Tag Archives: recipe

WIAW~True Confessions and a Recipe!

I have been among the missing for a bit and I do apologize for it.  No real explanation except life gets in the way sometimes. But I wanted to get back for What I Ate Wednesday because I missed playing along with Jenn and all of the fun kids over at Peas & Crayons.  So Here Goes!

What I Ate Wednesday GOES GREEN

Well, it is the week of St. Patrick’s Day so I’m using this logo.  Since I wasn’t around to say it…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

First the true confessions part.  I have been off track with my eating and I would be truly ashamed to show some of the things that I’ve wolfed down in recent weeks.  No one’s fault but my own.  However, I always have a safety net, a trick in my back pocket that works wonders for me.  Weight Watchers vegetable soup.  With all the updates to the program, I’m not even sure what the current “Garden Vegetable Soup” recipe looks like.  Over these many years (almost 27 years) of being a Weight Watchers member, I’ve made some changes and made it my own.  This is my current version.

Veggie soup in crock pot

Weight Watchers Veggie Soup

1 large onion chopped (or more if you Like)

2 or more tbsp of chopped garlic ( or more if you like)

4 peeled, chopped carrots

3 celery stalks

3-4 cups of chopped cabbage

1 large jar ( think it’s 12 oz but it might be larger) salsa of choice

I have for a number of years made my veggie soup in a crock pot.  I like it because I can make it and then it takes care of itself.  All of these veggies can be adjusted as to amounts depending your preferences.  I sometimes add others depending on what’s in the fridge, but this is the basic.  That’s one of the best parts of this soup, you can make it your own as I have.

When it comes to spices, I vary that again depending on my whim. Right now my spices are cumin (liberally sprinkled), turmeric (good for me for anti-inflammatory purposes, so I’m told, also liberally sprinkled), a dash of cayenne or several, depending.  I also like to add a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

I cook in the crock pot for usually about 4-6 hours on High.  You can cook as long as you like depending on how crunchy you like your soup.  I like mine still a little crunchy.

This soup as it is counts for 0 Points on Weight Watchers.  For anyone who is following Weight Watchers and want to make this, I have a suggestion.  If you want to add something else to it, pasta, rice, quinoa, beans or meat if you are a meat eater, I suggest that you make the basic soup.  Then take out the portion you want to eat.  After you’ve done that, then measure and add whatever else you want to add in.  That way your big pot of soup stays “pure,” it still counts as 0 Points.  You can then calculate the Points for whatever you might be adding to your portion of soup.  Just makes life simpler and you’re left with a pot of 0 Point soup in case you have a day when you’re Hungry and need something that counts for 0 Points.

The finished product…

Veggie Soup completed

 

It is so delicious and so versatile.  It’s a great tool for helping me stay on track.  Even if you’re Not a Weight Watchers member, it can be a help.

That’s it for me today for WIAW.  Be sure to join in all of the fun over at Peas & Crayons.  Have a great day!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

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WIAW~Soup’s The Thing

Still trying to get my act together here and plugging along. But I can’t miss out on joining in with What I Ate Wednesday in spite of the hubbub.  Be sure to check out all of the fun over at Jenn’s wonderful Peas & Crayons.

What I Ate Wednesday: FALL into Good Habits

As my title would suggest, it’s all soup all the time around here lately.  One of my favorite things to do is to hang out at my stove cooking up lovely pots of soup.  Sometimes one of my crock pots subs in for the stove, but either way.  I love soup.  It makes me happy.

Last Friday I was raving about my new and incredibly easy black bean soup recipe.    It was So good that I whipped up another batch Monday (read that to mean that I already gobbled up the Other batch!!!)

BB soup in containers

 

Still doesn’t look very pretty, but I don’t care…it’s delicious!

I’ve been finding lots of great veggie recipes courtesy of Facebook.  There are lots of pages on there directed to veggie types such as myself.  I’ve been enjoying reading them and now trying some of them.

