tomato soup with grilled cheese

3 Feb

Last night I promised you new upcoming recipes, which I am going to be much more diligent to post. Or at least take snapshots of at least 1 meal daily.

We had a really great tomato soup served with balsamic caramelized onion and crimini grilled cheeses. If I had any adjustments to make, I would have used fresh roma tomatoes and roasted them in the over for about an hour. That is my absolute favorite way to make tomato soup, it adds an intense burst of flavor. Also, I would have used a multigrain or whole grain bread, but the boyfriend came home with a white sourdough. Alas, that is what he wanted and requested!

Tip: It is not super important to get all the vegetables uniform or chopped up small, because you will blend this at the end.

creamy tomato soup

serves 6.

  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks, plus the green leafy bits at the top diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • dash of sweetener of choice (i used sugar)
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth (with 1 TB nutritional yeast)
  • 1⁄2 cup skim milk
  • 2 TB cream

In a stock pot heat the olive oil, add onions and celery–about five minutes. Sauté until onions are translucent, add carrots, spices, and garlic on medium heat. When garlic is tender and the spices fragrant– about 2 minutes, add diced tomatoes and paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes; add three cups of broth. Cover and simmer for twenty more minutes, taste for sweetness (should have a nice balance) and add salt. Using either a blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth. If you used a blender, return to pot. At this point, check for consistency, and add more broth if needed. Add cream and milk.

As previously mentioned, we served this with a delicious grilled cheese consisting of balsamic caramelized onions, baby portobella mushroom, and swiss cheese. (this is for two sandwiches) I caramelized 1⁄2 thinly sliced onion adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, added 4 ounces sliced mushrooms, another splash of basalmic and when those were cooked, I lightly buttered the bread. Put each slice butter-face (hah!) down in a pan, arrange 1 slice of swiss cheese on one slice and the mushroom/onion mixture on another. When cheese is melted, bread toasted, put the two together!


some healthy recipes to watch out for…

2 Feb

In the next few days I will be posting some newer recipes, it’s been a while since I actually forced myself to come up with a recipe for the things I make. Normally, I just eye ball the spices/seasonings.

  • vibrant tomato soup with grilled balsamic baby bella mushroom and swiss sandwiches.
  • a flavorful veggie strata
  • palak paneer
  • a vegetarian buffalo chicken dip
  • Plus, whatever else I end up cooking!

    progress, i guess, really does take baby steps.

    2 Feb

    Let me start off by saying that I am not “over weight” in the clinical sense, but I do feel sluggish. I have a perfectly normal B.M.I, but I still would like to shed some pounds. Mostly, I want to become much more physically fit, and choose foods that are nourishing as well as filling. So, I started using as a tool to guide me through workouts and calculate my daily nutrition. So, far the pounds are not melting away, but I am seeing definite changes in the way my body looks and feels. The muscle tone is slowly building and the definition is starting to pay off!

    The scale is a hard thing to break though, and I am trying my hardest not to get discouraged. Because, I do feel so much more energized and my clothes fit better. This whole thing sounds semi-vain, when I think about people who have loads of weight to lose, and I shouldn’t be complaining when I can still wear a size six and not feel squeezed. This journey really is about me getting healthy, because how can I possibly advise people about their nutrition if I am not practicing sound choices as well!

    So, for the past three weeks I have been measuring my foods, calculating nutrition, and working out six days a week for 45 minutes or more. Most days I jog, ride a stationary bike, and do some form of strength-training. I also tend to practice yoga for at least ten minutes of yoga daily, which does wonders for my flexibility and energy! There really is a lot to be said for doing several sun salutations to wake you up in the morning.

    So, while I am not seeing the pounds fly from my body, I am seeing tone, definition, and an increase in endurance. Also, my food choices are always much more mindful, (gotta love the kale and sweet potatoes), and the alcoholic beverages not as soothing as they once were! The alcohol consumption decrease is one of the biggest changes, but by far the best for my body! I still have a cocktail here and there, but its usually with soda water or none at all; no getting smashed, though! Truth be told, my diet was never really that poor, because when entering stand by recipes and choices into the calculator they weren’t that high in saturated fat or calories. Weeeell, except for my alcohol drinking, gah! So, these days I don’t drink to curb boredom, instead I read, do crosswords, socialize with friends sans alcohol. This is not say that I completely gave up alcohol, as I previously stated, I still have a cocktail here and there. I just don’t get shlossingly drunk, which is a much more grounded and healthy me.


