make the time

Veggie Bean Soup w/ Bacon

I make the same soup many times over, sometimes changing things here and there. I am creature of habit and I'm also someone who hates doing the same thing everyday. Welcome to life as a Gemini. So here's this simple soup which I've made a few different times, changing things up slightly here and there. Sometimes I feel inadequate when it comes to cooking new and fabulous dishes. I'm not as "into it" as other coaches or other people. I am quite clear that the gifts I share with my clients aren't how to be gourmet chefs in the kitchen but rather something so much simpler (and quite important, in my own personal experience):

overcoming fear and self-doubt and embracing enough self-love enough to make time and cook real whole foods to put into their bodies

Big stuff, there. There were many years, months and nights where I had no interest feeding this body. I didn't love it enough or accept it enough to feed it well but I knew I wouldn't feel any better if I treated it poorly. We had a little love/hate thing going on for a while, there.

Take out the pressure. Toss the stress. Embrace foods cooked with ease. Enjoy the simplicity of making and eating real food. Check off another day where sugar or some processed food lost and real food won.

My recipes might use the same ingredients in different ways and may not be the most exciting or original but they are one thing: mine. Yep, I'm cooking for myself several times a week and that's more than I can say for where I was this time last year and the year before that and...

yep. Progress. In the form of simple cookin'.

soup

soup

Vegetable Bean Soup with Bacon and Kale

Ingredients

1 qt vegetable broth (or chicken)

2 cups water

3 large sweet potatoes, cubed

1 large onion, chopped

1 large bunch of lacinato kale, chopped

1/2 lb. organic bacon (Applewood Farms is nice. Something from a source local to you is even better)

2 12 oz. cans of Eden beans (pinto, garbanzo, navy, etc.)

I package frozen, organic mixed vegetables

2 tsp. fresh rosemary and thyme

Instructions 

1) In a large soup pot, add the broth and water. Add the sweet potatoes and onion and bring them to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add the frozen veggies and fresh herbs.

2) Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove over medium heat until very crispy and place on a paper towel to drain.

3) Take about 1/3 of soup mixture from large pot and puree in a blender or with a hand blender. Add back in to the larger pot to add texture.

4) Add the bacon, crumbling it in. Wash your hands. That shit is messy.

5) Add the kale and simmer until bright green and soft.

6) Serve in nice bowls with a pinch of salt if needed. Savor how simple and tasty this meal is. And you made it.

Too Busy To Cook? Not An Option

"As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!" -Scarlett O'Hara

Say what you will about this iconic scene in an iconic film (it's ok. We can say the film and the book it's based on is extremely racist, among many things) but I really identified with Scarlett this past week or so.

Here's the play-by-play:

After my surgery in August, I came home and got to sit around and twiddle my thumbs. A lot. Lots of thumbs. Lots of sun. Lots of spending time with friends.

And then, the party was over. Time to get back to business which, for me, included a huge soar in business combined with part-time grad school AND some other side gigs that make my heart happy. READ: booked schedule. No time to shop, no time to eat (3 night meetings in one week) and no time--no time--to cook. This, my dear readers, is not an option.

About mid-week, I found myself facing this plate (brace yourselves):

that's canned tuna and frozen spinach (warmed-up)

You know what that's called? Pathetic. Yep. Pathetic.

That's what happens when I don't make time to prepare real food for myself. And guess what else was happening? I was shoving anything I could find into my face because I was starving (real food has the nutrients we need, so technically I was starving myself while also being ravenously hungry) which led to two realities:

1) I was gaining weight 2) I was pissing away a lot of my hard-earned money on a fraction of the food I could make myself

When I peeked into a pot of chili in a store and heard myself say aloud, "I could make that. And better, too." I knew it was time.

You might have thought the canned tuna on a plate would be the rock bottom. It was damn close.

So, I woke up bright and early today and prioritized work that needed to get done, emails that needed to be answered, friends who I had plans to see (love love) and, most of all, cooking myself some damn food for the week. I did some simple math for a recipe which you can find right here: TURKEY 2-BEAN CHILI. About 8 oz of it at a cafe or another locale cost me ~$5.00-$7.00. The last place literally made me cry. About 5 oz of broth, a few pieces of meat and some corn. $5.39 I can't get back.

Here's the breakdown of my meal:

TURKEY 2-BEAN CHILI

2 lbs fresh dark ground turkey meat: $11.00

1 can organic diced tomatoes: $2.69

1 can black beans: $2.39

1 can adzuki beans: $2.39 (the Eden brand costs a bit more, for good reason. Their cans are safer without BPA lining and they add kombu to their beans, adding to their nutrient density and it helps to digest them, too)

1 onion: $ .67

1 carrot: $ .28

= $19.42 divided by about 9-10 servings is------------ $2.15 per serving.

This is why being too busy to cook isn't an option for me.

The sheer savings of money, alone, is good incentive to say nothing of the pleasure I derived from taking charge of my damn health today AND filling the house with incredible smells and some damn fine food, if I do say so myself.

That panicked feeling of grasping for crap? No more of that, thanks.