Pinto Bean Soup

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I got inspired for more soup – and a cooked bag of pinto beans that I needed to use.
So, I threw this together last night when I got home from Chicago and look forward to eating it this week – and I froze a tub of it too.

5 cups cooked pinto beans (or however many you like)
2 cups chicken broth (a cool whip container of homemade broth)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can of stewed tomatoes
red pepper flakes
sea salt
1 cup medium picante sauce

Mix all and heat through till boiling. I took a potato masher to it to make it a little thicker. Pretty good. You can add some hot sauce or some sausage would be a good way to change this soup up. Cheap, healthy, good.

Week of Oats – Day 1

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This week I’m trying something I did last week with smoothies – week of oats – where I eat oats every day this week for breakfast and see how it makes me feel. Just saying that I feel like the pit of despair in the Princess Bride. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, first day:

1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup water
1 T dark chocolate pb
1/2 banana

SO GOOD! Filling – hmmm, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll try some steel cut oats or maybe egg white oats…

Day 5 Green Smoothie and Recap

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Ok – here is my last smoothie for the week of smoothies:

1/4 apple
1/2 banana
1/2 cara cara orange
1 1/2 tsp ground flax
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup spinach
3/4 cup kale
3/4 cup frozen strawberries

Mix all.
Very good – not too sweet.

I like the low-cal, heavy fiber, portability of green smoothies.
I like the quickness of them in the morning.
I like all the veggies and fruits you are getting first thing in the morning.
I would like more protein in mine – I usually pair it with pb on a thin or something. PB in the morning is so good.
Now, for the week of oats.

Day of Green Smoothie – 4

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This one was so quick this morning – and yummy and healthy – because I woke up late. Already drank half of it before leaving the house (with oats in a jar/ 1/2 banana) and sipping on the other half in my SBTS insulated tumbler.

1/4 red apple
1/2 naval orange
1/2 banana
2 small pieces mango
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup spinach
2 stalks kale
1 1/2 cup water

You know what to do. Blend away! Enjoy!
150, .5, 7 fiber = 2 points, and a ton of veggies!

Chickpea Burgers

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These really should have a different name. I considered Hummus Pancakes or something fun like that, but ok – I’ll leave it at that.
Always skeptical, but I shouldn’t be. I love chickpeas. What I really love about these is their nutrition benefit and healthiness, the green onions, and their simplicity.
I got inspired by the recipe on Heather’s blog – thanks for the recipe!

Makes 8 patties – 8 servings

2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 scallions, chopped
1 egg
3/4 cup water
2 T flour
scant 3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
spray olive oil (instead of regular – saves fat and calories)

I start with dry beans. Last week I took the time to cook (and mostly peel) a bag of dry garbanzo beans. Takes over night soak (no hands on time) and about 80 minutes to cook them. I really like that I can choose how done I want them. With cans, you worry about doneness and sodium.
Put all ingredients into a food processor. Let it go till combined. Spray flat griddle with olive and using a ice cream scoop – scoop these out and shape into “burgers”.
Flip them after a few minutes – you’ll know when they are ready – and then keep checking doneness.
These are really good and I’m going to have my first one (not just sampling) tonight for dinner.
235 calores, 4 fat, 11 protein – so filling!

Day 3 of Green (Blue) Smoothies

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This morning my smoothie ended up being blue – blueberries are potent! Mine was thick and sweet. The blender seemed extra loud to me this morning, so I didn’t mix it as much. Still so good – and I cranked it all into a calculator – 145c, .5 f, 6 fiber! I also had a pb thin which was good and so I’ll be full for a good bit!

1/4 red delicious apple
1/2 banana
1/2 naval orange (I used the juice of it last night for some scones, recipe coming later)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cup spinach
2 small stalks kale
1 1/4 cup water

Mix all. Enjoy.

Since I forgot the ground flax seed – I sprinkled some on my pb thin this morning – added a little texture!
Happy Breakfasting no matter what color your smoothies!

Day 2 of Green Smoothies

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I am trying Green smoothies for 5 days in a row this week. So far, yesterday, I was fuller all day (which basically means I needed less to fill me up once I got hungry again – if that makes any sense at all).
Here was my smoothie this morning
1/4 red delicious apple
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 small banana
2 small branches kale
1 1/2 cups spinach
2 tsp ground flax
1 1/2 cups water

Not as sweet as yesterdays, but good – and healthy for me.

My first green smoothie

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Actually, it is just my first time making it in my own kitchen. I had one back in November from my friend Rachael in Wake Forest, then I made one for my Dad over Thanksgiving. But, I used my brand new red black and decker blender I got at Kohls after Thanksgiving for 27$. Much cheaper than a VitaMixer for right now.

My friend Becca was coming over. This thing is so healthy and good for you and filling and low in points (if doing weight watchers). I’ve also listed the health benefits of what I threw in:

1/2 large red delicious apple:

1 cara cara orange from tree in parents yard:

1 small banana:

3/4 cup frozen strawberries (picked from Huber’s this summer and frozen):

1/8 cup cut mango:

2.5 stalks of kale:

3 cups fresh baby spinach:

1/2 cup water:

1 T ground flax seed:

I blended the water and apple first, then did it all in that order till it was ready to go! My blender worked fabulously!

Apple Barley Breakfast Cereal (2010.1)

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2010 has arrived in full fashion. This year is the year of using all those recipes that I clip out of magazines – I have a TON! So, this week was something for breakfast (or I made it for breakfast).

1/2 cup barley – quick cooking
1 cup water (just follow directions on box)
1 apple (I used braeburn)
1 tsp unsalted butter
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 T lemon juice
1/8 tsp sugar

Cook barley. Saute apple in butter (chopped, I left peel on), sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and stir in lemon juice. Mix all together.
I eat mine cold with 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt on top and some cool whip. Good.
Unfortunately, not very filling which I’m surprised. But, good none the less and relatively healthy.
This recipe came from Cuisine At Home magazine. This definitely wasn’t a keeper – but one to try nonetheless. And gets me trying new grains. And I had everything on hand as well.

Progresso Souper You Giveaway

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Welcome to the first giveaway of the New Year. And if you are like many of Americans that make “health” resolutions at the beginning of every new year, then this giveaway is for you!
Progresso is doing a contest and here is their description of it:
Celebrate the New Year and a new you with Progresso Light and 100 Calorie Soups because from January 4 through March 15th, you and your readers can visit to enter the Progresso “Souper You Debut” contest for the chance to win a full makeover in New York City.

My Blog Spark is hosting a giveaway for blog readers! Yesterday, when I got back in the office, I had a huge box waiting for me. It had 15 cans of wonderful, yummy, healthy (some vegetarian), Progresso Soups. I don’t have to buy lunches for a long time (which definitely helps out the checking account)! It also came with a beautiful blue Progresso Soup mug that had a nifty handle that fit one’s thumb perfectly (for quality gripping when you are serving up a hot bowl of soup). Also included, to help with those fitness goals, was an automatic jump rope (which counted the turns for you and other information).

So, if you would like to help out your menu planning, check book, activity calendar, anything, just leave me a message saying what your fave soup is (and if it homemade, please share a recipe, because I love soups). You could win all that was mentioned above. I’ll randomly pick a winner by Sunday night at 9pm. Thanks!
And, while you are on this blog, look over to the right and scroll down – I’ve got some yummy soups on there (I love soups year round!)

Thanks – and happy Soup-ing!