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Puréed Vegetable Soup


I’ve been missing gazpacho.  I love getting a hit of lots of vegetables in the afternoon - so much better than that cookie that’s always calling my name! But it’s been way too cold for gazpacho.  Therefore, I present to you Puréed Vegetable Soup. This recipe was adapted from Chef Danilo Alfaro and yields six 8oz. servings at 95 calories a pop!


2 medium carrots, peeled
2 large celery stalks
½ medium turnip
1 cup shredded cabbage
½ cup chopped leek (white part)
1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp white wine vinegar
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

  1. Cut carrots, celery and turnip into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick. Don’t worry about precision — the soup is going to be puréed anyway. We just want the pieces to be of uniform size so that they cook evenly.
  2. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the other vegetables.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.
  5. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.
  6. Add the vegetablestock, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the potato. Simmer another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don’t let them get mushy, though.
  7. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.  Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.
  8. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary.
  9. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.
  • Or, after puréeing, add 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves before bringing the soup back to a simmer.
  • Or, stir ¼ cup hot cream into the soup just before serving.
  • Or, garnish each individual soup bowl with a dollop or swirl of hot cream just before serving.
  • The soup can be thickened with rice instead of potato. Just substitute about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice for the potato, and simmer the soup until the rice is soft.

cal: 95  fat: 3.6  protein: 2  fiber: 3.5

Summer Sidekick

The twist to this gazpacho is to replace the olive oil with avocado. It’s my favorite thing to eat all summer! It tastes amazing even if it just looks okay :)  

3 large tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cucumber
4 celery stalks
1 bunch green onions
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
1 serrano or jalepeño pepper 
1 large avocado
3 cups Very Veggie juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt (or less)
½ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper

ALWAYS use organic when possible!!

Wash and chop all vegetables into large pieces and set aside.  Stir together juice, vinegar, salt + pepper and set aside.  Add a variety of veggies with the liquid mix and puree in food processor - just put in as much liquid as you need in order to get the veggies moving.  Otherwise don’t worry too much about the veggie to liquid ratio.  This makes a large batch which is why you have to do it in a few steps instead of mixing all at once.  Pour each batch into a large bowl.  Stir well and refrigerate for a few hours. I love this recipe; it’s a great one to experiment with.  Try it with a dollop of tzatziki :)

Balsamic Mushrooms with Kale

This was supposed to be a side and I almost ate the whole thing by myself!  In other news, I really need to stop using my phone to take pictures…

1 large purple onion sliced
1pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 bunch organic kale, washed, chopped and dry
1 cup good balsamic vinegar

Saute onions with a little olive oil in a large pan until golden.  Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add balsamic and reduce until the consistency of honey. Add kale, cook until wilted. This dish is hard to overcook and you can always add more balsamic and reduce again for extra flavor. SO GOOD!!

Emerald City Salad

Gotta love the Emerald City!  This is my most favorite salad of all time (thanks PCC!).  Make a batch and eat it for days!  Dress ahead - it won’t wilt!

2.5 cups wild or black rice, prepared
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch chard, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make dressing. Cook rice according to instructions, cool, and toss rice with dressing. Remove tough stems and ribs from greens and chop. Combine with peppers, fennel bulb and chopped green onion. Toss veggies with dressed rice. 

Tangerine Mint Green Tea

I need to gear up for the New Year with some HEALTHY drinking!

For a powerful metabolism-boosting drink, try Dr. Oz’s Tangerine Weight-Orade. It contains: green tea, shown to boost metabolism 12% by drinking just one cup; tangerine, with a chemical composition that increases sensitivity to insulin and stimulates genes that help burn fat; mint, a calorie-free flavor enhancer.

In a large pitcher, combine:
- 8 cups of brewed green tea
- 1 tangerine, sliced
- A handful of mint leaves

Make the night before so the flavors fuse well. Drink 1 pitcher daily for maximum metabolism-boosting results! Be sure not to drink it too late in the day if you are sensitive to caffeine 

Delicious Dahl

This incredibly tasty soup is a natural anti-inflammatory immune system booster!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed & drained
1 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp clarified butter
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup cilantro (2 if you love it)
4 roma tomatoes, diced

In a heavy soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for five minutes. Add ginger and half the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Pour in broth, lentils, and tumeric, stirring well to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat until melted.  Add cumin, garam masala, cayenne and saute, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook another two to three minutes. Remove from heat.

