Day After Superbowl Cleansing Soup

We are all human and bound to get carried away at times. During festivities and/or especially after watching a Superbowl game with friends having one too many drinks and eating a little too much can leave your body feeling just a bit tired and heavy.
It’s nice to be able to get your body back on track especially because it’s Monday and we need a lot of energy for this week ahead. Catering to your body and giving it a nice nutritious, light, warm meal can do wonders.

Help jumpstart your body into getting rid of toxins that you’ve accumulated during this time by feeding it a light meal allows your body to focus more on your body than on the digestion of what you are eating, hence using the extra energy in keeping you awake, or completing that workout that you are so dreading because you feel exhausted. We don’t realize how much energy our body uses for digestion and when you eat heavily it really takes a toll on your already tired body.
This is a nice light recipe that will really give your body all the nutrients it is now lacking.

It’s so good for you and simple; but most of all delicious. I topped it off with some steamed mushrooms and chilies (recipe below). Feel free to top off with what you like. I hope that you enjoy!

Ingredients: For the Soup

1 lb. of Spinach*, washed

1 Scallion, finely chopped

5 cups of Vegetable broth**

Handful Parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. of Ginger, fresh & grated

A pinch of Cayenne *optional

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot add half a cup of broth, add your scallion and allow to get translucent. Add your ginger, then spinach, parsley then cayenne, salt and pepper mix and add remaining broth allow to cook for 15-20 min.
Turn heat off and with an immersion blender puree the soup. Serve warm.

*Spinach use whatever variety or array you like
**Make your own by boiling 5 cups of water and add a no MSG Veg bullion

Ingredients:  For Mushroom topping

2 cups of Porcini Mushrooms*, chopped

2 Chili Peppers *optional

Couple leaves of chopped parsley

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan add the olive oil with the chili pepper and the parsley, allow to simmer lightly and then add your mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes add your salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes and then top your delicious soup with this. YUM!

*Whatever mushroom is completely fine.

Cleansing soup

My Healthy Veggie Stir-fry for Meatless Monday

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box and go back to things that you loved eating as a kid or at a friends house / restaurant but never made it yourself.

Stir-fry is something that I always find tastes delicious when you eat it at a Asian restaurant. It just seems that sometimes when you eat it at home it either lacks flavor or there is too much flavor or it’s mushy or it just doesn’t taste the same. I figured I would try this out as it would make a perfect meatless Monday meal. I mean Veggies with brown rice??? What more could you want.

Now, I have never in my life or as far as I can remember ever cooked a stir-fry so this was gonna be tricky. I know; I can make a lasagna from scratch but a stir-fry frightens me. Crazy.

Of course I know that you generally put broccoli and some other array of veggies. I also know that you use soy sauce but to be honest I try to use as little soy as possible; after all it is high in sodium and so unfriendly to the woman figure, it really has crazy day after bloating effects which cause so much discomfort, nothing like eating a healthy meal but having your pants fit you too tight because of the MSG you just inhaled. So, I kept a close watch on that one.

This was going to be a test of my culinary skills per se, because I wanted to see if I could achieve the deliciousness and still keep it healthy. The health benefits of this dish are many.
Broccoli is so good for you and high in so many great nutrients, it’s high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, which benefits anywhere from brain function to the common cold.
Ginger is another great natural remedy especially for this cold weather, it’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, anti-viral, circulation-stimulating, detoxifying, digestive, lymph-cleansing and warming.
Mushrooms are another fantastic source of nutrients and amazing for the following niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, potassium. They are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and extremely low in sodium.

So the above are the ingredients I used to make my veggie stir-fry accompanied of course by non other than delicious brown rice. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients

1 medium head of Broccoli

1/4 lb. Mushroom Pleurotos *

3 Celery stalks

2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tbsp. fresh Ginger, Minced

3 drizzle count Extra Virgin Olive oil

4 drizzle count Soy Sauce**

Salt and Pepper to taste

Start  by slicing your broccoli into thin florets set aside on separate dish. Then move on to your mushrooms cut longwise and in-between thick and thin set aside on separate dish. Get your celery stalk and cut longwise as thinly as possible and 2 inches long set aside on separate dish. Move on to you ginger, chop up very thin and set aside. And now mince your garlic.

Heat a wok over medium heat, drizzle your olive oil and add the garlic and ginger at the same time. Allow your garlic to get golden and throw in your celery, mix well and then throw in your broccoli. Sprinkle some pepper and add 2 count drizzle of soy. Mix all the ingredients well allow to cook for another 3 minutes and then add your mushrooms. Mix again well with all the ingredients and then add the remaining 2 drizzles of soy. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes mixing ingredients in between. I like my veggies a bit crunchy but if you want to cook more feel free.
Serve over brown rice.

* Use whatever mushroom you like, shitake, portobello, porcini or champignon.

