Month: March 2010

“Cream” of Asparagus Soup Recipe

Today has been a great day, especially for a Monday. I came home after lunch and knew exactly what I wanted…

This Green Monster had 1 cup Light Silk Soy Milk, 1 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, lots of spinach, and some of the frozen fruit medley from yesterday (pineapples, peaches, kiwi, mango, and cantaloupe). Delish. Then I ran out to the store to get the Oikos Caramel (I found it!!) and the rest of the things I needed for…

“Cream” of Asparagus Soup

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Onion
  • Head of garlic
  • 1 Turnip
  • Bunch of Asparagus
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cups Veggie Stock
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You start by roasting the garlic. You want to slice off the top of the head so it looks like this:

And twist it up into the foil

And then throw it in the preheated oven (400) for 40 minutes. It will look like this when done:

While that is going, you wash, peel, and chop up the celery, onion, and turnip:

Then, add 2 TBSP Olive oil to a soup pan and sauté the vegetables for 20 minutes with the dried thyme and rosemary so they get soft and slightly caramelized. Once it’s gone for 20 minutes, add the vegetable broth and the roasted garlic (it will slip right out of the peel) to the pan:

Let that go for another 20 minutes and then remove it from the heat and let it cool.

While that is cooling, chop off the ends of the asparagus, and then cut them into thirds:

You want to boil another pot of boil so you can blanch the asparagus. We did it in two batches, doing the heads separately so we could use it as a garnish. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus and let the water come back to a boil, and then let them go for two minutes.

You want to have an ice bath ready, which is basically iced water so it will stop the cooking process of the asparagus. Here’s our ice bath:

Once the asparagus has been in there for 2 minutes, you transfer it to the icebath

The reason for the ice bath is that it stops the cooking process, and helps the asparagus stay really green. Here they are blanched and chilled, and ready for the blender:

Now it’s time to put everything together for the soup. You take what was in the soup pot first (after letting it cool), and put it in the blender. Use a low speed (the lowest your blender goes) and make sure you don’t seal the blender air tight (leave the lid a little loose) or else the steam will make the top come off when you turn it on.

Now you add in the asparagus, blend it until its all broken up, and you’re done!

I also toasted a demi baguette to have with the soup

And a glass of Vouvray

All together now…

We did the spears separate from the bottoms of the asparagus to we could use it as a garnish, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want (you can do the asparagus all together and blend the spears into the soup as well). Croutons or greek yogurt would make an awesome garnish for this soup, too. The soup was soo good, and it has a thick and creamy texture, even though there is no cream!

And here’s whats for dessert:

Sharon’s lemon sorbet with chopped strawberries. Yum!

Now I’m off to watch the Nurse Jackie Season Premier (!!!).

Have a good night!!

Leftovers.. Mmm

The day is still gloomy, but I’m having quite a productive day at work. I had lunch in the conference room with a few coworkers and it was nice to eat away from my desk for once.

Leftover Mahi and Shrimp Stew from last night.. yum! I put ~ 2/3 cup brown rice in the bottom of the bowl, the heated up the leftover stew and poured it over. It was delicious, and to be honest I was a little worried about it stinking up the office kitchen since its got fish in there, but it didn’t smell at all! I just feel bad if I heat something up and it makes the whole office reek… how considerate I am 😉

Afternoon snacks included a 100 calorie pack of Cocoa Roasted Almonds

A sliced up Fuji Apple

And a Golden Corn Vitatop Muffin

This is the first time I tried the Golden Corn kind, and I really liked it. It tasted just like cornbread to me and had a good texture (not too dry). I got the idea to toast one of these and eat it with Veggie Chili… yum!

I’ve been in a really snacky mood today, so I’ve given in. 🙂 Gotta get through til 5 and then I’m gonna get in a nice workout and maybe run to the grocery store to find the 4-packs of Oikos Caramel or Chocolate… I tried to find them yesterday but my store was out. I’ve heard really good things about these flavors so I want to try them!

Gloomy Monday Morning

Today is a rainy, gloomy day here in DC, which I guess is making me feel a little bit better about being stuck in an office. This morning I woke up feeling really good and well rested… I think sleeping in both mornings this weekend really left me refreshed! I had such a nice weekend enjoying the gorgeous weather outside so it’s always a little depressing when it comes to an end..

I started off today with a MEDIUM coffee, first try at this size so we’ll see how it goes.

