My Healthy Life: A Recipe

my healthy life

Last week, I decided to try the Vegetarian Lentil Soup that I shared from Relishing It. Turns out, I didn’t have all the ingredients listed in the recipe. Also, I might have forgotten that I needed to cook the dry lentils before adding them to the soup, which led to quite the experiment in lentil extraction. Needless to say, I had to improvise a little. And the soup turned out good. So good, in fact, that I decided to share my version of the recipe with you.

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  • 2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed – let’s not revisit the lentil mishap
  • 2/3 cup dry red beans (or 1 can), rinsed – (1) 16.5 oz can of kidney beans – don’t drain it
  • 2/3 cup dry black beans (or 1 can), rinsed – (1) 16.5 oz can of black beans – again, don’t drain
  • (1) 16.5 oz can of pinto beans – you catch my drift
  • 4 potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of carrots – chopped
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart puréed or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (or use chicken, if you’re not trying to stay vegetarian)
  • 1 heaping cup frozen corn – (1) 16.5 oz can of corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • handful of spinach
  • scallions, jalapeños, sour cream (if vegan isn’t your aim) and limes as garnish options

The taco seasoning recipe is below. After all the lentil drama, I was pretty beat. So, I did a few shakes of:

  • ground cumin
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • chili powder
  • allspice
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the Taco Seasoning:

(makes a scant 1/2 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

You can find the entire recipe by visiting Relishing It here. I did not use a dutch oven – just a regular soup pot. I threw the potatoes and carrots in first, since they take the longest, and I threw everything else in as I chopped it. I also topped mine with fresh avocado…which of course was perfect…because it’s avocado. We decided that, again, it could use a little more of a kick so I will add some chilli peppers next time. We also reheated it up today and threw in a cup of rice to add a little variety to it. Few days later, and it was still just as good and hearty. I love soup season!

Do you have a favorite healthy soup recipe? Or did you give this one a go? Share in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #myhealthylife. You can also find more healthy inspiration on my Pinterest! I will continue to share more recipes, exercises and blogs that I find awesome and worthy of sharing…so please let me know of any that you would love to see on the blog!

Momma’s garden project

Sadly, a lot has changed since I last wrote about my garden, and it’s rather depressing. My potatoes didn’t last in the ground, and they did not make it through the transplant into my pots. After I planted those dang things, I read up on them a bit (yes, I know it’s better to read before planting, but obviously I don’t roll like that) and learned that they are actually very tender plants and need some TLC to correctly grow.

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So, I’m hoping that the next time I try to plant them, they will actually survive, now that I know what I need to do. My tomatoes are going good but the sun pretty much destroyed a huge chunk of the plants. I was able to get rid of a lot of the burnt parts, and now they’re growing better. We have been lucky enough to pick tomatoes whenever we need them, so I shouldn’t complain.

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And I had to get rid of my broccoli because the sun also destroyed that plant to the point of no return, and I realized that I never really use broccoli in my cooking. Maybe for a stir-fry or something, but I could definitely do without it.

The only plants that have lasted through this heat without too much maintenance are all of the peppers. We literally just pick the peppers when we use them, and they have lasted for a long time. Thinking of making some good salsa and hot sauce! Every time family members come over, I usually send them off with some peppers. Even if they don’t like them.

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My basil also made a surprising comeback, and is flourishing out of control right now. Hooray for pesto upon pesto upon pesto! I’ve also been able to use it for a bunch of other dishes, so I’m really happy it’s growing so well, cause it ain’t cheap. And the compost is doing it’s thing and, you know, composting.

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This week seemed to mesh really well with the last prompt on the Grow Write Guild, which is: This Plant is Driving Me Nuts. The potatoes were definitely driving me nuts, and sometimes the tomatoes can make me frustrated! I did what I could with the potatoes, but luckily I was able to resurrect what was left of the tomatoes and they are still harvesting.

I just have to keep reminding myself that this is my first time with a garden that houses more than just herbs, so I need to cut myself a little slack. But just a little. I’m excited to move these plants out when they’re done and try this shtick all over again.

Momma’s garden project: Week 13

I was fearing for the worst when my garden started to die due to the heat over the last few weeks. But then I increased the amount I was watering them and all of a sudden, they were blooming again! The most awesome plant in my garden thus far has been the tomato. I have been able to give A LOT of them to my family and still keep a bunch for us. We always buy tomatoes when we go to the grocery store so it’s pretty awesome to not have worry about that for a while.

The peppers have also been insane as of late, so it looks like I’ll be making some salsa soon! Along with the homemade tortillas I’m learning to make, we’ll be good! The only issues I’m having are with the potatoes and red onions, which are in the ground. We tried to pull them a couple weeks ago to see how they were doing, and we got nothing. But I’m going to pull them again next week and hopefully I will have a few potatoes to show for it!

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The most recent prompt for the Grow Write Guild was to write about a plant that is in bloom, which seems to perfect for right now, since all I can talk about is how wonderful my tomatoes are right now! I’m not even a tomato fan, I just can’t wait to make my salsa right now! The only thing I would change about the tomato is getting cages for all the plants. I do like the way it looks growing wild, but when I water it, I end up watering all the weeds too so it would be better if it was maintained!