    1 Feb

    When I was in elementary school, my mother had a really awesome habit of dating strange men. Actually, she still has that habit, but now she is married. Apparently this one stuck, but that is after the time she went into the mental institution and came ome with a husband. Whatever. She dated this incredibly creepy man named, Jerry, who would buy her outrageous gold jewelry. I knew he was a flake before I ever actually saw his house, which is really what this post is about, because he had those glasses that were sort of like perma-sunglasses…the kind that were always slightly tinted a greyish-purple, so that they hid his eyes. Never trust anyone with them, just like you shouldn’t trust an adult with braces. That’s another post in itself.

    So, Jerry was a creep, big time! He lived in the country, in the woods, in a great big house. The house was a bit larger than any other house I’d ever been in, but thinking about it now, it might not have been that big. We were poor white trash, after all. His house was nice enough upstairs, but go down the stairs into the basement, and one enters a taxidermied wonderland. Mostly there were jackelopes, and smelled of weird fur pelts and turpentine. The dude made his seemingly vast fortune (as witnessed by mother’s gaudy gold jewelry he bedazzled her with) by manufacturing jackelopes. For those of you unawares, jackelopes are rabbits with horns usually mounted on a plaque made of pine. It’s a black hills thing, you might not understand.

    If you ever wanted to learn, I could probably show you how. They really are just styrofoam molds with some cheap fur stapled onto them and glass eyes inserted. The horns usually come from local deer, but those could easily be fake, too. Jerry enlisted my family in his bizarre business and paid children (my brother, sister, and I) pennies for each one we made–slave driver then turned around and sold them for like twenty dollars at tourist traps. And that was how I had a great career in making jackelpes. But you best not tell anyone, because we like to fool people into thinking that during hunting season, you can lure ’em out with bourbon and bologne. So, that was my first job, aged eight. Second job aged ten, but we will save that for another day too.

    Of course, they eventually broke up, but she kept the jewelry. We ran into him at a restaurant some time after, and she was dramatic as she always is. Mother has a knack for causing scenes and making others uncomfortable. It really is endearing.

    the latest sensation: brussel sprouts

    26 Jan

    We seriously eat brussel sprouts almost weekly, we just love them! Only fresh ones will do for us, and luckily a local grocery store has them frequently in stock. Perfectly shaped little bundles of joy, they are! Is it a little creepy that I now think of little baby heads whenever I look at them (Cabbage Patch Kids).

    On tonight’s menu brussel sprouts sautéed in a wee bit of olive oil until they get a delicate little crust on them. Then we always use the tongs tediously turning them over onto the rounded side and cover. One must be careful not to over-cook, as they are best with a bit of crunch. We are also having Gardein Multigrain Tenders which I tossed with wing sauce.

    this is the year.

    24 Jan

    2011 is going to be a great year, I can feel it. I have taken some big steps in a much healthier direction–I am eating so much better, working out at least six days a week, and cutting out the negative! Each moment that I spend with others is because I enjoy their company; no more obligatory social time, each minute of my life is now spent with intention. Finally. When I moved back to Rapid City, I was feeling a bit shell-shocked, and needed a serious breather. In short, I had a bit of a Single White Female experience, which left me so emotionally drained and stressed. I won’t go into details, but I really had to get the eff out there! While, I miss plenty of my friends, I have reconnected with olds ones, and am much happier in my relationship with Court. We get along swimmingly, and could not be in a better place! Again, finally. A lot of what last year boiled down to was priorities, I was trying to keep everything together for the ex-roommate, that I never really let myself breathe. Enough about that, I am just in a really great place now: emotionally, physically, and mentally. Ready for the next chapter in my life!

    october unprocessed

    12 Oct

    So, I was the 250th person to take the pledge to consume no processed foods for the month of October. So far, it has been coming along swimmingly, with only minor setbacks. Let’s see if I can remember what I’ve eaten:

    lots of salads with loads of nutritious greens, nuts, veggies, and seeds.

    autumnal chili which has also been repurposed into taco salads

    pizzas made from teff and amarynth flours

    vegetable sandwiches on ezekial bread (i allowed myself this luxury, as it is nutritious)

    amazing french onion soup

    whole wheat pastas with various sauces

    eggs poached in salsa verde with a mushroom quesadilla on a corn tortilla

    palaak paneer with home-made paneer

    tomato tofu

    mushroom stroganoff over fragrant brown rice

    it’s been really fun, challenging and rewarding. I have taken away a deep intention and appreciation for food, that was always there, but has been renewed! Everything I consume has an intention and a purpose, rather than just eating whatever is in front of me or that i have access to.