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Bridemaid’s Slimming Soup

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Sorry about hitting you with the extreme close-up right away, but the other shots had a little shine and I did NOT want you to think that this soup is greasy.  Let me tell you about this soup:

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It is fabulous!  First of all, it makes eight servings.  I’m usually good for four.  Five is pretty much the limit.  I figured I could throw some sausage in there and give the leftovers to my husband.  He never even knew it was in the fridge.  I ate it all by myself.

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Those are leeks back there.

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I may have gone a little overboard on the thyme, but have you ever heard anyone say, uh, I think there’s too much thyme in here?

Here’s the basics:  cook a cup of barley and set aside.  Saute all of the above for about 12 minutes.  Add six cups of chicken/vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.  Add two cups of chopped kale and simmer for ten.  Stir in the cooked barley.

Here’s where it gets crazy:  add 1/2 cup of walnuts.  If you think it’s nuts to add nuts to soup, think again.  They add a nice little crunch.

This was in CK’s seven-day plan.  Apparently if you have to be in a wedding and wear a fancy dress it should help you slim down.  CK has done this several times.  Personally, I’ve been an MOH or a BM four times, but the only wedding I ever slimmed down for was my own.  If I was more organized I would torture you with some photographic evidence.  You’re welcome.

Anyway, CK recommends a toasted pita with the soup.  I am a wholehearted dip-your-PB&J-into-your-soup kind of girl.  And a few saltines on the end won’t hurt either.  I’m here to tell you that the toasted pita was an excellent choice.  I scooped some soup by the bite.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

Gone Bananas Chocolate Oatmeal

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Isn’t interesting how the most simple things are the most amazing?

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I highly recommend natural peanut butter.  CK suggested it, but I read right past it; so this one is my beloved honey roast Peter Pan.  The next three days (and into eternity) I used (and will use in futuro) the natural version.  I also used Ghiradelli Midnight Reverie.  I couldn’t resist the name.

Don’t forget the moderation:  one serving is half of a banana, one square of chocolate, two teaspoons of peanut butter, 3/4 teaspoon of brown sugar.  Oh, and 1/2 cup of oatmeal cooked to your liking.  The magic number is 335 calories!

In case my opinion isn’t clear:  this was a perfect fall breakfast that I will be repeating many times until next spring.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

Sunday Summary

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Monday and Tuesday:  work and work.   I made some kale chips somewhere in there, but I didn’t take a picture and my recollection is blurry.

Wednesday:  more work.  It’s been one week of all CK recipes all the time.  I lost 4.7 pounds.

Thursday:  more work.  Also, things are pretty dull around here due to the whole calorie-counting thing.

Friday:   After my job I finally made it to the high to see the Dutch artists.  I’m glad I did it, but there was a little too much of a crowd for my liking.

Finally, Jake is here to eat.  I made Whole Go-To Roasted Chicken, from Cook Yourself Sexy.  There’s a lot going on inside there.

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Saturday:  Drink of the Week:  Rosemary Lemonade.  Perfectly refreshing for our evening by the fire pit.

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It may not look like much, but there’s vodka in there too.

Sunday:  I made Roasted Fig and Honey Chevre Flatbread.    I may have gone a little overboard on the balsamic glaze.  This is one of those times that it really pays to read the recipe ahead of time.  Roast the figs, make the glaze, caramelize the onions.  Time consuming, but worth it.

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I also met Marnie for coffee today.  I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  I usually like to wait until October, but I’m only a little ahead of schedule and it was awesome.

Good Deed of the Week:  Walk Around Your Block and Pick Up Some Trash.  I guess I kind of cheated on this one.  My neighborhood is pretty small and very clean.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Homemade Veggie Burgers

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I’m really tempted to call these Best Ever, but it’s actually my first attempt at the homemade version so I don’t want to be too uppity.

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My only complaint is the amount of shallots.  1/2 a cup is just too much.  But that’s just me.

The rest is just a can of chickpeas and a cup of rolled oats with 1/2 cup of walnuts in the food processor.   Add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and your herb/spice of choice.  I, of course, followed the recipe to a T and used cumin, turmeric, and fresh oregano.

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It makes a pretty good size patty.

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They brown up very nicely.

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And they’re only 284 calories.

I did deviate a little bit on the leftovers.  The recipe suggested topping with arugula and sliced apples.   Well, my wheels started turning, and I wound up using yesterday’s salad as a topping.  It added the perfect crunch.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad

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I actually wasn’t too thrilled about this salad either.
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But, boy, was I wrong.  This is fabulous.

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The apples are hiding underneath.

The dressing is just nonfat Greek yogurt with apple cider vinegar and agave.  Throw some fennel seeds and salt in there.  And cayenne, if you feel so inclined.

The slaw itself only uses half of a head of red cabbage and half of a Savoy.  All week I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the other half.  If finally dawned on me:  make this recipe again!

From Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.

 

So Cali Nicoise

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I’m no expert, but I’m guessing Candice Kumai calls this Cali because there’s an avocado in it.  I suppose that’s legit since technically it’s a Nicoise because of the olives.

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Admittedly, I wasn’t so excited about having this for lunch four days in a row.  But the kidneys were a nice addition and the balsamic dressing has just a hint of agave.

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And I do love some arugula.   The rest of the cast includes eggs and capers with tuna.  CK recommends red onion, but I just don’t go for that raw.

CK says:  Lean, fresh, and lovely . . . you are what you eat!

So true.   Cupcakes are fun to look at on the Web, but I don’t want to be one.

Eat Well and Savor.

Macerated Fresh Peaches

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Over Homemade Muesli.

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I’m sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with a special announcement:  This blog is going on a diet.

I really hate to use the word diet, because it implies deprivation and boring meals.  Au contraire.  I never go hungry.  In fact, I usually eat more on a diet.  Hello, snacking on fruit three times a day.    However, this means that unless the cookbook has calorie counts, it ain’t happening.  Depressing, I know.  That means good-bye Giada, Brian Boitano, and Joy the Baker, et al.  Never fear, these strict guidelines will only be adhered to until my vacation in November.

At the moment, though, I need constant vigilance.   Fortunately, I am already a fan of Candice Kumai.  This recipe is from her new book, Cook Yourself Sexy.   I couldn’t resist the menus and the fact that CK steers clear of processed ingredients and focuses on food with benefits.

Two things CK recommends we will not be doing:  giving up coffee and switching to almond milk.   I think the first needs no explanation.  As for the almond milk, I’ve got nothing against it.  I actually used to use soy milk on my cereal for years because it was only one WW point instead of two.  I just don’t feel the need.

Before you get started you should know that’ I’ve lost four pounds in four days.

On with the show.

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You’ve gotta love a recipe that you can make in a Ziploc bag.    And you’re welcome.  I took a picture of every layer of this mix and decided not to post them.   So you’ll allow me one more of the mix.  Thanks.

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The peaches are macerated in elderflower liqueur.  No complaints here.  But it did make me wonder if I could eat them at work and then drive home.

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Even though I am a fan of the fact that variety is the spice of life, for the next two months it’s going to be all CK all the time.  At least that’s the plan.

Full disclosure:  I bought a book called Cheese Obsession yesterday.   Yes, it’s filled with cheese recipes.   Stay tuned.

Eat Well and Savor.