Golumpki Get Down

Did you know it is National Homemade Soup day? Did you know that my soups have been on point the past 2 months? Let’s post another… Shall we?

Golumpki Soup

inspired by Golumpki

serves 10

  • 14 cups cabbage (about 1 small to medium head, core removed
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 lb 99%lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can Campbells condensed tomato soup
  • 1 3/4 cup favorite jarred tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups beef broth, reduced fat or reduced sodium
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup

In a large soup pot, break up and brown the ground turkey. (No need to worry about draining, but there will hardly be anything to drain.) Add the cabbage, onion, s/p, and garlic to the pot, along with 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam the veg on low heat for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, give everything a good toss, and everything else to the pot. Cover again, and leave to simmer over low heat for 40 to 45 minutes.

Yup! It’s that easy!

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Nutrition (1/10 of recipe):

Calories:137, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 582mg, Carbs: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 15g

So gazpacho weirds me out a bit, and, frankly, I’ve never had one I actually liked, but this stuff… yeah… I’ll eat that cold!

TortelliNO

There is this damn popular soup out there and it goes my many names but they have the same core ingredients: tortellini, sausage, onion, greens, and tomatoes.

I naturally wanted to but my own spin on it, make it a bit leaner, but still rock the flavor!

Chicken Sausage Tortelli(NO) Soup

serves 620160118_172415

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp fennel seeds, chopped*
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 8oz chicken breast, 1/4in cube **
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 15oz can diced Italian style tomatoes
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a medium pot over medium high heat combine onions through red wine, with a splash of water, and cover with a lid. Let everything steam and reduce about 5 minutes.

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Add the cubed chicken, and remaining ingredients. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked.

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*Measure whole fennel seeds, and using a good chopping knife, chop up the fennel seeds. Use one hand to cup over the seeds as you chop because the particles of seeds will fly.

** Most easily done with a semi-thawed/partially defrosted cut of meat.

20160118_172403Nutrition (1/6 of recipe):

Calories:87, Fat: 1g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 815mg, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 4.6g

I don’t even miss the tortellini. I could probably throw in some tofu shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles, if I really wanted to, when I serve up the soup. The fennel seeds and paprika, mimic the flavors you would find in pork sausage. The brothy soup, in combination with the beautiful green spinach, really fills you up, without the carbs and calories of the tortellini, and the wine… well wine not?!

I topped my soup with some chickpeas/garbanzo beans that I toasted up in the oven, to sub for the crackers or croutons.

Buon Apetito! 

Don’t Know Until You Try

Anise… licorice  … none of that ever sounded appetizing to me, probably because the taste of black licorice thoroughly sceeved me out. Then, I started hearing about the vegetable called fennel. Being the Dego that I am, I payed attention since it was being used in so many Italian dishes. But then, I started hearing the “licorice ” to describe it. Needless to say, I’ve avoided  this vegetable for, let’s say 24 years.Molly Napolitano » Super Delicious Leek & Fennel Shrimp

Alright, Mario Batali, after countless episodes of The Chew, you have persuaded me to give it a shot.

I found a chicken and apple soup recipe that called toasted fennel seeds. After a little research I found the conversation from seeds to vegetable, and I’m glad I did because I believe it definitely bulks up the soup. This was also my first time pulling apples into a soup, which I was nervous would make it too sweet. I believe that by playing with the combination of spices off sets the sweetness that the apples contribute. The last minute add-in was a small can of sliced carrots, for some color and a little more natural sweetness. This first batch went so quickly, I used raw carrots the next round (see note in recipe).

If you are anything like me, and are completely clueless about fennel prep, I found this great tutorial here. I had no idea there was a hard fibrous center to core out.

Chicken Apple Soup

Inspired by Wholefoods

Makes 8- 1 cup servings20151210_175427 (2)

  • 4 cups reduced fat, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced into coins, OR a small can of sliced*
  • 1/2 lb (8oz) turnip
  • 2 medium gala apples
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground sage

Preheat the oven to 425 F while you prep. Place chicken breast in a soup pot along with chicken broth, water, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and keep over low heat.

