Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let there be light

WOW. what a difference natural light makes when taking pictures. Let's just say I got picture/camera happy when taking pictures of my breakfast.
Yes, I think im going to post a more than one of my favorites here.... sorry!

Initially I was going to make eggs with some sort of bread or potato. The concept then metamorphed into  " Hey, why don't i make a  breakfast quesadilla except add eggs or eggs whites in the filling -- afterall I have almost an entire bag of flour tortillas sitting in the fridge"

That thought lasted just long enough for me to garner a glance at the nutritional facts on the back of the bag.

One measly medium sized tortilla was 150 calories. Yes 150 calories on its own isnt much, but combined with all the ingredients it would be a "splurge" of a breakfast to say the least.

"Well", I thought, " omlettes sorta of look like quesadillas." In fact, If I only used egg whites ( three to be exact) I could get the perfect size for the maximum nutritional value, and minimal caloric expenditure.

So, that it exactly what I did!

Remember the Bruschetta I made a little over a week ago? Well, we liked it so much, I made it again this weekend. As per usual, we had leftover topping and it is just too good to go to waste --  I decided to use it as my filling .

Topped with about 3 tablespoons of quattro formaggio, it made for the perfect healthy alternative to my original breakfast musings.

Some time later in the day, I had a cup of coffee to get my study mojo going, followed by a glass of soymilk -- i think i'm addicted.
Lunch was late in the afternoon. A nice salad of mixed organic baby green, green onions, crimini mushrooms, grape tomatoes, persian cucumber and 1/4 of an avocado. Trust me, if I could, I would add the entire avocado to the salad but you have to be careful with those -- one fruit has nearly 300 calories and 30 grams of fat. Yes it also has an amazing list of benefits, but everything in moderation is the best route, no?

There are only two circumstances which make me cringe at the thought of a salad:
1) A really bad cold/flu
2) Freezing cold weather

Thankfully, neither of those circumstances happen all that often :)

Since I had a cold last week and this weekend, it was fiance's turn this week. So, in an effort to help him recoup faster, I decided to make a cold-fighting soup packed with vibrant ingredients. Here is a glance inside the pot as I layered the ingredients: a bunch of dill, a bunch of parsley, a bunch of basil, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon ( halved), 1/2 cup baby carrots, 2 small onions ( quartered), a chunk of anaheim pepper, and a chunk of jalapeno.



Here is a picture after I add the water and two chicken breast halves. (Vegetarians beware)

I think i like the first picture a bit more....

Anyhow, once all the ingredients have been placed in the pot, a dash of salt here and twist of fresh cracked pepper there, you are good to go.  Simply cover the items with water and boil for a good 80 minutes. 

However, at about the 40 minute mark, I opted to remove the lemons. I figured they had imparted their vitamins already and was worried the lemon flavor would over power the soup.

Technically, once the chicken starts to fall off the bone, you are ready for the next step -- this may happen before 80 minutes, so feel free to check. Once the chicken is about ready, remove all the greens, garlic etc.  The next step is to remove the chicken off the bone, and pull it into chunks or bite size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and let it continue to boil so the soup continues to evaporate, deepening the flavor.




At this point I added the following spices: 1/4 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and about 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp fresh ginger and 2 garlic cloves, diced. Remember to salt and pepper to your preference.  Simmer for about 5 minutes. Then toward the very end add about 1 cup of grape tomatoes. Top with torn basil and enjoy.

Almost forgot, I had some leftover cooked basmati rice which I add to the soup at the last minute -- apparantly this made his day. If you decide to use diced potatos or pasta instead, make sure you give it enough simmer time to cook through.

Finally, the rest of the meal. I served the chicken I used to make the soup alongside some freshly sauteed spinach with garlic ( encore appearance) and some barley I made with sauteed onions and mushrooms.

The barely may not look too appetizing, but I promise it tasted great. I simply sauteed one small onion,10 sliced crimini mushrooms, and 1 garlic clove in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. When the onions became translucent I added another 1/2 tbsp of butter and 1 cup of barely.

Let the barley sautee for about a minute or so, then add 2 1/2 cups of broth . Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 40 minutes or until barley is cooked/ moisture is absorbed.







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UPDATES:

As part of the foodbuzz featured publisher program I received two jars of Bertolli's new pasta sauces today. I'm sure both sauces will be appearing as dinner soon -- especially on one of those nights where i don't have much time to put together a more complicated meal. ( Yes, I know as a law student, this should describe every night but I LOVE cooking and baking -- so i make time)

Also, I have three giveaway's planned for the coming weeks so stay tuned -- you may end up being a winner!

3 comments:

  1. Your salad looks lovely. I love adding avocados to my salads at lunch time, along with some filling, protein packed beans. Which reminds me that it's been way too long since I bought an avocado! Thanks for the reminder! :D

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  2. Great post love all the pics...omelette mmm

    sweetlife

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  3. Oh everything looks scrumptious!!

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