch, lucky to have random leftovers of turkey burgers and lentils.

 

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Drink lots of water, pack up a snack (cantaloupe), and drive to the movie theater.

Order an iced tea, get comfy in seat, remember why I love this theater.

 

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Watch Star Trek movie, this is a GOOD movie, you should go see this movie!

Movie is over, must use the bathroom after drinking huge iced tea, pick up wine of the month at Cooper’s Hawk.

Drive home, take a few minutes to chill out, get ready for dinner, watch the Preakness, get excited about seafood.

 

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Decide to wear white before memorial day, haters need not comment.

Drive to Bob Chinn’s, get excited about no line, sit down, order dinner, and chat with the BOY.

 

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Love every bite of dinner, drive back home, crack open wine, and sit out back listening to music and chatting with the neighbors.

 

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Is there any better way to end the day?

 

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Share a tidbit from your Saturday!

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

During the week, breakfast is usually a make ahead option or something pretty quick.

Luckily, I have complied a list of easy and delicious healthy week day breakfast options…

 

Breakfast Stirfry

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Dough Boy Smoothie

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Overnight Oats in a Jar

 

So on the weekends (and Mondays), I like to do something a little more fun.  For example…Pancakes!  Yes, this blog is full of them.  Mostly because they can be made quickly, offer tons of flexible options, and fuel a morning workout.

 

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This morning, I went with a twist on the 2 Ingredient Pancake adding in some leftover quinoa for protein and texture and cinnamon because that just makes everything taste better.

 

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I ended up with a plateful of tasty mini pancakes that I couldn’t wait to devour!

 

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There’s just something about starting off your day (and week) with a warm breakfast that just feels fun!

 

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By 10am, the weather had gotten about as warm as it was going to get for the day.  At 57 degrees, I was slightly disappointed, but it was time to climb onto my bicycle.  Over the last week, I didn’t get in all of my workouts (because it was busy AND because I was recovering from my half marathon), so I knew today needed to be worthwhile!

 

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I was happy that I added a long sleeve shirt before going outside because on my bike, the wind was chilly!

 

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I had the most peaceful and enjoyable 11 mile ride this morning.  The 45 minutes whizzed by as I soaked up the sunshine.  All of the water from the flooding is gone, and I swear that the grass and trees look even brighter than a week ago.

 

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I finished up my ride, returned my bike to the garage, and headed inside for half a Larabar and to change my shoes.  I have retired my original Pure Cadence shoes after the half marathon, and thought that this morning’s BRICK would be the perfect slow and steady run to start breaking in my new shoes.

 

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BTW, I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to have purple running shoes!  Although the same shoe (Brooks Pure Cadence) this is the second generation so it did feel a little different on my feet.  I ran for 30 minutes and this time took off my long sleeve layer to the heat and sun.  As I was walking out the door, the BOY started talking about lunch.  When I arrived home, he had a rich beer on the container with chicken prepped for the grill.

 

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I showered and got started on laundry, and the BOY excitedly manned the grill out back.

 

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He made himself a colorful Buffalo Chicken Wrap.

 

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And I stuck with simple grilled chicken, a sweet potato, and veggies.

 

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He made extras so I’d have lunch for the week.  AWESOME!

 

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The sun is calling my name, so I am heading out back to hang with the BOY.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

 

Ingredients

1 overripe banana, mashed

1 egg + 1 egg white

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Cinnamon to taste

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Preheat skillet or pan over medium/high heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Drop batter onto skillet with 1/4 measuring cup.  After ~5-7 minutes flip pancakes if ready.  Let sit another 4-5 minutes. 

Serve warm with fruit, syrup, nut butters, coconut or your favorite toppings.

 

 

What is your favorite easy week day breakfast?

What do you like to make for breakfast on the weekends?

Who’s Jenna?

And why do I hate her so much?

 

After eating more carbs this weekend than I had in the previous 2 months combined (not a complaint, just a fact), it was necessary to start Monday morning off well!

 

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I made a batch of Friday Morning Pancakes for breakfast.  But instead of eating them with a pint, I had myself a mug of Chai tea.

 

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Then sat down to check out what CrossFit had in store for me this morning.  Apparently the answer was Jenna?!

 

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All I can say is that this was the HARDEST WORKOUT EVER (and I didn’t even do the Px weight).  I don’t even know the last time that I did a dead lift, and I was worried that I would hurt my back.  But we did a lot of practice and warm up without any weight before practicing with weight.  In the end, I decided to go with 85 pounds.  The Manmakers were an entirely different story.  I didn’t feel anything like a man, just like a baby who wanted to cry.

 

Source

 

A Manmaker starts in the pushup position holding onto two dumbbells. 

One rep goes as follows…

Push Up

Left Row

Push Up

Right Row

Push Up

Squat

Clean

Press Overhead

Repeat!

 

14 reps took up the majority of my time and I used 20 pound weights.  I definitely didn’t get my chest down to the ground on every push up and my heart was beating out of my chest.  Somehow I finished just shy of the 20 minute max in 18:30.  It was brutal!  And I was super sweaty when I was done!