*If using raw carrots, place in the pot, now, as well.

Peel the turnips, cut in half and each half into thirds. This will help you differentiate between the difference veggies. Next, peel and core the apples, cut into quarters,  and the quarters into more bite sized pieces. Peel the onion, trim the ends, cut into quarters, and the quarters into thirds. You don’t need to separate the rings of the onions prior to roasting. Lastly, following the instructions in the link above, cut about an inch above the bulb, then cut off the base. Cut down its center, and remove the tough outer layer, as well as the triangle-shaped core in each half of the bulb. Slice what remains to a size of your liking.

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Line a 9 by 13 Pyrex with parchment and transfer your prepped fruit and veggies. Sprinkle the garlic powder and sage over the fruit and veg and give them a good toss with your hands. Pour about 3/4 cup of water to the dish, cover with foil and roast in the oven about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove the foil from the Pyrex and carefully pick out the turnips (this is where the different sized turnip will help you), while giving the remaining fruit and vegetables a toss. Once the turnip has been removed,  return the Pyrex to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

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Transfer the roasted turnips into a food processor and begin to puree. Feel free the add a bit of the broth to help get things moving. Transfer puree to pot of broth and and chicken.

When your fruit and veg have finished the last bit of the roast, transfer everything from the pryex into your soup pot, scraping any seasoning and 20151209_191159whatnot off the parchment.

*If using canned, sliced carrots, add those now.

 

Remove the chicken breast to a separate bowl or plate, and use the two-fork technique to shred the chicken. Transfer the shredded chicken back into the pot, cover, and allow to simmer for another 40 minutes, or longer if you’d like. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you reserved any of the fronds of the fennel, top your soup with it before serving; parsley does wonders, as well. And don’t forget those oyster crackers (yeah, they’re kind of my thing, now).

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The original recipe called for a crockpot, but a low simmer, covered pot did me just fine. And I think I’d have to say that this soup tastes even better the next day, as all the flavors really enhance and marry!

Nutrition (1/8 of recipe):

Calories:119, Fat: 2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 807mg, Carbs: 14g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 13g

The end result? Fennel is officially a staple on my grocery list. And I threw out that 1-cup per serving jib-jab. A double serving in each bowl, please! Oh, and the aroma! The smell in the air was enough to cue your salivary glands! As soon as I entered the kitchen its fragrance wrapped around me with a come hither sensation!

Whats your food freaker? I’m still not touching sardines! Leave your comment below!

Manly (and Slimming)

Hey all you Manly Men out there! Take a bite of this! 

20151203_204614_001-1[1]London broil is a rather inexpensive piece of beef, can easily be frozen and thawed, and doesn’t get tough in the soup-making process. It was also convenient since I happened to find a ton of it in the freezer… Cubing the steak is super easy when cutting a partially thawed piece.

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

makes 16 servings

    • 1 1/2 lb london broil, trimmed of fat
    • 6-8 Tbsp brown gravy mix, low sodium
    • 2/3 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsp paprika
    • 1 Tbsp thyme, dried
    • 2 tsp oregano, dried
    • 1 tsp parsley, dried
    • 1 Tbsp minced/chopped dried onion
    • 1 tsp ground rosemary
    • 3/4 to 1 tsp black pepper, to taste
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 6- 7 cups water
    • 4 cups chicken broth, fat free, low sodium
    • 2 cups beef broth, fat free, low sodium
    • 3/4 cup barley
    • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes, low sodium
    • 2 1/2 cups celery, chopped, including leafy ends
    • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
    • 2 cups kale greens, rough chop
    • 2 (10oz) mushrooms, white button, chopped
    • 1 cup green beans, cut (frozen will work)
    • fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish (optional)
    • oyster crackers (optional)

Cube the london broil into equal bite-sized pieces and place in a large pot. Add the onions through rosemary. With a large spoon, toss everything in the pot to coat the meat and onions.

