Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bacon and Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t everything just taste better with bacon on it?
I don’t eat regular pasta anymore, preferring zoodles or spaghetti squash strands over wheat flour or even brown rice noodles.  But The Captain does like his pasta so I threw this together for lunch on Tuesday after we came home from the tennis court.

I was hungry, and hoped this might be quick. I already had some zoodles prepared and waiting in the fridge, so I put some water on to boil for The Captain’s linguine noodles while I made this sauce. It all came together in about 20 minutes.

I always keep some cooked, crumbled bacon in the freezer. It is just so handy to add a spoonful or two for a little flavor boost.  I also keep peeled garlic cloves in the fridge, too. If you don’t have crushed tomatoes on hand, use diced, or even fresh.. and you could also use your immersion/handheld blender to puree them if you like.

Bacon and Tomato Sauce

Bacon and Tomato Sauce
Makes 2 servings.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 3/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh or dried basil for garnish and flavor punch
  1. Warm the olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over MEDIUM heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onions and saute about till softenened but not browned, about 7 or 8 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon and mix.
  4. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and mix again. Allow to heat through.
  5. Remove from heat and then ladle sauce over noodles of choice on serving plates. Garnish and season before serving.

Per serving, sauce only.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 132; Protein 8g; Carbohydrate 10g; Fat 7g; Fibre 2g.

Printable Recipe

If you like this recipe, won't you please consider Pinning it? Thanks so much.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kate’s Bright Green Lettuce Soup

Do you have any friends with whom you like to swap recipes and talk food?  One who gets as excited as you over a new find at Costco, or a new spice she has tried?  One who sends you flavored vinegars in the mail because she knows you will love them as much as she does?

Well, I do...  and I am so thankful for her.  My friend is Kate, and she has been the source of many of the recipes and ideas I have shared here with all of you.  When she told me about her Bright Green Lettuce Soup I thought it best to just turn things over to her.  And she is much, much too modest.

Here’s Kate's story:

I am so excited to be asked by my dear friend Elle to guest post on her blog! She’s very adventurous to ask a newbie to give it a whirl, don’t you think?

I have shared recipes with Elle in the past and frequently look for her input. About a year ago I started sharing photos of my creations so she could see what my end result looked like and compare her results to mine (hers are usually better!). So when I sent her the photos of this bright green soup she was very intrigued.

Getting back to the beginning. This year I purchased a half share CSA (community share agriculture). In my first delivery I received a HUGE bag of spring mix – the farmer calls it Spicy Mesclun Salad Mix. After eating it just about every day for lunch the first week, I still had 3/4 of a bag left and received another bag in the second delivery. {Picked up week’s 6 delivery, and there has been a bag of this Spicy Mesclun Salad Mix, each week.}

I was making chit chat with a patient (I am a mammographer) and was talking about gardening, and juicing. So I mentioned my CSA and my spring mix dilemma. She suggested making soup out of it and said David Rocco had a recipe for one.

Well, I couldn't find the recipe she mentioned but I perused these ones:
And this is what I came up with:

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup

Bright Green Lettuce Soup
Serves 5

  • 3/4 cup onion chopped (about 1 medium)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 10 oz cleaned and dried spring mix
  • 900 ml Campbell's vegetable soup broth (or make you own)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (I found little 160 ml cans; about the size of tomato paste cans)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish if desired
  • Chives for garnish if desired
  • Greek Yogurt for garnish if desired (this will add an additional element of creaminess)
  1. Preheat the coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the stock to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 5-10 minutes to more fully cook the onions.
  4. Turn the heat down and add the lettuce, cook until wilted. About 3-7 minutes more.
  5. Remove from heat and carefully puree the mixture with an immersion blender, or cool completely and use a regular blender to puree.
  6. Return to heat and stir in coconut milk. (** You could use cream, sour cream, or yogurt).
  7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and chives.
Per serving without garnishes.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 47; Protein 1g; Carbohydrate 5g; Fat 3g; Fibre 2g.

It smells delicious as it is cooking!!

The verdict:

It’s kind of like a cream of spinach soup, but probably not quite as thick.

I brought some to work the next day to share with my co-workers and they all had positive things to say....tasty, refreshing, exotic were some descriptors they offered.

This is a tasty and healthy soup. You could add some red Thai chili if you would like some extra zing, or a touch of arrowroot powder/cornstarch to make it a bit thicker if you like (of course adding more spring mix would also thicken it.)

Oh, did I mention it freezes really well and keeps it bright green hue?

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup2
Onions sauteed till translucent in the coconut oil.

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup3
Mixed Spring Greens, washed and dried.

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup4
Mmmmm.  Coconut milk.

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup6
Puree the soup...

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup7
till quite smooth.

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup8
Freeze the leftovers if you like…

Kate's Bright Green Lettuce Soup9
The beautiful bright green color won’t disappear!

Have you ever made soup with lettuce?

Now what to do with the rest of the greens? Pesto perhaps?

Thanks so much to Kate for her lovely, delicous recipe, and for taking over the blog today... if you like this recipe won't you consider Pinning it or Tweeting it via @WeCanBegin2Feed. Thanks so much!

Friday, September 05, 2014

My Strawberry Coffee Protein Shake

We spent a fun and active week in Portland, OR at the end of July  to celebrate The Captain’s birthday.  It was hot… 90°F and upwards… and so much drier than we are used to. I had forgotten how we take our cooling, moist ocean breezes for granted here on the Island.
We left the car in a Park and Ride lot early one morning and rode the speedy MAX commuter train into downtown so we could spend the day exploring the the city core on foot.  At one point in the afternoon we stopped at  nice-looking Starbuck’s, and decided to splurge on a pair Frappucinos to cool us down and also give us a bit of a caffeine boost to power us through an afternoon of shopping… tough, I know.

I cannot for the life of me remember what I ordered… probably something with vanilla and skim milk, no whip.. but I do remember what The Captain ordered… a Strawberries & Creme Frappucino with an extra shot of coffee… because the barista came over to tell him that their Strawberries & Creme Frapps don’t actually have any coffee in them, and asked if he really wanted some… which he certainly did… 2 shots.  And gosh, it was pretty delicious, and looked amazingly like the picture on their web site although it came in a plastic container.
Starbucks Strawberries & Creme Frappucino

Now this drink has been on my mind a lot ever since… and today I decided to give it a try.. with a bit of a twist... and no whip.

We did a strenuous Metabolic Aftershock workout this morning that really worked our legs hard, then stretched and then went out for our usual half-hour walk… and when we got back, we were both quite hungry.  There were some fresh strawberries in the fridge at their peak of ripeness so I put together a few ingredients in the immersion blender and came up with these drinks.

You could use any milk you like, and any vanilla protein powder, too. I happen to love the North Coast Naturals 100% ISO whey. Halve the ingredients if you want to make a single shake. 

Unfortunately my pictures are not pretty, but the drink was delicious!  There is no need to add any sweetener, but if you wanted more color, you definitely toss in a few more berries!  This was a real pick-me-up after our workout and walk, and gave me enough fuel to last several hours.

Strawberry Coffee Protein Shake

Strawberry Coffee Protein Shake
Makes 2 servings
  • 3/4 cup cold coffee
  • 1-1/4 cups cold vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 6 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  1. Put all the ingredients into a container and then whizz for a couple of minutes with your immersion blender.
  2. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 144; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 5g; Fat 3g; Fibre 1g.

Strawberry Coffee Protein Shake2
Toss it all together and blend!

Do you ever add protein to your coffee drinks.. or coffee to your protein drinks?

If you like this idea I hope you will PIN it or share it on Twitter via @WeCanBegin2Feed... thanks!