Monday, January 4, 2010

Fresh Start!

Happy Monday, Happy New Year, Happy New Beginnings! I'm sooo excited to start over. I don't know why I allowed myself to get so out of control since the wedding. Maybe because I was so disciplined for so long those months before the big day. At the time of the wedding my clothes were actually starting to fall off me and when I would show J and say I needed to get new ones she told me "awh don't worry honey, you're good to put on at least 5 lbs after the wedding and then everything will fit again." Well fast forward almost 4 months and I'd say I was good for another 20 or so. I mean, I'm not exactly positive. I won't allow myself to get on the scale because I have major scale issues. What's a number anyway? It should be all about how I feel. And honestly my major goal this year is to BE HEALTHY. Not necessarily loose weight. Even though I do need to and I'm sure that will be taken care of with the healthy living motto.

So after a weekend of last minute debauchery (I always have to do this before I make a brand new start. I'm not exactly sure why because at that point I usually don't even enjoy the food I'm eating), I prepared all day yesterday to put a healthy meal plan together.

For breakfast I decided to go back to an old staple of ours from the South Beach Diet cookbook, Veggie-Mini Quiches These are so good that even when we're not on diets we make them. The great thing about them is that they're so easy to make and you can switch out the veggies and make all different combos.

3/4 cup liquid egg substitute or 3 large eggs or 3 /4 cup egg whites
1 package frozen chopped spinach (10 oz.) or one large bunch fresh spinach 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
1/4 cup diced red or green peppers or mixture of both
1/4 cup diced onions
  • Heat oven to 35oF
  • Spray the muffin tin cups with the cooking spray. Be sure not to omit this step, or the quiches will stick badly to the baking cups.
  • Thaw and drain spinach - I wring it out well in my hand, which eliminates a lot of the "spinachy" taste for those who hate boiled spinach. If using fresh spinach, steam it in the microwave, press out all juice, then chop.
  • Mix the spinach, eggs or egg substitute, cheese, peppers, onions, hot pepper sauce, salt in a bowl.
  • Fill the muffin tin cups with the mixture.
  • Bake at 350F or 20 minutes. You will know they are done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from cups to serve.
For lunch, I decided to make 3 soups this week. I'm a soup fanatic and I knew this would help me kick things off right. One of my most favorite cookbooks is the Williams Sonoma Soup book. The recipes are really easy to follow and I always love the way they turn out. I made two of the following soups from that book and the last soup, Potato Leek, I got from Chow.

Broccoli-Leek Soup

Serves 4

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, including tender green portions, rinsed well and finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. broccoli, trimmed, florets and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
  • Add the leeks and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli and sauté, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes more.
  • Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pan. Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pan until smooth.
  • Reheat the soup gently over medium heat.
  • Season with salt and white pepper.

Tuscan Tomato Soup

I modified this recipe from the recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Cookbook. If you guys are interested in the recipe, just let me know and I'll write it up :)

Potato-Leek Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
2 cups finely chopped leeks (pale green and white parts only)
4 cups peeled, medium-dice russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from 4 medium thyme sprigs)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • When the foaming subsides, add leeks, season with freshly ground black pepper, and cook until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, salt, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high, add vegetable broth and water and bring just to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Blend soup in a blender in 2 batches until smooth.
  • Return soup to the saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, season with additional pepper as needed, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Dinners are a bit up in the air this week because we're busy 2 nights with hockey games. We're just planning on making smart choices while we're out.
So how about you guys? Did you do any planning for the week? I'm looking for some new recipes to try out to keep me motivated.
Images: 1&2 found here


Mo said...

Our goal is to eat healthier and motivate one another before the wedding so we feel healthy and toned. I LOVE soup, and yours looks so yummy! Good luck in planning your meals, you're off to a great start. :)

SogniSorrisi said...

Thanks for the receipes! Those quiches look great.

I am also in need of a holiday detox. Its hard to do planning as we've been so busy lately and I don't think I'll have occassion to cook until Thursday, but I am trying to stay good during the day at the very least!

Wheresmydessert said...

What a yummy post! I've tried making the South Beach quiches before - they came out really bland, I couldn't figure out why. Maybe the cheese wasn't salty enough. With your endorsement though, perhaps I'll give them another try :)

A Diary of Lovely said...

i'll really have to try the quiches, they look delicious! Not sure if I can find cooking spray though here...
Not a big soup fan but I might have to try the tomato one, BF will be happy to eat veggies and so healthy :)
Thanks for sharing these!

Crystal @ Plush Palate said...

I hear ya girl :) I'm in the same boat after the holidays - trying to eat healthy and shed those few extra pounds. All your recipes sounds so yummy! I must try them!


Giovanna said...

i'm all about a weekend of last minute debauchery before starting a health-kick.
i'd like to try that tuscan tomato soup.

Dustjacket Attic said...

Ooo honey you sound like me...I totally love that first picture, sooo funny!

I just love the food you cooked up, yumo! I'm really trying to be good and healthy!


Good luck to you all! I'm one day in and feeling so much better already! :)

I'll post the Tuscan Tomato soup recipe this evening. I'm eating it for lunch today so I'll let you know how it goes :)

prashant said...

All your recipes sounds so yummy! I must try them!

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honey my heart said...

everything sounds so delicious and healthy :) good luck w/ the health kick, i'm trying to get healthy as well!