Place the pot over low heat, add water and broth and cover. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes, or so. Add barley, cover, and bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat back to low, add vegetables, cover and allow soup to simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

*I’m curious if using Italian seasoning could substitute many of the green herbs… let us know in the comments if you try!

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Keep covered, remove from heat, and allow soup to cool. Refrigerate, freeze, or my favorite recommendation… Mangia! Top and garnish to your liking.

Nutrition based off 6 Tbsp gravy mix

119 calories!

Ha! I’ll take TWO!

Golumpki

No, I did not make up that word, like I did with Wal-nana

You know what it is, you’ve eaten it, you probably just know it by another name. Each culture has there own way of doing things: Asian countries make dumplings, Italians make ravioli, and Polocks make pierogies. Greeks stuff grape leaves, and Polocks stuff cabbage leaves…

I have a cabbage problem, in that I love it! It is one of the most versatile foods in the world, in my opinion.

Golumpki

makes about 20 rolls

The Roll:WP_005595

  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp quinoa
  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • salt and pepper, to taste*

The Sauce:

  • 1 cup Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1 cup red tomato pasta sauce, your favorite (50 calories or less)
  • 1 1/4 cup water

Bring the quinoa and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Meanwhile, carefully core the cabbage. I find that angling the knife toward the center of the head helps. This will keep the head in tact and allow the core to be removed (or at least most of the core). Fill a large pot with water, place the cabbage in, cored side down, and keep on high heat. As the cabbage cooks, you will be able to remove the leaves. Carefully remove the leaves off the head and transfer to a colander**.

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While the cabbage and quinoa are boiling, chop the mushrooms into bite-size to fine pieces. Combine with the ground turkey, salt and pepper. Set aside. Once the cabbage has been removed and drained, pour the cooked quinoa into the meat mix, along with any water remaining in the quinoa pot (at least 1/2 cup). Mix the meat well.

Lay the cabbage leaves out and scoop 2 tablespoons of the meat mix in the cabbage leaf. Roll the rib end over, fold the sides, and roll like a burrito. I like using tooth picks to secure the rolls.

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I know many people bake their golumpki, but this family has always used a pressure cooker. Fill the pressure cooker with enough water to cover the metal insert. Layer you cabbage rolls on top of each other to fill the cooker. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, place the rattle on top, and turn the heat to high. In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pan on low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the the pressure cooker begins to whistle, time 10 minutes. Using an utensil, slowly depressurize the cooker by venting the rattle. DO NOT remove the lid of the pressure cooker until it has completely depressurized!

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on a serving dish. I like to use spoons to remove the rolled cabbage from the pressure cooker. Lay the cabbage rolls over the thin layer of sauce. Continue to do so until a layer of the rolls is made a pour a layer of the sauce over that. Continue with this technique and just dig in!!!!

*The leaner the meat, the more s/p is typically used.

**The trick is to ensure the rib of the leaf is cooked enough to fold, but firm enough to maintain its structure.

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I love these these babies! Its light and filling…and MMMMMM!

One head of cabbage makes so many rolls, but they are so yummy that its hard to share!

Nutrition per roll (without sauce): Calories: 30, Fat 0.1g, Sat. Fat. 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 10.7mg, Carbs 2.2g, Fiber 0.7g, Sugar 0.9g, Protein 4.4g

It’s Bacon… Brunch!

Today’s brunch features yesterday’s chicken soup, and a recipe I found on Wholefoods.com, that I immediately knew I needed to make!

I woke up nice and early to get the soup back on the stove and  and the bread in the oven, only to find Frank had used the last of the grated Parm! He was a good sport, though, and quickly ran out to the store to pick some up.

Bacon Bread

altered from Wholefoods

makes 24 thin slices

  • 8 slices turkey bacon, choppedWP_004611
  • 1 3/4 cup organic 100% whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby kale
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat grated Parmesean cheese
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/3 cup flax milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 9-x5-inch loaf pan, heavily, with non stick cooking spray; set aside. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a medium bowl, and add flour, greens, cheese, baking powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Add flour mixture and fold together just until combined. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

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Set aside to cool and settle until warm. Flip the loaf from the pan and carefully slice.