 

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Not too sweaty to make a quick stop by Target to pick up some colorful socks for the Shamrock Shuffle next month.  Then, I swung back home to pick up the BOY for lunch and errands…our typical Monday activities!

 

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We went to Jason’s Deli for soups, sandwiches, and salads.

And of course, the free ice cream!

 

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We had some major shopping to do at Costco, and our car was packed by the time we pulled back into the driveway.

 

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After a cold and icy morning, we were both thrilled to be back home in our warm house!

And I needed to rest my exhausted body on the couch while I caught up on Grey’s Anatomy!

Day Drinking

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I thought about calling this post ‘My Weekend in Pictures’ but Day Drinking just seemed WAY more accurate!

 

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Saturday began in downtown St. Louis at 8am with Pints and Pancakes…

 

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No explanation necessary…

 

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We started with some Guinness (I mixed mine with cider) before moving on to more beers and Mimosas!

 

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Initially, the bar was pretty empty but after the St. Patrick’s Day race ended, the bar became more crowded with runners seeking beer.

 

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The weather was cool, so around noon we ditched the parade for the casino and some basketball games.

 

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Massive quantities of food followed…

 

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Day drinking requires a certain amount of energy!  After the basketball game, we left the city and may or may not have crashed a 5th birthday party at the bowling alley. 

 

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Ok, our friends are related to said 5 year old, but the BOY and I were crashers.  Around 6:00pm, we finally made our way back to our friend’s house after a long day of food, beer, and fun!

 

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The BOY headed straight for the deer jerky while the rest of us dug into the White Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I also made a cup of tea.

 

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It felt amazing to put up my feet!  We relaxed for the next hour before ending our day with dinner and a rerun of the latest Justin Timberlake Saturday Night Live.  By 10:00pm, the four of us were all in bed.  When you’re over 30, it’s tough to transition day drinking into night drinking.  Luckily, we packed more than enough excitement into our day!  The BOY and I were sad to say good bye to our friends this morning, but we already made have plans to see each other again this summer!

 

 

How was your St. Patty’s Day?

Are you a day drinker?

Friday Morning Vacation

I am beyond thrilled with my last minute decision to take the entire day off of work instead of working 5 hours in the morning and then driving back home (30 miles) before driving down to St. Louis!

 

I slept in well past my first patient, and I finally learned how to make flip pancakes!

 

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Yum!  These are incredible!

 

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I had time to make another loaf of Irish Soda Bread to take with us this weekend.

 

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And then sat down to catch up on blog reading, emails, and tea drinking while my bread cooked. 

 

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A little after 10am, I pulled my bread out of the oven and headed outside for some fresh air and sunshine.  Both have been lacking this week!  I also just needed some quiet and alone time, and the path is always so peaceful!

 

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With the all of the ice, snow, and rain these past few weeks, the path was a bit of a mess.  There was ice along some parts that needed to be walked over and a flood so bad that I would have needed a canoe to get across.  Running (and walking) along the trail, I felt calmer than I had all week!

 

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I walked in the front door just after the start of the Indiana vs Illinois basketball game, and.sat down to watch the game with a shamrock shake.

 

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Yea Right!  It’s just a kale, orange, mango green smoothie, which is super tasty!

I definitely need to have more Friday morning vacations in my life!

 

 

 

Friday Morning Pancakes

Adapted from Two Ingredient Pancakes

 

Ingredients

1 banana, mashed

1 egg

1/4 cup almond meal

 

Directions

Combine all three ingredients and stir well.

Pour batter onto a pre-heated, coated-in-non-stick-cooking-spray skillet or fry pan.

Cook and flip!  Top with your favorite pancakes toppings.

Two Ingredient Pancakes [Take II]

I owe you a sincere apology this morning.  It seems that during my quiet Saturday night in eating Mediterranean with the BOY and watching Indiana Basketball while also updating some old blog posts (mostly just adding some tags and fixing some pictures), that I overloaded your inboxes and readers with old posts. 

 

Yikes!  I am so sorry!  That is a lot of Jen for one morning!!!

 

I seem to do well with baking, but fail pretty obviously at blogging.  I hope that you possibly, maybe enjoyed seeing some old posts that you hadn’t read before or learning something new.  For those of you who use WordPress, any tips on making changes or updates without overwhelming my readers???

 

While you are easing into your Sunday catching up on emails, posts, and online shopping, I have no doubt that breakfast is on your mind.  I was reminded last night that I made only one attempt at Two Ingredient Pancakes, and was due for a second try.

 

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So this morning I mashed up a banana, stirred in an egg, and made three actual pancakes with successful flipping!

 

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Since the BOY and I have absolutely NO plans for the day, I decided not to rush out the door for 10am yoga.

 

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Instead, I enjoyed a warm cup of tea with my breakfast and watched some TV with the BOY.

 

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There is always the 11:30am yoga class to attend!

Happy Sunday!

Two Ingredient Pancakes [Take I]

So before I even get into the pancakes, I should probably admit to you that for breakfast I had to sneak just one bite of the homemade pesto pizza the BOY and I made with our friends last night.

