Category Archives: soup

All by myself

On Thursday, I decided to go for it. I had a bunch of ingredients in my pantry that I wanted to use up and instead of searching for a recipe, I went and did my own thing!

It is so empowering to make your own food. I didn’t even measure anything, I just tossed in here, sprinkled there and so on. It was great!

What did I make? It contained these:

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With lots of other stuff too!

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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (Serves 4)

  • 1-15 oz. can of black beans
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes (partially cooked)
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic
  • A few shakes of chili powder
  • A shake of ground cumin
  • A few shakes of ground cinnamon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Start by sauteeing the onion with the garlic and olive oil over medium-high heat. Then add the black beans, tomatoes (don’t drain) and 2 cups or so of water (depending on how “soupy” you like yours) while you cook the sweet potatoes (I did mine together for 4 minutes in the microwave).

Cut up the sweet potatoes and toss them into the pot. Let cook for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low-medium and cover for 15 minutes. Add the spices, salt and pepper, re-cover and let sit an additional 10 minutes or so.

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I can’t believe how good this turned out! It was a even a little spicy 😉 The cinnamon was also a really good idea.

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I enjoyed a serving along with some pita with hummus and an orange juice-seltzer drink 🙂

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I have another serving for a later date plus two in the freezer!

Have you ever surprised yourself by “winging it” with creating a meal?

Not my favorite split pea soup

Last week, I tried another selection from the samples Dr. McDougall’s sent me.

Split Pea soup is something I never would’ve tried in my previous life but once I finally did, it quickly became one of my favorites!

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I heated this up alongside a slice of whole wheat toast, which I dipped in the soup.

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The taste was okay, but I prefer a thicker split pea soup. This was very brothy. I think I prefer ones like Health Valley and Amy’s brand which are “creamier” in texture.

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I can’t wait to try the rest of the soups. Thanks again, Dr. McDougall’s 🙂

What is your favorite soup?

It’s hard for me to narrow down but I’d say split pea, vegetarian chili and minestrone are all on my list!

Vegan potato soup

I had main course at our girl’s night potluck this week and since I had a lot of potatoes to use up, I decided potato soup would be an awesome meal!

But since I had never tried making it before, I went immediately to google to find “Vegan Potato Soup.” After scrolling through a few recipes, I finally found one that sounded easy enough and which I had most ingredients for already (which is my criteria when searching recipes by the way).

Behold, the Vegan Potato Soup recipe from Daily Veggie with my own modifications.

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Ingredients

  • 5 medium sized, washed, peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
  • A few green onions, chopped
  • 2 tsps pre-minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cups of light plain soy milk
  • 2 tbsps whole wheat flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This was the first time I could remember using my vegetable peeler to peel potatoes and it worked quite well!

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Directions

Start my sauteeing oil, onions and garlic in the pot.

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After a few minutes, add the potatoes, salt + pepper and water.

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Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes become soft. Then add the soy milk and flour, stirring well so that they mix. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until the soup appears “creamy” and ready to eat. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

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I thought this soup tasted pretty good. It had a great consistency and the potatoes were chunky and soft. My only complaint is that it was a bit on the bland side, so I’d like to see what spices or seasonings I could add to this to improve upon that.

I think everyone liked it though…no leftovers!

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Feasting?!

Saturday night’s dinner at BD’s Mongolian Grill was great…I just noticed that two nights over the weekend, I had more of a “feast” than dinner. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am now ready to get back to my “normal” way of eating, smaller meals 😉

I started things off with the salad bar, I piled my plate high with salad greens, cucumbers, chick peas (love!), carrots, red onions, a little bit of cheese, then drizzled some fat free raspberry vinaigrette on top.

I tried the two soups they offered. I believe the first one (pictured below) was some sort of potato soup; the other was New England Clam chowder for sure, I’m not a big fan. I had three bites of the potato and only one of the other just to see what it was (they didn’t have labels up, tsk tsk)…They were both just too heavy and creamy for my liking.