On the metro ride in, I was reading Women’s Health Magazine (one of the few magazines I have subscriptions to… if you haven’t read this one, you should. It’s really informative and has a ton of great food and workout ideas, but its also filled with tons of other interested info, weight loss success stories, cool articles, etc.) There was a Q&A in the “The Doctor is In” section that grabbed my attention.

Q: If I don’t have my morning coffee before 9am, I get a pounding headache. Why?

A: You’re most likely hooked on the caffeine and experience withdrawal. Typically, the throbbing kicks in about 12 to 14 hours after you’ve had your last cup, so if you guzzle after-dinner java, you’ll be feeling the pain the next morning. This also explains why some people get early-evening headaches. Recent studies suggest that a moderate amount of daily caffeine (up to three small coffees, or 400 milligrams a day) can have a positive effect on your overall health – for example, reducing the risks for diabetes, Parkinson’s, and liver disease. But too much of the stimulant can bring on nasty headaches, as well as long-term insomnia and increased heart rate.

I thought that was really interesting, and made me feel a bit less bad about my caffeine addiction. I am happy to report that I haven’t had a headache since last weekend even though I have ranged from having one mug of coffee at home up to a venti Americano from Starbucks throughout the week. I think the headaches were a combination of getting over a headcold plus the caffeine withdrawal, but I’m just feeling less bad about my habit.

For breakfast, I had some cut up strawberries

and an Oikos Honey Greek Yogurt.

Oikos is definitely one of my favorite Greek yogurts. This is made by Stonyfield Organic, which has a reputation for making delicious organic There is honey on the bottom of this kind and it’s so thicky and creamy. The ingredient list is organic milk, organic honey, organic sugar, pectin, and organic carbob bean gum. I love short ingredient lists, especially when flavor isn’t sacrificed, and this stuff is SO good.

Tomorrow I will be running my very first blog giveaway from Oikos, so stay tuned!

Sunday Night Dinner

Since the boyfriend and I have really different schedules (he’s a chef and I have a true 9-5), Sunday night is the big night where we (almost) always get to eat together, so we always try to do something a little special. Tonight he took the reins with dinner so it’s a little more complicated than the normal fare you’ll see on here… but what can you expect from a chef!?

After running to the grocery store for a few things, I whipped up a green monster with a new purchase from the grocery store:

A frozen Paradise Fruit medley. It had kiwi, mango, canteloupe, peaches, and pineapple. I used 1 cup of Soy Light, ~1 cup of the frozen fruit, one medium banana, and a few handfuls of spinach to make this one.

After that deliciousness, we played a game of scrabble out on the balcony.

I love Scrabble and we hadn’t played in a long time so it was great, except about 2/3 of the way through our game, we were hearing this music that was REALLY off key coming from somewhere. It just wouldn’t stop, and we ended up seeing there were two guys trying out bagpipes in the courtyard behind our building! They were seriously so off key, hopefully they don’t quit their day jobs… 😉

I made some popcorn to snack on while we played. I had heard that you can buy the kernels in a bag and just pop them in the microwave in a brown paper bag, but had never tried it before today. It works SO well. I just used a brown sandwich bag, put 3 tbsp of kernels in there and folded the top of the bag down a few times. I put it in the microwave on the popcorn setting, and it worked perfectly. It’s so nice because the popcorn that i usually eat is delicious, but has a lot of fake stuff in there with flavorings, and this way you can just eat it plain or top it however you want.

I drizzled some EVOO, sea salt, and pepper on this… so good. I ended up going back and making another batch mid-game, and we also snacked on some pretzels.

Ahh so now onto dinner… “we” made a Mahi and Shrimp Stew with Cilantro and Poblano Pepper (we is definitely a loose term here). Wil made a marinade for the shrimp and the mahi with cilantro, red and white wine vinegar, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, and chili flakes in the mini food processor.

We marinated the shrimp and mahi in that, and then added the rest to the broth. The broth started with the shrimp shells and the vegetable peels and water, and then had that marinade added. Then in the empty soup pan, he sauteed the veggies

This was onions, red pepper, and poblano pepper with a little EVOO. Then he added some chopped garlic, white wine, and the strained stock. Then he seared the mahi in a separate pan and added that to the stew, along with the shrimp. After that cooked together for a while, we added a chopped up tomato and some cilantro:

And let that simmer for another 20-30 minutes. We also made some brown rice to serve the stew over, and I was in charge of the tostonnes (reminiscing about Puerto Rico!)