Nutrition: (per slice, 1/24 recipe)

Calories: 54, Fat: 1.3g, Sat. Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 4.6mg, Sodium: 140.2mg, Carbs: 7.7g, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 0.2g, Protein: 2.8g

The soup and bread combo was a hit and almost everyone had seconds! I was lucky to have both my little brothers over for brunch, today, and they went to town on the bread. Wholefoods recommended serving the tea bread with fig jam, I figured the apple butter in the refrigerator would suffice.

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The next time, I’d like to try a little liquid smoke or something to add a little flavor to the turkey bacon…

Following brunch, dad and I squeezed in a catch before the Eagles/Redskins game! Go EAGLES!!! We won!

Around dinner time, I got smacked with a hanckering! Ever since dad and I split “The Julian” from Fresh Thymes, I’ve been thinking about sauerkraut. And with Frank making black beans and rice the other night, I wanted beans. I would up creating an odd quesadilla that hit the spot!

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I threw fat free refried beans, sauerkraut, fat free shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa on a sun-dried tomato wrap! I topped it with chili powder and hot sauce!

My Mug Overfloweth

I was greeted with some disappointment, this morning. As Frank and I headed out for our bike ride, I discovered a flat tire! My bike ride was cancelled for today, but luckily I was hungry.

In honor of National Banana Lover Day, I whipped up a Banana Creme Pie Shake Bowl, with a handful of spinach.

Banana Creme Pie BowlWP_003699

  • 1/2 to 1 frozen banana
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar free fat free Banana Creme Pie pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum (optional)

I enjoyed this bowl while sitting on the porch and chatting with Frank! It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and a light breeze.

For some reason, despite my cup of coffee, I could not wake up today. I tried keeping busy until Barry came over on his lunch brake. I saved him some of the Chicken Cheesesteak Pizza from last night’s dinner. It was his first experience with a cauliflower crust and he liked it. I think each time I make the crust, I get better and better at it.

WP_003700As noon approached, the sun began to hide and a mildly grumbling tummy came out. Frank made a tuna sandwich for himself and I finally gave into my nutella desire with a slice of oatmeal toast and Be Well Nutella. It hit the spot and was just enough to satisfy my hunger.

The entire day was spent in an odd funk. I just could not get with the program. Frank and I watched movies all day! I was quite lazy, but maybe my body just needed that.

Dad came over for dinner before I headed to Barry’s. I had picked up cebollitas at the farmers market and had been itching to make them. They are typically made on a grill coated in salt and olive oil. Every time dad and I go to a Mexican restaurant, we go to town on these babies, and we always dip them in the chorizo con queso! This was my first time making the cebollitas and they could not have turned out any better!

Cebollitas (Spring Onions)WP_003701

  • 8 cebollitas
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp, divided, plus 1/8 tsp seasoned salt

Heat a cast iron grill pan, or skillet if you do not have a grill pan, on medium to medium high heat. While the pan is heating up, snipthe top stems of the onions down until there is about 2-3 inches from the bulb. Spray the pan with non stick cooking spray and lay the onions down. Sprinkle1/4 tsp of seasoned salt over the onions, followed by squeezing half a lime over top. Quickly cover the onions with a lid. After 5 minutes, turn the onions to the other side,sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and squeeze the other half of the lime. Recover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Removed the lid and toss the onions every 3 minutes or so for an additional 10 minutes. On the last toss, sprinkle the last 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Serve them up!

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Dad and I ate our with a bowl of soup! It was one we had never had before by Campbell s, but it is definitive one we will be getting again! Campbell’s Chunky Kickin’ Buffalo Style Chicken Soup was creamy, with a kick of buffalo sauce and blue cheese flavors! MMMM! And I dipped my cebollitas in there and the creamy consistency worked great as a substitution for the chorizo con queso! The soup even had carrots, tomatoes, celery and potato like the classic home-style chicken soup.