One of the ones I like the best is Veg Kitchen with Nava Atlas.  This is chock full of good veggie recipes.  I found one called Tomato, Lentil, and Barley Soup.  This was easy for me because I had most of the ingredients already.  I’ve been hanging on to that last little bit of barley Forever and there was just enough for this recipe.

It looked beautiful in the pot…

TLB Soup in pot

 

So colorful and it smelled so good.  I do think that it needed a little more seasoning.  I think I will at least doubled the Mrs. Dash the next time I make it and maybe add a few more spices along with that.

TLB soup in dish

 

I topped it with some shredded 2% cheese and I loved it.  I’ve eaten it two days in a row and I’m probably going for three! That’s one of the things I love about having soup in the fridge…there’s never the question, “What’s for dinner?”  I always know the answer…Soup!!  I’m going to do my best to keep at it with making soups.  They’re very filling and since I’ve been having the soup, I don’t feel so tempted to snack in the evening.  That’s always a plus.

Be sure to check out all of the fun going on over at Peas & Crayons.  We’re getting down to the wire around here with Christmas things so I’ve got to run!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Strange But Good~It Started As Soup~December 13

Holy Cow! I’m writing this on Thursday in preparation for Friday’s Strange But Good and I just realized that tomorrow is Friday the 13th!  Yikes!  Not that I’m superstitous…just makes you think.

Anyway!  I love Strange But Good hostessed by the lovely Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  I don’t participate as often as I’d like, but hey we do what we can. As I’ve said before, teaming up with the other Strange But Gooders makes  me feel not so strange. So Here Goes!

Sprint 2 the Table

I’m vegetarian…No news there.  My best friend Gail is also vegetarian.  She has a close personal relationship with WebMD.  Closer than she’d like.  She gets so many e-mails from them that if I were her, I’d be afraid they were stalking me.  She does find some really good and easy vegetarian recipes sometimes.  This one was one of the best and easiest.

Simply called Black Bean Soup it was so easy that in a hectic day when I planned all day to make it and then had many stumbling blocks, I still made it and it was done in short order. I had no cumin, tried Alice-she didn’t have any, tried Gail-she didn’t have any.  Resorted to going to the grocery store.  As I’m getting into the car, Ralph calls and says our Christmas cards are ready at the printer and I need to pick him up and we have to drive the 20 minutes to the printer.  We do, I come home and this soup sounded so easy I said what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

As with many things I seem to show on Strange But Good, it tastes better than it looks.  I feel the need to warn you of that.  This is not pretty food, but oh so tasty.

Prepared BB soup

 

See…as I said, it’s not pretty.  The recipe calls for putting it in the blender, but I’m not a fan of blended soups, I like texture.  I have an immersion blender, but I didn’t feel like getting it out and probably ending up covered in soup.  I got out my trusty potato masher and mashed away.  It worked very well.  Smashed things up just enough, thickened the soup.  Excellent.

But I felt it need to be a little more substantial to hold me for the evening so I quickly cooked up some quinoa.  Who can’t use a little added protein?

I put the soup over the quinoa and added some of my ever-present Romano cheese.  A little cheddar would have been more appropriate, but I work with what I’ve got.  Also didn’t add the sour cream or cilantro for the same reason.

BB soup over quinoa

 

Again, not pretty but so good.  The prep time says 30 minutes but I don’t think it even took that long.  You can have most of the ingredients in your pantry ready for when you want to make it.  Believe me, I will keep them on hand All The Time.  It could also be a good basis for other dishes.  I like that in a recipe.  Give this a try, it’s worth it!

Be sure to check out what the other strange people are sharing over at Sprint 2 The Table.  You never know what you’ll find!

Happy Friday!!

WIAW~Do I Remember How?

