17 November, 2011

Potato and Broccoli Soup

Today, I must complain. Yes, hold the phone. Today I will complain. Publicly. 
So my issue is the way some people treat the end of the year as one big rush to the finish line. A huge leap from October to December. I believe the retail industry may be partly to blame. Wait a minute Starbucks! Do you have Thanksgiving cups? Hold it Target! Halloween decor and Christmas lights don't mesh. We let them coax us into racing to the end without even a wave to October or a cozy fall meal in November. As soon as October 1st appears, the shotgun goes off and everyone is in competition to see who can get their Christmas tree up first.
Now I believe in letting folks do, say and think as they please. So go for it sprinters. Run! As for my me, I will jog. I will celebrate when October arrives with its first day of crisp, cool air. When November comes around the corner, I will cozy up to a comforting pot of soup (recipe below). And December. Ah yes, when December arrives I will brighten my home with lights and a tree and enjoy the walk to the finish line where I will meet those who arrived before me. (Starbucks and JC Penny)
Potato and Broccoli soup
Serves 4-5 as a meal 
4 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
6-8 yukon gold potatoes (3 russet potatoes), cut into small cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 cup half and half
Precook the potatoes in the microwave for about 5-6 minutes or until you can put a fork through them. Heat a stock pot on medium heat and melt butter. Add onion and celery and saute for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and saute for 10 minutes. Add broccoli and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and stir. Add white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil and simmer on medium for 30 minutes stirring frequently. After 30 minutes, break up the potatoes by using a big spoon and just mashing them against the side of the pot. An immersion blender or potato masher will also get the job done. Turn heat to low, add half and half and stir. Serve with cheese, green onions and bacon on top.

11 November, 2011

Pita Chips

Make your own pita chips.
You won't reget it.
So buttery.
So garlicky.
Better than store bought.
No doubt.

Recipe from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson (slightly modified by SP)

4 whole wheat pitas, cut into bite size wedges
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
two pinches of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk butter, olive oil, garlic and salt. In a large bowl, pour mixture over pita and toss until well coated. Arrange pita onto a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10-15 minues until chips are golden and your kitchen smells amazing.

02 November, 2011

Enjoying 100% and Veggie Burritos

Most often we take our health for granted. We go about our daily lives with a headache here, a muscle ache there, some sinus or allergies issues; however, for the most part we feel good. We feel great! But we don't realize how great we feel until we get hit (bam) with some type of stomach bug (just for example). Then we feel awful. So awful it is hard to realize that it is only temporary and this too shall pass. Then we start to recover and we feel a bit better each hour, each day until we feel back to 100%. And on that day is the day we realize what 100% actually feels like. It feels awesome. And for most of us who aren't suffering from some serious condition or chronic pain, that 100% is probably what we are feeling a majority of the time. And that 100% is what we take for granted.

Today I am taking some time out to be thankful for my overall health and my 100%. What does this have to do with the recipe I am sharing with you today? Nothing. But it is still a good recipe so try it and enjoy your 100%. You can add chicken or steak to this recipe if you please.

Makes 4 Vegetable Burritos.
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, diced
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of red pepper
4 flour tortillas
2 cups cooked rice
15 oz can of black beans, rinsed

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add veggies and saute for about five minutes. Add spices and saute for about 3-5 more minutes then remove from heat.
Add sour cream, rice, beans, and veggies to tortilla and roll into a burrito. Top with salsa.