I started the morning (or I guess I should say the day since I didn’t eat until about noon!) with one of my finds from yesterday at Trader Joe’s…
Organic Multigrain Hot Cereal. It has rye, barley, oats and wheat and it’s yummy!! In order to see what I thought of the flavor of the cereal itself, I didn’t add much. I also cheated (I suppose…) and made it in the microwave. I just added a touch of cinnamon (my new best friend), Splenda and some Almond Breeze almond milk. It was really good. I’m going to try it again tomorrow and jazz it up a bit, maybe with honey, but the flavor of the cereal itself is so good, I don’t think it needs much extra. I’m also enjoying the almond milk which I just started using last week. I used the unsweetened plain and I really like it. Thanks to Kristen for suggesting I give it a try. I’m thinking of trying it in my coffee tomorrow to see how I like it. I’m really picky about coffee, so we’ll see how that goes. But as for the cereal…if I need a snack tonight, that may be it! Now I have one more thing that I need to stock up on from TJ’s before we move…oh the pressure!!
Since there was snow again, about 3 or 4 inches I decided that I needed to make soup! I really haven’t made any this winter yet and I need to get back to it. Soup is one of the things that has always helped me to stay on track with my weight during winters past. It’s filling, I know how to figure it out because I made it and I just love doing it so there are many levels of enjoyment involved. Since I didn’t feel like going out in the snow to get anything I went with an old tried and true.
The recipe card is old and battered and originally came from Weight Watchers. You can’t see in the photo, but the fine print says 1999. That year the program gave you a recipe each week as part of your materials. This was Week Two and is one of my favorites. I’ve used it over and over again, which is why the card is so sad-looking! I’ve also photocopied it to share with many people. I like it because it’s delicious and it’s so darned easy! I do make some adjustments for flavor so I’ll give you WW’s recipe and then explain my version.
PASTA E FAGIOLI (PASTA AND BEANS) Makes 4 servings
1 (16 oz) can Italian-style cruised or whole Italian-style tomatoes (finely chopped)
1 (19 oz) can kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
3 cups cooked pasta or 3/4 cup dry pasta
3 cups of water.
1. Place all ingredients in medium saucepan
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, if using cooked pasta, or until dry pasta is fully cooked. Add enough water to just cover the pasta.
I truly cannot understand how anyone could consider making soup of any kind, especially Italian soup without garlic, onions or some seasonings, so here is my version.
Spray the pot with olive oil cooking spray. Saute a chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. This can be at your discretion, make it how you like it. I also add a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. I’m not much for salt so add to taste and I love pepper so I add a lot. I also use dried Italian seasonings and I’m pretty liberal with it. I DO NOT like kidney beans but I do love cannellini beans so that’s what I used. I’ve also used garbanzo beans and great northern. I’d say that any bean would work well here, based on your preference. I’ve always added the dry pasta at this point and let it cook. I also add probably at least 1/2 cup more of water, maybe a little more.
I’ve found that it’s better to not add the frozen mixed veggies until the pasta has cooked. If you do, the veggies get all soggy and lose their color. If you’ve pre-cooked the pasta, you could add them all at once. Usually I will add about twice the veggies they suggest because I like a heartier soup. Your result will look something like this…
As I’ve said, this is one of my favorites. I’m really excited thinking about several of my other favorites that I’ll be able to share here. Some of them I’ve never written down so I’m going to have to figure them out in order to share them. I’ll figure them out. One thing I don’t have to figure out…the soup smells wonderful and I don’t have to share it with anyone else…except Ralph. Hey, Honey…Soup’s On!!