** If you can find Light soy, use that otherwise feel free to use the regular kind.

**If you feel like you need to, you can add a little water to help the cooking process.

 

What’s more Healthy than: Quinoa Primavera

So as you know I love Meatless Mondays and an All Vegetarian meal whenever I can….??!!

I especially love Quinoa, for me it’s the best substitution to heavy carbs and it marries so well with vegetables (really anything, in this case I am focusing on vegetables 😉 ), I love the fact that it really will just blend with whatever flavors it is paired up with.

It’s been winters and although I love salads it’s been pretty hard to just have a salad when outside it’s snowing or just plain cold. So, what I resort to is basically roasted, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables. On this particular day I hadn’t gone to the store in a while it was snowing outside and I just was going to use whatever I had in the fridge. I always have a large variety of veggies so I figured that I would make vegetables accompanied by……??? I opened the cupboard and there was the Quinoa, so I decided I would make something using both. I seldom will serve my Husband just vegetables, unless requested by him. Even if I just eat all vegetarian I always try to make him, chicken, beans or pasta or something (healthy) to go along with the veggies. So in this case it was Quinoa.

I do have a post I completely dedicated to the Nutrition facts and health benefits for Quinoa, you can see here: http://mythineats.com/2011/11/11/quinoa-nutrition-facts/

However this dish is simple, light, healthy, low carb, and low fat. So I hope that you like it. You can serve as a main dish or as a side dish to chicken, salmon, meat, eggs; whatever you like or prefer. Enjoy

Ingredients:

Serves 2 as main dish 4 as side dish

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups of Water

1/2 cup frozen Peas

2 Zucchini

1 Endive

A couple leaves of Radicchio

A handful of Arugola, washed

Salt and Pepper to taste

A few drizzles of Olive oil

Preheat your oven at 180° C (350° F).

Now put the quinoa and the water in a small pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste, mix, cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower flame to minimum and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes (until all water is absorbed).

Get your slice in 1/4 in rounds and place on a baking paper over a big baking tray or cookie sheet tray, lay them out one by one. Do the same with the endive. You should be able to fit your leaves of radicchio also, drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in oven and allow to bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Place about 1 cup of salted water to boil in a little sauce pan, once boiled throw in the peas and allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes. Drain immediately in cold water and set to the side

Fluff your Quinoa, join all ingredients in a salad bowl and mix lightly and if you like you can squeeze a little bit of lemon over it and serve.

I have included a photo with an fried egg on top, or you could also chop up some feta or any cheese you like and throw it in. There are so many endless variations. Enjoy!!!

 

 

Low Fat and Low-Calorie: Zuppa alla Contadina (Farmers soup)

Vegetable soups are very popular here in Italy, it seems that anywhere you go you can order a delicious soup made with farm grown seasonal vegetables, light and just simple flavors cooked together and delicious. I love soups! But I do hate when they are more fattening than eating a piece of fried chicken.

Soups for me are something I choose to eat when I am trying to stay light, detox and stay warm, not for the opposite. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of soups out there that are just over the top and taste great, I don’t know like say chicken and dumplings, potato soup, tomato soup, etc… but one thing they all have in common is how heavy they are and how many calories are in them. I say if you really are craving it and that is all there is to eat then feel free (I’m no one to judge) but I just can’t justify eating it all the time; and for the amount of soups I eat and how I was raised in Italy with all these fresh low cal and delicious soups, the soups mentioned above just don’t even fase me, or exist in this country for that matter.

I am going to say that I have had them a couple of times while in the States and I do like them, but I definitely didn’t eat them if I was trying to be healthy or detox.
All this is to say that there are alternatives to soups not all of them are bad and heavy, they can be light, nutritious and perfect for a cold winter day. I hope that you enjoy this soup and lets all have a light and wonderful day!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup each of mixed dried Legumes, soaked over night (makes sure you have at least 5-7 different ones)*

½ cup Barley

1 Carrot

2 Celery stocks

1 Onion

1 Garlic clove

2 small Potatoes

1 sprig of fresh Thyme

1 sprig of fresh Rosemary

5 leaves of fresh Sage

2-3 Bay leaves

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil + ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop up your celery, carrot, onion, and potato into small cubes. Put a medium pot over medium flame and heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil, add the cubed, celery, carrot, onion and potatoes as well as your garlic clove peeled but still whole. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then throw in your soaked legumes and barley, mix together and add water, you always want to make sure when cooking legumes you add double the water (so if you legumes arrive to 1/4 of the pot add 3/4 water.)

Add bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 2 – 3 hours.

In the meantime chop up finely your thyme, sage and rosemary. Put 1/2 the cup olive oil over heat in a small pot or pan and add your thyme, sage and rosemary, allow oil to get hot and then turn off heat and let sit.

Once your soup has boiled and the legumes are cooked remove the bay leaves and grab 3 ladles and blend smooth rejoin the blended soup to the pot and mix. You may begin to plate once all are served get the aroma olive oil and drizzle over the bowl of soup and enjoy!

* I used: Adzuki beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, soy beans, dried split peas, dried lentils.