Practical, healthful eating and living.

What I’m Eating Now – Tomato Soup + O-Shaped Pasta March 27, 2009

Filed under: What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 1:50 pm
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Fighting a cold, the lingering of frosty weather, and icy rain, I am finding comfort in tomato soup this week.  I bought a 32-ounce tetra pack of Trader Joe’s soup, from which I poured one microwavable serving at a time, storing the rest in the fridge.

Trader Joe’s O-shaped pasta brought back images of childhood spaghettios, so I boiled water, cooked a batch that was large enough for a few days, and added the pasta to my soup as I went.

Other additions?  Frozen peas, today.  A little dill on another day.  A melted cheese quesadilla made the perfect accompaniment on yet another day.  Yes, when soup is this satisfying I really DO want to eat it all the time.  At least for a while.


Good Eggs March 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 9:02 am
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easter-eggsScramble them, beat them, boil them, paint them.  Good eggs come from happy chickens, and that means free-range.

Why does it make a difference?  Try a taste test.  The difference may be subtle, but it’s there.  Eggs from free-range chickens taste fresher.  Other eggs have a taste of….distress?  For me, it’s a chemical after-taste.  It’s hard to distinguish and yet I notice it.

I noticed it long ago in restaurant chicken.  Chicken used to be one of my favorite foods.  My grandmother would make fried chicken, roasted chicken, and the accompanying leftover sandwiches and casseroles.

At some point, about a decade ago, perhaps longer, I stopped liking chicken.  But then I realized, it wasn’t that I didn’t like chicken, it was that something in restaurant chicken had a taste of…..chemicals.  Or maybe it was the way my stomach reacted to it.  It’s hard to describe.  All I can say is that I had a sensation of having eaten “stress.”

Free-range chicken, however, goes down just fine. Once I realized this, I considered eggs, as well.  I recently went through a  dozen regular eggs.  Then I switched back to free-range.  The free-range eggs taste fresher.  The others had that same after-taste of “stress.”

If you think about it, if an animal is under stress, that will release hormones into its system.  People are the same.  When we are under stress, we feel a sort of chemical imbalance.  (Unless we’ve become so accustomed to stress that we no longer notice it.)  If an animal is under stress, wouldn’t it have a higher presence of stress related hormones or chemicals in its meat?  And wouldn’t that also be present in eggs?  I am no scientist.  All I know is what I taste and feel.  Free-range eggs taste better to me.  I feel healthier when I eat them.


A Ballerina’s Broccoli March 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 4:30 pm

broccoli1I had a college roommate who was a ballerina.  Yes, a professional ballerina.  She was tiny.  She used to come home at night, grab a bag of frozen broccoli, dump its contents into a bowl, microwave it until it was hot, add butter, salt and pepper.  That was her dinner.

Before long, of course, I began to want the same thing.  I still eat it today, and it works for any type of veggie you like.


Salsa Cruda March 6, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Recipes — beansandyoga @ 9:04 pm
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tomatoesThose of you who know me know that I practically live off of home-made re-fried beans. Sometimes I top them with slices of fresh avocado, cheese or sour cream.  Lately, I’ve been craving fresh salsa.  A glance at the ready-made salsas at the store, however, malimesde me wince.  The price seemed the same, yet the container seemed to have shrunk to half the usual size.

Surely, I thought, I can find time to chop a few tomatoes!  Home I went with two locally grown tomatoes and an onion.  I had fresh limes and cilantro at home.  Luckily, there are endless variations of salsa.  It’s one of the perfect things to make when the ingredients in your refrigerator call out to be used.

Beans & Yoga’s Salsa Cruda

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/4 onion)

3/4 – 1 cup chopped tomato (1 hothouse tomato or 1/2 beefsteak tomato)

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of one lime

Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients, tossing well.  Start with a little salt and keep adding until you get the flavor you like.  It might seem as if you’re adding a lot of salt, but remember, it’s not like you’re adding salt to alread salty processed food.  You might need up to a 1/4 teaspoon.

Serve over re-fried beans, scrambled eggs, or with tortillas and melted cheese.  Keep refrigerated.


Moroccan Coconut & Chickpea Soup March 2, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Recipes — beansandyoga @ 12:43 pm
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photo_030109_002My favorite form of online entertainment is to peruse food blogs.  I stumbled across one called, “Karina’s Kitchen,” several weeks ago.  A recipe for Moroccan coconut and chickpea soup has been safely posted in my bookmarks ever since.

A mixture of coconut milk, peppers, Granny Smith apples, lime, curry and cinnamon, it is bubbling on the stove as I write.  Click through from the links above for the recipe.  Here are a few tips.

Curry powder: I love Penzey’s Maharajah curry powder.

Chickpeas: Last week, I realized I had a cup or so sitting on my shelf.  I threw them into a bowl, let them soak overnight, and while I was reading the paper and having coffee on a Sunday, I let them boil merrily on the stove.  When they were soft, into the freezer they went, with a bit of broth to keep them insulated.

This might seem like an intimidating recipe, but don’t be afraid to use a red pepper in place of the yellow one.  I did not have the wherewithall to get the exact same type of canned tomatoes suggested in the recipe, but a stew like this, I’ve found, tends to be forgiving.

If you are a meat person, chunks of cooked chicken would add nicely to the stew.

Footnote:  Whew!  This soup was just what I needed!  I’ve gone through three bowls already.

One last tip: I added salt a bit at a time, tasting as I went.  I ended up adding A LOT of salt!  Don’t be discouraged if the soup seems a tiny bit flat at first.  Just keep adding a little salt at a time, or perhaps more lime juice.  Once you hit the flavor zone, the soup is divine.