After the soup disappointment (I’d been hoping for some vegetable based), I went back to the salad bar and grabbed some mandarin oranges, pineapple and more chick peas!


Now for the main course, my fantastic bowl of shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, onions, broccoli, water chestnuts, red skinned potatoes, all stir fried in a spicy buffalo sauce spiked with minced garlic and a side of brown rice!


Even though I was full from dinner, I “couldn’t help” but dig into the marshmallows and chocolate hazelnut spread again! We should’ve gotten something else for dessert, I honestly think if I’d had another option I would’ve passed this up. Let’s just say, there was more than this and there is no longer chocolate hazelnut spread in my house! Thank goodness…

Hope everyone had a great weekend and are adjusting to being back at work if this is your first day back like me! 😉

Good Friday

Note to self: eat soup for lunch more often!

I had the Amy’s brand, low fat minestrone soup for lunch yesterday, along with 2 Wasa crackers and a Z bar…this lunch held me for three hours! Almost unheard of on a work day, haha. And to boot, it was only around 300-something calories for the entire meal, wow.

Here’s a close up of the soup…


I also tried a new drink since I am trying to cut back on diet sodas now…it’s got 10 calories per serving, but it contains juice, so I justified it. It’s a Snapple Noni berry drink, supposedly to help boost metabolism. It tasted pretty good, I must say!


When I finally did get hungry for an afternoon snack, I had Chobani blueberry yogurt, the second round. It was good of course, but probably not my favorite blueberry yogurt. Hmm…that title probably still belongs to the Whole Soy & Co, even though it’s a different type of yogurt altogether. Nutrition (mostly sugar) wise it’s not the best, but taste-wise it is to me.


I also had a piece of cinnamon and butterscotch (not pictured) candy 🙂


Dinner was chicken breast (with mustard), some broccoli, and tortilla chips w/ salsa, weird combo I know…still trying to use stuff up!


For dessert, I had some tofu chocolate pudding with reddi-whip, even better the second time around!


My husband and I stayed in and played cards (I wrote carbs, haha) during which I finished off the last of my wine (what you see here was it):


After we started winding down and gave the dog a bath before bedtime (fun, haha), I had a few Ritz crackers spread with some Dark Chocolate Dreams PB. Then I had another couple of spoonfuls with no crackers, eek!

But all in all, it was a good day, so no complaints! Hope you all are enjoying the weekend so far. It’s cold and sort of snowing here, just flurries, thank goodness 😉

Ah, nuts!

Mid-morning yesterday, I had 3 tbsp of unsalted soynuts for a snack and inhaled them before even thinking about taking a picture. Whoops!

Before heading to the gym though, I had a piece of cinnamon hard candy. I don’t know why but I love these. I need to look for some sugar free ones, anybody know of any?

I went to the gym and did 15 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes walking on the treadmill at an incline. Then I went to my weigh-in (see previous post). I left the gym feeling confident and looking forward to eating my lunch 🙂

Lunch was a can of chunk light tuna with 1 tbsp Smart Balance mayo and 2 stalks of celery chopped, with a side of celery and light ranch dressing, a pita pocket, and a banana.

I stuffed some of the tuna in the pita pocket, as much as I could fit in there 😉


This lunch was sooo filling, it was nearly time to leave work before I felt the hunger to eat my yogurt. I forgot to mention…I had a cup of coffee with 1% milk and Equal both in the morning when I got to work and a couple hours after lunch. Starting now, I’m cutting back to one.

I went BACK to the gym and did 20 minutes of ab and leg exercises and 7.5 minutes on the treadmill again (since I had a few extra minutes). Sometimes I really enjoy splitting up my workout over the course of the day! Makes me feel like I can get more done.