 

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That was the BOY’s meatlovers and here is my veggie pesto on thin crust.

 

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It tasted just as good leftover this morning when I had a small sliver before making breakfast.  Also before breakfast….

 

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Hot Black Mango Tea!

 

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When your car looks like this, every little bit of warmth helps : )  It took the BOY and I 30 minutes to thaw out and break into my car before heading downtown today.  Which is why, it was a good thing that I had a hearty breakfast!

 

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I was a huge fan of the Paleo Pancakes and loved Tina’s OMG. Pancakes!, so I knew that I had to try these Two Ingredient Pancakes when I discovered them on Jessie Bear’s website.

 

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It is well documented that I am terrible at flipping pancakes and today was NO different.

 

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I had all of my spatulas on standby as I attempted my flip, but still ended up with a multi-pieced pancake.

 

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So I smothered it with almond butter, coconut and strawberries.  A combination that had my test buds singing and me ready to head back into the kitchen for round II.

 

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I will learn this eventually right?! 

 

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Check out the recipe and tips for making Two-Ingredient Pancakes.

 

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We had an exciting day in the city that started with a cookie decorating lesson with the ladies and ended with fajitas and the family.

 

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And now my tired bottom is back on the couch for the Shameless premiere.

 

 

Any pancake flipping tips?

Healthy New Year Soup

I am swapping the sugary sweet holiday baked goods in for some veggie packed recipes.  Well, at least one veggie packed recipe.  I woke up January 1st with a craving for breakfast.  I whipped up a batch of these Banana Flax Pancakes.

 

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I forget how easy and satisfying these guys are!

 

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The BOY and I spent my last day of winter vacation laying low, and watching some college football.  Despite finishing my antibiotic, I am still nowhere near 100%.  This definitely frustrates me (who wants to be sick for over a week?), and I just don’t have my usual energy levels.  So I took advantage of my last day home finishing my third book this break, Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong (which in my opinion is her best book to date!) and cooking up some food for the week ahead.

 

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We did make one trip out of the house to the grocery store to stock up on some fresh produce for the week.  Since my soup pot was out and clean after NYE dinner, I figured some veggie soup was in order.  I haven’t made a plain veggie soup in some time.  Mostly, because my Mom makes some wonderful soups and is always happy to supply me with her leftovers.

 

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I know that I have commented before on my huge soup pot.  It was a gift to me along with some lessons in soup making when my Mom and our friend Beth came to visit me in Memphis a little over 5 years ago.

 

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Beth makes some wonderful soups, and it was with her in mind that I picked up some cabbage along with all my other veggies for this Healthy New Year Soup.

 

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I think once you’ve made a few veggie soups, you get a feel for what veggies to add, when to add them, and what spices work best.  Needless to say, I ‘m not there yet!

 

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So I just sorta winged it, chopping up veggies and sprinkling in spices to create this veggie packed soup.  The outcome was a thick and hearty soup guaranteed to keep you warm in a winter chill and help you get started with your healthy new year.  However, this doesn’t make it easy to write out a recipe.  I’m not quite positive what I did, if it is typical of making soup, but I know the results worked.  I will do my best to share the recipe but feel free to add in any thoughts or suggestions (I mean you Beth!)

 

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This soup freezes well, so I know that I am well stocked with healthy options for the next few weeks (unless you want some soup and in which case I am happy to share).  Sadly, I downed tonight’s dinner without getting a better photo of my colorful concoction.  What can I say…after my first day back at work, I was starving when I walked in the door. 

 

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So I overcompensated by taking plenty of pictures of tomorrow’s lunch!  I must say that it was tough to get up today.  When my alarm went off at 6am, I had NO idea what the noise was (I hadn’t heard it in 2 weeks).  Even my car seemed a little perturbed to be up and at ‘em before the sun.  But it was nice to be back at work catching up with my friends after the break.  This means that my posts might be a little less frequent as I adjust to the work/life balance and for right now I am done writing because I started book number four, Eat & Run (Thanks Brittany for the suggestion), and I am eager to get back to it.

 

 

Healthy New Year Soup

 

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

10 stalks of celery, chopped

1 package of mushrooms, chopped

1 head of cabbage, chopped

6 carrots, pealed and chopped

4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

6 cups of water

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

Sea Salt (to taste)

Seasonings (I used a mix of basil, garlic, and a veggie mix)

1 bag frozen green beans

1 bag frozen zucchini (fresh if you can find it, but it didn’t look good)

 

Optional: Add your favorite seasonal veggies and sub in frozen as needed!  Other ideas include okra, corn, peppers, beans, etc.

 

 

Directions

Spray the bottom of a large soup pot with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add in onion and garlic.  Stir until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes or so).  Add in celery, mushrooms, and cabbage.

Stir often as flavors begin to blend and veggies soften (another 7-8 minutes).

Add in veggie broth, water, spices, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil (this takes time with a huge pot).

Add in frozen veggies (whatever you want, but I chose beans and zucchini…okra is good too!) and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Freeze in air tight containers and you’ll be set for the winter!

 

 

What healthy recipes are you staring the year with?