Hello…My Name is Fran and I’ve been away from What I Ate Wednesday for Way too long! Truthfully only 2 weeks, but it seems like a lot longer.  I haven’t been sitting on my hands during that time (well sometimes because my hands get really cold and that’s the only remedy!) I’ve been very busy accomplishing things around here and I’m quite proud of myself. I guess it was worth giving up WIAW for a few weeks.  The projects continue and now I’ve got to get back to some food at least once a week!  Thanks to Jenn at Peas & Crayons for being our glorious hostess!!

What I Ate on Thanksgiving

Not JUST on Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is certainly in here.  Funny thing is, that with everything I’ve been working on, I’ve been forgetting to photograph food.  I’m going to work on that in the coming week and get back my blogging skills.

Veggie burger salad

 

Salad topped with a veggie burger at our favorite diner.  It’s one of my favorite lunches.  Filling and delicious.

tomato onion omelette

 

Breakfast at the same diner.  A tomato and onion omelette.  Cottage cheese on the side.  This combo just sounded good to me and it was.

Thanksgiving breakfast

 

On Thanksgiving, I wanted a light breakfast so that I would have lots of flexibility at dinner.  This was an omelette made with egg substitute and egg whites topped with Fall Apple salsa.  Very tasty and filling.  I love making omelettes this way and it only cost me 2 Points on Weight Watchers.  Recognize the mug, Ele?!

Thanksgiving dinner

 

Yummy Thanksgiving dinner at my sister Ele’s house. Morningstar Farms turk’y burgers, mashed potatoes topped with Serv-A-Gravy, a wonderful veggie gravy substitute, succotash (an old favorite that I made), green beans, cole slaw and cranberry orange relish that Ele made.  All quite delicious. Didn’t get a photo of my cranberry orange mold. Oh well.  I also forgot to capture dessert but I had a piece of Jim’s homemade apple pie and piece of Ele’s Andes candies brownies.  So good!

One more thing that should be accompanied by a recipe but it isn’t today.  I will get it posted because it’s delicious and I will be making it again and again.

Crock pot steel cut oats

 

Steel cut oats made in the crock pot.  This is so easy and it is so delicious.  I was set for breakfast for a week. I’ll try to get the recipe up sometime this week.

I’m working hard to get back on track as far as my food choices are concerned.  I do feel I kept myself in control on Thanksgiving but I’ve been struggling with night-time snacking again.  That is Always my big stumbling block.  I’m also working hard to get more exercise which will help.  So far so good this week.  I’ll try to keep it up.

I’m still not feeling Christmas yet.  I’ve been dealing with this for that last few years.  I’m working at getting the Spirit.  We’ll see how it goes.

So for now, that’s What I Ate Wednesday for me.  Be sure to check out the wonderful group of foodies who gather at Peas & Crayons each week.  Humfph…seems the whole thing continues even when I’m not there.  That is how it should be!!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Strange But Good~May 17~Taco Soup

I love Strange But Good, the creation of Laura at Sprint 2 The Table.  It’s great fun and lets me get some of my stranger foods out of my system.  This one might not sound so strange, but for some people it might.  All I can tell you is that it is Delicious!

Sprint 2 the Table

You may remember me talking about the fact that while in Florida we were attending a wonderful Weight Watchers meeting.  That leader has a Facebook page.  Someone from Florida posted this recipe and I found it and shared it with my friends Gail and Alice.

Well, before I had the chance to get the ingredients, they had both made the soup and told me how great it was!  Only problem with the recipe was that it was listed as counting for 2 Points on WW for a cup of the soup.  Alice recalculated it because none of us thought this was right.  It wasn’t and the recalculated count showed that it was 4 Points per cup.  Regardless, it’s delicious and packed with protein.

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I had just made a crock pot full of black beans so I was set for them and didn’t have to use canned.

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All of the other necessary ingredients lined up and ready to go.

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Pot o’ Soup…cooking away. This is so quick and easy.  Almost the most time-consuming thing is opening the cans!