I had to stop at the store to get some salad to take to my friend’s house for our potluck and I went back to the same Kroger that had the Spooky S’mores Zbars! I was starving (seriously, not just because I had a Z bar) so I ate one to hold me over until we ate dinner. I bought two this time so there’s one waiting at home for another day 😉


Dinner was an autumn-inspired salad from Dole (romaine, cranberries, almonds, apple cider vinaigrette), a mushroom-veggie stuffing, and vegetarian chili with some 2% cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. I went back for small seconds on the salad and stuffing! The soup was perfect though, lots of beans and quite comforting on a cold rainy day like yesterday 🙂


Dessert was some cinnamon-sugar almonds, but I passed because I had enough nuts yesterday. That didn’t stop me from digging into the nut butter when I got home though. Before bed, after taking Suzie for a walk, I had a “few” spoonfuls of Mighty Maple PB and she had a tartar control biscuit, hehe.
I am going to have to get this peanut butter habit back under control, haha. Of all the things to be addicted to though, it’s not so bad, right? 😉

Lack of time or motivation?

The weekend is almost official, just a little while longer, hope I can make it!

This morning, I had two cups of coffee with Equal and 1% milk…at least it was a smaller cup today 😉

My mid-morning snack was mixed nuts, one of the absolute best and quick snacks I’ve found!

I had lunch with my mom today at a museum cafe. I ordered a big bowl of black bean soup, which was so good, but I couldn’t finish it! It’s made with black beans and chopped sausage, so it’s high in protein for sure 🙂 Topped with red onion and sour cream…


I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do about exercise today! I can’t leave work early to hit the gym, so my options are to do something when I get home, possibly go to the gym by our house, or give up and do something tomorrow.

I want to work out, but I keep thinking of all the stuff I need to do when I get home. So in this case, am I lacking time or motivation? Hmm…I suppose I’ll find out soon.

See you all later!

Missing yogurt

I left my yogurt in the fridge at home, darn it! But luckily I think I brought enough other stuff that I won’t need it. But I was really ready to try it, oh well, another day 😉

My mid-morning snack today was a package of granola bites (I think these are only available at Target?) and my leftover raspberries from yesterday (about 1/4 cup):

Then I hit the gym hard. I did 35 minutes on the treadmill, alternating walking and running. Here is what I did:

Walked for 5 minutes (increased speed by 0.2 every minute, from 3.0-3.8)

Ran 3 minutes @ 5.2 mph, walked 2 minutes 4.0 mph

Ran 3 minutes @ 5.4 mph, walked 2 minutes 4.0 mph

Ran 3 minutes @ 5.6 mph, walked 2 minutes 4.0 mph

Ran 3 minutes @ 5.8 mph, walked 2 minutes 4.0 mph

Ran 3 minutes @ 6.0 mph, walked 2 minutes 4.0 mph

Walked for 5 minutes (decreased speed by 0.2 every minute, from 3.8 to 3.0)

Then I did my strength workout:
V-crunch using balance ball (pass back and forth between arms and legs) – 2 x 15
Side crunches – 2 x 15 for each side
Back extension on ball – 2 x 15
Lateral raises using green (least resistance) elastic tube – 2 x 10
Tricep extensions using red (medium resistance) tube – 2 x 12
Bicep crunches using blue (high resistance) tube – 2 x 12
Lunges – 2 x 20 (10 each set for each leg)
Squats – 2 x 10
Plie squats – 2 x 10
I think I’m ready to change things up some more, but most of this routine has been working very well for me, especially the leg exercises. I think maybe with that I could just add a couple more to my sets. So we’ll see!
Lunch today was a can of Amy’s Lentil Vegetable soup, which was quite yummy! I just don’t know what possessed me to eat soup on such a hot day, it was 80 degrees at 6 am! But it tasted great, has lower sodium, and I threw in two Wasa sourdough crackers for some crunch.



I just had a mini Clif bar in chocolate brownie, I swear these things were such a great invention (only available at Target, as far as I know). I just wish they had more flavors, but I do like the three they have (chocolate chip is my favorite, which surprised me).


I will be back later with more pics!