Not knowing when I needed to leave to pick up my father I opted to let exercise wait until I got home. This also meant breakfast for me was delayed since I prefer to eat after I exercise. While I waited for the phone to ring I sipped hot water with lemon and started a pot of garbanzo beans. I want to experiment with using chickpeas to see if I can use them to make something cheezy to top salads or spread on veggie dippers. Dan isn’t a big a fan of nutritional yeast as I am so I will need to keep that to a minimum. Like all kitchen experiments I am looking forward to playing around with this but it will probably have to wait until tomorrow since I don’t know how much time I will have today.
Recently Dan told me he wants to eat fewer nuts (which is how I keep weight on him now) but since he also doesn’t want to eat a lot of grains/starches that means his bean consumption must increase. We are constantly tweaking our diet to see what impact changes have on our overall health. Since Dan doesn’t want to lose any weight I work to keep him in a narrow 5 pound weight band. Neither Dan nor I ever had to worry about keeping weight on that is now becoming an issue since we changed how we eat. Having both the juicer and the Vitamix have been very helpful in terms of making sure we are consuming enough calories. It is much easier to drink your calories than spend a lot of time chewing through mountains of fresh produce. If you are having difficulty keeping weight on I would suggest you try adding blended salad or fresh juice to your diet.
While I was waiting for the phone to ring to pick up my father I was reading about boosting immunity (it is the season after all) and was reminded of the critical role zinc plays. Zinc deficiency is common in vegetarians and older Americans and is important for immune function which means we shouldn’t ignore this. Good vegetarian sources of zinc include:
- wheat germ
- sesame seeds
- roasted pumpkin or squash seeds
- cocoa powder or chocolate
Picking up my father:
So much for planning! Even though we dropped father off 30 minutes early and he had an early appointment I didn’t pick him up until 12:15. Needless to say today became an exercise rest day since I was extremely hungry and a bit dizzy from not eating when I got home after 12:30. It never seems to matter how much I plan, the universe always seems to have other plans for me.
The one nice thing about getting older is that I am much more tolerant when my plans get thrown off. When I was younger these unexpected changes to my schedule would have caused me much anxiety. Even I marvel at how much mellower I have become in my “old age”. ;-) At least getting older has a benefit or two, LOL.
Since I needed to make more food to replenish our intentional leftovers I thought I should add a mushroom dish to the rotation. Mushrooms are something we both like and the fact that they are thought to have antiproliferative properties makes them something I like to use often.
Lightly Smoky Mushroom and Corn Soup in a Tomato Sage Broth
Serves 6 generously (each portion is approximately 2 cups)
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
6 cups filtered water
4 cups peeled diced tomatoes
1 pound crimini mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (to provide a light smokiness in the background and mimic bacon)
½ tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (to provide additional umami)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (to mimic a buttery flavor but not so much as to be cheezy)12 fresh sage leaves, finely julienned
3 cups frozen corn (I used white corn from our CSA this summer which I had frozen)
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in an equal amount of water (to slightly thicken the soup)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, finely minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Combine the onions, garlic, water, tomatoes, mushrooms, paprika and Worcestershire sauce and cook until the onions are tender and the harshness is gone. Add the nutritional yeast, sage, corn and cornstarch slurry. Bring the soup to a boil to activate the cornstarch and lightly thicken the soup. Add black pepper to taste.
To serve, top the hot soup with a little fresh parsley and green onions. Alternately you can stir the greens into the soup just before serving if you want the green throughout the soup rather than on top. I do either depending on my mood.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 149.51
Calories From Fat (6%) - 9.16
Total Fat - 1g
Saturated Fat - 0.12g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 237.27mg
Potassium - 897.5mg
Total Carbohydrates - 30.26g
Fiber - 4.78g
Sugar - 7.45g
Protein - 5.89g
This is a nice light soup perfect for the transition into fall. The broth is not overpowering but the flavor is still complex. I am not sure what happened but my ability to make interesting soup has improved dramatically over the last six months. I guess that proves that practice makes perfect in cooking like everything else. ;-)
You can change this soup by adding white beans, diced potato or roasted red pepper. I wanted a lighter soup this evening but those additions would be great if you wanted to make the soup a meal in itself. The soup would also be great with dried mushrooms if you don’t have any fresh. Additionally in the past I have made a broth using the corn cobs and used that in the base.
In my less healthy past I would have finished this with a drizzle of truffle oil or a pinch of truffle salt. However I think it was fine without it. But for those of you using oil and salt regularly I wanted to mention that hint.
I had a big bowl of this for my dinner since I had packed enough food for Dan to eat lunch and dinner at work since he has another looming deadline. Somehow a nice light bowl of soup makes a perfect dinner. If I hadn’t had such a big snack my dinner would have included salad.
It has been a log day and I didn’t sleep well last night so I need to make tonight an early evening. With a little luck my felines will let me sleep this evening. Apparently my little furry angels didn’t get the memo from the vet that they are senior citizens now (they all turned 9 this year) and shouldn’t be running around like kittens all night. Oh well at least I know they are healthy and this all that is really important. Right? ;-)
Sorry I got behind commenting on your posts and responding to your comments to my post yesterday. It was a busy day and I had more things to do than I had time to get accomplished. I should be able to get current tomorrow. I hope everyone has a good night.
Talk to you again tomorrow.