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The finished product! This is so delicious and truly filling.  This was a 2 cup serving and in truth, I couldn’t finish it.  This on a night when I sat down to eat being Very hungry.  This is just a great, tasty and Cheap recipe.

Taco Soup – 4 pointsplus values per 1 cup serving

1 large onion, chopped

1 package of taco seasoning

2 cups whole kernel corn

1 can fat-free chicken broth (I of course, used veggie broth)

1 can black beans, undrained

1 can Great Northern Beans

1 can Fat Free Refried Beans

1 can Diced Tomatoes

1 can Spicy Seasoned Tomatoes, like

Tomatoes with Jalapenos

Saute the onion until soft in a large pot Sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

Add the other ingredients to pot and Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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Between Gail, Alice and I we all made it just a bit differently.  Alice made it with the tomatoes with jalapenos.  Gail made it with tomatoes with green chiles.  I made it with 2 cans of diced tomatoes because the spicy tomatoes I Thought I had were used for something else.  😦   I think it would have been tastier with one of the spicier tomato varieties, but it was just delicious the way I made it.   It is absolutely something I’ll try again. The great thing is that you can have everything in your pantry and with the addition of the one fresh ingredient (the onion) you can have a hearty and tasty meal ready in no time at all.  I hope you’ll all give it a try, then let me know what you think after you’ve tried it!

Be sure to stop by at Sprint 2 The Table to check out the other strange offerings.  Don’t forget to leave some comments!  I do admit that this is not as strange as it might be, but it’s really kind of a blank canvas of a soup.  Lots of things can be added and you can make it your own!

Happy Friday!

Impromptu Success

Sometimes, I have no idea what to cook.  I’m actually very lazy when it comes to cooking, unless I’m in one of my cooking spurts but I like things that aren’t a lot of trouble.

I knew that I had left over quinoa in the fridge and needed something easy to go along with it.

You may recall way back in the early days of BCDC I did a post lamenting old beans.  Can’t find that particular post at the moment, but I’ll do a quick recap.  Going through my pantry cabinet (which I’m still doing over a year later!) I had found a plastic container with navy beans.  I didn’t know if there was a use by date related to dried beans so I just soaked them and plopped them in the crock pot.  Well, they cooked and cooked and cooked.  They never reached what I would consider a cooked consistency.  However, being the renowned cheapo that I am, I used them in various things.

Well this time, we’re talking lentils.  A similar plastic container (which are the same vintage as the aforementioned navy beans) were unearthed recently.  I had been thinking about cooking lentils in the crock pot and figured that Sunday was as good a day as any to give them a try. Besides, I had an hour to kill before Ele and I had to go out, I figured I’d throw them together.  I opened the container and they smelled fine.

I chopped a medium onion, added 2 Tbsp. of pre-chopped garlic, 1 and 1/2 cups of lentils and 3 and 3/4 cups of water.  I also added some of this…

It’s a Mrs. Dash-ish seasoning I got at Aldi.  It is Wonderful! It’s way less expensive than Mrs. Dash (I still love you, Mrs. D. but half the price is half the price!) and it’s a bit zippier.  I should probably read the label, but I think it must have something peppery in it.  Anyway, I shook it in liberally.

Before…

After…They cooked for about 6 hours all together.  I started them on high, but since I had to go out and I’d never tried this before (and the old crock was pretty full!) I turned it to low for about 3 hours hoping to avoid a disaster.  Probably would have been better to be on high the entire time. I’m so glad that this small crock pot has a temperature control.  Some don’t.  Pretty good for $5 at a thrift store!  I do think the lentils may have been a little old because they were not as tender as I would have liked but, Hey anything that’s been in the cupboard as long as these I sort of consider free!

I microwaved my left over quinoa and-

Topped with some Locatelli cheese and I was happy!  It was actually juicier than it looks and it was delicious! Some foods don’t photograph well and sad to say this is one, but it was delicious.  I have lentils for another few days and I already know what I’m making for dinner tonight.  It’ll be another quick dinner!