The pan was a little hot (the reason they are pretty dark), but they were still delicious. We also had a salad of mixed organic greens mixed drizzled with EVOO. Seriously amazing meal.

The broth of the stew was so flavorful and a little spicy… incredible. Best part? Guess who has leftovers for lunch tomorrow… 😉

I’m gonna melt into the couch now and enjoy the rest of my Sunday night. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Mt. Vernon Trail Take Two

We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and go explore the Mount Vernon Trail again today (where I took my long run last night). Here I am at the entrance, which is just a 2 minute walk from my front door!

As I’m sure can imagine, the trail was packed.

It always makes me happy to see so many active people around! There were tons of walkers, bikers, roller bladers, and runners out enjoying the day.

We brought our softball gloves and a softball and threw the ball around for about 30 minutes. It was our first time this year and it was so fun, though I’m definitely a little out of practice. 😉 The field right off the trail where we were throwing the ball around was pretty close to the airport, so there were planes landing that seemed right above our heads!

The scenery wasn’t too bad, either 😉

For snacks, I had a 100 calorie pack of cocoa roasted almonds.

Love these! And then I had 1/2 of this bar

I wasn’t crazy about this flavor, but it did the trick. After we finished throwing the ball and admiring the scenery, we were getting kind of hot so decided to come home. We ended up walking a little over 3 miles in total and it was a fun way to enjoy the gorgeous day.

Lazy Sunday

Laziness got the best of us this morning so we decided just to stay at home today instead of drive back out to Tysons. Spring is officially here, so some spring cleaning was in order. Not the most fun way to spend your Sunday morning, but I definitely feel better and more relaxed in a clean apartment, and sometimes you just gotta do it!

I woke up really hungry today… I’m sure that has something (everything) to do with yesterdays 9.8 miles! I wanted to make a GM, but I realized I was out of bananas so decided to wait until later. I was craving another yogurt bowl, so I threw a different combo together for breakfast.

This bowl has:

  • ~ 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 small kiwis, sliced
  • 1 small plum, chopped
  • 2 weetabix biscuits
  • ~1 tbsp almond butter

Great combo. Have you tried these Weetabix biscuits? They are really good and crunchy, but don’t have too too much flavor. I ended up breaking them up and mixing them with the almond butter so it was kind of like almond butter granola-esque and was really tasty and crunchy. Yum! And, I got to eat this delicious breakfast outside on my balcony this morning – first meal out there of the year! That might have had something to do with the fact that today was the first day I cleaned the table out there this year…. but thats a whole nother story 😉

Good news is that I am way less sore today than I thought I’d be. My left knee definitely hurts a bit when I bend down but other than that I’m in good shape. I’m trying to figure out what I should do for a training plan until the 10 miler now that I have a 9.8 mile race under my belt… any ideas?? The original plan was to do 8 next weekend and 9 the weekend after, and then try to do 2 shorter runs (4-5 miles) during the week days. But now, I don’t really want to lose the mileage so I’m trying to figure out what the best way to train for it.

Such a gorgeous day out so I might try to go for a walk, maybe throw the ball around. I also need to run to the grocery store for a few things. Be back later.

Happy Sunday!!

Chef Geoff Tysons

After my delish salad, I hopped in the shower and then went to meet my boyfriend at Chef Geoff Tysons. I was still pretty hungry from the (almost) 10 mile run, so we decided to sit at the bar and have a drink and some food. I got a glass of the Torrontes (just one!), which is a white from Argentina.

I perused the menu and the Tuna Sashimi Napoleon with Wasabi Aioli was calling my name.

The picture doesn’t really do it justice. The ahi tuna is mixed with wasabi aioli, and then its stacked between baked wonton crisps, and then has some crunchy wonton strips on top. There was also a soy vinaigrette on the plate – soooo good. I wanted to get a little something else too, so I ordered a side of green beans with no butter

These were cooked perfectly – still a little crisp, and with a dusting of sea salt. I ate about 3/4 of the beans (there were a lot!) and all of sashimi except for a few wonton strips. I decided I wanted something sweet after I was done with those, so I asked what kind of sorbet they had – coconut, passion fruit, or raspberry. I went with a scoop of the raspberry.

It came with a cinnamon biscotti and I ate all of it. Delicious way to end my day! And we’re actually going back there for brunch tomorrow to check it out and I love brunch so I’m excited!

PS: I am definitely starting to feel sore already so keep your fingers crossed that I’m able to walk tomorrow 😉

Have a good night!

