Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happiness is Homemade

Here we are at Wednesday and only 24 hours until my Dad is here in the Windy City. Deadlines are here with some freelance bio projects and interviews to be conducted. Things are busy, but good busy! YAY!

I was craving some Siggi's yogurt so come breakfast I paired some plain creamy goodness with little bit of honey, some strawberries and an iced coffee. I also had a quarter-cup part-skim shredded mozzarella on a multi-grain Arnold sandwich thin. Fabulous! I'm finding out that the more protein I'm able to have earlier in the day keeps me from snacking during the afternoon. So far, so good.

My homemade tomato soup recipe and I finally got together today for lunch. Wow, this one is a good one, and spicy too! As I've mentioned here before, I monitor my meals via SparkPeople and I've really grown to enjoy this community. It has tons of recipes and many helpful exercise suggestions. Anyhow, I've had my eye on Chef Meg's Tomato Soup for a while now.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, chopped (I had half of a red onion and half of a white one, so I used both)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds tomatoes, de-seeded, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 t thyme, dried
4 oz. bread, crust removed (about 4 small slices -- I used Arnold's 100% Whole-Wheat)
12 oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a stock pot or tall saucepan. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Next, mix in tomatoes. Add pepper, sugar, thyme and bread and cook for 3 minutes.

With an immersion blender or food processor, blend the mixture. Slowly add stock to mixture and combine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add vinegar during last two minutes.

With the combination of thyme, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar, this version has quite a kick. Also, some suggest topping it with a half-cup croutons or some blue cheese. It makes a hearty 8 servings ... so here's my lunch for the next couple of days.

Ryan also tried it and LOVED it. What? My husband? Like tomato soup? Never thought I'd see the day. HA! For lunch, I paired mine up with some nectarine slices and a spinach and vegetable sandwich with Athenos garlic hummus.

In preparation of my Dad's visit, I also squeezed in some blueberry muffins (I'm making chocolate chip peanut butter oatmeal cookies on Thursday!). I've never made muffins from scratch, but Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Dish has an easy enough recipe with oat flour and other natural ingredients. Check out this beauty.

Dinner, once again, saw more leftovers of the Spinach and Mushroom Quiche with summer squash and zucchini. Ok, I tried the mushrooms. I tried to be a good sport, but I don't think they're for me. I think everyone has one food they just don't care for, right? Well, I think the mushroom might be mine. But never say never. Maybe I'll come back to mushrooms later on.

Is there a particular food or ingredient that you just can't do? Have you ever come back to it later and decide that you actually enjoy it?


  1. Mackenzie - it's Katie from HLS, I found your blog! For me it used to be red onions, but now I love them - now it's olives, so I'm thinking maybe one day I might change my mind on them too. How's everything in Chicago?

  2. Such a lovely and perfect meal! I think the soup looks awesome. I'm sure your dad is happy enough and went home with his belly full by then. Have a fabulous time.
    Blessings, kristy

  3. KATIE! So nice to hear from you! I totally know whatcha mean about onions. I was the same way. And until about five years ago, it was olives for me, too :) So maybe there's hope for us :)

    Chicago is great, VERY HOT! How's Alabama and things at the Bakery? Would love to hear more.

    Thanks sooooo much for reading my blog! Keep in touch!

  4. Awww thanks Kristy! You are too kind! Blessings to you, too lady!

  5. Allie, isn't Chef Meg the best? I have made a couple of her recipes so far and they're so easy. Thanks so much for reading :)

  6. That tomato soup looks so fresh and tasty! I will definitely have to try it out when the weather gets chillier.