Definitely getting cages for all of the plants next time around.

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The broccoli isn’t really doing too good right now. I’ve been pulling the weedy parts, so that all of the water goes to the broccoli, but it’s still taking a while. I’m going to pull the flowers that I have growing right now to see how they do.

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But what has been improving is my compost! I stopped adding to it, started mixing it up a lot more and kept it hydrated, so the food was able to compost faster. I’m hoping to have the compost ready by next Spring since I already have enough soil to last me for now. Luckily, the smell doesn’t completely blow me away when I go out there and I haven’t found any unwanted visitors…yet.

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So this is my garden right now, how is yours doing?

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Feel free to share your garden’s progress with pictures and the hashtag #yardlife on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or share your pictures and stories by linking to your blog in the comments! You can check out more of my project on Facebook page and see more of my garden inspiration on Pinterest.

Momma’s garden project: Week 4

SONY DSCWe are into the third week of the garden being moved to the backyard, and last weekend was the first weekend that I really grasped how much work this whole garden thing is. When my dad came over with the garden beds he made, we just had to attach the hinges and transplant everything. It wasn’t super easy, but it was fun.

Well, last weekend I decided it was finally time to plant the potatoes and onions. Sam’s dad told me I would have to dig a two inch row in order to plant all the potatoes. So I did that and threw them in there. Yes, I know we have YouTube and Pinterest for every tutorial known to man, but I thought I knew what was up.

Then, I came in the house to grab some water and was informed that I would have to cut each potato a few times, which means I would have to dig a lot more rows to house all of my potatoes. So I did two rows. With a shovel. If you haven’t done that before, don’t do it. Ever. Unless you’re looking for a really good workout.

I also made the super smart choice of starting to work on the garden around 2pm (when I say super smart, I really mean super dumb), so by the time I was done with those two rows, I was getting dizzy and blurry-eyed from the sun. The sun and I don’t really mix well together.

SONY DSCThe next day, my stepdad came over to help me with something else and ended up showing me a MUCH easier way to dig a row. He used a hoe (hehe) and got the job – which took me about two hours to complete the day before – done in about 10 minutes.

Whatever.

So, we planted the rest of the potatoes and onions. And we were done with everything about a half hour. Seriously. It was crazy.

I also started my compost, but when I was informed that I would have to get processed poop to get the ball rolling, I opted out. Now surfing the webs for a little bit, I found that you don’t need poop to have a good compost! Hooray! Digital high-fives all around!

I took a whole bunch of other photos, so if you want to see more of this garden project, check out my Facebook page. While you’re there, could you make me the happiest girl ever and click “like”?

healthy garlic mashed potatoes and honey roasted carrots

I have no problem maintaining a healthy diet…as long as I’m secluded in my apartment by myself and have no access to the outside world. Once I leave the house, all my willpower leaves with me.

The other issue is cooking for two, and making food that both of us will like. Sure, I can cook anything I want, but if we’re both not into it, what’s the point? Since Sam has agreed to support my diet by eating what I want to cook, I figured I would at least make something that wouldn’t make him gag when he looked it.

SONY DSC Lo and behold, I found a Skinny Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe on Skinnyms.com! I finally got to use my slow cooker…bonus! The mashed potatoes came out surprisingly full of flavor and the puny 1/2 cup I was allotted on Weight Watchers was actually filling.

Yields: 5 Cups | Serving Size: 1/2 Cup Calories:144 | Total Fat: 1 gm | Saturated Fats: 1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 2 mg | Sodium: 37 mg | Carbohydrates: 28 gm | Dietary fiber: 2 gm | Sugars: 3 gm | Protein: 5 gm | Points: 7

  • 3 lb. russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, no sugar added
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk (or more for consistency)
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Prep your potatoes as usual by washing and cutting out any bad spots. Puncture holes in the potatoes with a fork (please don’t stab yourself! Do this carefully!)

Place all the potatoes in the microwave for 15 minutes on high or until they are nearly fully cooked. Allow potatoes to cool enough to be able to handle them.

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes (I did this while letting the potatoes cool)

Cut cooled potatoes into slices and place in slow cooker with chicken broth. Pour the garlic on top of that and mix everything up briefly to distribute.

Cook on low for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the potatoes are completely cooked and soft. Remove the insert from the heating element with pot holders and place on a heat-safe surface.

Using a hand blender or potato masher, mash the potatoes together with the milk and yogurt. Add salt to taste.

While I was tooling around on Pinterest, (I know…shocking, right?) I found a Honey Roasted Carrots recipe from one of my favorite sites, Six Sisters Stuff. I added the recipe to Weight Watchers and it turned out to only be 4 points per serving, SCORE!

SONY DSCHoney Roasted Carrots
Ingredients:
1 lb baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together carrots and olive oil until carrots are all covered. Spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the honey over the carrots and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.  
Bake uncovered, turning once, under just tender (about 25-30 minutes). 
Serves 4-6.
Points: 4
So, my dinner totaled 11 points. This may seem like a lot, but when you consider that a carrot cupcake is worth the same amount, it doesn’t seem that bad!
Now, onto my next goal: finding exercises to do with the little babe since she’s not a fan of me doing anything without her.