Being up at 2:30am means you sleep in a bit the next day. I rolled out at 8:30 and Dan was a little later because I wanted him to get his rest. Sleeping late means a late breakfast which is not necessarily a bad thing. Surprisingly when we got on the scale this morning neither of us gained any weight in fact we were exactly the same. Since I had mentally prepared myself for a little jump I was happy to see no change this morning.
Given our very carbohydrate heavy day yesterday (oatmeal, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat pizza) we decided a nice clean smoothie was in order for breakfast. I made one that contained: 2 frozen bananas, 1 handful of walnuts, 4 cups of loosely packed shredded kale, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon powdered ginger, water, ice and stevia (to taste). I had 2/5 and Dan had 3/5 of the smoothie. We were discussing it and we both think that we are completely accustomed to the taste of raw kale in smoothies now. It took us a while to warm up to it but now we are fine with it. If you don’t like the bitterness of kale in your smoothies right away try adding less and work up to more. Our palates adjusted and I think yours will too. Just know that it doesn’t happen overnight you need to work on it for a while.
For lunch I wanted to make something clean as well. I knew a salad was order and wanted to make a soup to go with it. Initially I was thinking that I would make a broccoli “cheeze” soup. Then I thought maybe add baked potatoes and tempeh bacon and have a twice baked potato soup. Finally I decided to add roasted butternut squash to add more nutrition to the soup. Here is what I made for lunch:
Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Red Pepper Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small chunks that will fit on a spoon (don’t throw away the seeds you will be using them too for garnish)
2 cups frozen broccoli florets defrosted, chopped so that they will easily fit on a spoon
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced (allow to stand 10 minutes before heating)
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before heating)
½ cup water
8 cups vegetable stock and/or water ( I used half water half stock)
2 roasted red peppers, cut into small chunks
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast (for a nice buttery background not so much that it becomes cheesy)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (to add just a hint of smoke to the background)
½ cup walnuts, ground into flour (to add richness to the soup)
½ cup oatmeal, ground into flour (to thicken the soup)
2 good pinches of saffron threads
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon dry mustard
black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two half sheet pans (11.5 by 17 inch) with silpat, parchment or no stick aluminum foil.
Place the butternut squash flesh, seeds and broccoli on the sheet pans in a single layer and roast until they are lightly browned (about 45 minutes). You are roasted the veggies to concentrate the flavor by evaporating the water from the veggies. This will make your soup flavor more intense.
Water sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes (approximately 3 to 5) and add the other ingredients and simmer. When the veggies are browned add them to the soup as well. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you deem necessary. Serve the soup with a few roasted squash seeds on top for crunch.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 141.5
Calories From Fat (38%) - 53.32
Total Fat - 5.2g
Saturated Fat - 0.52g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 20.82mg
Potassium - 381mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.48g
Fiber - 4.2g
Sugar - 1.94g
Protein - 3.9g
No specific flavor dominates in this soup and that was my intention. I was going for a nice well rounded soup. It is rich and satisfying but at 140 calories per serving you can have more than one bowl and feel good about it. I enjoyed the crunch from the roasted squash seeds on top of this. If you wanted to make this soup more rich finish it with a dollop of cashew crème fraiche on top.
To accompany the soup we had small side salads which consisted of: 1 head of shredded romaine, ½ cup of salsa, 2 tomatoes, 1 grated carrot, ½ diced cucumber and ½ an avocado. It always surprised me how little salad my parents consume. Dan and I would eat all the salad I made tonight for the four of us and consider it a small salad.
Dan was very helpful today. While I roasted veggies for the soup he ran to the library for me to take a few things back and get items I had reserved. I now have the Engine 2 Diet to add to my reading list. I need to read a book a day to knock out the ones I have at home currently. Why do I bring home so many books at one time? Do any of you do this too?
Since the library branch we go to is near Wegman’s he ran in to pick up some big salad bowls for us. Okay for everyone else they are serving bowls but you all know how much salad we eat by now so I know you aren’t shocked. They are in the same pattern that I bought not long at Wegman’s so you can expect to see those turn up in future pictures.
When we were at Marshall’s yesterday I bought a few pieces of ceramics that I thought would make nice pictures on the blog. Yes I do have “blog” dishes. Doesn’t everyone do this or is it just me?
Here is the cute little green appetizer plate I picked up. I love the relief pattern.
I also loved this little boat shaped vessel made in Portugal. I can see marinated mushrooms or artichokes in here. It is also great that this looks so much like a serving bowl I have from Italy. ;-)
We also found this cute Japanese dish which will be calling me to make sushi again soon. The best part about picking things like this up at Marshall’s is the price. The Japanese plate was $6.99 but the other two were only $2.99. At prices like that I don’t feel too guilty about having dishes for blogging.
As usual Dan and I talked about what to have for dinner tonight. The choices came down to a huge salad or veg and fruit juice and we decided that the juice would be more nutritious so we went with that. In this batch of juice I included: 4 cups kale loosely packed, 5 collard leaves, 10 carrots, 3 apples, 1 very large beet, 1 inch of fresh ginger and 2 limes. We split this 1/3 for me and 2/3 for Dan.
We also decided to watch a movie tonight and it was Dan’s turn to pick. He decided we would watch Flawless with Michael Caine and Demi Moore. Honestly I had never heard of it. It was an okay movie. The plot was somewhat plausible, the acting was good. I can’t say I have any desire to watch it a second time but it was definitely better than the last movie we watched about the coins in the fountain in Rome.
To go with the movie we made a big bowl of popcorn which I seasoned with nutritional yeast, dill weed and paprika. Do any of you have a trick to getting sesonings to stick to popcorn that doesn't involve oil?
Saturday was a little rough for me since it was 9/11. Living near DC and having a relative that works for American Airlines I still find 9/11 to be disturbing. I knew someone that was on the plane that hit the Pentagon. It still feels like it all happened not that long ago. How can it be 9 years already? The tragedy that was 9/11 was the reason I decided to retire early. I realized that I was wasting my life working 80+ hours per week (and being miserable while doing it) and that it was no way to live since life could be over in an instant. It is funny how something happens and it changes the course of your life. Every year I think of life the way it was before and since 9/11 and I get a little sad. I often wonder how long it will take before the sadness of those events goes away. Did any of you lose anyone on 9/11 or did it change your life?
I hope everyone had a nice Saturday and was able to enjoy the same beautiful weather we had in the Mid-Atlantic until this morning.
We just got back from the farmers' market in the rain this morning. Time for me to put the produce away and start planning lunch. I will be making something more hearty today since it is cool and rainy. Talk to you all again soon.