Green Monster 101

Hi! A friend asked me to do a step by step “How To” on making a Green Monster with photos so they could see the process. I have been experimenting for about a week now, and this is the way that I’ve found it works best.

You start by getting everything together that you want to use.

My current favorite combination includes:

  • 1 cup Silk light soy milk
  • 1 large banana
  • 4-5 frozen strawberries
  • ~1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • ~1/2 cup ice cubes

You can easily change it around by using any other kind of  milk or fruit combination, but you always want to have something green. I’ve heard of people using kale instead of spinach, but have heard that the kale stays a little “chewy” in the GM even after being blended up, so I’m gonna hold off on that for now. Also, I’ve heard of people steaming the spinach first to release more nutrients, but I just use it raw. You also don’t have to use ice cubes, especially if your banana is frozen.

After getting everything out, I put the milk, banana, strawberries, and pineapple in the blender

And blend that together first to smoothie-like consistency.

Once the milk and fruit are blended together, I add the raw spinach. I use a lot of spinach (around 2-3 cups raw)

Then I use a wooden spoon to mix the spinach into the smoothie

Then I turn on the blender and let it do it’s job!

You see how there’s still green bits in there? I leave the blender on until all those green bits are gone and also add the ice at this point if I want it thicker.  It takes about a minute of blending to get all the ice and spinach broken up and it should look something like this when its done:

And then comes the best part, pouring it in the glass…

And drinking it!

Now I know some people probably use a slightly different process than that, but that’s just what I’ve found works best through experimenting. And, those of you who haven’t yet jumped on the Green Monster Bandwagon, I promise you they are delicious! You can’t even taste the spinach in them at all even though you use so much. You pack in a ton of fruit and veggie servings and its a great energy boost. Don’t slam it til you try it! 🙂

Enjoy!!

Front Page

Turns out my idea to want to sit out outside for drinks was not a unique one last night 😉

We decided to go to the Front Page in Dupont Circle and the whole patio was packed.

Since I was the first one there, I put our name in and they said it would be an hour wait for a table outside. Since none of my other friends were there yet, I decided to just wait outside and read the Women’s Health magazine I had in my purse while I waited for them. I realized I was getting super hungry and was happy to find this in my purse

So good! I hadn’t tried this flavor before and I really liked it.

Our table was ready but none of my friends had arrived yet and I think the hostess was doubting I actually had any friends coming. ha. I ordered a glass of house red to start

and ended up having 2 more and a vodka soda while we were there. My friend Rachel was the first to arrive, so when she got there we decided to order some food and went with the Mediterranean platter.

Delicious! It had falafel, olives, hummus, babaganoush, tazatziki, and pita. We ordered some extra pita because by the time we were done with the bread there was still a ton of dip left. And, we got a side of fries

Lianne and Jess ended up making it after we were almost done with the food and we stayed for a few hours. Here were are right as we were finishing up at Front Page

Thats me, Jess, Rachel and Lianne. We had such a good time and it had been a while since we were all together. We ended up heading to Lianne’s new apartment afterwards and hung out there for a bit before heading home.

Today I got to sleep in late (~10am) and that felt SO good! On the agenda for today is getting a workout in and then going to get a haircut! I always get so nervous when getting my hair done for some reason, but I reallly need it. It’s also supposed to be 76 and sunny today so I’d like to get some time in outside. Come back later for pictures (new hair and food!) and a step by step Green Monster photo montage. Hope you enjoy your Saturday!

Korean Cart, Take Two

Today Emily (my work spouse, as others have put it) and I decided to go sit in McPherson Square to eat lunch, and it was such a good decision. I decided I’m going to bring a designated picnic blanket into work for lunches for the summer so spreading out in the grass is always an option. I brought my lunch but she needed to buy something and asked for an idea, so I suggested the Korean Cart where I got those awesome dumplings!

It is located on K Street NW, between Vermont and 14th St. The food is homemade every morning and the cart is family run. There is a father-daughter team serving the line of hungry people constantly lining up.

And the food is SO good. And affordable, especially for DC!

After Emily picked up her lunch (Mandu with the mild salad), we walked over to McPherson Square to sit and have our lunch, and a lot of other people had the same idea!

Food just tastes better when you eat it in the sun, I think. Here is Emily’s lunch from the cart:

I had leftovers from last night

and two plums

It was really hard to convince myself to come back to work, as I’m sure you can imagine. But, here I am! 🙂

Excited to get through the afternoon so I can hang out with my girlfriends. Happy almost weekend!

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