Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Veggie frenzy

I woke up a bit later today than I wanted and didn't have time for a workout. But I did have time to grab one of these...

Soy latte in a Kerr jar, my favorite!

For lunch I had the rest of the spaghetti squash with marinara, it was very unphotogenic today! The redness from the sauce permeated every inch of the squash and it looked a mess. Still tasted great though!

We had an ice cream social today at work, so I indulged in some sweets in the afternoon. Bad idea! I had a tummy ache for the rest of the day, curse you lactose intolerance!!! (I'm usually OK with small amounts of non-cow dairy though.)

As soon as I got home I knew I needed some intense veggie action to soothe my body. Ev was over at a friends for dinner so I grabbed whatever soon-to-be-unusable veggies I could and decided on soup.

This is my favorite "kitchen sink" style soup. It has a very mild flavor (unless you add extra spices) and is easy on the tummy. You can add practically anything and it comes out great, I always add beans for extra protein and density.

Hearty Vegetable Soup
1/2 onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large or 2 small zucchini
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
5 cups broth of your choice
1 bunch kale
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 can canellini beans (white kidney beans)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1) Prep all your veggies first! Thinly slice the onion, mince the garlic, chop the carrot/celery/bell peppers into 1/4"-1/2" wide chunks (or whatever you prefer), de-stem and roughly chop the kale, roughly chop the cilantro.

2) Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or high sided dutch oven.

3) Add the onion and garlic and sweat with a small pinch of salt for 5 minutes.

4) Add in the carrot and celery, stir to combine and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5) Next, toss in your zucchini and bell peppers. Once again, stir to combine and cook for 3-4 minutes until the edges just start to get soft.

6) Add your broth of choice and a few grinds of pepper, cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes (depending on how thickly cut your veggies are).

7) Turn off the heat and stir in your beans (drained) and the kale. Tuck the kale down into the broth as best you can.

8) Let sit for 3-4 minutes, till beans are warmed through and the residual heat has cooked the kale.

9) Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of salt or pepper if needed.

10) Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro before serving.

Other options/substitutions:
- 1 can of roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen is my fav)
- a handful of washed quinoa or rice
- chickpeas
- shallots
- parsnips
- potatoes (sweet or regular)
- miso
- shredded chicken (if you eat poultry)
- chard or collards
- your favorite spices (oregano, thyme, sage, etc)

And in case you were wondering what that little dent in the bowl is for...

Nifty huh? It's actually Ev's chili bowl! Purchased at a local pottery event in LA. I knew I should have bought one that day, I am so jealous.

After that bowl + another 1/3 bowlful, I was still hungry. Dessert ended up being a whole wheat sandwich thin with a smear of chevre, drizzle of honey, and sprinkle of cinnamon.

Carby goodness in every bite.

Did you know that tomorrow is National Coffee Day? I feel like taking it off to celebrate!

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