Dad wanted a grilled cheese on the side. I’ll tell ya, just the soup and 4 cebollitas kept me full for the rest of the night!

I met up with Barry, still feeling in a haze, but being with him and getting out of the house helped perk me up. His house was bareso we headed off to the grocery store, as opposed to my usual Tuesday night Zumba routine. We are spending the rest of the night in movie mode.

Its Almost Here

Wednesday

Food and Emotions

As proud as I was of my eating last night at work, one thing was on my mind when I left: those donuts from the morning. I decided that slicing a quarter would be a nice treat. Although it didn’t do the trick like I thought it would, it put a sweet tooth in me that needed to be satisfied. I traveled around the kitchen biting into crackers, cheerios, Reese pieces… Anything with a salty sweet crunch. I realized it was anxiety, not hunger. I wish I would have realized it earlier but at least I realized it, and still did not go over my calorie allotment.

I’m finding the closer my exam gets, the more anxious eating I want to do but the more calorie paranoid I get. Yeah… A catch 22 kind of thing. I really am quite nervous for my exam. Just scheduling it made me nauseous and now that everyone has been passing, I have this nightmare that I’m going to be the one that fails.

I have faith in myself. Most importantly, I have faith in the Lord. I know the Lord wants me to be a nurse, to care for His children. I have trial through so much during nursing school, at work, home, and school, and there is no doubt in my mind that I shouldn’t pass. God will guide me.

Start back on track at the next meal.

WP_003387With today being National Creamsicle Day, I honored it by making a Creamsicle Shake using half a packet of Betty Lou’s Low Glycemic Orange Cream powder, water, ice, 1/2 tsp SF orange jello, and 1/4 tsp xanthum. Yum!

Before laying down, in an attempt to sleep before work, I ate a big bowl of watermelon to fill me up!

I’m packing  a Smart Ones Chicken Marsala for my night shift meal to see if it can compare to my beloved Lean Cuisine version.

At this point, in the studying game, I have officially killed two highlighters and am working on #3. I couldn’ t sleep because all I could think about was the exam. I am literally sick to my stomach over this thing. I’m have chest pain and I just want to cry from this nervousness!

Thursday

Although everyone’s meals smelled delicious, my stomach was too upset to enjoy my intended Smart Ones meal. I opted for my emergency soup with saltines. I saved some celery sticks and PB2 for a later snack. The shift went rather quickly as a I spent all my down time studying for the upcoming exam.

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Upon arriving home this morning, I was definitely hungry. Since the temperature serious dropped this morning, I opted for something warm. I came across this by accident, one day, I brewed coffee in the Keurig and mixed it with an Atkins Mixed Berry shake.

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The box was kind of banged up and I wanted to use it soon, so I took advantage of this cool morning. While sipping on this, I channeled my nervous energy into baking. I was inspired by my Strawberry muffins, the other day, to make a different type of muffin. I, of course, I had to try them out.

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Take One wasn’t bad. I think I know what alterations I need to make to satisfy your and my muffin craving.

After studying the day away, after being told I should take the day off, I finally fell asleep for a brief hour or so. Upon waking up, although my anxiety had messed with me to the point of losing my appetite, I wanted to keep with my plans for dinner.

Pistachio and Honey Mustard Crusted SalmonWP_003527

serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp Honey Mustard sauce, or mustard of choice
  • 2 tsp non fat sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos, or reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • half 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • half 1/8 tsp dill
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, in shell (15g out of shell)
  • 4 4oz salmon fillets

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine mustard through spices and mix well. Set aside. Remove the pistachios from the shells and chop. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a baking sheet covered in foil and sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Divide the mustard mix over the salmon fillets and top with chopped pistachios. Bake uncovered for about 8 minutes-10 minutes, until salmons center is opaque.

I served mine with a side of spinach, onion, and mustard, like a pseudo-salad,

After a cinnamon covered almond, I came up with the idea of topping a 100 calorie bag of kettle corn with cinnamon and a packet of Splenda. Kind of genius!

