soup recipe

Snowed In and Some Winter Soup

Snow Day!!!

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On Wednesday we left work early because daycare was closing early–which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We picked up the baby and got home in no time at all and I was able to work from home for a few hours. Unfortunately, a lot of people I know, and some coworkers, didn’t get as lucky. Lots of people’s commutes were 2-4 hours!! Lots of cars got stuck, crashed, people abandoned their cars and walked, some people took cabs and got gouged for outrages rates, a school bus with kids inside slid down an icy hill and crashed (everyone was ok). It was chaos! For only a few inches!

To be fair, it doesn’t snow often in Portland–usually we get hit with ice and that’s worse. But not many of us local PNW-ers are experienced driving in snow AND it’s so hilly that roads get icy and treacherous, and so the city pretty much shuts down.

Thursday work was closed and so I did a little bit of work on my laptop (when I had some, which wasn’t much) but basically I had a snow day too! YAY!

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Logan let us sleep in a bit, which was a nice bonus, and Michael made breakfast burritos. Then I worked out in my living room.

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Snowed In Workout

Warm-up with resistance bands

Push-ups: 2 sets of 10

Bicep curls with resistance band: 3 sets of 10

Chest press with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Overhead Triceps with 2 15 pound dumbbells: 3 sets of 10

Mountain Climbers: 4 sets of 20

Kettlebell Swing with 20 pound KB: 4 sets of 10

Squats: 3 sets of 10

Plank Jacks: 4 sets of 15

Abs:

V-ups: 3 sets of 15

Toe touches with 8lb ball: 3 sets of 20

Bird Dogs: 3 sets of 10 each side

Cobra: 4 sets of 10

Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 12

Plank: 30 second hold twice

Finished up with PT exercises for back and stretching.

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Logan’s playmate works great as a workout matt, too! 😉

I’m super happy with my home workout! Even though I was snowed in and couldn’t get to the gym–I was able to get some fitness in. I immediately felt better after working out. And trust me, it’s been a rough month and a half of being sick and my fitness being super spotty. So it was an extra bonus to work out consistently this week (despite the weather!).

Later, Michael braved the weather and picked up some groceries. He got some tomato bisque and made us grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.

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It really hit the spot!

The rest of the afternoon I did some work, took a nap (I wasn’t feeling great still) and Logan took a nap and then I made us dinner.

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I was a vegetarian for about 10 years a long time ago. I’ve talked about it before, and how I was a terrible vegetarian. And while I’m no longer a vegetarian, I do tend to lean more towards vegetarian meals when I have to cook for myself. Thankfully I’m a little better at it these days and don’t just eat crap AND there are much better options out there for vegetarians than when I was one.

I really love Angela’s recipes at Oh She Glows. Not only is her website gorgeous, the recipes I’ve tried have been really good–even if they ARE vegan/vegetarian.

I’ve had this particular recipe for a few months now and finally made it. The snowy, cold weather just seemed fitting for a hearty soup.

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Category: baby, calories, Cooking, Dinner, fitness, food, Food update, Free Weights, Gym-free, kettle bells, kettlebells, Leftovers, Low Calorie Recipes, Lunch, lunch, meat, Memories, Michael, Oregon, Portland, recipes, Recommendations, Review, Snow, soup, Vegetarian, veggies, weight training, weights, wine, Winter

Servings: 7 cups

Note from author: I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

From: http://ohsheglows.com/2016/04/03/glowing-spiced-lentil-soup/

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 calories
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=51207

The recipe was REALLY easy. Like seriously. You can easily make this on a work night when you don’t have a lot of time. I prepped stuff (chopped onion, garlic, got all the ingredients out) and that took about 10 minutes and then I played with Logan and when it was time to really start cooking Michael took the baby and got him ready for bed.

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I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth because neither of us are vegetarian and I kinda wanted a little more flavor in it. Other than that, I followed the recipe completely. She said you could add chard, kale or spinach. I used kale and baby spinach.

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I opened a bottle of wine and toasted some asiago bread, topping it with the garlic Irish butter.

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It was so good! It was the perfect dinner for a snowed-in day.

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It was hearty and filling and completely satisfying. I really enjoyed the dinner. (Even though I was congested from yet another cold.) Michael said it would be better with some sausage in it–maybe so. Like I said above, I am usually cool with vegetarian meals. So I don’t necessarily feel like the dish was lacking because it didn’t have meat. But you can easily add something to this and I think it would still work.

I think our dinners were about a serving and a half. I have about 3 or 4 servings of leftovers and I think it will taste even better after sitting overnight.

After dinner we watched a few episodes of WestWorld. 🙂

Veggie Love

veggies

Lately I’ve been craving vegetables like crazy. I’ve always been a fan of veggies but for some reason I recently started craving them. I made a switch in my diet and started incorporating more veggies in my diet to satisfy that craving and I found that I was really enjoying roasted vegetables for lunch during the week.

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I’ve been rotating what I roast. For awhile I was doing carrots, onions, broccoli and pre-chopped butternut squash from Trader Joe’s. Then I did carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and onions. I don’t know why it took me so long to roast these babies. They are so good! I use a little bit of olive oil or the spray-on coconut oil from Trader Joe’s, then use salt, pepper and the Costco no-salt seasoning. That’s about it! And they come out delicious, perfectly cooked (although the sweet potatoes are often a little softer than the rest of the veggies).