With a little thinking ahead and very little actual effort, I had a great dinner last night and the basis for several others.  Can’t wait to see what I come up with!

Before I leave you, a couple of pretty skies from over the weekend.

This is from Thanksgiving Day.

This is Saturday morning.  We’ve got to appreciate the blue skies when we have them!

Happy Monday!

WIAT~What I Ate On Thanksgiving

Such a Clever Title!  So seriously the lovely Jenn At Peas & Crayons, who hosts What I Ate Wednesday every week decided that she would host for two days and we could also play a second time and share What I Ate on Thanksgiving…I say Why Not!  Here goes!

What I Ate on Thanksgiving

My story actually starts on Wednesday.  I had to create one of my usual contributions to Thanksgiving dinner…Cranberry Orange Mold.  Here’s the story on the mold.  When I was a Tupperware Lady…MANY years ago (I left it to become a Weight Watchers leader) I got this recipe to go with the jello mold that we sold.  Of course as is sort of like me, I never “officially” got the recipe…I got it by word of mouth.  I’ve never been sure I have the recipe right, but after all these years of no complaints, I guess the recipe is right.

The assemblage.  Please take note of the recipe.

This is the very same recipe that I wrote down on the fly all those years ago.  You can see that it’s old and as with so many of my recipes…stained.  I’m working on putting everything in plastic sleeves to avoid this in the future!  😉  Here’s the recipe.

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Cranberry Orange Mold

2 packages of a berry type Jello (I used raspberry this year, I used cherry last year and I didn’t like it as much.  There used to be a mixed berry variety that was very good.  One year Jello actually put out cranberry jello which was the best.  I think next year I’ll search for that on-line.)

2 cups boiling water (Don’t make the mistake of following the package directions…I did that one year…Doesn’t work 😦   )

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of ground cloves

1 can whole cranberry sauce

2 cans mandarin oranges-drained

Dissolve the Jello in the boiling water.  I suggest that at this point you add the whole cranberry sauce by spoonfuls.  The heat of the water helps to dissolve it and it mixes in better.  The amounts of the spices are really just general and depend on your own taste preferences.  I add a lot more cinnamon and cloves, but that’s the way I like it.  For your first try, you might want to follow the directions. Recipe says “chill to thicken.”  I’ve never done that.  When the cranberry sauce has dissolved into the mixture, I pour it into the mold.  Less to pour makes it a little less messy…This is a learned action.  Once the mixture is in the mold, add in the oranges.  Stir carefully around the mold so that the whole cranberries and the oranges are evenly distributed throughout the mold. Chill overnight for best results.  Be sure to let it sit out at room temperature before you try to unmold it.  The process works better that way.  I usually take it out about 45 minutes prior.

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Ta-Da…Jello Mold!

Pretty colors!

Here it is…on the antique plate it has resided on every year since I started making it.  I had to grab the photo quick before it was devoured! 😉

The craziness as everyone starts to dig in before everyone is even seated!!

My heaping plate…Ele’s coleslaw and cranberry orange relish on my side plate.  The star attraction two Morningstar Farms Grillers California Turk’y Burgers, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash (my favorite!!) and cranberry orange mold. 

The gravy comes from this wonderful stuff…

Turkey Gravy.jpg

It’s vegetarian and I’ve been using it for years.  Quite a few years ago, we even stopped making “real” turkey gravy because no one knew the difference.  With this, it’s perfect every time!

The dessert spread!

Apple pie all the way from Washington, D.C. courtesy of our friend, Jim!  I must confess I also had a small piece cut from the square pan in the previous photo…pineapple cheese pie…a local favorite. Yum.

So that’s it for What I Ate On Thanksgiving.  It was fun to share my goodies this way.  Try the recipe…it’s delicious, if I do say so myself! 😉

Happy Friday after Thanksgiving!!  I refuse to use that other name for it!