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Friday

Recipe for Success

I woke up in the right mindset. I called my Alarm the “Alarm of Success.” I began the day as I do all exam days: with Dunkin and oatmeal. I took a brief jog to the Dunkin to burn off some nervous energy, grabbed my coffee, and like always, I grabbed dad one and a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. I even got my little brother a little something.

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I sat down at the kitchen table and stuck with tradition. Dad came over to give me good luck hugs and to enjoy a bit of breakfast. I made sure to take a nibble of the bagel, like I always did. I knew I needed to stop studying! I brought Barry lunch at work and killed some time there. As he walked me back to my car, I could feel a panic attack setting in.

I sat in the car trying to breath and divert my attention elsewhere. I checked my email, and it was just what I needed! It was from my manager. Usually I cringe when I get emails from him (you never know whats in store):

gianna

“I’m gonna be a nurse! I’m a nurse!” I shouted this in the car as I drove away from Barry’s work!

I headed home, called my grandma for some calming words of wisdom and inspiration, and headed off to the exam. I sat in the car, music playing, singing loudly in the parking lot, and enjoying my sugar free mint pattie, as I always do, pre exam.

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This thing was more intense than nursing school exams. I was only allowed my ID and ATT card. They asked me to remove my necklace, but wrote a note that I kept it on since it was a cross. I removed my watch and hair ties off my wrist and locked them in a provided locker. They even noted any visible tattoos! It was intense. Now, I play the waiting game. The nauseous waiting game causing me nervous snacking and more anxiety! The nauseous waiting game causing me nervous snacking and more anxiety and body issues! Yeah… its like that.

Broke Italiano

This is that week before I get paid… AKA Broke Week.

I also worked a 12 last night, so you would think lazy would be my mood. In all actuality, I got a great nap and woke ready to hang in the kitchen!

During my last hour of work, my stomach started talking to me and I got a mean hankering for an omelet. I don’t know if I’ve even ran to the kitchen so fast upon getting home. I chopped up mushrooms and onions, and since Frank was home, I threw ham and cheddar in egg, for him, and roast beef and swiss for me! Oh ma gosh! My omelet was so cheesy and delicious! I ate it with a handful of onion chips.

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I began to feel snacky and said to myself, Sammy! You’re a sleepy snacker. Go to bed! I hit the shower and had an amazing rest. In fact, Frank woke me up and I was so confused I asked, “Wait, what day is it?”  After an errand with Frank, I spent the remainder of the day in the kitchen whipping up a broke Italian’s dinner, and an experimental dessert (recipe to come)!

Are you strapped for cash? Are you a guido? Well have I got a dinner for you!

(pretty decent pitch, huh?)

WP_003353Italian Peasant Soup

serves 8

  • 2 15oz cannellini beans (white kidney beans), small white beans will also do
  • 1/2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 packed cups savoy cabbage, chopped to various sizes
  • 1 1/2 oz baby carrots, slivered (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup) (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, or 2 tsp minced*
  • 5 1/4 cups broth, vegetable or chicken
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp reduced fat grated Parmesan, divided
  • 4-8 slices wheat bread, or your preference (optional)

Drain and rinse the beans. Heat EVOO in a covered soup pot, along with chopped onion and carrots, on low. (Slow and steady). Stir occasionally, to minimize the potential for burning the onion. Cook only until the onion has softened and is slightly browned and translucent. Meanwhile, mash 1 1/2 cups of drained, rinsed beans with a fork and set aside. Add the cabbage and garlic, recover, and steam down, until wilted, continually tossing the contents of the pot.

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Pour in the broth, and both the whole and mashed beans. Bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until cabbage is tender. Then season with pepper.

If desired, and it usually is, toasted bread lightly, rubbed with a garlic clove or sprinkled with garlic powder. Ladle the soup over the  toast and sprinkle each bowl with 1/2 tsp with grated cheese.

*Garlic Help: 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic = 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder = 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes = 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic = 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice

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I love the aromas the vegetables release and watching the green really pop its color! I could not believe how much I enjoyed the soup! Mom liked, and Frank went back for seconds! It was full of nutrients, protein, and fiber and really filled me up! Its hard to believe all of these delicious flavors all came from boiling some vegetables!