This has been a base for my lunches at work lately. I love it! I tried it with some rice; for a few days I added some half a cooked spicy bratwurst (splitting one brat between two lunches); I also tried adding some cooked cubed chicken. All of those variations worked well and kept me fairly full for the rest of the afternoon.

One of the problems with the frozen meals (Lean Cuisines, etc) was that I would be hungry again in 1-2 hours after eating lunch. Then I’d start snacking on the candy at work. I was sabotaging myself by eating processed food that wasn’t filling, wasn’t enough calories and just made me hungry.

A tip that I learned a long time ago was to spend 1 hour doing food prep after grocery shopping. I am so glad I adopted this habit. I get home from the store and I take the time to chop the vegetables and on Sunday nights Michael and I cook up various meats (like pork sausage for breakfasts for the week, chicken breasts for lunches, etc). It makes it so much easier to make a good choice when looking to make something to eat quickly.

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One night Michael and I went out for a date night dinner to Laughing Planet. It’s a great restaurant, especially if you have kids. They have tons of really healthy options, a rotating menu and they post the nutritional information for the meals. You also have the option to put your burrito in a bowl to make it low-carb.

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I ended up ordering the daily special. It was called the “Winter’s Bounty Bowl.” It was pulled pork with Korean BBQ sauce, spinach, roasted Brussels sprouts on top of a butternut squash puree. Then it was topped with an apple, ginger and mango relish. It was SO good! And it was really filling. I am totally going to try and recreate this recipe at home soon!

Back to lunches…I’ve been trying to look for some recipes and ideas for other lunch options. I’ve collected a few. Here is one:

Carrot Coconut Curry Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Category: calories, food, Food update, Low Calorie Recipes, portions, Portland Restaurants, recipes, Recommendations, Review, soup, Vegetarian, veggies

Servings: 4 servings

From: http://www.acouplecooks.com/2014/09/carrot-coconut-curry-soup/

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 4 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth
  • 14-ounce can coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cilantro, lime wedges, and red pepper flakes (to garnish)

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion. Peel and mince 1 tablespoon ginger. Peel and chop 4 cups carrots.
  2. In a medium stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger, carrots, and 2½ cups vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer; cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. When the carrots are soft, carefully blend with an immersion blender (or in a blender) until the carrots are smooth.
  5. Return the carrot mixture to the pot and add 1 can coconut milk and 2 tablespoons red curry paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add about ½ teaspoon kosher salt, then taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  6. Serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and red pepper flakes if desired.
  7. Notes: Slightly adapted from Easy Gourmet by Stephanie Le

Nutrition Facts

Carrot Coconut Curry Soup

Serves

Amount Per Serving
Calories 204
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=45882

I recently had the Thai carrot soup at Whole Foods from their soup/salad bar and it was OMG AMAZING. I immediately tried to find the recipe because I had to make it myself. I didn’t find one specifically from Whole Foods but I found a bunch of options and settled on this one to try first. It was super easy to make and didn’t have a ton of ingredients. The only thing I changed: I used the Light Coconut Milk instead of the full fat like the recipe said. It’s what I had on hand and honestly,  I didn’t want the extra calories from the full-fat version.

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One thing I’ve learned making Asian dishes–never add extra salt. A lot of recipes call for a pinch or two of salt (sometimes more). But if you’re using jars of curry paste, or chili paste, or other Asian ingredients from a can/jar/package–IT ALREADY HAS SALT! And sometimes a lot of it. I learned that lesson the hard way and now I almost never add salt to recipes I make when using these ingredients. It’s just not necessary.

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I cooked everything up and let it simmer for awhile and then used my immersion blender to get the soup creamy. I love that blender! It’s so easy to use and it works really well. Plus I don’t have to mess with pouring things into a blender and then spilling it all over the place. So much cleaner and easier. I blended up the carrot mixture until it was the consistency of baby food then I added the curry paste and coconut milk.

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The one downside of the immersion blender–I did get splattered a few times when I used the fast speed. Ooops! After everything was all mixed in I let it simmer for 10 minutes and then tasted it. It needed a little something…I added a pinch of Splenda and then tasted it again. I added one more pinch of Splenda and then it was perfect. I hadn’t expected having to add sweetener because carrots are already so sweet but the soup was just a tad on the bitter side. The Splenda fixed that right up and the soup was perfect!

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I got 5 GENEROUS servings out of this recipe instead of 4, which made the calories more like 165 calories instead of 200+. This could have easily been 6 servings for dinner–with maybe some crunchy French bread and a salad. The soup was creamy and the texture was perfect. It was also surprisingly spicy!

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I loved the soup. It was SO CLOSE to the Whole Foods recipe. I’m not sure where it’s different. I need to have the WF version again. I’m sure they used fresh ginger (I used powdered) and they probably used the full fat coconut milk. Maybe those small changes made the difference? I’m not sure but I loved my version. It was tasty and filling, low in calories and spicy!  Yum! Yum! I also had a bunch of leftovers for work lunches. Perfect!

What are your favorite veggie recipes?