When the lentils in the soup mixture are tender, whisk the mixture until it has a thick, creamy consistency. Stir in butter/spice mixture until thoroughly combined. Add tomatoes and cook uncovered from another 10 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro before serving. (This soup is even better the next day!)

Recipe adapted from: The Healthiest Meals on Earth

Quinoa 10 Ways

Ten ways to cook quinoa that you may not have thought about! 

Eat the Whole Pizza!

This 485 calorie pizza even comes with a salad! 

ingredients - pick your favs!
Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Tortilla
1/4 cup pizza sauce 
1/2 small bell pepper, diced
1/4 small red onion, diced 
4 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
2 slices rosemary ham - at TJ’s, chopped (optional)
2oz. lite mozzarella cheese, shredded
large handful of arugula
1/4 lemon, juiced
tsp olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Spread sauce on tortilla, add toppings, cover with cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven. Toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice and place on top of pizza. Slice and enjoy!

cal: 485,  fat:12g,  protein: 34g,  fiber: 18.5g

SkinnyGirl Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

I’m dying to try this!  All reviews say it’s AMAZING and only 200 calories per serving!!

1 1/4 cup oat flour 
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened, good quality cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir/beat until combined.  Pour the batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through the baking time. When a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, it’s done.  Let the cake cool completely, then top with Peanut Butter Glaze. Slice, serve, and enjoy! 

1/2 cup raw sugar (or maple syrup – I’ll try this next time)
2 tablespoons oil (or butter)
2 tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk
2 tablespoons creamy 100% peanut butter (the natural kind, no sugar added)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

Crockpot Lentil Stew

slow cooker season has begun!

2 onions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp ground cardmom
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups water
14oz can coconut milk
1 lb red lentils (2 1/4 cups), rinsed
1 lb carrots, peeled & chopped
1 lb roma tomatos, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup cilantro, chopped

Microwave onions, garlic, oil, ginger, and spices in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened (about 5 minutes).  Transfer to crockpot.

Stir water, coconut milk, lentils, and carrots into crockpot.  Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high. 

Stir in tomatoes and peas and let sit until heated, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Romesco Sauce

ingredients                                                                                                                  1/4 cup olive oil
1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped or slivered (can substitute hazelnuts, peeled)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 8-ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

directions                                                                                                               Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, sauté bread and almonds, stirring often, until they just begin to brown. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Place the contents of the sauté pan into a food processor with the remaining ingredients—salt, tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, smoked paprika, vinegar. Purée until smooth. Spread the sauce out on a rimmed sheet pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize. Cool before serving.

Winter Smoothie

7 oz fruity herbal iced tea
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries 
1 cup purple kale (I keep mine frozen)
1 tbsp chia seeds 
1 scoop vanilla whey powder
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/8 tsp stevia plus

cal: 310,  fat: 7g,  protein: 24.5g,  fiber: 12g

Fill a pitcher with water, pour enough water from pitcher into a sauce pan to fully cover tea bags (approx. 8 depending on pitcher size), heat water, seep tea, and pour concentrate into pitcher, and voila - iced tea for the week!

Mini Greek Salad

My favorite party plate - so simple, so tasty!

cherry or grape tomotoes
english cucumber
kalamata olives
feta cheese

The key is to cut square cubes of feta so each bite will stand on it’s own.  I love finger food!

Don’t Eat Cookies - Eat Monkey Balls!

They sell these raw cookies at the gym below my office.  You can’t find a healthier cookie downtown and now you can make them at home!  Portions are substantial and satisfying!

2 small bananas, pureed 
1/2 cup agave (honey or maple syrup work too!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup protein powder
1/4 cup wheat germ
3 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup chocolate covered raisins

Puree bananas, add agave, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Mix oatmeal, protein powder, and wheat germ separately, then incorporate with banana mixture.  Form into balls, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

nutrition (makes 12 big balls)
cal: 232,  fat: 4.5g,  protein: 10.25g,  fiber: 5g

other dry ingredient ideas
other rolled grain flakes: spelt, emmer, barley, rye, kamut
crushed nuts: peanuts, almonds, macadamia, pecans, walnuts
seeds: sunflower, sesame, pumpkin
chocolate chips, other chips (butterscotch, white chocolate)
dried fruits: raisin, cranberries, chopped dates, chopped figs
flax seeds or chia seeds
spices: cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg

This is a great recipe to experiment with!  Original recipe from Juicy 

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