Picking Away

Despite being super sleepy, I spent another night not being able to shut down.

Being awake and not having the mental capacity to study, I flipped through some of my favorite channels and decided on Unique Eats on Cooking Channel. This episode ended on a cupcake note, which caused a late night sweet tooth. I went into the freezer to grab spoonful of fat free cool whip to see Frank’s pint of Chunky Monkey. I never buy Ben & Jerry’s because, although, theirs flavor combinations are absolutely spectacular, their calorie counts are absolutely outrageous! Wanting an added crunch, I dug into the Chunky Monkey to pull out a piece of chocolate and a walnut. This was my first experience with Chunky Monkey and I can tell why its so popular! Banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts! If that doesn’t say “Sammy” I don’t know what does!

Dear Frank,

If you decided to have your Chunky Monkey ice cream, you may find a lack of chunky. Sorry bout that….

Sammy

I felt proud of myself for being able to stop after one serving, but I won’t lie when I tell you I made sure to make that half cup worth it, picking for the chocolate and walnuts. Luckily, I had calories to spare last night, and after a brief increase in my respirations, I reassured myself.

There is one flavor of Ben & Jerry’s that I have wanted to buy, but just can’t bring myself to do it: Chubby Hubby- vanilla malt ice cream with fudge, peanut butter, and pretzels!

Get this- 340 calories per 1/2 cup! Crazy!

It seemed last night, there was no one thing on my mind. I kept playing around with recipe ideas. I kept picking my brain about when I would eat this and that, and what to bring to work, and what was on my shopping list, and how I can play around with ingredients…

Barry picked me up around 10am this morning to meet a buddy for work at the range. It was cool because we weren’t just shooting Barry’s, but John’s also! We all took turns playing around with the guns and switching out targets.

WP_003252Following our time at the range, Barry and I headed to Wholefoods for lunch. They’re ridiculous soup bar has always impressed me, so while Barry loaded up on man foods (meatloaf, chili, and mashed potatoes), I went with the Vegan Hot and Sour soup, and we ate outside on the patio. I was a bit disappointied in the lack of hot in the soup, taste, not temperature.

Nonetheless, we continued to stroll through Wholefoods, looking for some new products on the market, which we couldn’t find just yet. I did leave, however, leave with two items I was quite excited about.

Peaches!!!! Not any old peaches, Donut Peaches, AKA Saturn Peaches. I love these things and I can only find them this time of year! The look like flattened peaches, but they are so sweet and delicious, and my mom and I can literally eat a whole basket of these! Talk about healthy trigger foods.

Top 10 Reasons to Try a Donut Peach

WP_003259Also making an appearance in my cart was Arctic Zero Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen dessert. The cool thing about these products is that the entire pint is 150 calories! I’m not kidding! My only issue is that there wasn’t enough PB flavor. So after a teaspoon of added PB and jimmies, this was aces and I couldn’t feel an ounce of guilt.

WP_003253After lunch, Barry got thirsty and ventured to pick out a drink. “I was what you called me on the blog…” Uhhhhh???? “You’re ‘blueberry fiend of a boyfriend…” Well, its true!

What do you think he wound up getting to drink? IZZE Sparkling BlueberrySHOCKER!

Dinner was a frozen pizza. I’ve really wanted pizza that past few days and I’ve always had good luck with Amy’s pizza. On the menu was Amy’s Margherita pizza. Wow! I’m pretty sure I could have eaten the whole darn thing myself! The crust is  fluffy, and the basil seasoning was tops with the light tomato and globs of mozzarella! After our last experience with Kashi frozen pizza, I was relieved when this was excellent! I may have made a trip back to the kitchen later to pick at the leftover pizza. (They make a vegan version of this, too, by the way).

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After some loving from Lily, Barry’s dog, the night is ending on a rather exciting note: Studying for the boards. Since I am terribly entertaining, Barry whipped out his Nook.

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