It has been crazy warm the last few days here in the Mid-Atlantic. Wednesday we reached 50 degrees and Thursday morning it was 38 when we woke up. *shakes head* The weather here is always unpredictable you never know what to expect. I almost opened the windows yesterday it was so warm but decided that would be a bit wasteful and settled for airing out the kitchen instead. It is nice to have our weather be a little warmer than our normal highs on 41.
Dan had his usual oatmeal with wild blueberries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, freshly ground flaxseeds and walnuts for breakfast. While he got ready for work I packed his lunch and took a quick bath to wake up. I was feeling a little “brain fog” this morning and hot water seems to get me going.
Massimo (aka Masi) has a new trick I wanted to share with you. I have mentioned before that we use an electric blanket to warm up the bed at night before we get in and then we turn it off so we don’t get too hot. Masi figured out that the bed gets hot and he jumps in every night when we turn it on. His new trick is to stay in bed when we get up but to call us to turn the bed on for him. When we ignore him he will come to see us, “murf” (the noise he makes in place of a meow), and run back and forth to the bedroom until we follow him. Then he jumps onto the bed and murfs until we turn the electric blanket on. *rolls eyes* These felines are so spoiled, I wonder how that happened? I am sure I had nothing to do with it. ;-)
After Dan left for work I wrote the last post about Tuesday and Wednesday. I need to really try to stay current on my posts because those two day posts take a lot longer to write, LOL. While I worked on that post I had a mug of hot tea and a cup of water. Next I knocked out my strength training (TRX) and had breakfast. Since I was running late I was starving this morning and had a big mug of the leftover Mexican flavored soup topped with the remainder of the salsa. We are now out of soup which means I need to make more of that today.
Once I was fed I was ready to start my day and got into the kitchen. I had a few things that I needed to work on today and decided to start by making soymilk for Dan’s breakfast and strawberry banana soft serve.
Then it was time to figure out what kind of soup I was going to make. Coming up with new dishes all the time can be exhausting. *rolls eyes* Maybe I need to give myself a break and make a few more repeats when I am busy. Though we both know this isn’t likely to happen very often, LOL.
My afternoon snack was a repeat of a tangerine, a few dried plums (aka prunes) and two Brazil nuts (for the selenium). Clearly I am in a snack rut at the moment. ;-)
Since I had red kidney beans cooking and waiting to go I decided that I would like to make something similar to black bean soup only using kidney beans. Here is what I did:
Mexican-Flavored Red Kidney Bean Soup
5 cups water or no sodium added veg stock (I used water)
3 ½ cups red kidney beans, home cooked without sodium (or substitute 2-15 ounce cans)
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
8 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, whole, crushed or ground
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons oregano
1 ½ teaspoons coriander seed, crushed or ground
2 chipotles in adobo, minced (scrape away the seeds before mincing you don’t want much heat)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon masa harina (to thicken and add that distinctive “corn tortilla” flavor)
1 lime, zested and juiced
salsa or diced fresh tomato
finely chopped red onion or sliced scallions
cooked grain, brown rice would be traditional but I used quinoa
Combine the water, beans, onions, garlic, spices (cumin, chili powder, oregano), chipotles, and black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes or as long as it takes to soften the onions and garlic and for the flavors to blend. Puree a few cups of the soup and return that to the pot. Alternately you can use an immersion blender to puree only some of the soup. Remove a little of the soup and sprinkle two tablespoons masa harina into it and whisk to combine. Return the masa and soup to the pot and simmer until the soup is thickened and the raw corn flour taste has been cooked out. Add the juice and zest of one then taste and correct the seasonings and serve one of more of the possible garnishes listed above.
Nutritional Information (without the garnishes):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 157.78
Calories From Fat (2%) - 3.64
Total Fat - 0.44g
Saturated Fat - 0.07g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 18.13mg
Potassium - 544.57mg
Total Carbohydrates - 29.7g
Fiber - 10.72g
Sugar - 1.22g
Protein - 10.36g
This soup has a big bold flavor and nice level of heat that is mild to medium in level and that is with the seeds left in the chipotles. I wanted something that was substantial tasting and warming without being too heavy. I think this soup can be easily changed by varying the toppings.
Tonight we had the soup with diced fresh tomatoes and cilantro over quinoa.
Needless to say Dan “needed” to have two bowls of strawberry banana soft serve (made with soymilk) as his dessert. If he keeps asking for this we may need an intervention soon. ;-)
Water Intake Update:
In an attempt to keep myself on track I am going to post my water intake for a few weeks until this becomes a habit. Thursday I had 5 mugs of hot tea, and 5 mugs of water. Increasing my water intake has had the impact of reducing my white and green tea consumption. Gee, I wonder why, LOL. My new target is between 4 and 5 mugs of tea and cups of water per day.
I have also noticed that I am not as hungry as usual which could be a problem if my food intake dips too low. Increasing my water intake is a bit of an experiment on my part. I am always trying to improve my health and nutrition and was running out of ideas which was why I decided to try increasing my water. I will keep you informed regarding how this works out for me.
• The temperatures have been extremely nice two days in a row. I will always take highs in the 40’s and 50’s over the frigid temperatures we had earlier in the month. Having nice weather has reminded me that spring is just around the corner. I always look forward to spring and love it when my azaleas are in full bloom. You can expect more photos like last year since I love my azalea bushes. ;-)
• If you can love an inanimate object then I am in love with my TRX. As usual I was skeptical but this may actually live up to the hype and most things never even come close. I want to get through all the workouts a few more times before I review it but I can tell you that I have been enjoying it more than I expected to. If you have a friend with at TRX see if they will demonstrate it for you. I think you will be surprised by all the things you can do with it.
• Given how much soymilk I will be making I am also grateful for my soymilk maker. This was something Dan thought I needed and it does make it easy to make soymilk. I also love knowing that it doesn’t contain anything artificial. You know how I feel about “Frankenfood”. ;-)
• I am thankful that we have three adorable felines to share our lives with. Masi was particularly adorable this morning. I absolutely love our three felines. Dan is right when he has we are wrapped around their fuzzy little toes.
• It was great to hear Dr. Oz tell people to avoid sugar Thursday on his show. I am hopeful that by him outlining the problems of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver and high blood sugar to such a wide audience it will get more people’s attention.
• Have you ever had one of those surreal moments where you catch a glance of yourself in the mirror and think “is that me?” That happened to me today. I know this will sound impossible but I look younger (or at least as young) today compared to 10 years ago and it floors me every time I notice it. Go whole food! ;-)
• I am also thankful that Dan made it home last night before the snow. I like to have him safely home before the frozen precipitation starts falling.
Today is Friday which means I need to take care of my usual Friday errands. We had snow overnight and the temperatures have been falling since I got up. Hopefully the roads aren’t too bad. Have I said recently that I don’t like the cold? LOL
Talk to you tomorrow. Happy Friday!