a bowl of soup

I love cheesecake.

I love rich, creamy, lemon infused frostings.

I love butter.

I love all of these things and more.  Which surprises some people.  You have to admit, it is just a little ironic for a dietetics student to be totally into these sorts of things.  You know?

I guess you could say that I’ve found the common ground between my deep desire to be healthy, strong, and confident, while also indulging in all of the things I love.  Intuitive eating.  It’s a process.  A life long journey.  And, speaking from one friend to the next, let me tell you: it’s completely worth the effort. 

Speaking of indulging in all of the things I love, nothing is more suiting for a post-holiday lunch than a hot vegetable soup. 

I consider most of my vegetable soup recipes to be the beginning step.

A red bell pepper is added here.  A zucchini is added there.  Some extra seasoning, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper.  Most of the time, no two soups are exactly alike.  This is true.  Most of the time.  And yet, whenever I make this particular soup, I pause for a second, carefully considering what I want to add. 

And then it hits me.  Nothing.  I don’t want to add a thing.  It’s perfect, just the way it is.  To think I found this simple recipe in a grocery store handout. 😉

On the side, I broke up the last of my quinoa burger, added some freshly chopped spinach and tomatoes, added some hot sauce, and dunked my tortilla chips.  I loved the soft, nutty nexture of the quinoa burgers against the salty crunch of the tortillas.  Yum!

Minestrone Soup

This soup gets better and better with age.  Flavors meld.  The cabbage sweetens.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

In other words—for best results—make this soup at least one day ahead and enjoy it to the fullest on the following day.  This is a lovely soup filled with nutrients and flavor.  Perfect for a cold autumn afternoon. 😀

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 quart low- or reduced sodium broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 2 cups white beans, cooked
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onions, celery, and garlic.  Saute until tender but not browned. 
  2. Add basil and oregano.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped zucchini and carrots; cook for another few minutes.  Pour in chicken or vegetable broth, cooked beans and tomatoes. 
  4. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.  Alow soup to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add water as needed.
  5. Add chopped cabbage and parsley and cook for about 10 minutes more.  Add pepper to taste.
  6. ENJOY!

 

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love Black Friday??? :mrgreen:

Nicole and I were up at 4 this morning.  Ready by 5.  Shopping by 6. 

Breakfast was taken to go.  Hair was thrown up in a ponytail.  Shopping adrenaline gave us energy.

I.  Love.  Black.  Friday. :mrgreen:

I especially love it when we both walk home having found great deals and wonderful memories. 

Stores were filled, filled, filled with awesome 50% discounts, so of course we went a little crazy on clothes we needed (and loved!)  I even had a little bit of left-over money for some fun accessories! 😀 

And new clothes for presentations and other prefessional things.  😀

The day was long, but we never actually grew tired.  Shopping adrenaline carries far.  And—at the risk of sounding like crazy, hardcore Black Friday shoppers—we’re already planning our trip for next year. 😉

Question: Do your workouts change as the cold weather comes along, or do you stay pretty constant throughout the year?

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goals and basil

Warning: My day was completely random.  This post will follow suit.  :mrgreen:

I love new months!!  Who cares if it’s August 4th, and I’m just now getting to this topic?  Not me!  I don’t think it’s ever too late to reflect on past goals, while also making new ones. 

July’s Goals

  • no tv for the month
  • incorporate strength training into my daily routine and learn to love it!

Results???

 

(source)

It was hard.  Really, really hard.  For the first week, I experienced serious withdrawals from not watching tv (sad, but true.)  But then it became easier.  And then—gasp—I actually enjoyed it.

Not watching tv felt almost liberating.  Freeing.  Satisfying.  Rejuvinating, even.  I felt alive, like it didn’t matter if I was back by 8 o’clock on Tuesday night to watch Jillian Michaels.  It didn’t matter.  I said yes to going out at night, even if it meant simply taking a walk or hitting the mall.  The night seemed longer and way more fulfilling.

And, I read.  A lot.  Seven books in one month is unheard of for me, but it was completely possible when I wasn’t being entertained by the tube.

 

That’s not to say I won’t ever watch tv again.  I like flipping it on during the weekends, and I love watching a great movie now and then.  But this was such an eye opener for me! 

The strength training goal?  Well…urm.  That could use some work.  I think I need to be more specific with my goals, which is what I plan on doing for the month of August.  I’ll reveal the official goals tomorrow. 😉

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If a guy ever brings me a boquet of flowers, let it be basil.

 

Roses smell pretty, daisies make me smile, but basil makes me swoon. 

I was sent home with a ton—an absolute TON—of red and green basil today.  Jessica, a fellow nutrition major and foodie, told me that I could have as much of it as I liked since it was rapidly flowering and she had to compost a lot of it before it went to seed.  I was more then happy to take it off her hands. 😉

Basil.  So.  Much.  Basil.

Tonight, I quickly transformed a large bunch of it into my homemade basil hummus.  It was the perfect accompaniment to my salad and kashi crackers.

 And cheese.

I’m obsessied with this Drunken Goat’s Cheese from Whole Foods.  The rind is soaked in red wine, which gives it the outer red color.  None of the flavor is absorbed though.  You’re left with a clean, mild goat cheese flavor, which melts at the touch of a finger.  It’s delicious. 

Goals.  Basil.  Cheese.

Sorry for such a random post.  My day felt random, and it seems that my post turned out that way too.  Sometimes you just have to roll with it. 😉 

Question: What is your favorite way to use basil?  I’m excited to have a ton of basil because it’s my favorite herb.  But since I have so much, I need some serious inspiration! 😀